Leadership Summit

Join us for a morning of learning, professional development, and networking as we explore leadership concepts rooted in agrarian values. Our focus is community and how this value strengthens us as individuals and contributes to our collective success.

Join us on June 14, 2022

Check-In: 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Program: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: National WWI Museum and Memorial Auditorium


Community is an often used and difficult to understand concept. We may use ‘community’ to describe where we live, work, or socialize. We may recognize it as a feeling, or a set of shared beliefs or relationships with others. Over the course of any given day, we participate in multiple communities, and it is interesting to consider the intersection of those spheres of influence.

Roots are about strength, nourishment, and connection. Biology tells us that roots are an essential part of plant life in serving up what a plant needs to grow - the transfer of water and nutrients and anchoring in soil. Our human experience tells us roots are where we call home or the life events that have shaped us.

The 2022 Summit is designed to explore these ideas through the lens of agriculture. While many of us may believe that we are not directly tied to agriculture, we are all connected to this industry. We all eat. In fact, food is a powerful enabler for community. Breaking bread together builds connections and breaks down barriers. Food brings us together, shapes our memories, and fuels communities.

Our fantastic line up of speakers represents diverse perspectives on what it means to be Rooted in Community...



Adam Miller

Director, Diversity and Inclusion

Adam is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Barkley where he leads all diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts for the agency to cultivate a culture in which all partners of Barkley can bring their full, unique selves to work each day. Additionally, he leverages those internal learnings to support clients in their DEI+B journey. Miller is a Kansas State University graduate and Fulbright scholarship recipient, which he completed in Mendoza, Argentina. He was previously the inaugural Director of the Green Fellowship program at Teach For America. Click for Full Bio

Keynote Presentation

Josh Henges

Houseless Prevention Coordinator
City of Kansas City MO

Josh formally began his role as Kansas City’s first Homelessness Prevention Coordinator in January 2022. In his new position, Henges is tasked with implementing community-wide strategies to expedite assistance to the houseless and those at-risk of becoming houseless and creating strategies to reduce homelessness and generational poverty. Click for Full Bio

Panel Discussion

Andy Rieger

J. Rieger & Co.

Andy Rieger is currently the president of J. Rieger & Co., one of Kansas City’s most treasured brands. A graduate of Southern Methodist University with a double major in Mathematics and Finance, Rieger is a former private equity analyst and investment banker. His executive experience, combined with a passion for manufacturing and brand-building, fueled his transition to management and operations at the distillery. Click for Full Bio


Megan Gilliland

Next to Nature Farm

Megan Gilliland is co-owner of Next to Nature Farm in northeast Kansas, between Lawrence and Kansas City. She and her husband, Chad, operate a state-registered agritourism facility from their home where the public can visit and learn more about pollinators and small-scale agriculture. Click for Full Bio


Valerie Taylor Richardson

Marketing Director
The Merc Co+op

Valerie has over 20 years of experience in marketing, media and cutting-edge graphic design. Over the course of her career, she has conceptualized and designed direct mail and campaign materials for more than 50 winning legislative races. Click for Full Bio


Jan Lyons

Rancher and Founder
Lyons Family Ranch

Jan and Frank Lyons started the Lyons Ranch Angus cowherd south of Manhattan, Kansas, more than forty years ago. Jan gave much of her energy and time to the beef industry and people she loved. Over the years, Jan’s service included years as the first woman president of the Kansas Angus Association, chair of the Kansas Beef Council, president of the Kansas Livestock Association, chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and, finally, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 2004. Click for Full Bio


John Gordon Jr.

Founder & Executive Director

John Gordon Jr. Is the Founder and Executive Director of Kansas City based BoysGrow.  Since its inception in 2010, he has been responsible for designing, executing and overseeing the organization's approach to youth development.  A graduate of UMKC, after working in the Northern California Juvenile Court System and seeing the positive impact agriculture had on young people, he relocated back to KC to start BoysGrow in 2010.  He lives on the farm with his wife and two daughters, #girldad.