2017 Presenters (Updated 12/22/16)

Kansas Governor

Governor Sam Brownback has spent his life in the service of others. He was born in Garnett, Kansas, and raised on the Linn County family farm where his mother and father still live. At Prairie View High School, Sam was elected state president of Future Farmers of America. His interest in public service continued as he attended Kansas State University. During his senior year at KSU, Sam served as student body president. After graduation, Sam decided to attend law school at the University of Kansas where he was his class president before completing his law degree in 1982.

In 1986, Sam became the state’s youngest Secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture. During his stint as Ag Secretary, he also served as a White House Fellow in the first Bush Administration. At the age of 38, he was elected to represent the 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1996, he was elected to complete the term of U.S. Senator Bob Dole, followed by two more terms of his own.

As governor, he is focused on getting the state’s economy growing again through improved regulations, controlled spending, and lower tax rates. Governor Brownback is working with Kansas business and community leaders from across the state as well as current and former state legislators to craft policy solutions.

presenter_soaveANTONIO J. SOAVE
Kansas Secretary of Commerce

Antonio J. Soave is the Kansas Secretary for the Department of Commerce. Soave was appointed by Governor Sam Brownback in the fall of 2015 and confirmed in January of 2016.

Secretary Soave is the former Chairman and CEO of Capistrano Global Advisory Services (CGA), a boutique international business transaction firm based in Overland Park. In a career spanning more than 25 years, he has helped numerous entrepreneurs and businesses to expand and grow around the globe. He also previously served as an intern in the White House Office of Public Liaison’s Department of Foreign Policy and Defense under President Ronald Reagan.

Since coming on as the Secretary of Commerce, Soave has been responsible for and directed an array of business projects. The highlights of Soave’s time at Commerce are: 1. Kansas ranks 5th Most Pro-Business State in the Nation. 2. Kansas ranks in Top Ten at Governor’s Cup. 3. Amazon opens two fulfillment centers in Kansas, bringing 2,000 jobs. 4. Spirit AeroSystems will invest more than $1 billion in equipment and facilities in Kansas. 5. Cargill decides to maintain Protein Headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. 6. Italian company, Enel, invests $610 million in Kansas Wind Farm construction.

Soave is an International Advisory Council member of the United States Institute of Peace. He has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from The American University in Washington, D.C., a Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University and a Master’s of Law in International Law from the University of San Diego.

presenter_hooperTHOMAS HOOPER
Jobs for the Future, Inc.

As Senior Director of the Regional and Sector Strategies team in the Building Economic Opportunity Group at Jobs for the Future (JFF), Tom Hooper oversees a variety of JFF’s industry-focused and place-based initiatives. Mr. Hooper’s role includes leading the development of new regional and sector initiatives, developing and maintaining partnerships with critical workforce and employer stakeholders, and working with his team to provide high-impact, effective technical assistance to national, state, and local organizations. The Regional and Sector Strategies team is currently implementing a range of innovative initiatives to help prepare workers for in-demand occupations. These projects range from providing technical assistance to state workforce agencies as they implement state sector strategies to helping ten regional partnerships build their capacity to prepare workers for careers in transportation through the Delivering the TDL Workforce initiative.

Before coming to JFF, Hooper developed new and shaped existing programs with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). He served as Program Manager for a number of key discretionary grant initiatives including the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act High Growth and Emerging Industries grants, and the Community-Based Job Training initiative. His role spanned program development, grants management and technical assistance, and performance management. Prior to joining ETA, he was a National Workforce Consultant for Goodwill Industries International.

Tom attended Swarthmore College where he earned a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy. He later went on to earn his Masters of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas.

presenter_scheidemanASHLEY SCHEIDEMAN
Youth Entrepreneurs

Ashley Scheideman is a native Kansan, growing up in Maize. She graduated from Friends University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science/History, then earned a Master’s of Arts in Public and American History from Wichita State University, and a MBA from Friends University. Prior to joining YE, Ashley spent nearly ten years with Make-A-Wish® Kansas, first as Program Director and then as Executive Director, granting over 600 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Scheidman is active in her community, and has served on the boards of Friends University Alumni Association and Old Town Association, and was selected for the Wichita Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class of 2012.

presenter_janesRACHEL JANES
Youth Entrepreneurs

Rachel Janes is a native Texan. After arriving in Wichita, Janes attended Butler Community College, where she received her Associates of Applied Science degree with an emphasis in Hotel Management. Rachel began her professional career in Wichita at the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Prior to joining Youth Entrepreneurs, she worked at Visit Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau as the Senior Destination Sales Manager, earning her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. In the fall of 2012, she was a part of Leadership Wichita.

