TARA WALLACE, LSCSW

Tara D. Wallace is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice providing community-based behavioral and mental health services to underserved populations including the homeless, low-income individuals and children and families in the child welfare system. Tara is known as “The Trauma Therapist” who specializes in treating childhood trauma. Tara believes poverty and limited access to resources should not be a hindrance to safe and healthy functioning for Kansas families.

Tara serves as the President of the Kansas African American Foster Care/Adoption Coalition. She is an adjunct professor for Central Texas College in Killeen, TX. When not providing therapy to children or teaching undergraduate students, Tara volunteers her time serving on the board of many agencies and organizations whose missions focus on improving the lives of children and families in Kansas. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling: Traumatology at Liberty University.

 

SUSANA ORTIZ

Susana Ortiz has been an educator and school counselor in Topeka school districts for 14 years. She is a Ph.D. student in the Counseling Education & Supervision program at Kansas State University and currently employed as Associate Executive Director for the Council for Public School Improvement (CPSI). She has served as President of the Kansas School Counselor Association and contributed to numerous projects supporting student development and healthy family and community systems. Susana was recruited by the Kansas State Department of Education to provide consultation on the Social Emotional Character Development Standards Revision Committee which were adopted across the state of Kansas.

She also served on the working group of the Child Welfare Systems Task Force sponsored by the Kansas Legislative Research Department to improve conditions for youth in foster care. Susana is a 2015 graduate of Latino Leadership Collaborative of Kansas, she was recognized as one of Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2017, as a Women of Influence by the Greater Topeka Partnership in 2018, and was a member of the Greater Leadership Topeka Class of 2019. Susana is also currently serving on the YWCA - NE Kansas Board of Directors and the American Counseling Association Ethics Committee.

 

JENNIFER KIRMSE

Jennifer was born and raised in Topeka, and is a proud alum of Shawnee Heights and Washburn University. Jennifer life mantras is to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Jennifer has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years and currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of Business Services at Azura Credit Union. In her role, Jennifer develops relationships with the business community and various community organizations to enrich lives by creating financial freedom. In May 2001, Jennifer married the love of her life Chris Kirmse and together the have two amazing kids, CJ and Aubrey. They are her biggest accomplishment and keep her striving to make our community a better place.

Jennifer currently volunteers for Mana de Topeka Latina Savers Project, Topeka Independent Business Association - Board of Directors - Immediate Past Chair, Topeka Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council and Membership Chair, USD 501 Business Advisory Board, Washburn Leadership Institute Board, Topeka Community Foundation – Grant Committee, President - Women’s Missionary Union at Berryton Baptist Church and TARC Winter Wonderland. She has received numerous awards, including the Project Forward 2019 Service Award, 2018 Women of Influence – Distinguished Mentor Award, and is a member of 2017 Latino Leadership Collaborative of Kansas.

 

LILLIAN HOLMBERG

Lillian Holmberg is a first-year student at Washburn University and a co-founder and member of the Topeka Youth Commission. Lillian was born in Topeka and has lived here her whole life. She is passionate about promoting a positive image of Topeka and encouraging other young people to stay and use their talents to make Top City a better place for everyone to live, work, learn, and play.

 

LUIS ESTRADA

Commissioner Luis Estrada of The Human Relations Commission for the City of Topeka has been a resident of Topeka since 1994. Luis was born in Mexico and raised in Southern California before moving to Topeka, KS. He is a graduate of Highland Park high school, and briefly attended Washburn University where he studied Marketing and Advertising. Ultimately, he realized that his heart is on helping improve the health and environment in his neighborhoods. Not, the focus of his work is in strengthening communities and improving the lives of Latinos and others through educational, social and economic opportunities. Currently, Commissioner Estrada serves as a recruiter for Greenbush Education Service Center.

Commissioner Estrada has served on various councils and boards, including the YWCA’s Advocacy Committee, Momentum 2022 East Topeka Council, SPCR Council, Included Board, and the Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development Council. He was nominated for The Jayhawk Area Councils 20U40, received his certificate from The Latino Leadership Collaborative in 2018 and will form part of Leadership Greater Topeka’s Class of 2019.

