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Kansas Regional Independent Inventors Conference

Kansas Regional Independent Inventors Conference. April 19-20, 2013


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Ms. Tanya Amos


Ms. Tanya Amos
TEAS Administrator, Legal Policy Office 
Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Tanya Amos is a staff attorney in the Legal Policy Office of the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks. Tanya administers the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and assists in maintaining legal documents on the USPTO’s Internet and intranet websites. She provides expert policy guidance and support to employees on legal and procedural matters related to the filing and prosecution of trademark applications.

Tanya began working for the USPTO in 1999 as an examining attorney where, in addition to examining applications, she mentored newly hired attorneys and participated in an electronic commerce work project to help automate the office. Tanya received her law degree from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Macalester College.

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Mr. John Calvert

John Calvert

Mr. John J. Calvert
Acting Associate Commissioner
Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office

John Calvert is responsibility as the Acting Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development includes developing ways to increase the USPTO presence in the independent inventor, small business, and entrepreneurial communities; increasing opportunities for new patent holders to access assistance beyond the patent system; and direct responsibility for pro bono and independent inventor initiatives and the small business Ombudsman program prescribed in the America Invents Act.

John was Senior Advisor for the Office of Innovation Development and Administrator for the Inventor Assistance Program, which included inventor outreach, small business outreach, and university outreach initiatives. The USPTO made outreach and education a high priority due to the increased interest in intellectual property both by business and education. John expanded the Inventor's Assistance Program to include educational initiatives for students, inventors, and small businesses and has created inventor assistance through pro bono and pro se initiatives both inside the USPTO and through working with universities and bar organizations.

John graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Textile Technology in May 1971. He worked for 13 years in the textile industry prior to returning to N.C. State University to pursue a Master's of Science in Textile Management. In February of 1990, John joined the USPTO as an examiner specializing in textile technology. John became a primary examiner in 1995 and a supervisory patent examiner in 1998. John was responsible for supervising as many as 25 examiners in the areas of textile technology and absorbent products. He also served as Acting Director for the Office of Independent Inventor Programs. He has worked on various details and work assignments during his career at the USPTO.

John received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for Superior Federal Service and the United States Patent and Trademark Office Exceptional Career Award. John completed studies in the Syracuse University Maxwell School certificates program of Advanced Public Management and completed the Executive Development Seminar sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management.

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Ms. Elizabeth Dougherty

Elizabeth Dougherty

Ms. Elizabeth Lea Dougherty, J.D.
Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition 
Office of Innovation Development
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Elizabeth Dougherty is the Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition in the Office of Innovation Development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity, she develops, implements, and supervises programs that support the independent inventor community, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and the intellectual property interests of colleges and universities. She also coordinates the agency’s ombudsman program for small businesses and entrepreneurs, as mandated by the America Invents Act of 2011. Elizabeth has spearheaded a number of special projects with federal, state and local governments, and private organizations to promote and support invention and innovation in the United States. She oversees a portfolio of ongoing and future initiatives designed to assist independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and underserved communities.

Prior to her current assignment at the USPTO, Elizabeth served in various executive service roles, most recently as Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration. In this capacity, she was responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and staff assisting the Patent Examining Corps in matters of legal policy. Having begun her career at the USPTO as a patent examiner, Elizabeth examined patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing.

Elizabeth is frequently called upon to lecture, often to student groups of all ages, about the USPTO, the patent process, innovation and creativity, and legal aspects of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent.

Elizabeth received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a juris doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996. She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George’s County Historical Society.

Elizabeth enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of nearly fifty patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history.

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Mr. Anthony Knight


Mr. Anthony Knight
Director, Office of Petitions
United States Patent and Trademark Office

Tony is a graduate of Drexel University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1985. Upon graduation, he joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office as an examiner in the technology of pipefittings. While working at the USPTO, Tony attended George Mason University School of Law and earned his juris doctorate in 1990. From 1990 to 1992, he was in private practice, prosecuting applications for various technologies before the USPTO. 

In 1992, Tony returned to the USPTO. After achieving the grade of primary examiner, he was promoted to supervisory patent examiner in 1998 and has supervised examiners in diverse fields, from hinges and hardware to computer controls. In 2007, he was named to the position of supervisor in the Office of Petitions and now serves as director.

