Reagan McCloud has been named director of government relations for Kansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. effective August 1. McCloud’s responsibilities include state and federal legislative advocacy and promoting member engagement in grassroots initiatives. McCloud is originally from the Newton area, where his family farms and ranches. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tabor College and graduated in the spring of 2022 from Washburn University School of Law, where he was active in the Washburn Agricultural Law Society. McCloud interned with a lobbying firm during the last Kansas legislative sessions. KEC is the Kansas statewide service organization for 26 electric distribution cooperatives and three generation and transmission cooperatives. Headquartered in Topeka, KEC represents the interests and provides necessary services and programs to the electric cooperatives serving member/consumers in the state.
TFI announced Melissa Briggs is its new head of administration. Briggs has served TFI for eight years in various capacities and has extensive experience in clinical and therapeutic services as well as extensive management experience. Prior to serving as CAO, Briggs served as senior vice president of clinical and assessment services. Prior to that, she served as executive director and vice president of residential and clinical services for Pathway Family Services, an agency of TFI. Briggs will be responsible for management oversight of TFI’s administrative departments. Briggs received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pittsburg State University, as well as a master’s degree in community counseling from Pittsburg State University. She also holds a doctorate in counseling education and supervision from Kansas State University.
Stormont Vail Health announced that Casey Whale, MD, has joined its medical team and will practice as an orthopedic surgeon at Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, 2660 SW 3rd St., in Topeka. Whale is an adult reconstructive orthopedic surgeon specializing in complex total knee and total hip cases. He is trained to treat complex joint revisions of the knee and hip whether the circumstance is an abnormality, infection, injury, revision or replacement when a total knee or hip has been in place for too long. Whale joins Stormont Vail after completing his residency at Wright State University, where he completed more than 700 cases as an orthopedic surgery resident. Whale earned his medical degree from the University of Utah after attending Weber State University for his bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science and a minor in chemistry.
Mission Creek Camp & Retreat Center in Topeka announced the hiring of a Topeka native Joe Hodgson. Hodgson has nearly 20 years of experience with the Topeka YMCA, most recently serving as the Southwest Branch Executive Director and also as the Executive Director of Operations. He began his employment with the YMCA in July 2004 as the Director of Health and Wellness, with several promotions over the years. Hodgson also serves as co-chair of Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods. Since 2008, Joe has helped engage the community in the coalition’s work, which includes passing a Complete Streets Policy Resolution for Topeka, as well as a Bicycle Master Plan. And Hodgson is the senior pastor and worship leader of Imago Dei Church, which is part of the Kansas District of the Wesleyan Church. Hodgson earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Kansas State University in 2000.
Stormont Vail Health announced that Freddy Cooper, MD, has joined their medical team and will practice as a primary care physician specializing in ambulatory internal medicine at 901 Garfield Ave. in Topeka. Cooper has spent time all over the world and credits his background to who he is today. He was born in Mumbai, India, where he completed most of his schooling before moving to the United States for his residency. He moved to Florida for his internal medicine residency and has also spent time at hospitals in North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia working in specialty departments. “I got the best of both cultures and that matches my personality today,” Cooper said. “My parents are my number one inspiration who are still living in India. Seeing them work so hard and make all the sacrifices they made to be a doctor is what inspires me.” Cooper attended Seth SG Medical College in Mumbai before going to Memorial Healthcare System in Florida for his residency.
The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees re-elected unanimously James P. Zakoura, of Overland Park, to serve as chairman for fiscal year 2023. He has served on the KPERS board since 2018 with his appointment by Governor Jeff Colyer in January 2021. Governor Laura Kelly reappointed Zakoura to the KPERS board for a second four-year term. The KPERS board is responsible for overseeing the investment of the trust fund, adopting actuarial assumptions, and hiring and monitoring the executive director and external service providers, including investment managers and consultants. Zakoura is from Osawatomie and now lives in Overland Park, where he is a member of the law firm of Foulston Siefkin LLP.
The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees James P. Zakoura of Overland Park has been reappointed as trustee by President Ron Johnson, of Seneca, to serve as vice chairman for fiscal year 2023. Johnson has served on the KPERS board since 2019 with his appointment by Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman. Johnson retired as president and CEO of Community National Bank in Seneca after 18 years of service. He is a past president of the Kansas Bankers Association and the Bankers Bank of Kansas. Johnson has served as president of Nemaha Valley Community Hospital and is a trustee of the Seneca Housing Authority. He earned a BA in Economics from North Dakota State University and completed graduate work at the University of Colorado Graduate School of Banking.
John H. Huttonthe managing partner of the Topeka law firm Henson, Hutton, Mudrick, Gragson & Vogelsberg, LLP, was honored to be selected by his peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America© 2023 in Real Estate Law, Construction Law, Banking and Finance Law, and Commercial Litigation. Hutton earned his undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from the University of Kansas.
Topeka area hiring, promotions, retirements and other announcements can be emailed to [email protected]