Jerry became the executive director of the Flint Hills Regional Council in April 2022, having spent the previous 13 months as interim director of Junction City Main Street. Before his failed effort at retirement, he spent 12 years as principal research economist with the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, a privately funded CEO led group working on quality of life and economic development issues in the metropolitan area.
At the Civic Council, Jerry led the metrics and evaluation professional team of KC Rising, an initiative focused on the region’s competitiveness in the global economy. He conducted multiple research projects at Civic Council, including creating a strategy to recruit and retain engineering professionals.
In Topeka, Kansas, he founded Plains Research, successfully operating a private research and consulting practice for six years. In that capacity he served as president of the state’s economic development think tank, Kansas Inc. Previously he was executive director of an electric utility consortium where he led efforts in capturing multiple grants which resulted in the first public mapping of the Kansas wind resources.
Jerry graduated with honors from the University of Kansas MPA program and was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate in 1989. He has spoken at multiple national and state conferences, taught college level economics, and is a graduate of the FBI Citizens’ Academy and Leadership Kansas. He and his wife Nancy, a retired elementary teacher, are active in Salina and their church community. Jerry completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 2015 and now stays in shape by chasing five grandchildren.
Janna joined the Flint Hills Regional Council team in February 2017, and most recently served as the Interim Director until June 2020. Janna is our lead on two Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation grants supporting the implementation of Fort Riley / Flint Hills Joint Land Use Study recommendations. The most recent award of $518,246 is funding a variety of projects including Military Infrastructure Resiliency, Wind Turbine proposed legislation, the Green Valley Transportation Study, the Unmanned Aircraft System Corridor Phase II project, the Junction City Housing Condition Assessment, and more.
Williams also serves as our lead on a 2018 Community Assessment of Hazardous Substance & Petroleum Brownfields Program funded by a $600,000 award through the Environmental Protection Agency and assists the Executive Director with some financial and operational management duties.
Her prior work with the Flint Hills Regional Council included serving as the lead on the Wabaunsee County Comprehensive Plan, which includes seven incorporated cities. She also developed the Communities to Call Home website, which is a marketing tool for 26 communities in the Flint Hills Region and managed the Flint Hills Regional Institute that provided technical assistance and capacity building for communities throughout the Flint Hills.
Janna earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, with a Certificate in Geographic Systems. Janna served as an Assistant Planner in Stillwater, Oklahoma before joining the Division of Agriculture at Oklahoma State University as a statewide Facilities and Project Manager.
Holly joined the Flint Hills Regional Council as a grant specialist in July 2022. Throughout her career, she has held jobs in the field of writing, journalism, and public relations.
Most recently, Holly worked as the editor of The Junction City Union newspaper in Junction City, where she wrote, edited, and published stories about the happenings in Geary County and surrounding communities.
Along with her husband, Edward, she moved to Junction City in 2021, hailing from southwestern Pennsylvania. While in PA, she worked as a crime and community reporter and managing editor for two newspapers.
She has earned awards for her writing, including two Awards of Excellence from the Kansas Press Association for news and feature stories written in 2021 and the first place Mark of Excellence award for in-depth reporting in 2019 in SPJ Region 4.
Holly graduated with honors from Waynesburg University with a BA in Communications and two minor degrees in Public Relations and Theatre.
She is member of Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honor society of the National Communication Association. Her hobby is theatre, and she is a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theatre honor society. In her free time, she plays violin, spends time with her four guinea pigs and performs with the Junction City Little Theater at the C. L. Hoover Opera House.