 

RICK FRIESTROM

Rick has lived his entire life in Topeka. He was educated by the Topeka Public Schools, graduating from Topeka High in 1969. He immediately entered Washburn University, completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1973. Two weeks following graduation, he began his career with the New York Life Insurance Company as a Financial Professional, retiring after 43 years. He provides volunteer time to the Student Success and Retention Program at Washburn University. His daughter, Emily McGee, and her husband, Chris, live in Topeka with their two sons, Ethan and Owen.

Rick has served as Board member and President of the following: Community Resources Council, Shawnee County Historical Society, The Library Foundation, Topeka High School Historical Society, North East Kansas Chapter of Chartered Life Underwriters, Topeka Association of Life Underwriters, Washburn University Alumni Association, MacVicar Educational Foundation.

 

SCOTT GALES A.I.A. LEED A.P.

The President and Owner of Architect One, Scott received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kansas State University and joined Architect One in May, 1993. He became a partner in 1998 and has been President & CEO since 2015. His twenty-six years of experience and leadership with the firm emphasizes the stability, long-term success , and the firm’s reputation: quality Architecture design should strive for more than a functional need or the obvious. Scott is humbled by the amazing team he works with at AO how they have successfully expanded with new offices in Kansas City, and Manhattan in the last several years, to better serve their client’s needs.

Scott’s leadership is driven by his passion for creativity, vision, collaboration while improving the community he and his family have made their home. In addition to the many projects at Architect One that Scott is busy with, he is an active contributor to numerous economic development and nonprofit boards in Topeka and northeast Kansas.

 

KEVIN CHRISTIANSEN

Social entrepreneur Kevin Christiansen challenges diverse audiences to dream big and look for hidden potential! As a sought-after tea industry / youthful speaker, he shares insights from his launch of Cafe Barnabas (voted Best of Topeka Tea Shop), VERGE, and coneXus, platforms which are transforming Topeka into the best city for a teen to grow up.

Recognized as Business Advisor of the year (Youth Entrepreneurs) and 20 Under 40 (Boy Scotts), Kevin is passionate about partnership and collaborative efforts with high ROI, such as Momentum 2022. Kevin's excited about your event where he will engage the audience with his high energy, entertaining style.

 

EMMANUAL HERRON

The greatest opportunity we have to show our appreciation for life is to serve. Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Herron, originally from Kansas City, Kansas is a young man that is passionate about helping others transform from victim to victor. Emmanuel Herron is dedicated to showing youth and young adults that success is a choice and isn’t limited to your childhood environment, bad decisions or circumstances. Manny was abandoned by his father, lost his brother to street violence and spent a decade of his life in federal prison. However, he learned to read at the age of 21, learned to speak Spanish fluently in 7 months, became a certified fitness trainer and has built a successful real estate investment business, Infinite Properties Group LLC.Manny is relentless in pursuit of personal excellence.

Committed to be a better man, Manny diligently serves his community. He fervently believes "The way you do anything is the way you do everything" and serves with passion. Most recently, he served as a Coordinator for Sharefest in Topeka, Kansas. He has organized over 12 events for Project Forward, a city-wide movement to impact and elevate the community through volunteerism, mentorship and events. Manny serves as a Youth Pastor to help show children the love of Christ. He serves on the Board of Community Action and as a Chair with Momentum 2022 Eship

 

CLINT PATTY

After 17 years in private practice at a top Topeka law firm, Clint joined Clayton Wealth Partners as Managing Partner to assist in its transition to an ensemble ownership group. Today Clint's responsibilities include growing the firm and and doing his part in educating the community on the importance of a fee-only financial advisor. Clint makes his home in Topeka with his wife and children.

When not spending time with them or catching up on the Kansas Jayhawks, he is dedicated to serving the community. He is active with First Christian Church of Topeka, Rotary Club of Topeka, Stormont-Vail Hospital Foundation, and Kansas Children’s Service League, among many others.