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Board of Trustees

2020 -2021 Executive Committee

Joan Wagnon

Board President 

Joan Wagnon finally retired in 2016. She says she is now an almost full-time volunteer, serving as Finance Chair for the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice board of directors, and President of the Topeka Rotary Foundation Trustees. She also is project director for the Kansas Legislative Oral History Project and volunteers with the YWCA Advocacy Committee.

From October 2, 2015 to July 25, 2016 Joan Wagnon served as Interim CEO of the YWCA of Northeast Kansas. Joan was no stranger to the world of non-profits. She served as executive director of the Topeka YWCA from 1977 to 1993, and of Kansas Families for KIDS from 1995-1997. She left that position to become Mayor of Topeka from 1997-2001.

Some of her recent honors include an Executive Leadership Award from the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Committee in 2017, Sales and Marketing Executives 2016 Executive of the Year award, 2016 Woman of Achievement from Go Topeka, the city’s economic development organization, the Brock Medal of Distinction from the Kansas Democratic Party. She is most proud of being named 2017 Distinguished Alumna of Hendrix College

Jeff Parker

Board
Vice-President
 
Midwest Health, Inc.

Jeff is currently Chief Information Officer for Midwest Health in Topeka, and was formerly an executive with Custom Wood Products, and a partner with Mize Houser & Company. He is a CPA, with an extensive background in technology, manufacturing, construction, retail, hospitality, and health care.

In his spare time, this Washburn graduate and native Topekan enjoys golf, landscaping, writing music, and managing the Topeka Jazz Workshop website. He is known amongst friends and family for being an accomplished cook and foodie. Jeff lives north of Topeka with his wife, Shelly, and they have four grown children, Meghann, Jordan, Tanner, and Taylor.

Zac Broughton

Board Treasurer 
Evergy

Zac Broughton is the Manager of Financial Accounting at Evergy where he has held various accounting and auditing positions since 2006.Prior to Westar, Zac worked as an accountant at Summers, Spencer and Company, performing accounting and tax services for many local clients.

Zac is a native of Topeka, KS and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Washburn University of Topeka. Zac is also a certified public accountant in the state of Kansas. When not at work, Zac enjoys assisting with his children’s activities and riding his motorcycle.In his youth, Zac performed at TPAC numerous times and still has an appreciation for the performing arts.

Barbara Ebert

Board
Secretary
 
Barbara's Conservatory of Dance

Barbara Ebert founded Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance in 1973. This well-established
dance studio now has approximately 500 students, coming from 18 towns and cities
in Kansas. She has also been employed to teach beginning and intermediate ballet
classes at Washburn University of Topeka and for both Cair Paravel Latin School and
the Topeka Latin School.

Barbara became Artistic Director of Ballet Midwest, Inc. at its inception in 1977.
During the company’s first forty years, she choreographed and staged
“Nutcracker Ballet”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Giselle”, “Midsummer
Night’s Dream”, “Coppélia”, “Swan Lake”, “Graduation Ball”, “Cinderella”, “La Fille
Mal Gardee”, “Firebird”, “Les Sylphides”, “Pas de Quatre”, “Symphony in C”, “Billy the
Kid”, “Les Patineurs”, and “Cake Walk”, as well as fifty-six repertory pieces. Since
retiring as Artistic Director in June of 2017, she serves as Artistic Director
Emeritus for Ballet Midwest, Inc.

Barbara currently volunteers daily at Presbyterian Manor and continues to teach
at Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance two days a week. In 2016, she was
recognized by Go Topeka with their Annual Woman of Influence Award as the
Outstanding Entrepreneur. At her retirement, the City of Topeka recognized her as
an outstanding role model. In recognition of her outreach, devotion, and enrichment
of the City of Topeka, 24th, 2017 was declared "Barbara Ebert Day".

Christopher Stemler

Board At-Large 
Mutual of Omaha

Christopher Stemler is the Regional Sales Director for Mutual of Omaha - Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. With Chris’s help, advisors are able to prospect and close more business. He focuses on providing customized solutions to meet the needs of the client while utilizing his experience to help bring on new plans. When Chris is part of the finalist presentation with a client, the opportunity to close the deal increases significantly. Prior to joining Mutual of Omaha, he was a Regional Wholesaler with Security Benefit. His previous position as a Sales
Manager with AT&T provided valuable experience using a consultative sales approach.
Christopher earned his Bachelor of Science and Organizational Leadership degree from Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays, Kansas and holds his series 6 and 63 licenses.

Christopher lives in Topeka, Kansas and is a native of Canada.

2020-2021 Trustees

SJ Hazim

Trustee 
Clad Astra
Top Teer

Local entrepreneuer, creator and social influencer. SJ is also a Hip Hop Artist.

SJ created an initiative called “Project Forward”. In SJ’s own words, “Communities that give of their time and energy to support one another are communities that grow and stand the test of time. Many problems cannot be solved by throwing money at them. It takes a willingness to come together, roll our sleeves up, and work to build a better tomorrow”. Project Forward supports volunteerism through Volunteer Corps, a dedicated community group which stays informed about volunteer opportunities and shows up when called. When many hands work together, even the heaviest of loads become light. Project Forward works on maintaining and bolstering community engagement and pride, for when people take pride in something, they are much more likely to actively take care of it. Through avid support of various community members, organizations, movements, and institutions, we fight to be a force which brings people together and ignites their mutual spirit. “It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.” Project Forward understands that education is the great equalizer, the thing that helps people rise to the occasion when opportunity strikes. If we wish for our communities to flourish, we must provide them with ample education around practically empowering topics: creativity, connection, organization, life skills, and more. Project Forward develops and promotes education to help lift each other up. Project Forward was recently rebranded as Top Teer.

