Board of Directors

The Mainstream Coalition is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors consisting of community leaders from all sides of the political spectrum. These are dedicated, involved, passionate people.

Executive Committee

Laura Wassmer

Laura Wassmer
President

Laura Wassmer is the former Mayor of Prairie Village, KS, and served on the City Council for 17 years prior to that. She has had a career in marketing, banking, and career coaching, and currently serves on the Board of KCUR, and the Prairie Village Foundation.

David Smith

David Smith
Vice President

David Smith is the Chief Communications Officer for the Shawnee Mission School District, and has a long history of work in education, including thirteen years in the KCK Public Schools, time in the Kansas City, MO School District, and roles at the Kettering Foundation and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Erin Gould

Erin Gould
Secretary

Erin Gould is a long-time resident of Roeland Park and a public education advocate.

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Kelli Oliver George
Treasurer

Kelli Oliver George joined Mainstream in the fall of 2020 after many years of serving on a PTA board and volunteering for many local political candidates in Olathe. She is a licensed CPA with a background in IT audit, internal controls, and data security.

Diosselyn Velasquez Tot

Diosselyn Velasquez Tot

Diosselyn Tot was one of the founders of the Art Squad at Community Housing of Wyandotte County. In 2018, Diosselyn joined El Centro, Inc., where she focused on integrated voter engagement, Citizenship, DACA, Preparemonos Clinics and Know Your Rights Workshops. Today, she sits on various boards in the Latino community, with a focus on the arts, voting rights, and affordable housing.

Brandon Kenig

Brandon Kenig

Brandon Kenig is a former Shawnee City Council Member, and co-host of the Two Men in the Middle podcast. Brandon is a political consultant who has worked on numerous campaigns at the federal, state, congressional, and presidential level, as well as working as a staffer for U.S. Senator Jerry Moran.

Members of the Board

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Melissa Clark

Melissa Clark is a Global Sales Executive for FedEx Services. She is currently involved with Junior Achievement as a Classroom Facilitor and with Village Presbyterian Church in Youth Ministries.

 

Cathy Matlack

Cathy Matlack

Cathy Matlack is a retired social worker and community volunteer. She is involved with KCUR, Cross-Lines community Outreach, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and League of Women Voters where she served as Co-Vice President 2019-2020. She was a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for 12 years, and currently also serves on the board of KCUR.

Linnaia McKenzie

Linnaia McKenzie

Linnaia McKenzie is a Johnson County native who is passionate about creating a diverse, inclusive community in the place where she grew up. She founded the Advocacy and Awareness Group of Johnson County in May of 2020 and currently serves as President.

Dr. Liz Meitl

Dr. Liz Meitl

Dr. Liz Meitl works for USD 500 as the Alternative Certification Program Director, and she also serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Kansas and Pittsburg State University. She is proud to be a member of Kansas National Education Association Union, and she serves on the KNEA PAC.

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Katherine Minnis

Katherine has over 10 years of expertise providing top sales production for a leading health care revenue cycle management, a Fortune 500 company, and an international university. Throughout her career, she has developed and delivered effective training programs to educate clients, executives, internal/external teams, and end-users on new software programs, products, and services. Katherine's civic leadership roles include serving on boards and committees for Junior League of Kansas City and Animal Human Society of Lawrence.

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Cynthia Smith

Cynthia Smith is a retired attorney whose career included working on Capitol Hill and then mostly for membership organizations as nonprofit counsel and lobbyist. She moved from Washington, DC, to Kansas in 1995, worked in the golf industry and then covered the Kansas Statehouse for KCP&L and as Advocacy Counsel for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System. In 2018 she ran for the Statehouse as a moderate Republican, and is now a registered independent voter. In retirement she serves as the Amnesty International USA volunteer legislative coordinator for Kansas, and volunteers as a CASA.

Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson serves as general counsel for the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas. She served on the Roeland Park City Council from 2015-2019 and served as the president of the council in 2016. Erin was a member of Dr. George Tiller’s legal team, and also was a member of the legal team that won women the right to bodily integrity under the Kansas Constitution in Hodes and Nauser v. Schmidt.

Pastor LaRon Thompson

Pastor LaRon Thompson

LaRon Thompson, a native of Kansas City, KS, currently serves as the Senior Pastor at Paseo Church. His enormous heart for the well being of all people, is evident in the ways he serves the church and community. Together, LaRon believes we can make a positive impact one step, policy or choice at a time.

 

 

Ex-Officio

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Rev. Dr. Robert H. Meneilly
Chair Emeritus

Rev. Dr. Robert H. Meneilly, fondly known as Dr. Bob, was the founding minister at Village Presbyterian Church. In 1993, he came together with Rabbi Mark Levin, Carol Sader, Nancy Brown, Judy Hellman, and Goldstein to form what is known today as Mainstream Coalition.

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Michael Poppa
Executive Director

Michael Poppa began as Mainstream's Executive Director in 2020, after serving on Roeland Park's City Council and working for the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that he served as chair of the Metro KC chapter of Equality Kansas, and spearheaded the first NDO in Johnson County, in Roeland Park. His background in public service and equal rights advocacy serve him well in leading Mainstream into its next twenty-five years.

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