RURAL PROSPERITY TOUR CO-CHAIRS

Aubrey Abbott Patterson - Nickerson

Hutchinson Community Foundation - President & CEO

aubrey@hutchcf.org
620.663.5293

Aubrey Abbott Patterson grew up in the small towns of Larned and Phillipsburg, Kansas; studied at K-State and Indiana University, and now serves as the President & CEO of Hutchinson Community Foundation. During her 15-year tenure at the community foundation, the foundation’s assets have more than tripled to $70 million.  More importantly, since 1989, the Foundation has returned more than $70 million to the community in the form of grants. Aubrey is now mobilizing community members to commit planned legacy gifts that will change the lives and future stories of people living in Reno County.   

Aubrey serves or has served on the boards of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Community Development Advisory Council, K-State Alumni Association, Hutchinson Rotary Club, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, City of Hutchinson Housing Commission, the KSU School of Leadership Studies, and the Kansas Association of Community Foundations.

Aubrey co-founded YP Reno County, a group that connects and involves young professionals, and she was named to The Hutchinson News’ “20 under 40.”

Aubrey’s husband, Lance Patterson, is the director of operations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hutchinson.  Together they manage to wrangle three kids, two jobs, one dog, and an endless list of places to go and things to do in Hutchinson.

Aubrey Abbott Patterson Nickerson
Aubrey Abbott Patterson Nickerson

Aubrey Abbott Patterson - Nickerson

Hutchinson Community Foundation - President & CEO

aubrey@hutchcf.org
620.663.5293

Aubrey Abbott Patterson grew up in the small towns of Larned and Phillipsburg, Kansas; studied at K-State and Indiana University, and now serves as the President & CEO of Hutchinson Community Foundation. During her 15-year tenure at the community foundation, the foundation’s assets have more than tripled to $70 million.  More importantly, since 1989, the Foundation has returned more than $70 million to the community in the form of grants. Aubrey is now mobilizing community members to commit planned legacy gifts that will change the lives and future stories of people living in Reno County.   

Aubrey serves or has served on the boards of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Community Development Advisory Council, K-State Alumni Association, Hutchinson Rotary Club, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce, City of Hutchinson Housing Commission, the KSU School of Leadership Studies, and the Kansas Association of Community Foundations.

Aubrey co-founded YP Reno County, a group that connects and involves young professionals, and she was named to The Hutchinson News’ “20 under 40.”

Aubrey’s husband, Lance Patterson, is the director of operations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hutchinson.  Together they manage to wrangle three kids, two jobs, one dog, and an endless list of places to go and things to do in Hutchinson.

Becky Berger Atchison

Becky Berger – Atchison

City Manager of Atchison

913.367.5506
beckyb@cityofatchison.com

Becky Berger is the City Manager of Atchison, Kansas. She was appointed to the position in March of 2018 after 5 years as Asst. City Manager/Finance Director. Becky has over a decade of experience working in Kansas local government, serving the City of Cherryvale, Kansas  prior to coming to Atchison. Becky and her husband Reed have a two year old son, Beau.  

Becky Berger is the City Manager of Atchison, Kansas. She was appointed to the position in March of 2018 after 5 years as Asst. City Manager/Finance Director. Becky has over a decade of experience working in Kansas local government, serving the City of Cherryvale, Kansas  prior to coming to Atchison. Becky and her husband Reed have a two year old son, Beau.  

Becky Berger Atchison

Becky Berger – Atchison

City Manager of Atchison

913.367.5506
beckyb@cityofatchison.com

Becky Berger is the City Manager of Atchison, Kansas. She was appointed to the position in March of 2018 after 5 years as Asst. City Manager/Finance Director. Becky has over a decade of experience working in Kansas local government, serving the City of Cherryvale, Kansas  prior to coming to Atchison. Becky and her husband Reed have a two year old son, Beau.  

Justin Pregont Atchison

Justin Pregont – Atchison

Assistant City Manager of Atchison

913.367.5506
Justinp@cityofatchison.com

Justin Pregont is the Assistant City Manager for his hometown of City of Atchison. Justin’s background includes an MPA from the University of Kansas and his work experience includes roles and responsibilities in Public Works, Utilities, Capital Projects, and Economic Development. Justin and his wife Melinda have a two year old daughter, Maya.

