The Chairman’s Ambassadors are experienced Chamber members whose dedication and hard work on behalf of the Chamber is unparalleled. The Ambassador’s primary responsibility is to assist with member retention. They also serve as table hosts and greeters at a variety of events. Ambassadors continually provide leadership and a warm welcome to all Chamber members.
Chairman: Todd Karnatz – CoreFirst Bank & Trust
Bill Anthony – Retired
Peter Colucci – American Family Ins.
David Junk – DJ Consulting, Inc.
Stacy Knipp – Community Volunteer
Jason Leib – Associate Solutions Inc.
Dave Mennenga – GBA
Cary Occhipinto – Commerce Bank
Kathi Oppold – Image Wellness
Mike Reichmeier – Integrity Insurance
Sherri Sobek – Allstate Insurance – Sobek Agency
Brooks Sosna – Hyatt Place Lenexa City Center
Mike Stein – SKW
Tim Swift – Thrivent Financial
Dale Warman – International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo Board Chair
Tricia Wolf – Top Notch Heating & Cooling
For more information contact:
Liz Albers, Director of Events 913-888-1414 or LAlbers@lenexa.org
Team Leader, Structural at SKW
Chamber Member Since: 2009 (that is me, SKW is much longer)
Chairman’s Ambassador Since: 2017
Why did you join/why are you an active Chamber member? I became involved with the Chamber when a co-worker brought me along to a meeting. I saw it as a great way to learn more about local opportunities, and meet local people to build my network.
What is your favorite Chamber program & why? My favorite events are ones that are hosted by members themselves, it is great to see members show off their services and employees. I also enjoy morning meetings, networking and breakfast to get the day started.
What advice do you have for new Chamber members? Find the events and groups that fit your schedule and personality and get involved. Use the connections you make to build your business and personal network.
In my spare time I look for more spare time. I really do not have a lot of spare time, if I am not attending one of my kids’ events, I try to find a little time to unwind with friends and my wife. Every once in a while I find some time to do some hunting or fishing.
Sherri O’Connor Sobek, Allstate Insurance
A 5th generation Johnson County Kansan, Sherri graduated from Bishop Miege High School, attended Kansas State University, and graduated from Kansas City Business College. She worked as an administrative assistant at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Bayvet Corporation, and Edward Jones. She also enjoyed working in sales at Nebraska Furniture Mart, and as a cosmetic consultant at Macy’s Town Center before joining her husband in his Allstate Insurance Agency.
Sherri and Jim met in high school, were married in 1974 and moved to Lenexa in 1976, where they raised their 3 children, Amy, Brian and Dan. “Throughout the crazy, busy days of raising children, our lives have been enriched by the family friendly community of Lenexa. In addition to living in wonderful neighborhoods, and watching our kids thrive at the great schools, we’ve enjoyed the street fairs, fireworks, and festivals, and now we’re able to introduce our grandchildren to all that Lenexa has to offer.” They have 3 grandsons and are looking forward to the birth of their first granddaughter this fall. Since their sons live on the west coast, San Diego has become a very popular vacation destination.
Sherri joined the Lenexa Chamber in the fall of 2015, and became an Ambassador in 2016. Sherri and Jim have hosted AM Live at their office, and have enjoyed the social activities and networking opportunities that the Lenexa Chamber provides.
Todd Karnatz – CoreFirst Bank & Trust
Todd has spent his entire 20 year career working for financial institutions in the Johnson County area and is currently the Director of Credit Administration at CoreFirst Bank & Trust in Lenexa. His background includes commercial & consumer lending, credit analysis, underwriting, sales and management.
Todd is originally from Nebraska, moving to Kansas in 1993 to attend Ottawa University where he received this Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He has been an active member of the Lenexa Chamber since 2006 and was a graduate of Leadership Lenexa in 2013. He is currently a member of the Ambassadors, is a past Chamber Board Member and has been involved with the Chamber golf tournament.
Todd and his wife Robin have two children, Ava and Lincoln. Volunteer activities include The Johnson County Christmas Bureau, Junior Achievement, Johnson County Library and Watch Dog Dads. His hobbies include following the Huskers, Royals and Sporting KC, but he spends most of his time watching and coaching his kids activities.
Peter Colucci – American Family Ins.
Peter is the Sales Rep for the Bryan Rapp Agency with American Family Insurance. Their office has been in business since 2006, and the agency was just recognized in March of 2017 for providing an outstanding customer experience under the American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Certification Program. They specialize in Car, Home, Umbrella, Renters, Life and Commercial Insurance.
