Leadership Kansas members gather in Lawrence

Kansas business leaders, politicians and community leaders gathered Friday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., for the annual Leadership Kansas Leadership Summit.

Leadership Kansas Executive Director John Federico said the summit provides leaders with networking opportunities and comprehensive information on Kansas issues. The hope is to create engaged leaders who will positively affect their state and communities.

The program takes members across Kansas to speak with experts on topics such as education, agriculture and societal health.

“When I got into Leadership Kansas and traveled around the state, I learned so much,” program participant Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said. Leadership Kansas recognized Ballard as the 2013 alumni of the year.

Summit highlights included speeches from Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and NFL Hall-of-Famer and Kansas University football standout John Riggins.

Riggins spoke to the crowd about success and leadership, saying success comes from doing your job, and that true leaders always want the ball in their hands, that is, to take control of the situation.

Leadership Kansas also added 40 new members to the group –­ including Lawrence resident Vance Crocker and City Attorney Toni Wheeler.

Wheeler said she hoped the honor would help her better serve the state and the community.

“The more knowledge we have about the state, its industry, its strengths, it lets us move the state forward.”