Communities in schools of Mid-america


Laura Kaiser – Board Chair

Past President

Kansas PTA

Overland Park, Kansas

Since retiring as an occupational therapist, Laura has devoted her volunteer time and efforts to improving the lives of children and public education. As a longtime resident of Kansas, she has been involved with PTA at the local, council, state and national levels, including serving as Kansas State PTA President. Laura still serves on the boards of many statewide educational organizations and has been honored to serve on the CIS of Mid-America board since 2003. Her other interests include parliamentary law and her sorority.

Neta A. Jeffus, CFP® - Chair Elect

Senior Vice-President –
Investment Officer

Wells Fargo Advisors

Topeka, Kansas

Neta Jeffus is a Senior Vice-President – Investment Officer of the Wells Fargo Advisors office in Topeka, Kansas.  She has many years of experience in the securities industry. With an emphasis on continuing education, she earned her Certified Professional PlannerTM (CFP®) designation in 1987. She has been active in her local community serving on several boards and co-chairing fund raising activities. Her office annually has a jeans project for The Topeka Rescue Mission. To date they have collected over 13,000 pairs. Neta and her husband, Allen, are actively involved in their grandchildren’s lives.

Cindy S. Wilson – secretary/Treasurer

CPA – Director of Retail Sales – Westar Energy

Topeka, Kansas

Cindy Wilson is the Director of Retail Rates for Westar Energy in Topeka, Kansas. Prior to serving as Director of Retail Rates, she was Director of Internal Audit for Westar. Cindy, her husband Travis, and their twin daughters, Brittney and Brianna reside in Topeka, Kansas. Cindy has been very involved in the sports her daughters play, coaching and helping with many teams throughout the years. She now cheers them on in competitive soccer and school sports. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, running and hiking with her family.

Larissa Long –
Immediate Past Chair

Senior Manager, External Affairs – Retired

Black Hills Energy

Lawrence, Kansas

Larissa Long retired as senior manager of External Affairs for Black Hills Energy’s Kansas/Colorado Gas Networks. She has 29 years of utility experience, holding progressive management positions in customer service and community relations. Larissa and her husband, Jim, reside in Lawrence, Kansas. In her spare time she enjoys golf, running and visiting her three young grandsons, who live with their parents in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Don Turnbaugh

Systems Engineer

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Overland Park, Kansas

Don has worked for Cisco, a worldwide technology leader, for 17+ years. He’s currently a Consulting Systems Engineer covering World Wide Sales Acceleration for Cisco's Contact Center solutions. Don is the co-owner of Lucia’s Sarto, a fashion design company based in Kansas City, Missouri’s, Country Club Plaza area.  He graduated with Honors from the University of Kansas with Bachelor’s degrees – one in Psychology and another in Human Development and Family Life both with a focus on children and Organizational Behavior Management (OBM). Don also graduated from Rockhurst University with an MBA – focusing his education and experiences on international studies and OBM.  Don has served as a member on the Communities In Schools of Mid–America board since 2005, as a way to give back to the community and assist in educating the youth of our future – with an eye on dropout prevention.  Don’s experiences vary from military, criminal justice, social and non–profit work, to his current sales focused roles in technology and a local community business – however, he’s always had a focus on the community, education, and corporate social responsibility. He firmly believes in 'Children First'.

Karen Mintz


Frederic Dorwart, Lawyers

Tulsa, OKlahoma

Karen is an attorney at the law firm of Frederic Dorwart, Lawyers. Karen obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto and her Bachelor of Business Administration at York University. She is originally from Toronto, Canada, and has lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for several years with her husband and three boys. Karen joined the board of Communities In Schools of Mid-America in 2015.


Communities In Schools of Mid-America, Inc.

2721 W. 6th Street, Suite E

Lawrence, Kansas 66049

(785) 856-5190