Missouri Veterans Commission elects Commission Chair and Vice-Chair

Missouri Veterans Commission website

The Missouri Veterans Commission welcomed three new Commissioners and elected a Commission Chair and Vice-Chair during the March 26, 2021 meeting. Randy Alewel, Kelly McClelland, and Steve Maples were appointed to the Commission by Governor Mike Parson on February 4, 2021, and recently confirmed by the Missouri State Senate.

During the March 26 meeting, Kelly McClelland was elected Commission Chair. Mr. McClelland is the owner, president, and CEO of McClelland Law Firm in Liberty. He is an honorably discharged U.S. Army Veteran, who achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. His service includes time as an A-Team Commander and Battalion Commander (U.S. Army Special Forces), who served in Germany, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Mr. McClelland holds a BA with distinction from William Jewell College and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law.

Meredith Knopp was elected Vice-Chair. Ms. Knopp, who has been serving as a member of the commission since December 2017, served as a captain in the U.S. Army. She is a member of the Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association and the Association of the United States Army. She is a co-founder of HEROES Care, a non-profit that provides support for Veterans and their families. She is the president and CEO of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Michigan State University and has studied at Cambridge University.

Randy Alewel is the CEO of Alewel’s Country Meats, and president of Totally Country Products Incorporated in Warrensburg. He is a retired Brigadier General with the Missouri Army National Guard and ended his service as the 35th ID Deputy Commanding General – Support. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from the University of Missouri Columbia, and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.

Steve Maples serves as a court security officer for the City of Ozark Municipal Court and as a deputy sheriff in the Reserve Division of the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. Previously, he was the director of the Missouri Veterans Cemetery-Springfield. Mr. Maples is retired a member of the Missouri Army National Guard. After 29 years of service, he retired at the rank of master sergeant. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Restore Hope.

The next quarterly Commission meeting will be held on April 26, 2021. To learn more about the Missouri Veterans Commission, visit them online.