2018 Presenters (Updated 10/5/17)

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 – Invited
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_leeTERRY LEE
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Terry Lee is a Community Affairs Specialist (CAS) for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection. He is responsible for convening banks, non-profits, and other community stakeholders to identify community development opportunities through appropriate outreach events in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas. These outreach/events center around strategies that promote eligible opportunities, which are responsive to the credit, service and investment needs of communities.

CAS Lee serves as a point of contact and information exchange between the public, the financial industry, and other FDIC divisions and offices to share knowledge of activities and resolve issues related to the Community Reinvestment Act, fair lending, community development, consumer protection laws and regulations, and program initiatives.

 presenter_morrisTRACIE MORRIS
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Tracie Morris serves as a Senior Community Affairs Specialist in the Outreach and Program Development Section at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In this role, she supports the continued implementation of the Money Smart Product Suite. As a member of the Youth Savings Pilot team, Tracie worked closely with the pilot participants to identify promising practices for integrating financial education and access to safe, affordable accounts for children and youth in grades 1-12. She is also identifying opportunities to expand financial education and account access to youth engaged in employment programs.

Tracie has been with the FDIC since 1990 and gained experience in resolutions, international affairs, training, and financial information management. She holds a BA from Appalachian State University, and a certificate from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.

presenter_isaakLARRY ISAAK – Invited
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.

RobertsPAT ROBERTS - Invited
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 – Invited
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 – Invited
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.