Kansas City Chapter

Nancy Spangler, PhD, OTR/L, developed workplace health promotion, population health management, and organizational strategies beginning in 1983 with a Boston-area consulting group and for nine years with Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. As president of her own consulting firm, Spangler Associates, since 1994, she helps organizations look broadly at the multiple systems that support individual and organizational health and resilience. Her diverse clients have included employers, managed care organizations, benefit consultants, pharmaceutical companies, professional organizations, governmental agencies, and research organizations.

Nancy has worked as a consultant to the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, a program of the American Psychiatric Association, since 2006. She devises communication strategies for the Partnership and helps to develop collaborative relationships with employers who have programs, policies, and practices supporting mental health across the spectrum of prevention, screening, and effective treatment. She also worked with the Partnership to recruit employers for interview and discussion group research used to understand strengths in employer practices related to stress prevention and resilience-building.

Nancy holds bachelor and master’s degrees in occupational therapy from the University of Kansas, and she has practiced as an occupational therapist in a variety of settings. Her doctor of philosophy degree was in therapeutic science, an interdisciplinary area of study at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has taught and mentored graduate level students for Boston University, George Washington University, Rockhurst University, and the University of Kansas. Nancy has published peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters on behavior change and workplace mental health issues. She is an experienced presenter and keynote speaker on organizational and health-related topics.

Nancy lives in the Kansas City area and enjoys reading, tennis, gardening, walking, and singing. She and her husband have two sons – Jayhawks all.


Ron Cox is President of the Dale Carnegie Business Group of Kansas City. Dale Carnegie is a global employee development company with a successful 103-year history. Ron was previously with Hallmark Cards where he served thirty-one years of progressively increasing responsibility from the loading dock to the boardroom. His final position with Hallmark was that of Controller and Chief Technology Officer of a retail subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. He has been a Dale Carnegie Master Instructor of Human Relations, Leadership, Sales, Employee Engagement, Customer Service and Presentations since 1996. Ron is a seasoned and proven business leader with substantial career accomplishments complemented by a 26-year commitment to training and development as a consultant, instructor, professor and executive coach. He was an Adjunct Professor of Business at William Jewell College for more than 20 years. Ron earned a MBA and BSBA from Rockhurst University, and is a Certified Internal Auditor. Ron has consulted with hundreds of organizations in the public and private sectors to develop training and development programs that increase employee engagement.


Randy Woehl, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MPA is the Manager of Human Resources and Organizational Development at Cartwright International where he manages the Human Resource function and leads the cultural change / employee engagement initiative. Randy has 10+ years’ experience working as a Human Resource/Organizational Development practioner in Fortune 100 and 500 companies. He has developed and facilitated numerous management and leadership training courses and coached and mentored hundreds of managers on effective management techniques. He also has experience in the design and implementation of performance management programs to include developing performance objectives, succession planning, IDP’s and 360 reviews. Randy’s experience in the Employee Engagement area includes implementing the Engagement Partnership Model ™ developed by the Employee Engagement Institute to move his employee engagement scores from 62% to 77% in three short years while seeing double digit increases in company profitability as a result of increased engagement.

Randy has published Human Resource articles for the KC Business Journal, written a book review on Design Thinking and is a tenured adjunct instructor at Avila University teaching Human Resources, Strategic Human Resources, Training and Development, Strategic Presentations, Compensation and Benefits and Business Management. He has developed and continues to teach a Graduate level Employee and Labor Relations class in Avila’s MSOD. Randy has developed and continues to instruct (classroom and online) Graduate Human Resources in the University of St. Mary’s MBA program. In addition, Randy presented his company’s Engagement case study to 150 managers at the National Call Center week in the Las Vegas in June of 2015. He also presented this same case study to SHRM-KC in May of 2016 and will be presenting on this topic at the Missouri State SHRM conference in August 2016.


As a member of UMB’s Human Resources Leadership Team, Vanessa Sims leads D&I strategy integration aligned with UMB’s growth and ability to attract, motivate and retain talent essential to achieving business objectives. She has a proven leadership track record in leading radical change to deliver competitive and innovative Diversity & Inclusion, Compensation, and Benefits strategies while targeting cost effective solutions.

Prior to joining UMB in 2007 she served the DST and State Street organizations for 24 years in various operational and HR roles.

Vanessa and her husband James of 33 years enjoy their son, two daughters, and three grandchildren.

She is currently active in the following organizations:

Rockhurst University, Helzberg School of Management – Adjunct Professor
Urban League of Kansas City – Vice Chair
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce – Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Project Equality Diversity and Inclusion Summit – Steering Committee
Society of Diversity – Member
KC Diversity Consortium – Member
In addition, her past affiliations include:

KC Rising Human Capital Workgroup
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Operation Breakthrough – Advisory Board and Staff Morale Committee
Vanessa graduated from Central Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication. She earned her Master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University.


Jamie Dierking is the senior manager, communications at global marketing agency VML. He handles media relations for the agency, particularly with advertising trade outlets, in addition to organizing speaking engagements and assisting with internal communications. Jamie is based half out of the VML corporate headquarters office in Kansas City and half out of VML’s New York City office.

He worked in TV news for more than 13 years, transitioning to public relations in 2009. Since that time, he’s worked in public affairs for a county EMS agency and the American Red Cross. In 2012, the Red Cross transferred him to New York to help handle public affairs surrounding the disaster response to Hurricane Sandy.

