Schedule and speakers are subject to change.
KEYNOTE PRESENTER: Beth Linn
City Administrator, Edgerton, KS
Beth Linn joined the City of Edgerton, Kansas (pop. 1617), as City Administrator in July 2011. Linn oversees the day-to-day operations of all City functions including administration, finance, public works, street maintenance, water, wastewater and utility billing.
Linn has played a critical role in the plans and negotiations for the largest economic development project in the state of Kansas, Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC). LPKC is a 1500-acre master planned development anchored by an intermodal facility operated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. LPKC opened in October 2013 and …is already home to nearly 11 million square feet of distribution facilities.
In support of LPKC, Linn has served as Project Manager for the Big Bull Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, a $16 million project in partnership with the City of Gardner, Kansas and the Waverly Road Project, a $30 million project including approximately three miles of heavy-haul roadway and a grade separation over the Intermodal Lead Tracks at LPKC.
Previously, Linn worked as the Director of Community Development for the City of Raytown, Missouri, where she oversaw the planning and zoning, code enforcement, animal control and building inspections. Linn launched her career in city government in 2001 as the Neighborhood Services Manager for the City of Merriam, Kansas. Prior to city government, she has three years of experience in corporate marketing for a Kansas City area engineering firm.
Linn earned a Bachelor of Science in Business degree, with an emphasis in marketing, from Kansas State University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Kansas. In 2013 and 2014, she served as the Chair of the KU Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference. Linn also recently volunteered as the practitioner in residence for the University of Kansas MPA program and has served on the alumni board.
KEYNOTE PRESENTER: Chief Terry R. Zeigler
Chief of Police, Kansas City, KS Police Department
Terry Zeigler began his career with the Department in 1990 after serving three (3) years active-duty with the United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division. He has held several positions within the Department which include: Operations, VICE, Detective Bureau, Homicide Unit, and Internal Affairs. He was promoted to Chief of Police on January 01, 2015.
Chief Zeigler received his Bachelor of Arts in Management and Human Relations from Mid-America Nazarene University in 1998, and his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas in 2009. That same year Chief Zeigler attended the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and graduated in class 238.
In his first year as Chief he implemented the mission statement “Safety First, Courtesy Always” and, with a progressive law enforcement philosophy, utilized community policing and intelligence based policing strategies to reduce crime and improve quality of life throughout our diverse community. He has overseen such community oriented programs as C.H.A.M.P.I.O.N., B.O.S.S, and Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader to encourage positive interaction between officers and youth. He has also arranged meet and greets along with community presentations to allow individual communities to interact with patrol officers. The Department continues to connect on a meaningful level with every segment of the community and serve the citizens of Kansas City, Kansas ethically and responsibly.
Chief Zeigler is currently an active member of:
- FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association
- FBI National Academy Associate
- Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police
- International Association of Chiefs of Police
- Kansas Peace Officers Association
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- Metropolitan Chiefs and Sheriffs Association
- Police Executive Research Forum
- National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives
KEYNOTE PRESENTER: Sheriff Herman T. Jones
Sheriff, Shawnee County Sheriff's Office, Topeka, KS
Sheriff Herman Jones has been involved with law enforcement since 1977. During his law enforcement career, he has had the distinct pleasure and honor of serving the public through state and local agencies; Emporia State University Police, Emporia Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center and Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Jones is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 248, 101st National Sheriff’s Institute Academy, Kansas Highway Patrol Academy – Class 18, and the 54th Kansas Law Enforcement Basic Academy. Currently, he serves as a Commissioner for the Kansas Commission on Police Officers’ Standards and Training. He actively involves himself with various law enforcement organizations such as the Kansas Peace Officer Association (Life member); Kansas and National Sheriff’s Association; and FBI National Academy Associates. He also serves community organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Topeka, Boy Scouts of America Jayhawk Area Council Executive Board member, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Shawnee County (CASA), Shawnee County Department of Correction’s Public Relations Board and Topeka/Shawnee County Safe Streets Coalition.
