Peggy Bellm was born and raised in Highland. She holds a BA Degree in Theatre/Dance and Communications from SIU Edwardsville.
Peggy’s career includes establishing 3 retail stores: 2 in Highland, and 1 in Chesterfield, MO. She was active in downtown and city wide marketing campaigns for the retail business community. She also served as Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce from 1987 to 1991.
Peggy moved to the West Coast in 1991. She was employed by California State University, serving as Director of Marketing for the 23-campus Summer Arts Program, and Director of Advancement for the University Advancement Foundation.
Returning to Highland in 2006, she jumped right back into community affairs, first being appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission, then filling an unexpired term on the City Council. She ran for the position and was elected to City Council in 2007.
In addition to her involvement in many Highland civic/social organizations, she served on several regional Boards including the East/West Gateway Coordinating Council, the Friends of Theatre and Dance Association, and the SIUE Small Business Advisory Council. She was an active member in Highland’s American Revolution Bicentennial celebration in 1976, Highland’s Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1987, and served as Chairman for Highland’s 175th Jubilee in 2012.
She is married to Don Carnley, whom she brought to Highland with her in 2006. Despite Don’s hesitation at living in a “small town with nothing to do,” he loves Highland and is active in Optimists, Masons, Shriners, VFW, Moose, and maintains a large garden.