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About Kelly

Kelly Schulz is a mother, wife, successful small business owner, and currently serves as Maryland’s Secretary of Commerce.

Kelly oversees the state’s primary economic development agency, responsible for attracting new businesses, job growth and workforce development. Under Kelly’s leadership, they have also served as the largest resource to provide financial assistance to struggling Maryland companies adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Prior to entering her career in public service, Kelly was always focused on her community.  While raising her boys, Kelly put herself through college and worked as a server and bartender in the evenings and on weekends, yet always made time to serve on the school PTA and to volunteer with Brandon and Bradley’s sports teams.

Kelly went on to work as a program manager for a defense contractor and then became a partner in opening a small business – a cybersecurity firm.

Wanting to continue to serve her community, Kelly was successfully elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, representing Frederick County. As a Delegate, Kelly took her knowledge and experience as a small businesswoman and served on the Economic Matters Committee where she focused on legislation relating to banks and other financial institutions, business occupations and professions, economic development, labor and employment, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

Recognized by newly-elected Governor Hogan for her knowledge and expertise on economic matters, she was appointed as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) in 2015. At DLLR Kelly managed nearly 2,000 employees and oversaw an annual budget of $375 million.

Under her leadership, Maryland’s apprenticeship program grew to its highest level since 2008, with more than 10,000 apprentices statewide and received national recognition as one of the top programs in America. Additionally, Kelly worked tirelessly to work with businesses regulated within the department to have a clear voice on how to work successfully within the state as a partner as opposed to the preexisting adversarial relationship.

In 2018, after Governor Hogan’s reelection, Kelly assumed her current role in the Department of Commerce where she continued her positive approach to building relationships with a variety of industries to improve their opportunities within the state. Kelly likes to promote Prosperity with a Purpose – bringing more opportunities to the state has an effect on those that would not otherwise have opportunities.

Kelly currently lives in Frederick County, Maryland with her husband John Nowell.