Board of Directors
Shelly Buhler, Chair, was elected 1st District Shawnee County Commissioner in November 2006, and currently serves as the chairwoman of the commission. From April 2001 until her successful bid for the commissioner seat, she served as mayor of Rossville, Kan. She has served on the board of directors for Kansas PRIDE and is a Leadership Topeka graduate. Utilizing her degree in community services, which she received from Benedictine College, she is a past president and current member of the Rossville Community Development Committee, the Rossville Foundation and the Rossville Economic Development Committee. Ms. Buhler also serves on the Rossville Pool Task Force and helps facilitate the Rossville Leadership Initiative. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Kansas Health Foundation Leadership Award.
Michael Lennen, Vice Chair, is retired from Westar Energy in Topeka where he served as vice president for regulatory affairs. He's now associated in an of counsel role in the Topeka office of the law firm of Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy. A graduate of Southwestern College and Washburn University’s School of Law, Mr. Lennen has served our state as chairman of the Kansas Corporation Commission and secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue. Before joining Westar’s management team, he spent 20 years practicing law in Wichita and was repeatedly recognized in the publication “Best Lawyers in America.” Mr. Lennen also serves as president of the board of directors for the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, and serves on the board of directors for the Independence Charitable Trust and the Brown Foundation.
Matt Allen has been the city manager for Garden City since 2008. He graduated cum laude in political science from Bethany College in 1995, and later earned a Masters of Public Administration degree, with honors, from the University of Kansas. Mr. Allen’s work history includes city administration roles in Oakley, Lenexa and Salina, Kan. as well as Joplin, Mo. He is a member of the Kansas Health Foundation Fellows VI class, which was convened around the topic of Healthy Community Design. Mr. Allen leads a municipal government team that is receiving state and national attention for innovation in the areas of public participation, local government social media, fiscal transparency, embracing diversity and healthy community design for rural communities.
Claudia Bakelyis the Flint Hills District Superintendent for the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church, a position she has held since 2013. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Rev. Bakely spent 25 years as a nurse before going into ministry. She holds a Masters of Divinity from St. Paul’s School of Theology and was ordained in 2006. Prior to her time as District Superintendent, Rev. Bakely served United Methodist Churches in the Kansas towns of Tonganoxie, Emporia and Basehor. She also served as chair of Kansas East Conference Global Ministries, a role that allowed her to do ministry work in Mexico and Haiti.
Mollie H. Carter is CEO and President of Sunflower Bank, a Salina-based bank with 25 locations across Kansas and additional locations in Colorado and Missouri. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School, Ms. Carter is also vice president for Star A, Inc., a farming and ranching operation based in Manhattan, Kan. She also currently serves as a director of Archer Daniels Midland and Westar Energy. In addition to her business ties, Ms. Carter has been active in her community and state, currently serving on the board of directors for the Greater Salina Community Foundation and formerly serving on the board of directors for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.
Junetta Everett is the Vice President of Professional Relations for Delta Dental of Kansas, a position she has held since 2005. A Registered Dental Hygienist, Ms. Everett joined Delta Dental of Kansas in 1987 and today oversees the relationships, recruitment and maintenance, contracting and compliance, communication, education and support for the organization’s dental networks. A graduate of Wichita State University, Ms. Everett has remained connected to her alma mater by serving on the board of directors for the WSU Shocker Athletic Scholarship Organization (SASO), WSU Alumni Board and WSU Dean’s Advisory Board. She has served on many other community, nonprofit and oral health-related boards and was a member of the Leadership Kansas Class of 2010.
Jeffry L. Jack has served as District Judge in Labette County since 2005. Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Judge Jack’s diverse background included time in a private law practice, multiple terms in the Kansas House of Representatives where he served as Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and 20 years of service with the U.S. Army Reserve and Kansas Army National Guard. Judge Jack’s civic commitments include serving on the Kansas Judicial Council Juvenile Offender/Child in Need of Care Advisory Committee, the Labette Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board, the Juvenile Justice Citizens Advisory Board and the Labette County Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board. In 2008, he was named “Big Brother of the Year” in Kansas. He is also a past president of the Labette County Red Cross and Parsons Mainstreet Pride, as well as serving as chair of the Downtown Redevelopment Task Force after the Parsons tornado of 2000.
Donna L. Shank is vice president and co-owner of Al Shank Insurance, Inc. in Liberal. She has been a licensed insurance agent since 1984 and holds the AAI, Accredited Advisor in Insurance, designation. Ms. Shank served on the Kansas Board of Regents from 2002 until 2010, serving two terms as Chair. She has served on numerous community and state boards and commissions including Kansas Action for Children, Kansas Children's Cabinet, the Hospital Closure Commission, the Business Hall of Fame board, the Kansas Council for the Future of Post Secondary Education, and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce board. Additionally, she served on and chaired the Joint Liberal/Seward County Health Board and Leadership Liberal Board. She is a graduate of both Leadership Liberal and Leadership Kansas. Ms. Shank was named Liberal's Citizen of the Year in 2006. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in political science from both Seward County Community College and Wichita State University.