Jamie began with VML in January 2015, working on client public relations with brands including Kleenex and the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. He moved into his current role in March 2016. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Jamie is an avid baseball fan and has attended the College World Series in Omaha at least three separate years. A little known fact is that he’s worked part-time as a police officer and full time as a paramedic. One of his proudest accomplishments was helping save a man’s life who was in cardiac arrest and having the opportunity to shake his hand in a hospital two weeks later.


After 22 years of experience in operations and management, Chris Jackson entered the entrepreneurial world when she acquired NCES in 2000. NCES is an on-line resource of nutrition education products that includes patient education resources, teaching aids, food models, curriculum, health kits and other learning tools. Through NCES, Chris helps educate dietitians, health-care professionals and teachers about nutrition and good health, all subjects consistent with her own lifestyle.

As an entrepreneur, Chris believes in sharing her knowledge by lending encouragement and support to others in the nutrition industry who want to market their products. She also mentors small business owners through the Kansas Women’s Business Center. She currently serves on the board of Nutra-Net a non-profit nutrition cookbook company and had previously served on the boards of both the Kansas and Missouri Women’s Business Centers.

In her relatively short history as a business owner, Chris has been recognized for her personal achievement and the success of her company. In 2004 NCES was selected for the 25 under 25 Small Business Awards and ranked 24th among the Top 50 Small Diversity Businesses in the State of Kansas in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2007 Chris was selected for the Kansas City Business Journal “Women Who Mean Business Award”. Chris was also selected for the Athena PowerLink Program in 2003.

Chris earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


Kelly Murphy is the Senor Director of Human Resources at KCP&L, providing strategic direction to the company on all areas of human resources. She has enjoyed making a difference through effective human resource leadership to achieve a variety of strategic business objectives including expansive growth as well as wind-downs, divestitures and mergers.

In her role at KCP&L, she has complete oversight for all areas of HR, and manages a team of 40 employees. She directs design and administration for health & welfare benefit plans as well as retirement plans. On the compensation side, Kelly oversees the design and administration of base pay, variable pay incentive plans and employee recognition programs. She governs employee and labor relations, and organizational development. Kelly directs the HR recordkeeping system and payroll functions, the HR Service Center and the implementation of IT technologies and innovation related to HR programs and services. Kelly also serves as a member of the Talent and Development Committee at Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Company given KCP&L’s ownership interest in the nuclear plant.

In addition to her work, Kelly is strongly committed to supporting the Kansas City community, particularly in the areas of women, wellness and workforce development. She serves as Secretary and Board Member of the Women’s Employment Network that helps hundreds of women each year gain employment and self-sufficiency. Kelly has served as President and Board Member of the Human Resources Forum which is a senior-level professional development and networking group. She is a member of the UMKC HR Advisory Board. She is Chair of the Workplace Wellness team of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce HealthyKC initiative, which launched a Kansas City-wide Workplace Wellness Certification program in April, 2015 that help organizations receive recognition for and network with each other in building world class workplace wellness programs. She actively supports STEM initiatives such as the WI-Stem initiative with the Central Exchange, First Robotics, and recently helped launch a Scouting Explorer Post at KCP&L for high school students interested in engineering and/or energy careers. Kelly also supports United Way, Harvesters, Girl Scouts and other community partners.

Kelly graduated from Bucknell University with a B.A. Degree in International Relations.

Additional leadership and recognition includes: ∙ FBI Citizens Academy – 2013 ∙ Kansas City Tomorrow Program of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City – 2006-2007 ∙ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt – 2007 ∙ Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification since 1998 ∙ Society for Human Resources Management – Senior Certified Professional since 2015.

Despite a busy schedule, Kelly enjoys time with her family, including husband John and children Jack and Mary.


Leslie Anderson is a credentialed, inspirational executive coach who excels at enabling organizational leaders to reach their peak performance.

As an International Coach Federation trained organizational development practitioner, she first seeks to understand an organization’s key objectives and then create a leadership development plan that matches aspirational behavior outcomes with organizational results.

Leslie leads CBIZ Human Capital Service’s Executive Coaching and Career Transition Services practices.

Before joining CBIZ, she spent decades leading teams at high-end retail brands such as HMK 1910-Hallmark Cards, Talbots, Burberry and Hermes of Paris, where she developed a passion for quickly understanding individual team member behaviors and then coaching teams to successfully connect those behaviors with positive outcomes for their brands.

Her leadership development methodology follows the academic-based Hudson Model for coaching and industry-based Co-Active Model for coaching. Her distinguished training coupled with deep experience bolsters her effective leadership coaching.

Leslie is a Master of Science Candidate, Organizational Development, Avila University and has a Bachelor of Science, Merchandising and Business, University of North Texas.

Professional Designations include Social and Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach; ISEI Leadership Coach Certification, Avila University, International Coach Federation program; ACC Credentialed Candidate, International Coach Federation; Graduate, FactTrac New Venture, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and SHRM Essentials of HR Management.


Glenda Friesen at Black & Veaetch works as a strategic partner and consultant to top business leaders for designing and developing global organizations based on the strategic direction of the company. This includes accelerating culture change through leading a top down, bottom up, middle out global movement that ties culture to business results. The change involves culture champions in 9+ countries, employee and leader led training, and creative anchors and measures to improve the stickiness of true change. Glenda established the Organization Effectiveness practice in 2008 and continues evolving the practice and global team. They work as consultants throughout the business to continue developing organizations and geographies that align with the company strategies and goals. The team continues growing a global community of change through a Change Champion certification program. She also leads the development of global HR Strategy, tactics and goals that closely integrate with the business strategies to drive global and profitable growth, talent development and an agile culture.