In 2012, Sheriff Jones was recognized by the Topeka Downtown Optimist as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. 2013 Kansas City Kansas Public Schools Distinguished Alumni. 2014 Kansas Sheriff’s Association Sheriff of the Year. 2016 Emporia State University Distinguished Alumni.
He actively serves in various capacities with his church and advocates for positive community youth activities. Sheriff jones earned a BS degree in Psychology from Emporia State University. Having been married to his wife, Carlene, since 1982, they have two adult sons; Philip and Daniel. Philip and his wife Paige are the parents of their grandson, Kai Jones.
KEYNOTE PRESENTER: J. Michael Wilkes
City Manager, Olathe, KS
Michael, a native of Alabama, earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama and his Master of Public Administration Degree from Georgia State University. He began his local government career in 1984 as an administrative intern in the County Manager's Office in Jackson County, Oregon. He subsequently worked in Eugene, Oregon as a budget analyst before going to work for Gwinnett County, Georgia. Though he began work in Gwinnett County as the Budget Manager, he progressed through the organization to eventually become Assistant County Manager over the course of seven years with the county.
Michael spent six years as the City Administrator of Alpharetta, Georgia, the fastest growing city in the state of Georgia. Since January 1999, Michael has served as the City Manager of Olathe, Kansas, the longest tenure for anyone to have served in that position. Olathe has the distinction of being one of the fastest growing communities (#33 according to a 2009 U. S. Census estimate) in America over the last decade and in 2008, Olathe was recognized by Money Magazine as the 11th Best Place to Live in the country. Olathe is also an award-winning community which has received a number of national awards for various innovative programs.
Since arriving in Olathe, Michael has been involved in several community activities. Among his community service, Michael is: a current member of the Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club; a member of the Executive Committee of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce Board and the Olathe Economic Development Council; a member of the Olathe Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Council; serves as the Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Innovation, a national organization focused on innovation in local government; and also serves on the Kansas League of Municipalities Board of Directors. He attends Grace Church, where he also serves in the position of secretary on the Board of Directors at the church. Michael is also a past board member of Johnson County United Way and the Olathe Region United Way.
Michael was recognized with the 2015 Buford M. Watson, Jr Award for Excellence in Public Management by the Kansas Association of City/County Management. In 2007, the Olathe Character Council, awarded him with the Character Award for City Government. He was selected and graduated as a member of the 2005 Class of Leadership Kansas and was named Olathe Citizen of the Year in 2001. Michael was also recognized as one of Olathe's 150 Most Notable People (#58) in honor of Olathe's Sesquicentennial celebration.
Michael is married to Holly, and they have two daughters, Rachel and Hannah.
Major David Brown
Law Enforcement Liaison, Principal Instructor
Major, City of Lenexa, Kansas Police Department
City Manager, Pittsburg, KS
Director of Community Based Services, Kansas Department of Corrections
Photo coming soon
County Administrator, Pottawatomie County, KS
Assistant Public Works Director/Infrastructure & Maintenance, City of Lawrence, KS
General Counsel, Kansas Highway Patrol
Community Services Captain, Lawrence Kansas Police Department
Robotic and Principles of Engineering Teacher, Topeka School District
Jesse Favre, MSW, MBA
Quality Improvement Consultant, Quality Improvement/Quality Measurement, Children's Hospital Association; Instructor, KU Public Management Center
Jesse Favre is a Senior Trainer with the KU Public Management Center and teaches professional development courses on leadership, supervision, performance improvement, and more. She received a Bachelor of Arts from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and dual Master of Business Administration-Master of Social Work focused in healthcare management from Washington University in St. Louis. She also completed a 2-year postgraduate administrative fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital, focusing on Lean performance improvement. She followed this training with an external certification in Lean management. Jesse’s work experience has been concentrated primarily in the healthcare sector, including reproductive healthcare and pediatric hospital care. She currently works as a quality improvement consultant at Children’s Hospital Association, the national trade association for children’s hospitals. There, she contributes improvement science expertise to national pediatric quality initiatives by managing expert work groups, coaching member hospital teams, and contributing to manuscript and professional presentations.