Justin Pregont Atchison

Justin Pregont – Atchison

Assistant City Manager of Atchison

913.367.5506
Justinp@cityofatchison.com

Justin Pregont is the Assistant City Manager for his hometown of City of Atchison. Justin’s background includes an MPA from the University of Kansas and his work experience includes roles and responsibilities in Public Works, Utilities, Capital Projects, and Economic Development. Justin and his wife Melinda have a two year old daughter, Maya.

Travis Rickford – Colby

LiveWell Northwest Kansas - Executive Director

travisr@nwksprevention.com
785.460.8177

Travis Rickford serves as the Executive Director for LiveWell Northwest Kansas, a regional non-profit with a focus on making Northwest Kansas a healthier place for all to live, work, and play.  Travis has over ten years of experience working in community health. As a community health advocate, Travis works with communities to build their capacity to create systems that improve the overall quality of life for residents in Northwest Kansas. This includes activities such as community engagement, sustainability planning, and project management. Travis also serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Political Science Department at Fort Hays State University.  Travis holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri, a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Fort Hays State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement from Kansas State University..  Travis resides in Rawlins County, Kansas with his wife Melissa, son Ashton, and daughter Olivia.

Travis Rickford Colby
Travis Rickford Colby

Travis Rickford – Colby

LiveWell Northwest Kansas - Executive Director

travisr@nwksprevention.com
785.460.8177

Travis Rickford serves as the Executive Director for LiveWell Northwest Kansas, a regional non-profit with a focus on making Northwest Kansas a healthier place for all to live, work, and play.  Travis has over ten years of experience working in community health. As a community health advocate, Travis works with communities to build their capacity to create systems that improve the overall quality of life for residents in Northwest Kansas. This includes activities such as community engagement, sustainability planning, and project management. Travis also serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Political Science Department at Fort Hays State University.  Travis holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri, a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Fort Hays State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement from Kansas State University..  Travis resides in Rawlins County, Kansas with his wife Melissa, son Ashton, and daughter Olivia.

Morris Engle Phillipsburg

Morris Engle – Phillipsburg

Phillips County Community Foundation - Executive Director

1081 Evergreen Drive
Phillipsburg, KS 67661
785.302.8071
morris.engle@yahoo.com

Morris is a retired banker from Phillips County, now serving as the part-time Executive Director of the Phillips County Community Foundation. He is involved in a variety of civic activities, serving on the Boards of the Phillips County Retirement Center/Prairie Wind Villa Assisted Living Facility, Golden Years Senior Center, Community Church of God, and the City of Phillipsburg Economic Development Board. He is a 33-year member of the Phillipsburg Rotary Club and is an Assistant Governor of District 5670.

“I believe that we create the kind of community we want to live in by working together. We build it for ourselves, but also as a legacy for coming generations.”

Morris and wife, Julia, enjoy semi-retirement in a great rural community.

Morris Engle Phillipsburg

Morris Engle – Phillipsburg

Phillips County Community Foundation - Executive Director

1081 Evergreen Drive
Phillipsburg, KS 67661
785.302.8071
morris.engle@yahoo.com

Morris is a retired banker from Phillips County, now serving as the part-time Executive Director of the Phillips County Community Foundation. He is involved in a variety of civic activities, serving on the Boards of the Phillips County Retirement Center/Prairie Wind Villa Assisted Living Facility, Golden Years Senior Center, Community Church of God, and the City of Phillipsburg Economic Development Board. He is a 33-year member of the Phillipsburg Rotary Club and is an Assistant Governor of District 5670.

“I believe that we create the kind of community we want to live in by working together. We build it for ourselves, but also as a legacy for coming generations.”

Morris and wife, Julia, enjoy semi-retirement in a great rural community.

Nick Poels Phillipsburg

Nick Poels – Phillipsburg

Phillips County Economic Development - Executive Director

PO Box 604
Phillipsburg, KS 67661
(785) 543-5809
PCED@ruraltel.net

Nick Poels is the Executive Director of Phillips County Economic Development and E-Community, based in Phillipsburg, Kansas.

Bridging the span between his formal education in Agricultural Engineering, and his professional experience in both logistics and as the owner of an international design and manufacturing company based in the United Kingdom, Nick’s primary goal is to enhance the economic well-being and the quality of life across western Kansas, with an emphasis on Phillips County; his home since 2014 and the childhood hometown of his wife, Tami.