Lacey McCourt is a Wellness Account Executive with CBIZ Wellness Solutions. Lacey helps clients develop and implement strategies to build and maintain a culture of total wellbeing. Lacey works collaboratively with clients and vendor partners to develop effective and sustainable wellness solutions with the goal of helping individuals live healthier, more productive lives. Lacey plays a significant role in educating clients and key partners about the value of worksite wellness programs and the strategies to achieve high levels of employee engagement. Lacey is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social work, specializing in Employee Assistance Programs.


Emily Babcock is an Account Manager for CBIZ Wellbeing Solutions, Emily Babcock supports the consulting team in the development and implementation of wellbeing initiatives. She is passionate about helping her clients and colleagues thrive in both work and life. Her goal is to ensure that individuals are optimizing their wellbeing benefits, are fully engaged and are able to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

She graduated from the University of Missouri with a Master’s degree in Health Education and Promotion and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health. Through her training and experience she has developed a love of learning and is often researching best practices and industry trends.


Fay Balk, human resources director- organization effectiveness and development at Hallmark Cards, the world’s largest manufacturer and retailer of greeting cards and related social expression products. During her 20+ year tenure with the company, Ms. Balk had held positions of increasing responsibility in human resources including organization design and change management consulting, talent management, leadership development, workforce planning and hr management positions. Currently she leads the organization effectiveness and development center of excellence which includes responsibility for strategic alignment, organization design, change management, talent management, corporate-wide learning and development initiatives and workforce planning and analytics. Ms. Balk holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University.


Robin Smith, is an HR/PAC Project Manager at Hallmark Cards. In this role, Robin project manages work on culture and employment branding to ensure successful and sustained culture change. Previously, Robin worked at Cerner where she delivered a comprehensive Cerner Careers rebrand, articulating Cerner’s employer proposition to candidates through a variety of media. She worked with company leadership to understand Cerner’s workforce growth needs and collaborated with a number of internal and external stakeholders to communicate those needs and develop long-term pipeline strategies supporting talent development in key career areas. Prior to this, she held a number of different positions, including a strategist role on Cerner’s Federal Government and Industry Relations team and supported Cerner’s thought leadership brand during her time on the Executive Events team. Robin has a B.A. in English and Communication from William Jewell College.


Mark Rodrigues joined Lockton in 2012 and develops overall population health management strategic direction for clients of the Lockton Health Risk Solutions® programs. In doing so, he helps clients better control healthcare costs by improving employee health literacy, personal accountability, and company culture.

Mark also works with the development, implementation, and continual evaluation of health risk solutions initiatives. These initiatives are targeted toward each client’s risks, in addition to financial and cultural needs.

Current and Previous Positions include: Lockton Companies Health Risk Solutions Consultant; WellCall Senior Vice President of Business Development; Toyota Motor Sales, USA District Manager; Xerox Corporation Account Management Executive.

Mark has an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan and a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

His professional designations include Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), Group Benefits Associate (GBA), and Compensation Management Specialist (CMS).


Jen Houston is the community relations manager for UMB Financial Corporation where she works to create opportunities and to be a resource for associates looking to get involved in their communities. She also manages annual fundraising campaigns benefiting the American Royal, ArtsKC, Junior Achievement and the United Way. She is the event chair for UMB Big Bash, a signature charity event benefiting local nonprofit organizations in Kansas City.

Prior to joining UMB in March 2015, Houston worked as the public relations and communications specialist for the City of Liberty, Missouri. Houston also worked on various public awareness campaigns—ranging from 9-1-1 education with elementary students to air quality messaging encouraging commuters to use alternative transportation—during her five years at the Mid-America Regional Council.

Houston has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts, Spanish from the University of Missouri–Columbia. She has a Master of Business Administration degree, with an emphasis is leading and managing people, from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Houston also completed the Multimedia Studies Certificate Program at the Kansas City Art Institute.


Over the past 38 years, Jack Bastable has collaborated with employers and providers of healthcare and health management services to develop innovative workforce strategies to impact the health, wellbeing, engagement and performance of employees.

As an employee benefits and engagement consultant with CBIZ for 23 years, these successful strategies, including several who received industry awards, have been applied to hundreds of large, medium and small companies and organizations in various industries, including manufacturing, technologies, health care, education, municipalities and professional services.

In 2012, Jack help to establish, along with health management industry leader Dee Edington, the Edington CBIZ Next Practice Awards. These awards are given annually to recognize employers who are using innovative health and wellbeing practices and programs to cultivate a high-performing culture.

Jack is currently serving as chairman of the Innovation Section for the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Study Group on Health, Productivity and Performance. The section recently completed a study on employer use of wearable technology use within employee wellbeing programs, which was published nationwide. Jack is also a liaison with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Healthy KC” a community health initiative as well as a founding member of the Board of the Mill Creek Park Association in Kansas City, Missouri a public private partnership to developing trails, exercise equipment along with park beautification. Jack currently serves on the University of Missouri College of Arts & Sciences Strategic Development Board.

In 2010, with a goal of teaching the concepts of personal leadership and life skills to the next generation, Jack and his wife, Kim, both former professional athletes, founded a non-profit organization Vital Leadership. Vital Leadership provides young leaders and athletes training, practical experiences, mentoring and inspiration and mental toughness coaching for them to reach their full potential both personally, athletically and professionally.


