News Release: JAG-K Board of Directors Brings Together Diverse Skills, Experience and Connections

TOPEKA – Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K), one of 38 state affiliates of Jobs for America’s Graduates, recently added five new members to its board of directors. New board members include:

·     Larry Alley, Kansas State Senator

·     Anna Backman, Regional Vice-President of Human Resources, HCA Healthcare

·     Derek Bailey, Senior Commercial Lender, First Interstate Bank

·     Michael Marquart, Labor Relations Manager, John Deere

·     Anna Stubblefield, Superintendent, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

JAG-K is a multi-year, in-school program for students in grades 6-12 that offers tools to successfully transition students into post-secondary school, the military, or directly into the workforce with marketable skills. Participants in the program face multiple barriers to success that their JAG-K career specialist helps them overcome through a nationally accredited, evidence-based model.

JAG-K, which kicked off its 10th year in the state this fall, relies upon the 24 members of its board for direction and taps their diverse skills, experience, and connections.

(see at bottom a list of all members of the JAG-K Board of Directors)

“Working with the JAG-K Board of Directors has been educational and uplifting,” said Paula Landoll-Smith, Marketing Director for the Landoll Corporation. “JAG-K is such a benefit for students who get the opportunity to participate. It is a joy to be able to work with individuals from all different backgrounds and areas of the state that have one common interest: helping kids develop into great adults and strengthen this great state of Kansas. I look forward to continued growth and success with this amazing group of leaders.”

JAG-K recently added 11 new programs to the eight programs previously established in the Kansas City Kansas Public School District where new board member Stubblefield serves as superintendent.

“Looking at the data, the number of students in JAG-K who graduate, and not only graduate but transition successfully to post-secondary opportunities, it was a program we wanted to make available to more of our students,” Stubblefield said.

“I am committed to the kids of KCK, but I am also committed to kids across the state and across the country. JAG-K’s outcomes speak for themselves, so as much as we can grow those opportunities across the state, it will benefit all those local communities that have JAG-K programs.”

Sen. Alley, Winfield, who retired from a career in construction management, said he is happy to contribute the perspective of an elected official to the JAG-K Board of Directors. Another Kansas legislator on the board is Rep. Barbara Ballard, Lawrence. Sen. Rick Billinger, Goodland, was Alley’s predecessor on the board.

Alley said he believes JAG-K is a strategic and effective use of state funding.

“They are helping students with diverse backgrounds, and helping them prepare for post-secondary success,” Alley said. “I joined the JAG-K Board of Directors because I am excited about programs that work. We want to continue that throughout the state. In fact, I want to grow the program.”

Dennis Mullin, Chairman of Steel & Pipe Supply, recently stepped down from the position of board chairman. Assuming the position is Jennifer Bauer, General Counsel for Delta Dental of Kansas.

JAG-K has 86 multi-year high school programs and 13 middle school programs. JAG-K also has five alternative education programs and five Transition Services programs dedicated to serving students in foster care. JAG-K anticipates serving approximately 5,500 students in the 2022-2023 school year.

JAG-K helps students prepare for post-secondary education and employment opportunities. JAG-K programs across the state reported a graduation rate of 95 percent for the Class of 2021. That total exceeded the state of Kansas’ total graduation rate of 88 percent.

JAG-K recorded a full-time positive outcomes rate of 86 percent, which means that number of 2021 graduates are either in post-secondary education, military service or in the workforce full-time one year after graduation. Seventy-two percent of graduates of 2021 are employed, with 84 percent of those reporting they are working full time.

The 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is a state affiliate of the national JAG program network which operates in 38 different states and territories. It is primarily funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant to the State of Kansas administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). In addition to school districts and DCF, JAG-K partners with the Kansas Department of Education. Other JAG-K funding sources include ADM, AT&T, Evergy, Goldstein Charitable Trust, John Deere, the Kansas Health Foundation, the Kansas Insurance Department, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, Stormont Vail Health, Synchrony Financial, the Taco Bell Foundation, the City of Topeka, United Way of the Plains and Walmart.

To learn more about JAG-K, visit, ‘Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas’ on Facebook, and on Twitter at @JAG_Kansas.

JAG-K Board of Directors:

Jennifer Bauer (Chair), Wichita, Chief People and Strategy Officer/General Counsel, Delta Dental of Kansas

Paula Landoll-Smith (Vice-Chair), Marysville, Marketing/PR Director, Landoll Corporation

Tim Johnson (Treasurer/Secretary), Augusta, President, Triple Crown Realty Trust

Sen. Larry Alley, Winfield, Kansas State Senator

Anna Backman, Overland Park, Regional VP of Human Resources, HCA Healthcare

Derek Bailey, Lawrence, Senior Commercial Lender, First Interstate Bank

Rep. Barbara Ballard, Lawrence, Kansas State Representative

Shane Bangerter, Dodge City, Attorney, Bangerter Law, P.A.

Mike Beene, Topeka, Assistant Secretary, Kansas Department of Commerce

Alan Cobb, Topeka, President/CEO, Kansas Chamber of Commerce

Kenya Cox, Wichita, District Director, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall

Jim Echols, Kansas City, CEO, Renaissance Management & Training Solutions

Troy Findley, Topeka, Summit Strategies Group

Jim Jamison, Topeka, President, AT&T Kansas

Erin Kobler, Kansas City, Head of Human Resources, Oracle Cerner

Kevin Like, Shawnee, retired, ADM

Mike Marquart, Coffeeville, Labor Relations Manager, John Deere

Daphne R. Maxwell, Junction City, Legal Administrative Support, Office of the Judge Advocate (Army)

Lt. Col. Trent Miller, Eudora, Director of Personnel KSARNG, Kansas Army National Guard

Dennis Mullin, Manhattan, Chairman, SPS Companies, Inc.

Mike O’Neal, Topeka, Owner, O’Neal Consulting

Jamie Stafford Topeka, Sr. Director, Associate Relations & Employment Practices, Key Staffing

Dr. Anna Stubblefield, Kansas City, Superintendent, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

Andrew Wiens, Bel Aire, Director of Government Relations, Dugan Consulting Group