RevitalizeYC Board of Directors
Gary Morris - President
Gary Morris is a fourth generation native of Yates Center and currently serves on the board as President, Tech Support, and Social Media for RevitalizeYC. Gary graduated from Kansas State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and is English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certified. In 2013, he graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Master's Degree in Instructional Technology.
After teaching fifth and sixth grade for the Kinsley-Offerie school district in Kinsley, KS for two years, Gary and his wife, Nicole (Kress), had the opportunity to move back to the place they've always called home, Yates Center. He now works as a fourth grade elementary school teacher in Yates Center. In addition to teaching, Gary and his wife started their own lawn care business in Yates Center and believe the spirit of entrepreneurship will be part of the solution for the community's economic development.
His heart is to see Yates Center become the thriving community it once was, start new traditions, and build for its future with innovative ideas. In his free time, Gary enjoys spending time with family, being outdoors, going to auctions, antiquing, and attending concerts and comedies shows.
Heather Curry - Treasurer
Heather Curry recently joined the Revitalize YC Board of Directors and currently serves as Treasurer. She graduated from Wichita State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. While attending college, Heather began her banking career in 1994 as a part-time teller. She currently works at the Piqua State Bank as the President and CEO going on five years. Piqua State Bank also has a Branch in Yates Center, where Heather has been involved in the community off and on over the years. Heather would like to see the Yates Center community thrive and prosper through economic development, education and tourism. She believes in the future of rural communities, likes the slower pace of life, and all the friendly, helpful people. With her skills and knowledge, Heather wants to help the community attract young people to come back or stay, raise their families, and be a part of a growing, prosperous, and generous community. Heather grew up in Iola, Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and three children. When not working, Heather enjoys spending time with her family, attending her sons’ sporting events, going to movies with her daughter, reading and exercising.
Emily Beesley - Organizational Management Director
Emily Beesley served as President of the Board for almost 4 years, and is one of the founding board members of RevitalizeYC since April 2018. She currently serves on the Board as the Organizational Management Director. Emily graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has worked in the nonprofit field as a project/program coordinator and has had the opportunity to travel and work in various fields as an Organizational Development Consultant and Center Director for several corporate companies. Since getting married, Emily has settled down in Oklahoma and found her niche as an entrepreneur in the field of home décor and home accessories innovation. In addition, Emily currently works full time as a Business Development Specialist for the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center. Her family has deep roots in Yates Center dating back to the early 1900s. Emily is a fourth-generation entrepreneur from Yates Center and takes great pride in the history of her family's entrepreneurial contributions to Woodson County. Emily strongly believes in the future of the community that led her to pioneer this nonprofit in an effort to facilitate revitalization of the area. She believes having fresh vision for economic development and maintaining the community's historic charm will be enjoyed for generations to come. In her free time, Emily loves to play board games with her kids and travel to find “off-the-beaten-path” places to explore and eat local cuisine.
Amanda Mulsow - Advertising and Marketing Chair
Amanda Mulsow is a native of Yates Center and was the 5th generation raised on the Mulsow farm northwest of Yates Center. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Wichita State University. Amanda has professional experience in marketing, as well as traditional & digital advertising. She currently works as an Advertising Account Executive for Cox Media in Wichita, where she resides with her 16-year-old daughter, Tianna, who keeps her very busy. Amanda has served on the Board of Directors for the Wichita Family Crisis Center for the past four years. She assisted in the organization's re-branding, has served as Special Events Chair, Communications Chair, and has extensive fundraising experience. Amanda is one of the founding Board members of RevitalizeYC and serves in the role as Advertising & Marketing Chair. She has a passion for working with entrepreneurs, helping their businesses grow. Amanda also has a passion for helping others, which is a trait she credits to growing up in the caring, generous community of Yates Center. She is proud to have been raised there and wants to help preserve the small-town qualities that make Yates Center unique, while providing opportunities for growth and economic development for future generations. In her free time, Amanda enjoys doing projects around her 92 year-old home, antiquing, listening to live music, road-tripping exploring new places, and trying new restaurants and cuisine.
Roberta Wilkes - Legal Support
Roberta L. Wilkes is a practicing attorney who, along with her husband and partner, Bill Dunn, moved her practice and residence to Yates Center in June of 2020. Roberta has been an attorney in the Kansas City, Kansas area since 1977 when she received her Juris Doctor with distinction from the University of Missouri Kansas City. She received her B.A. from Wichita State University, graduating with university honors in 1973, her major being in Psychology. Her practice consists primarily of probate, estate planning, real estate and small business matters, including nonprofit law and representation.
Roberta attended junior high and high school in Howard, Kansas. She and her husband explored small towns in southeast Kansas before choosing Yates Center as their preferred destination. She looks out at the Woodson County Courthouse from her office at 111 S. State Street, as well as the other historic buildings surrounding the square, and says she feels she is living in a postcard. Roberta looks forward to giving whatever assistance she is able to the Revitalize Yates Center effort.