Nick has a passion for impactful projects that create local opportunity, leverage local talent and develop a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem within the local area.

Nick currently serves on the western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance (wKREDA) board of Directors and co-chairs two committees for the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA). Outside of the office, Nick serves as President of the Phillipsburg Rotary Club, Chairman of the Phillipsburg Child Care Center development project, member of the USD 325 Site Council and as a member of the Phillipsburg City Library Board of Trustees.

Nick is the proud father of two wonderful children; Gabby (11) and James (8). 

Nick Poels Phillipsburg

Nick Poels – Phillipsburg

Phillips County Economic Development - Executive Director

PO Box 604
Phillipsburg, KS 67661
(785) 543-5809
PCED@ruraltel.net

Nick Poels is the Executive Director of Phillips County Economic Development and E-Community, based in Phillipsburg, Kansas.

Bridging the span between his formal education in Agricultural Engineering, and his professional experience in both logistics and as the owner of an international design and manufacturing company based in the United Kingdom, Nick’s primary goal is to enhance the economic well-being and the quality of life across western Kansas, with an emphasis on Phillips County; his home since 2014 and the childhood hometown of his wife, Tami.

Nick has a passion for impactful projects that create local opportunity, leverage local talent and develop a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem within the local area.

Nick currently serves on the western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance (wKREDA) board of Directors and co-chairs two committees for the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA). Outside of the office, Nick serves as President of the Phillipsburg Rotary Club, Chairman of the Phillipsburg Child Care Center development project, member of the USD 325 Site Council and as a member of the Phillipsburg City Library Board of Trustees.

Nick is the proud father of two wonderful children; Gabby (11) and James (8). 

Kerri Falletti, CEcD – Winfield

Cowley First- Cowley County Economic Development Partnership - Economic & Community Development Director

kfalletti@cowleycounty.org

Kerri Falletti began working with Cowley County Economic Development in March 2004, earning Certified Economic Developer status in March 2009. In February 2010, Falletti was appointed as Director of Cowley First - Cowley County Economic Development Partnership.  Cowley First is a countywide partnership dedicated to assist in expansion and retention of existing businesses, support local entrepreneurs, workforce development, attract new businesses and industries while utilizing Cowley County’s prominent business atmosphere, high quality of life, recreation and tourism opportunities and excellent secondary and post-secondary education. 

As Director, she works closely with businesses and industry, as well as working with many local organizations to promote Cowley County’s vision for growth. She also serves on local, regional and State boards, including Kansas Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) and Team Kansas and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Kansas, working to promote growth and development of Kansas and rural communities.

KSRurProsp_Blue-Gold_PMS
KSRurProsp_Blue-Gold_PMS

Kerri Falletti, CEcD – Winfield

Cowley First- Cowley County Economic Development Partnership - Economic & Community Development Director

kfalletti@cowleycounty.org

Kerri Falletti began working with Cowley County Economic Development in March 2004, earning Certified Economic Developer status in March 2009. In February 2010, Falletti was appointed as Director of Cowley First - Cowley County Economic Development Partnership.  Cowley First is a countywide partnership dedicated to assist in expansion and retention of existing businesses, support local entrepreneurs, workforce development, attract new businesses and industries while utilizing Cowley County’s prominent business atmosphere, high quality of life, recreation and tourism opportunities and excellent secondary and post-secondary education. 

As Director, she works closely with businesses and industry, as well as working with many local organizations to promote Cowley County’s vision for growth. She also serves on local, regional and State boards, including Kansas Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) and Team Kansas and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Kansas, working to promote growth and development of Kansas and rural communities.

Sarah Werner – Winfield

Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce - CEO

The Mission of the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce is to advance the economic and community development of the greater Winfield and Cowley County area through leadership, education, and advocacy.

KSRurProsp_Blue-Gold_PMS
KSRurProsp_Blue-Gold_PMS

Sarah Werner – Winfield

Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce - CEO

The Mission of the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce is to advance the economic and community development of the greater Winfield and Cowley County area through leadership, education, and advocacy.

Holly-Lofton-Lindsborg-692x1024_2

Holly Lofton - Lindsborg

Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau - Director

104 E. Lincoln  | PO Box 70
Lindsborg, KS 67456
785.227.8687888.227.2227
cvbdir@lindsborgcity.org

Holly Lofton has served as the Director of the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau for the past 6 years.  She currently serves as the Marketing Chairman for the Travel Industry Association of Kansas and received her Kansas Destination Specialist certification from TIAK on the heels of a year traveling the state as a class member of Leadership Kansas.  A Swede, only by choice, she enjoys the Swedish heritage, rich in the arts, that Lindsborg has provided to her family for nearly 20 years. 