Volunteering in the community has been a passion of Janes. She has been involved in a variety of organizations including the Kansas Aviation Expo, Wichita Flight Festival, Prairie Fire Marathon Series, Johnny Bench Award, Big Brothers Big Sisters, on the Board of Directors for the Wichita Chapter of the Greater Wichita area Association of Fundraisers, Downtown Wichita Rotary and Junior Achievement. From 2010-2013 and in the spring of 2016, Janes gave back to the hospitality department at Butler Community College teaching Event Planning I & II and Convention Management as an adjunct instructor.

When Rachel isn’t promoting or volunteering in the Wichita community, she is out in southwest Kansas building relationships with YE partners and donors.

presenter_MaltbyLEWIS MALTBY
National Workrights Institute

Lewis Maltby is President of the National Workrights Institute, a public interest organization dedicated to human rights issues in the workplace, and former Director of Employment rights for the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to the ACLU, he was Executive Vice President of Drexelbrook Controls, Inc., a leading manufacturer of industrial safety systems, where his responsibilities included Human Resources.

Maltby has testified many times before Congress on the use of criminal records and other employment issues. He is the author of six model statutes on which over 50 state statutes are based. He has been interview by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. He frequently appears in electronic media, including 60 Minutes, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

Maltby received his B.A. (with honors) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969 and his J.D. for University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1972.

presenter_meyersROBERTA MEYERS
National H.I.R.E. Network

Roberta Meyers was appointed the sole director of the National H.I.R.E. Network in 2007 after holding policy and direct service positions at Legal Action Center over 20 years. She has worked with policy makers and advocates around the country to identify public policy priorities that affect employment and other re-entry opportunities for people with criminal records as well as helped develop strategies to strengthen existing legislation or enact model policies. She has trained hundreds of workforce, corrections, behavioral health, and re-entry staff on strategies that best serve individuals who have criminal histories and has authored guidebooks and policy briefs on criminal record policies that impact employment and other re-entry needs. Roberta has been called to testify before Congress, federal administrative agencies, and state legislators. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Management, and Economics from the State University of New York/Empire State College and a Master of Science degree in Public Safety with specialization in Criminal Justice and Public Administration from Capella University.

presenter_grantJODI GRANT
Afterschool Alliance, Washington D.C.

Jodi Grant is Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, where she oversees federal policy efforts, works with the field to help programs tap into federal funding streams and supervises research to help national, state and local afterschool advocates and providers support, create and expand quality afterschool programs.

Prior to joining the Afterschool Alliance, Grant served as Director of Work and Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women & Families, where she worked to protect and expand the Family and Medical Leave Act and was a member of the team that successfully defended the law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, she worked on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the Senate Budget Committee and as Staff Director for a Senate Committee. Her legislative accomplishments include expanded support for the child tax credit, the Child Health Insurance Program, and class size reduction. She also served as liaison to the National Governors’ Association, where she worked closely with Republican and Democratic governors.

Grant graduated from Yale University with honors in 1990 and was elected senior class president. She received her law degree from Harvard University, where she was elected class president (first marshal). As a student, she volunteered at an afterschool program. She currently serves on the Coalition for Community Schools Steering Committee, is as a Trustee of the America’s Promise Alliance, and was an Advisory Board Member of Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” campaign.

presenter_pomeroyMARCIA POMEROY
University of Kansas School of Medicine

Ms. Pomeroy is one of four founders of the K-12 Initiative formed in October of 1999. Starting with Saturday Science, Math and Technology Academy, KCK Organic Teaching Gardens and Summer Science Residential Academy, the initiative continues to grow; the Media Project provides a voice for high school students in areas of social justice and health disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of minority populations; KUMC Medical Camp is a summer day enrichment program that provides STEM curriculum and internships on Research Teams at KUMC; and integrating art, poetry and multicultural development into the learning process prepares the students to more fully understand the process of learning. Over 300 students have graduated high school and are attending college, graduate school or medical school. Twenty former students work throughout the programs providing urgency and first-hand understanding of what the students need to be successful.

Pomeroy and the Saturday Academy received the 2015 Education Hall of Fame Award and the Argentine Wall of Fame Award. KCK Organic Teachings Gardens received local, state and national recognition for their innovative program at seven elementary and middle schools in Kansas City, Kansas, public schools. The Media Project was one of ten featured STEM programs in the Kansas City Main Library, KCMO, Digital Learning program. Students from the KUMC Medical Camp have been featured at National Health and Research Conferences the past three years. Pomeroy states it is a privilege engaging the students and families in learning and healthy lifestyles. The Dream Partnership of KUMC, KCKCC, KCKPS and Kansas Enrichment Network provides the support and encouragement needed to serve the students of Kansas City, Kansas.

presenter_reedRICK REED

Rick Reed is the Director of Future Hopes and Dreams for TEEN TOWN Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a safe, fun, and affordable environment in which disadvantaged youth can develop pro-social behaviors amid issues that may be driving forces in their community. In addition, an atmosphere of ‘learning’ is orchestrated with an intentionality to improve ACT and ACT WorkKeys assessment scores, practice the entire suite of 21st Century Skills, and individually explore the KSDE Career Cluster regiment. Mr. Reed has more than 30 years of teaching and coaching experience and has served as a presenter at the local, national, and international levels.

