Board of Directors

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

2021 Executive Committee

Larry Meeker

Larry Meeker
President

After a long career with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, a stint as Mayor of Lake Quivira, and serving as the Chair of the Kansas Democratic Party, Larry Meeker is now supporting the arts, chairing the Kansas Creative Arts Industry Commission, and the Johnson County Public Arts Commission.

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.

Dr. Cynthia Lane

Dr. Cynthia Lane
Secretary

Dr. Cynthia Lane currently serves as CEO of Evolve Education Leadership Consulting, is co-chair of the Kansas Governor’s Council on Education, and recently served on the Future of Higher Education Council. She has nearly 40 years of experience in the field of education, including serving as superintendent of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS).

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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.

Ed Peterson

Ed Peterson
Past President

Ed Peterson served as Mayor of Fairway, Kansas, for 9 years, and as a County Commissioner for Johnson County, Kansas for 12 years. During his service he led a number of significant projects, including Union Station’s renovation, the regional Air Quality Forum, and creation of a 1% for Art program for all County construction projects.

Mandi Hunter

Mandi Hunter

Mandi Hunter is the founder of the Hunter Law Group. She was recognized as a “Super Lawyer – Top 50 Women” in Missouri and Kansas in 2019 and 2020. Mandi enjoys giving back to the Kansas City Community by serving as a member of several legal associations and as a director on a variety of boards.

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.

2021 Members of the Board

Rev. Rick Behrens

Rev. Rick Behrens

Pastor Rick Behrens is an ‘original Dotte’ who has served Grandview Park Presbyterian Church for nearly 2 score years. He is a founding member of the board of Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation (AIRR) and Pastor Rick and the church are leaders in the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2).

Erin Gould

Erin Gould

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

Rev. Dr. Mark Holland

Rev. Dr. Mark Holland

Rev. Dr. Mark R. Holland is a third generation United Methodist pastor, and served as the Senior Pastor at Trinity UMC in Kansas City, Kansas for 19 years. Mark also served as both a Commissioner (2007- 2013) and Mayor (2013 to 2018) of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas.

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.

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.

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.

John Vratil

John Vratil

John Vratil is a former Kansas State Senator (from 1998-2013), an attorney and former partner at Lathrop & Gage LLP, and former legal counsel for the Blue Valley School District. He has served on numerous Boards and Commissions, including as President of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce.

Laura Wassmer

Laura Wassmer

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.

Rev. Bob Meneilly
Chairman Emeritus

Michael Poppa
Executive Director

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