Leadership Greater Topeka

Leadership Greater Topeka

Leadership Greater Topeka brings together a broad cross section of both acknowledged and aspiring leaders from every corner of the community for an annual community leadership training course.

For the Greater Topeka area to grow and prosper, we need leaders from all backgrounds and vocations, who will wrestle with the challenges facing our community. The goals are to challenge and motivate traditional and non-traditional leaders by teaching 21st century leadership capacities through information, dialogue and hands-on experience so participants are better prepared to strengthen and transform our community.

In place since 1984, Leadership Greater Topeka has more than 910 alumni with nearly 70% still living and active in the Topeka area. Leadership Greater Topeka alumni are challenged to apply their talents throughout the community in volunteer, appointed and elected positions.

Nominations and applications for the program are accepted each fall with the new class announced prior to year end. The course is offered beginning in late January and runs until mid-May with a two-day retreat and eight day-long sessions, primarily on Fridays.

The sessions cover key community concerns in the areas of quality of life, government, crime, business and economic development, community services, education, health care and the media. Woven throughout the program are concepts of:

  • Adaptive/Technical Leadership Skills
  • 21st Century Leadership Skills: learning styles, change, collaboration, consensus, facilitation, visioning and steps to a learning community.
  • Servant Leadership: the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead... to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are served.

2016 Tuition is $875.00; Scholarships are available for those who may see the tuition as a deterrent to applying.  Chamber membership is not a requirement for participation.


Important Dates for 2016 Leadership Greater Topeka Program

Nomination Deadline: Friday, Sept. 25

Application Deadline: 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, 2015

Conversations with Alumni (scheduled individually): Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015

Selection Announcement: Friday, Dec. 11, 2015

Participant Orientation: 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7

Two-Day Retreat: Thursday, Jan. 14, and Friday, Jan. 15; Location TBD

  • Session #1: Friday, Jan. 22, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 
  • Session #2: Friday, Feb. 5, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 
  • Session #3: Friday, Feb. 19, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Session #4: Friday, March 4, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Session #5: Friday, March 18, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Session #6: Friday, April 1, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Session #7: Friday, April 15, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Session #8: Friday, April 29, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Graduation/Alumni Luncheon: Wednesday, May 11, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Ramada Convention Center, 420 SE Sixth Avenue, Topeka


2015 Leadership Greater Topeka Class

Thirty-seven individuals from Topeka and Shawnee County were chosen to participate in the 2015 Leadership Greater Topeka Class. Leadership Greater Topeka, a program of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce since 1984, identifies outstanding potential leaders from various components of the community. There are more than 900 alumni of the program.

Members of the 2015 class are:

Brandon Aldridge, Agent/Owner, Brandon Aldridge Insurance Agency-State Farm

Amber Beckley, D.C., Chiropractor/Owner, Beckley Chiropractic Clinic

Seth Brackman, Associate Litigation Counsel, Kansas State Board of Healing Arts

Tanya Brunner, Executive Director, Oral Health Kansas, Inc.

Neil Buono, Pastor, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Rebecca Collins, Human Resources Generalist, Bartlett & West

Jennifer Cross, Sergeant, School Resource Officer Unit, Topeka Police Department

Matthew Dinkel, Senior Actuarial Associate, Security Benefit

Juanita Erickson, General Director of Elementary Education, Topeka Public Schools

Brandon Evans, At Risk Behavior Intervention Para-Professional, USD 501, Williams Science & Fine Art Magnet School

Abel Frederic, Jr., Director of Community Impact, United Way of Greater Topeka

David Harris, Vice President- Director of Institutional Sales, FHLBank Topeka

Lynette Hudson, Agent/Owner, Lynette Hudson, State Farm

Herman T. Jones, Sheriff, Shawnee County Sheriff's Office

Brandon Kauffman, Chief Fiscal Officer, City of Topeka

Misty Kruger, Public Information Officer, Shawnee County Health Agency

Melissa Lackey, Vice President, Commerical Relationship Manager, U.S. Bank

Jay Loschke, AVP/ Commerical Lender, Equity Bank

Mary Martell, Director of Research Services, Stormont-Vail HealthCare

Ann Ludwig Matthews, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Auburn Washburn USD 437

Stephanie McCaleb, Business Development Manager, Hill's Pet Nutrition

Kyle Mead, Vice President & Chief Examining Attorney/ Title Manager, Lawyers Title of Topeka, Inc.

Candis Meerpohl, 4-H Youth Development Agent, K-State Research & Extension-Shawnee County

Adrienne Olejnik, Director, Rossville Community Library

William Overbey, CEO, Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital

Jennifer Owen, Fast Forward Manager, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce

Michael Perkins, Digital Services Supervisor & Web Administrator, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Richard Raimond, Associate Attorney, Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, LLP

Michaela Saunders, Web Editor, Washburn University

Jacob Schmidtlein, Supervisor, Strathman Sales

Sarah Shute, First Vice President, Retail Banking Operations Officer, Capitol Federal Savings

Zachary Snethen, Project Manager, HTK Architects

Emma Starkey, Communications Coordinator, Heartland Visioning

Angelene Strecker, Director, Institutional Relations, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas

Alan Streit, General Counsel, Kansas Turnpike Authority

Steve Vetsch, Regional Director, Power Delivery, Westar Energy

Delmar White, Senior Pastor, New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church/Grief Support Specialist, Midland Care


2016 Leadership Greater Topeka Nomination


I, or our organization, would like to nominate the following individual to participate in this program. (It is acceptable to nominate yourself.)

Nominee Information (person being nominated)

(if applicable)

I, or we, understand that an application and informational literature will be sent to the above individual for review and consideration.

Nominator (person who is nominating)


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