Butler Announces Advance Kansas Class III Participants

Butler Community College has compiled business and community leaders from across the region to launch Advance Kansas Class III with a goal of enabling these leaders to bridge gaps and bring people together across diversity challenges in American society today.

Developed with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Spirit AeroSystems, Advance Kansas is designed to bring together leaders from all demographic groups and across all sectors of society – business, nonprofit, education, religion, government – and to educate them in effective ways to engage pressing diversity issues in their communities.

Facilitated by Juan Johnson, president of Juan Johnson Consulting and Facilitation, nearly forty local leaders have been tapped as members of Advance Kansas – Class III. Companies with employee representation include Sedgwick County Fire Department, T- Mobile, The City of Wichita, Koch Industries, The Boeing Company and more.

“In our businesses, government and nonprofit organizations, leaders are challenged more than ever with creating environments where people can come together and accomplish collective objectives despite differences in perspectives,” said Johnson. “Advance Kansas is about building these leadership and relationship management skills.”

Advance Kansas begins with an orientation session, followed by four full-day workshops spread over a four-month period. Workshops include classroom discussions, lectures, scenario analysis and other experiential learning tools designed to maximize interactions between participants and facilitate the development of productive relationships.

“Advance Kansas focuses on how diversity can advance your business, instead of how the business can advance diversity,” said Brian Black, senior manager, corporate public affairs and global diversity. “This program is innovative in that it goes beyond the typical dimensions of diversity that we often think about, instead it looks at the multiple dimensions of diversity and how leveraging it can help you meet your business demands.”

Between workshops, participants are encouraged to meet in teams to complete assignments and develop a community action project. The program culminates with each team’s plenary presentation of their community action project. To date, Advance Kansas has nearly 70 alumni that have graduated from the first two classes.

The 2011 Advance Kansas Class III members are: 

  • Mohammad Zafar Akbar –  Associate Director, T-Mobile
  • Lisa Atcheson –  Senior Manager, Labor Relations, Spirit AeroSystems Inc. World Headquarters
  • Heather Bachman  – Lieutenant, Wichita Police Department
  • Wade Banks III  – Site Services Manager, The Boeing Company
  • Darian Bebout –  B-52 EHF Program Manager, The Boeing Company
  • Shawne Boyd – Director, Division of Human Resources, Sedgwick County
  • Tami Bradley  – Managing Partner, Bothner and Bradley
  • Sherdeill Breathett Sr. – Board of Directors  – Real Men, Real Heroes
  • Kim Caliendo  – Manager, Quality, Cessna Aircraft Company
  • Deanna Carrithers  – Program Manager, Center for Health and Wellness
  • Kim Cronister – Public Information Officer, Workforce Alliance
  • Jeff DeGraffenreid  – Associate General Counsel, Spirit AeroSystems Inc. World Headquarters
  • Cokie Diggs – President, Diggs Construction
  • Andy Ek    College Relations Manager, Koch Industries Inc.
  • Tom Erwin –  Chief Information Officer, Butler Community College
  • Dr. Karla Fisher –  Vice President of Academics, Butler Community College
  • Wendy Glick –  Executive Director, The Lord’s Diner
  • Dr. Elizabeth Guhman – Vice-President Child and Adolescent Services, Prairie View Inc.
  • Matt Hanne –  Faculty – The Independent Middle School
  • Carol Howard – Corporate Community Relations and Global Diversity Manager, Spirit Aerosystems Inc. World Headquarters
  • Matt Jacobs –  Assistant Athletic Director, Butler Community College
  • Pamaline King-Burns –  Project Manager, Sedgwick County Health Department
  • Lynette Lacy – Faculty, Kansas Leadership Center
  • Tavis Leake  – Captain & County Fire Marshall, Sedgwick County Fire Department
  • Susan Leiker –  Human Resources Manager, City of Wichita
  • Michelle Lohrengel – Senior Manager, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, Spirit Aerosystems Inc. World Headquarters
  • Mukesh Luhar – Senior Manager, The Boeing Company
  • Cindy Miles –  Director of Campus and Community Relations, Butler Community College
  • Randy Moss –  Accounts Receivable Manager, Butler Community College
  • Debra Perbeck  – Human Resources Director, Wichita SRS
  • Jaime Prothro  – Customer Service Administrator, Wichita Public Library
  • Andrew Shact – Vice President, Tax and Tax Counsel, Spirit AeroSystems Inc. World Headquarters
  • Shelbye Smith – Human Resource Manager –   iSi Environmental Services
  • Brent Spicer –   Head Master –  The Independent Upper School
  • Trisha Thomas  – Service Access and Outreach Director, Sedgwick County Community Developmental Disabilities Organization
  • Lee Anne Thompson –  Vice President – First National Bank of Hutchinson
  • Larissa Wray-Tolbert  – Human Resource Business Partner, T-Mobile
  • Carol Wohlford –  Director, Andover Public Library


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