 

Holly-Lofton-Lindsborg-692x1024_2

Holly Lofton - Lindsborg

Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau - Director

104 E. Lincoln  | PO Box 70
Lindsborg, KS 67456
785.227.8687888.227.2227
cvbdir@lindsborgcity.org

Holly Lofton has served as the Director of the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau for the past 6 years.  She currently serves as the Marketing Chairman for the Travel Industry Association of Kansas and received her Kansas Destination Specialist certification from TIAK on the heels of a year traveling the state as a class member of Leadership Kansas.  A Swede, only by choice, she enjoys the Swedish heritage, rich in the arts, that Lindsborg has provided to her family for nearly 20 years. 

 

Kasi Morales Lindsborg

Kasi Morales – Lindsborg

McPherson Industrial Development Company - Executive Director

401 W. Kansas  | PO Box 768
McPherson, KS 67460
620.245.2521 | kasim@mcphersonpower.com

Kasi Morales is the Executive Director for the McPherson Industrial Development Company/GoMcPherson, where she serves as the lead point person for all industrial BR&E activities/inquiries.  Since 2016,  She has helped successfully sell McPherson's competitive advantages resulting in nine expansion projects and one new industrial business which in total, has brought 315 million dollars of new investment and will create close to 700 new jobs within the next few years, continuing to make McPherson County an industrial hub of the Great Plains. Not only does she enjoy sharing McPherson's story of industrial success and working to grow McPherson's vibrant industrial base, but she is also quick to share why McPherson and the surrounding McPherson County is a great option to live as well as work. 

Kasi Morales Lindsborg

Kasi Morales – Lindsborg

McPherson Industrial Development Company - Executive Director

401 W. Kansas  | PO Box 768
McPherson, KS 67460
620.245.2521 | kasim@mcphersonpower.com

Kasi Morales is the Executive Director for the McPherson Industrial Development Company/GoMcPherson, where she serves as the lead point person for all industrial BR&E activities/inquiries.  Since 2016,  She has helped successfully sell McPherson's competitive advantages resulting in nine expansion projects and one new industrial business which in total, has brought 315 million dollars of new investment and will create close to 700 new jobs within the next few years, continuing to make McPherson County an industrial hub of the Great Plains. Not only does she enjoy sharing McPherson's story of industrial success and working to grow McPherson's vibrant industrial base, but she is also quick to share why McPherson and the surrounding McPherson County is a great option to live as well as work. 

Kris Hix – Garnett

Garnett Area Chamber of Commerce

785.448.6767
director@garnettchamber.org
www.garnettchamber.org

Kris Hix is the Executive Director For the Garnett Area Chamber of Commerce/Administrative Assistant to Community Development. She has an active role in the community, advocating for business members, assisting with marketing and other needs, and promoting them through the chamber. She brings an enthusiasm and work ethic that makes her an asset to the business organization as well as the City.  She is proud to be part of #teamgarnett.

Kris Hix Garnett
Kris Hix Garnett

Kris Hix – Garnett

Garnett Area Chamber of Commerce

785.448.6767
director@garnettchamber.org
www.garnettchamber.org

Kris Hix is the Executive Director For the Garnett Area Chamber of Commerce/Administrative Assistant to Community Development. She has an active role in the community, advocating for business members, assisting with marketing and other needs, and promoting them through the chamber. She brings an enthusiasm and work ethic that makes her an asset to the business organization as well as the City.  She is proud to be part of #teamgarnett.

Susan Wettstein – Garnett

Director of Community Development City of Garnett

Phone: 785-448-5496, Ext. 7
susan@garnettks.net
www.simplygarnett.com
Facebook: @garnettks
Instagram: garnettkansas
Twitter: @getgarnett

Susan Wettstein has been with the City of Garnett since 1985. Her position as Director of Community Development for "small, serene, simply Garnett" includes promotion of Garnett as well as supporting the departments that create what is #MakingGarnettGreat, including the airport, code enforcement, economic development, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, and tourism.