An active member of the professional community, Mr. Reed holds membership to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Association of Special Education Teachers and the National and Kansas Councils for the Social Studies. He holds deep appreciation and dedication to improving the quality of education. Reed holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Tabor College and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Social Science from Emporia State University. He was a James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation Fellow, the 2001 USD #239 Teacher of the Year, and the 2011 USD #418 Teacher of the Year. Reed has also served as a 2008 and 2012 Dole Institute of Politics Teacher Scholar.

presenter_keeganTRACY KEEGAN
Blowing Off STEAM

Tracy Keegan is the Assistant Principal at French Middle School in Topeka, Kansas. She has worked for Topeka Public Schools for 23 years in various capacities at elementary and middle school levels. She is currently the Program Director for Blowing off STEAM, the 21st Century Afterschool Grant at French and became a Kansas Regional Afterschool Ambassador in 2016.

Tracy has a Bachelor of Arts in Education from The University of Kansas and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Washburn University.

presenter_isaakLARRY ISAAK
Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Larry Isaak served as president of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) from November 2003 to November 2010 and was re-appointed in April 2011. Previously, Isaak was the chancellor of the North Dakota University System nearly 10 years. He also served as vice chancellor for administrative and student affairs at NDUS, worked in the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget, the North Dakota Legislative Council, and in a private CPA firm. Isaak, a CPA, received both his Master’s degree and his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of North Dakota. He also completed the program at the Stanford University Business Management Institute.

U.S. Senate

Pat Roberts is a senior member of the United States Senate. A member of the Republican Party, Pat has served since 1997. He previously served as the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Born in Topeka, Kansas, Roberts is a graduate of Kansas State University. He served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a newspaper reporter before entering politics in the late 1960s. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980. He served eight terms in the House, including one as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Roberts was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and is currently service his fourth term.

presenter_bergerED BERGER
Kansas Senate

Ed Berger is a lifelong Kansan raised on a small family farm in Harvey County. He attended Hutchinson Community College, has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Wichita State University and a Doctorate in Education from Kansas State University. Berger was part of the charter faculty at Seward County Community College in 1969 before becoming Dean of Continuing Education. He then served as Dean of Continuing Education at Hutchinson Community College before becoming President, a position that he held for 23 years. He is now President of Berger Training and Consulting. In 2016, Berger was elected State Senator for the 34th District in Kansas.  Berger is married to Carol.

presenter_ballardBARBARA BALLARD
Kansas House of Representatives

Rep. Barbara Ballard was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1992. She represents the 44th House District, covering most of western Lawrence.

Within the Lawrence community, Rep. Ballard serves on the Board of Directors at the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and Cottonwood, Inc. She and her husband attend Plymouth Congressional Church, where she participates in the Chancel Choir. In the past, Ballard has also served on the board of directors of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and was a member of Rotary International. She also served eight years as the first black woman on the Lawrence Public School Board and was elected Board President twice.

As a state legislator, Rep. Ballard is active on the House Appropriations Committee. She also serves on the House Committees on Social Services Budget. Rep. Ballard was the first black member elected to the House Leadership team and has served as Democratic Caucus Chair for over 10 years.

Nationally, Rep. Ballard has been extremely active in the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), a policy organization committed to advancing the welfare of African Americans. She currently serves as the Vice President of the NBCSL Executive Committee and has also served as a State Regional Chair and Vice-chair. Rep. Ballard was recognized in 2007 as the organization’s Outstanding Legislator of the Year.

presenter_chretienJOSEPH CHRETIEN
Fort Hays State University 

Joseph Chretien is an Associate Professor of Applied Technology at Fort Hays State University and the Coordinator of the Bachelors in Technology Leadership Program which began 17 years ago as a workforce development program. He coordinates the program development, program advising and enrollment. He also has developed program articulation agreements with institutions around the country and the world.

Chretien has been teaching in technology for over 30 years and, in that time, he has also worked in the fields of electronic communication, electrical systems, and manufacturing engineering. He holds a lifetime FCC radio repair license with a radar microwave endorsement.

Joseph received his Masters of Science degree in Technology Education from Pittsburg State University and his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electronic Engineering Technology from Metropolitan State University of Denver.

presenter_pfortmillerJENNIFER PFORTMILLER
 Kansas State University’s Global Campus

As the Affiliate Site Manager for Kansas State University’s Global Campus, Jennifer Pfortmiller recruits and pre-advises students for K-State’s online degree completion programs. In addition, she works to build 2+2 partnerships between K-State and all community colleges in the state of Kansas as an option for students to remain in their home area and still complete their degree online from K-State.

