Business news — recently hired, retired, promoted in the Topeka area
Retiring & Hiring
Evergy, Inc. recently announced Lesley Elwell will join the company as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. In this role, Elwell will lead Evergy’s human resources department, with an emphasis on talent strategy, employee engagement, organizational development and performance management. She will report to David Campbell, Evergy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Elwell joins Evergy with more than 25 years of experience holding human resources and operations leadership roles for large, publicly traded companies in consumer and business-to-business industries, including Walmart, DIRECTV and Sprint. Currently, she serves as Chief People Officer at Kansas City-based JE Dunn, one of the largest commercial construction firms in the U.S. Elwell serves on the board of directors at Starlight Theatre, Kansas City Global Design and Tecta America, a commercial nationwide roofing company. She holds a Master of Engineering Management degree from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Universidad Nacional Experimental Del Tachira in Venezuela. Elwell succeeds Jerl Banning, who left the Company in May.
Amanda Stanley has been hired as Topeka’s City Attorney. Stanley was previously general counsel for the League of Kansas Municipalities. Stanley will start as the City Attorney on Aug. 23. She has worked as a licensed attorney for seven years, including for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wichita and for the Kansas Court of Appeals. Stanley was named State League Counsel of the Year for the International Municipal Lawyers Association in 2020 and also received the Kansas Bar Association 2020 Outstanding Service Award. She graduated from Newman University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology in 2008 and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2014. Stanley’s salary as City Attorney will be $128,500.
Landmark National Bank recently announced the hiring of Kristen Martinek for the position of Commercial Banking Officer. Martinek is the newest member of Landmark’s commercial banking team in Topeka. Prior to joining Landmark, Martinek was a director of sales and marketing at Advisors Excel. She is a lifelong Topeka resident, and she and her husband, Brett, have three children. Outside the bank, Martinek delivers meals to Topeka seniors through Meals on Wheels and sews and donates baby quilts to the Kansas Children’s Service League.
Appointments & Promotions
Evergy recently announced Greg Greenwood, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. Greenwood will continue to lead the company’s Enterprise Analytics and Continuous Improvement departments and will work directly with David Campbell to provide strategic oversight on the Sustainability Transformation Plan through Greenwood’s anticipated departure and retirement in the middle of 2022. He then plans to transition to an advisory role following his retirement, through early 2024.
The Kansas Health Institute recently announced the promotion of Nancy R. Ruf to Director of Administration. Ruf joined KHI in 2012 as the Grants and Contracts Coordinator, and during that time was responsible for the organization’s pre- and post-award activities on various projects. She also led KHI efforts to implement systems and software to ensure the institute fulfills its contractual obligations with national, state and local funders and collaborators. In her new role as Director of Administration, Ruf will take on additional responsibilities in administrative affairs, including human resources, project management and vendor management.
The Kansas Health Institute recently announced the promotion of Phillip Steiner, M.A., to Senior Analyst. Steiner provides policy and program evaluation for projects focused on access to care, market innovation and population health. He also leads project teams and provides technical assistance with data analysis and quality assurance for external partners, most recently for the Shawnee County Health Department’s COVID-19 response. Steiner is instrumental to KHI’s role in helping uncover patterns and trends in data that can inform policymakers and other stakeholders as they make decisions that impact health. Prior to joining KHI in 2019, Steiner was a social science research analyst at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, where he worked to implement and improve payment policy in the Medicare Advantage and PACE programs.
The Women Attorneys Association of Topeka recently announced its Board of Directors for the organization’s 2021-2022 term:
- President – Erin Beckerman, General Counsel, Kansas Housing Resources Corporation
- President Elect – Danielle Hall, Executive Director, Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program
- Past President – Jennifer Cocking, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Capitol Federal® Savings Bank
- Secretary – Jodi Litfin, Assistant Solicitor General, Office of the Kansas Attorney General
- Treasurer – Jennifer Ouellette, Principal Analyst, Division of the Budget Programs
- Chair – Paige Blevins, Lead Regulatory Counsel, Kansas Insurance Department
- Archives/Bylaws Chair – Kelly Trussell, Partner, Sloan, Eisenbarth, Glassman, McEntire & Jarboe
- Career Development & CLE Chair – Carly Masenthin, Litigation Counsel, Kansas Corporation Commission
- Just Desserts Chair – Cleotha Daniels, Associate In-house Counsel, Midwest Health, Inc.
- Membership Chair – Judge Rebecca Sanders, Kansas Workers Compensation Appeals Board Chair
- Social Chair – Melissa Wangemann, General Counsel, Office of the State Bank Commissioner
- Public Relations & Website Chair – Ashley Jarmer, General Counsel to Chief Justice Marla Luckert
- Mentorship & Young Lawyers Chair – Ashley Rohleder-Webb, Attorney, Kansas Association of School Boards
- Newsletter Chair – Anna Meyer, Associate, Riordan, Fincher & Mayo, P.A.
- Community Service Chair – Mary Kuckelman, Senior City Attorney, City of Topeka
- Nominations Chair – Lauren Bartee, Associate, Riordan, Fincher & Mayo, P.A.
Jacy Hurst was sworn in as judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals Friday in the Kansas Supreme Court courtroom at the Kansas Judicial Center in Topeka. Hurst was appointed to the court of appeals by Gov. Laura Kelly in February 2021 to fill a vacancy created when then-Judge Melissa Taylor Standridge was appointed to the Supreme Court. Hurst lives with her family in Lawrence.
During its 125th annual meeting Aug. 9-10, Kansas Grain and Feed Association’s 16-member board of directors formally selected Brent Emch, of Cargill Inc., to serve as the association’s 91st chairman since its founding in 1896. Emch’s two-year term begins immediately and remains in effect through April 2023. Kansas Grain and Feed Association members also selected Mark Paul (Cloud County Cooperative, Concordia) as vice chairman; Andrew Fullerton (Bartlett Grain, Kansas City) as second vice chairman; and Blake Connelly (Alliance Ag and Grain LLC, Spearville), TJ Mandl (The Scoular Company, Pratt) and Matt Overturf (Skyland Grain LLC, Johnson City) as new board members.
Awards, Honors & Recognition
The International Economic Development Council recently announced that GO Topeka, an organization of the Greater Topeka Partnership, has again been recognized as one of 64 economic development organizations accredited by the council as an Accredited Economic Development Organization. Originally accredited in February 2018, GO Topeka was reaccredited by the council following three successful years of activity as an Accredited Economic Development Organization member.