Susan Wettstein Garnett
Susan Wettstein Garnett

Susan Wettstein – Garnett

Director of Community Development City of Garnett

Phone: 785-448-5496, Ext. 7
susan@garnettks.net
www.simplygarnett.com
Facebook: @garnettks
Instagram: garnettkansas
Twitter: @getgarnett

Susan Wettstein has been with the City of Garnett since 1985. Her position as Director of Community Development for "small, serene, simply Garnett" includes promotion of Garnett as well as supporting the departments that create what is #MakingGarnettGreat, including the airport, code enforcement, economic development, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, and tourism.

Trisha Purdon Independence

Trisha Purdon – Independence

Montgomery County Action Council - Executive Director

 115 S. 6th St.
 P.O. Box 588
 620.331.3830 Office
 www.actioncouncil.com

Trisha Purdon is the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Action Council (MCAC), the economic development organization of Montgomery County, KS. She has worked in economic development in Montgomery County for over seven years, previously with MCAC from 2012-2014 and with the City of Coffeyville as its Assistant City Manager for Economic Development from 2014-2017.  Trisha has a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kansas School of Public Administration and Local Government Management and a Bachelors in Social Welfare with a focus on public policy and community outreach.  

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for SEK Inc., regional economic development and manufacturing resource organization for Southeast Kansas, as their Legislative Chair.  In addition, she represents Southeast Kansas on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Economic Development Alliance (KEDA).  She is dedicated to working collaboratively with the State of Kansas as we strive to grow the rural communities in the Southeast Kansas region and the State of Kansas

Trisha Purdon Independence

Trisha Purdon – Independence

Montgomery County Action Council - Executive Director

 115 S. 6th St.
 P.O. Box 588
 620.331.3830 Office
 www.actioncouncil.com

Trisha Purdon is the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Action Council (MCAC), the economic development organization of Montgomery County, KS. She has worked in economic development in Montgomery County for over seven years, previously with MCAC from 2012-2014 and with the City of Coffeyville as its Assistant City Manager for Economic Development from 2014-2017.  Trisha has a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kansas School of Public Administration and Local Government Management and a Bachelors in Social Welfare with a focus on public policy and community outreach.  

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for SEK Inc., regional economic development and manufacturing resource organization for Southeast Kansas, as their Legislative Chair.  In addition, she represents Southeast Kansas on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Economic Development Alliance (KEDA).  She is dedicated to working collaboratively with the State of Kansas as we strive to grow the rural communities in the Southeast Kansas region and the State of Kansas

Jim Correll Independence

Jim Correll – Independence

Director of Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College in the Center For Innovation and Entrepreneurship

620.252.5349
jcorrell@indycc.edu

Jim Correll just may have figured out the biggest secret to business success, and it didn’t require an advanced business degree to do it. Instead, it’s been a matter of following his instincts, sponging up knowledge from thought leaders, making mistakes and pursuing passions in a wildly diverse 25-year career working in small business, manufacturing, entrepreneurial ventures and post-secondary education. What has he learned? When your mind is open to possibility rather than paralyzed by pessimism, amazing things can happen.

In his work as a business coach, entrepreneur mentor and the director of Fab Lab ICC at Independence (KS) Community College, Jim teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to challenge the archaic models of conventional business thinking and education and explore new paths for solving the world’s problems through innovation, creativity, trial and error. A former professional photographer, Jim encourages his proteges to first look at the world through a wide-angle lens, then focus their efforts where they believe they can make a difference and take the shot. “The environment may not be perfectly composed, you may not have just the right angle on your first try, and you certainly may feel over exposed when you put yourself out there and launch an idea,” he analogizes. “But so often, the raw, candid moments we capture are the most representative of real life, the ones that draw us in, take our breath away and haunt our memory.”

Such are the lessons of entrepreneurship, says Jim. There’s no script, precise formula or lesson plan. Success requires a willingness to try something unconventional and to redefine failure as learning. It’s all about the mindset, and anyone can achieve it.

Jim regularly shares his insights through multiple channels, including regional and national public speaking engagements, local print columns and radio features, classes at the community college, community roundtable discussions and one-on-one consultation. His goal is to build a growing circle of “entrepreneurial thinkers" with a limitless ripple effect.

Jim has served on boards and committees for several local and state economic development and business organizations (highlights below), and his most recent work as the director of the Fab Lab ICC maker space in Independence, Kansas, has garnered multiple accolades. In 2017, he was named among the “50 Kansans You Should Know” by Ingram’s magazine.

