“Lansing pioneer” Kelly Rossman-McKinney dies at the age of 67

Kelly Rossman-McKinney, co-founder of public relations firm Truscott Rossman and director of communications for Attorney General Dana Nessel, died of cancer at the age of 67.

In a statement, Nessel mourned the loss of Rossman-McKinney, “Lansing’s trailblazer and friend.”

“There will never be a Kelly Rossman-McKinney again,” said Nessel in the press release. “The loss of one of my most trusted advisors is heartbreaking and I am honored to be one of those lucky enough to work with Kelly and witness her artistry.”

Nessel also praised Rossman-McKinney’s work with her company.

“What started as a solo operation from your kitchen table grew into one of Michigan’s largest and most respected public relations firm, Truscott Rossman,” said Nessel. “Kelly was the gold standard for public relations; respected by her colleagues and admired by her colleagues. “

Rossman-McKinney founded the non-partisan communications company Truscott Rossman with John Truscott in 2011. Truscott mourned the loss of his co-founder in several statements.

“Michigan lost a legend,” said Truscott. “Your friends have lost their strongest supporter. The weak lost a generous advocate. And I’ve lost a partner, a dear friend and the woman who was my work woman. “

“Kelly built her business starting at her kitchen table when she lost her state job. She entered an arena where women were rare. She faced the men who made politics in Michigan. And she has built a reputation that is second to none. “

Rossman-McKinney had a long history of involvement in the Michigan state government. From 1979 she worked as a legislative secretary and also served as an assistant in the legislature and in the administration of the then government. James Blanchard.

Rossman-McKinney retired from her position at Truscott Rossman in 2018. After an unsuccessful candidacy for the state senate, she took up her position as communications director at Nessel.

She was remembered by politicians and journalists alike, many praising her as a pioneer for women who worked in the state government’s industry and in the media. Governor Gretchen Whitmer also released a statement on Rossman-McKinney’s death.

“Kelly Rossman-McKinney was unique,” said Whitmer. “Honoring a woman who always knew what to say and when to say it is difficult. A pioneer and role model who meant so much to so many. Her unsurpassed political instinct and razor-sharp wit shaped Lansing for decades. Your name literally graces the skyline. It’s hard to imagine this city without it, but Kelly’s timeless advice will continue to shape our work. “

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