CONCORDIA KS- Fourteen women from Cloud County travelled to Topeka this week for a day on the hill. This event was organized by CloudCorp in partnership with Peggy King and her husband, Secretary of Transportation Mike King.
Those participating were Jerlynn Johnston, Deb Czapanskiy, Kathleen Norman, Shella Thoman, Bobbie McWhorter, Amber Farha, Carrie Frasier, Carrie Williams, Stacey Crum, Tammera Marrs, Senator Elaine Bowers, Kayla Sicard, Kathy Tatum, and Ashley Hutchinson.
The group started their day with a private tour of Cedar Crest followed by a series of meetings with Secretary King, Stacy Mayo with From the Land of Kansas, and Tara Mays with Mays Lobbying Group at the Eisenhower building. The Cloud County group then walked to the Capitol and met in the Lieutenant Governor’s conference room to hear from Appointments Director and Deputy Chief of Staff Kim Borchers. Borchers told the group that each year, she appoints over 600 people into boards or commissions. She provided a list of open board and commission spots she is currently trying to fill and asked the women from Cloud County to consider throwing their names into the hat. Senator Elaine Bowers gave a presentation on why there are fewer women in political leadership roles. She explained that data shows most women are in current roles because they are asked, not because they seek them out. Linda Craghead, the Assistant Secretary for Parks and Tourism told the group about her journey to leadership in state government and how it all started with a role on the school board. The final speaker was Eileen Hawley, the communications director for the governor. Hawley talked about differing points of view and showing respect for alternate opinions.
The group split up after that, with half taking a tour of the capital and half daring to take the winding, steep stairs to the top of the dome for a dome tour. They ended the day with a visit to the Secretary of State’s office to watch Senator Elaine Bowers refile for her seat in the Kansas Senate.
CloudCorp plans to take another group of women leaders to Topeka next year. If you or someone you know should be nominated to go, contact CloudCorp at 785-243-2010.