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Board of Directors

Steve Cox

Board Chair

Steve is CEO of Cox Machine Inc. Steve assumed the role of General Manager for Cox Machine in 1972, and purchased the company in 1982. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Wichita State University.

In addition to his role at WCF, he is also an executive member at-large and treasurer of Rainbows United Charitable Foundation.

Debbie Gann

Vice Chair

Debbie, former vice president of corporate communications and community relations for Spirit AeroSystems, has worked to enhance the Wichita community for decades.

A former chair of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, Debbie also recently served on the Board of the Greater Wichita Partnership and co-chaired Project Wichita, a community visioning process to define a regional strategy for south central Kansas.

James Nastars

Treasurer

James has been with Meritrust Credit Union since 2013 as President/CEO and in the credit union and banking industries for 28 years. He earned his bachelor of business administration in finance and his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Within the Wichita community, he serves on the Boards of Kansas Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Support for Catholic Schools, LLC, and the Greater Wichita Partnership’s Leadership Council. Within the credit union industry, Mr. Nastars serves on the Board of the Heartland Credit Union Association, Heartland Credit Union Foundation and MEMBERS Development Corporation.

Todd Ramsey

Secretary

Todd is the founder and chief strategist for local branding agency Apples & Arrows. Ramsey has served on multiple boards, including Downtown Wichita, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Wichita Art Museum.

Wayne Chambers

Past Chair

Wayne is the former President & CEO of High Touch, Inc. With three decades of experience in finance, operations, marketing, franchising and executive ranks, he led High Touch’s evolution to a technology solution provider.

A native of Southeast Kansas, Wayne received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Accounting from Wichita State University.

Suzie Ahlstrand

Board Member

Suzie is a former senior executive of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Council. A highlight of her career was guiding the region’s long-range strategic plan called Visioneering Wichita which, through partnerships, made advances in downtown development, air service, and regional advocacy.

She has been recognized many times for her trustworthy leadership and active participation in numerous community/regional organizations.

Tammy Allen

Board Member

Tammy is chief marketing officer at Foulston Siefkin, LLP. After growing up in western Kansas, she attended Wichita State University, earning two undergraduate degrees and an MBA.

Tammy’s board service includes the Kansas Humane Society, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University Alumni Association, and Rotary Club of Wichita (downtown), where she is a past president. She currently also serves on the board of Mark Arts.

Margaret Dechant

Board Member

Margaret Dechant is Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Partner of 6 Meridian, an investment and advisory firm based in Wichita, Kansas. She is a member of the Wichita State University Business School Advisory Board and has volunteered time for other organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas, Youth Entrepreneurs, Mark Arts, and The Kansas Humane Society.

In their spare time, Margaret and her husband, Todd, are avid supporters of the Kansas City Chiefs and Wichita State Shockers, and enjoy travel to the beach, the mountains and all points in between.

Gloria Farha Flentje

Board Member

​Farha Flentje, former senior vice president for Spirit AeroSystems, has been widely recognized for her contributions to the community. She has received awards from the Kansas Bar Association, Wichita Bar Association and the YWCA. She was the first woman president of the Wichita Bar Association and was elected as an attorney member of the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission, among other accolades.

Paul Lavender

Board Member

Paul is the vice president of finance and strategic development at Thrive Restaurant Group. Prior to returning home to Wichita, Paul served as the Chief Operating Officer of the world’s first Impact Accounting firm, SVT Group, in San Francisco.

He is a graduate of Friends University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and of The University of Sydney, where he earned post-graduate degrees in International Business and in Project Management. He is currently the Co-Chair of Leadership Wichita and has served on Wichita’s District 2 Advisory Board and as a Trustee for Botanica: The Wichita Gardens.

Ronn McMahon

Board Member

Ronn has been a leader in the YMCA movement for over 20 years. Overseeing $250 million in facilities, his leadership has enabled the Greater Wichita to continue to grow and strengthen our community. The Greater Wichita YMCA has the distinction of having three out of four kids in the Wichita community participate in at least one YMCA program every year.

An accomplished athlete, Ronn has a national ranking in squash and spent several years playing on the Canadian national basketball team. He serves on several boards including Visit Wichita, Wesley Medical Center and WEA.

Cindy McSwain

Board Member

As Senior Vice President of Outsourcing Services for Allen, Gibbs & Houlik (AGH), Cindy leads the outsourcing of accounting and payroll services for numerous businesses throughout the U.S. She has lived and worked in Wichita ever since graduating from Emporia State University where she earned her B.S. in Accounting.

Cindy is a CPA and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants. She previously served on the Boards of Junior Achievement and Wichita Independent Business Association.

Dan Peare

Board Member

Dan chairs Hinkle Law Firm LLC’s trusts and estates practice group. Under his leadership, the trusts and estates practice has expanded to be one of the top estate planning practices in the region.

He has extensive experience in high-net-worth estate planning, asset protection planning, and planning with family businesses. Dan also assists clients with business valuations, charitable planning, and planning with life insurance. He has assisted hundreds of business owners, farmers, and ranchers in the preservation and succession of their businesses.

William Pickert

Board Member

Bill Pickert is a managing partner of BKD’s Wichita office. He currently serves as Vice Chair of Goodwill Industries of Kansas, Inc., is a member of the Board Executive Committee and past Chair of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he serves on the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Boards for the University of Kansas and Emporia State University.

He is a graduate of The University of Kansas, Lawrence, with a B.S. degree in accounting and business administration. Bill is married to Traci and they have four grown children.

Michael Ramsey

Board Member

Michael Ramsey is currently the Manager and Vice President of Bokeh Development LLC. After many years in the field of orthopedics, Michael formed Bokeh Development with his long-time business partner and medical colleague, surgeon Robert Eyster. He has earned degrees from McPherson College and Wichita State University.

In addition to his continued passion for the development of downtown Wichita, Michael is a former Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County board member, and is currently on the Hunter Health Leadership Committee, The Greater Wichita Partnership Leadership Council and the Oversight Volunteer of ICT Chalk Talks.

One of his more recent projects, Revolutsia, won the 2020 Marshall Murdock Award for Business.

Don Sherman

Board Member

Don joined Westar Energy in 2007 as manager of customer and community relations. In 2014, he was named vice president, community relations and strategic partnerships.

He received his associate of arts degree in administration of justice from Butler Community College and his bachelor of business administration from Baker University. He serves on several boards, including the Wichita Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, American Red Cross Midway Kansas Chapter, Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, Downtown Wichita, Exploration Place and the Sunflower Foundation.

Amy Williams

Board Member

Amy joined Spirit AeroSystems in 2015 and is currently the Senior Manager for Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I). With 20 years of experience in Corporate Social Responsibility and DE&I, she partners with all levels of an organization to strengthen their brands, bring community impact and create inclusive work environments.

A Wichita native, Amy currently sits on the boards of Music Theatre Wichita, Via Christi Foundation, the Wichita Public Library Foundation and serves as the co-chair for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s DE&I Task Force. She completed her MBA from Newman University and Bachelor of Business Administration from Wichita State University.


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