Leadership Norton County Announces Class Participant List

Norton, Kansas, July 2021 – Leadership Norton County has released the participant names of its newest class, scheduled to begin in August 2021. The program, which previously ran from 1999-2016, is re-launching after a 5-year hiatus and programmatic restructuring. Participants include:

  • John Atkins – Director of Member Services, Prairie Land Electric
  • Troy Blevins – Emergency Management Director, Norton County
  • Klare Bliss – Chief Information Officer, Norton County Hospital
  • Jared Cook – Norton and Graham County Executive Director, USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Jonathan (Jay) Flores – Manager, Norton Theatre
  • Taryn Graham – Human Resource Assistant, Nex-Tech
  • Levi Greeson – Machinist, New Age Industrial
  • Alex Haffner – City Clerk, City of Norton
  • Abbey Horn – Associate Attorney, Sebelius & Griffiths, LLP
  • Natalie Linner – Owner, Linner Construction
  • Kortney Poire – Annual Fund Manager, Valley Hope Association
  • Amy Vacura – Owner, Essentials

β€œWe’re thrilled with this year’s class,” said Mike Posson, Executive Director, Norton City/County Economic Development. β€œIt’s a diverse group of professionals, representing different employment sectors, leadership experience, etc. We’re looking forward to beginning in August!”

The program will run from August to May and will consist of 7 sessions that include leadership education and local tours/speakers. The program has four main objectives: To establish a network of present and potential leaders; To give upcoming and current leaders an opportunity for personal leadership growth and experience; To teach Strategic Doing and identify opportunities in Norton County; and To gain a deeper understanding of Norton County. In addition to these full-day sessions, the program will include participation in the 2-day Your Leadership Edge training at the KLC in Wichita, and a graduation reception in May.

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Leadership Norton County planning committee members include representatives from the following organizations: Norton County Community Foundation, Norton Area Chamber of Commerce, Norton County Attorney’s Office, Norton City/County Economic Development, K-State Research and Extension, and Norton County Hospital. Funding is provided through the Dane G. Hansen Foundation’s Community Leadership Program initiative, and Norton City/County Economic Development.

For more information, please visit: www.discovernorton.com/leadership-norton or contact Donna Eastman Liddle at 785.877.2501/nortoncc@ruraltel.net, or Tara Vance at 785.874.5106/ tara@nortonccf.org.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
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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