Hazim was awarded a Rising Star recognition from The Topeka Capital Journal 2019 for his community involvement and impact. He is a Board Member of the Police Athletic League and Council Member of Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships. In general, he is an all-around community servant promoting volunteerism and mentorship. Founder of Project Forward and a member of Momentum 2022 Community Engagement, Pride, & Service Work Group. SJ is “all in”, “all the time” in any endeavor he takes on.

SJ participated in a leadership development conference sponsored by Jobs for America’s Graduates – Kansas (JAG*K) in October 2020 that featured keynote speakers Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, SJ Hazim and others.

He also co-founded Clad Astra – a company that is the focuses apparel and gear to the community with a mission to support great local organizations and foster positive interactions within our community.

Steven Massey

Trustee 
It Takes A Village

Steven Massey, Founder and Director of It Takes A Village, Inc. an after school performing arts
youth center that's geared toward at-risk youth from the ages of 10-20. Mr. Massey is also the
founder and artistic director of The Steven Massey Dance Theatre which houses its Junior,
Senior and Repertoire Dance companies. He is also the Producer and Artistic Director of many
productions held at the Topeka Performing Arts Center is Topeka, Ks. The Chocolate
Nutcracker, an urban adaptation of the classic holiday performance; Say What Say Wiz, a
dance adaptation of The Wiz; All Girlz Dream, a dance adaptation of Dream Girls; Dance...In
Black and White, a dance presentation of Brown vs Topeka Board of Education during its 65th
Anniversary season and two (2) Praise dance operas, Mercy Said No and For the Good of
Them. Steven is the Dance Director of the dance team at his high school alma mater, Highland
Park High School. Mr. Massey is an advocate for education and then the arts with students but has a passion for arts education in the community and that’s why he is on the Arts Connect
Leadership Roundtable Committee, along with being in the current class of the Leadership of
Greater Topeka class of 2021.

Roger McKinley

Trustee 
Kendall Construction
Project Manager/Estimator

Roger was born and raised in Topeka graduating from Topeka High School. He has been in the construction industry for over 40 years. He began his career as a residential carpenter and eventually started his own finish carpentry business. Roger has been involved as a project manager/estimator on many commercial projects over the years.

Roger spent time coaching his son's baseball teams, served on the USD337 School Board and was a firefighter/EMT for the Mayetta Fire Department.After moving back to Topeka in 2011 he has enjoyed golfing, woodcarving, volunteering with the Topeka North Outreach and spending time with family and friends. Roger and his wife Joy reside North of Topeka and have 2 adult sons.


Ray Moran

Trustee 
Stormont Vail Health

Originally from Leavenworth, Ray now considers Topeka home since moving here in 1966. He spent 20+ years with Payless Shoe Source in Supply Chain, Distribution Allocation & Planning and IT. He works as a Performance Excellence Specialist for Stormont Vail Health.

Ray is married to Stephanie and they have two girls that are going into their Freshman and Junior years at Washburn Rural High School. As a family, they enjoy live theater and concerts and attending K-State Football Games.

David Mountain

Trustee 
Blue Cross/Blue Shield

David Mountain is a Business Systems Analyst for Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Diana Ramirez

Trustee 

Diana has been in the staffing industry for 25 years. She joined Express Employment Professionals in 2003 and purchased the Topeka franchise and became the new Owner in 2008. She decided to expand her operation and purchased a second location in Emporia, KS in 2012. The Express Topeka and Emporia locations are SBA certified, and is a minority & women owned business.

Diana graduated with a B.S. In Organizational Management & Leadership from Friends University. Diana is a lifelong resident of Topeka and is a Mother of 3.

Diana volunteers her time with local organizations and local schools to assist with job readiness programs including the CARE program thru the Topeka Rescue Mission and most recently the IMPACT program with the City of Topeka.

Diana is active in the community. She serves on the GoTopeka Board of Directors since 2020.In, 2018 Diana was Co-Chair for Midland Care – Celebration Walk and OLG – Fiesta Mexicana Sponsor.She was awarded Women of Influence Award in 2014 by Go Topeka.Express Corporate office awarded Diana in 2012 the “Community Award” for the entire company. In addition, has been recognized in 2011 KC Business – As one of the Most Influential Women.She has served on many boards including the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, was appointed in 2012 by Governor Sam Brownback to serve as Commissioner for the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission (KHLAAC), Past President (2015) of American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Career Chapter and served on GoRed for Women executive committee. In addition, Diana was a chair of the Minority & Women Business Development Council, board member of the Topeka Independent Business Association (TIBA), Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM), Sales and Marketing Executive of Topeka (SME).

She also holds active membership with the greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, American Businesswomen’s Association (ABWA), Emporia Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City, and SHRM – Society for Human Resource Managers Topeka & Emporia.

Interested in learning more?

Are you interested in learning more about helping TPAC fulfill it's mission through becoming a Trustee? Email the Board of Trustees - larryg@topkeaperformingarts.org.

TPAC Mission

"To foster the performing arts through excellence in programming by providing for the advancement, promotion, presentation, and development of the arts to meet the diverse cultural and educational needs of our community."
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