United Way Committees

Advocacy
Committee Chair: Will Lawrence, Chief of Staff for Governor Laura Kelly
Identify and prioritize policy issues affecting our community, and implement advocacy strategies that will promote systemic change and advance the common good.
Staff liaison: Jillian Fisher

Audit
Committee Chair: Allan Towle, Fidelity Bank
Oversees financial auditing with staff and outside auditors.
Staff liaison: Valerie Thieme

Communications
Committee Chair: Misty Kruger, Topeka Public Schools
Advises communication and marketing efforts.
Staff liaison: Donna Swaffar

Community Impact
Committee Chair: Marlou Wegener, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas
Oversees programmatic work, including reviewing resource allocations, advocacy platforms, and volunteer strategies.
Staff Liaison: Brett Martin

Finance
Committee Chair:  Lindsey Brees, Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka
Assists the Board in fulfilling its legal and fiduciary obligations regarding accounting, financial reporting, internal control, investment and legal compliance.
Staff Liaison: Valerie Thieme

Labor
Committee Chair: John Garretson, Topeka Federation of Labor
Responsible for AFL-CIO Community Service Conference, United Way of Greater Topeka’s Labor Kickoff, and the Letter Carriers’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.
Staff Liaison: Jessica Lehnherr

Resource Development
Committee Chair: Open
Oversees diversified resource development and revenue generation plan.
Staff Liaison: Angel Romero

Strategic Planning
Committee Chair: Susan Duffy, Topeka Metro
Develops and recommends overall strategic direction, including monitoring progress and reviewing results.
Staff Liaison: Jessica Lehnherr.

Volunteer Engagement
Committee Chair: Aubrey Coufal, Topeka Housing Authority
Involves and engages people in volunteer activities strategically aligned to advance the work of United Way of Greater Topeka.
Staff Liaison: Kimberly Wolff

Women United
Committee Chair: Open
Inspiring, educating and encouraging women to change their community through philanthropy and leadership. Organizes special events to benefit women in the community and reviews requests for Women United emergency assistance grants.
Staff liaison: Wendy Coonrod

Young Leaders Society
Committee Chair: Joe Beasley, Capitol Federal
Promotes the spirit of philanthropy and volunteerism among young professionals.
Staff Liaison: Jenn Loeffler