This seminar will feature the research and expertise from faculty and practitioners in the field of public administration and professional development.
Hannes Zacharias has some 40 years of experience in administering government at the Federal, State, County and local level. Hannes’ career in public service began in 1979 as Asst. to the Director of Travel and Tourism for the State of Kansas. In 1980 Hannes became a Federal Grants manager for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce and in 1981 he was serving as Associate Director and Chief Grants Officer for the Kansas Arts Commission. Hannes began his work in local government in 1984 becoming Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Lawrence. He was named the City Administrator for Boonville, Missouri, in 1988, and moved to Hays, Kansas, in 1992 to serve as City Manager for nine years. He joined the Johnson County (Ks) management team in 2001 as Assistant County Manager and was promoted to Deputy County Manager in January 2005. He later became County Manager and served in that position for 9 years. In that capacity, Mr. Zacharias served as the chief administrative officer, overseeing all operations of Johnson County Government serving over 585,000 residents. He coordinated the delivery of services provided by more than 3,800 employees, and was responsible for preparing and submitting the county’s annual operating and capital budgets totaling more than $1.06 billion. As County Manager Mr. Zacharias appointed all 19 county department directors and was accountable for organizational performance, achievement and service delivery in the daily operations of Johnson County. He was responsible for implementing policies and directives established by the Johnson County Board of Commissioners. Upon his departure from Johnson County in 2018, Hannes embarked on his second solo kayak trip down the Arkansas River following a drop of water 2060 miles from the Continental divide in Colorado, on to the Mississippi, and concluding at Venice LA at the Gulf of Mexico. Hannes started his position as a Professor of Practice in 2019 teaching graduate and undergraduate course and mentoring students desiring to be public administrators.
Patty Gentrup has been in direct service or as a consultant for local governments for 25 years, including six years as a city administrator. She is a skilled facilitator, working with governing bodies and other organizations to develop their vision, mission and goals. She also has extensive experience in managing public engagement processes, ranging from community strategic planning to infrastructure development to neighborhood plans. Patty has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a masters in public administration, both from the University of Kansas. Patty and her husband Gene have two daughters, Meg and Abigail.
Noel Rasor has served as assistant director at the University of Kansas the Public Management Center since 2009. In her role, Noel directs the Center’s Emerging Leaders Academy, serves as part of the consulting team, and provides instruction and facilitation across all programs and services. She regularly provides workshops on navigating change, interpersonal communication skills, leadership, and is an experienced StrengthsFinder facilitator. Noel has held previous roles with the University of Kansas and at the chapter and national levels for the American Red Cross. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American Culture from the University of Michigan, a master's in urban planning from KU, and she completed doctoral work at KU in American Studies.