The Chairman’s Ambassadors are experienced Chamber members whose dedication and hard work on behalf of the Chamber is unparalleled. The Ambassadors deliver new member packets to members that have just joined the chamber, assist with member retention, and serve as table hosts and greeters at a variety of events. Ambassadors continually provide leadership and a warm welcome to all Chamber members.
Chairman: Victoria Calhoun – Community Volunteer
Jay Adams – 3 & 2 Baseball Club of Johnson County
Bill Anthony – Retired
Nathalie Aquino-Brech – Park University
David Bonebrake – Healthcare Solutions Team
Sue Buckley – City Publications – KC
Victoria Calhoun – Community Volunteer
Brian Hawk – State Farm Insurance
Jan Hawkins – sipVine, Inc.
Jermaine Jamison – Jamison Perry, LLC
Mark Naster – Hillcrest Transitional Housing
Cary Occhipinto – Commerce Bank
Mike Reichmeier – Community Volunteer
Mike Stein – Coreslab Structures (Missouri) Inc.
Dale Warman – International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo Board Chair
For more information contact:
Abby Stuke, Director of Events 913-888-1414 or email@example.com
Brian Hawk, State Farm Insurance
Brian is devoted to the betterment of our neighborhood and the surrounding community. He often partakes in trading his skills for goods and the other way around. Tinkering in the back yard with various machines, including a garden railroad set up around a small pond he constructed in the outdoor layout area. He likes to get his hands dirty with a variety of projects like elaborate neon lighting displays, small building endeavors and cutting and splitting a lot of wood for the wood-burning stove. Inside his “shack” he dabbles in radio as a HAMM radio operator with call sign KD0MYM. Communications is his strength and he has found much use for it.
After moving to Merriam from a Baldwin City farmhouse with his wife, Lori, of twenty years, he tackled a house restoration project with a home that dated from 1924 that was on the verge of being bulldozed and brought it back to original condition with appropriate updates. He combined his skills as a welder, machine operator, and material routing specialist for Haven’s Steel as well as a love of restoration and contracting to create a unique home on a nice plot of old forest land, perfect for his wife’s garden and their two dogs who love to explore.
He attended Kansas State University and graduated in 1996. After working for EXT Plastics in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, he found himself drawn to State Farm to work with his father, helping people to secure their homes and possessions. Brian has spent almost a decade working with customers, many of whom have become his friends. He has built up a network of friendships and has been able to mix business with pleasure successfully. He loves his work because of the relationships he has been able to cultivate over the years.
Brian has the skills to become a valued leader in the community. He always remembers people and easily recalls their names and life experiences, keeping in touch long after doing business with them. Brian was also in the 2017 Lenexa Leadership class and a graduate of the Lenexa Citizens Police Academy. It seems to be a natural transition to be an Ambassador for the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce. He has a strong desire to build relationships and to work with the Chamber in a supporting role.
Alex Welter, Heart to Heart International
Alex Welter is the Manager of Partner Relations at Heart to Heart International. He works in the PowrServ, the hygiene kit-building program. PowrServ is designed as a team-building/give-back program, within Heart to Heart International that not only fulfills the mission but also brings in funding for the organization.
He has 2 children, Emily and Max. He works in Lenexa, but lives in Liberty. He was born in New York City and grew up in Los Angeles. Graduated from California State University, Northridge. He enjoys movies, music, and baseball.
Sue Buckley, City Publications – KC
Sue Buckley was born in Vermont, home of Maple Syrup! At 4 the family moved to the Land of Ahs in Prairie Village, where her parents still reside. Oldest of 6, and she IS the favorite! Raised Catholic and wore plaid uniforms till she went to college at ESU. Awarded BS & MS as a Hornet and found a career in Higher Education at ESU, Univ of Northern Colorado and then at KU. Was the Dir of Student Activities or more fondly called, the Dean of Fun! Trained talented students how to book/produce lectures, trips, concerts, parades, etc… Met many famous entertainers and traveled on spring break and ski trips for 20 years. My mom kept asking me if I graduated!
Married, had two kids, raised yellow labs and divorced. My son, Mike is married to a wonderful woman, Lindsey and they gifted me with a very cute grandson, James with another boy on the way in Feb 2021! LOVE being a Nana! My daughter is in the USAF stationed in Germany, so proud of her! Scheduled to return to a base in the USA in early 2021. And I have a little black Shorkie as my roommate.
Left higher education for a successful sales career in telecom/IT sales and lastly in legal sales for large Midwest law firms with Thomson Reuters. Was downsized in 2019 and decided it was time to work for myself, and bought a marketing franchise at the end of 2019 eager to ‘rock it’ in 2020!!!!