Peter attended Pittsburg State University, then transferred and graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resource, Recreation and Tourism. He has traveled the U.S. extensively and has had a variety of unique opportunities as a counselor at Catalina Island Camps in California, Spotted Owl survey in Oregon, and district manager in Gainesville, Florida. He returned to his home state of Kansas in 2011.
He is a member of the Lenexa Chamber, Urban Core Group, Link2 Professional Networking Group, and a youth soccer coach.
Peter and his wife Deva have a daughter named Lorien. They love traveling as a family and have been to Italy, Jamaica, Hawaii and Costa Rica. He is a huge Royals, Sporting and Chiefs fan and enjoys riding vintage motorcycles in his spare time.
Stacy Knipp – Community Volunteer
Stacy moved to Johnson County in 2002 after a lifetime of moving around. She is a military brat, having lived all over the US and in England. She graduated from West Virginia University with a BA in Political Science and was a officer in the US Air Force where she met her husband, Darren. They have 3 children, Cassidy, Kristen, & Cullen. She has been active with her children’s various activities giving her the opportunity to be a coach, team manager, religious ed teacher, and school volunteer. In 2005, she earned her Kansas Teaching Certificate and in 2015 earned her middle school social studies credential. She is currently the secretary of her homes association board, a member of the Lenexa Parks and Rec board, and the Olathe Northwest Band Board.
In 2015, Stacy wanted to expand her knowledge of Lenexa, it’s businesses, and it’s people so joined the Lenexa Chamber. She is a graduate of the 2016 Leadership Lenexa class, is on the Legislative Affairs Committee, the Annual Dinner Committee, and volunteers where ever else possible.
Stacy’s hobbies include tennis, running, reading, & gardening. She and her family take advantage of any opportunity to travel to new places although have a special place in their heart for Colorado where she and Darren met and their daughter attends university.
Lonnie Cannon – The Meritex Company
Lonnie Cannon is a lifetime resident of Kansas, married with 3 children and 3 grandkids. As a boy he grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and currently resides in Lenexa. Lonnie was graduated from the University of Kansas in 1984 with a BS in Journalism. While at KU he held various offices with in his fraternity including Vice-President and President.
Upon graduation he went to work for Frito-lay until he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and started his own snack food distributorship. He sold his business in 1991 and then went to work for Borden Snacks as a District Manager. From Borden Snacks he went to Otis Spunkmeyer where he was the Regional Manager of Sales and Operations covering 6 states. After 7 years at Otis Spunkmeyer Lonnie found a new job outside the snack food industry and went underground. At Meritex Lonnie is now the Property/Leasing Manager.
One of Lonnie’s duties at Meritex is to be involved in the Lenexa Chamber. He’s been an active member since 2000 and a graduate of Leadership Lenexa in 2001. Besides serving on a number of committees, including the Golf Tournament Committee, Membership Committee and as a Chairman’s Ambassador, Lonnie has worked on the Lenexa Chamber Board of Directors and was the Board Chairman in 2014.
Lonnie enjoys Kansas Basketball and Royals Baseball. Cruising has become his family’s best form of relaxation.
Craig Campbell – Video Soup LLC
Craig joined the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce in 2007 when he opened his video production business in Lenexa. A graduate of the KU School of Journalism and Baker University’s MBA program, Craig worked as a video producer for two employers over 17 years. In 2007, it was time to exploit his entrepreneurial spirit.
Video Soup specializes in corporate marketing and training videos for local companies such as Applebee’s, Sunflower Group, Harcros Chemicals, H&R Block, and Grundfos Pumps. Craig’s recent broadcast credits include Schlitterbahn’s 2016 TV commercials (KC and Padre Island markets) and productions for NASCAR, Country Music Television, CBS Sports, and a 2013 episode of House Hunters.
Craig is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Lenexa. He spends much time as a volunteer leader at his church, and he’s in his fifth year mentoring a young man through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Craig and his wife Lisa have two daughters. Together they enjoy traveling this beautiful country.
Kathi Oppold, Image Wellness
Kathi graduated from the University of Iowa with a Business degree in Marketing. She has worked in the banking industry, retail sales, the weight loss industry, and as a corporate executive assistant in financial services and the regional offices of Weight Watchers USA. She has also assisted her husband in his audio/video production company, MarkVMedia Group. In 2000, she joined the Direct Sales industry as an independent consultant with a wardrobe concept company that also offered their own line of clothing.