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Mr. A.J. Anderson


Mr. A.J. Anderson
Director of the Wichita U.S. Export Assistance Center
U.S. Department of Commerce

A.J. Anderson is director of the Wichita U.S. Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Wichita U.S. Export Assistance Center is part of an international network covering all 50 states with offices in about 80 countries. His office is dedicated to assisting small and medium size companies to increase their export business through export counseling and advice, information on markets abroad, international partner contacts, and advocacy services.

Originally from Wichita, Kan., and a graduate of Wichita State University (WSU), Mr. Anderson has worked in a variety of operational and business development roles in international banking in Kansas, Texas, and Georgia. He’s also worked in trade risk mitigation within credit at Koch Industries.

He joined the U.S. Commercial Service in May of 2003 in the Des Moines, Iowa, office and took over as director of the Wichita office in June of 2006. He is a certified international credit professional by Finance Credit & International Business Association and a member of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Aerospace Team and Trade Finance Team. He’s led trade missions on behalf of the Commercial Service for aerospace to Brazil and for agricultural machinery to Ukraine.


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Dr. John William Bardo


Dr. John William Bardo
President, Wichita State University

John William Bardo was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, grew up in that area, and graduated from Oak Hills High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and studied economics and social policy at the University of Southampton, England, during his junior year. He received his master's degree in sociology from Ohio University in 1971 and his Ph.D. in sociology from the Ohio State University in 1973. He also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard in 1987.

Bardo’s first academic appointment was at Wichita State University as an assistant professor of sociology. He also worked and taught in the Hugo Wall Center for Urban studies. During his time at WSU, he obtained a Fulbright to Australia, where he and his wife Deborah studied Americans as migrants, and had a sabbatical appointment in social policy at the University of Wales at Swansea.

After leaving Wichita State, John held appointments at Southwest Texas State University, the University of North Florida, Bridgewater State College, and Western Carolina University. At Western Carolina, John served as chancellor from 1995 to 2011, after which he rejoined the faculty.

John’s academic interests involve the relationships between higher education, the economy, and quality of life. He speaks regularly on issues associated with the New Economy and building competitiveness. When he is not working, John enjoys international travel and working with stained glass.

John first met his wife, Deborah, in Neff Hall on the WSU campus, and they married in 1975. They have one son, Christopher, who is a student at North Carolina Central University studying biology and chemistry.

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Mr. Jesse H. Bechtold


Mr. Jesse H. Bechtold
President and CEO, Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center
Overland Park, Kansas

President and CEO of Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center (MAMTC) in Overland Park, Kansas.  MAMTC, a Kansas 501(c )-3, is the Kansas Manufacturing Extension Partnership under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST/MEP.

MAMTC is recognized nationally for its expertise in the application of innovation engineering, a process of exploiting change for top-line growth. Mr. Bechtold speaks to audiences around the country on the challenges and processes of innovation. In addition to innovation engineering, MAMTC has an extensive partnership network to connect inventors and manufacturers with resources to assist with such needs as workforce development, continuous improvement, supply chain development, sustainability, and technology deployment. 

Mr. Bechtold graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.S. in Accounting. His professional experience includes being a certified public accountant since 1984; manager, Peat Marwick Mitchell, 1984-1990; chief accounting officer for a publicly traded international agricultural and transportation company, 1990-1996; assignments in Nigeria and Central America; chief financial officer for an international steel construction company, 1996-2004;  joined the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center in 2004 as chief financial officer and became president and CEO in 2012; extensive experience with mergers and acquisitions, international business operations, and financial analysis.

Mr. Bechtold has been married to his wife, Yvonne, for 31 years. They have three children: Jesse (29), Sarah (20), and Angela (17). He resides in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force.

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Ms. Patricia L. Brasted

Patricia Brasted

Ms. Patricia L. Brasted
President and CEO 
Wichita Technology Corporation

Patricia L. Brasted serves as President and CEO of Wichita Technology Corporation (WTC), a public-private partnership between local & state government, academia, and the private sector. WTC's mission is to promote and expand a formal innovation network that will support technology advancement, transfer, and commercialization in Wichita and South Central Kansas. 

