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Executive Leadership

Governor Laura KellyGOVERNOR LAURA KELLY

Laura Kelly is the 48th Governor of Kansas. She has made it her life’s mission to fight for Kansas children and families on the job, in her community, as a four-term state senator and as governor.

Kelly has prioritized fully funding public schools, expanding affordable healthcare, reforming the child welfare system and growing the Kansas economy – especially in rural communities – as Governor.

Kelly is ready to bring people together and lead Kansas into the next chapter.

David TolandDAVID C. TOLAND
Secretary
Kansas Department of Commerce


David Toland is the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Since being appointed by Governor Laura Kelly in January, Secretary Toland has overseen sweeping changes within the state’s leading economic development agency. Under his leadership, the Department is conducting a new economic development strategic planning process for the state that will replace the 1986 Redwood-Krider report.

Toland has also aggressively worked to rebuild the Business and Community Development division of the Department of Commerce, filling positions that have remained vacant for several years and re-establishing the state’s presence in key domestic and international markets. He also led negotiations on behalf of Governor Kelly that resulted in the end of the so-called “Border War” that has gone on between Kansas and Missouri for nearly a decade.

Prior to joining the team at Commerce, Secretary Toland was the first CEO of Thrive Allen County, a nonprofit coalition that works to improve quality of life and economic conditions in Allen County, Kansas. A seventh-generation Allen Countian, Toland oversaw the organization in its efforts toward improving healthcare access, healthy lifestyles and economic development in the small, rural Kansas county.

Prior to his return to his hometown, Toland worked as an appointee of Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, holding key leadership positions in the D.C. economic development and planning offices.

Patty ClarkPATTY CLARK
Deputy Secretary
Kansas Department of Commerce


Patty Clark is the Deputy Secretary for the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Clark has spent her career in public service with an emphasis on rural policy and government operations.

Clark served both the Graves and Sebelius Administrations in the Kansas Department of Commerce, first as Division Director for Ag Marketing and Community Development and then as Deputy Secretary.

She served as State Director for USDA Rural Development and most recently returned to the Kansas Leadership Center as Vice-President, later becoming Acting President from September 2017-March 2018.

Bob NorthROBERT (BOB) NORTH
Chief Counsel

Robert (Bob) North serves as Chief Counsel for the Kansas Department of Commerce. Commerce is the lead economic development agency in Kansas and responsible for business retention expansion. The agency also administers several federally funded workforce development programs intended to provide skill training, job services and talent development for all Kansans.

Bob is responsible for Commerce operations and has served as Chief Counsel for Commerce since 2004. He has extensive experience in public financing, bond funded economic development programs and other economic development incentives. Prior to joining Commerce, he was in private practice.

Sherry RentfroSHERRY RENTFRO
Chief Fiscal Officer

Sherry Rentfro joined Commerce in June of 2014 as Fiscal Analyst and became the Chief Fiscal Officer in February 2018.

Prior to Commerce, she worked for over 10 years managing the accounting and finances of a non-profit association that serves the telecommunications industry in Kansas. She earned a BBA in Finance from Washburn University and MBA from Baker University.

Jim HaughJIM HAUGH
Chief Information Officer

Jim Haugh joined Commerce in December of 2016 as the Chief Information Officer. Prior to Commerce, Haugh was a Cloud Services Architect for the State of Kansas.

Haugh spent more than seven years at the Kansas Department of Transportation beginning as a System Software Analyst and leaving KDOT as the Enterprise Platform Support Supervisor. In 1992, Haugh earned his B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Missouri Western University.

SUSAN NEUPOTH CADORET
Director of Business and Community Development

Susan NeuPoth Cadoret served as Acting Director of the Business & Community Development Division for over a year before being appointed as the permanent Director in early 2018.

She has served with the Department of Commerce for 19 years, including over six years as the Assistance Manager for the Business and Community Development Division.

Prior to working for Commerce, NeuPoth Cadoret worked 15 years in economic development at the local level. She earned a B.A. degree in Communications from Fort Hays State University.

TRENT ARMBRUST
Director of Strategy for Bioscience and Technology

Trent Armbrust comes to Commerce following seven years in Economic Development for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. An active member of several economic development, bioscience and community organizations, Armbrust earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology and master’s degree in Plant Physiology from Kansas State University and is a graduate from the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.

Mike BeeneMIKE BEENE
Director of Employment Services

Mike Beene currently serves as the Director of Employment Services for the Kansas Department of Commerce, Workforce Services. Beene started with the agency in January 2007 as a Regional Director in Southeast Kansas (Workforce Services Division.) His duties include oversight of all federal workforce programs and grants, in addition to the 23 workforce centers located across the state.

Beene received a Master’s degree in Education from Kansas State University and prior to his career with the Department of Commerce, he was an educator and administrator in both secondary and postsecondary institutions in Kansas.

Sandy BrownSANDRA BROWN
Director of Human Resources

Sandra Brown joined the Department of Commerce in 2004 as a Human Resource Professional.

Before joining Kansas Commerce, she served as a Human Resource Professional with Kansas Department of Human Resources. Previously, she served as JTPA Case Manager in Emporia. She studied business courses at Wichita State University.

Alex RiceALEX RICE
Director of Marketing and Communications

Alex Rice joined the Department of Commerce as Director of Marketing and Communications in August 2019. She has more than 15 years of marketing leadership experience in the aerospace and defense and food and beverage industries, most recently serving as Marketing and Brand Manager at Spirit AeroSystems.

Rice earned her B.A. in Political Science and B.A.S. in Human Services from Washburn University.

Wade WiebeWADE WIEBE
Director of Workforce Innovation

Wade Wiebe oversees strategic direction and implementation of workforce development solutions such as the agency’s Workforce Aligned with Industry Demand (AID) program, an employer-driven training system that matches the skills needed for a company’s workforce with education providers who deliver the training.

He previously served with the Department of Commerce as Manager of the Innovation Growth Program before joining the Kansas Department of Transportation as its Director of Administration. He served in that role for the past six years. He earned a B.S. degree in Business from The University of Kansas.

Contact Us

General Commerce (785) 296-3481

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