As the Membership Specialist for the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, Jessica Jackson is responsible for the recruitment, retention and engagement of members. She also assists with the Women in Leadership group, Circle of Influence, LEAD – the Chamber’s Young Professionals Network and Healthy St. Joseph.

Prior to her position as Membership Specialist, Ms. Jackson was the Membership and Communications Intern while she studied business at Missouri Western State University. She graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, emphasis in Marketing and Management.

In addition to her duties at the Chamber, Ms. Jackson is an active volunteer in the community. She is a member of the Junior League of St. Joseph, Downtown Association Board of Directors, AKMA Special Events Committee, Live Well St. Joseph Community Coalition, Leadership St. Joseph Steering Committee, St. Joseph School District High School Business Advisory Committee and United Way Summer Reading Adventure volunteer. She is a 2015 graduate of Leadership St. Joseph.


Kristie Arthur, Director of Workforce Development for the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce has more than 20 years’ experience in Business Development primarily in Health and Wellness. She most recently joined the Chamber of Commerce to assist in the efforts of the Workforce Development Alliance in St. Joseph, MO and the surrounding 18 counties. Mrs. Arthur graduated from Baker University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.


John Mulvihill is executive director of the VML Foundation. VML is a global advertising and marketing agency based in Kansas City. VML emphasizes communication, collaboration and community as a way to nurture employee engagement. The VML Foundation — an employee-funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit — drives VML’s overall community outreach program. Founded in 1992, VML has grown from 30 employees to nearly 550 VMLers in Kansas City and about 2,500 people across six continents. While Kansas City — and a former municipal airport terminal — may seem like an unlikely place for a global marketing firm, we think it’s a perfect fit.


Haley Akin is the Senior Wellbeing Specialist for Garmin International. With more than 10 years working in the industry, her experience spans from employee wellness and engagement to broker and client relationships through fitness offerings and fitness facility management. She currently coordinates and implements well rounded wellbeing offerings to Garmin associates nationwide through strategic planning and alignment with company and program goals. This includes incentive based programs, annual onsite preventative care offerings, education & awareness and overall support to build associate resilience within various pillars of wellbeing. Haley is also extremely involved in collaboration and innovative development both internally and externally with Garmin business plans and integration.

Haley received her bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion from Emporia State University and holds multiple professional recognitions and certifications including Emporia State University HPER Hall of Honor 2016, Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals from The Wellness Council of America and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Haley is also active in community based programs such as Kansas City Corporate Challenge, Healthy KC initiatives through the partnership of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kanas City and the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation Young Professionals Advisory Board to name a few.


A native Nebraskan and longtime Kansas City resident, Matt Brisch currently serves as Community Engagement Coordinator for Waddell & Reed in Overland Park, Kansas. In this recently created position, Matt serves a dual role in directing employee engagement programs and corporate philanthropy initiatives. While he is relatively new to the philanthropic aspect of the business, he is no stranger to Waddell & Reed, where he spent the previous 10 years serving as Senior Communications Specialist/Project Manager within the firm’s Marketing department.

With a professional background dedicated primarily to the communications field, Matt’s career includes related positions at HNTB Corporation and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Kansas City as well as the Kansas Department of Commerce in Topeka. Away from the workaday world, Matt greatly enjoys time spent with his spouse, Susan, and son, Sammy.


Lisa Cummings has had the privilege of working in the wellness industry for 25+ years. She currently is Wellness Program Specialist for Shawnee Mission Health, responsible for leading a wellness program for 3000+ health system employees. She holds an MA in Psychology and certifications in personal training, nutrition, and wellness consulting. She has held a variety of positions in the wellness industry, including: teaching fitness classes, leading a hospital-based fitness program, personal training, wellness program consultant, business owner, wellness coaching, corporate wellness program coordinator, and health educator. Her approach to behavior change is “Helping people live healthier lives by making healthy fun!”


Julia Westhoff, MPA, is the Executive Director of the Secondary Trauma Resource Center, whose mission is to strengthen individual and organizational resiliency through evidence-based training and consultation. Ms. Westhoff has over a decade of experience working in social service, both in the United States and abroad. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Master’s in Public Administration is from San Francisco State University. Working for Big Brothers Big Sisters spurred her interest in prevention education and public health. She and her colleagues at the Secondary Trauma Resource Center based their secondary trauma mitigation curriculum on the same principles that she has used to prevent violence and poverty in other fields. Prior to her tenure at the Secondary Trauma Resource Center, Ms. Westhoff was the Director of Education at the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault. She was also a volunteer for the Peace Corps in Panama, where she implemented community economic development programs.


Jeanette Metzler is an experienced health and wellness leader passionate about positively impacting the health and well-being of the Kansas City community. In her role with Shawnee Mission Health, she is responsible for all aspects of the community benefit process including assessing the health needs of the community and collaborating with community partners in creating and implementing community health improvement strategies. Prior to joining Shawnee Mission Health in March 2015, she served as the Executive Director for Corporate and Community Health for St. Joseph and St. Mary’s hospitals in Kansas City. She is a graduate from Drake University. She serves on several community health committees, faith and environmental.


Jasmin Williams has a true passion for healthcare. She received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Truman State University in 2012 and her Masters of Business Administration with Healthcare Administration concentration from Avila University in 2015.

Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Jasmin returned to Kansas City and worked as a Patient Accounts Specialist at Shawnee Mission Medical Center and was quickly promoted to Team Lead in the Birth Center. After working for Shawnee Mission Health, she served as the Health Careers Outreach Coordinator for West Central Missouri Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and worked closely with several high schools in the Metropolitan Kansas City Area developing health career exploration programs for students interested in pursuing careers in the medical field. During her time at AHEC she facilitated and ran the Healthe Foundations Competition Day in partnership with Cerner’s non-profit First Hand Foundation and created, planned, and directed the first 2015 AHEC Health Careers Summer Camp Academy.

Jasmin currently works as a Project Coordinator for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Healthy KC Initiative. She was instrumental in helping to secure grant funding for a partnership initiative between Healthy KC and Trauma Matters KC: Resilient KC. Jasmin oversees the work of Resilient KC, whose focus is to create a trauma-informed and resilient Kansas City community. Jasmin organizes community events around building resiliency, provides training to local organizations, and brings people together to work towards a resilient Kansas City.

Her community involvement includes being a ‘big sister’ and mentoring through Big Brother Big Sister Kansas City, being a member of the Big Brother Big Sister B.I.G. Impact Group, and serving as a 2016 Masquerade Ball Court Member for Cerner’s First Hand Foundation


As CFO of Avila University, Paul Tolar provides executive level direction and management oversight for financial planning and analysis, budgeting, accounting and business operations, financial reporting, internal controls and compliance, investment oversight and treasury functions, debt management, student accounts, human resources, risk management and insurance, space planning and construction, facilities and grounds operations, purchasing and contracts, mail services, bookstore operations, food service and other auxiliary enterprises. Along with the other members of the President’s cabinet, he helps lead Avila by embracing the ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet who established Avila as an institution of higher education over 100 years ago, to promote the unity of neighbor with God and neighbor serving neighbor without distinction.

As Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance at the University of Missouri Paul was responsible for operational financial management on behalf of the Columbia campus including directing activities related to student accounts receivable, student loan receivables, accounting services, payroll, contracting and the insurance activities of the Business Office. He has also managed auxiliaries such as Event Production Services (MU’s two performance venues), KBIA/Concert Series and the A.L. Gustin Golf Course. Innovations in the University’s business processes resulted in the creation of new student employment programs, student emergency assistance aid, and funding a $1 million annual excellence scholarship.

Serving as Chair of the Operational Excellence Initiative on behalf of the President of the UM System, Paul piloted the University system-wide in achieving millions in process savings by adopting principles of shared services, by prioritizing the IT enabled project portfolio, and by collaborating to embrace project management methodologies. OEI successes included implementation of the award winning Travel and Expense reimbursement module, implementation of electronic personnel action processing (ePAF), and implementation of the Accounts Payable Shared Services Center on behalf of the University of Missouri System.

He possesses three degrees from the University of Missouri including a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with an emphasis in Finance and Banking, a BSBA with an emphasis in Real Estate, and a Masters in Business Administration. Paul has also achieved the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) designation through the Association of Government Accountants.


Tyson Schank is the Principal Specialist of Learning & Organizational Development at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Tyson assists employees and teams with leadership development, team building, and soft skills training. He also works with various areas of the business and leadership to support the organizational develop needs as they navigate the fast-paced, ever-changing animal health industry. He is passionate about building connections for those he serves. Prior to this industry, Tyson had 11 years of experience in higher education in the areas of admissions, recruitment, communication, student development, orientation, and transition services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and masters in Organizational Management.


Alexa Beavers serves as the Director of Organizational Development for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. In this role, she focuses on learning and development, strategy development, change management and organizational diagnosis and design. She has demonstrated success in business transformation and strategy execution. She has worked in both the public and private sectors and in pharmaceutical, financial services, Fortune 500 and public education environments. Alexa holds a Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute and has a Masters of Arts in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Becky Schieber is Senior Manager, Charitable Programs at Black & Veatch (B&V), an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. In addition to bringing strategic focus to B&V’s global philanthropy, she continually seeks opportunities to expose professionals to the rewards of community engagement through volunteer projects, mentoring, and nonprofit board service.

Becky’s path to B&V was not linear. She spent the first several years of her career as a television news producer in Chicago, Kansas City and Philadelphia. After her father’s cancer diagnosis, she raised money in his honor and competed in two Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Team in Training marathons. This deeply personal fundraising opened her eyes to a career in nonprofit, and she spent three years as Light The Night Walk Director at LLS’s Mid-America Chapter before joining KU Endowment as part of the development team responsible for supporting The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s successful quest for National Cancer Institute designation. While there, she produced a special about KU Cancer Center’s mission that aired simultaneously on all four Kansas City network TV stations to an audience of 280,000.

Becky serves on the Corporate Leadership Council of Engineers Without Borders USA and the Communications Committee for the Greater Kansas Chapter of March of Dimes. She is a 2013 graduate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Centurions Leadership Development Program and holds degrees in Communications Studies and Slavic Studies from Northwestern University. She and her husband have four young children and spend most weekends at the soccer fields.


Kristin Raven works in multiple roles in Human Resources at American Century Investments. She recruits talent for several departments, manages the American Century Investments Foundation’s charitable giving, grants, and internal employee matching programs, and leads the Mutual Friends Committee, an employee group dedicated to planning and leading company volunteer efforts.

