2019 Regional Leaders Retreat

Junction City, Manhattan and Wamego Chambers united to host 2019 annual Flint Hills Regional Leaders Retreat, collaborative sessions to sustain regional enterprises. Discussion items included: Region's future, Fort Riley, regional economic development and community updates. Roundtable discussions and networking opportunities proved to be of particular value.

View Agenda (PDF)


Deane Foot, CEcD
Deane FootePresident/CEO Deane Foote leads Foote Consulting Group, a Phoenix development-related consulting company. FCG provides real estate, site selection, workforce development and economic development services. Foote has 40 years' experience in the development industry.

Foote has assisted on site selection projects that created 5,000 jobs and one billion dollars in capital investment for clients such as MeadWestVaco, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Staples, Country Fresh, Forest City Stapleton and WW. Grainger.

Economic development clients include: states of Arizona; New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee; as well as Greater Springfield (Ill.) and Baton Rouge (La.) chambers and the NW Pennsylvania Commission, among many others. Foote is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He and wife Jean live in Glendale, Ariz. They have three children and three grandchildren.

John Kolasheski, U.S. Army
Major General John S KolasheskiMaj. Gen. John S Kolasheski assumed duties as Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, June 2018. Prior to his arrival at Fort Riley, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg, NC.

The general's awards and decorations include: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (5 awards), Bronze Star Medal (3 awards), Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, and U.S. Army Airborne wings.

Kolasheski commissioned as an armor officer and holds a bachelor's degree (management) from Bucknell University; master's degrees (engineering management and interactive simulations/training systems design, University of Central Florida; strategic studies, U.S. Army War College). Military schooling includes Infantry and Field Artillery Officer Advanced Courses, U.S. CGSC (Fort Leavenworth) and U.S. Army War College.

Mark Lautman, CEcD, FM, HLM
Mark LautmanMark Lautman is founding director of the Community Economics Lab. This private, not-for-profit think tank innovates new approaches to economic development to succeed in labor and capital-constrained economies. Lautman Economic Architecture consultants work to transform community economies and elevate the professional practice of economic and workforce development.

Lautman possesses three decades' experience as professional economic developer. He has designed/managed four ED programs to procure more than 80 corporate locations. These programs account for 15,000 new jobs, 6 million square feet industrial space and 11 billion dollars in new investment.

Lautman is a graduate of the University of New Mexico (economics, architecture, geography) and former Peace Corps volunteer. Mark and wife Mary Anne live in Albuquerque. They have three children and four grandchildren.

Christy Rodriguez
Christy RodriguezChristy Rodriguez is the new program director for Region Reimagined. This tri-county collaboration between Geary, Pottawatomie and Riley counties aims to build a sustainable path to regional growth and prosperity. Rodriguez spent 10 years with the Fort Worth Police Department as Program Support Administrator.

She utilizes urban planner experience to build relationships with municipal, county, regional, private sector and non-profit community organizations. Rodriguez worked on neighborhood revitalization efforts at Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department, Advanced Plans Division.

Rodriguez is Professor of Practice at Kansas State University. She teaches Plan Administration within the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional and Community Planning. She's earned a Master of Urban Planning from Texas A&M University and bachelor's degree from Texas State University.

Thank you to Flint Hills Regional Leaders Retreat sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor
Sink, Gordon and Assoc.Gold Sponsors

    Architect One

   McCownGordon Construction

   HI Tech Interiors

Silver Sponsor
Anderson Knight ArchitectsSir Speedy

Reception Sponsors
502_Logo_Orange-Box_Orange-Tag Bruce McMillan Architects