A pair of Kansans with passion to improve the lives of others just got a turbo-boost. Wayne Bell, Wichita, and Shannon Cotsoradis, Lawrence, have been selected as the initial participants in Onward Kansas, the Kansas Leadership Center’s new, personalized leadership development experience designed for full-on, intensive difference making. Onward Kansas is designed as an individualized experience that provides support for Kansans who are making an impact in their communities and want to significantly improve their influence and effectiveness. The participant and the Kansas Leadership Center will work closely together, meeting frequently to leverage the participant’s content knowledge of the issue and KLC’s process knowledge related to adaptive work. Shannon Cotsoradis, President & CEO of the Topeka-based Kansas Action for Children and Wayne Bell, Wichita, District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, each come to Onward Kansas with a specific civic issue with which they’ve been wrestling. Wayne’s civic challenge is two-fold: he seeks increased access to capital for disadvantaged Kansas businesses and the development of high growth firms in underserved communities. Shannon seeks to reduce childhood poverty by deepening her understanding of the issue and Kansans’ perspective of the issue. In doing so, she hopes to change the conversation about the issue. “We believe Wayne Bell and Shannon Cotsoradis hold great potential to impact our state and our world,” said Ed O’Malley, Kansas Leadership Center President & CEO. “Our strong belief is that progress on these two specific issues will help Kansas strive for the common good.” Wayne and Shannon will select their own coach from the Kansas Leadership Center’s deep bench of experienced, professional civic engagement practitioners. They’ll also help identify a mentor, a ‘subject matter expert’ familiar with their specific civic concern. Rounding out their 4-5 member team will be leadership development professionals with diverse experience and points-of-view drawn from KLC stakeholder groups (faculty, senior staff, Board of Directors). The Kansas Leadership Center equips people with the ability to make lasting change for the common good.