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story.lead_photo.caption David Kelly
Mike Sutherland

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has filled two leadership positions effective today.

Mike Sutherland is now a deputy department director and David Kelly has been named director of the Division of State Parks.

"Mike and David are both longtime supporters of Missouri's state park system and outdoor recreation," DNR Director Dru Buntin said in a news release. "Both have been instrumental in building our team as well as relationships across communities that have helped us provide one of the best state park systems in the country."

Buntin chose Sutherland to fill the position he held before the governor appointed him to be DNR director earlier this month.

Sutherland most recently served as the director of Missouri State Parks, a role he started in January 2020.

Before that, he was deputy director of state parks, policy director for the Missouri Budget Project and executive director of the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission.

Sutherland has also served as a member of the Missouri House and the Warren County assessor.

As a deputy department director, Sutherland will oversee the Division of State Parks, the Missouri Geological Survey and the Division of Energy.

"I appreciate this opportunity and the faith Dru has in me to keep the agency moving forward," Sutherland said in a news release. "It takes all of us working together to provide excellent service to the citizens of Missouri. By working together with a positive outlook, no challenge will be too great."

To fill the position Sutherland left, Buntin promoted David Kelly to be director of the Division of State Parks.

With more than 30 years of experience with Missouri State Parks, Kelly was most recently a deputy division director for the last four years.

He began his career with Missouri State Parks as a special events coordinator and has taken numerous leadership roles for park programs and sections, from operations and visitor services to market development and marketing.

"I'm excited to lead our team," Kelly said in the same news release. "We believe in and support the mission. There are a lot of exciting projects currently underway and on the horizon, and I'm looking forward to getting us across the finish line."

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