KU Edwards Campus A-Z
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  • Home
  • About
  • People
  • Our Boards

Leadership Appreciated

Board of Advisors

Board of Advisors

The Board of Advisors guides the development of campus programs, services and partnerships in the greater Kansas City region. The board has consulted on high-level issues such as access, cost and strategic program growth.

John Allison – Olathe Schools

John AllisonJohn Allison has worked in public education for the past 29 years. Prior to starting in Olathe in 2017, he served as superintendent in the Wichita Public Schools and the Mt. Lebanon School District in Pennsylvania. He has also worked as a district administrator in the Grapevine-Colleyville School District in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, associate superintendent for education services for the Shawnee Mission School District, and as a middle school and high school building administrator. He began his teaching career in Spring Hill, Kan. as a high school social studies teacher and coach. Allison obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas, and his Masters of Science from Emporia State University. He has completed doctoral course work in Education Leadership at St. Louis University and Southwestern College. His wife, Ramie teaches in the Olathe School District. They have 2 grown children.

Mary Birch – Lathrop & Gage

As Lathrop & Gage’s government relations coordinator and chair of the firm’s government relations practice area, Mary Birch tracks issues and developments that may affect businesses on the local, state and national levels, and consults with clients as to how they may participate in the decision-making process. As the head of the government relations department she works for strategic solutions and to help the firm’s clients get the best Lathrop & Gage attorney for their issue. Mary has nearly two decades of experience in government relations and consulting, particularly at the local level. From 1984 to 2002, she served as president of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, where she directed efforts to attract an unprecedented level of business to the city. During her tenure, 62,000 jobs and 4,000 new companies were created in Overland Park. During her time with the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, Mary facilitated the government relations efforts for the organization and its members at the local, regional, state and federal level. She has established relationships with elected officials and staff at various levels and worked primarily in the area of strategic issue management. In 2002, she was named “Johnson Countian of the Year” by Johnson County Community College.

Mike Boehm - City of Lenexa Mayor

Mike Boehm was elected mayor in January of 2003 by the city council to fill the Bowman term and has ran unopposed in all subsequent elections. He is a lifelong resident of Lenexa. He is senior vice president at Commerce Bank and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Kansas.

Mike is actively involved in community, city and state organizations involved in municipal policy and leadership. He serves on a number of public and community service organizations including:

  • Johnson County Community College Foundation Board of Directors (2015 to present)
  • Johnson County Research Triangle Board of Directors (2008 – 2017) (Vice-Chair)
  • League of Kansas Municipalities Board of Directors (President 2005-2006)
  • Lenexa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (ex officio) (2003 to present)
  • Lenexa Chamber of Commerce - Lifetime Member
  • Johnson County Community College Carlsen Center Program Advisory Committee
  • Lenexa Historical Society - Lifetime Member Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Dick Bond - Midwest Trust Co.

Dick Bond received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1957 and his juris doctorate from KU School of Law in 1960.

In law school, he was a member of Phil Delta Phi, President of the Student Bar Association and represented the law school in the National Moot Court competition. Upon graduation, he practiced law in Mission Kan. and was the first city attorney for Overland Park, Kan.

He served for nearly 25 years as chief of staff to three members of Congress from the 3rd Congressional District of Kansas. Later he served 14 years as a Kansas State Senator and retired in 2001 after serving four years as Senate President. Dick has been a director, officer and investor in several Kansas bank and trust companies and currently with the Bank of Blue Valley.

He serves on several foundation boards and has served on numerous statewide and metro non-profit boards in leadership and fundraising capacities. Dick is past co-chair for Jayhawks for Higher Education; past chair of the Advisory Board of the KU Edwards Campus; member of the KU FIRST Law School Capital Campaign; and past president of the KU Law Society. He served as a member of the Kanas Board of Regents and as its chairman.

Dick has received numerous honors and awards including: KU Law School Distinguished Alumni; Kansas City Spirit; Johnson Countian of the Year; The Fred Ellsworth Medallion; and The Distinguished Services Citation – KU’s highest alumni award.

Brian Bracco (retired) – KSHB 41 Action News and KMCI 38 the Spot

Brian BraccoBrian Bracco is one of the television industry’s most-respected news executives and was named vice president and general manager for KSHB in Kansas City, Mo., in December 2012. He holds the same title at KMCI, the sister station of KSHB that is located in Lawrence, Kan. Brian manages seven television stations in Kansas City. KSHB 41 Action News, KMCI 38 the Spot and five other digital channels: Bounce, Cozi, Laff, Grit and Escape. Brian joined Scripps from Hearst Television, Inc. where he was senior vice president of news for the company’s station group. He was based in Kansas City and also had an office in New York for more than a decade. During his tenure with Hearst he was responsible for 23 stations across the country. His oversight included all news and digital platforms.

The veteran newsman is remaining loyal to his Kansas City roots where he had tremendous success as news director for more than a decade at KMBC, the Hearst station in Kansas City. In addition to his expertise in news management, he has experiences working in the journalism field as a managing editor, reporter and anchor in Wichita, Kan., Columbus, Ohio, and Birmingham, Ala. Brian is a past chairman of the ABC news advisory board. He also is a member of the Radio Television News Directors' Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. He is on the Foundation Board of the William Allen White School of Journalism. He and his team members have received numerous national recognitions including the Edward R. Murrow award, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University awards and Emmy awards.

Jeff Briley – CBIZ

Jeff BrileyJeff Briley has been with CBIZ for more than 23 years and is regarded as one of the most valuable resources in the Financial Solutions Group. He is a member of the CBIZ Estate Planning Group and is recognized in the CBIZ Expert Network as a specialist. Jeff’s expertise is highly sought after; he regularly contributes to companywide meetings, teleconferences, webinar events and newsletters. For more than 41 years in the wealth management industry, Jeff has successfully worked with business owners and professionals to help them make their estate and transfer goals a reality. His philosophy when dealing with his clients has always been to “serve first”.

Active in his community, Jeff currently serves on the Advancement Board for the KU Medical Center/Hospital. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the KU Edwards Campus and the Village Church Food Pantry. Additionally, Jeff has held positions on many civic, athletic and educational boards. He is the past chairman of both the University of Kansas National Alumni Board and the Kansas City chapter of the KU Alumni Association. He served on the board of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and is the past chairman of the Overland Park Planning Commission. He is a former assistant commissioner of the Great American Baseball league, past co-president of the Shawnee Mission South Parent Teacher Association, and is a session elder and member of Rolling Hills Church.

Jeff graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kansas.

Dr. David Cook - University of Kansas

David Cook is the vice chancellor for public affairs and economic development at the University of Kansas. He assumed this role in May 2020 after serving as vice chancellor of the KU Edwards Campus (KUEC) in Overland Park, Kansas, since April 2013. Cook oversees the university’s messaging, outreach and government relations at the local, state and national levels and is responsible for internal and external communications and message integration across all KU campuses, affiliates and partners.