Jim Correll Independence

Jim Correll – Independence

Director of Fab Lab ICC at Independence Community College in the Center For Innovation and Entrepreneurship

620.252.5349
jcorrell@indycc.edu

Jim Correll just may have figured out the biggest secret to business success, and it didn’t require an advanced business degree to do it. Instead, it’s been a matter of following his instincts, sponging up knowledge from thought leaders, making mistakes and pursuing passions in a wildly diverse 25-year career working in small business, manufacturing, entrepreneurial ventures and post-secondary education. What has he learned? When your mind is open to possibility rather than paralyzed by pessimism, amazing things can happen.

In his work as a business coach, entrepreneur mentor and the director of Fab Lab ICC at Independence (KS) Community College, Jim teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to challenge the archaic models of conventional business thinking and education and explore new paths for solving the world’s problems through innovation, creativity, trial and error. A former professional photographer, Jim encourages his proteges to first look at the world through a wide-angle lens, then focus their efforts where they believe they can make a difference and take the shot. “The environment may not be perfectly composed, you may not have just the right angle on your first try, and you certainly may feel over exposed when you put yourself out there and launch an idea,” he analogizes. “But so often, the raw, candid moments we capture are the most representative of real life, the ones that draw us in, take our breath away and haunt our memory.”

Such are the lessons of entrepreneurship, says Jim. There’s no script, precise formula or lesson plan. Success requires a willingness to try something unconventional and to redefine failure as learning. It’s all about the mindset, and anyone can achieve it.

Jim regularly shares his insights through multiple channels, including regional and national public speaking engagements, local print columns and radio features, classes at the community college, community roundtable discussions and one-on-one consultation. His goal is to build a growing circle of “entrepreneurial thinkers" with a limitless ripple effect.

Jim has served on boards and committees for several local and state economic development and business organizations (highlights below), and his most recent work as the director of the Fab Lab ICC maker space in Independence, Kansas, has garnered multiple accolades. In 2017, he was named among the “50 Kansans You Should Know” by Ingram’s magazine.

Steve Morris - Ulysses

Former Kansas Senate President

620.544.2084
stephenrmorris46@yahoo.com

Stephen Morris graduated from Hugoton High School in 1964. He graduated from Kansas State University in January, 1969. He entered the Air Force as a pilot in 1969, transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 1974. He retired from the Air Force in 1991. He married Barbara in 1968. They are proud parents of Stephanie, Susan, and Sara Beth. He served on the USD 210 Board of Education for sixteen years, 1977-1993. Stephen was elected to the Kansas Senate in 1992, serving for twenty years; the last eight years as Senate President, retiring in 2013. 

Stephen and Barbara currently reside in Hugoton, Kansas. 

Steve Morris Ulysses
Steve Morris Ulysses

Steve Morris - Ulysses

Former Kansas Senate President

620.544.2084
stephenrmorris46@yahoo.com

Stephen Morris graduated from Hugoton High School in 1964. He graduated from Kansas State University in January, 1969. He entered the Air Force as a pilot in 1969, transferred to the Air Force Reserve in 1974. He retired from the Air Force in 1991. He married Barbara in 1968. They are proud parents of Stephanie, Susan, and Sara Beth. He served on the USD 210 Board of Education for sixteen years, 1977-1993. Stephen was elected to the Kansas Senate in 1992, serving for twenty years; the last eight years as Senate President, retiring in 2013. 

Stephen and Barbara currently reside in Hugoton, Kansas. 

Catherine Moyer – Ulysses

Pioneer Communications - CEO

620.356.3211

Catherine Moyer is the General Manager and CEO for Pioneer Communications, a telephone and communications company that serves residents and businesses across southwestern Kansas.  Catherine currently serves on the CoBank board of directors.  Catherine also serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Telcom Insurance Group, is the Chairman of the Kansas Lottery Commission, and is the immediate Past Chairman of the Kansas Rural Independent Telecommunications Association of Kansas.  She also sits on the board of the Rural Trust Insurance Company. She is a past board member of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, and past chairman of the board of directors of OPASTCO, a telecommunications trade association that was joined with NTCA.  Catherine holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Vermont and a law degree from Washburn University.  She resides in Ulysses, Kansas, with her husband, Kevin.

