Matt Wassom Hired As New Director For Partnership For Growth

Matt Wassom, Frankfort, has been hired as the executive director for Marshall County Partnership for Growth, a 501(c)6 organization that furthers economic development in Marshall County.  Wassom will assume the position April 1.

“The board is excited to bring Matt on board because he has local connections and he has the ability to manage different aspects of projects,” said Rob Peschel, a board member for the Partnership.  “With his recent work experience, he’s managed multiple personnel.  We are glad he is willing to join the group and elevate it from where we currently are.”

Wassom replaces Ellen Barber, Marysville, who served as the executive director for seven years.  Barber retired December 2022.

“When I was approached about the position, it just fit what I want to do,” Wassom said.  “I like small, local businesses.  I think they are very important to our community.”

Once Wassom takes over the position, he says job number one is getting to know everybody.

“I plan to start picking the brains of the locals and the other agencies around to find out what’s been successful,” he explained.  “I want to emulate what they’ve done right.”

Keeping the Partnership’s momentum going is important to Wassom.

“I feel I can accomplish this because I can get along with anybody,” he said.  “I am able to think outside the box.  Things that might not have worked at the beginning, I would like to be the impetus to make them work.”

Wassom grew up in Chester, Neb., population 350.

“We’re the home of six-man football,” Wassom said.

After graduating high school, Wassom attended Doane University where he earned a degree in Physical Education, Sports Management and Fitness.

He moved to Marysville April 1999, to serve as the fitness coordinator for The Athletic Warehouse (now Marysville Health and Fitness).  While working there, he met Mary Kessinger; a few years later they married.

They have three children, Simeon, Titus and Asher.

Wassom owned his own business, Matt’s Wood Floor Refinishing, that he started because he saw a need.

He’s served as the purchasing agent for Valley Vet Supply, and has held several jobs with the Union Pacific Railroad.  Currently, he is working on the train service crew for the railroad.  He will continue his railroad transportation duties while serving as the Partnership’s director.

As executive director, Wassom will work directly with the Partnership’s board of directors and members.

Officers for the organization are Wayne Kruse, chairperson, Marysville; Melody Tommer, vice chairperson, Frankfort; Frank Shoemaker, treasurer, Marysville; Chrystal Porter, secretary, Blue Rapids.

Other board members are Jeff Bartels, Jeff Keating, Ken Kickhaefer, Peschel, John Smith, and Nic Stoll, all of Marysville.

The Partnership is a membership organization open to individuals and businesses.  To become a member, call 785-207-7598.  Membership fees start at $50 for individuals and $100 for businesses.

More information about the Partnership may be found on their website,

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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