As KUEC’s vice chancellor, Cook led the campus in bringing KU’s academic programs, research and public service to Greater Kansas City with a focus on building strong partnerships with community colleges, workforce development groups, and K-12, government and industry leaders. He launched a new instruction site in Leavenworth and oversaw the KU Lifelong and Professional Education unit, then KU Professional & Continuing Education.

Prior to his role at KUEC, Cook served for 14 years in multiple administrative and faculty positions at KU Medical Center. From 2008-13, he was associate vice chancellor of the Institute for Community Engagement and associate director of the Institute for Community & Public Health. From 2008-11, he was executive director of the Midwest Cancer Alliance. Before that, he was assistant vice chancellor for public affairs from 2005-08 and director of Health and Technology Outreach from 2002-05.

From 2011-12, he completed an American Council on Education fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cook first earned tenure as a faculty member in the KU School of Medicine and is now a full professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

A graduate of the University of Kansas, Cook holds a master’s degree and doctorate in organizational communication. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University.

Tim Cowden – Kansas City Area Development Council
Tim Cowden

Tim Cowden leads the strategic direction and vision for the Kansas City Area Development Council from day-to-day operations to KCADC investor and client relationships. The KCADC team drives new corporate attraction in partnership with economic development leadership across the 18-county, two state Kansas City region. Tim has more than 25 years of experience in economic development, including senior positions in Texas, Utah, and Kansas City.  He has been with KCADC since 1998.

Cowden and his team successfully work with a variety of industries including advanced energy, manufacturing, distribution, transportation, technology and animal, bio and life sciences.  He has aided large corporations in expanding or relocating into the Kansas City area, including Netsmart Technologies, Mars Chocolate North America, Kimberly-Clark, Lowe’s, FedEx Ground, Wal-Mart, Farmers Insurance, Sara Lee, Apria Healthcare, Aviation Technical Services, mySidewalk, Sedgwick, Sungevity and Excel Industries.

Previous to his work for the KCADC, Cowden held senior economic development positions in Texas and Utah.  Aside from economic development, Cowden worked in the private sector in commercial real estate and business management.

He graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma.  Tim is married to Monique and they have four children: Sarah, Joe, Anna, and Jack.

About the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC)

As a regional economic development council, the KCADC represents two states, 18 counties and more than 50 communities. Since its inception in 1976, the KCADC and its partners directly assisted more than 500 companies and organizations relocate or expand into the Kansas City region. As a result, these companies have created more than 50,000 direct and indirect jobs for the Kansas City area.

Ray Evans – Pegasus Capital Management
Ray Evans

Ray set out to create a unique and personal approach to wealth management when he founded Pegasus Capital Management more than 25 years ago. His dissatisfaction with the one-size-fits-all approach in his industry lead to the creation of a firm that brings together a customized team of specialists. Today, Ray serves high net-worth clients and their families offering a suite of services to help those families and businesses reach their objectives.

Ray is a big supporter of the University of Kansas where he currently serves as a trustee on the board of the KU Endowment. He is also serving on the advisory boards for KU’s Edwards campus and for the KU Medical Center Cancer Partners. He is also the past Chairman of the National Board of Directors for University of Kansas Alumni Association. Ray was recently recognized with the Ellsworth Medallion Award by the KU Alumni Association for all his work for the university.

He also supports many charitable organizations including Catholic Education Foundation, Higher Impact and the Keith Worthington Chapter of the ALS Association.

In addition, Ray adds the title of author to his many roles. He has written articles for the Kansas City Business Journal and Wealth Resources and contributed to the book You Can't Afford the School of Hard Knocks.

Ray received a Bachelor of Science in Business and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Kansas.

Michael Fulton - Shawnee Mission School District
Ray Evans

Dr. Mike Fulton is superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) in Johnson County, Kansas, a district which serves more than 27,000 students. He began his tenure with SMSD in July 2018. All five high schools in SMSD are recognized by U.S. News and World Report as among the top high schools in the country, and the district is in the top six percent of school districts nationwide.

Dr. Fulton previously served in the Pattonville School District (Mo.) for 23 years, the last 11 as superintendent. Prior to Pattonville, Fulton taught middle school and served as assessment coordinator in the School District of Clayton (Mo.). He began his teaching career in Bloomington (Ill.) District 87 where he taught grades five and six. On assignment from District 87, Fulton taught Curriculum and Instruction for one-year at Illinois State University. Fulton earned a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University, a master’s degree from Illinois State University, and a doctoral degree from Saint Louis University.

During Fulton’s time in Pattonville, the district evolved into one of the most diverse school districts in Missouri and the nation. As diversity grew, so too did the district’s academic performance, leading the St. Louis Post Dispatch to recognize Pattonville as a district that “beats the odds” on state test scores. Pattonville grew to national stature by engaging students, parents, staff and community members in creating learning solutions that improve student academic success, promoted responsible citizenship and prepared students for college and career. Pattonville High School was regularly recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a top high school and Niche.com ranked Pattonville as one of the top school districts in the nation.

Fulton chaired or co-chaired several Missouri statewide committees related to student learning, assessment and accountability. That work involved bringing together a variety of stakeholders to collaborate on initiatives that supported students throughout Missouri.

Mike Goff - United Way of Greater Kansas City

Mike Goff is an accomplished marketer with a career that has spanned a variety of brands and marketing assignments.

Goff is currently chief marketing and development officer at United Way of Greater Kansas City, an organization that generates $30 million in funds that are then used for the good of 140 partner agencies and 200-plus associated programs that improve the health, education and financial stability of citizens of the metropolitan Kansas City area.

Prior to United Way, Goff was the founder of Goff + Marketing, a strategic consultancy that provided chief marketing officer experience and solutions to businesses locally and nationally.

Goff has served as executive vice president at Barkley, the largest employee-owned advertising agency in the U.S., where he co-managed the account management team. He also was president of Premier Sports Management, where he led that company’s work to name, brand, position and launch the new College Football Playoff in 2013.

The majority of Goff’s career was spent at Sprint serving in a variety of marketing roles. His responsibilities at Sprint included brand strategy, brand management, brand identity and brand communications; advertising, digital communications and social media; retail communications, collateral and packaging; direct marketing; and campaign integration. He managed a top 10 U.S. brand (as measured by media spending) and was instrumental in leading Sprint’s brand health turnaround in 2010-2012 – a period where the brand experienced growth that dramatically outpaced the competition. He led the “Now Network” campaign that won a Cannes Gold Lion for Integrated Campaign – the most prestigious award in advertising.\

He has been recognized nationally and locally for his career accomplishments. Goff was named one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports by The Sporting News during his sports marketing tenure at Sprint. And, in 2012 he was recognized by the Kansas City chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators as that group’s Arthur E. Lowell Award winner, given to communicators in Kansas City who have combined exemplary career accomplishments with ethical excellence and a commitment to the local community.

Goff is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He and his wife, Bobbi, live in Leawood, Kansas.