She joined the Lenexa Chamber in 2005. In 2008, when her company closed, she became a Independent Affiliate with the VeMMA Nutrition Company, offering wellness solutions to families. She was one of the first members of the Hospitality and Greeting Committee, and has been a regular volunteer at the Golf Tournament, a participant and volunteer at the Annual Business Blast and the Annual Awards Dinner. “I am honored to be an ambassador with the Lenexa Chamber. The membership has helped me connect with other businesses and given me leadership opportunities.“
Kathi and her husband Mark attended high school together in Iowa and have been married since 1973. They relocated to Lenexa in 1982. They have 3 children and 7 grandchildren. Kathi is a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and on the board of the Greater Kansas City Chi Omega Alumnae. Her family enjoys long weekends at the lake with family and friends and following Iowa Hawkeye sports.
Work History and Background: Jason is a partner at Associates Solutions Inc. (ASI), an IT services consulting company based in Lenexa, KS. Jason’s previous company was the first to earn the Microsoft Small Business Specialist designation. ASI was named the Small Business of the Year in 2009 by the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Jason holds A+, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Certified Migrations Expert certifications. He is a Past-President of the Lenexa Rotary Club and currently serves as Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 5710. Other community involvement includes serving on the Lenexa Vision 2030 project on the Economic Development Task Force, the Johnson County Courthouse Advisory Panel and the Lenexa Citizens Police Academy. He also serves on the board of CERI (County Economic Research Institute).
Jason Leib is Past Chairman of the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, serving his second term as Chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee and was honored as the Chamber Member of the Year in 2007. He is a 2006 graduate and 2007-2008 Co-Chair of Leadership Lenexa.
Jason is a Johnson County native, living in Overland Park until the age of 4 and growing up in Lawrence, KS, returning to the area in 2000. He earned degrees in Information Technology from Johnson County Community College (A.A.S) and Ottawa University – Kansas City (B.A). In 2012 Jason was a Republican candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives for the 17th district and was defeated in the primary election. He now lives in Lenexa with his wife Jacci, and three children, Chloe, Desiree, and Mallory. He is an avid sports fan, home brewer and enjoys running half-marathons.
Work History and Background: Bill Anthony graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Architectural Engineering and after two years in the Army he went to work as a sales engineer for The CECO Corporation, a building products manufacturing company and construction subcontractor. He was transferred to their home office in Chicago, where he oversaw the sales and marketing function for their concrete construction subcontracting operation.
Later he returned to Kansas City to work in sales and marketing for one of his best customers—J.E. Dunn Construction Company, becoming an integral part of their astonishing growth to one of the top ten construction firms in the country. Bill has been actively involved in numerous business and civic groups, including Careers in Construction, Junior Achievement, Shawnee Mission Schools, Kansas City Area Development Council, Johnson County Museum and Missouri and Kansas Societies of Professional Engineers. He has also been very active in the chamber holding a number of positions over the years, ultimately being selected member of the year. Bill and his wife are active in their church and have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.
- Advisory Board of Johnson County Museum, board member & past president
- J. E. Dunn Careers in Construction BSA Explorers Post #2968, post advisor
- Leadership Lenexa Graduate 1995
- Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, Western Chapter Director & Past President
- Kansas Society of Professional Engineers, Eastern Chapter Past President
- Shawnee Mission School District West Area Advisory Board
- Shawnee Mission West High School Wings Program, ‘At Risk’ student mentor
- Overland Park Christian Church, Elder, Deacon, Stewardship & Finance Committee, past treasurer and Board member
- Lenexa Road Funding Task Force, chair appointed by the mayor
- Lenexa Economic Development Council, past chair
- Junior Achievement Youth Consultant
- Lenexa Vision 2020 & 2030 Strategic Planning Initiatives, Commercial Development Task Force, appointed
- Oak Hill Homes Association, board member 5 years, president 2 years
Lenexa Chamber of Commerce:
- Chairman’s Ambassador
- Member of the Year Award 1997
- Past chair of Diplomats, Award Winning Committee two times
- Legislative Affairs Committee, past chair
- Finance Committee, past member
- Lenexa Economic Development Council, past chair
- Board of Directors, two 2-year terms
Craig K. Denny, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE Terracon Consultants, Inc.
