Board of trustees

Kelly McElroy

City Manager, City of Garden Plain


Kelly McElroy is the City Administrator for the City of Garden Plain. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, a Master of Public Administration with emphasis on economic development, and is a Certified Public Manager (CPM) through the University of Kansas. Prior to serving the City of Garden Plain, Kelly served as Newton City Manager; the Development Director and Zoning Administration for the City of Goddard, the Executive Director of the Regional Economic Area Partnership (REAP); as the Director of Administrative Services for the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, and as the Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Edmond, Oklahoma.

Kelly is a member of ICMA, KACM, ELGL, APA, and KEDA, and serves the KU Public Management Center as a member of the Certified Public Manager Advisory Board. Kelly’s husband Don is also a public servant, working in law enforcement and emergency medicine. Kelly and Don have three children, Cheryl, Brian, and Jameson, and enjoy spending time with their horses at their ranch.

Kelly was first elected to the Board in 2018.

Stacie Eichem

City Manager, City of Wamego

 Vice President

Stacie Eichem has been with the City of Wamego since 2010.  Prior to taking the position of City Manager in 2019, she also served as City Treasurer and Assistant City Manager.  Stacie is active on the KMU Board of Directors, KMEA Executive Committee and Wamego Area Chamber Board of Directors.     

Stacie graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Management and Master of Business Administration.  Both Stacie and her husband, Paul are Wamego High School graduates. They have three grown children: Jake, Josh and Cambrey and a granddaughter, Sutton. 

Stacie was first elected to the Board in 2021.

Ron Marsh

City Manager, City of Abilene


Ron Marsh is the City Manager of Abilene, Kansas since June 2021. Previously he spent 3+ years as the City Administrator of Clearwater, Kansas and 18 years as an administrator in the Sedgwick County Public Works Department. Ron has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy, and is a former Army officer. He has been active on numerous boards and committees throughout his career, including 8-year school board member, 2-year city council member, and treasurer of the Wichita Chapter of the West Point Alumni Organization. Ron is a member of both ICMA and KACM. He and his wife Amy have 2 grown children, Chuck (Danae) and Bonnie, and one grandson, Calvary Kinder.

Ron was first appointed to the Board in February 2022.

Jonathan Mitchell

City Manager, City of Hoisington

Past President

Jonathan Mitchell has served as City Manager in Hoisington, Kansas since early 2009. Prior to that time, he was the City Administrator in Ellsworth, Kansas and served the City of Junction City as an administrative intern as well as grants administrator while he was attending Kansas State University to earn his bachelor’s degree in public relations and master of public administration degree. 

Jonathan is an active member of several statewide boards including the Kansas Association of City/County Management, Kansas Municipal Utilities and the Kansas Municipal Energy Association. Jonathan is a graduate of Kansas State University and is very active in the Hoisington community.

When Jonathan is not working on projects in Hoisington, he is probably working as an EMT in Topeka. Jonathan has two incredible sons, Chance and Wesley.

Jonathan was first elected to the Board in 2018.

Hardy Howard

City Administrator, City of WaKeeney

A western Kansas native, I was a bank loan officer prior to being hired as the City Administrator for the City of WaKeeney in 1996 (22+ years) I hold BBA degrees in Management and Finance from Fort Hays State University. Served on numerous local boards and organizations. Currently the Vice President of the Heartland Community Foundation serving Trego, Rooks, and Ellis counties. Past governing body member of the League of Kansas Municipalities. Current President of the Big Creek Gold Course Men’s Association. Married to Dawn, a special education transition advisor with three daughters, Larissa, Aleah, and Jenna.

Hardy was first elected to the Board in 2018.

Anthony Swartzendruber

County Administrator, Harvey County

Anthony Swartzendruber has served as the Harvey County Administrator since March 2017.  He started working for Harvey County in June 2010, as the Assistant Administrator/Director of Finance. Prior to beginning work for Harvey County, he served as a Management Analyst in the Sedgwick County Budget Office.

Anthony is a 2005 graduate from Washburn University with a Bachelor of Public Administration. He also graduated with a MPA degree and Graduate Certificates in City/County Management and Public Finance from the Hugo Wall School at WSU in 2007.

Anthony is a member of ICMA, GFOA, KACM, and KSGFOA.  He has served on several boards including the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform, the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, and the Schowalter Foundation.  Anthony and his wife Kara have two sons who are in middle school. Anthony enjoys gardening and tending to his Texas longhorn cattle.

 Anthony was first appointed to the Board in December 2021.

Kristi Carrithers

City Clerk, City of Valley Center

Kristi Carrithers has been the City Clerk for the City of Valley Center since July 2015. Prior to working as City Clerk, she was the Admin. Assistant at the Dodge City Public Library handling all the Human Resource, accounts payable and open Board Meeting functions. She has a Bachelor of Science in Management and Organization from Tabor College and has earned the title of Certified Municipal Clerk. She is a member of IIMC, CCMFOA and IMPA-HR. Kristi and Lance have 2 daughters, Sydney and Taylor, and enjoys spending time wither their families including 2 very active grandsons.

Kristi was first elected to the Board in 2020.

Michael Ort

City Administrator, City of Jetmore

Michael is the City Administrator of Jetmore. He has served in that role since Aug. 2015. Additionally, Michael serves as an EMT with Hodgeman County EMS beginning Jan. 2019. In 2011 Michael returned to school finishing a BA in History from Columbia College before pursuing a MPA from American Public University. Prior to city management Michael drove commercial vehicles, mostly local delivery of chemicals and solvents in the Kansas City region.

Michael is married to Jennifer, and they are the parents of four children—1 son and 3 daughters. Empty nesters as of last summer, they look forward to doing some traveling, both domestic and international. Jennifer teaches Spanish at Hodgeman County High School in Jetmore and coaches Forensics.

Michael also serves on the KACM Board of Directors, serving as that association’s Ethics Committee Chair, and is a member of the ICMA, Kansas Association of Public Information Officers (KAPIO), and KSGFOA.

Michael was first elected to the Board in 2021.

Beth Linn

City Administrator, City of Edgerton


David Cowan

Assistant City Manager, City of Independence

David Cowan has been with the City of Independence since December 1986. Starting work in the EMS Department, David obtained his paramedic certification and nursing license, and was promoted to Director of EMS in 1996. In 2012, David was promoted to Public Safety Director for the City of Independence and in 2020, to Assistant City Manager and Director of Safety. David has served on numerous boards, including appointment to the State 911 Coordinating Council in 2016, as the LKM representative. David and his wife have two grown children and several grandchildren.


David was first elected to the Board in October 2023.

Kent Brown

City Manager, City of Goodland