Jean Peelen was elected to a two-year term as City Commissioner beginning November 2011. She was then re-elected in 2013 for an additional 2-year term expiring November 2015. She served as Commission Chair from 2012-2013 and currently serves as the Commission Vice-Chair 2013-2014. Chair Peelen has previously served as the City Liaison for the Buildings and Grounds on matters of policy relating to planning, buildings, and grounds. She also served as Liaison to the Island Community Center, Liaison to Communities for a Lifetime (Department of Elder Affairs), and Liaison to both the Island Chamber of Commerce and Manatee County Council of Govenments. Chair Peelen presently serves as Legislative Liaison, Chamber of Commerce Liaison, and the City's Liaison for the ManaSota League of Cities.
Chair Peelen graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of South Alabama, English and Music, and J.D. from the University of Alabama. For 20 years she was employeed as Senior Federal Attorney/Manager for the Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. She also served three years as the International Broadcasting Bureau Chief of Staff, and as investigative consultant for non-profit agencies.
Chair Peelen's community involvement includes serving on the Manatee County Animal Services Advisory Board, Co-leader of the Manatee County No-Kill Movement, and Founder of the Anna Maria Island Chapter of Dining for Women. She is also an active member of the Tourist Development Council for Manatee County.
As a proud mother of two daughters, Chair Peelen is also the proud grandmother to seven grandchildren. After her retirement, Commissioner Peelen became a model, commercial actress, author of two books on aging, and host of the radio show "Gray Matters: Changing the Conversation About Aging."