Craig has worked for Terracon Consultants since 1973 and has lived and worked in Lenexa since 1985. Craig is a licensed professional engineer and Senior Consultant with more than 39 years of geotechnical engineering experience. In simple terms, the technical part of his job is prediction of how structures on or in the ground will perform, based on the engineering properties of the supporting and surrounding soils and bedrock. Terracon is one of the nation’s largest consulting firms and the 4th largest engineering firm headquartered in the Kansas City Metro area (behind Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell and HNTB). Terracon provides geotechnical, environmental, construction materials and facilities services to local, regional and national clients.
Education and Involvement
BS – Civil Engineering – Iowa State University – 1971
MS – Soil Engineering – Iowa State University – 1973
Ph.D. – Civil Engineering – University of Kansas – 1999
American Society of Civil Engineers – member since 1971; Fellow since 1991
US Army Corps of Engineers – active duty: 1974 to 1976: reserve: 1976-1983
Rotary Club of Lenexa – Member: since 1985; President: 1990 to 1991
Lenexa Economic Development Council: since 1990
Lenexa Park & Recreation Board -Member: since 1995; Chair: 1998 to 2004 & 2010 President
Shawnee Mission School Board – since 1997
Rotary District 5710 – Youth Exchange Committee: 1997 to 2010
Leadership Lenexa – Class of 2000
Adjunct Professor – CEAE Department – KU – 2000 to 2004
Tri-County Smart Start Community Leadership Board – 2004 to 2009
Rotary District 5710 – Assistant Governor: 2005 to 2008
Chairman – Lenexa 100th Anniversary Community Celebration Event – 2005 to 2007
Chairman – Lenexa Chamber of Commerce – 2007
Governor, Iowa State University Foundation – since 2007
Co Chairman – Lenexa Vision 2030 – 2007 to 2008
Lakeview Village Board of Directors – since 2008
Ambassador – Lenexa Chamber of Commerce – since 2009
Craig and his wife, Terry, have three grown daughters and three grandchildren. They have hosted four exchange students: a boy from Sweden, two girls from Argentina and a girl from Holland. Craig and Terry enjoy traveling, particularly to foreign countries.
Cary Occhipinto – Commerce Bank
Cary is a life long resident of Johnson County. He graduated from Holy Trinity Grade School in Lenexa, Rockhurst High School and The University of Kansas. He and his wife Michelle have two children, Samuel and Lily. Cary started his banking career at Commerce Bank in 1999. He has managed branches in Martin City, Grandview, Overland Park and currently resides in Lenexa where he is Vice President/Branch Manager.
Cary has been an active member of the Lenexa Chamber since 2006. He was a graduate of Leadership Lenexa in 2006. He was a past member of the Greeting & Hospitality committee before becoming an Ambassador in 2013. He is also involved yearly with Chamber Golf Tournament, Business Blast and Annual Dinner. He is currently on the Lenexa Chamber Board of Directors and was the 2014 Member of the Year.
Cary volunteers his time with Autism Speaks, The Johnson County Christmas Bureau and Junior Achievement. His hobbies include following the Jayhawks and Royals, traveling with his wife and following his kids activities.
Mike Reichmeier Senior Associate,Integrity Insurance
Mike essentially grew up in the insurance business with his father owning and operating his own agency since Mike was in middle school. After graduating with a BS in Political Science and a BS in Personnel Administration, Mike went to work for Reichmeier and Associates specializing in Life insurance and Property and Casualty. He then took an ownership role and expanded his knowledge base to specialize in specific commercial markets including the transportation industry. He moved into the area of employee benefits in 1992 as a consultant for a large local benefits firm where he built a significant clientele of small business owners.
In 1996, he accepted a benefit broker/ insurance consultant with The Resource Group, L.C. which later became part of HRH. In 2008 he became part of the Willis HRH family when HRH merged with Willis, the third largest global leading insurance broker. This gives him the opportunity to blend his expertise in commercial property and casualty insurance with employee benefits, giving him the ability to help businesses manage their overall business risk portfolio.
Mike is very committed to and active in his community. He is a Lenexa Planning Commissioner, Chairman of his Parish Council, and is a member of the Lenexa 2020 Study Committee, an organization responsible for providing insight to City leaders to identify growth and expansion opportunities in the next century. He is also active in the Chamber of Commerce, was on the board of directors for four years, and has received several awards for his outstanding involvement including a Key to the City in 1994.
Also in that year, he was named Knight of the Year in the district of Kansas City \ St. Joseph. He is currently a Past Grand Knight in his Knights of Columbus. In addition to his community involvement, Mike has also received numerous awards for achievement in the insurance industry.
