Governor Eric Greitens has appointed 30 women to leadership positions on a number of the state’s boards and commissions. These appointments follow First Lady Sheena Greitens’ announcement on October 3 that the administration would appoint 25 women in the subsequent 25 days, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Foundation.
The Governor and the First Lady are dedicated to empowering women to lead in service across our state. “Earlier this month in Kansas City, I announced the administration’s commitment to appoint at least 25 highly qualified women to the state’s boards and commissions. As of today, the Governor’s Office has appointed 30 women to new leadership roles, where they will join a majority-female cabinet in making a difference on important issues ranging from child abuse and foster care to homeland security and workforce development. We look forward to the contributions that each of these women will make to the State of Missouri,” said First Lady Sheena Greitens.
Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board
Beth Banker, Mary Bozarth, Elaine Buschjost, Misty Dobynes, Donna Erickson, Joyce Estes, Susan Fluegel, Danielle Smith, Joy Sweigart, Jeannie Thies, Kristen Tuohy, Jennifer Vernon Schoonover, and Cynthia Vessell were appointed to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board.
Banker is the Clinical Director at the Child Protection Center. Banker has more than 20 years of experience in the children protection field. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and her master’s degree in social work from Boston University.
Bozarth is the In-House General Counsel for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in Springfield. She is also a Per Course Professor at Missouri State University in the Criminology Department. Bozarth holds bachelors’ degrees in history and political science and a juris doctorate from the University of Miami.
Buschjost retired as Principal for the Cole County R-I School District. She now serves as president of Pastoral Council, and on the Missouri Elementary Principal’s Association. Buschjost received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree and specialist degree in educational leadership from William Woods University. Buschjost is pursuing her doctorate at William Woods University.
Dobynes is a captain for the security division of the St. Louis Public School Board of Education. She serves as a board member for the Clay Scholarship Foundation. Dobynes received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lindenwood University. Dobynes is pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice management at Lindenwood University.
Erickson is the Clinical Coordinator for Fostering Healthy Children, which is a newly created program that helps children in the foster system obtain high quality pediatric care. Erickson received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Webster University, and holds a master’s degree in social work from Saint Louis University.
Estes is the Executive Director at the Northwest Missouri Children’s Advocacy Center. Estes is a licensed clinical social worker. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree in education counseling from Missouri Western State University.
Fluegel is a retired educator from the Lindbergh School District, where she taught first, second, and fifth grades. Fluegel holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also has a master’s and doctorate degree in education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Smith is a Professional Development and Legal Recruiting Manager at Thompson Coburn LLP. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a juris doctorate from the Saint Louis University School of Law.
Sweigart retired from the Criminal Justice Information Services Department at the Missouri State Highway Patrol. She is an active member of Operation Bugle Boy, Marine Corps League Auxiliary, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Sweigart is pursuing an associate degree in criminal justice from Lincoln University.
Thies is a professor of political science at Lindenwood University. Dr. Thies received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also received masters’ degrees in psychology and political science, as well as a doctorate in political science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Tuohy is the First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney at the Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where she handles sexual assaults and crimes against children. Touhy received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law.
Vernon Schoonover is the director of child, youth, and family clinical services at Synergy Services, Inc., a non-profit mental health center. She is a certified counselor with the National Board of Certified Counselors. Vernon Schoonover received a bachelor’s degree in psychology rehabilitation and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from University of Central Missouri.
Vessell is the Vice President of Community Services at COMTREA. She is also a licensed professional counselor for Children’s Therapy Support Services. Vessell holds a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in counseling education from Missouri Baptist University.
Children’s Trust Fund Board
Amy Layman and Cherisse Thibaut were appointed to the Children’s Trust Fund.
Layman is a member of the Board of Directors for the Child Advocacy Center and is YPO Ozark Family Officer. She is a dedicated member of her community and volunteers for several organizations, including Women with a Mission at Mercy.
Thibaut is a licensed clinical social worker and child abuse prevention consultant. She is the former Manager of Prevention and Community Outreach for Missouri KidsFirst. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Regis University and her master’s degree in social work from Saint Louis University.
Christian County Auditor
Amy Dent, of Nixa, was appointed as the new Christian County Auditor.
