Ruth DeWitt
School of Public Affairs & Administration

KU announces Heartland Certified Public Manager Program graduates for 2021

Tue, 01/04/2022

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Public Management Center has announced its new class of graduates of the Heartland Certified Public Manager (CPM) program. The graduation ceremony took place Dec. 3, 2021, in the House Chamber of the Kansas Capitol. Ed O’Malley, president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center, delivered remarks to the graduates.

Heartland Certified Public Manager Program logoMore than 80 graduates, representing local, county, state or federal agencies from across Kansas, began their coursework in January 2021. They participated in classes held in Lawrence, Park City and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson.  For the first time in the course’s 28-year history, a fully online cohort also graduated, joining the other cohorts at the Capitol and meeting each other and their instructors for the first time in person.

Of these participants, approximately 20 are graduates of the Law Enforcement Leadership Academy (LELA) Command School who completed their CPM certification through classroom instruction and online work. They were recognized in November by the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center and were also included in the CPM graduation ceremony.

“The Kansas CPM program is a dynamic and engaging certification program of 300 contact hours that uses a capstone project as the final exam and course materials that inspire new ways of thinking and innovative approaches to public sector problem-solving,” said Deb Miller, the Public Management Center’s director.

“I am always very impressed with the caliber and dedication of the CPM graduates. Their love for public service and leadership is evident by their commitment to their organizations, communities and the citizens they serve,” Miller said. “While the 2020 class faced the challenge of completing CPM virtually, this year’s class had the adaptive challenge of starting virtually, switching to meeting in-person but always being prepared to pivot to online instruction if COVID infections became a problem. Luckily, the safety guidelines we put in place allowed for in-person instruction to the very end of the year.” 

The Heartland CPM program is a professional education opportunity for managers working in government agencies, nonprofits and organizations that contract to provide public services and meet community needs. CPM is a nationally accredited management program and certification in which participants develop and strengthen their management skills through a competency-based curriculum. Close to 1,800 CPM graduates have earned the nationally recognized emblem of management excellence through the Heartland program, which serves Kansas and Missouri.

The Heartland CPM program can fill a training gap for staff with significant technical expertise who seek to further their knowledge of current management practices. The program offers a blended learning approach of classroom hours, online learning and outside assignments to meet 300 hours of structured learning. The curriculum addresses personal and organizational integrity, managing work, leading people, developing self, public service and leadership during times of change. Along the way, participants complete a capstone project focused on an opportunity for cost savings, revenue generation, process improvement or innovation in their workplace.

Graduates are listed below. Not all graduates opted for their names to be published.


Barton County

  • Chance Bailey, Ellinwood Police Department
  • Brent Smith, Great Bend Fire Department

Bourbon County

  • Douglas Hurd, Kansas Department for Children and Families

Butler County

  • Makala Navarro, City of Augusta

Cherokee County

  • Jason Daniels, Columbus Police Department

Cowley County

  • Eric Burr, Arkansas City Police Department

Crawford County

  • Michelle Ducre, City of Pittsburg

Douglas County

  • David Ernst, Lawrence Police Department
  • McKenzi Ezell, Douglas County Fire and Medical
  • Justin Hensley, Lawrence Consolidated Fire District 2
  • Jason Hodge, Lawrence Police Department
  • Kelly McCoy, University of Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute
  • Michelle Needham, Kansas Department of Transportation
  • Tine Rakes, Douglas County
  • Kathy Richardson, City of Lawrence
  • Shannon Riggs, Lawrence Police Department
  • Morgan Swartzlander, University of Kansas
  • James Uhlemeyer, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Tonya Voigt, Douglas County

Ellis County

  • Lyle Pantle, Ellis County Fire Department

Ellsworth County

  • Emil Halfhill, Ellsworth Police Department

Finney County

  • Gabriela Cruz, Finney County Clerk’s Office
  • Yolanda Galvan, Finney County Treasurer’s Office
  • Kelly Munyan, Finney County

Graham County

  • Shaun Dooley, Graham County Sheriff’s Office

Harper County

  • Thomas Burns, City of Harper Police Department
  • Cyndra Kastens, City of Anthony

Harvey County

  • Brian Palmer, City of Newton

Johnson County

  • Richard Breshears, Overland Park Police Department
  • Chad Courtois, City of Olathe
  • J. Paul Davis, Johnson County Department of Emergency Services
  • Lauren Grashoff, City of Shawnee Community Development
  • Chad Grosserode, Overland Park Police Department
  • James Lamb, Consolidated Fire District No. 2
  • Richard Potter, City of Shawnee Fire Department
  • Stephen Powell, City of Shawnee
  • Joshua Powers, Johnson County Transit
  • Brett Rushton, Lenexa Police Department
  • Matt Seichepine, Shawnee Police Department
  • Cory Smith, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kristen Walters, Johnson County Motor Vehicles
  • David Winders, Leawood Police Department

Labette County

  • LeaAnn Myers, City of Altamont

Leavenworth County

  • Tammy Saldivar, Leavenworth County Solid Waste

Marshall County

  • Ryan Woodyard, Blue Rapids Police Department

McPherson County

  • Betsy Davis, Moundridge Public Library
  • Jeremy Johnson, City of Moundridge

Pratt County

  • Diana Arensdorf, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

Reno County:

  • Diana Skomal, Reno County Sheriff’s Office

Saline County:

  • Hannah Stambaugh, Saline County

Sedgwick County:

  • Michael Caraway, United States Marshals Service
  • Zach Day, City of Park City
  • Marlo Rugg, City of Park City
  • Richard Wolff, Park City Police Department

Shawnee County:

  • Laura Bohnenkemper, Kansas Bureau of Investigation
  • Robert Child, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kami Cusick, State of Kansas Department of Administration
  • Sylvia Davis, City of Topeka Utilities Department
  • Erica Hunter, Kansas Department for Children and Families
  • Kelvin Johnson, Topeka Police Department
  • Ricquelle Landis, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks
  • Mary McAferty, State of Kansas
  • Tammy Tompkins, Kansas Department for Children and Families
  • Hannah Uhlrig, City of Topeka Public Works
  • Mark Ungerer, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Sherman County:

  • Misty Rice, Sherman County Sheriff’s Office
  • Jeffrey Riedesel, Sherman County Sheriff’s Office

Stafford County:

  • Jami Downing, City of Stafford

Wyandotte County:

  • Manuel DeLeon, Kansas City, Kansas Police Department Communications
  • Ronald Schumaker, Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department


  • Jodi Beach, Kansas State School for the Deaf
  • Laura Hiatt, Kansas State Treasurer
  • Aye Myat, Kansas State School for the Blind
  • Glen Virden, Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

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