Steve Taylor, American Family Insurance
Steve began his career with American Family Insurance in 1971. After three years in sales, he was promoted to Agency Sales Manager and has held that position since 1974. Steve’s district of 26, Johnson, Wyandotte, and Leavenworth County, agents ranks as one of the leading sales districts throughout American Family. Much of that success comes from four Lenexa agents–all who are active in the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce: Craig Jorgensen, Paul Ridgway, Connie Fortner and Pat Kelly. In recognition of their key roles with the Chamber, this American Family Insurance group was awarded the Business and Industry Hall of Fame award in 1998.
Steve has been a member of the Chamber since 1987. Over the years, in addition to serving on numerous committees, he was on the Board of Directors from 1994-1998. Other leadership positions have been: Chairman of the Board in 1997, Chairman of the Leadership Lenexa Alumni Board from 1993-95, and Chairman of the Ambassadors for 2000 and 2001. In 2001, he was the first recipient of the Spirit of the Chamber Award.
Steve and his wife, Debbie, are the VERY proud grandparents of Nicholas, Ryan and their newest Lauren, whose parents are Josh and Julie Taylor of Eden Prairie, MN. Steve and Debbie are also the parents of the late Matt Taylor, who has a park named after him in Lenexa. Steve enjoys supporting various charitable causes, many for the benefit of children. He is also a strong supporter of blood donation, and in 2002, Steve was recognized for having given his 100th pint of blood, and, as of this date (2011), that total now is 16 gallons of blood. As for hobbies, Steve is an avid reader, crossword puzzle enthusiast, golfer, and Jayhawk and Chiefs fan.
Dale Warman – Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo
Dale Warman recently retired as Director of Field Operations for Kansas City Power and Light after 43 years of service. Dale graduated Suma Cum Laude from Park University.
Dale’s time is spent enjoying his family and working in the community. He believes he has received so much from the community it’s now time to give back where he can. When he retired his goal was to travel some with his wife Barbara (54 years) and enjoy his children (two daughters and a son) and his six grandchildren, all who live in this area.
He also remains involved with the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Annual Dinner Committee and the Golf Committee. Dale continues to be involved and is presently the President of the Board of Directors of the National Agriculture Hall of Fame and Museum, Past Councilman for Ward I for Prairie Village Kansas, Past President Northeast Jo Co Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair Board for Countryside Christian Church and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the International Lineman’s Rodeo and Expo.
Dale is very proud to have served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Lenexa Chamber in 1999. He says, “One of the greatest moments in my life was at the 2004 Annual Dinner when I received the Spirit of the Chamber Award. I love the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce and its members.”
DAVE MENNENGA – GEORGE BUTLER ASSOCIATES
Dave moved into the Johnson County area from Nebraska in 1996 to accept a position with George Butler Associates (GBA). He is currently an Associate in the firm’s Traffic Engineering and Transportation Planning group. On a daily basis, Dave serves as the lead traffic engineer and project manager on a wide variety of transportation-related studies and designs of roadway, intersection, and interchange projects for clients in both the private and public sectors.
Dave received both his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Science degrees from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He is currently a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa, and is also a nationally-certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE).
Joining the Lenexa Chamber Chairman’s Ambassadors in 2016, Dave has been an active Chamber member for nearly 10 years. He graduated from the Leadership Lenexa program in 2012, and enjoys the many programs, social activities, and networking opportunities that the Lenexa Chamber provides. Dave has been a Lenexa resident since 1998, and also serves in an Ambassador’s role while assisting the City’s Parks and Recreation department at the annual Great Lenexa BBQ Battle and Lenexa Chili Challenge contests.
Dave also volunteers his time for several STEM-based programs, like Future City, the Science Pioneers, and Project Lead The Way, that encourage America’s next generation of engineers and scientists. In his spare time, Dave is an avid sports fan and travels to attend many events in support of Husker athletics, the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Sporting KC, and NASCAR / Indy Car racing. He is a Master certified barbecue judge and lifetime member of the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS). A former trombone player in the Cornhusker Marching Band and a Nebraska All-State chorus member, Dave also enjoys a wide variety of musical performances, concerts, and live shows.
- Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
- Missouri Valley Section of ITE (MOVITE) (Executive Board through 2019)
- Kansas City Chapter of ITE (KCITE)
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- American Public Works Association (APWA)
- International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA)
- Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA – Heartland Chapter)
- Leadership Lenexa Alumni
- University of Nebraska Alumni Association (Lifetime Member)
- Tau Beta Pi (National All-Engineering Honor Society)
- Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society)
- Triangle Fraternity