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Kansas Leadership Center Announces New Board Members

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Newsroom, Press Releases

February 15, 2021


Kansas Leadership Center Announces Three New Board Members

Wichita, Kan. – The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC), an educational organization founded to foster civic leadership for healthier Kansas communities, welcomes three new members to its board of directors.

The new directors are:

  • Jill Arensdorf, Ph.D., provost/vice president of academic affairs, Fort Hays State University
  • Gennifer House, director of donor services, Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation
  • Peter Nájera, president/CEO, United Way of the Plains

“We are thrilled to welcome these three new members to our board of directors. They each bring a wealth of experience in civic leadership and represent not only diverse voices but also expertise in education, agriculture, nonprofits and banking that will strengthen our board. As a state-wide organization founded to promote the leadership of Kansans, we are particularly pleased to have strong representation from northwestern Kansas,” said Ed O’Malley, president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center.

Jill Arensdorf HeadshotDr. Jill Arensdorf

D. Jill Arensdorf is living out her dream career of focusing on leadership and developing people as a professor of leadership studies at Fort Hays State University (FHSU), where she currently serves as the FHSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. Having published numerous articles on the effects of service-learning on the development of leadership skills, as well as the transfer of leadership skills to the workplace, Dr. Arensdorf’s philosophy has been shaped not only by leadership theories and concepts but also by her own learning experiences. Read more.

Gennifer Golden HouseGennifer Golden House

After nearly 25 years working in the banking sector, Gennifer Golden House transitioned to serve her community as the director of donor services at the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation (GNWKCF). She also manages the daily activities and managerial duties for Ad Astra per Aspera, LLC, a fifth-generation family farming operation in Sherman County, Kansas. Read more.

Peter Nájera headshotPeter F. Nájera

Peter F. Nájera is the president and CEO of the United Way of the Plains where he works to advance the common good for all citizens in south central Kansas. A student of servant leadership, he has lived around the world in leading purpose-driven organizations in renewable energy, charitable planning, and private philanthropy. Pete is also a combat veteran, having honed his leadership skills in a 20-year Army career that included tours in Korea, Germany and Iraq. Read more.

The new cohort reaffirms the organization’s dedication to its mission to foster leadership for stronger, healthier and more prosperous Kansas communities.

Since COVID restricted large gatherings last March, KLC converted in-person leadership trainings to virtual programs, introduced free, weekly video chats and convened civic discussion events on issues ranging from rural broadband access to racial justice, drawing virtual gatherings of up to 250. In November, the organization launched “Kansas Beats the Virus,” a bipartisan mobilization of local leadership networks with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to combat the spread of COVID-19, resulting in more than 7,000 Kansans from 72 counties implementing 827 unique action plans across the state.

Despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic, KLC has continued to forge partnerships, expand its reach and launch initiatives. In 2021, KLC selected 77 organizations across Kansas as Leadership Transformation Grant partners—the most ever selected in the six years the grants have been offered. KLC also received grant funding from Fidelity Charitable to scaffold a national effort to offer civic leadership training through regional leadership centers around the country with philanthropic foundation support. The organization also released the first results of multiple studies from Third Floor Research, an applied research partnership with Kansas State University’s Staley School of Leadership Studies.

Learn more at


About the Kansas Leadership Center

The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a singular educational organization founded to foster civic leadership for healthier Kansas communities. Its programs and teachings present leadership as an activity available to anyone at any time. KLC offers training for organizations, teams and individuals as well as advanced programs for leadership development practitioners. It provides development grants for civically oriented organizations in Kansas, partners with community leadership programs and offers customized trainings for businesses and non-profits alike. KLC hosts civic leadership forums and encourages Kansans to take active part in public life for the common good. KLC Press publishes books on leadership and The Journal, a nationally recognized, award-winning civic issues magazine. Based in Wichita, KLC receives core funding from the Kansas Health Foundation.


Carrie Lindeman
[email protected]


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