Meet Our Team
From our Case Managers to our Board of Directors, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters is composed of individuals who are compassionate and dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help change the lives of Kansas youth for the better.
Board of Directors
Koch Industries, Inc., President & COO (Retired)
KSBBBS BoD Chair Emeritus
Bill served as the President/COO of Koch Industries from 1987-2001 and Vice Chairman from 1999-2001. He started his career with Sunray DX Oil in Okla. before joining Koch in 1968. Bill has served on the Board for Security Benefit Corp. of Topeka, the KU School of Business and BBBSA, among many others. He has been a member since 1990 of the Engineering Advisory Council at Texas A&M, where he earned a BS degree in civil engineering and was recently honored as an Outstanding Alumnus of their Engineering College.
La Raza Pizza, Inc., President/CEO
KSBBBS BoD Vice Chair
Gene received his BS in Accounting and Business Administration from KU and a Master’s degree from Harvard. He is President/CEO of La Raza Pizza, one of the top 150 largest Hispanic owned companies in America. Gene has served on the Pizza Hut Advertising Committee for which he was responsible for marketing and product strategy for the 6,000+ U.S. operated Pizza Huts. He is also Past Chairman of the Board of the International Pizza Hut Franchise Association.
6 Meridian, Partner
KSBBBS BoD Secretary
Often credited as the visionary of the 6 Meridian team, Margaret has earned the informal title of “people architect.” Her ability to connect with individuals and harness their respective strengths is uncanny. And her passion for service is unmatched. At the start of her decades-long career in finance, Margaret was working within a private banking group when she saw what many others didn’t. Margaret’s ability to solve issues clients don’t even know they have yet is a coveted and advantageous quality. For Margaret, passion and dedication are in no short supply, and these traits extend beyond the office walls to other interests, namely travel and advocating for animals.
Cargill, Protein Foodservice, President
Misty joined Cargill in 2005 and currently leads the Foodservice Channel and Customer Service team for Cargill Protein. Misty holds a B.A. degree in Communications from Wichita State University. Misty and her husband along with their 11-year-old daughter currently live in Wichita, KS. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and running.
Kansas Athletics, Deputy Athletics Director for Sports Administration and Student-Athlete Well-being (Senior Woman Administrator)
Nicole joined the KU Athletics Dept. as Chief of Staff to the Athletics Director in 2009. In July 2017, she was named Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator. Nicole graduated from Washburn Univ. with a bachelor's in communications with a public relations emphasis. In 2005, Nicole was named outstanding alumni by the Washburn Univ. Mass Media Dept. She currently serves as a Big Sister in the KSBBBS program.
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., President & CEO
Tom earned a bachelor’s degree in economics magna cum laude and an MBA from Harvard, and studied international relations at the London School of Economics. Prior to his roles at Spirit, Tom served as president and COO of GE Capital, and president and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems and GE Aviation Services. He has held numerous other leadership and strategy roles with McKinsey and Company, CBS and General Motors.
The Trust Company, President & CEO
Mark founded The Trust Company in 1992. He began his career in trust and investment management in 1983 after earning his MBA and JD from KU. He is also a graduate of ESU with a bachelor’s in Public Administration and Economics. He formerly managed the Trust and Investment Dept. for First National Bank of Manhattan and was also VP of Commerce Bank and Trust of Topeka. His roles with The Trust Company include overall strategic and corporate management, fiduciary client service, and investment policy oversight.
Koch Ag & Energy Solutions, LLC, President
Mark began his career with Koch companies in 1989 as a project engineer in Koch Pipeline, where he worked on the construction of the Texas Pipeline as well as several other projects. He then spent several years in Koch’s Business Development group working on mergers and acquisition projects. In 1995, Mark moved to Koch Carbon where he spent 10 years in positions with increasing responsibility in international physical commodity trading. Mark joined Georgia-Pacific after the company was acquired by Koch in early 1996 and spent 12 years there. Mark received a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from K-State.
Meritrust Credit Union, President & CEO
James has more than 18 years of credit union executive experience and became the President/CEO of Meritrust in 2013. He leads Meritrust with a commitment to integrity, focusing on members and caring for our communities. James brings more than 16 years of executive experience as the Senior VP of Lending and Collections at Univ. Federal Credit Union (UFCU) in Austin, a 76-year old credit union with $1.5 billion in assets, serving over 150,000 members in over 200 universities, associations and employers in Central TX and Galveston.
Kansas Leadership Center, Chief Business Officer
John is the Chief Business Officer at the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC). Before joining KLC, John served as COO for Houston First Corp (Texas) and was the CEO/President of Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau. He has also served as Deputy Secretary of the Kansas Dept. of Commerce and in other economic development and marketing positions. John is a graduate of WSU, holding a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He continues to be involved in various boards and civic organizations which focus on education, youth, travel & tourism, the arts and leadership. He enjoys sports, working out, traveling, dining out and spending time with his family.