Deborah Mikulka - Grant Manager
Debra Mikulka is excited to be using her skills and expertise serving as the Grant Manager for the RevitalizeYC Board of Directors! New to the Yates Center community, she has worked as project director/principal investigator on federal and state grants; a school psychologist; counselor; PreK-12, university and community college instructor; K-12 and university grants administrator; and independent evaluator and consultant. Debra has been the primary author of more than $53M in funded grants as well as had the opportunity to collaborate on many more funded grant applications. She has worked across the country with public-school districts, community colleges, universities, state and local entities, and non-profits. Her professional preparation includes an A.A. from Neosho County Community College; B.S. in Education from Emporia State University; M.S. in Counseling and Ed.S. in School Psychology and Educational Administration from Pittsburg State University; and doctoral work in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Kansas. Debra sees the great potential for the community to grow and take advantage of funding opportunities as a rural, under-served community. Her and her husband are currently remodeling their residence in Yates Center and look forward to being a part of this amazing community. In her free time, she loves to garden, read, cook, and enjoy the outdoors.
Mike McCullough - Woodson USD 366 Representative
Mike McCullough has served on the RevitalizeYC Board of Directors as the USD 366 representative, going on three years. He has received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from Kansas State University and a Masters degree from Pittsburg State in Career and Technical Education. Currently, Mike is the Career and Technical Education teacher at Yates Center High School. He started working at YCHS in 2018 and has a passion to see young people develop trade skills, realize their potential, and believe in their dreams. Like many who leave rural communities, he never thought that he would ever return to Woodson County to live. Before returning to Yates Center in 2010, he resided in North Carolina and worked for two home builder companies. After the financial collapse of 2008, he found rural areas are more resilient to catastrophes and have more opportunities than what appears on the surface. Mike is a skilled carpenter, and upon returning to Yates Center, he started his own business remodeling homes and did that for eight years.
Mike graduated from Yates Center High School in 1987. After discovering the headstone of his great-great grandparents in Neosho Falls, he realized that he has roots in the county that go back five generations. Mike is an avid champion of the Yates Center Historic Downtown Square and is working to determine innovative ways to save the historic structures, as they are an incredible asset to the community. In his free time, he enjoys gardening and writing.
Jessica Busteed - K-State PRIDE Program Coordinator
Jessica has served on the RevitalizeYC Board of Directors since 2020. She served as Secretary for 2.5 years and currently serves on the Board as the K-State PRIDE Program Administrator. Jessica grew up in Toronto, Kansas before moving to the Texas Panhandle in 1990 with her parents. She graduated High School from Conroe Texas, and attended college at Sam Houston State University. She returned, with her husband and children, to Woodson County in 2008 from the Houston, Texas area where she had worked in Accounting & Client Management for over 15 years. Managing clients really sparked a passion of service in her heart that led her and her mother-in-law to open Cornerstone Bakery on the Historic Yates Center Town Square in 2016. Jessica saw an opportunity to connect with the community through coffee and create a relaxing atmosphere where people feel encouraged.
Her interest in working with RevitalizeYC is to invest in the goals and businesses of the Woodson County people to ensure a bright thriving, economically viable community. She believes Woodson County is a special place because of its people and strives to share hope and encouragement with those around her. Jessica believes in the economic development of small towns and the legacy that can be carried on for generations. In her free time, Jesscia enjoys hanging out with her family, love on her grandkids, being outdoors, and listening to music. She has a passion for traveling, but is grateful to return from travels where she gets to call this picturesque rural community home.
Cara Walden - Health Advisor
Cara Walden, joined the RevitalizeYC Board of Directors in 2020 as the Healthy Communities Advisor. In addition, she also serves as the Events and Fundraising Coordinator. Cara was born and raised in Yates Center, graduating from Yates Center High school in 2000. After high school, she attended Neosho County Community College in Ottawa, KS and became a Registered Nurse. For many years, she was the Woodson County Public Health Nurse serving the community at the Woodson County Health Department. Cara has worked in the health industry for over 18 years and continues to work as needed for SEK Multi-County Health Department. In addition, she is very active in the community and enjoys helping various organizations with event planning.
Cara joined the RevitalizeYC Board of Directors because she has a passion to see her hometown grow and thrive. She hopes to play a vital role in cleaning up the county, bringing new families into the community, and supporting new businesses. She firmly believes this type of economic growth will help the area become an even better place to live! Cara currently resides in Iola, Kansas with her husband and two boys. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.
Karen Faulkner - Member At Large
Karen Faulkner (Stockebrand) was born and raised in Woodson County. She serves on the board as the print media specialist and is one of three at-large board members. Karen's generational roots run long and deep in Woodson County. She graduated from Yates Center High School, and Allen County Community College. She then married her husband, a soldier in the United State Army. Together they traveled the world serving their country. Karen's education changed from books to service, and living life through trial and error. She and her family have lived in Germany, Texas, and Georgia. While in Texas and Georgia, she was a substitute teacher. Upon her husband's military retirement they chose to return to Yates Center, and make it home. Karen has spent the last 20 years employed by USD366, as an At Risk Tutor. Her classroom is the Alternative Learning Center which supports ages pre-K thru 8th grades. Karen strongly believes in the importance of God, Country, and Family, spiced up with a little cooking, crafting, and green glass collecting. Woodson County's major strengths are its beautiful land, lakes and natural beauty; its location, and its residents. Karen believes Woodson County is a special place with an unfinished story where the best is yet to be built.