Capitol Comments Articles
SPARK Committee Meets, Establishes Advisory Panels, Reviews Health Care Worker Programs

StethoscopeMoney (Oct. 8, 2021) – This week, the SPARK Executive Committee met to establish four advisory panels. The panels include legislators and appointees from the private sector and will focus on the following main topics:

  • Economic Revitalization
  • Health and Education
  • Connectivity
  • Efficiency and Modernization.

The SPARK Executive Committee has scheduled the following regional meetings. Public comment will be allowed.

  • Oct. 18 – 8 a.m. to -10 a.m. – Wichita
  • Nov. 4 – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Dodge City
  • Nov. 15 – 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Kansas City
  • Dec. 10 – 10 a.m. to noon – Either Virtual or Topeka

Committee members also requested an update on the front line health care workers program. The secretary of administration reported applications opened last Friday and remain open until Oct. 29. Applications will be rolling, so disbursements will occur as applications are approved. The committee will receive further updates at the Nov. 15 meeting.

Committee Members for Each Advisory Panel:

  • Economic Revitalization
    • Legislators
      • Rep. Sean Tarwater (R-Stilwell)
      • Sen. J.R. Claeys (R-Salina)
      • Rep. Tom Sawyer (D-Wichita)
    • Private and Public Sector
      • Tien Hyunh – Wichita businessman
      • Andrew Nave – Greater Wichita Partnership
      • Lona Duvall – Finney County Economic Development
      • Tim McKee – Olathe Chamber of Commerce
      • Brett Leopold – ITC Great Plains LLC
      • Sam Sackett – Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
      • Matt Condon – Bardavon Health Innovations
      • Ryan Flickner – Kansas Farm Bureau
  • Health and Education
    • Legislators
      • Rep. Kristey Williams (R-Augusta)
      • Sen. Renee Erickson (R-Wichita)
      • Sen. Dinah Sykes (D-Lenexa)
    • Private and Public Sector
      • Robyn Chadwick – Ascension Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc.
      • Raphael Wahwassuck – Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
      • Jarvis Collier – pastor
      • McClain Mackoin – Health Forward Foundation
      • Kathe Decker – Kansas Department for Children and Families
      • Shawn Sullivan – Midland Care
  • Connectivity
    • Legislators
      • Sen. Mike Petersen (R-Wichita)
      • Rep. Adam Smith (R-Weskan)
      • Sen. Tom Hawk (D-Manhattan)
    • Private and Public Sector
      • Tiffany Anderson – Topeka Public Schools
      • Stanley Adams – Office of Broadband
      • Ed Taylor – environmental engineer
      • Brian Vulgamore – Vulgamore family farms
      • Paul Truitt – Cox Communications
      • Molly Kocour Boyle – AT&T
  • Efficiency and Modernization
    • Legislators
      • Rep. Troy Waymaster (R-Bunker Hill)
      • Sen. Mike Fagg (R-El Dorado)
      • Rep. Kathy Wolfe-Moore (D-Kansas City)
    • Private and Public Sector
      • Tanya Heffel – chief technology officer, State of Kansas
      • Joe Mandala – Kansas Bureau of Investigation
      • Frank Burnam – facilities and property director, State of Kansas 
      • Michael Wilkes – Olathe city manager
      • Mark Hutton – Kansas Board of Regents
      • Matt Billingsly – former chief of staff, Kansas Department of Revenue