Retirement & Hiring
The City of Topeka has hired James Jackson to serve as director of public works. Jackson was previously the public works commissioner for the city of Atlanta. Jackson joins the new position on April 5. Jackson is a certified Public Works Executive and a candidate for ICMA Credential Manager. He has 27 years of public works experience and held various positions in Virginia and Michigan before moving to Atlanta. Jackson received a BS in mathematics from Knoxville College and a MS in public administration from Columbus State University. He is a retired Marine and was also president of the Knoxville College National Alumni Association. His public works director salary is $ 142,000.
The Kansas Health Institute announced Miranda Steele Steele will join the Senior Leadership Team as of April 1st as Director of Strategic Communication and Engagement. In her new role, Steele will oversee all aspects of communication and engagement, including branding, media and public relations, product development and distribution, and event planning. She will also ensure that KHI’s impartial research and educational events held at the KHI Learning Center are top notch. Steele currently serves as Chair of the Fitness Board of Governors, a role she will continue to play. Prior to joining KHI, Steele was the senior director of rural health partnerships at Centene Corporation in St. Louis and senior director of external affairs and business development at Centene’s Kansas subsidiary, Sunflower Health Plan, in Lenexa. Steele was previously the communications director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in Topeka. Steele holds a master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and a master’s degree in public administration and bachelor’s degrees in communication and print journalism from Jacksonville State University.
FHLBank Topeka announced Jeffrey B. Kuzbel Kuzbel was selected for the position through a nationwide search. Most recently, he worked for Capital One Financial in McLean, Virginia. Kuzbel’s experience has included working for the Pittsburgh Federal Home Loan Bank, Freddie Mac, a private wealth management firm, and the Office of Thrift Supervision. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Janna M. Walpole, a licensed clinical social worker, has joined Heritage Mental Health Clinic in Topeka. Walpole offers clinical therapy for children and adults. Her previous experiences include working in schools and mental health in the community. Special emphasis is placed on trauma, Asperger’s syndrome and multiple diagnoses in children and adolescents. Prior to becoming a therapist, Walpole earned a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Concordia University in Seward, Neb. Walpole served eight years in national and international government and regulatory affairs before earning a master’s degree in social work from Wichita State University acquired. Her practice includes advanced generalist social work that enables her to support clients with diverse needs, including those with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.
Dates & promotions
The Topeka Public Schools Foundation, a non-profit organization that has supported Topeka Public Schools for 35 years, recently elected new members and officers to its board of directors. New board members are Anton Ahrens, a retired TPS teacher; Abby Lear, from Blue Cross and Blue Shield from Kansas; Valerie Patterson, a retired TPS administrator; and Luke Thompson, a real estate agent from Coldwell Banker. Nick Neukirchfrom ProActive Capital Management, Inc. chairs the foundation’s investment committee. The Foundation’s board members elected in 2021 are Ethel EdwardsPresident; Janel Johnson, Vice President; Aric Harrington, Treasurer; Miranda Carmona placeholder image, Secretary; Duke PalmerNomination of the committee chairman; and Mark Carr and Jana SelyRepresentative of the Investment Committee. Pamela Johnson Betts is the managing director of the foundation.
Awards, honors & recognition
The Kansas Department of Transportation expressed appreciation for the employees celebrating service anniversaries in April. Employees in the Topeka region celebrating service anniversaries include: Savage to the Incoming, Chief lawyer, and Marvin Edwards, Engineer technician specialist. Topeka-based Savage celebrates 40 years with KDOT. Edwards from Holton is celebrating 10 years with the department.
Peter Bellucci, on American family insurance The agency owner in Topeka was recognized for his outstanding customer experience as part of the American Star Excellence in Customer Experience certification program. The distinction was determined through an assessment process conducted according to guidelines established as part of the company’s American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Certification program. The process consists of a customer satisfaction survey that measures the overall experience of customers with their current owner of an American family insurance agency. Bellucci has been the agency owner at American Family since November 1995. His agency is located at 921 SW 37th St. in Topeka.
Topeka public schools announced that for the fourth consecutive year it has received the best grades available for a range of degrees. The results of the district’s annual audit revealed no material weaknesses or deficiencies in the management of funds. On March 18, 2021, the auditing company BT & Co., PA, presented the audit results for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 to the Education Council. According to the accounting firm, the district received an unchanged audit opinion on its financial statements, the highest form of opinion that can be made on a variety of financial statements. In addition, for the fourth year in a row, the district audit found no material weaknesses or material deficiencies in internal control of financial reporting or internal control of key federal award programs.
In its March 2021 publication, Ingrams Magazine named Greater Topeka Partnership as CEO Matt Pivarnik under his list of “50 Kansans You Should Know. “The Kansas City, Missouri-based business magazine’s annual listing aims to highlight sunflower state residents who make significant contributions to their state, communities, and / or businesses. In January 2021, Pivarnik was the fifth year as CEO of the GTP.