Kristin holds a BFA in Design/Illustration from the University of Kansas. Her personal passions include the visual and performing arts. She is on the board of Kansas City Young Audiences, a member of the Kansas City Ballet Corporate Leadership Council, and a member of the ArtsKC Catalyst Grants Panel.


Nancy Fry, PhD, MBA is passionate about working with progressive leaders to create climates of safety and healthy workforces. These energizing climates inspire employees to risk ideas, share their mind, and engage in healthy debate which in turn contributes to stronger products and services and an enhanced customer and employee experience. In addition to consulting, Nancy is also a speaker and coach.

In 2015, Nancy founded RespectWorkssm, a nonprofit community initiative. Its mission is to create communities of respect, kindness, and grace that prevents the cycle of bullying at school, at work, and in senior residential living centers. By tapping into the power of community and the collective wisdom of our collaborative partners, we can enhance the quality of life for all.

In all her work, Nancy leverages her business and psychology expertise. She has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas and is a licensed psychologist in Kansas. A former finance executive at Sprint Corp., she has 20 years of business experience and a MBA from UMKC. Nancy co-led teams that created a leadership development training program and a neuroscience-based coaching program for CIMBA, in Asolo, Italy for 2 years. CIMBA is a study abroad program for EMBA, MBA, and undergraduate business students.


Thomas J. McCoy is the President of the Employee Engagement Institute. Since the release of his groundbreaking book “Compensation and Motivation” in 1993, he has been a thought leader on the relationship between organizational culture and profit improvement.

You know how some leaders are concerned that their company compensation plans aren’t supporting what they want? He helps develop innovative compensation plans that motivate employees to improve performance.

You know how some leaders think the company isn’t performing up to its potential, that the employees aren’t engaged in the business, but they don’t have data on which to act?

He helps get objective data and use it to improve engagement and performance.

He has over 35 years’ experience using measurement and reward systems to develop high-involvement, high-performance cultures for over 200 companies in the United States, Europe and South America.

He is the author of four books on the topic of motivation and engagement. They are:

Compensation and Motivation: A textbook at Florida State University in the Advanced Topics in Performance Management studies. Sales-to-Date: over 11,000 copies.
Creating an Open-Book Organization. Nominated for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) “Book of the Year” award and translated into German. Sales-to-Date: over 11,000 copies.
Employee Engagement: The Framework For The Future.
Four Attributes of Employee Engagement… and how to develop them.
He has been quoted in Newsweek, featured in the Wall Street Journal and nominated for SHRM’s Michael J. Losey award for his work in the field of Human Resources. He developed and taught a two-day seminar on How To Develop a High Performance Culture at George Washington University.

He holds a Lean/Six Sigma certificate from Villanova University, a coaching certification from the Johnston Institute and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BFA. He volunteers as a board member for Support Kansas City, a non-profit that provides business disciplines to non-profit organizations.


Rebecca L. Pfleiderer is a philanthropist working to enact positive change, globally. She envisions a learning universe where each generation will learn from the last and keep adding to the positive affect of inclusion and acceptance.

She is a United States Army Veteran with a Master’s of Science in Organizational Development Psychology and Project Manager. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology.

She served in Bamberg, Germany, 1ID HHC Engineer Brigade where she placed her life on the line to protect our country and our freedoms. She wore many hats while serving in the Army. She managed personnel logistics at the onset of the Iraq War assisting in manning a newly created unit to enter Turkey in support of Task Force Danger.

Rebecca has conducted many years of organizational research. She has studied the physical effects of the office environment on employee performance and satisfaction. She has experience in creating of high performing teams, managing conflict, internal processes redesign, and long distance collaboration, to name a few.

Her ability to lead groups is phenomenal. One project she references from applied graduate studies would be her work with a faith based organization in Clinton, Missouri. Here she helped create “The Great Usable Document;” their policies and procedures manual. The uniting factor in this case was the outcome of a decision to pray before each meeting. Using Action Research and Appreciative Inquiry she facilitates the healthy development of businesses.

Some of her past titles include: HR Manager for a Fortune 1000 Manufacturer, Postal Carrier for the United States Postal Service, Office Manager of a Chiropractic Clinic, Adjunct Instructor teaching college business courses, and Test Administrator for the Department of Defense. She is currently an HR Manager for Ahuvi Airlines, a global airline.

Rebecca is friendly, trustworthy, well rounded, and best of all, she’s passionate about making this world a better place.


Karen Campbell is Director of Development and Communications at BikeWalkKC, managing fundraising, marketing, and communications efforts in support of the organization’s strategic plan. She works with the board and staff to ensure the resources necessary to fulfill BikeWalkKC’s mission “to redefine our streets as places for people to build a culture of active living.”

Karen has extensive experience in fundraising, marketing, and program development. She received her M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prior to joining BikeWalkKC, Karen served as Director of Development at Mid-America Arts Alliance.


Eric Rogers is Executive Director and the Co-Founder of BikeWalkKC. Eric believes bicycling and walking are the best ways see and experience our beautiful and dynamic city. He has been a bike commuter more than ten years, is a regular transit rider, and loves walking to the grocery store and other shops in his Midtown neighborhood. Eric has worked on many campaigns to give Kansas Citians better transportation choices, including Missouri River crossings, development code reform, transportation policy, and trail funding.

