Retiring & Hiring
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation announced John Hauer has joined its team as natural areas steward. He is responsible for ensuring trails are maintained and cleared, invasive plant species are controlled and water ways are protected. Hauer previously worked for the parks department as an intermittent staff member. He spent the past three years as an arborist with the city of Topeka and prior to that, taught fourth grade at Williams Magnet School.
FHLBank Topeka recently announced the following employees have joined its team:
• Julie Allen rejoined team as an audit intern. Allen graduated from Washburn University and is working on her masters of accountancy.
• Catherine Barnhart joined as an HCD analyst. Barnhart previously served as a junior compliance examiner at Advisors Excel.
• Matthew Brown joined as the new short-term investment manager. Brown previously served as the head of operations and finance for Emporia Corporation.
• Marsha Carrasco joined as the new DEI officer. Carrasco previously served as the director of the Student Involvement & Leadership Center at the University of Kansas.
• Carrie Clark joined as the new compliance analyst. Clark previously served as a program consultant for the KBI Forensic Science Laboratory.
• Jared Meier joined as an information security engineer. Meier previously served as an information security officer for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
• Kim Savage joined in May as the new senior director of operational audit. Savage previously worked for Evergy. She was also made a vice president in late June.
• Wendy Surface joined as the new morning receptionist. Surface previously served as the office manager at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church.
Appointments & Promotions
United Way of Greater Topeka has tapped former board member Patrick Woods as its 2021-22 campaign chair. Woods takes over for John Fager from CoreFirst Bank and Trust, who served two consecutive terms and helped United Way navigate more than a year of unusual pandemic fundraising. The campaign chair lends visibility and energy to the United Way’s yearlong fundraising campaign, pitching in at events like Day of Giving and the new campaign celebration, which replaces the more formal annual meeting as UWGT’s recognition event. Woods will serve alongside incoming board chair Matt All, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, who starts his two-year term this month. All replaces outgoing chair Susan Duffy of the Kansas Corporation Commission. Woods served on the UWGT board from 2014 to 2017. He is the manager of regulatory strategy for ITC Great Plains, a Fortis Co., headquartered in Topeka. In addition to his work at ITC, Woods has served in a variety of leadership roles in the private sector and in state and local government, including stints as the director of talent management & diversity at Westar Energy, director of advancement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas, education policy adviser and legislative liaison for Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, and director of governmental affairs for the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.
Awards, Honors & Recognition
The city of Topeka has again been recognized for achieving 2021 What Works Cities Certification, the national standard for excellence in data-driven city governance. What Works Cities Certification evaluates how well cities are managed by measuring the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision making. Topeka has been certified at the silver level as part of the certification program. What Works Cities is a national initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies to help cities use data and evidence more effectively to tackle their most pressing challenges.