Heather Getha-Taylor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Kansas
Dr. Heather Getha-Taylor is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Her research and teaching interests focus on collaborative governance, public service leadership, and human resources management. She has published over 40 articles, book chapters, and other reports on these and other public management topics. In 2016, she received the Steeples Service to Kansans Award, which recognizes KU faculty members who provide significant service to the state as an extension of their teaching and research efforts. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim Nelson, LAC, MPA
Regional Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Kimberly Nelson (Kim) is the Regional Administrator for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for Region 7 (KS, IA, NE and MO). Kim is a licensed addictions counselor with a master’s degree in public administration; she has worked in the behavioral health field since 1992.
Kim directed various community-based behavioral health programs then worked for the State of Kansas with the behavioral health division as the Medicaid Coordinator, followed by the position of Director of Managed Care, providing leadership in implementing a statewide comprehensive managed care system.
Most recently, Kim was the vice president of marketing and new business development for a large integrated health services organization providing substance use disorder services, prevention, mental health services, correctional re-entry and treatment services, and Health Home care coordination for those with severe mental illness.
Graduate Academic Advisor - Senior, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Edwards Campus
Michelle Welch is the Edwards Graduate Advisor for the School’s MPA program. She also advises for three other departments within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. In addition to advising graduate students, Michelle plays an integral role in recruitment and outreach for the College and School at the Edwards campus.
Before coming to KU, Michelle was in Chicago, IL at Northwestern University School of Law in Alumni Relations where she worked closely with alumni, students, and faculty for their Alumni Clubs, Reunion and Alumni programming.
She previously worked for the American Cancer Society as an Income Development Representative, in which she managed their event profile consisting of youth and community based Relay For Life events. Her time in this position prepared her especially well for coordination of community outreach, marketing, recruiting, fundraising, and event planning, all of which are a part of her current KU role. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Sociology.
Laura Howard, J.D.
Director, KU Public Management Center
Laura Howard is the Director of the University of Kansas Public Management Center. She comes to the University of Kansas from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she served as the Region VII Regional Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Laura has also served in various leadership positions with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS). Prior to her service with SRS, Laura served as a principal fiscal policy analyst for the nonpartisan Kansas Legislative Research Department for more than 10 years.
Laura received her Bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford Ohio in Public Administration (with an emphasis in public policy analysis) and Economics. She received her law degree from the University of Kansas.
Director, Kansas Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program
Terri is an instructor and program director at the University of Kansas Public Management Center. She is program director for the Kansas Certified Public Manager® Program, teaching Power of Leadership, Management Practices: Leadership and Emotional Intelligence, Innovation and Process Improvement in the program. She provides training in a variety of managerial topics for all management levels in the public sector.
Terri is a qualified instructor for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is certified to administer the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQi), and is a certified instructor for the Relationship Awareness Theory and the Strength Deployment Inventory.
Previously Terri was a staff development specialist in the Department of Administration's Division of Personnel Services for seven years. She holds a bachelor's degree in total quality management from Friends University and is an affiliate member of the American Academy of Certified Public Managers and the American Society of Public Administrators.
Law Enforcement Leadership Academy Program Manager, Instructor, KU Public Management Center
Leslee Rivarola is an Instructor with the KU Public Management Center. Leslee received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Park University and a Master’s of Public Administration from KU.
Leslee is a driven public management professional with a diverse skill set of leadership, personnel development, project management, and communications experience in various areas of public administration. Leslee has progressed through a number of roles in city government, where she served in the field as a Code Enforcement Officer, Public Works Director, and various upper management roles including City Administrator for a small suburban municipality in the Kansas City region.
Communications Coordinator and Assistant to the Distinguished Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration, KU Public Management Center
Kristina is responsible for coordinating communication and event activities, and providing administrative support to the Distinguished Professor (Rosemary O'Leary) for the KU Public Management Center and the School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Kristina came to the School of Public Affairs and Administration from the KU Center for Research on Learning, where she assisted in the development of the Blended Instructional Design professional development course for K12 public educators. This online module is now being implemented within the Lawrence School District. Kristina also has experience as a Lawrence Arts Center teacher, a substitute teacher, and experience working in K12 Special Education. She is currently earning her 200 hour level certification as a Yoga Instructor.
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