Donald J. Hall, Jr. – Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Don Hall

Donald J. Hall, Jr. is chief executive officer of Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark Cards, Inc. He also is vice chairman of the Hallmark board of directors and serves on the boards of directors for Crown Media Holdings, Inc., and Hallmark International.

Hallmark is known for greeting cards and personal expression products sold in retail stores and online, as well as television programming through the properties of Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Hall of Fame productions. Hallmark also owns Crayola, the Easton, Pa.-based firm that inspires creativity in children through Crayola® crayons and other innovative art tools, crafting activities and toys.

Donald, a grandson of company founder Joyce C. Hall, joined Hallmark in 1971 and has worked in manufacturing, customer service, product development, and sales. He has served as a member of Hallmark’s board of directors since 1990.

In 1993, Donald was promoted to general manager of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, the company’s Christmas ornament brand. In 1995, he was named vice president of creative and became a corporate officer. Donald became vice president of product development in 1997, and in 1999, he was named executive vice president of strategy and development. He assumed the role of president and CEO in January 2002, becoming the third generation of the Hall family to lead the company. In 2015, his brother, David E. Hall, was named president; Dave now joins Donald in leading all aspects of Hallmark’s portfolio of businesses.

Donald is active in the Kansas City community as a member of the MRIGlobal Board of Trustees, University of Kansas School of Business Board of Advisors, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Board of Trustees, the win|win Board of Directors and the Kansas City Civic Council. He recently completed his term on the National Board of Trustees of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Recognized for creativity, quality, innovation and brand leadership, Hallmark continues to expand both its product offerings and its distribution channels, today offering product and services in more than 30 languages available in 100 countries.

Kevin Harden - GastingerWalker&
Kevin Harden is Managing Partner of GastingerWalker&. He received a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from The University of Kansas in 1979. Kevin’s guidance and leadership over the past 39 years has led to dozens of successful projects throughout the United States. He has diverse experience in master planning, programming and design with budgets ranging from $200,000 to $300,000,000. Though new to the KU Edwards Advisory Board, Kevin has long been an active supporter of the University of Kansas serving as Chairman of the School of Architecture Advisory Board and a Past Co-chair of Rock Chalk Ball, to name a few. Additionally, Kevin is involved in several community organizations including past chairman Mission Hills, Kansas Planning Commission, Kansas City Businessmen’s Club, Secretary Kansas City Architectural Foundation and past President AIA Kansas City. Kevin recently lead the design efforts for KU’s Capitol Federal Hall School of Business and the renovation of Dyche Hall.
Cliff Illig (retired) – Cerner Corporation
Drue Jennings (retired) – Kansas City Power & Light

Drue Jennings is a former chairman and CEO of Kansas City Power & Light Co. and served as interim athletic director for the University of Kansas. He is a retired senior counsel for Polsinelli PC. and also worked at the law firm of Shughart, Thomson & Kilroy, P.C.

Jennings served as the chief executive officer of Kansas City Power & Light Company from 1988 to 2000. He served as the chairman of Kansas City Power & Light Company from 1990 to 2001. He was vice chairman of Midwest Research Institute Inc. and served as its director. Jennings was also a director at Crown Media Holdings Inc. He served as the interim athletic director at the University of Kansas in 2003.

Jennings has long been an advocate for KU Med and its efforts to create The University of Kansas Cancer Center and seek National Cancer Institute designation. He was a founding member of the University of Kansas Medical Center Advancement Board, which works to support KU Med, The University of Kansas Hospital and The University of Kansas Physicians. He also helped create a subcommittee of the board that focuses on raising money for KU Cancer Center.

Audrey Langworthy (retired) – Kansas State Senator
Audrey Langworthy

Audrey Langworthy served in the Kansas State Senate from 1984 through 2001. Among her many assignments was chairman of the assessment and taxation committee from 1992 through 2000. She was also on the National Conference of State Legislators, serving on the executive committee from 1997 through 2000. She also served on the Prairie Village City Council, 1981-1983.

A former teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District, Langworthy, a graduate of the University of Kansas, was named to KU’s Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008. The JCCC Foundation’s Board of Directors Leadership Scholarship was named in her honor in 2005. In 2004, she won the Patron Award from the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation and was also named Volunteer of the Year by the Volunteer Center of Johnson County. She received the Regional Leadership Award from the Mid-America Regional Council in 1999, the Kansas City Spirit Award in 1996, the Prairie Village Distinguished Public Service Award in 1995, and recognition as a Consensus Achiever from Kansas City Consensus in 1993 for her leadership in passage of the Bistate Cultural District legislation, which made possible the restoration of Union Station.

Among many other organizations, Langworthy worked with the United Way of Greater Kansas City and served as chair of the 211 committee. She is a member of the Advancement Board of the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center Advisory Council at St. Luke’s MidAmerica Heart Institute, and she is on the University of Kansas Edwards Campus Board of Advisers, the St. Luke’s South Hospital Board, and the JCCC Foundation Board, serving on the Some Enchanted EveningSM Committee from 2002 through 2010. Langworthy has served on two national boards – the Youth Volunteer Corp of America and the National Board of Governors of the American Red Cross. On the Red Cross Board she helped the former president of the Red Cross, former Senator Elizabeth Dole, reorganize Red Cross Blood Services in response to the HIV (AIDS) crisis.

Langworthy has also served on the Community Foundation of Johnson County board of directors; the Kansas State Historical Society Board; the Heart of America United Way board of directors; the Reach Healthcare Foundation advisory board; Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ Governor’s Education Policy Team; the Shawnee Mission Medical Center Foundation board of directors; the Junior League of Kansas City, Mo. (president 1976-1977); the Kansas City Eye Bank (president 1980-1982); the Committee for Excellence in Shawnee Mission Schools; and on the PTAs of Shawnee Mission East High School, Indian Hills Junior High School and Highlands Grade School.

David Lindstrom - DML Properties, LLC
David Lindstrom

David Lindstrom has long been active in his community and State; He is currently elected to the Board of Trustees for Johnson County Community College; He previously served for ten years on the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners; prior to his service to the Commission, Lindstrom was the Republican nominee for Kansas’ Lieutenant Governor in 2002.

Today, David manages his Real Estate business and is certified by the Kansas Supreme Court as an Approved Mediator. He also serves on the Boards of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, the Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita, the Bi-State Commission and the Shawnee Mission Medical Center Foundation.

Lindstrom is a graduate of Boston University and a nine-year veteran of the National Football League. While playing for the Chiefs, he gained a hands-on education in the business world. He joined the local firm Kessinger-Hunter, based in Kansas City, and worked as a commercial real estate associate and also worked as a registered NASD Broker for Yarmouth Brokerage. Upon his retirement from the NFL, he owned and operated Burger King ® restaurants – located in Overland Park, Louisburg, and Kansas City.

A resident of Overland Park, Lindstrom has lived in Johnson County since 1979. He and Mary, his wife of 39 years, are the proud parents of two daughters, Halee and Adrienne.

Fred Logan – Logan, Logan & Watson, L.C.

