Speakers' Bios

Schedule and speakers are subject to change. The speakers are listed alphabetically.

Keynote Speakers

Nicole Galloway, CPA
Missouri State Auditor

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, CPA, is the 38th auditor of the State of Missouri. She took the oath of office on April 27, 2015, and is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner.

Auditor Galloway believes government's purpose is to serve the citizens it represents. In her role as state auditor, she serves as the citizen's advocate, making sure government at all levels is efficient, effective and transparent.  She brings her expertise to work for Missourians each day to be a strong, independent watchdog holding government accountable.

Since taking office, Auditor Galloway has placed a strong emphasis on cybersecurity, incorporating data and privacy protection measures into standard audit processes.  She has also taken on municipal court reform, expanding court audits and issuing rules to guide local governments in implementing court reform reporting requirements.

Prior to becoming State Auditor, Galloway served as Treasurer of Boone County, and has worked in the private sector as a corporate auditor, accountant and actuarial analyst. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri and degrees in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. Auditor Galloway lives in Columbia with her husband, Jon, and sons, William and Benjamin.

Kathleen Sebelius
President and CEO, Sebelius Resources LLC; former U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services; former Governor of Kansas

Kathleen Sebelius is one of America’s foremost experts on national and global health issues, human services, and executive leadership. As CEO of Sebelius Resources LLC, she provides strategic advice to companies, investors, and non-profit organizations.

Sebelius serves as a member of the Board of Directors of companies including Dermira, Grand Rounds, Hampton Creek, and Humacyte, and she is a member of the Estee Lauder Foundation board and the advisory board for the Dole Institute of Politics. Sebelius is a Senior Advisor to Out Leadership and the Aspen Institute, where she co-chairs the Aspen Health Strategy Group.

From April 2009 through June 2014, Sebelius served in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, leading the effort to pass and implement the most significant health reform in half a century, the Affordable Care Act. Forbes named Sebelius one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

Having served as Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, Sebelius is the only daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history; her father, John Gilligan, was Governor of Ohio. Time magazine named her one of America’s Top Five Governors. Previous elected offices include two terms as the Kansas insurance commissioner and four terms in the Kansas Legislature.

Sebelius earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity Washington University. She is married to Gary Sebelius, a federal magistrate judge. They have two married sons, Ned and John, and two grandsons.​

Presenters & Panelists

Mary Banwart
​Director, Institute for Leadership Studies; Associate Professor, Communication Studies Department; Program & Academic Director, Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute

Dr. Banwart is an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies Department and directs the interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Minor at KU. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership and communication as well as political communication. Her primary research focuses on political campaign communication and the influence of gender in political campaigns, with specific attention directed toward political advertising, campaign web sites, and mixed-gender debates.

Bilal Furqan
Exhale, LLC

Mr. Bilal Furqan has been a student of the Martial Arts since the age of 6 years old, Studying with his father, Grand Master “Yahya H. Furqan. Bilal’s instructions include extensive studies in both hard and soft styles Martial Arts. Bilal currently studies with “Shaolin Master, Sifu Duke Garsia,” who Bilal has been with for the past twenty plus years. In 2014, Mr. Bilal was nominated for the U.S. Martial Arts Hall Of Heroes as the instructor of the year. These days you can find Bilal teaching Tai Chi at Exhale, LLC in downtown Mission, Kansas.


Elizabeth “Betsy” Gillespie
Director, Johnson County Department of Corrections

Elizabeth “Betsy” Gillespie has been the Director of the Johnson County Department of Corrections since April 2007.  She is responsible for the operations of Adult and Juvenile Community Corrections Programs and Juvenile Detention.  She has been in the field of corrections for 42 years and came to Johnson County from Shawnee County following seven years of service as the Director of the Shawnee County Department of Corrections. Betsy also served in the Kansas Department of Corrections for 16 years with her last position being the Warden of the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility.  She has also served in state corrections in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.  Betsy was the first female warden of a men’s correctional facility in Kansas and is proud to have mentored several female corrections professionals through the years. She has also served on several state task forces regarding corrections and mental health and was a member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission from 2010 through 2015. 

Betsy is also a 2009 graduate of the Leadership Kansas program and the 2011 LEAD (Leading, Educating, and Developing) program through the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and graduate credits in counseling and public administration from Clemson University and Wichita State University.  She is married to Joe Gillespie and has one son, Donald.  Betsy continues to enjoy her work in corrections with the use of evidence-based practices to change the behaviors of offenders and helping Johnson County government become an even higher performing organization, but her greatest joys now are her three grandchildren.

Kimiko Gilmore
Assistant City Manager, Kansas City, MO

Kimiko Black Gilmore serves as Assistant City Manager for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. She has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit and government sectors.  

