60.6 F
Wichita
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Governor Kelly Announces Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce

Sports Headlines

NHL Announces Return to Play Plan for 2019-20

NEW YORK (May 26, 2020) – The National Hockey League announced today a Return To Play Plan for the 2019-20 season, highlighted by a modified...

Royals announce June schedule for “Royals Playback”

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Kansas City Royals announced their June schedule for “Royals Playback,” airing Tuesdays (7 p.m.), Thursdays (7 p.m.), Saturdays (6...

College/Pro Week on the Sports Ticket on KD Country 94

Next week we'll shift our focus to local college and pro sports as we celebrate College/Pro Week. The Sports Ticket is live weekdays at...

Kansas Speedway May Race Weekend Postponed

Kansas City, KAN. – Officials with NASCAR and the Kansas Speedway have announced that the May 30-31 race weekend has been postponed until a...

Ubelaker Retires as Osborne High School AD

Longtime Osborne High School Athletic Director Doug Ubelaker retired from that position at Monday's USD 392 board meeting.  Ubelaker spent 33 years as the...
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

As part of her commitment to rebuilding Kansas and the economy, Governor Laura Kelly today announced the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce to lead the state’s economic recovery. The taskforce is charged with leading Kansas forward in recovery from the far-reaching effects of COVID-19.

The Recovery Office team will be responsible for the statewide distribution of significant CARES Act funding. A five-member executive committee will oversee the process, and the office will have a steering committee with an additional 15 members who will form three subcommittees. The three subcommittees will focus on communication and engagement, finance and policy development and implementation and accountability.

“The state’s recovery effort must serve urban and rural areas alike across the state, and all sectors of the economy,” Kelly said. “I am grateful that our team membership reflects these ideals, and I want to thank these leaders for their willingness to serve in such challenged times.

“The health and economic challenges COVID-19 inflicted on our state truly are unprecedented – and we must use our collective talents to develop strategies to not only regain what we lost, but build a better, more inclusive and resilient economy.”

Earlier this month, Governor Kelly announced she had selected Cheryl Harrison-Lee as the Recovery Office’s executive director and Lyle Butler as the chair. Harrison-Lee has more than 30 years of experience in strategic leadership positions in a variety of corporate, entrepreneurial, private and public environments, and Butler has years of experience working with the business community and economic development as the President and CEO of several local Chambers of Commerce, most recently retiring from the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Cheryl and Lyle understand the needs of local communities in Kansas,” Governor Kelly said. “Their experience and dedication will be paramount during our state’s recovery effort and in the statewide distribution of CARES Act funding.”

“I look forward to working with these committees on a process that ensures transparency, equity and accountability, while leading Kansas’ recovery efforts from this challenging period in the world,” Executive Director Harrison-Lee said.

Other members of the SPARK Taskforce, appointed by the governor, include representatives of the business community, economic development and the Kansas Legislature. These taskforce members are:

Executive Committee

  • Tom Bell, President and CEO, Kansas Hospital Association, Topeka, Kansas;
  • Lyle Butler, President and CEO, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce (retired), Manhattan, Kansas;
  • Senator Jim Denning, Vice President, Discover Vision Centers, Overland Park, Kansas;
  • Jill Docking, Senior Vice President, The Docking Group – Baird Financial, Wichita, Kansas;
  • Alise Martiny, Business Manager, Greater KC Building and Trades Council, Shawnee, Kansas.

Steering Committee

  • Tom Gentile, CEO, Spirit AaroSystems, Wichita, Kansas;
  • Natalie Haag, Attorney, Capitol Federal Savings, Topeka, Kansas;
  • David Harwood, Senior Vice President, Terracon Consultants & Chair, KANSASWorks State Board, Olathe, Kansas;
  • Senator Tom Hawk, Ranking Minority Member, Senate Ways and Means Committee, Manhattan, Kansas;
  • Representative Dan Hawkins, House Majority Leader, Wichita, Kansas;
  • Edward Honesty, Jr., President & Chief Operating Officer, Best Harvest Bakeries, Kansas City, Kansas;
  • Chuck Mageral, Proprietor, Free State Brewing Company, Lawrence, Kansas;
  • David McCarty, Owner, McCarty Family Farms, Colby, Kansas;
  • Senator Carolyn McGinn, Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee, Sedgwick, Kansas;
  • Shelia Nelson-Stout, President and CEO, OCCK, Inc., Salina, Kansas;
  • Neelima Parasker, President & CEO, SnapIT Solutions, Overland Park, Kansas;
  • Jim Robinson, Partner, Hite Fanning & Honeyman, Wichita, Kansas;
  • Secretary David Toland, Department of Commerce, Topeka, Kansas;
  • Representative Troy Waymaster, Chair, House Appropriations Committee, Bunker Hill, Kansas;
  • Representative Kathy Wolfe-Moore, Ranking Minority Member, House Appropriations Committee, Kansas City, Kansas.

Over the coming days and weeks, information on the Recovery Office and the SPARK Taskforce can be found at covid.ks.gov.

Kansas Headlines

Governor signs disaster declaration, calls for special session, warns of grave consequences to state without legislative action

Today Governor Laura Kelly announced a series of actions her administration is taking to respond to the emergency situation COVID-19 currently presents to the...

K-State film about school district’s transition to online teaching goes viral

MANHATTAN — A 13-minute video produced by the Kansas State University College of Education chronicles one rural Kansas school district's transition to remote teaching because of COVID-19. "Wamego's...

KDHE recommends self-quarantine for Kansans who traveled to Lake of the Ozarks

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is recommending voluntary 14-day self-quarantine for those Kansans who traveled to Lake of the...

Kansas Gov. Kelly’s Emergency Powers Weakened By Lawmakers Who Say She Overreacted To COVID-19

By Stephen Koranda - Kansas News Service TOPEKA, Kansas — In a one-day marathon session that wrapped up a legislative year upended by the coronavirus, Kansas...