So here I am, skipping down the Yellow Brick Road looking for the Land of Success and Great Local Business Partners that I can help grow! Although my territory includes KS and MO, I chose JoCo as my first mailing zone for my classy card packs. Also produce Solo Cards that can be demographically targeted to any ideal buyers in the US. Figure I can work hard at this till my daughter retires in 7 years and can take care of me!
Love to Laugh, Network, Golf, Garden, Volunteer and Enjoy My Family! Try to make friends where ever I go and be a great resource and referral. Look forward to meeting YOU in the near future!
Nathalie Aquino-Brech, Park University
Nathalie Aquino-Brech is the Campus Center Director at the Lenexa campus with Park University. She has been with Park University since 2005 and began her career in Higher Education at U.S. Army Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Where her commitment to providing adult and continuing education to military service members, veterans, federal civilians, the community and their respective families was cultivated.
In 2020, Nathalie had the opportunity to relocate to Lenexa, KS. She is passionate about education and dedicated to her students. Her knowledge and experience now extend to those in the local community by partnering with government entities, business and community colleges that provide their employees and students with opportunities for continuing education.
Originally from San Diego, CA she is married to her husband Bruce from Secaucus, NJ who served in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army. Their last duty station assignment brought them to the Midwest in 2004 where they raised four children. All of which relocated to the KCA to attend college, three alumni from Park University (Parkville) and the youngest attends MWSU (St Joseph) and is an Offensive Lineman.
Nathalie holds a BS in Psychology, MA in Human Resources Management, MA in Business and Organizational Security Management and MA in Management and Leadership. She received her degrees while navigating multiple duty stations, her husband’s deployment (OIF), raising children and working full-time.
David Bonebrake, Healthcare Solutions Team
David Bonebrake is a career Health Insurance Agent/Broker with Healthcare Solutions Team (HST) and has dedicated his entire Sales & Management career to doing what is right for the client, no matter what the product or industry.
In his role with HST, he focuses on counseling the client as to what would be best for them, their family, and their situation. Whether it’s major medical term coverage, Medicare Supplemental, Critical Illness, Accident, Dental, Vision, or Life coverage, he recognizes the importance of making the correct choice the first time. With licenses in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas, he’s able to help many folks on a very personal basis.
David has worked in and excelled in multiple industries over the years. With sales, business development, and product expertise in products ranging from Planter’s Peanuts, Mohawk Carpeting, Graphic Arts Finishing, Henry Wurst Printing, Gateway Country Stores, DeVry University, high-tech computer training, and now Healthcare sales, he’ll be able to communicate well with the wide variety of new companies coming into Lenexa!
His family consists of his high school sweetheart, Debbie (now his wife of 40 years) with 2 grown children and a total of 3 amazing grandkids, luckily all living locally. A life-long Johnson County resident and a current Lenexa resident, he is active in his church, is in charge of his high school reunion group (Shawnee Mission East Class of 1972), helped develop a scholarship with his reunion group for graduating SME Seniors, and graduated from K-State with a degree in Marketing. And lastly, he is honored to be a Lenexa Ambassador!
Mark Naster, Hillcrest Transitional Housing
Mark is a Kansas City native who has been committed to serving his country and community. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a geography and meteorology degree Mark was commissioned an officer in the Marine Corps where he served for 6 six years. While spending 35 years in the private sector Mark has work with some outstanding business leaders including Ross Perot, Ewing Kauffman, and Lamar Hunt. Mark works in build long term relationships with organizations to help them with their business and community involvement issues. After his 7 and ½ years with Habitat for Humanity he has assisted other Non-profits with their business strategies. He is currently working with Hillcrest Transitional Housing to help eliminate homelessness for families and youth. He also serves individuals with his presentations at Job Clubs and the Women’s Employment Network on his presentation of “A Job Search is like a Courtship”. Mark is the proud father of three successful daughters. He has three grandchildren and a grandson on the way. Mark and his wife Lorraine have been married 41 years and currently reside in Lenexa.
Matthew Daunis, Edward Jones
Matt Daunis is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. Matt has been with Edward Jones for three years. Matt wants to understand what’s most important to his clients. He uses an established process to build personalized strategies to help them achieve their goals. He then partners together with them to help keep them on track. Matt specializes in business retirement plans as well as 401K and IRA rollovers and transfers. Matt holds Securities Registrations in the Series 7 and Series 66 and Insurance Licenses in Kansas and Missouri.
Matt previously spent 28 years in the energy efficiency area of the electric and natural gas utility industry and 10 years in the air conditioning industry.