Fred LoganFred Logan is an attorney and partner with the law firm of Logan Logan & Watson, L.C. in Prairie Village. His practice is focused primarily in the areas of business, real estate, and public and education law. Fred has served in a number of regional and state leadership roles. In July, 2011, he was appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback to serve on the Kansas Board of Regents, the governing body for higher education in the sunflower state. He served as Chair of the Board in 2013-2014 and completed his term in office in June 2015. In 2008, Fred chaired the successful campaign to pass a first-in-the-nation local sales tax to benefit life sciences and higher education initiatives. The Johnson County Education Research Triangle, which was overwhelmingly approved by Johnson County voters, benefits the University of Kansas Medical Center’s KU Cancer Center, Kansas State University’s Institute of Animal Health and Food Safety in Olathe and the University of Kansas Edwards Campus. Fred served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Johnson County Community College from 1992-1997. Initially appointed to a board vacancy in 1992, he was subsequently elected by the citizens of Johnson County to serve a four-year term in 1993. Fred served as chairman of that board for three years. Fred has served as a Vice Chair and member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute. He is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City. He presently serves as a member of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics Advisory Board and as a member of the Board of Trustees of MRI Global.

Mike Maddox – CrossFirst Bank
Mike Maddox

Mike Maddox is president and CEO of CrossFirst. Maddox attended the University of Kansas from which he received a bachelor’s degree in business degree in 1991 and a law degree in 1994. While at KU, Mike was a four-year basketball letterman and a member of the KU team that won the National Championship in 1988. He was captain of the 1991 team that was the national runner-up.

Maddox practiced law in Lawrence, Kan. for more than six years and has been in banking for almost thirteen years. Prior to joining CrossFirst Bank in 2008, he was a regional president for Intrust Bank, where managed the bank's operations in Northeast Kansas. Maddox completed the Graduate School of Banking in Wisconsin - Madison in 2003.

Maddox is currently Chair of the Young Presidents Organization Kansas City Chapter, executive committee member of Kansas Chamber of Commerce Board, executive committee member of University of Kansas School of Business Board, past Chair of Kansas Chamber of Commerce Board and past chair of University of Kansas School of Business Board.

Susan Edwards Miller
Susan Edwards Miller

Susan graduated with a degree in Education from the University of Kansas in 1972. She has previously taught Elementary School, and has had careers in the insurance and real estate industries. She has held numerous leadership roles in volunteer positions that include serving on numerous boards of directors and is a member of the Williams Education Fund and the Kansas Alumni President’s Club She is treasurer of the Pi Beta Phi Educational Foundation.

She manages two smaller companies.

Laurie Minard – Garmin International

Laurie Minard has more than 26 years of experience in human resources. Her career at Garmin began in 1996, when she was hired to establish the human resources department. She was promoted to Director in 2002 and has served as the vice president, human resources since 2007. Laurie is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for Garmin’s HR policies and programs. Since 1999, Laurie has served on the Board of Directors for Employment Practices Network of Kansas City. Laurie has served the community in a variety of board roles including the KANSASWORKS State Board, Olathe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors & Executive Committee, Olathe Medical Center Board of Directors, Olathe Salvation Army Advisory Council, YMCA of Greater Kansas City Board of Directors and the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Executive Women’s Leadership Council. She collaborates with JCCC, KU and K-State through her work on the KU Edwards Campus Board of Advisors and Workforce Development Advisory Board, the KSU Olathe Advisory Board and is a JCCC Foundation Board Ambassador. Laurie was recognized by the Olathe Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Year in 2007 and as Citizen of the Year in 2012. She was also selected to the Kansas City Business Journal’s Class of 2008 Women Who Mean Business and graduated from the Leadership Olathe program in 2010. Laurie earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas.

Lynn Mitchelson – American Bank of Baxter Springs
John Olander - Chief Operating Officer, Burns & McDonnell
John Olander

John Olander is the chief operating officer of Burns & McDonnell, a Kansas City based engineering firm employing over 7500 worldwide. As the first COO in the firm’s history and now the second-highest ranking officer, Olander was tapped to provide robust management support during a time of continuing rapid company growth and increasingly complex business operations. He focuses on implementing a range of best practices across the entire company while continuing to lead the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Group along with supporting the Information Technology and Strategic Initiatives groups.

As president of the T&D Group, Olander leads 1,700 engineering and technical professionals and hundreds more employee-owners in other divisions who support T&D projects. Burns & McDonnell is perennially ranked as the industry’s No. 1 Transmission and Distribution engineering design firm by Engineering News-Record magazine. The work contributes to the reason Burns & McDonnell expects to hire 1,000 or more new employees each year for the foreseeable future. The T&D Group works with all the largest electric utilities in North America including execution of multibillion-dollar programs and EPC projects.

Olander joined Burns & McDonnell in 1991 and has been part of the T&D Group since 1995. By 1998, he had been promoted to a project management role, leading a challenging engineer-procure-construct (EPC) project in Texas that soon led to other similar roles on progressively larger EPC projects, including one in 2005 that was then the largest in the industry. In 2008, Olander was promoted to vice president and in 2012 was named general manager. He received his engineering degree in 1989 from North Dakota State University and in 1996 received his MBA from the University of Kansas.

In addition to his professional roles, Olander serves on the Board of Trustees for the Mid America Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and serves on its governance committee. As a predecessor to joining the KU Edwards Board of Advisors, he served as an Advisory Board Director for the Blue Valley School District Center for Advanced Professional Studies program, a nationally recognized initiative that enables high school students to accelerate their entry into higher education or a career track into high-skill, high-demand jobs.

Robert Owens - CrossFirst Bank
John Olander

Robert Owens serves as the managing director of commercial banking for CrossFirst Bank in Kansas City, one of the area's fastest-growing banks headquartered in Leawood, Kansas. He leads a team of experienced bankers in growing a portfolio of commercial and industrial banking relationships in the Kansas City area.

Prior to joining CrossFirst Bank, Owens spent seven years at First Citizens Bank as its top market executive. He was responsible for administration, coordination and facilitation of all commercial, business and consumer banking activities for the Kansas/Missouri region. Owens also has seven years of experience as a market president at Enterprise Bank & Trust.

Owens earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Kansas and his Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Finance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

In addition to his 12-year tenure on the Edwards Campus Board of Advisors, Owens currently serves on the Board of Governors for Indian Hills Country Club and was recently selected to the 2019 Class of Leadership Kansas, an affiliate program of The Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Timothy (Tim) T. Petty – U.S. Bank
Timothy Petty

Tim Petty has been with U.S. Bank for more than fifteen years and currently is the line of business head and team leader for U.S. Bank commercial banking – Kansas City and Oklahoma. He enjoys working with businesses and has more than 30 years in the industry. Tim has been recognized for his top performance within the company as a repeat Vanguard winner, representing the top 5 pecent of all commercial bankers.

