With 15 years of state agency experience, she was previously the CFO at both the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Prior to this, Kelly served as the Director of Finance and Administration for Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division. From 2008-11, she served as a senior budget and policy analyst for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget where she had oversight of multiple state agencies.

Kelly's state career began when she was recruited by the Department of Administrative Services Information Technology Division from Zoo Atlanta, where she was known to distance learning students and teachers as “The Zoo Lady”.