Candace Connell

Candace Resume 1_400x600Candace has a wide range of experience in not-for-profit management and involvement and has spent the majority of her professional career working in a not-for-profit setting with a focus on community and economic development work.

Her past work experience includes grant writing and administration, transportation planning, solid waste management planning, and managing business loan programs for the Meramec Regional Planning Commission. During her time with MRPC, she also facilitated several community planning efforts including strategic and comprehensive plans for cities.

For many years, Ms. Connell also served in various roles in the St. James community with a continuing focus on community and economic development work. This included serving as the Caring Communities Director for the Phelps County Community Partnership during which time the St. James Caring Center was founded including raising capital funding for the purchase of a permanent home.  Candace also spent several years as the Director of Community Development for the City of St. James and was involved in public infrastructure management, planning, development, construction and public financing, capital improvement planning and human resource management. She oversaw over $12 million of public infrastructure improvements from conceptual planning, through financing and funding, including grant writing, design, bidding and completed construction. Projects included sidewalk and trail improvements, street and stormwater upgrades, a new water storage tank and well, a new aquatic center, wastewater collection and treatment system improvements, parks projects, street lighting improvements, upgrades to infrastructure in industrial park for new and expanding industry, and electrical line distribution and electrical substation improvements.  

Candace was born and raised on a dairy farm in Iowa, the eldest of seven children and spent the first 30 years of her life in the Pella, Iowa area.  Her life experiences include soybean and corn farming, assisting in managing a cow-calf beef cattle operation, and a farrow-to-finish and large-scale confinement pork production operation, in addition to the dairy cattle business of her youth.  Candace worked for 13 years in the banking industry along with her time on the farm before moving to Missouri in 1990. This early farming life continues today as she and her husband own a cotton, soybean and corn producing farm in Tennessee.

Candace and her husband David, have four adult children, one of whom is married, and one grandchild. All four children have graduated from a Missouri-based university and are off on their own.  David and Candace spend their time visiting their children in Missouri and North Carolina and their extended family scattered around the country from Alaska, Iowa, Illinois, Texas and Tennessee.

Candace has a strong attachment to preservation of rural life and of rural communities, due in large part to her life experiences.   Her past work in community and economic development is guided by her personal belief in the importance and value of rural cities, communities and people.