Organizations that Matt has been involved in throughout his career include:
• Founding member and Board of Directors of the Heartland Utilities for Energy Efficiency
• Treasurer and Board pf Directors of the Metropolitan Energy Center – Kansas City, MO
• President and Board of Directors of the Iowa Association for Energy Efficiency
• Board of Directors – The Association of Energy Services Professionals
• Founding member of The Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange
In 2010, Matt received an honor and award for outstanding service as Director (President 2000-2008) and Board Member (2000-2010) of the Iowa Association for Energy efficiency for his commitment toward advancing energy efficiency throughout Iowa and his leadership in educating Iowans about energy efficiency.
Matt received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine and an MBA from the University of Nebraska. Matt is married and has two daughters, two son-in-laws, two grandchildren and 3 dogs. Matt grew up in Lawrenceville, NJ and is a die hard Eagles and Phillies fan.
Victoria Calhoun, Community Member
I like Lenexa–so much so, that I’ve lived here for more than 25 years. I’ve enjoyed watching the community grow and have been involved along the way.–from walking my dog at Sar-Ko-Par Park, attending the annual BBQ Championship, Chili Fest, Spinach Fest, Art Fair or Food Truck Frenzy and more. I’m a graduate of the Lenexa Citizen’s Police Academy, I worked for the Lenexa Public Market and was a member of the Vision 2040 Committee.
I’m a Mizzou graduate with a BJ in Journalism and have a Masters in Education from UMKC. I’m married with two great kids – a KU graduate daughter, and a son at SM West. I enjoy giving back to the community as a Tour Ambassador at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and as a Chamber Ambassador.
Mya Lawrence, Park University
Mya Lawrence has over 15 years of Higher education experience, and currently, she is the Campus Center Director at Park University’s Lenexa Campus Center. She is a goal-driven believer in education, who always keeps students first. In the course of her tenor in Higher Education, she has mastered leadership and relationship building, while obtaining experience in Campus Operations, Student Finance Student Affairs, and Student Recruiting.
Mya’s passion for higher education is fueled by relationships built while attending Lincoln University
(Mo) and seeing her current students attain their dreams. She earned a Bachelors of Science from Lindenwood University, in St Charles, an MBA from Keller Graduate School and is currently a 1st year Higher Education Administration Doctoral student at the University of Kansas.
A proud St. Louisian, Mya and her husband Jason currently reside in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Mya is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals and Blues fan that enjoys traveling, attending various sporting events, and impromptu happy hours.
Jessicia Myers, Academy Bank
My name is Jessicia Myers, I am currently a Business Development Consultant for Academy Bank based in Downtown Kansas City. I have been with Academy Bank since 2016, helping expand Academy Bank into the Kansas City market. Prior to Academy Bank I have been in the banking industry since 2000.
Although I live in the Northland I am an active member in the Lenexa community. I volunteer my time with Meals and Wheels, Junior Achievement and the Johnson County Christmas Bureau. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my puppy Roxie and volunteering with local Animal Shelters. I have been married to my husband Matt for 14 exciting years. We love spending our summer nights at the K, spending time with our friends/family and taking trips together.
Barbie Benson, Azura Credit Union
I’ve been in banking for over 20 years. I’ve held positions as a teller, Personal Banker, Asst Branch Manager, Customer Service Manager, Financial Associate and Branch Manager, AVP. I’m a results-driven leader, with a record of building and coaching a team to be like minded. As a highly motivated sales professional I strive to provide the best customer experience possible. I believe in building and maintaining relationships by being both responsive and attentive, and not by selling what “I” think my customer needs. By asking questions and listening to determine what is important to those I serve, I can help build their business and improve their financial outlook. Doing the right things for the right reasons builds trust and helps strengthen ties between both your team members and your customers. I believe in “Earning the Business” rather than expecting to get it.
Chamber Member since 2016
Chamber Ambassador since 2017
One of the things I enjoy most about being involved in the Chamber are the Volunteer opportunities in the community. I am also honored to have been the recipient of the 2018 Rising Star Award from the Lenexa Chamber.
Jermaine Jamison, Jamison Perry, LLC
Jermaine is a dynamic and passionate leader with a strong entrepreneurial spirit that lives by the words, “Greatness is a choice therefore; choose to be great.” After spending the first 17 years of his professional career working for large global organizations, Jermaine bet on himself and in 2015, co-founded Jamison Perry LLC, a Lenexa based small business that provides recruiting, staffing and consulting services to organizations in our community and across the United States. Jermaine’s authentic approach to building relationships and his commitment to helping others, is a valuable asset to our community and the people he serves.
Jermaine is a dedicated member and very involved with the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce. His involvement includes; 2017 class of Leadership Lenexa, Co-Chair Leadership Lenexa (2018 – 2019), Chairman’s Ambassador, Board of Directors and he received the 2018 Lenexa Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year Award.