Eric serves on the Mid-America Regional Council’s Total Transportation Policy Committee, and was founding Chair of the KCMO Bicycle And Pedestrian Advisory Committee from 2008 to 2015. Eric has been recognized as Advocate of the Year by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and has received the regional leadership award from Mid-America Regional Council. He is active in Nonprofit Connect and has a Masters of Public Administration in nonprofit management from the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


Kim Specker is a graduate of the award winning University of Texas School of Management. She holds an Executive and Professional Coaching Certificate, Kim has attained the International Coaching Federation’s PCC designation. She is certified in a variety of assessments that complement the coaching process. Tools included; the suite of Hogan Assessments, Birkman, C-IQ Conversational Intelligence Enhanced Training and E- IQ Emotional Intelligence study program. Kim has over two decades of professional business experience in leadership within corporations, not for profit organizations, and entrepreneurial ventures. Most recently Kim has worked for Mosaic Life Care by helping create a culture of well-being for companies and individuals in the greater Kansas City area through life-coaching.

Kim delivers results as she works with companies and individuals who want to change the culture in and around them to include increased well-being. Transformation begins in the individual, with increased self-awareness, understanding of brain science and implementation of Relational-IQ, Emotional IQ and Conversational-IQ principles.

Kim is the Chief Life Coach at RARE Transformation, a life-coaching company that contributes to enhancing personal and corporate well-being through one-on-one and group engagements. Kim can be reached at kim.specker@raretransformation.com


Chris Hawkins is the Wellness Program Manager at Pro Athlete, Inc.  Chris manages the incentive based impact program with the coordination of onsite health promotions, fitness facility management, and the coordination of Pro Athlete’s internal health app.

He holds a MS in Exercise Physiology, national certifications in nutrition and fitness, and is an Exercise Science adjunct professor at Park University.

Chris has been at Pro Athlete, Inc. for the last four years where it has earned honors as one of the healthiest companies both locally and nationally and most recently was featured on Channel 41 news for their efforts of their employee’s health and Wellness Program.  He has been involved on the committee for the American Heart Association, is a workplace wellness mentor through the KC Chamber, and is also a mentor through KC Corporate Challenge.


Derrick Miller is currently the Site Manager for Sungevity and in this role he overseas the Corporate Services of the Kansas City office. Derrick’s main focus in this role has been helping build up the Kansas City office since it opened in December 2015 by assisting with employee development, recruitment and facility operations.

Derrick previously has 10 years of Human Resources experience working in various industries including entertainment, manufacturing and commodities trading. In his career he has worked with various HR functions including Employee Relations, Benefits and Compensation, Training and Development, Recruiting and HR Information Systems.

Derrick is a lifelong Kansas City resident growing up here and moving back after receiving his BS in Human Resources Management and Marketing from Kansas State University. Derrick is a member of SHRM of Greater Kansas City, on the TeamKC Advisory Board and involved with the Kansas City Chamber.


Wendee Wilson is a Human Resources professional and strategic business partner with over 20 years experience in a full spectrum of HR and Organizational Development programs, services and functions.

Specialties include: Performance Management & Coaching, Employee Relations and Engagement, Staffing & Retention, Training and Leadership Development, Benefits and Compensation as well as Employment Law.

Currently serving as Director of Human Resources for GBA Architects & Engineers in Lenexa KS, I have a passion for wellness in the workplace. Two years running we were awarded Healthiest Employers in Kansas City and Certified Silver by Healthy KC through the Chamber of Commerce.


Lisa Underwood is a Wellness Coordinator for CBIZ Business and Insurance Services of Kansas City. She works full time managing the wellbeing program for the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas. Lisa coordinates and implements a comprehensive suite of health and wellbeing programs for all staff members and spouses at the school district to assist them in utilizing their health benefits wisely, improving their overall physical and emotional health, along with creating more purpose and happiness in their life through participation in positive intentional activities. Her goal is to ensure that employees are happy and healthy at work, at home and also when moving on into their retirement years.

Lisa received a Bachelor of Science degree from Missouri State University in Psychology and Exercise Science and a Master’s of Science degree from Purdue University. She looks forward to continuing her growth in the Positive Psychology field and assisting individuals to find more meaning, purpose and happiness in their lives each and every day while still continuing to maintain positive physical health.


Jeremie Ballinger serves as the Executive Director of Kansas City Corporate Challenge, a corporate sports program serving 220 companies and more than 34,000 athletes annually. Prior to KCCC, Jeremie has worked in nonprofit management for about 15 years with organizations such as Special Olympics Missouri, People to People International, Head for the Cure and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Jeremie lives in the Northland with his wife, Mandi, their three children, and their very spoiled dog.


Todd Clayman, MBA, MSN, BSN, RN is the Operations Officer for University Health and Truman Medical Center’s Hospital Hill Campus where he is responsible for the Surgical Services Division as well as the new University Health Outpatient and Surgical Center.

Passionate about high-quality, patient-centered care, he has worked with a number of healthcare professionals in developing processes that deliver outstanding outcomes. Believing that great care begins with the caregiver, Todd is grounded in the principles of Servant Leadership.

After graduating from the University of Kansas, Todd earned a Bachelor’s Degree in both Human Biology and Nursing. Later he would go on to earn a dual Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Mary. Todd has more than 20 years of diverse healthcare and nursing experience.

He began his career in nursing at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Working at Saint Luke’s he would have the unique opportunity to serve on the design team for the opening of Saint Luke’s South Hospital. Prior to joining Truman Medical Centers, Todd was the Director of Perioperative Services at Olathe Medical Center Inc.


