Staff and Board of Directors

Emporia RDA staff, guided by our Board of Directors policies, serves as a confidential single point of contact for companies considering the Emporia region for a competitive business expansion or location.

The Emporia Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas (RDA) carries out its mission under the policies developed by a seven-member voting board of directors, appointed by the four member organizations City of Emporia, Lyon County, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Emporia Enterprises. The City of Emporia and Lyon County appoint two board members each; Emporia Enterprises and the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce appoint one board member each. Those six board members then elect a board member at large.

The Board of Directors has seven ex-officio non-voting board members who are Emporia City Manager, Emporia City Attorney, Lyon County Counselor, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, the Emporia Main Street Director, Emporia State University President, and Flint Hills Technical College President.


Jim Kessler

RDA Chair

Rick Tidwell

RDA Vice-Chair

President, Valu-Net Fiber

Mark McAnarney

RDA Treasurer

Emporia City Manager

Jeanine McKenna

RDA Secretary

President/CEO Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce

Kent Heermann

CEcD, RDA President


Carla Barnett

President, Community National Bank & Trust

Rick Tidwell

President, Valu-Net Fiber

Dan Slater

Lyon County Commissioner

Jon Geitz

Emporia City Commissioner

Jim Shepherd

Retired Business Owner

Jim Kessler

Retired Business Owner

Jamie Sauder

Coldwell Banker Real Estate




Dr. Allison Garrett

President, Emporia State University

Christine Montgomery

Emporia City Attorney

Marc Goodman

Lyon County Attorney

Casey Woods

Executive Director, Emporia Main Street

Dr. Dean Hollenbeck

President, Flint Hills Technical College


Kent Heerman, CEcD : RDA President

Kent Heerman, CEcD

RDA President
620-342-1600 x 16
Robin Nelson : RDA Executive Assistant

Robin Nelson

RDA Executive Assistant
620-342-1600 x 19