Jennifer’s K-State office is based ‘in the field’ at Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas. This background and experience working with the community colleges and universities makes Jennifer well rounded in understanding the policies, procedures and intricacies related to the community colleges and university sectors.

Jennifer received her Master’s of Science degree in Meat Science from the University of Georgia and her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Food Science and Industry from Kansas State University.

presenter_belcherGREG BELCHER
Pittsburg State University and Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education

Greg Belcher is a Professor at Pittsburg State University and the Director for the Kansas Center for Career and Technical Education. As a faculty member, Belcher’s main duties are advising undergraduate and graduate certification and degree-seeking students who are teaching within CTE programs at the secondary and post-secondary levels. As the director of the KCCTE, he oversees all activities in the area of Technical Workshops, Resources, Mentoring and Coursework provided for CTE teachers in the state of Kansas.  His career and technical work experience is within the welding and diesel industry. Belcher obtained his Doctorate from Ohio State University.

presenter_dieterleLISA DIETERLE
U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Lisa Dieterle is a Federal Project Officer with the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, in the Region 5 Office of State Systems. She is the current Formula Youth program lead for the region, and is the Federal Representative for the State of Kansas. She is a part of the National Office WIOA Youth Workgroup and recently completed an Emerging Leaders Training Program with ETA, which included a rotation in the National Office, in the Office of Workforce Investment Youth Services Division. Prior to working in the Office of State Systems, Lisa spent three years in the Office of Special Initiatives and Demonstrations working with discretionary grantees.

Before joining the Department of Labor, Lisa spent five years as the Director of Workforce Development for a non-profit transitional living facility for homeless individuals with barriers in Chicago. There, she supervised a staff team focused on developing and implementing grant and skill training programs.

Lisa received her BA in Speech Communications and Humanities at Augustana College and her Master’s degree at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She also has a certificate in Mediation from the Center for Conflict Resolution.

presenter_duncanAMANDA DUNCAN
Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc.

Amanda Duncan joined the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc., in 2007 and has held multiple positions in the organization; she was promoted to her current position, Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer, in 2012. Amanda currently oversees the daily operations of the Workforce Centers Employers Services division, serving as a liaison to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and the Kansas Department of Commerce on a variety of projects. She also manages grant programs for the Workforce Alliance and serves as the Project Director of PACES, a local collaborative site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. Amanda has served as a subject matter expert and provided technical assistance consultation to the USDOL on Registered Apprenticeship Programs and Sector Strategies, and panelist and facilitator for national and state conferences, trainings, and webinars.

A native of Garden City, Amanda holds degrees from Washburn University and Wichita State University. She also obtained SHRM-SCP and SPHR Human Resource Management Certifications.

Amanda is active with workforce development and human resource professional organizations, as well many local civic and service organizations. She was recognized as Wichita’s Emerging Leader Class of 2016, completed Advance Kansas Leadership Diversity Class of 2016, and received distinction as Wichita’s ‘40 under 40’ Young Leader Class of 2015.

presenter_scheiblerDEB SCHEIBLER

As Executive Director of Kansas WorkforceONE, Deb Scheibler leads the workforce services in a 62 county area in Western Kansas.  She assumed her current role in June 2012.  Prior to this, Scheibler served as the Program Director and Chief Fiscal Officer in Local Area I.  Scheibler leads a team of approximately 25 staff as they work with employers, job seekers, and training providers to identify eligible customers to train and match with employers.  In addition, Deb’s leadership has been responsible for maintaining performance that consistently exceeds common measures.

Scheibler started in workforce development in 1999 when she worked as a Case Manager and One-Stop Operator for the Salina Chamber of Commerce.  Following her tenure with the Chamber, Deb expanded her duties with both WESTCO and Barton Community College serving as the Workforce Investment Act Program Director and One-Stop Coordinator.  Deb graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University with her B.S. in Business and Accounting.

presenter_tenbrinkTYLER TENBRINK
Kansas Department of Labor

Tyler graduated from Kansas State University in 2005. While at Kansas State, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. Tyler then attended graduate school at the University of Kansas starting in 2005. In 2006, Tenbrink graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Economics. Upon graduation, Tyler joined the workforce taking a job in the financial services industry. Nearly two years later, he started as a Labor Economist for the Labor Market Information Services (LMIS) division of the Kansas Department of Labor.

Since 2008, Tyler has worked in LMIS moving from Labor Economist to his current position as Senior Labor Economist. He works on several projects within LMIS including long-term employment projections, high demand occupations, and the monthly labor report.