2016 Leadership Northeast class graduates with a focus on public service

The 2016 Leadership Northeast class in the field.
The 2016 Leadership Northeast class in the field.

The 2016 Class of Leadership Northeast (LNE) marked its graduation today from the leadership skills program. The 26 graduates also marked this session with their contributions back to the community.

Michael Poppa, the class president, said the class recognized how important it is to give back to the community and tried to make an impact. In addition to the learning that went on over several weeks, the class also volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House, established a scholarship for LNE programs and organized a food drive for Growing Futures early education center.

Not every organization is able to pay the fee to send someone to the leadership class, Poppa said. Contributions from 2016 class members and alumni raised $850 for scholarships to the training program.

The class will hold a food drive at the Mission Hy-Vee this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit Growing Futures. The goal is to collect enough food to send home with each of the 150 kids over the long Memorial Day weekend.

The biggest takeaway for him, Poppa said, was creating closer relationships with people in northeast Johnson County and the “big sense of pride” that comes with learning about the organizations that serve the area.

The class vice president was Megan Buum; service co-chairs were Sara Thompson, DawnTubbesing, and Katy Onnen; social co-chairs were Nicole Hoffman and J,P, Thurlo.

The class roster included:

  • Janice Blansit, Johnson County Community College
  • Meghan Buum, City of Prairie Village
  • Richard Cook, Stinson Leonard Street
  • Councilmember Terrence Gallagher, City of Prairie Village
  • Councilmember Jason Hannaman, City of Westwood
  • Nicole Hoffman, City of Mission Hills
  • Wes Jordan, City of Prairie Village
  • Jim Kasper, Turning Point Home Solutions, Inc.
  • Councilmember Ryan Kellerman, City of Roeland Park
  • Peggy LaPierre, Aflac
  • Kevin McKenzie, Lathrop & Gage, LLP
  • Mandy Mulich, State Farm Insurance: Julie Stoll Agency
  • Beth O’Bryan, City of Westwood Hills
  • Katy Onnen, KCP&L
  • Councilmember Michael Poppa, City of Roeland Park
  • Kasey Randle-Biehler, Burns & McDonnell
  • Sgt. Jason Reynolds, City of Merriam Police Department
  • Brian Scott, City of Mission
  • Morgan Shandler, Shawnee Mission Health
  • Leslie Smith, Shawnee Mission Health
  • Jenny Smith, City of Mission: Parks & Recreation
  • Michael Steiner, St. Luke’s Health System
  • Sara Thompson, City of Merriam: Parks & Recreation
  • Deputy Chief J.P. Thurlo, City of Fairway Police Department
  • Dawn Tubbesing, Academy Bank
  • Gerry Vernon, City of Merriam