During Ms. Gilmore’s tenure with the City of Kansas City she has provided oversight in the areas of Housing, Health, Human Relations and Neighborhoods.  She started serving as Assistant City Manager – Special Projects in 2012. Past projects include coordination of the City’s efforts during the 2010 Census and providing leadership to complete the City’s housing asset transfer plan, ReBuild KC. She was the staff lead during the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Week and 2015 World Series Parade and Celebration. She administered a $4 million contract with the Green Impact Zone, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver’s signature project; a place-based investment model within the urban core. Ms. Gilmore is the City’s planning committee representative for CORE4; a regional collaborative initiative among the four largest jurisdictions in the area; Kansas City, Mo, Jackson County, Johnson County and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County.

She is playing a defining role in changing the urban agriculture conversation in Kansas City, Missouri. She believes that supporting urban agriculture is a key component to decreasing the incidents of food insecurity that exist in our communities and serves to address consumer demand for local, organic, free range food.  She worked to attract a BrightFarms, Inc. to the Kansas City market. BrightFarms will construct a 100,000 sq. ft. greenhouse in Kansas City which will generate one million pounds of lettuces, tomatoes and herbs annually which will be sold locally.  She was appointed as chair of Kansas City, Missouri Urban Agricultural Zone Advisory Commission which made recommendations to the City Council regarding the establishment of Urban Agricultural Zones. She facilitated the establishment of KC Grow which will provide small grants to community gardeners and urban farmers for water access solutions. In addition, Ms. Gilmore has teamed up with City Planning staff to repurpose the Kansas City’s Municipal Farm as an agricultural incubator which would include 2 acres farms, mini food hub, composting center and recreational amenities.

Ms. Gilmore holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Troy State University. She has been happily married to the Rev. David A. Gilmore for 20 years. The couple has recently become a bi-state family since Rev. Gilmore is now serving as the new Director for Congregational Development and Revitalization for the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. In order to maintain balance in her life Ms. Gilmore likes to run and is a self-described “CrossFit chick”.  For three years Ms. Gilmore served as the Black Girls Run!Kansas City Ambassador and is currently a BGR!KC Run Coordinator.

Bernadette Gray-Little
Chancellor, University of Kansas

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has bold aspirations for the University of Kansas. Since arriving at KU in 2009, Gray-Little has focused on advancing KU’s mission of lifting students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world. In fall 2013, Gray-Little was named to the Board of Directors of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and she now serves as Chair. She is an invited member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Prior to becoming KU’s 17th Chancellor, Gray-Little held several leadership positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, including executive vice chancellor and provost. She received her B.A. from Marywood College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from St. Louis University. As part of a Fulbright Foundation fellowship, she conducted postdoctoral research in cross-cultural psychology in Denmark. She has also been a Social Science Research Council Fellow and a recipient of a Ford Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship through the National Research Council. 

Julie Harper
Battalion Chief – Operations, Overland Park, KS Fire Department

Harper is a 26 year veteran with the Overland Park (KS) Fire Department. As a battalion chief in operations, she provides management and supervision on North A Battalion. She directs personnel and equipment at emergency scenes that include fire, medical, hazardous materials and rescue operations. She plans strategic and tactical operations at emergency scenes to keep life and property loss to a minimum. 

Harper earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor of arts in management and human relations from Mid America Nazarene University. She is a graduate of the executive fire officer program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD.

Laura Howard
Director, KU Public Management Center

Laura is the Director of the University of Kansas Public Management Center. She comes to the University of Kansas from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she served as the Region VII Regional Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Laura has also served in various leadership positions with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS). Prior to her service with SRS, Laura served as a principal fiscal policy analyst for the nonpartisan Kansas Legislative Research Department for more than 10 years. Laura received her Bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford Ohio in Public Administration (with an emphasis in public policy analysis) and Economics. She received her law degree from the University of Kansas.

Maggie Mahoney
2016 Conference Chair
Assistant Director for Operations, Dole Institute of Politics

Maggie Mahoney is the Assistant Director for Operations at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, where she has been on staff since 2006. She has been active in KU governance and is a mentor for the Kansas Women's Leadership Institute. She served on the IWPAC planning committee in 2013, as an IWPAC ambassador in 2014, and as the IWPAC Chair in 2015 and 2016.

Maggie's "past work life" includes small business management and survey research/data collection. She is a Montana native and graduated with distinction in 2002 from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Sociology and minor in Psychology. Maggie also earned her Masters of Public Administration at KU in 2012. She resides with her husband and son in Lawrence. When free time is available, she especially enjoys music, sports, travel, and fine dining.

