Patrick Kelly joins West Liberty as Director of Purchasing


Maureen Zambito

Director of Purchasing Patrick Kelly, MBA is shown at his desk on the third floor of Shaw Hall.

Patrick Kelly joined the West Liberty University business office as the director of purchasing this year. In this position, Kelly is responsible for managing contracts, vendor relationships and payments, sourcing items that the university needs, coordinating with outside agencies that provide supplies, inventory and asset management and travel.

“I was looking for a position where I could make an impact, not just be another member of the team. I also wanted to find something that was more fulfilling than just a paycheck. I had been missing a sense of purpose since I left the US Army and wanted to find something where I can make a difference and West Liberty seemed like a great fit,” said Kelly.

Kelly attended the University of Delaware to receive his bachelor’s degree in political science. He then went on to receive his MBA from the University of Phoenix and master’s in military history from Norwich University. His initial plan as an undergraduate student was to attend law school, however after joining the ROTC program, Kelly realized he loved what he was doing and entered the army instead.

Upon getting out of the army, Kelly had a job as a purchasing manager, fleet manager, warehouse manager, safety inspector, laborer, foreman, and jack of all trades for a pipeline and construction company. After leaving that job, Kelly discovered that he wanted to learn more about business so that he could better understand how decisions were made in the business industry.

“At the time, there were not many options for online education, and I still had to work full time so I took classes with the University of Phoenix to earn my MBA which helped me tremendously in my career,” said Kelly.

Kelly has been working in logistics for 22 years and has been a purchasing and vendor manager for roughly 15. He has worked in multiple steps of the supply chain from manufacturing to retail to user, allowing him to better understand the interconnection of the business industry.

His decision to join the West Liberty business team was because he wanted a job that wasn’t solely focused on metrics. He has always believed that education is one of the key importance that we need in society and working at West Liberty has allowed him to help in his belief.

Kelly feels that his first job in logistics as a US army officer helped him to learn valuable life lessons. Early in his career, he was taught to never let operations fail due to logistics, something he still lives by.

“My job has really helped me to see the big picture and to think more long range. I learned how to look at problems from multiple angles and to evaluate the risk to the organization in ways that allow me to solve problems before they become larger and more disruptive to the organization,” said Kelly.