Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel is Chairman of the Okaloosa County Commission for FY2017. She has been a resident of Okaloosa County for over 25 years. She brings a comprehensive background in Federal, State and local experience involving Social Services policy and administration which spans decades. She was selected Social Worker of the Year for the State of Florida in 2015, by the National Association of Social Workers.
Carolyn was accepted into the prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship program after graduate school. While in Washington she served on the White House Conference on Families under President Carter and the Commission to Reform Social Security under President Reagan. She was recognized for her work on Social Security by President Reagan. Carolyn Ketchel worked in the United States Congress as a subcommittee Director for the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Carolyn holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work in Administration, Social Policy and Clinical Counseling. She has a License in Clinical Social Work. During her years as a Social Worker she has worked on the macro-level, assisting to pass legislation on Social Security, Child Welfare and Foster Care. Carolyn’s public service in Florida includes serving on Congressman Jeff Miller’s district staff and serving as Senator Don Gaetz’s legislative director. While working in Tallahassee she was instrumental in passing legislation to bring a Social Work program to University of West Florida.
Carolyn’s local service includes directing Catholic Charities throughout Okaloosa and Walton Counties from 2007 to 2012. Carolyn Ketchel has had a private Christian Counseling practice for many years. She is also a long time radio talk show host on WPSM called a Christian Perspective with Carolyn Ketchel. Carolyn was the Chairman of the St. Mary School Board, as well as serving on the Diocesan Commission on Catholic Schools. She received the Christus Medicus Award for her work in social programs from Bishop John Ricard. In 2013 she was appointed to the Florida Gubernatorial Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council by Senate President Don Gaetz.
Carolyn Ketchel has distinguished herself as a leader in Northwest Florida with a reputation for integrity and conservative ideals. She has been active in Republican politics for many years, serving as campaign director for two Republican congressional campaigns and as an Okaloosa County Republican precinct committeewoman. Recently she was elected to the Okaloosa County Commission, without opposition, and took office in November of 2014.
Carolyn is a devoted wife and mother of two adult sons. She was extremely active in various school and youth activities with her sons. She served in numerous leadership functions in Boy Scouting, where both her sons achieved Eagle Scout rank. Carolyn has been married for 31 years to Circuit Judge Terry Ketchel.