Tim has been involved in numerous community organizations, including serving on various committees and boards of the following: Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC); Kansas State University – Olathe; Association for Corporate Growth (ACG); Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Greater Kansas City (LLS); Board Greater Kansas City United Way - Johnson County Local Operating Board; U.S. Bank team captain for March for Babies; March of Dimes; Olathe Economic Development Board; Kansas City Tomorrow; and Millcreek Community Church.

Jay Reardon – Commerce Bank
Timothy Petty

As Vice Chairman of Commerce Bank in Kansas City, Jay is primarily involved in the commercial side of the Bank. He is active in calling on strategic commercial customers and prospects in the Kansas City Region. Reardon also has direct oversight of the International Department and works closely with the Retail Banking Administration, with special focus on strategic bank acquisitions, new branch and ATM placements, and consumer lending and deposit gathering. Reardon also oversees the Commerce Banks in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, St. Joseph, Lawrence, Leavenworth and Harrisonville and is active with the senior management of the Commerce Bank in Denver.

A graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in Business Administration, Reardon has been in the banking industry over 35 years and at Commerce Bank since 1990. He is active in the community and is board chair for the University of Kansas Edwards Campus. He is on the board of trustees for Rockhurst High School and on the board of the Greater Kansas City Crime Commission. Reardon is the past board chair of Carondelet Health and the Saint Joseph Medical Center Foundation and is a long-serving volunteer for the Greater Kansas City United Way and Catholic Charities of North East Kansas.

Joe Reardon – Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

Joe Reardon is President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the area’s oldest and only regional chamber of commerce. Joe assumed his post in March 2016. Prior to his appointment as President/CEO of the KC Chamber, Joe served as President and CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), the $86-million public transportation authority serving the KC region. Among his accomplishments at the KCATA: • developed a seamless regional transit system by negotiating and implementing strategic partnerships to manage service in Johnson County and Independence. • negotiated and entered into a Cooperative Agreement with Jackson County to acquire the 17-mile Rock Island Rail Corridor for future public and transit use. • developed the first of its kind public/private partnership to deploy Bridj, an app-based microtransit system in Kansas City. Joe also served two terms as the Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan. Notable accomplishments include: • led the successful effort to bring Google high-speed fiber to his community in a competition that included more than 1,100 cities across the nation • opened Sporting Park Soccer Stadium as the state-of-the-art home of Sporting Kansas City • announced Cerner Corp. would bring 4,000 new jobs to a new campus in the Village West area. As an adjunct professor at Rockhurst University, Reardon developed and co-taught an MBA level class on regionalism, an interdisciplinary course focused on the political and economic aspects of metro areas, with Kansas City as a case study. A lawyer by training, Reardon also served as a Partner at McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, PA, with a practice focused on economic development, public/private partnerships, and digital infrastructure projects. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Kansas and his bachelor of arts in political science from Rockhurst University. His awards include: • Wyandotte Countian of the Year • Government Technology’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers Recipient • Kansas Mayor of the Year, Kansas Mayors’ Association • OneKC Award, Kansas City Area Development Council

Bob Regnier – Bank of Blue Valley
Timothy Petty

Bob Regnier is executive chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of Blue Valley. Prior to its combination with Heartland Financial in May of 2019, he had been president and chief executive officer of the Bank of Blue Valley since its formation in 1989. He has also been the sole director, president and chief executive officer of Blue Valley Investment Corporation since its formation in 1995, and of Blue Valley Building Corp. since its formation in 1994.

Prior to forming Blue Valley Bank Corp., Regnier held various managerial positions with Boatmen’s Bank and Trust and Boatmen’s First National Bank of Kansas City. He has over 45 years of experience in a number of banking areas, including lending, investments, personnel, administration, trust, operations, new business development and mergers.

Stan Ricketts – INTRUST
CiCi Rojas – Tico Productions & Tico Sports LLC
Timothy Petty

CiCi Rojas is a nationally recognized thought leader able to build consensus and create collaborative, high-performance environments. She has served as the president and partner of Tico Productions LLC since 2016. Tico Productions LLC is a full-service multi-media, multicultural marketing and production company, specialize in the areas of marketing, advertising, strategic creative development, digital and social media. Tico helps companies arrive at innovative and culturally-inspired ideas that move people to action. Tico Sports develops Spanish language broadcasts and community engagement platforms for professional sports teams. The first partnership was formed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, and they have since worked with the Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, and San Jose Sharks.

The four years prior to that she was the president and chief executive officer of Central Exchange (CX) in Kansas City. CX provides the venue and voice for more than 1000 women seeking to reach their full personal and professional potential.

Rojas is an entrepreneur with proven success in driving groundbreaking initiatives and strategies, in emerging markets, across business, healthcare, government and non-profit sectors. Significant experience with early stage enterprise, non-profit governance, operations, and turn-around strategies.

Rojas has leveraged broad-based experience in business, healthcare, PR, marketing, lobbying, development, project leadership and agency management to achieve objectives critical to all stakeholders. She has served as vice-president of community engagement for Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, president and CEO of Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, vice-president of strategic alliances and special projects for United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Kansas City.

Rojas has twice been featured among the Kansas City Business Journal's Power 100, a feature profiling powerful businesspeople in the Kansas City metro area. She serves on the board of Arvest Bank Kansas City Region, YMCA of the USA, Friends of the American Latino Museum and the Stowers Research Institute.

Steve Rose – MetroMedia, Inc.

Steve Rose is the former owner of Sun Publications and is currently a columnist for The Kansas City Star. He is a regular panelist on “Ruckus,” a roundtable program on the local PBS station. Steve was the co-chair of the successful Bistate campaign to restore Union Station. He has served on numerous boards, including past chairman of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He was selected Johnson Countian of the Year in 1999 by the Johnson County Community College Foundation.

Dave Ruf (retired) – Burns & McDonnell
Dr. Robert Simari – KU School of Medicine

Joe SopcichRobert D. Simari, M.D., has served as executive dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine since March 24, 2014 and as interim executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center since July 1, 2017. As executive dean, Dr. Simari serves as the chief academic and administrative officer for the School of Medicine and provides leadership in medical education, scholarly activity, research, patient care and service. He is responsible for ensuring that all of the school’s missions of research, practice, education are supported and carried out at the campuses in Kansas City, Wichita and Salina. In the role of executive vice chancellor, Dr. Simari oversees the educational, research, patient care and community engagement missions of the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, with their total annual enrollment of more than 3,500 students; a workforce of more than 2,100 faculty and more than 4,000 staff; research funding of nearly $100 million, campuses in Kansas City, Wichita and Salina, Kansas, and activities in every county in the state of Kansas.

Dr. Simari earned his baccalaureate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and his medical degree from the University of Kansas. Following medical school, he completed his residency at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, MA, then fellowships in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Following his clinical training he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Nabel at the University of Michigan. He then returned to the Mayo Clinic as a physician scientist and cardiologist achieving the rank of Professor of Medicine. He served as vice chair for the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and co-principal investigator of the Center for Translational Science Activities. Dr. Simari’s laboratory made fundamental discoveries in the areas of thrombosis and identification of vascular stem cells, and he has led the NHLBI-funded Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) since 2008. The CCTRN performs early phase clinical trials in cardiovascular cell therapy.