Dent currently serves as the Deputy Auditor of Christian County. Dent has served as a financial crimes legal assistant with the Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Coordinating Board for Early Childhood
Carol Hallquist was appointed to the Coordinating Board for Early Childhood.
Hallquist is the retired President of the Hallmark Corporate Foundation, where she worked as president for nine years. Recently, she founded PrincipalsConnect, which matches retired business professionals with urban school principals. Hallquist was also a 2016 fellow at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Institute.
Governor’s Council on Disability
Katie Jones was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Disability.
Jones is the Director of Organizational Employment Services and Political Action at BCI, where she works to support adults with disabilities. She is a member of the National Association of Workforce Development and the legislative committee of the St. Charles Coalition. Jones earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Lindenwood University.
Homeland Security Advisory Council
Cindy Erickson was appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
Erickson is the Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri. She earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Florida and has studied at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Erickson is a member of Saint Louis Forum and United Way of Greater Saint Louis.
Martin Luther King, Jr. State Celebration Commission
Sheryl Maxwell was appointed to the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Celebration Commission.
Maxwell is a Program Educator Assistant at Lincoln University. She is a dedicated member of her community, and has created serval non-profits and organizations with the overall mission to improve the lives of low-income families in Southeast Missouri.
Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council
Elizabeth Galt was appointed to the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council.
Galt is an advocate for autism awareness across the state. She is an active speaker in Southeast Missouri, and has worked with primary, secondary, and higher education to provide inclusive learning for students with developmental disabilities. Galt was recognized for a project when she organized and raised funds for an inclusive playground facility through Parents Advocating Developmental Disabilities in Farmington.
State Lottery Commission
Robin Simpson was appointed to the State Lottery Commission.
Simpson is a Corporate Assistant at the Onshore Outsourcing, where she oversees daily operations and budgets of various holding companies. She is involved in regional and community activities, such as volunteering for the Mark Twain Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority
Tonya Grimm was appointed to the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.
Grimm is the Assistant Vice President of Finance for A.T. Stills University. She is currently earning her master’s degree in accounting and finance from Southern New Hampshire University and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Truman State University.
Missouri Juvenile Justice Advisory Group
Jody Austin was appointed to the Missouri Juvenile Justice Advisory Group.
Austin is a Probation Officer at the Springfield Municipal Court. Previously, Austin was a Deputy Juvenile Officer for five years, with a year and a half as the Assistant Superintendent of the detention facility. She graduated from Drury University with bachelors’ degrees in sociology and criminology. In 2014, she received the Liberty Bell Award from the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.
Missouri State Board of Nursing
Bonny Kehm and Terri Stone were appointed to the Missouri State Board of Nursing.
Kehm is the Faculty Program Director in the baccalaureate and Master of Science programs for the School of Nursing at Excelsior College, where she designs curriculum and research. Dr. Kehm earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Webster University and her doctorate in nursing education from Capella University.
Stone is a Family Nurse Practitioner at Jefferson City Medical Group Express Care. Dr. Stone earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing and her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and her master’s degree in nursing from George Mason University.
Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board
Jennifer Foster was appointed to the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board.
Foster is a police officer for the Blue Springs Police Department, where she is currently assigned as a School Resource Officer at Moreland Ridge Middle School. Jennifer received an associate degree from Metropolitan Community College.
Missouri Women’s Council
Betsy Miller was appointed to the Missouri Women’s Council.
Miller opened her company, 2B Organized, in 1997. 2B Organized is a professional organizing firm with a home office in Springfield. Her company currently has six locations with more opening soon. She is the founder and president of the Springfield Police Foundation, a former executive board member for the Junior League of Springfield, a current board member for GYNCA, and has served in a variety of leadership roles in non-profit charitable organizations over the last 25 years.
Missouri Workforce Development Board
Kathy Lambert was appointed to the Missouri Workforce Development Board.
Lambert is the CEO and Co-Founder of Connections to Success, a non-profit that provides support to help people living in poverty become economically self-sufficient. Lambert was the first President of Dress for Success Worldwide. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work, with a minor in criminal justice, from Ball State University.
State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts
Dr. Katherine Mathews was appointed to the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts.
Mathews currently works as the Research Division Director for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health at Saint Louis University. She has an educational background in public health, medicine, and healthcare administration. Dr. Mathews has a particular focus on improving pregnancy outcomes and reducing infant mortality.