About Us

Our Mission

The Appointments Project & Ready to Run Kansas Women’s Leadership Series is a collaboration between United Women’s Empowerment (formerly the Women’s Foundation) and the University of Kansas Institute for Leadership Studies. The collaboration is built on a shared belief that increasing the number of women’s voices in civic spaces throughout Kansas – including politics and civic boards and commissions – promotes equity, opportunity, and economic strength in our state. Kansas is built on a rich history of women’s civic leadership at all levels of our social fabric, and a bright future for our state will depend on their leadership driving our social, political, and economic engines.

Through this collaboration, it is our mission to provide workshops and programming that enhance women’s civic leadership capacity. And it is our vision that as we increase the number of women prepared to run for political office and sit on local and statewide boards and commissions, our state will thrive.

Advisory Board

Barbara Ballard, Senior Associate Director, Dole Institute of Politics, and State Representative for the 44th District of Kansas

Mayor Kay Barnes, former Mayor of Kansas City

Mary Birch, Government Relations Coordinator, Lathrop GPM

DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Secretary of Administration, State of Kansas

Kim Wallace Carlson, Director of Engagement — Entrepreneurship, Public Affairs, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Christa Dubill, Vice President & Chief Communications Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City

Melissa King, collegiate representative, Washburn University

Cherylyn LeBon, Partner, Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig

Steve Morris, former Kansas Senator and President of the Senate

Christina Ostmeyer, Communications Director, Kansas Appleseed

Sandy Praeger, former Kansas Insurance Commissioner

Linda Sheppard JD, Senior Analyst and Strategy Team Leader, Kansas Health Institute

Blanca Soto, Southwest Kansas Campaign Director, Kansas Appleseed

Joni Wickham, Founder, Wickham James Strategies & Solutions

Donna Wright, Principal, Kansas Business Services LLC

Executive Team

Mary Christine Banwart, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Leadership Studies, University of Kansas

Wendy D. Doyle, President and CEO, United Women’s Empowerment

Beth A. Felski, Appointments Project Director, United Women’s Empowerment

Robert J. Glenski, National Appointments Project Director, United Women’s Empowerment

Emily Hedges Vietti, Partnership Director, Appointments Project & Ready to Run Kansas Women’s Leadership Series