Faces & places

Prairie Elf Christmas Trees of Lawrence played host to the June 5 meeting of the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Assn. Kathy Heeb, proprietor, reports that Christmas tree farms from 30 counties throughout the state and one county in Missouri were represented. The organization represents 62 farms. Patty Clark, of the Kansas Department of Commerce, gave a presentation on marketing for choose-and-cut tree farms and the development of agritourism across the state. Tom Sims, of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, talked about nursery licenses for Christmas tree growers. A tour of the farm was given in addition to field demonstrations.


Tom Pagano, Lawrence Memorial Hospital vice president and chief information officer, is serving as president of the Kansas City chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The society serves health care information management and technology professionals. Pagano said that the organization allowed health care professionals to meet with one another and discuss current issues.

Pagano became a member of the organization soon after he started working for LMH nearly six years ago. As president, Pagano leads the chapter, ensures the charter is carried out, sets goals for the year, files documents to its national counterpart and maintains the bylaws.


Toby Gettler has been elected officer within the retail division of Commerce Bank. He serves as the branch manager for the Lawrence Hy-Vee Banking Center at Clinton Parkway and Kasold Drive. His responsibilities include new business development and general management of the branch and its staff. Gettler joined Commerce Bank in July 2002. Gettler earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and finance from Pittsburgh State University. He also graduated magna cum laude with a master’s degree in criminal justice from Fort Hays State University.


Ellen Casagrande has been named director of development and public relations at Bishop Seabury Academy. Casagrande is the former director of education for the Lawrence Arts Center. She is a graphic designer, custom jewelry designer and has served on various local and national boards and commissions. Casagrande will be responsible for fund raising, event planning, marketing and grant development.

Matt Patterson has been named the director of college counseling for the school. Patterson has taught AP-level English courses and served as college counselor at St. Anselm’s Abbey School in Washington, D.C. He will be counseling students and parents on the entire application and placement process and working specifically with seniors, assisting with financial aid and scholarships.


Dillon Stores has promoted Roberta Kaye to deli manager at the Dillons store at 1740 Mass. Roberta was hired in 1999 as a deli clerk at that location. Most recently, she worked as a deli clerk at the 1015 W. 23rd St. store.


John Dicus, president and CEO of Capitol Federal Savings Bank in Topeka, has been elected treasurer of the Heartland Community Bankers Assn. for 2004-2005 at the association’s recent annual meeting in Lake Ozark, Mo. Dicus, a Kansas University alumnus, is a member of the association’s Federal and State Affairs and Budget committees. He also serves as a member of the board of the association’s subsidiary, HCBA Services Inc.


State representative Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, will be a speaker at the 16th annual Certified Public Managers Professional Development conference. The conference will be from today to Wednesday at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. More than 250 certified public managers are expected to attend.


Joel Hood, Lawrence, has opened J Hood Consulting Services. His service provides assistance to local businesses and home users with the Microsoft applications Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio and FrontPage.

J Hood Consulting Services provides on-site, individualized training and consulting to those wanting help or improved understanding of this software. In addition, he offers documentation and presentation review and refinement services for those seeking a professional touch to their documents, presentations and Web pages.

Joel Hood is employed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as a senior technical writer. He has 13 years of experience in training, writing and documentation management. He is a Kansas University graduate and is completing a master’s degree in communication studies.

Honors and awards

Several Douglas County companies were recognized by Lt. Gov. John Moore, commerce secretary, and the Kansas Department of Commerce on June 10 at the Kansas Business Appreciation Month Awards program in Overland Park.

The Sauer-Danfoss Co. won the Regional Achievement Award in the category of manufacturing. The award was accepted by Brad Roetman and Jeff Hansell. The Chiropractic Experience Inc., Griffin Technologies, K & K Grinding & Machine Co., People’s Bank, Pinnacle Technology and The World Company were given Merit Awards.


The Grocery Manufacturers of America honored Joseph A. Pichler, who will retire this month as chairman of The Kroger Co., with its 2004 Hall of Achievement Award. Pichler accepted the award, which recognizes contributions to the food, beverage and consumer products industry, at the GMA’s annual executive conference in West Virginia. Pichler taught for 15 years at Kansas University’s School of Business, where he served as dean from 1974 to 1980. He joined Dillon Cos. in Kansas as executive vice president in 1980, three years before its merger with Kroger. Pichler was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Kroger in 1990. He turned over his CEO duties last year.

Coming events

The Kansas Non Profit Assn. will present “Retirement Plans and Investment Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations” from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, 1720 S. Topeka Blvd., Topeka.

The workshop is designed to help nonprofit agency executive directors, board members, managers, volunteers, professional staff and others interested in the nonprofit sector.

To register of for more information, call the association at (800) 582-1428.


A free one-day workshop is being offered for bankers, business planners, counselors and lawyers who advise farm families.

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 24 in Room 101A at the Shawnee County Public Library, 1515 SW 10th St., Topeka.

The workshop will be presented by Charlie Griffin, research assistant professor in family studies and human services at Kansas State University; Charlotte Shoup Olsen, K-State Research and Extension family systems specialist, and Jerry Jost, program director at the Kansas Rural Center.

To register or more information, call the Kansas Rural Family Helpline at (866) 327-6578 or e-mail farmstaff@ksu.edu.


The Twilight Chapter of the American Business Women’s Assn. will have its monthly meeting Monday at the American Legion building in Lawrence.

Networking will begin at 6 p.m., and dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. The program will be about the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. To make reservations, e-mail Wanda Easterwood at wanda.easterwood@faa.gov.


The 2004 Douglas County Ranch and Livestock Field Day will be July 10 at the Rocking H Ranch in western Douglas County. The event begins at 4 p.m. with registration. The program will be at 4:15 p.m., and a catered beef dinner will be served by Robin and Jane Edmonds Catering.

Rocking H Ranch is a family corporation on the western side of Clinton Lake. Mark and Brenna Wulfkuhle manage the ranch with input from Mark’s mother, Judy Wulfkuhle.

The event is sponsored by the Douglas County Livestock Assn. and K-State Research and Extension Douglas County. The event is open to anyone with interest in livestock. The topics will include animal identification, Kansas fence laws and water quality financial analysis.

The cost is $10 per person. To register call the Extension office at 843-7058. The deadline is July 2.