Mary Kelli Palka, Local Editor, The Florida Times-Union
Mary Kelli Palka is the local editor of The Florida Times-Union. She has 18 years of journalism experience at daily newspapers in Florida and North Carolina. Mary Kelli leads the Times-Union’s metro and business news, including managing editors, reporters and columnists in Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Georgia. Since Mary Kelli became local editor in October 2013, Times-Union journalists have investigated Northeast Florida’s juvenile justice system, examined Jacksonville’s police and fire pension issues, and analyzed Florida’s teacher evaluation methods. Mary Kelli started her journalism career in 1995 and worked as a police and court reporter for the Burlington (N.C.) Times-News and Naples Daily News. She joined the Times-Union in 2003 to cover the Jacksonville Mayor’s Office. She was also the newspaper’s lead reporter on its education project, Hope. In 2012, Mary Kelli became a writer at Shands Jacksonville, where she also managed the hospital’s social media accounts. She returned to the Times-Union in 2013 as the investigative editor.
Mary Kelli has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communications from Elon College. She is a Jacksonville Beach native, and she lives in East Arlington with her husband and their daughter.