The team at WTC works with entrepreneurs, researchers, technology managers, and private investors throughout Kansas to enhance research & development activity, provide business assistance at critical phases of technology start-up life cycles, and facilitate access to capital. Under the leadership of Ms. Brasted, the WTC has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs and invested seed capital dollars in over 50 technology companies, representing 75 patented technologies in diverse areas such as advanced materials, manufacturing technology, biotech, broadband & telecommunications, proprietary engineering services, consumer products, information technology, and software solutions.

A successful entrepreneur, Ms. Brasted founded her first company, Brasted Consulting Inc., in 1995. She has over twenty years of experience in corporate finance, venture capital, and accounting, including both private industry and public accounting practice. 

Ms. Brasted is one of the founding members of the First Angel organization in Kansas and the Midwest Venture Alliance. She currently serves on the board of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds board of directors. Ms. Brasted is also a frequent speaker on accessing venture capital and angel investing and serves of the boards of several private technology companies.

Ms. Brasted received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Wichita State University, a Master of Business Administration from Baker University, and is a certified public accountant in the state of Kansas.

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Mr. Louis J. Foreman


Mr. Louis J. Foreman
CEO, Enventys and Edison Nation
Creator and Executive Producer, "Everyday Edisons" on PBS

Louis Foreman is the founder and Chief Executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm. He is also CEO of Edison Nation. Louis graduated from The University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. His interest in starting businesses and developing innovative products began while a sophomore, with his first company founded in his fraternity room. Over the past 20 years, Louis has created nine successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of over 20 others. A prolific inventor, he is the inventor on 10 U.S. patents, and his firm is responsible for the development and filing of well over 500 more.

The recipient of numerous awards for entrepreneurial achievement, his passion for small business extends beyond his own companies. Louis is an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. He received the Instructor Achievement Award for his teaching at Central Piedmont Community College and was recognized by the National Museum of Education for his distinguished contributions to education. Louis is the Entrepreneur in Residence at the McColl School of Business, Queens University, and is the 2013 Distinguished Visiting Professor at Johnson & Wales University. He is a frequent lecturer and radio and television guest on the topics of small business creation and innovation, and he is frequently invited by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and national trade associations to be a featured speaker on the topic of innovation.

In addition to being an inventor, Louis is also committed to inspiring others to be innovative. Louis is the creator of the Emmy Award-winning television show “Everyday Edisons” and serves as its executive producer and lead judge. The show is in its fifth season and appears nationally on PBS. In 2007, Louis became the publisher of Inventors Digest, a 29-year-old publication devoted to the topic of American innovation. In 2009, his first book, The Independent Inventor’s Handbook, was published by Workman Publishing.

Louis serves on the board of directors of the James Dyson Foundation, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, Ventureprise, and the Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation. He is co-chairman of the N.C. Institute for Emerging Issues Business Committee on Creativity.

In 2008, Louis was appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce to serve for a three-year term on the nine-person Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In 2011, he was appointed to an additional three-year term. PPAC was created by Congress in 1999 to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office on matters relating to the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent operation.

In 2011 Louis was called upon, multiple times, to brief the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on legislation related to the U.S. patent system and its impact on independent inventors. On September 16, 2011, Louis joined President Obama on-stage for the signing of the America Invents Act into law. This bi-partisan effort represented the most comprehensive overhaul to the U.S. patent system in over 60 years.


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Ms. Debra Franklin


Ms. Debra Franklin
Director of Operations
Center for Innovation and Enterprise Engagement 
Wichita State University

Debra Franklin is the director of operations for the Wichita State University Center for Innovation and Enterprise Engagement (CIEE). The CIEE is a university center that uses an interdisciplinary approach with collaborative partners to promote industry diversification, new industry formation, and process and product improvements within the university and existing firms. Building on WSU’s reputation as a trusted industry partner, CIEE engages with businesses and industry to tackle advanced manufacturing challenges and opportunities with passion and objectivity by providing the expertise and infrastructure needed to help accelerate development of the Kansas advanced manufacturing industry cluster in the global economy.

Originally from western Pennsylvania and a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Wichita State University, Debra has worked in education, research, workforce development, and business development in Kansas, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

In her role as director of operations and co-founder of CIEE, Debra is committed to advancing an innovation ecosystem with industry that supports innovation while promoting economic development.

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Mr. John Gast


Mr. John J. Gast
President and Chairman of the Board
Inventors Association of South Central Kansas
Wichita, Kansas

After 26 years of working with the developmental departments of 45 cities all over the United States, including Chambers of Commerce, universities, and military bases, John’s passion for small businesses has grown beyond the thousands of companies he has assisted in marketing and developing. 