Catherine Moyer Ulysses
Catherine Moyer Ulysses

Catherine Moyer – Ulysses

Pioneer Communications - CEO

620.356.3211

Catherine Moyer is the General Manager and CEO for Pioneer Communications, a telephone and communications company that serves residents and businesses across southwestern Kansas.  Catherine currently serves on the CoBank board of directors.  Catherine also serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Telcom Insurance Group, is the Chairman of the Kansas Lottery Commission, and is the immediate Past Chairman of the Kansas Rural Independent Telecommunications Association of Kansas.  She also sits on the board of the Rural Trust Insurance Company. She is a past board member of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, and past chairman of the board of directors of OPASTCO, a telecommunications trade association that was joined with NTCA.  Catherine holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in Vermont and a law degree from Washburn University.  She resides in Ulysses, Kansas, with her husband, Kevin.

Luke Mahin Concordia

Luke Mahin – Concordia

Republic County Economic Development - Director

www.republiccountykansas.com
rced@nckcn.com
785.374.3047

Luke Mahin serves as the Director of Republic County Economic Development. He is a native of Courtland, Kansas and a 2010 graduate of FHSU with a degree in Communication Studies. Luke is a partner with  JenRus Freelance, a marketing/development firm. In 2010 RCED hired the firm was to direct the duties of the county-wide organization. Jenny Russell was the director from 2010-2013 and is now an advisor, Luke has served as the director since 2013. He is active in the Kansas PowerUp movement promoting young Kansans that are "Rural by Choice". Other boards served on: North Central Regional Planning Commission, NCK Food Council, NCK Regional Development Council, and  KS/NE Heritage Area Partnership.

Luke Mahin Concordia

Luke Mahin – Concordia

Republic County Economic Development - Director

www.republiccountykansas.com
rced@nckcn.com
785.374.3047

Luke Mahin serves as the Director of Republic County Economic Development. He is a native of Courtland, Kansas and a 2010 graduate of FHSU with a degree in Communication Studies. Luke is a partner with  JenRus Freelance, a marketing/development firm. In 2010 RCED hired the firm was to direct the duties of the county-wide organization. Jenny Russell was the director from 2010-2013 and is now an advisor, Luke has served as the director since 2013. He is active in the Kansas PowerUp movement promoting young Kansans that are "Rural by Choice". Other boards served on: North Central Regional Planning Commission, NCK Food Council, NCK Regional Development Council, and  KS/NE Heritage Area Partnership.

Susie Haver Concordia Crop

Susie Haver – Concordia

Cloud County Tourism - Director

785.243.4303
info@cloudcountytourism.com

As director of Cloud County Tourism it is Susie Haver's job to make sure visitors to Concordia and Cloud County have a memorable experience.  Promoting the longest brick mural in the US, the National Orphan Train Complex, Brown Grand Theatre, WWII POW Camp Concordia, Nazareth Convent, Cloud County Museum, Broadway Plaza, Orphan Train Statue Stroll and Concordia Travel Information Center keep her days lively.   

Susie is a farmer's daughter and proud to be Rural by Choice.  She lives west of Concordia on the farm where she grew up.  The view from the top of her hill is now a public Sunset Viewing Area. She graduated from Cloud County Community College and Kansas State University and is proud to call Cloud County home.   

Susie Haver Concordia Crop

Susie Haver – Concordia

Cloud County Tourism - Director

785.243.4303
info@cloudcountytourism.com

As director of Cloud County Tourism it is Susie Haver's job to make sure visitors to Concordia and Cloud County have a memorable experience.  Promoting the longest brick mural in the US, the National Orphan Train Complex, Brown Grand Theatre, WWII POW Camp Concordia, Nazareth Convent, Cloud County Museum, Broadway Plaza, Orphan Train Statue Stroll and Concordia Travel Information Center keep her days lively.   

Susie is a farmer's daughter and proud to be Rural by Choice.  She lives west of Concordia on the farm where she grew up.  The view from the top of her hill is now a public Sunset Viewing Area. She graduated from Cloud County Community College and Kansas State University and is proud to call Cloud County home.   

Norm Schmitt – Sabetha

Norms@extru-techinc.com
785.285.0508

Norm Schmitt is a lifelong resident of Sabetha. He attended college at Kansas schools earning his degree in Electrical Engineering. His career path has included engineering and management positions across private industry including his current position as Sales Manager for Extru-Tech, Inc. and Managing Director for 1 Solution Group a division of Extru-Tech, Inc. He also has decades of experience serving on multiple community boards including the Sabetha Community Hospital and Sabetha Economic Development Commission in addition to serving as Mayor of Sabetha for eight years and currently serving as the City's Utility Commissioner.

