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Leadership Wichita

Leadership Wichita provides an immersive experience that identifies 30 local achievers then provides the information and inspiration to take increasingly significant roles in the community. Participants gain valuable insight into local government, economic development, education, and media; and interact with the key community and business leaders working to make progress in each area. 

Since Leadership Wichita was introduced in 1983, more than 1,000 local business, government and military persons have completed the program and have committed to become stronger leaders for our community.

Those interested in participating must be nominated by another person, submit an application, and ensure their one reference submits either a letter of recommendation or completes an online reference form. The Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees selects 30 individuals, who will attend sessions from August through November. Sessions focus on peer networking and introducing community issues.

2019 Leadership Wichita

Thirty citizens from the Wichita region have been selected to participate in the 2019 Leadership Wichita class. Participants are identified through a nomination process, followed by submission of a formal application to the program’s Board of Trustees for selection. The 2019 class will participate in nine sessions that cover issues such as the future vision for Wichita, economic development, the impact of ensuring a highly-educated population, the importance of consensus within government, and executing their leadership skills through reallife examples, group discussions and collaboration. 
See the news release for full class list. 

  • Claudia Yaujar-Amaro, AB&C Bilingual Resources, LLC
  • Francis Baalmann, Foulston Siefkin LLP
  • Rachel Banning, Special Products, LLC
  • Courtney Bengtson, Wichita Community Foundation
  • Rachel Biggs, K·Coe Isom LLP
  • Brian Blackerby, INTRUST Bank
  • Todd Carter, Pathway Church
  • Angie Elliott, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Sherii Farmer, Westar Energy
  • Levi Fitzmier, RSM Marketing
  • Dioane Gates, World Impact, Inc.
  • Christyn Gunter, The Kansas African American Museum
  • Anna Hatter, City of Wichita
  • Michele Ingenthron, USD 259 Wichita Public Schools
  • Donita Jarrell, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office
  • Venus Lee, GraceMed Health Clinic, Inc.
  • Rusty Leeds, Sedgwick County
  • Erik Lopez, Airbus Americas, Inc.
  • Jeff Lucas, High Touch Technologies, Inc.
  • Tevin Manuel, United States Air Force
  • Thea Pajunen, Fidelity Bank
  • Laura Roddy, Mark Arts
  • Dan Shurtz, Oxford Senior Living
  • Chris Snyder, Kansas Air National Guard
  • Kevin Steckley, Syndeo HRO
  • Rachel Thomas-Murphy, Thomas Grey Interiors
  • Brian Truskett, Eby Construction Company
  • Fe Vorderlandwehr, Alzheimer’s Association of Central & Western Kansas
  • Katie Wesbrooks, Spirit Aerosystems
  • Zach Wiggins, Martin Pringle Law Firm
  • Lora Winchell, Hunter Health Clinic

2019 Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees

Ryan Bond (Chair)
Director, Brand and People Experience
Thrive Restaurant Group

Phoebe Bachura
Vice President, Stakeholder Relations
Youth Entrepreneurs

Prisca Barnes
President & CEO
Storytime Village, Inc.

Aaron Bastian
Fidelity Bank

Jason Cox
Cox Machine, Inc.

Ebony Clemons-Ajibolade
Economic Development Manager

Kim Doze-Lohman (Chair-Elect)
Director of Marketing
Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P.



Michelle Eastman
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Rainbows United

Robert Garner
Youth Horizons

LaShonda Garnes
Community Development Manager
Public Policy & Management Center at Wichita State University

Dotty Harpool
Director, Student & Community Initiatives
Wichita State University

Paul Lavender
Director of Special Projects
Thrive Restaurant Group

Dan Shurtz
Vice President of Sales & Strategy
Oxford Senior Living

Coleen Tabor
Executive Vice President Human Resources
Emprise Bank

For more information about this program, please contact Tram Ngo.

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