Patricia E. Martel
ICMA President & City Manager, Daly City, CA

Pat Martel has served as the City Manager of Daly City, the largest and most diverse full-service community in San Mateo County, CA, since 2005. She also serves as the General Manager of the North San Mateo County Sanitation District.

During nearly thirty-five years of service in local government, Ms. Martel has held executive management positions with several California municipalities including the cities of Inglewood, South San Francisco and Daly City where she previously served as the Assistant City Manager from 1995-2001. In 2001, she was appointed by former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown to serve as the General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission with responsibility for managing the Hetch Hetchy water delivery system which serves 2.4 million people in the Bay Area and the sanitation and power systems serving the City and County of San Francisco.

Professionally, Ms. Martel currently serves as President of the International City/County Management Association, the premier local government leadership and management organization. She is also a Board member of the California City Management Foundation, the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities, and the International Hispanic Network. Ms. Martel was also recently elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Martel holds a B.S. degree in Public Affairs and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. She is also an ICMA Credentialed Manager.  

Jasmin Moore
Sustainability Program Manager, Johnson County Department of Health & Environment

Jasmin Moore is the Sustainability Program Manager for Johnson County, Kansas Government. Jasmin guides county initiatives promoting responsible management of resources to meet the environmental, economic, and human needs of today and for generations to come. These initiatives range from energy efficiency to community gardens, and everything in between.  She also coordinates policies and practices promoting sustainability with cities and other local government entities in the metropolitan area.

She recently returned to the Kansas City area after living, learning, and working in Colorado, Texas, and Arkansas. In previous roles, Jasmin served as a community planner for the Central Arkansas Metropolitan Planning Organization, member of the Little Rock Sustainability Commission, co-chair of the Arkansas Collation for Obesity Prevention Built Environment Committee, co-chair of the American Planning Association Healthy Communities Group, planner for the City of San Antonio, and AmeriCorps member.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Applied Behavioral Science from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science Degree in Regional and Community Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kim Murphree
Technical Services Manager, Lawrence, KS Police Department

Kim Murphree serves as the Technical Services Manager and Terminal Agency Coordinator for the Lawrence Police Department; and for 14 years, served as part of the media relations team for that agency. In her public service career, she has served on the Kansas State Criminal Justice Information Systems sub-committee where her work involved reviewing and writing policies for criminal justice records and transmission systems. She has served as a member of the Northeast Kansas CJIS Users Group to facilitate discussions regarding the Kansas State CJIS between colleagues and users from around the region. In her ongoing capacity as a Terminal Agency Coordinator, Kim trains, certifies and responds to all policy issues associated with the use of FBI databases. Through her work with the Lawrence Police Department, Kim is also certified as a Public Information Officer, and served as part of the Incident Command Team for the Missouri River Flood of 2011.  

In her day to day duties, Kim manages the Records Department of the Lawrence Police Department, and serves as the nexus between the public, media, attorneys and the criminal justice system. Kim believes in servant leadership, and in the world of criminal justice systems, that service must be based on knowledge and professional, ethical conduct. As the Technical Services Manager, Kim’s expertise lies in her ability to understand and apply all of the complex and sometimes overlapping and inconsistent rules, policies, statutes and case law associated with criminal justice systems, and communicate that understanding to a wide variety of consumers.

As a servant leader, Kim stresses service to staff. When she first came to the Lawrence Police Department, she worked with several police supervisors and designed a new, more open, office space to increase teamwork; she took down the walls so her staff could discuss issues and learn to resolve problems together. About a year later, the Lawrence Police Records Department office was one of three in the City of Lawrence recognized by OSHA for excellence. Kim also campaigned for and was able to make flex time available to civilian staff, a resource management tool that has resulted in higher efficiency and better morale.

Prior to working for the Lawrence Police Department, Kim was a trainer for the Kansas Department of Administration through her work as an Instructor at Washburn University. She holds a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Kansas. Between 1998 and 2013, Kim was also the Morning Show host, Public Service and News Director at 1320 KLWN talk radio in Lawrence.

Julia Novak
President, The Novak Consulting Group

Julia Novak is President of The Novak Consulting Group, a firm she founded in September 2009 when she acquired Public Management Partners. From 2003 to 2009, she served as a Vice President for a local government consulting firm. Julia has more than 25 years of experience working with and for local governments. She is an established consultant, trainer, facilitator, and thought leader who has worked with over 200 different local government and nonprofit organizations across the country. Prior to consulting, Julia worked in the cities of Fort Collins, Colorado; Lexington, Massachusetts; Rockville, Maryland; and was City Manager of Rye, New York. She has worked with elected and appointed officials and nonprofit board members across the country to conduct goal setting, develop strategic plans, and prioritize service delivery.