Dr. Joe Sopcich – Johnson County Community College
Joe Sopcich

Dr. Joe Sopcich is the fifth president of Johnson County Community College (JCCC). He has been with JCCC since 1992, serving over the years as executive director of institutional advancement and executive vice president/chief financial officer. He taught as an adjunct in the college’s business division from 2006-2014.

Joe’s honors include a Fulbright Award in 2011, when he traveled to Russia to present seminars on the merits of American community colleges; the Colleague of the Year award from the JCCC Foundation in 2010 in recognition of his dedication to JCCC students and programming; and the Faculty Leadership award in 2008 given by the JCCC Faculty Association in recognition of his leadership and support of JCCC’s faculty. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Kenny Southwick – Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City

Kenny SouthwickBefore beginning his current position as Deputy Superintendent for the Shawnee Mission School District, Dr. Kenny Southwick spent a total of 34 years serving students in three Missouri school districts. Maryville became home for Dr. Southwick after graduating from William Jewell College in 1976. After working as a social studies teacher, counselor and coach of football and baseball, he moved back to his home town of Excelsior Springs to teach and coach in the summer of 1979. Coaching and counseling once again became his passion and in 1980 he became the head football coach of the Tigers. In 1985, he moved to the Central Office to become the Director of Special Education.

After a total of nine years in Excelsior Springs, an opportunity arose to go to Belton. He spent 22 years in the central office of Belton School District. In Belton, he served as Director of Special Education, Director of Secondary Curriculum, and 12 years as Superintendent. Belton was a great place to work with tremendous support from staff, the Board of Education and the community. Always focusing on the "Strategic Vision" developed by key stakeholders, much was accomplished during his tenure. With the passage of two major operating levies and four bond issues, the 10-year strategic vision for the District became reality. He is most proud of the culture that was developed in the Belton School District and the belief that "we never give up on any student."

Dr. Southwick retired from the Belton School District in 2010 and began working as an educational planner for ACI Boland Architects. Reflecting on his career in education at the time of his retirement, Dr. Southwick said, "I was blessed to have spent 34 years doing exactly what I wanted to do, with the people I most wanted to do it with."

Dr. Southwick has been spending time with Suzette, his wife of 40+ years. Dr. Southwick and his wife Suzette have one son, Josh, who lives in Los Angeles, Calif. They have recently been blessed with their first grandson, Hudson Marc.

In May 2014, Dr. Southwick returned to public education taking on the role of Deputy Superintendent for the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD), which serves students living in 14 cities in northeast Johnson County, Kan. During that time, he oversaw a massive capital improvement initiative made possible by the voter-approved $233 million bond issue in January 2015 and served as the lead negotiator in teacher contracts. In February 2019 he announced his retirement from SMSD effective in July. In September, he will begin his new position as the executive director of the Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City.

Charlie Sunderland – Sunderland Foundation
Charlie Sunderland

Charles Sunderland currently serves as a trustee and chief investment officer for the Sunderland Foundation.

The Foundation focuses on providing grants for projects including planning, design, construction, renovation, repairs and restoration for 501c3 charitable organizations.

Prior to this role, Sunderland served for 38 years in various roles with the Ash Grove Cement Company. His duties there varied from leading the real estate group developing the Cedar Creek master planned community and development of the Shadow Glen Golf Club, through risk management, and corporate development including mergers and acquisitions. Sunderland assumed the role of chairman and chief executive officer of Ash Grove in 2000 serving in this capacity until the acquisition of Ash Grove by CRH plc of Dublin, Ireland in June of 2018.

Civically active, Sunderland served on numerous boards of banks, colleges and universities, and human service organizations. He served on the University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board for 18 years, chairing the quality committee for most of that tenure.

Sunderland chaired the major industry organization, the Portland Cement Association in 2007 and 2008.

Sunderland is a graduate of Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. He is married to Angela and has three adult children and three grandchildren.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight – The DeBruce Foundation
Audrey Langworthy

Leigh Anne Taylor Knight is Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of The DeBruce Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. To stimulate economic progress, the foundation’s mission includes initiatives and technologies that will improve workforce readiness in the greater Kansas City area creating a model to have national impact. Building on workforce economics and development research, the Foundation seeks to increase the success of individuals while increasing employers’ opportunities for finding and retaining a highly productive, stable and diverse workforce. Dr. Taylor Knight served as Executive Director of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium, facilitating the collaborative efforts of four research institutions to provide powerful tools for data-driven educational research informing practice and policy. As a former high school teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent, she has expertise in bringing together stakeholders to improve learning experiences. She has consulted with school districts across the nation, as well as led curriculum development for an international technology company. Leigh Anne holds graduate and advanced degrees in educational leadership and policy from the University of Missouri, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas. Leigh Anne enjoys trail biking and watching her two sons play college baseball. In her spare time, she can be found in her Lenexa, Kansas kitchen testing culinary creations on her husband, Doug while practicing to be the next Food Network Star.

Dr. Todd White – Blue Valley Schools
Dr. Todd White is a skilled educational leader with more than 30 years of experience in education. Todd assumed the role of Blue Valley Schools Superintendent in the spring of 2016, making him the seventh superintendent in district history. He leads the district’s strategic efforts for unprecedented academic success and unparalleled personal growth for every student. Todd describes his leadership style as team-centric and believes that student success lies in the immensely talented group of people who make up the Blue Valley Schools. It is this spirit of collaboration and teamwork that has resulted in White’s proven track record in education. His experience in educational leadership includes a combined 13 years as a superintendent for the Harrisonville School District (2,500 students) and North Kansas City School District (19,500 students). Under his leadership, rapid improvements in student achievement and graduation rates earned him the Missouri Superintendent of the Year (MIPA) in 2015 and Outstanding Superintendent in 2013 from the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA). His reputation for success also earned him accolades from the community. In 2014, he was awarded the Richard Noll Award of Excellence in Government Service by Northland Neighborhoods, Inc. for his understanding that strong neighborhoods build strong schools. Todd was also named the 2015 Missouri Interscholastic Press Association Administrator of the Year for providing outstanding service to journalism. Todd earned a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College, a master’s degree and educational specialist degree from the University of Central Missouri and a doctorate degree from the University of Missouri.
Ken Williams - Black & Veatch
Ken Williams

Ken Williams is a Member of the Board of Directors, Chief Financial Officer and President of the Finance organization for Black & Veatch, a global leader in providing engineering, consulting and construction services for Energy, Water, and Telecommunication Sectors.

An engineer and financial leader with deep business development, strategy and risk management expertise, Williams has experience from several roles with global engineering and construction companies. As CFO, he is responsible for establishing corporate financial policies and for leading the company’s global financial, real estate and facilities operations.

