John Wiens, a Hutchinson-based Engineering Technician Senior, has reached 40 years of service with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Wiens has a variety of roles for KDOT: For about the last 30 years, he has taken care of highway construction plans and records and computer-aided drafting. Wiens, a pilot, also inspects 32 airports in District Five, and he has been a longtime local coordinator for KDOT’s State Fair booth.

Wiens joined KDOT in 1979, working for the Hutchinson Construction Office, inspecting highways and bridges.

“John does an excellent job of working with district and area employees as well as customers outside of the department,” said his supervisor, Bryan Hamel. “His knowledge and experience are vital to ensuring that the plans and files are kept up and stored properly. John is an avid aircraft enthusiast who is efficient and detailed when performing airport inspections for District Five.”

Wiens lives in Hutchinson with his wife, Michele. He is a son of the late William and Koloma Wiens. He has a sister, Sue Woods, of Liberty, Mo., and two brothers, Bob Wiens, of Hutchinson, and Bill Wiens of Bruchsal, Germany.

Other KDOT employees celebrating years-of-service anniversaries with the agency in September who serve in The News coverage area included: celebrating 20 years: Roger Austin, Equipment Operator Specialist, Bucklin; Brent Engelland, Highway Shop Superintendent, Nickerson; and Melody Forney, Senior Administrative Assistant, Hutchinson; 10 years: Rodney Davis, Equipment Operator Specialist, Cimarron; and Michael Higgins Jr., Equipment Operator Senior, Englewood.

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Credit Union of America has hired Brandy Warren as a Real Estate Loan Officer for its Hutchinson office.

Warren brings more than eight years of financial experience to CUA including six years in mortgage lending, with 5 ½ years in the Hutchinson market. Warren will guide and assist members with their home lending needs and provide local underwriting of home loans.  

Warren’s office will be at 2616 N. Main St. and can be reached at (620) 663-1566, ext. 29, or BWarren@CUofAmerica.com. 

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Amy Conkling, Director of Marketing and Development at Hutchinson Recreation Commission, recently earned her Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certificate.

The CPRP certification is the national standard for all parks and recreation professionals. Attaining the designation shows the professional met education and experience qualifications, illustrates a commitment to the profession as well as shows knowledge and understanding of key concepts within the parks and recreation field.

Conkling has worked for Hutch Rec since March 2007, when hired as the Marketing & Special Events Director. She currently serves on the Administrative Branch of the Kansas Recreation & Parks Association, Heal Reno County Advisory Council, Visit Hutch Advisory Board, and volunteers as a youth volleyball and basketball coach.

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BUHLER – IdeaTek Telcom announced the hiring of Mark Keeton to fill the key leadership role of Director of Service Reliability.

In this position, Keeton will lead the engineering and customer support teams. He will also be charged with the development of innovative strategies for network reliability, systematization to improve efficiencies and ensuring remarkable customer service to IdeaTek’s rapidly growing client base in Kansas.

Prior to joining IdeaTek, Keeton served as the Director of Application Architecture for Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, where he led the healthcare system through a $20 million electronic health record migration. Keeton was also an instrumental member of the design and infrastructure planning team for the new $23 million ICU project. Keeton worked as a Pharmacist for Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System for 14 years before moving into his Director role.

“Mark’s unique ability to project manage complex, technical projects while motivating team members across different departments will be instrumental in IdeaTek’s future success,” said Jerrod Reimer, IdeaTek chief executive officer.

Keeton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Kansas. He is very involved in the Hutchinson community, currently serving as president elect and board member for the Cancer Council of Reno County. He previously served on the Holy Cross Elementary School advisory board and founded the Kisiwa North Neighborhood Watch.

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DODGE CITY – Farm Bureau Financial Services announced that Ann Frigon has joined its wealth management practice in Dodge City.

As a Wealth Management Advisor, Frigon will help Farm Bureau clients prepare for the future by providing financial planning, advisory services, and investment solutions to families, individuals and businesses.

Frigon has 27 years of experience in wealth management and financial advisory services. Her office is at 1206 W. Frontview, Suite 210 in Dodge City.

Frigon is an active member of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters, The United Methodist Church and the local Chamber of Commerce. When not helping client/members secure their financial futures, she can be found at home cooking for friends, reading, or checking on the family farm at Kalvesta.

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DODGE CITY – Attorney David Rebein has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America. 

Only one lawyer per practice area within each metropolitan region makes the list. Rebein has been on it for 13 consecutive years. He was recognized for his work in Personal Injury, Commercial Litigation, and Bet-the-company Litigation.

Since first publicized in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. 

Best Lawyers highlights one attorney in a particular location and practice area who received the highest votes from his or her peers in a given year.

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STERLING – Sterling College welcomed three new faculty members to campus for the fall semester.

Elizabeth (Libby) Reimer joins Sterling College as an instructor of art and design.