KSBBBS BoD Chair
After obtaining a construction management degree from K-State, Ben worked for a Colorado-based firm before returning to Hutton as a project manager, and later, leading the company’s development efforts. In 2010, he assumed the role of President, taking over for the man who instilled his love for construction, his father. Under Ben’s leadership, Hutton has grown consistently and considerably.
Koch Investments, President
KSBBBS BoD Treasurer
Steve began his career with Koch in 1997 as controller for Koch Chemical Group. He later served as VP of Tax, Accounting & Finance for Koch Industries. Steve earned a master’s degree in accounting from WSU and is a CPA. He currently serves on the boards of these Koch subsidiaries: Georgia-Pacific, Koch Chemical Technology Group, Koch Asset Management, and Molex Electronic Technologies Holdings.
SJCF Architecture, Senior Vice President
Joe received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Univ. of Illinois in 1971, and pursued graduate studies in the Hugo Wall School of Urban & Public Affairs at WSU. He joined Schaefer Schirmer & Associates in 1975 and became an owner in Schaefer & Associates in 1979. In 1986, the firm became Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey. Joe is a Registered Architect in nine states. He is also certified by the National Council of Architects Registration Boards and a member of the American Institute of Architects.
Cox Media, Group Vice President
As group vice president of Cox Media, Maryann Balbo is accountable for leadership of Cox Media’s growth in revenue and profit objectives across multiple markets. This includes Kansas-Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida/Georgia/Alabama, New England, Omaha, and Virginia markets. She also leads digital sales strategy for the enterprise. With a diverse career path, she has worked in broadcast, cable, digital and print. Maryann is best known for her proven track record of building and maintaining a thriving people-focused culture with a foundation of purpose.
Cornejo Companies, C & S Group, Partner
Marty was born and raised in Wichita growing up in a family business started by his father, known today as Cornejo & Sons Construction. Fresh out of high school, Marty started as a full-time employee and through the years evolved into the President of Cornejo & Sons which grew into Heavy Highway Construction which was acquired by Summit Materials in 2010. Marty is co-owner of C&S Group which has active business ventures, real estate and investments.
Herman T. Jones
Kansas Highway Patrol, Superintendent
Herman has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1977. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 248, 101st National Sheriff’s Institute Academy, Kansas Highway Patrol Academy – Class 18, and the 54th Kansas Law Enforcement Basic Academy. In addition to his involvement in many other law enforcement organizations, Herman actively serves his church as an elder, deacon, usher, and youth and Sunday school leader. Herman acquired a BS in Psychology from Emporia State University. He has been married to wife, Carlene, since 1982 and has two adult sons and one grandson.
Courtney Lisenmeyer-O'Brien, PhD, MHR, LPC
Courtney began her professional career in the psychiatry field in 2004 and opened her own practice in May of 2009. She currently specializes in sexuality, depression, anxiety, and addiction. Courtney enjoys working out to keep her mind and body healthy and was the Red River Bodybuilding Champion in 1995. Courtney received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oklahoma State University, her Master of Arts in Psychology & Sexuality from the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, and her PhD from Saybrook University in Oakland, California.
Evergy, Vice President of Customer and Community Operations
Jeff received his BS in Electronics Engineering Technology from Pittsburg State University and his MBA in operations management from Kansas State University. Jeff was named Every VP of Customer and Community Operations in June 2018 after the successful completion of the merger of Westar Evergy and KCP&L. Jeff has held various roles in Regulatory, IT, and Operations with Evergy since he joined in 1993.
Textron, Senior Vice President, Customer Support
Brian oversees all aspects of the company’s global Customer Service organization. With more than 20 years of extensive cross-functional experience, customers appreciate Brian’s collaborative approach in developing solutions that meet their needs. Brian began his career with the company in 1997 and has held a variety of roles increasing in responsibility. Brian earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from WSU and is a certified Textron Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt.
President and CEO
Mary has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly 25 years. At KSBBBS, Mary’s primary passion and responsibility is to inspire and engage stakeholders to serve more Kansas youth who are facing adversity. She is a firm believer that we are not merely defined by the work we are paid to do, but the time and energy we invest in others. One of her favorite quotes is by Pericles, who said, “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
Chief Operating Officer
Brandon has worked in the Emergency Medical Services field and has a master’s of public administration, as well as a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from WSU, He loves the mission-mindedness to serve kids facing adversity and believes in KSBBBS's strong projected growth model.
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