2018 Presenters (Updated 11/15/17)

 JEFF COLYER - Invited Kansas Lieutenant Governor

 Kansas Secretary of Commerce – Invited


presenter_daviesJOSH DAVIES
The Center for Work Ethic Development

Josh Davies is passionate about helping others make a difference in their lives, jobs, and community. Through his work as a speaker, trainer, and mentor, he has produced results around the country. He has delivered keynotes and training workshops to a wide variety of organizations across all 50 states, including the American Society of Training and Development and the National Restaurant Association. Training Magazine recently named him as one of the top 10 trainers under 40 in America and the Denver Business Journal tapped him as one of Denver’s 40 Under 40.

Davies is also a published author and is frequently cited in national publications, including the New York Times and Hotel Motel Management. He is the past President of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART), served on the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Education Committee, and has been appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Workforce Development Council and as chair of the State Training and Education Steering Committee.

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 Kansas Senate

Ed Berger is a lifelong Kansan raised on a small family farm in Harvey County. He attended Hutchinson Community College, has 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.

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.

presenter_quinnCHRISTINE QUINN
U.S. Department of Labor

Christine Quinn was appointed as the Regional Administrator of Region 5 – Chicago, US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, on November 29, 2015. She provides leadership to ten states in America’s heartland in designing and oversight of Workforce Systems for employers, youth, and adults – with a focus on customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and effective and efficient management of resources.

Prior to her appointment Quinn was Director of the Michigan Workforce Development Agency overseeing the staff and programs, including the state’s workforce initiatives, adult education, the Veterans’ Services Division, and programs related to migrant and seasonal workers. Over two years she was successful in obtaining $30 million to fund the Skilled Trades Training Fund, providing competitive awards for the development and implementation of employer responsive training that enhances talent incomes, productivity, and employment retention, while increasing the quality and competitiveness of Michigan’s businesses. The STTF program will ensure Michigan’s employers have access to the talent pipeline they need to compete and grow, and participants have the skills they need for in-demand jobs. This program is meant to create and expand collaboration between the Local workforce boards, economic development, and educational agencies by funding demand-driven training that addresses talent shortages hampering the growth of Michigan’s priority industries.

Quinn previously served as President of South Central Michigan Works!, a local workforce board. She earned national recognition for establishing business solutions processes within Michigan’s workforce system, and for partnering with Michigan State University to create a curriculum leading to Business Solutions Professional certification. This remains a cornerstone for the systems demand driven approach to workforce/talent development.

Quinn served as Executive Director of the Clinton County Task Force on Employment, a nonprofit operating workforce programs. She has also held leadership positions at several Michigan advocacy and community organizations.

Quinn earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ferris State University, and holds a number of specialized certifications in Balanced Scorecard, strategic planning and foresight, business services and workforce development. She was also a member of a number of economic and workforce development committees, organizations and associations across her career.

presenter_gieberSTEVEN GIEBER
Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities

Steven Gieber is the Executive Director of the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (KCDD) and serves as Treasurer on the Area One Local Workforce Board. The Council has a long history of providing leadership in the area of employment for people with disabilities from supporting self-employment, supported employment and bringing Project Search to Kansas. The Council is currently working with the state to implement the, “Roadmap to Employment for Kansans with Disabilities.”  The Speaker of the House appointed Steve to the Kansas Employment First Commission in 2015.

Steve is a lifelong Kansan who earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Art, then a Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University.

presenter_darnellBRENDAN DARNELL

There is a quote by Roy T. Bennett that says “it’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform”, and Brendan Darnell is a perfect example of this. Brendan is going to present his employment journey from school to community employment. Brendan is currently employed at two local businesses in Beloit. His first employment experience was found using traditional Vocational Rehabilitation Services. His latest employment was through the End Dependence Kansas Initiative. Besides his jobs, Brendan also takes an active role in advocating efforts at OCCK. Brendan has also testified before the centers for Medicaid and Medicare about his and his peers concerns. Brendan is a community council member for DPOK, which is the Community Developmental Disability Organization. He is also serving as Vice President on the board of the Kansas Council Developmental Disabilities.

Brendan recently was awarded the Interhab Outstanding Personal Growth Award. This award is presented to a person who has attained significant goals in their personal life. Brendan has accomplished a lot since graduating from high school.

presenter_deckmanOLGA DECKMAN

Olga Deckman graduated from Blue Valley North High School (Class of 2012). She is also a proud graduate of the Project SEARCH program through Johnson County Developmental Supports. At first, Olga was hired as an intern by Johnson County Court Services. After completing her Johnson County Court Services internship, she was hired by Sunflower Health Plan as an intern. Before she could finish her second rotation at Sunflower Health Plan, Johnson County Court Services had a full-time Front Desk Secretary Position at Court Project. She was offered the full-time position. She is honored to say that she has been working at Court Services for almost ten months now and, since then, has been promoted to Telephone Administrator!

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, he 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.