Brenda Flood is the director of Employee Development and Wellbeing at Terracon Consulting Inc.  Terracon is a successful multi-discipline firm specializing in environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services. They currently have more than 3,500 employees in 130 offices, serving all 50 states. Brenda is a learning and development executive with more than 20 years of experience with training, launch strategies, and organizational effectiveness.  The Employee Development and Wellbeing team is comprised of professionals around organizational development, wellbeing solutions, training and implementation strategies and learning management systems.   Brenda is an engaging team leader, known for her dedication to robust leadership and client partnerships.  She is recognized as an outstanding communicator who effectively balances perfectionism with flexibility and compassion, leading to streamlined business processes and enhanced operational efficiency.


Corey Hampton is a marketing professional with more than 20 years of marketing, brand strategy and business development experience. He is the Director of Marketing for GBA Architects and Engineers in Lenexa, KS where he leads the development and execution of corporate marketing and brand strategies for the organization.

Corey earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He is active in the community and volunteers his time to the marketing committee of Cultivate Kansas City and the board of directors of Revolve Community Bike Shop.


John Mikos is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, YMCA of Greater Kansas City. He is a key member of the Y’s executive leadership team, supporting the organization’s vision and setting the strategy and direction for all operations and programs throughout the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.

Since joining the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, John has lead effort that have resulted in community partnerships, and the operational turnaround of both membership and youth development services. He also serves the movement as the chair of the Kansas State Alliance of YMCA’s.

Mikos has more than 30 years of leadership experience with YMCAs across the country. In addition to his role in Kansas City, he has served as the chief operating officer for the YMCA of Western North Carolina in Asheville, N.C. There John was successful in leading a variety of strategic efforts supporting the Y’s membership and program growth, including spearheading one of the most effective YMCA Diabetes Prevention Programs in the country. “John is a progressive leader and creative operational strategist with proven fiscal management expertise. He has been a key driver in advancing our Y’s commitment to improve the quality of life for all and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive at the Y.”, said David Byrd, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Kansas City.

Mikos earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications and business management from the University of Oklahoma.


Nancy Whitworth has blazed new trails for McCownGordon Construction as the company’s Vice President of Human Resources. Nancy has more than 25 years of human resources experience, focusing on talent management, leadership development, total rewards, associate relations, and organizational development.

Her efforts have helped enhance a distinctive company culture that sets McCownGordon apart. In fact, the company has been named one of the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” for the twelfth consecutive year, and has been named one of Kansas City’s “Healthiest Employers” for four years.

Nancy earned an MBA from Oklahoma City University, and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She has an unwavering passion for volunteer work, offering her time and talents to a variety of professional and charitable organizations, including SHRM-KC (Past President), HR Forum, Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way, Heartland Center, and serves as Elder at Parkville Presbyterian Church. Nancy was named by the Kansas City Business Journal to the 2013 class of Women Who Mean Business.


Judy Jorgensen is a leadership coach and business partner for executives seeking to increase their influence, build leadership skills in their team, and enhance engagement and productivity throughout their organizations. She brings strong business acumen and extensive business leadership experience partnering with, and coaching, leaders. Judy works with leaders to build self-awareness, identify and remove barriers that might hinder relationship-building efforts, and implement specific actions to enhance genuine respect and loyalty in their teams. She leverages her experience listening to and coaching business leaders through difficult decisions, communication planning, and transitions to help executives consider options and understand the potential impact of their actions.

Judy served as a Senior Global HR leader and business partner for MWV and MWV Calmar (now known as Westrock), progressing from individual HR contributor roles to site, regional, and then global leadership responsibilities. She provided HR strategy and leadership for businesses with total sales volume over $1B at 18 sites in 9 countries. Prior to joining MWV, she held a HR role with Remel, a microbiology products manufacturer in Lenexa, Kansas.

Areas of expertise include: Leadership Development, Organizational Design and Effectiveness, Transition Leadership, Engagement and Capability Building, Acquisition Due Diligence & Integration Management, and Labor and Employee Relations.

Judy holds an MBA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Additionally she holds an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach designation from College of Executive Coaching, an Associate Certified Coach designation from International Coach Federation, and a Senior Professional certification through the Society of Human Resource Management.


Paula Cornwell is Vice President Human Capital/Operations for Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Previously, Paula enjoyed a 15-year career at Sprint in diverse roles including operations, sales, finance and human resources. She has also served in leadership at the CASA Project of Jackson County and The Children’s Place. Paula has recently served on the board of 20/20 Leadership and was a member of the Leadership Kansas class of 2008. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.


Risa Stein is a clinical pediatric health psychologist and professor of psychology at Rockhurst University.  She is faculty sponsor to Rockhurst’s University Innovation Fellows and Director of the Rockhurst University Innovation Academy.  Dr. Stein aims to provide university students and like-minded community members an experience in problem identification, conceptualization, and resolution along the lines of design thinking. She has taught courses in creativity and received training in Design Thinking through the University Innovation Fellows program sponsored by Stanford University, EpiCenter, and VentureWell.

Risa has been a professor for nearly 20 years and is currently taking classes toward a Master’s degree in Organizational Behavior. She received her PhD from the University of Memphis and completed post-doctoral training at the VA Medical Centers in San Antonio, Texas and Portland, Oregon.  Her interests in psychology, creativity, and innovation drive an intense passion to impact workplace culture and creative productivity.