With revenues of $3 billion, Black & Veatch is consistently ranked in the top ten categories for power generation, power delivery, water infrastructure development and telecommunications in Engineering News-Record magazine and is ranked in the Top 150 of the Forbes list of Largest Private Companies. The company is the 12th largest employee-owned corporation in the United States according to the National Center for Employee Ownership.

Emeritus Members

Archie Dykes – University of Kansas

Robert (Bob) A. Kipp (retired) – Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Pete Levi — Polsinelli Shughart PC

Bob Marcusse — Kansas City Area Development Council (retired president/CEO)

Dave Ruf (retired) – Burns & McDonnell

Ron Wimmer — Olathe School District (retired superintendent)

Walt Womack — Burns & McDonnell (retired T&D president)

David Wysong – Wysong Family Foundation

Workforce Development Advisory Board

The Workforce Development Advisory Board critiques and informs campus administration on academic programs and services the campus offers or should offer to the employers of the region.  This board is an important element in helping to build a well-qualified workforce in Greater Kansas City.

View Workforce Development Advisory Board
Adam Allmon — Catalent
Dr. Robert Casillas — Latham BioPharm Group
Dr. Casillas is currently the Director, Nonclinical Consulting at Latham BioPharm Group. He previously was at MRIGlobal and served as Vice President, Strategic Global Health Security, with responsiblity for growing programs for chemical and biological medical countermeasures and animal health in support of government, industry, and academia. Prior to MRIGlobal, he held several positions of progressive responsibility at Battelle, including VP, CBRN Business Integration; VP, Biomedical Science & Technology; and Associate Director, Biomedical Research Center. Prior to Battelle, he served as an active duty Army Biochemist and assigned in various positions to research chemical and biological medical countermeasures and non-medical defense technologies. Dr. Casillas continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve, as a Colonel, and provides subject matter expertise on CBRN medical defense to senior leaders. Dr. Casillas has 26 years of professional biochemical toxicology research experience, with 20 of those years managing laboratories and staff to conduct hundreds of medical defense projects aimed at combatting the harmful or deadly effects of chemical and biological agents.


Dr. Casillas serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Biotechnology Association, the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, and the Society of Toxicology Hispanic Organization of Toxicologists. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Rutgers University, and a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.

Dr. Casillas has a Ph.D. in Microbial Biochemistry from Georgia State University, and completed a Post-Doc at Vanderbilt University, in the Department of Biochemistry, Center in Molecular Toxicology.


Chris Engel — City of Merriam
Chris Engel was appointed to the position of city administrator for the City of Merriam in September 2016. He is responsible for implementing the policies of the city council, submitting an annual budget to the city council, and directing and coordinating the city’s departments. Before then he held the position of assistant city administrator with Merriam and served in similar capacities with the City of Prairie Village and the City of Mission Hills. Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp and has a bachelor’s degree in public administration and history and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. He and his wife, Joy, live in Shawnee with their two children.


Kelly Eschweiler — UMB Financial Corporation

Kelly Eschweiler currently serves as SVP and Director of Talent Development for UMB Financial Corporation, a full service financial provider for commercial, institutional and personal clients across the United States.

In this role, Kelly has been asked to lead the delivery of enterprise solutions through strategic and targeted execution of talent management, learning and development solutions. Along with her team, she designs, develop and delivers talent management tools and processes in the areas of talent planning, selection, engagement, performance management, succession planning, leadership assessment, leadership development, and talent-related research/analytics.

From a very early age, Kelly developed a passion for helping others achieve their goals. That interest has stayed with her and fuels her passion for what she does. She feels fortunate to be in a role where she can truly help the company, leaders and associates achieve their desired outcomes and set themselves up for success. Kelly has been with UMB since 2007 in an variety of roles throughout the Human Resources department. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in Organizational Development from Avila University. She is originally from Gower, Missouri and will always be a farm girl at heart. When not working, you can probably find her at a football game (Mizzou or Iowa Hawkeyes), buying another pair of shoes she says she “doesn’t need” or spending time with her husband, Seth, and their dogs, Jax and Lola.

Renee Gartelos — Burns & McDonnell

With more than 20 years of experience, Renee Gartelos serves as vice president and Human Resources director for Burns & McDonnell. She champions efforts in recruitment and talent acquisition, retention, performance management, compensation, benefits and training for the firm.

Renee joined the engineering, architecture, construction and consulting firm in 1998, taking on increasing responsibilities until serving in her current role. She has been instrumental in cultivating and implementing impactful programs that bolster the firm’s employee ownership culture — one that’s rated among the country’s best by more than 20 publications, including Fortune Magazine. Under her leadership, her team has helped grow Burns & McDonnell from 1,500 to more than 6,000 diverse professionals.

Renee serves on the KU Edwards Campus Workforce Development Advisory Board and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Henry W. Bloch School of Management Human Resources Advisory Board. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa.

Renee and her husband, Chris, have three children and live in Lenexa, Kansas.

David Gaston — University of Kansas – University Career Center
Sheri Gonzales Warren - Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

Sheri Gonzales Warren has been involved in economic development since 2001. She began this work at a large, public university to help develop curriculum in response to workforce needs. She then spent a series of years living and working overseas to create market-driven, community development systems that address basic human needs. She joined Mid-America Regional Council in 2015 to help spur inclusive economic opportunity in the place she calls home – Kanas City. In Jan of 2019 she began a new role as Vice President & KC Rising Director for the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City. 

Sheri holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.

Jeff Hagen — Grafton Staffing Companies

As President of Grafton Staffing, Jeff Hagen has been through the ups and downs of the staffing industry. During his tenure, Grafton has hired nearly 16,000 employees for a variety of clients. Jeff’s expertise is helping clients recruit talent when growing through a cycle of major growth. Currently, Jeff and his team are involved with several workforce development initiatives including KC Rising, KU Edwards Workforce Advisory Board, BioKansas and has developed training programs tailor made for our client’s needs. Grafton is frequently listed as one of the top staffing and recruiting firms in both the Kansas City Business Journal and Ingram’s Magazine.

George Hansen III — Enterprise Center of Johnson County
Kim Huyett — KU Medical Center

Kim HuyettKim Huyett is the Senior Director, Community Relations & Strategic Partnerships for the University of Kansas Medical Center. In this role, she works to strengthen community relationships and manage strategic partnerships. Kim is the programmatic lead for Public Private Partnership development and execution. Her work includes creating, enhancing and sustaining relationships between KUMC and external constituencies. Previously, Kim served as the Director of Alumni & Community Relations for the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has been involved in higher education, specifically, in the Kansas City metropolitan area, for most of her career. Kim has also worked with the University of Missouri - Kansas City and the Kansas City Art Institute. Currently, Kim serves as the Immediate Past Chairman of the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce and as a Trustee for the Jay Doc Free Clinic in Kansas City, Kansas. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia. Kim and her husband, David, live in Leawood, Kansas and have two children.

