Oct 09, 2021 4:22 PM

SPARK Taskforce announces advisory panel membership

Posted Oct 09, 2021 4:22 PM

TOPEKA – The Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce Executive Committee appointed members to the group’s four advisory panels: Health and Education, Economic Revitalization, Connectivity, and Efficiency and Modernization.

The advisory panels will gather information and feedback from Kansans, using that input to prepare proposals within each issue area for the most effective statewide distribution of federal coronavirus relief funds allocated to Kansas through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of March 2021. 

“I am confident that each advisory panel will develop comprehensive ARPA funding proposals for strategic investments where they are needed most,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I appreciate all advisory panel members for committing their time and energy into building a stronger economy for future generations of Kansans.” 

“This outstanding group of advisory panel members from throughout Kansas will help us equitably allocate ARPA funds in truly impactful ways,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Working together, we’ll pursue thoughtful investments in our economy and quality of life for all Kansans.”

"I am grateful for all who have agreed to serve on the advisory panels to help guide our ARPA funds in a way that will have a long term positive impact on the lives of Kansans," Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson said. " Each brings a unique area of expertise, and I am looking forward to working with them to identify ways we can best invest these important dollars into the Kansas economy."

“This is the right group to have around the table to make these important investment decisions," Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman said. "They bring the business and policymaking experience we need to ensure the state’s economic turnaround.”

The members of each advisory panel are as follows.

Economic Revitalization
The Economic Revitalization Advisory Panel will consider issues related to economic development and will seek to make investments with long term impact for the Kansas economy.

Kansas Representative Sean Tarwater

Kansas Senator J.R. Claeys

Kansas House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer

Tien Hyunh, entrepreneur/business owner

Andrew Nave, executive vice president, Greater Wichita Partnership

Lona Duvall, president, Finney County Economic Development Council

Tim McKee, CEO, Olathe Chamber of Commerce

Brett Leopold, vice president, ITC Great Plains

Sam Sackett, VP of government relations, Spirit AeroSystems

Matt Condon, CEO, Bardavon Health Innovations

Ryan Flickner, senior director of advocacy, Kansas Farm Bureau

Health and Education
The Health and Education Advisory Panel will consider issues related to social services, education, and improving the health and wellness of Kansans.

Kansas Representative Kristey Williams

Kansas Senator Renee Erickson

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Dina Sykes

Robyn Chadwick, VP operations, behavioral health, Ascension Via Christi

Raphael Wahwassuck, Tribal Council member, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

Dr. Jarvis Collier, senior pastor, Pleasant Green Baptist Church

McClain Macklin, director of policy and strategic initiatives, Health Forward Foundation

Kathe Decker, former lawmaker

Shawn Sullivan, CEO, Midland Care Connection

The Connectivity Advisory Panel will consider issues related to broadband and IT infrastructure.

Kansas Senator Mike Peterson

Kansas Representative Adam Smith

Kansas Senator Tom Hawk

Tiffany Anderson, superintendent, Topeka Public Schools

Stanley Adams, director, Kansas Office of Broadband Development

Ed Taylor, principal/CEO, UES Consulting Services, Inc.

Brian Vulgamore, business manager, Vulgamore Family Farms

Paul Truitt, VP of field operations, Cox Communications

Molly Kocour Boyle, president, AT&T Kansas

Efficiency and Modernization
The Efficiency and Modernization Advisory Panel will seek opportunities to modernize and improve government services.

Kansas Representative Troy Waymaster

Kansas Senator Michael Fagg

Kansas Representative Kathy Wolfe-Moore

Tanya Heffel, chief technology officer, OITS

Joe Mandala, CIO, KBI

Frank Burnam, director, Office of Facilities and Property Management for State of Kansas

Michael Wilkes, city manager, Olathe

Mark Hutton, retired CEO and former legislator

Matt Billingsley, former Kansas Department of Revenue

Shane Mathis, CEO, Ally RNG

Additional information about the SPARK Committee, ARPA or the Governor’s Office of Recovery can be found at https://covid.ks.gov.