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Kansas Office of Broadband Development

In our modern world, access to high-speed internet isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.

With so much vital information and communication moving online, communities and businesses unable to access high-quality internet connections aren’t just at a disadvantage, they are effectively disqualified from a major portion of the economy. With this in mind, providing broadband access to all communities across our state is a top priority for the Department of Commerce. 

Jade Piros de Carvalho

Director of the Office of Broadband Development

In her role as Director of Broadband Development for the state of Kansas since June 2022, Jade Piros de Carvalho draws on her extensive background in rural broadband and local governance. With seven years with a rural broadband provider, she managed government and public affairs, leading advocacy for broadband expansion policy and championing digital equity initiatives. Simultaneously, as an elected official for nearly a decade, including three terms as the mayor of Hutchinson until 2023, Piros de Carvalho has demonstrated a commitment to community service, earning multiple public service awards for her volunteer work with civic and nonprofit organizations. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts from Wichita State University and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Missouri, Columbia, she brings a well-rounded perspective to her leadership in broadband development.

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Joseph Le

Deputy Director

Joseph Le, the Deputy Director of Broadband Development since January 2023, brings a diverse background in politics, public service and technology, graduating from the University of Kansas with a double major in Political Science and Psychology. He served as Chief of Staff for Kansas House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer before joining the Broadband Development team. With a history in the Kansas Legislature, including as Legislative Director and Operations Director, Joseph also contributed to troubleshooting the Affordable Care Act website at General Dynamics’ IT department during the Obama Administration. Beyond his professional pursuits, he actively serves on the Douglas County Community Corrections Advisory Board and the City of Lawrence Human Relations Commission. In his leisure time, Joseph enjoys following NCAA Men’s Basketball, coding, keeping abreast of tech innovations, and spending quality moments with his Akita, Emi.

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Morgan Barnes

Engagement and Outreach Manager

Morgan Barnes, Engagement and Outreach Manager, joined the Office of Broadband Development in October 2022, bringing a background in Integrated Marketing Communications from Wichita State University. With experience in private, higher education, and public service sectors, Morgan’s strength lies in building relationships and connecting with people. In her previous role at the Public Policy and Management Center at Wichita State University, she delivered professional training, managed conferences.  Now, as our Engagement and Outreach Manager, Morgan focuses on partnership support and engagement efforts for Kansas, expressing, “It is an honor to support our neighbors across Kansas as we work to strengthen, support and connect.”

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Joshua Edgar

Broadband Program Manager

Josh, a 6th generation Kansan born and raised, joined the Office of Broadband Development team March 2023, bringing a deep connection to his roots as his family still owns and farms the same land from the 1870s. An alumnus of Kansas State University with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science, Josh began his career as a policy analyst at the Nebraska Public Service Commission, managing the in-state broadband grant program. Despite enjoying exploring Nebraska’s sandhills, he retains a preference for hiking the Konza prairie. Beyond work, Josh is an active outdoor enthusiast, engaging in running, biking, gardening and embracing the Kansas weather. A passionate reader with a diverse collection, he is excited to contribute to the KOBD team’s efforts in bringing reliable broadband to deserving communities.

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Jessica Henry

Operations Manager

Jessica Henry, who joined the Office of Broadband Development in June 2023, brings a wealth of experience and education to her role. Holding a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Washburn University, with a minor in Spanish, Jessica is currently pursuing a Master of Accountancy degree, reflecting her passion for the intersection of finance and technology. With a decade-long tenure at the Kansas Department of Commerce as a Grant Compliance Auditor, she ensured the equitable administration of grants for Kansans through the national public workforce development system. Outside the office, Jessica actively engages in local sporting events with her two sons and enjoys family time, reading, and gardening.

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Kimberlyn Jones

Digital Opportunity Program Manager

Kimberlyn Jones, a committed Digital Opportunity Program Manager of KOBD and proud Kansas City native, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Certificate in Dance from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an Executive MBA in Business Management from Rockhurst University. With a diverse professional background spanning insurance, finance, nonprofit management, and economic development. Beyond her professional endeavors, Kimberlyn is a passionate advocate for the community and a devoted mother to her grown children, Kiara and Curtis. In 1982, she founded the Kansas City Metropolitan Dance Theatre, a nonprofit dance education and performing arts center for children in the urban core, leaving a lasting legacy. In her leisure time, Kimberlyn enjoys traveling, exploring new wines, cooking, and spending quality moments with friends and family.

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Marie McNeal

Broadband Grant Program Manager

Marie McNeal has served the Office of Broadband Development since December 2023 and brings a wealth of experience from her 25-year tenure at the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), where she served as the Director of Grants and Quality Assurance. In this role, Marie managed grant programs supporting adult and juvenile community supervision agencies and non-profit entities serving justice-involved youth. As a lifelong Kansan, Marie takes pride in her work at KDOC, which heightened her awareness of the crucial need to enhance individuals’ quality of life. This passion aligns perfectly with the mission of the KOBD team in closing the digital divide and ensuring universal access to quality connectivity. Residing in Topeka with her life partner Henry, Marie is an avid supporter of her beloved KU Jayhawks, and she enjoys relaxing with family and friends, traveling, and indulging in Netflix series or real-life crime shows during her downtime. #RockChalk #GoKU.

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Shelley Paasch

Broadband Partnerships Coordinator

Shelley Paasch, the Kansas Office of Broadband Partnerships Coordinator, leverages 20 years of team management and leadership experience, coupled with 16 years of expertise in ecosystem building, relationship cultivation, and community outreach. Specializing in rural entrepreneurship and economic development, she excels in bridging gaps for businesses in local, unserved, and underserved communities. A certified facilitator for the Ice House Entrepreneurial Mindset program since 2015, Shelley focuses on business growth, strategic planning, and ecosystem building. Shelley serves as a relationship builder with community stakeholders and internet service providers, driving broadband expansion with municipal and state agencies.

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Casey Russell

Broadband Infrastructure Program Manager

Casey Russell, Broadband Infrastructure Program Manager for the Office of Broadband Development since April 2023, leverages over a decade of experience as a Network Engineer at KanREN. His expertise includes installing and managing fiber optic transport equipment, Route/Switch hardware, and customer premise equipment for a network serving 85 community anchor institutions across Kansas. Active in the research and education community, Casey contributes to internet standards development and was involved in testing the Automated Multicast Tunneling Protocol (AMT). With a strong background in state and federal grant programs, he is a two-time National Science Foundation Panel reviewer in technology.

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Stephen Shelton

Broadband Data and GIS Analyst

Stephen, who joined the KOBD team in 2023, brings a wealth of experience and a passion for exploration. Originally from California and recently transplanted from Oregon, he has embraced Kansas since 2021, enjoying its rich history, connected communities, and diverse opportunities. Holding a Bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and a Master’s degree in Geography from San Jose State University, Stephen spent most of his career in the travel industry, contributing to Expedia and With four children—two boys and two girls —he has been busy for the last 22 years, cherishing the cultural richness brought by his girls from Ethiopia. Beyond work and family, Stephen finds joy in continuous learning and exploring nature, capturing its beauty through his dedicated photography habit. He expresses, “Taking photos of the beauty all around me gives me joy.”

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