Reimer earned her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Fort Hays State University. She will graduate in December 2020 from Fort Hays with her M.F.A. in Graphic Design. Reimer taught computer-assisted graphic design and survey of art history while a graduate assistant at Fort Hays.

Adam Hill, assistant professor of history, comes to the college as he is completing his Ph.D. in Modern European History. His dissertation at the University of Connecticut focused on “The Virtues of Dead Kings: Egyptology and Empire in Twentieth-Century Britain.”

Hill received his M.A. in History from the University of Southern Illinois in 2008, and his B.A. in History from the University of Missouri.

Hill has taught a wide array of courses at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, has been published several times and has had over a dozen papers selected conference papers and invited lectures within his vitae.

His awards and service to the profession are well documented, including teacher licensure in Massachusetts, and certification with the Association of Christian Schools International.

Micah Oelze, ’16, returns to his alma mater as an instructor of communications and digital media.

Oelze majored in Communications, with a concentration in multimedia, during his time as a student at Sterling. He also worked with the Office of Admissions, Ministry Teams, and the Communications department on the creation, development, and delivery of media productions.

Since that time, he has served as the public relations and social media specialist at Barton Community College, followed by a position as the video communication specialist at Newman University.

Oelze’s list of published works includes photography, print and online press releases and video. He will begin his graduate work this spring.

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WICHITA – Former Hutchinson resident Richard B. Chambers has joined Commerce Trust Company as a Wealth Management Consultant on the trust and wealth management team of the Wichita and South Central Kansas Regions office. 

Chambers will use his extensive investment, trust and estate, and tax management experience as a business development officer to help new high-net-worth clients build wealth and meet financial goals.

He brings more than two decades of financial industry and legal experience to the position. Chambers most recently served as Senior Vice President for the U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management group for nearly a decade. Before that he was senior vice president and manager of the Trust and Investment Management Divisions of Central Bank and Trust Co. in Hutchinson. He also held management positions at NationsBank, Boatmen’s National Bank, and BANK IV.

Chambers holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in economics from the University of Oklahoma, his law degree from the University of Kansas, and a Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Locally, Chambers is either a member or past member of several community organizations, including the boards of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and the Wichita Estate Planning Council.

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The Kansas Hospital Association announced Nancy Zimmerman, RN, administrator of Comanche County Hospital in Coldwater, as the recipient of its Charles S. Billings Award.

Zimmerman will receive the award Sept. 5 during the KHA Annual Convention and Trade Show in Wichita.

Named after the association’s first president, the award was created in 1971 to recognize distinguished service and outstanding contributions to the field of health care in Kansas. The Kansas Hospital Association reserves this award for those who have shown their commitment, leadership and dedication to that noble pursuit.

Zimmerman is the 41st recipient of the award.

Zimmerman has served Comanche County Hospital for 44 years as a staff nurse, director of nursing, and in 1990, she took on the position of administrator.

Excellent patient satisfaction scores received from patients (Rural Health Association Top 20 for Patient Satisfaction, 2017) and accolades from staff (Administrator of the Year Award 2014-2015 from the Kansas Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals), illustrate her passion for excellence, commitment to community and dedication to rural health care.

Zimmerman has contributed much of her time, expertise and energies to many important community and state organizations. She serves on the Comanche County Medical Foundation and the Executive Council of the South Central Kansas Trauma Council. She’s an advisor to the WEPAC Board, as well as a Hospital Auxiliary member. The governor appointed her to the State Advisory Council for Trauma.

For many years, Zimmerman formally taught others. She taught First Aid and CPR classes for the American Red Cross for five years and taught Nurse Aide and Medication Aide Courses for Pratt Community College for 34 years.

Throughout her career, Zimmerman has been involved with the Kansas Hospital Association, serving on numerous KHA committees including the Council on Education Committee, Hospital Leadership and Governance Committee, Convention Committee, and the KHA-PAC Steering Committee.

“Nancy has been a consistent source of thoughtful and common-sense guidance,” said Tom Bell, president and CEO of the Kansas Hospital Association. “Her presence has been so important that many on her team believe their small but mighty hospital would not be there if it weren’t for Nancy’s leadership style and thoughtful decision-making process.” 

The Kansas Hospital Association is a voluntary, non-profit organization existing to be the leading advocate and resource for members. KHA membership includes 222 member facilities, of which 125 are full-service, community hospitals.

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Citizens Bank of Kansas announced that Ty Goossen has completed coursework in Agricultural Lending with the Schools of Banking in Manhattan. The course is designed to instruct and prepare bank lenders in agricultural lending concepts, and better serve their customer’s financial needs. Goossen is a loan officer in the Bank’s Kingman and Pretty Prairie branches.

The Agricultural Lending School is sponsored by the Kansas and Nebraska Bankers Associations.

CBK has banking facilities throughout south central Kansas, and has a strong tradition of community service. Learn more at www.citizensbankofkansas.com.