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Checking in with Keli Mulkey

Fast Facts about Keli Mulkey

Keli Mulkey is the Retail Banking Officer and Travel Coordinator at Peoples Bank in Cuba, Missouri.

Chartered in 1901, Peoples Bank is the oldest and largest bank in Crawford County, Missouri. The bank’s assets are estimated at more than $200 million.

Born: Fort Ord, California

Education: B.S. in accounting and management from Columbia College and M.B.A. from Webster University

Employment: After high school, Mulkey deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. After serving in the military, she moved back to Missouri and worked various jobs while finishing her master’s degree. She has served as travel coordinator for Peoples Bank for the past 16 years. 

Family: Mulkey and her husband, Jim, have been married for 24 years. They have two children.

Hobbies: She enjoys showing Boer goats at the county fair, scrapbooking, photography and camping.


Instead of staying in familiar Missouri after high school, Keli Mulkey chose a more hair-raising path. She enlisted in the U.S. Army and quickly found herself in one of the most dangerous places in the world: Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield.

Mulkey took the discipline she learned from that experience back with her when she returned to Missouri. She finished her master’s degree and got a job offer at the local Peoples Bank.

She also returned with an even more cemented love of travel, which had started as a young child.

“My parents were both in the Army,” said Mulkey. “I lived in Africa from ages 2 to 4. I’ve been lucky to go all over the place. Because I enjoy traveling so much, my husband and I take our kids on trips often so they can see there is more to the world.”

Her determination and enjoyment of travel helped her land an ideal job 16 years ago when she took over as coordinator for Peoples Bank’s travel club. Today, she still looks forward to helping others discover new destinations and cultures.

Civilian Life

While working full time after she returned to Missouri, Mulkey completed a master’s in business administration by taking night classes. During those five intense years, she worked for an adolescent treatment facility, the Army Reserves and Columbia College.

When she moved to Cuba, Missouri, she started part time as a teller at the Peoples Bank. She soon went full time doing various tasks before Joyce Stewart recruited her to help with the bank’s travel club.

“Joyce said, ‘You’re in the Army, and you used to travel,’” said Mulkey. “So I said, ‘Sure!’ Joyce was going into semiretirement, so I helped out, which led me to taking over the whole shebang once she officially retired.”

Mulkey started going on day trips with the club. She would take one bus while Stewart would take the other.

“I thought the new job was exciting,” said Mulkey. “It allowed me to meet more people in the community. It’s still a blast.”

The Peoples Bank’s travel program has altered greatly since Stewart started it as a senior program in 1980. It now welcomes all ages for a yearly average of two trips by air, two trips by motorcoach, and two or three day trips.

“I think opening the age limit has helped,” said Mulkey. “If you get some of those younger folks coming on your trip, they tell their friends, which boosts club participation.”