Butler Announces Advance Kansas Class V Participants

Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer joins more than forty area business and community leaders for innovative diversity leadership program.

The fifth Advance Kansas class kicked off Friday at Butler Community College with more than 40 business and community leaders from across the region.

With support from 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, more than 40 area leaders have been tapped as members of Advance Kansas Class V.

The 2013 Advance Kansas Class V members are:

·         Kirsten Allen – Director of Admissions, Butler Community College

·         Sheri Barnes – Volunteer Coordinator, American Red Cross

·         Wayne Bell – District Director; Small Business Administration, Wichita District Office

·         Teresa Bengtson – Organizational Consultant; Allen, Gibbs & Houlik

·         Maria Bias – Administrative Services Division Supervisor, City of Wichita

·         Bryan Brackeen – Production Line Senior Manager; Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

·         Susan Bradley – Dean Humanities & Social Sciences, Butler Community College

·         Carl Brewer – Mayor, City of Wichita

·         Toyia Bulla – Sr. Vice President of Finance / CFO, Youthville

·         Linda Coleman – Human Resources Manager, TECT Aerospace

·         Lucinda Contreras – Contract Recruiter, Cessna Aircraft

·         Bradley Crisp – Fire Marshal, City of Wichita Fire Department

·         Lori Ellison-Zuercher – Program Manager, Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas

·         Kris Estes – Instructor, Economics & Business; Butler Community College

·         Frances Foster – Human Resources Manager, American Red Cross

·         Karen Gelvin – Dean of Student Life, Butler Community College

·         Preston Goering – TB Control Manager, Sedgwick County Health Department

·         Bonita Gooch – Editor; TCV Publishing, Inc.

·         Laura Hands – College Relations Representative, Koch Industries

·         Joley Hoover – Vice President, Regional Manager; Fidelity Bank

·         Crystal Jackson-Aluko – Retention Specialist, Butler Community College

·         Brandon Johnson – Executive Director, CORE of Wichita

·         Pat Jones – Executive Director, Dress for Success Wichita

·         Melissa Knoeber – Vice President, HR Program Manager; Fidelity Bank

·         Jim Kobbe – Senior Manager; Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

·         Julie Kobbe – Associate Dean Fine Arts & Communication, Butler Community College

·         Robert Layton – City Manager, City of Wichita

·         La’Sanda Linzy – Lieutenant, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office

·         Sheila Loyd – Production Line Senior Manager; Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

·         Pete Meitzner – City Council, City of Wichita

·         Mahmud Nabi – Supervisor Customer Service, Cessna Aircraft Company

·         Ben Nelson – Strategic Services Manager, City of Wichita

·         Cat Palmer – Associate Executive Director, Greater Wichita YMCA

·         Virginia Pedraza – Financial Advisor/Client Service Associate, AGH Wealth Advisors

·         Mario Perez – Director of Field Service; Boy Scouts of America, Quivira Council

·         Rachel Prine – Director of Human Resources, The Wichita Eagle

·         Claude Puntel Sessions – President, Cross Cultural Institute

·         Elizabeth Snow – Deputy Fire Chief, City of Wichita Fire Department

·         Ashley Thorne – Executive Director, CASA of Sedgwick County

·         Becky Tuttle – Health Promotion Coordinator, Sedgwick County Health Department

·         Bryan Williams – Deputy Program Manager; Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

·         Michael Williams – Regional Manager, VP; Fidelity Bank

·         Susan E. Wilson – Director, Sedgwick County Healthy Babies & Project Imprint

“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.

“Spirit AeroSystems leverages diversity for business performance through programs like the Advance Kansas Diversity Leadership Program,” said Brian Black, senior manager of corporate public affairs and global diversity at Spirit AeroSystems. “We believe that diversity leadership is a foundation to advancing the communities where our employees live and work.”

Between workshops, participants 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, 148 leaders from 67 organizations have graduated from the first four Advance Kansas classes.


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