After Montana Eye Care opened his eyes to a career in optometry, Marcus Kelley went on to become one of the owners of the Helena business.
“I was first introduced to Montana Eye Care 25 years ago as a patient,” said Kelley, 37, who started working for the local eye care center in 2006 as an optometrist. “My eye doctors growing up were Drs. Bill Simons and Bill Hasquet, who inspired me to pursue optometry from an early age.”
That has worked out well for both Kelley and Montana Eye Care, which recently added a new building and expanded its frame dispensary.
“He has been an instrumental part of the growth of our eye clinic in Helena, allowing us to better serve the people of Helena,” Hasquet wrote in Kelley’s nomination for the 20 Under 40 award.
Born and raised in Helena, Kelley earned his bachelor’s degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and his doctorate from Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, California.
In addition to seeing patients and helping manage 30 employees at Montana Eye Care, Kelley has been a member of the Montana Optometric Association for 15 years and has served on the State of Montana Board of Optometry since 2013. Gov. Steve Bullock recently reappointed him to the board for another four-year term.
“I enjoy serving all Montanans on this board, which oversees the practice of optometry in Montana to ensure that all patients receive quality optometric care,” he said.
Kelley and his wife serve as volunteer mentors through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Helena program, and they support nonprofit organizations such as the Grandstreet Theatre, Holter Museum of Art, Glacier National Park Conservancy, Montana Conservation Corps, Prickly Pear Land Trust and Intermountain.
And he has passed on his values to the next generation as a coach for his son’s YMCA soccer and basketball teams for the last few years.
“I enjoy working with youth as they build confidence, develop skills and learn teamwork through sports,” he said.
In his off-time, Kelley enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two children, ages 8 and 5.
“He is thoughtful in his discussions, respecting the opinions of others and taking time to analyze the topics in order to ensure thorough discussion,” Hasquet wrote. “I truly do feel that he is a great asset to this community and will continue to be a leader for years to come.”