Interview with Avenir Group LLC President/Owner Kelvin Simmons

Kelvin has more than 25 years of experience in local and state government at the highest levels. Among the highlights of Kelvin’s distinguished career in state government are appointments by three different Missouri Governors (Carnahan, Holden and Nixon) to some of the most prestigious cabinet positions and state posts. He served as Chairman and Commissioner of the Missouri Public Service Commission, Director of the Department of Economic Development and Commissioner of Administration in the Office of Administration. Kelvin was unanimously confirmed by the Missouri Senate on three separate occasions. He also served as a senior staff member in the Governor’s Office.

At the local level, Kelvin was twice elected to the City Council in Kansas City, Missouri.

On the national stage, Kelvin served as a Missouri state political director for a successful national Presidential re-election campaign (Clinton) and served as a campaign director for a successful Congressional re-election campaign (Wheat).

Outside of government, Kelvin was a vice-president at Swope Health Services; the largest Federally Qualified Health Care Center (FQHC) in Missouri and Kansas. He was also President and CEO of Swope Community Builders; one of the largest Community Development Corporations in Missouri.

In 2012, Kelvin left state government to join the Global law firm Dentons where he served as a Principal in the Firm. At Dentons, Kelvin worked in the Public Policy and Regulation practice group where he specialized in Government relations, procurement development and lobbying services.

In 2018, Kelvin co-founded the Nexus Group – a full-service government affairs firm headquartered in Jefferson City.

Today, Kelvin focuses on local and state government procurement, M/WBE guidance and compliance, economic development incentives, regulatory compliance and government relations. His advice and counsel are highly sought after by some of the largest corporations, companies and organizations in the United States.

Representative Experience
At Dentons, Kelvin assisted clients with strategic procurement consultations resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in contract awards.
As Commissioner of Administration, Kelvin had executive branch oversight responsibility for the state’s $23B and $5B ARRA budget (2009-2012). The state maintained a AAA credit rating every year during his tenure. Kelvin also had statutory and executive responsibility for the oversight of the state’s procurement/contracts, accounting, real-estate, personnel, information technology & telecommunications, and general services divisions.
As the State Economic Development Director, Kelvin was credited with assisting the state of Missouri in opening the first state office in China for trade. He approved the first state MODESA incentive application, resulting in over $125M awarded to the City of Kansas City’s Power & Light District. Legislatively, he assisted in the passage of job creation and tax credit reform legislation.
As the Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission, Kelvin presided over and assisted in the settlement of the largest overearning complaint case in the history of Missouri. The settlement resulted in over $1B dollars in rate stabilization, the creation of a community economic development program and significant utility infrastructure investments.
Kelvin has testified in front of local City Council meetings, State Committee hearings and Congressional hearings.

40 under 40, Ingram’s Magazine
50 Missourians You Should Know, Ingram’s Magazine
Lifetime Achievement Award, NAACP Missouri State Conference
Jordan McNeil Award, Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Foundation
President’s Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
Governors Torch of Excellence Award for Leadership in Diversity State of Missouri
Voted one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in Kansas City, Kansas City Globe

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