Jermaine holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from Emporia State University. He claims the best BBQ in Kansas City is what comes off his smoker, he enjoys coaching youth sports, is a DIE HARD Raiders fan and most importantly, loves spending time with his family.
Jan Hawkins, sipVine, Inc.
Jan Hawkins is a VoIP Marketing Specialist with sipVine, a Kansas City-metro based Hosted VoIP Provider. Jan has been with sipVine for over nine years after previously spending five years with Sprint and 21 with Marley Cooling Tower.
Jan’s marketing responsibilities with sipVine are varied. She actively participates in several business chambers in the area and helps develop relationships between area businesses and the organization. If you haven’t talked with Jan yet, you probably will soon! Jan loves events, especially ones that support charitable causes.
sipVine was founded in 2005 with the goal of delivering new telecommunications technology to businesses with a focus on call quality. Now that Voice over IP is commonplace in the marketplace, many have found that the customer service sipVine delivers is both standard setting and refreshing for this industry. sipVine has installations across the country and proudly calls the Kansas City metropolitan area its home.
Damien Butler, Republic Services
Damien Butler moved to Johnson County in 2015 as Director of HR for Flowers Foods to help restart their Wonder Bread Location. As a 13 year HR professional, he was a successful change agent for a total of 3 of their acquisitions throughout the country over his career. He is now serving as the HR Manager for Republic Services and covers the Kansas City, Jefferson City, and Springfield Missouri markets. He is also the founder and CEO of Butler HR Strategic Partners, LLC, an HR consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners find solutions. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and also received his Masters from the University of Phoenix in Baton Rouge in Organizational Management.
Damien serves on the Lenexa Board of Directors committee as well as the Ambassadors’ committee and was the 2016 Rising Star Award recipient for the chamber. He also is a volunteer for Kansas City Rescue Mission, helping to serve the needs of the homeless in the region.
Damien, his wife Vee, and their daughter Ciara enjoy attending games with the Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC and T-Bones and they try to attend whenever possible. They also participate in local 5k walk/run events and enjoy dining & traveling to cool local spots.
Marlis Grad, ANB Bank
Marlis Grad is the face of ANB Bank to her Kansas City area business clients. She builds strong relationships with them by providing the right solutions needed to run their operations smoothly, easily and efficiently. In addition, Marlis oversees the bank’s IRA clients. She believes that understanding her customers’ business and business practices is the best way to support their financial success.
Marlis joined ANB Bank’s Lenexa Banking Center over 25 years ago, transitioning from commercial lending to business banking. A member of the Kansas City community since 1980, Marlis previously worked with other local banks and a savings and loan, both on personal and business banking relationships, as well as mortgage processing and commercial lending. Marlis also has her bachelor’s degree and has attended graduate school.
Marlis is an active member of the Helzberg Leadership Fellows, the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. She enjoys donating her time in many worthy causes around the area.
“At ANB Bank, we pride ourselves in being a community bank – providing all the services, tools and equipment our commercial clients need to stay focused on growing their businesses.”
Jay Adams, 3&2 Development Director
During Jay’s 22 years at Marion Laboratories, he held several positions that included Group Leader, Associate Packaging Engineer, and Validation Specialist. His career at Marion Labs often entailed the startup of new production areas associated with the multitude of new products launched during this exciting period. One of Jay’s last projects before leaving Marion Merrill Dow was serving on the team that was responsible for the successful startup of a new production plant in Puerto Rico.
After retiring from Marion Merrill Dow, Jay founded Emerge Enterprises, L.C. with the mission to come alongside organizations looking to generate new initiatives. Jay’s first business endeavor provided him an opportunity to help with the formation of The 3&2 Baseball Club of Johnson County’s “Youth Program For The Future” capital campaign. For the past 20 years, Jay has assisted numerous Kansas City organizations in the development of new revenue streams through friend-raising events, sponsorship marketing, and new business affiliations. Jay’s career is truly categorized as a serial entrepreneur/developer from the beginning of his corporate career up to today.
Jay and his wife Linda, along with their six children, moved to Lenexa in 1991. Jay and the family were constantly on the move from one sporting season to another, school concerts or ballet performances. Each of their grown kids are married and have given Jay & Linda 15 grandchildren. So it goes without saying, going from one grandchild’s event to another remains steady.
Today, Jay continues his work for the 3&2 organization as their Development Director. He serves on the elder board at his church and is currently giving his spare time to assist the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas City, Kansas Police Department to create a tangible way to honor & remember their fallen first responders. He enjoys spending time at Lenexa’s Public Market connecting with colleagues and friends and is excited to be serving as a Lenexa Chamber of Commerce Ambassador.
Mike Stein, PE
Coreslab Structures (Missouri) Inc.
Chamber Member Since: 2009
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, Community Volunteer
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