In 1991, John and his wife, Laurene, relocated to Wichita, Kan., and started Chamber Marketing Services Inc., a company  that develops and publishes economic development brochures, magazines, and maps for Chambers of Commerce who  extended marketing services to their members.

From 2003 to 2004 John and Laurene developed and invented an ergonomic garden tool. During the grueling processes of design, redesign, prototyping, patenting, manufacturing, packaging and marketing, etc., they learned a tremendous amount about “what not to do.” An idea flickered in their heads.

As inventors, John and Laurene saw a need. As publishers, they saw an opportunity. Immediately, they began a quest for knowledge, traveling from coast to coast, north to south, attending every inventors club and association they could, and interviewing every inventor available, always asking, “What did you do and how did you do it?” After two years of research and a hundred interviews, they identified very strong patterns in what all inventors did and how they did it.

In 2010 John wrote How to Create Your Best Ideas and published it. Following that publication, he created a free employee awareness seminar to teach individuals and companies how to stay ahead of the trends and stay competitive in the business world. This free seminar shows employees how to understand the big picture and how to assist with the growth and diversification of their companies' products and services.  

In 2008, John joined the Inventors Association of South Central Kansas and served as a board member in 2010. He was elected president in 2012. John strongly believes in and enjoys serving inventors. He is committed to building stronger businesses within communities through fresh, innovative ideas and by researching and analyzing trends in order to keep things current and up-to-date.

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Ms. Laurene Gast


Ms. Laurene Gast
Board Member, Executive, and Recording Secretary
Inventors Association of South Central Kansas
Wichita, Kansas

Laurene Gast has lived in Wichita since 1991, having arrived from Dallas, Texas, after attending North Lake College and studying marketing, real estate principles, and law. While living in Dallas, she worked at several companies in the media industry, including Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, and the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company. At each of these companies, she worked with start-ups in the establishment of their businesses, from the purchasing departments to the CEO offices, helping all of them market and promote their products and services.

Laurene worked with the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce as part of their marketing and publishing division. She had the privilege of meeting with many community business leaders and helped to bring new companies and leadership into the Wichita area. While actively working with the Chamber of Commerce, she was on the Economic Alliance for Visioneering Wichita and still continues to be a part of that program today. She has been associated with the Inventors Association of South Central Kansas since 2008, on the board of directors since 2010, and has acted as secretary since 2011.

Laurene co-authored the book How to Create Your Best Ideas to help individuals and companies keep up with trends and stay competitive in the business world. She helps deliver “Best Idea Company” seminars to help spur employees to greatness by assisting with the diversification of products and services. Another seminar administered by Laurene is “Shark Tank Expedition,” a preparation seminar for presenting on ABC’s series “Shark Tank” as well as a general seminar on improving company bottom lines and thought processes.

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Mr. John Gendron


Mr. John P. Gendron
Senior Product Manager, Expertise
NetWork Kansas 

John Gendron started working with NetWork Kansas in 2005 as a part-time referral coordinator while still a full-time college student and entrepreneur. He graduated in 2006 from Wichita State University with degrees in entrepreneurship and marketing. John was awarded the product manager internship upon graduation and was hired full-time in 2007. While working full time and operating a business, John completed an accelerated MBA through the Center for Management Development at Wichita State University. John was then appointed Senior Product Manager, Expertise in the spring of 2008. In this role, he manages economic gardening and the NetWork Kansas resource clearinghouse.

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Mr. Ross Jordan

Ross Jordan

Mr. Ross Jordan, CGBP
President and CEO, Ocianna International, LLC
Consultant, WSU Kansas Small Business Development Center

Ross Jordan was born and raised in the Midwest. Ross has been involved with five successful start-up companies and has served in the positions of president, director of marketing, and international market development. Ross is well-known for assisting enterprises of all sizes in executing strategic plans for expansion and market penetration domestically and internationally. In 2006, Ross launched his own international management consulting firm and has advised organizations in Africa, Brazil, China, the Caribbean, Colombia, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, and the Middle East. Ross has been instrumental in bringing start-up products to market and has worked with countless well-known universities and business entities to develop, design, and engineer products for market.