Norm Schmitt Sabetha
Norm Schmitt Sabetha

Norm Schmitt – Sabetha

Norms@extru-techinc.com
785.285.0508

Norm Schmitt is a lifelong resident of Sabetha. He attended college at Kansas schools earning his degree in Electrical Engineering. His career path has included engineering and management positions across private industry including his current position as Sales Manager for Extru-Tech, Inc. and Managing Director for 1 Solution Group a division of Extru-Tech, Inc. He also has decades of experience serving on multiple community boards including the Sabetha Community Hospital and Sabetha Economic Development Commission in addition to serving as Mayor of Sabetha for eight years and currently serving as the City's Utility Commissioner.

Joann Knight Dodge City

Joann Knight – Dodge City

Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation - Executive Director

Joann Knight serves as the Executive Director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation and has been with the public/private partnership for 28 years.  She is responsible for overseeing the organizations day-to-day operations including business recruitment and expansion, workforce, housing, rural community development, neighborhood revitalization and entrepreneurship. 

Knight was instrumental in creating and now also oversees Main Street Dodge City, Dodge City Festivals, and the Community Housing Association of Dodge City.  Knight is currently overseeing the creation and implementation of the Rural Education and Workforce Alliance (REWA), which is working to create stronger businesses education coalitions across Southwest Kansas and develop a University/Training Center to bring degree and training programs to the region that meet the needs of the regions workforce.  Recently Knight worked with the Kansas Small Business Development Center to host and locate an office in Dodge City covering a seven-county region including Kiowa, Clark, Comanche, Ford, Edwards, Hodgeman and Ness Counties.

Mrs. Knight currently serves on several state and regional boards including the Western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance (wKREDA), the Kansas Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), and the Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series.  She was the 2013 Kansas Representative on the Southern Economic Development Council Board of Directors and is a Past President of the KEDA.

Joann Knight Dodge City

Joann Knight – Dodge City

Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation - Executive Director

Joann Knight serves as the Executive Director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation and has been with the public/private partnership for 28 years.  She is responsible for overseeing the organizations day-to-day operations including business recruitment and expansion, workforce, housing, rural community development, neighborhood revitalization and entrepreneurship. 

Knight was instrumental in creating and now also oversees Main Street Dodge City, Dodge City Festivals, and the Community Housing Association of Dodge City.  Knight is currently overseeing the creation and implementation of the Rural Education and Workforce Alliance (REWA), which is working to create stronger businesses education coalitions across Southwest Kansas and develop a University/Training Center to bring degree and training programs to the region that meet the needs of the regions workforce.  Recently Knight worked with the Kansas Small Business Development Center to host and locate an office in Dodge City covering a seven-county region including Kiowa, Clark, Comanche, Ford, Edwards, Hodgeman and Ness Counties.

Mrs. Knight currently serves on several state and regional boards including the Western Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance (wKREDA), the Kansas Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), and the Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series.  She was the 2013 Kansas Representative on the Southern Economic Development Council Board of Directors and is a Past President of the KEDA.

Jan Scoggins Dodge City

Jan Scoggins – Dodge City

City Commissioner

PO Box 57
Dodge City, KS 67801
620-225-5444
Jan.scoggins@yahoo.com

(Harriet) Jan Scoggins is in her fifth year as a city commissioner for the city of Dodge City, serving as vice-mayor in 2017. Jan served as the State Representative for the 119th District from 2003-2005. Because of her public service, positions of advocacy for others, and her community involvement and leadership positions, Jan received the Howard P. Moses Public Service Rainbow Award, and has twice been named Woman of the Year.

Jan Scoggins Dodge City

Jan Scoggins – Dodge City

City Commissioner

PO Box 57
Dodge City, KS 67801
620-225-5444
Jan.scoggins@yahoo.com

(Harriet) Jan Scoggins is in her fifth year as a city commissioner for the city of Dodge City, serving as vice-mayor in 2017. Jan served as the State Representative for the 119th District from 2003-2005. Because of her public service, positions of advocacy for others, and her community involvement and leadership positions, Jan received the Howard P. Moses Public Service Rainbow Award, and has twice been named Woman of the Year.

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