Beth Johnson — Overland Park Chamber of Commerce

Beth Johnson is the Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Overland Park Chamber Economic Development Council. In this role, she oversees all aspects of business creation, retention, expansion and attraction. These responsibilities include helping Overland Park accomplish economic development initiatives, support of workforce development programs and monitoring economic trends and conditions. Johnson has been involved in economic development efforts in Kansas for over 17 years and has a diverse background with a broad range of economic development experience. Johnson currently serves as Past President of the Kansas Economic Development Alliance, Southern Economic Development Council, United Community Services Healthy Communities Taskforce, and Blue Valley CAPS Advisory Board. She has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Kansas State University and a Master of Public Administration from Wichita State University. She joined the Overland Park Chamber in 2012.

Martha McCabe -- KC STEM Alliance
Luke McGlynn* — Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Luke McGlynnLuke McGlynn brings a broad experience base to the practice of human resources, including experience in employment law, a wide variety of work forces, work environments and technical disciplines. His overriding passion and focus is on developing individuals into leadership roles at all levels of the organization. Luke’s technical experience includes work in both generalist and specialist fields within human resources including line-facing client service in organizations ranging in size up to 12,000 people, and organization development, staffing and recruiting, total rewards, employee and labor relations.

Carolyn McKnight — KU Edwards Campus
Laurie Minard — Garmin International, Inc.

Laurie MinardLaurie Minard earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas and has more than 25 years of experience in Human Resources. She began her career at Garmin in 1996, when she was hired to cultivate the Human Resources department at its inception. She is currently the Vice President, Human Resources and is responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for Garmin’s HR policies and programs.

Since 1999, Laurie has served on the Executive Board for the Employment Practices Network of Kansas City. In 2015, she joined the KANSASWORKS State Board, as well as the KANSASWORKS State Board Workforce Alignment Committee.

Laurie is currently serving the community in a variety of board roles including the Olathe Health System Board of Trustees, Boys & Girls Club of Olathe Advisory Board, Olathe Salvation Army Advisory Council, and the Braden’s Hope Advisory Board. She collaborates with Johnson County Community College, the University of Kansas and Kansas State through her work on the KU Edwards Campus Board of Advisors and the Workforce Development Advisory Board, the KSU Olathe Advisory Board and is a JCCC Foundation Board Ambassador.

Laurie was honored to be recognized by the Olathe Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Year in 2007 and as Citizen of the Year in 2012. She an alumnus of the Kansas City Business Journal’s, Class of 2008, Women Who Mean Business and the 2010 Leadership Olathe program. In 2017 she was recognized as an, Established Leader, by Techweek Kansas City.

Corey Mohn — Blue Valley School District

Corey MohnCorey is the Executive Director of the Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), a program that empowers high school students to fast-forward into their future through hands-on work, real-world business projects, and the development of professional skills. Prior to CAPS, Corey served as the Director of Statewide Programs for the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship (DBA NetWork Kansas).

In July 2015, CAPS launched the CAPS Network, a consortium of school programs across the United States committed to this model of profession-based education. In less than two years, the network has grown to include more than 80 school districts across 12 states.

Corey holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters in Business Administration from Baker University.

Courtney Murray* — CBIZ MHM
Dr. Tim Murrell — Topeka Public Schools

Jessica NelsonDr. Tim Murrell is the principal of the new Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers, in the Topeka Public Schools. He is the former District Diploma+ Coordinator, responsible for Career and Technical Education Programs, for the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. A former campus police chief and Military Police Company Commander, he has served in teaching and administrative positions in both secondary and postsecondary settings. A native of Central Illinois, he holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis, MO, a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from St. Louis University, and a Master's degree in the Administration of Justice and Human Relations from Webster University, St. Louis. 

Jessica Palm* — Kansas City Area Development Council

Jessica NelsonAs Vice President, Lead Executive of TeamKC: Life+Talent at the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC), Jessica Nelson drives communication strategies to attract corporate investment, jobs and talented people. Working to showcase the business and livability assets in the KC region, she encourages the world to recognize Kansas City as a hub for creativity and innovation.

Jessica works with the top 250 companies in the region to showcase Kansas City’s lifestyle to talented individuals from around the world. Jessica oversees an exclusive group of global HR and recruiting executives in the KC community, and she acts as publisher of KC Options magazine.

In the community, Jessica serves on the Executive Committee of the KU Edwards Campus Workforce Advisory Board, Olathe School District Business and Technology Advisory Board, and is the executive vice president of the Kansas City Network KU Alumni Association Board of Directors.

In 2015, Jessica was recognized as a NextGen Leader by the Kansas City Business Journal and one of Kansas City’s most influential women by KC Magazine, and most recently was accepted into the KC Chamber’s prestigious Centurions Leadership Program.

Jessica has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Minor in Business from the University of Kansas. Jessica joined KCADC in 2011 and is a native of Kansas City

Sheri Ratliff — Sprint
Michael Roane* — JE Dunn -- Retired

Michael RoaneFrom 2011 until his retirement in May 2017, Michael was Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at JE Dunn Construction Company. Michael was asked to join JE Dunn at a time when they sought to establish a robust, corporate wide performance management system, bolster employee engagement, and build a succession plan that would ensure an ongoing pipeline of leaders for the future. Michael built those processes and practices, driving positive gains in corporate performance by creating a culture that ties the goals of individual contributors to the overall objectives of the business.

Prior to joining JE Dunn, Michael was the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Spartech Corporation. Earlier in his career, Michael served in Human Resources leadership roles at Sage Software, in their Healthcare Division, with Greif, Inc., and Owens & Minor, Inc. Michael began his career at Philip Morris Companies. Michael earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. He is member of the Kansas City Tomorrow Civic Council Class of 2012, Co-chair of the KC Rising Human Capital Workgroup, and Co-Chair of KC Scholars Implementation and Steering Committees, Board Member of Operation Breakthrough, Principals Connect, Metropolitan Community College Foundation and Kansas City Teachers Residency.


Keely J. Schneider — Workforce Partnerships

Jessica NelsonKeely J. Schneider is the Executive Director for Workforce Partnership, the local workforce development board for Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties in Kansas. She directs federal and state funds for workforce development programs for adults and youth including classroom training, on the job training and other work-based learning experiences. In addition, she assists the Workforce Partnership Board in its strategic and fiscal oversight of the comprehensive workforce system under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which, in addition to the adult and youth programs, includes programs for adult basic education/ESL, employment services under Wagner-Peyser Act and vocational rehabilitation services. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director in October 2016, Ms. Schneider was Associate Director for the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, a member organization comprised of CEOs of the largest companies and partnerships in the greater Kansas City region. There she directed all human capital development initiatives, including both higher education and workforce, as well as directed the Civic Council’s “Kansas City Tomorrow” leadership program. Ms. Schneider began her second career in non-profit over 9 years ago as the development director for a charter school serving at-risk youth in Kansas City, MO. Before making the leap to the non-profit arena, Ms. Schneider practiced law in the areas of transactional and regulatory healthcare and commercial real estate.

Margery Sendze — Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Sarah Zilliox — Honeywell

*Indicates executive board member.