In 2011, Ross became the founding member and CEO of Ocianna International, LLC, a joint venture that merged the global marketing proficiency of Ancoring International with the technical engineering expertise of Asplund Aerospace. Ocianna has developed three innovative anchoring devices and markets their products domestically as well as internationally, serving the yachting market, oil and natural gas producers, and global militaries.

Ross is honored to represent the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Wichita State University in all matters of business advancement, reporting to the KSBDC director’s office in matters of export and international trade development. Ross serves on two international boards and continues to help entrepreneurs develop products for market through the KSBDC. In 2012, Ross earned the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional accreditation, one of only four people in the state of Kansas to earn the endorsement. Ross regularly designs and presents workshops associated with innovation start up, business expansion, management, strategic planning, sustainability, finance, marketing, global strategies, and economic development.

Ross is currently completing his master’s degree in international business, having graduated with honors from WSU’s Barton School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and minors in international business, management, and economics.

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Mr. Eric Schmidt


Eric Schmidt
Plant Manager, Simone Chickenbone Inc.
Head of Product Development, D.A.R.E. Music Group


The son of a mechanical engineer, and the holder of numerous patents regarding aerodynamics, acoustics, and illusion, Eric Schmidt completed a nine-year study of architecture, ceramics, and sculpture at Kansas State University. As a founding father of Fisch Haus Studios in Wichita, Kan., Schmidt supports alternative thinking in all mediums.

Methodical shaping to mass of vehicles in motion, and placement of turbines to structures in landscapes personify efficiency in Schmidt’s forward thinking; maximizing utility in materials is the foundation of his thought process.

Schmidt’s designs include complex porting for maximizing fundamental frequencies in stringed acoustic instruments, from classic round guitar sound holes to fluid f-holes in mandolins and violins. In addition, he is pursuing applications in electrostatic charge and has established commonalities between Faraday’s Law and organic plant proliferation.

Schmidt is plant manager for Simone Chickenbone Inc. and head of product development for D.A.R.E. Music Group.  

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Mrs. Jamie T. Schmidt


Mrs. Jamie Tabor Schmidt
Creator and CEO, Simone Chickenbone Inc.
Wichita, Kansas

As the “chick” behind Simone Chickenbone Inc., Jamie Schmidt is the company’s creator and CEO, and the holder of numerous trademarks. She has formulated a range of all-natural lip balms, lip shimmers, sunscreens, and lotions. In addition to entrepreneurship, Mrs. Schmidt also teaches Pilates, is a hair stylist, an artist, a dreamer, and most importantly, a mom. She volunteers her time encouraging entrepreneurs and frequently speaks at local universities. 

Mrs. Schmidt’s current projects include renovating a warehouse in the Wichita arts district and opening The Non Toxic Beauty Shop, a home-grown small business featuring products and that are all-natural, vegan, and cruelty-free, including her own Simone Chickenbone line.

Mrs. Schmidt and her husband live near the river with their two beautiful children, two dogs, a cat, and a garden.

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Ms. Marcia Stevens


Ms. Marcia Stevens
Regional Director
WSU Kansas Small Business Development Center

Marcia Stevens serves as regional director for the Wichita State University Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC). The WSU KSBDC provides assistance to current and prospective small business owners in a 23-county region of north and south central Kansas. Services include free individual consulting and affordable training that teaches basic and advanced business skills. The WSU KSBDC offers a unique program titled Business in Motion: Making Business Expansion Easier. The program helps businesses expand through new markets, new products, export, government contracting, franchise, and the Web.

As regional director, Marcia provides oversight to the regional center in Wichita and outreach centers in Concordia and Arkansas City. These centers provide consulting services to over 600 clients per year. She directs training efforts for the WSU KSBDC, which involves offering 200 seminars each year on varied business topics and coordinating the provision of strategic planning workshops and customized training. Marcia also leads the Wichita Area Small Business Education Consortium, a group comprised of over 20 area organizations that provide support services to small businesses. 

Marcia brings over 30 years of management experience and a strong academic background to the KSBDC position. She started as regional director for the WSU KSBDC in 1999. Previously, she directed several programs and departments at universities in Texas and Kansas. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and also holds an Ed.S. degree from Wichita State University and B.S. and M.A. degrees from Ball State University in Indiana.

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Last Modified: 4/17/2013 9:00:11 AM