In 2009, Julia co-authored an article with Dr. John Nalbandian in Public Management Magazine titled "Preparing Councils for Their Work." In 2010, the article she co-authored with City Manager Steve Burkett, "Permission to Manage," was the featured article on the cover of Public Management Magazine, stressing the importance of being intentional in managing organizations and using performance measures as a part of a management system.

Julia earned a bachelor's degree in government and politics from George Mason University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. Julia was in the first class of individuals certified by ICMA as Credentialed Local Government Managers and maintains that designation.

Jan Perkins
Senior Partner, Management Partners, Inc.

Jan Perkins has 30 years of management experience in local government.  Before joining Management Partners in 2005 she served in several California and Michigan jurisdictions, including as city manager in Fremont and Morgan Hill, California. She also served the cities of Santa Ana, California; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Adrian, Michigan. She provides assistance to government leaders in organizational analysis, leadership development, facilitation, strategic planning, teambuilding, executive performance evaluation, and policy board/staff effectiveness.

Jan is a frequent speaker at conferences and has authored a number of articles including “Hiring 2.0:  23 Creative Ways to Recruit and Keep Great Staff,” which appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of Public Management magazine; “Successful Leadership,” which appeared in the March 2005 issue of Public Management magazine; “The Value of Going Back to the Basics,” co-authored with former Fremont Mayor Gus Morrison, which appeared in the June 2005 issue of Western City magazine;  “It’s (Gulp) Evaluation Time,” July 2005, PM magazine; “Ethics:  Alive and Well,” co-authored by Elizabeth Keller and published in the January/February 2007 issue of Public Management, and “Assessing the Ethical Culture of Your Agency,” co-authored by JoAnne Speers and Arne Croce, which appeared in the January/February 2007 issue of Public Management; “Building Career Resiliency: Hone Your Ability to Grow From Adversity,” co-authored with Pat Martel, which appeared in the March 2016 issue of Public Management; and, “Maximizing Manager Success,” co-authored by Kevin Duggan, Frank Benest and Kevin O’Rourke, published in the April 2016 issue of Public Management.

Jan completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University and is an ICMA Credentialed Manager. She is an ICMA Liaison and serves on the Women Leading Government Board of Directors.

Emily Randel
​Public Information Officer, City of Mission, KS​

Emily Randel is Public Information Officer for the City of Mission, Kansas, focusing on expanding the reach of City communications and on special projects including establishing the Mission Farm and Flower Market which will begin its second year this May. Emily recently completed the Mid-America Regional Council's (MARC) Successful Facilitator Certificate Program and is Mission's primary contact for the Communities for All Ages program, targeting improvements in inclusiveness in all aspects of service delivery. She is a board member for the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society of Public Affairs and the Rotary Club of Shawnee Mission. Previously, she worked for the City of Gresham, Oregon as Economic Development Specialist. Emily has a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Kansas.

Sara Singer
2016 Conference Chair-Elect
Vice President, JRO + Co

Sara Singer is the Vice President for JRO + Co, a full-service strategic planning and public communications firm based in Olympia, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Sara graduated from the University of Kansas Master of Public Administration program in 2006 and spent over ten years working for local governments in Oregon, California and Kansas, before transitioning into a consulting role. Her consulting work focuses on building vibrant communities and shaping sustainable organizations with public, non-profit and private-sector clients. 
Sara grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and completed her undergraduate degree at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. During the summers while in college, she began interning for a small city in the St. Louis area where she developed a passion helping people through her work in local government. This interest led her to KU's MPA program to foster this passion through academic and professional growth. She has made many leaps in her career as the Assistant to the City Manager in Shawnee, Kansas, a Senior Administrative Analyst in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Deputy City Manager in Tualatin, Oregon, and most recently the Vice President at JRO + Co. Her passion remains helping people come together to work through challenging issues to build strong communities.
Sara is involved in many professional organizations including the Oregon City/County Managers Association (OCCMA), the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). She enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest via running, hiking, spending time at the coast or in the mountains. She also spends time discovering some of the Portland's best restaurants and the Willamette Valley's great wine.

Diane Stoddard
Assistant City Manager, Lawrence, KS

Diane Stoddard has served as Assistant City Manager of Lawrence, Kansas since October 2007. She served as the Interim City Manager from June 2015-March 2016. Prior to returning to her hometown of Lawrence, she served as Deputy City Manager and in other management capacities with the City of Manhattan, Kansas from 1996-2007. She also worked for the cities of Ottawa, Kansas and Lenexa, Kansas. She holds a MPA and an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Kansas and is a ICMA Credentialed Manager. Diane is active in her state professional association and has recently served as the President of the Kansas Association of City/County Management. Diane is a graduate of various leadership programs, including Leadership Kansas.



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