Meet the ROCIA Staff

Elaine Carlson

Executive Director

I was raised on a farm in Montgomery County, graduating from Villisca, Iowa. In 1988, I married Kerry Carlson who was born and raised in Red Oak. A month after we were married, we started our journey by transferring around the state with the company Kerry is still employed with today. We have been married 35 years and have three grown children. Our older two live in other cities, so it’s a joyous time when we can all be together as it doesn’t happen very often.

One of my favorites memories of when my children were younger is how they would react as the great big orange pumpkin on the hill came into sight when we were traveling home for a visit. They knew that no matter what direction we were coming from, that we were almost to Grandma’s house. As each grew older, they learned that the pumpkin was really the Red Oak water tower. In 2009, twenty-one years later, we had the opportunity to move back “home” and have been so happy to be here and involved in our community once again.

Kesandra Pullen

Events and Marketing Coordinator

I grew up in McLouth, KS and graduated from Veritas Christian High School in Lawrence, KS in 2015. Afterwards I attended Kansas State University where I majored in Interior Architectural Design and minored in Hospitality Management. I was very involved while at University. I was an officer at Clovia, my Scholarship House, for 2 years, President of LCMSU student lead group for 2 years, and involved in too many other organizations and clubs to list. I met my husband, David, while at University. I have worked many jobs including architectural intern, construction worker, server, landscape designer, and interior designer.

In 2019 my husband got a job as an engineer at NSK in Clarinda, and we moved to SW Iowa. I fell in love with Red Oak’s charm and downtown square. The plentiful greenspace and trails throughout the community were also a huge draw. We have recently purchased a historic home here in Red Oak and are working on bringing it back to its former glory. I am so excited to be at the Chamber constantly learning more about this wonderful community and working towards making it the best place it can be!

ROCIA Communicator

The ROCIA Communicator is a weekly newsletter that’s sent out every Wednesday morning highlighting the various events and promotions throughout our community.