Winners

2018 Winners (2019 TBD)

Sara Bass

SARA BASS

AGE

37

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

Heartland Credit Union

JOB TITLE

Branch Manager – 29th & Main

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I feel incredibly fortunate to work here at Heartland. For me, I wanted to work for a locally owned organization and was attracted to HCU because of the culture and their commitment to our community. I love working with people and there is no better feeling than helping someone finance their dreams.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

I once helped a young girl finance her first car and she was so excited. We cried together! Making connections with people is always a proud moment for me.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

- Leadership Reno County Alumni – Class of 2014
- Hutchinson Zoo Board – Treasurer
- Downtown Hutchinson Revitalization Partnership Board Member
- Downtown Hutchinson Promotions Chair (ShamRock the Hall)
- Event director for inaugural Brewfest 2016
- Member of YP

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

I’ve lived here my entire life and I really like that there are so many organizations that allow an outlet for “getting involved” and making social connections. There’s also a lot of talent in this community and people who are very passionate about ensuring this community stays vibrant for years to come. That energizes me. For me, Hutch is the perfect size and has been a very safe place to raise a family.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”
– George Harrison (also my favorite Beetle).

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself with others. You’ll never be happy if you do. Instead, be thankful for what you have. Don’t focus on what you can’t control. I think another thing that is important in life is to always try your best. If you’ve don’t the best you can, then you should never have anything to worry about. And life is too short to spend all of your time worrying.


Tap to close

Andrea Finlay

ANDREA FINLAY

AGE

34

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

FEE Insurance Group

JOB TITLE

Business Account Manager

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I moved here from Kansas City for my husband’s job. Not finding any job opportunities in my career of Corporate Fitness, I began looking for a new career. I found it with Fee Insurance Group through helping our clients manage their personal and business insurance needs.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

Finding my second career with Fee Insurance Group.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

- Hutchinson Rotary Club
- Young Professional of Reno County
- Downtown Kiwanis Club
- Vitality Team of Reno County
- Downtown Hutch Promotions
- Interfaith Housing
- Hutchinson Recreation Commission- voluntold

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

When my husband and I moved here in 2012 we loved how Hutchinson was a small town, but not too small. Through Young Professional’s and other civic groups we immediately got involved in the community. We have made life-long friends and enjoy working with great people to make Hutch a place our children will want to move back to.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.”
~Mark Twain

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

Live life to the fullest everyday, do not wait to take trips, take risks, and have fun!


Tap to close

Gabe Goering

GABE GOERING

AGE

37

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

Midway Motors of Hutchinson

JOB TITLE

General Manager

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I've always loved cars, from the time I was in jr. High I knew this was what I wanted to do. My grandfather was also a car dealer, he was instrumental in sparking the flame inside me for this career path.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

I have watched folks go from working in our car wash to running departments or stores for us. It's inspiring to see employees do better and grow within our company.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

Hutchinson Chamber Board, Economic Advisory Council, Rotary Club, Rotary Board, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, McPherson Optimist Club, FHSU Alumni Association.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

Hutchinson gives the small town feel with a lot of big city amenities. I love being able to visit with customers and friends almost everywhere in town. It’s a great feeling.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“Everything in life that matters the most can't be purchased”

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

Find your passion and follow it. Being passionate about what you do will lift you past the hard times and ensure the good times are even better.


Tap to close

Tommy Hornbeck

TOMMY HORNBECK

AGE

33

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

Heartland Credit Union

JOB TITLE

Technical Support Supervisor

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I’d say an affinity for problem solving, drive to understand how things work, and the joy of helping others all pushed me towards the service and support side of Information Technology. As a child I was quite the menace to electronics when wielding a screwdriver or two.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

My proudest professional moment to date has been the honor of the Young Professionals of Reno County Leadership award in 2017.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

Young Professionals of Reno County Advisory Council, Hutchinson Planning Commission, HCC Computer Support Specialist Advisory Committee, United Way Community Work Day

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

Hutchinson is a great place for many reasons, and the size of our community, the plethora of unique community assets and amenities, and my friends and family here are always the first things that come to mind.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“The only way to have a friend is to be one” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

Be kind. No act of kindness is ever wasted.


Tap to close

Lacie Janzen

LACIE JANZEN

AGE

33

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

The Hutchinson News

JOB TITLE

Multi-Media Sales Executive

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I was working as a receptionist at Midwest Superstore in Hutchinson where my dad was the GM for many years. I met Shelby Dryden when she was the newspaper's rep for the dealership, and I made mention that if there was ever an opening at The Hutchinson News in advertising I would love the opportunity to interview for the position. I've always loved talking to people and learning their story so being able to do that every day while helping people achieve their business goals is a win win for me.

Although the landscape has changed over the last several years, newspapers are such a vital source to our community and I'm proud to work for The Hutchinson News.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

Any opportunity I have to gain the trust of a client and build a relationship with them makes me proud. I love having the opportunity to get to know a client professionally and personally and play a part in helping them reach their target audience and grow their business. Most recently I've been given the opportunity to work with the Reno County Veterans Memorial to help them close the financial gap to complete the memorial in South Hutch. I'm extremely appreciative that they've given me their trust, and I'm confident we're going to raise the funds to close this long awaited chapter and complete the memorial.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES:

-Reno County Suicide Prevention Coalition
-Interfaith Housing Fund Development Committee
-Young Professionals of Reno County Pulse team
-United Way of Reno County Over The Edge 2018
-Communities that Care volunteer
-HOPS for Tech 2018
-Leadership Reno County 2018
-Big Brothers & Big Sisters Reno County

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

I grew up in a small town so I love the small town feel. Hutchinson very much has that small town feel plus has so many great offerings that you don’t have in smaller communities.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

"Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up." - Jimmy V

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

Pray. Smile at strangers. Be kind. Go the extra mile. Forgive. Stay true to yourself. Be humble. Laugh a lot, and loudly. Forgive. Never take yourself too seriously. Think before you speak. Admit when you’re wrong. Never give up on your daydreams. Breathe. Respect people’s opinions, even if they’re different from yours. Stay Curious.


Tap to close

Brian Pacheco

BRIAN PACHECO

AGE

35

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

Plaza-Astle Realty and Cargill

JOB TITLE

Realtor and Administrative Assistant (Cargill)

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I always had an interest in real estate since a young age but never thought about a career in it. A friend from church one day started talking to me about becoming a Realtor. I was intrigued that being a Realtor would allow me to get to know the community better, network, have the flexibility to be involved in our community, help in protecting homeownership and most importantly helping people with their real estate needs.

A few years ago, I was blessed with an opportunity with Cargill as an Administrative Assistant. I didn’t know much about Cargill other then they made salt. I love working for a company that cares about our community, work/life balance and helping the world thrive.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

I have two. The 1st one is when I was elected President of the Prairie Land Board of Realtors for 2017 and again for 2019. 2nd is being elected as Zone 5 Vice President of the Kansas Association of Realtors in 2017 to present.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

Big Brother Big Sister board member, Hutch Chamber Ambassador and Small Business Council, United Way Work day, Member of Young Professional, Cancer Council of Reno County - volunteer, Volunteer for HOPS for Tech, Meals on Wheels, Relay for Life, Heart Walk, Red Cross Blood Drive, Red Cross smoke detector install, KMOM Volunteer (Kansas Mission of Mercy). Services on the board of directors for Prairie Land Board of Realtors and Kansas Association of Realtors.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

Not growing up in Hutchinson and moving to here from Colorado in 2007 was a major change for me. By getting involved with local organizations, I was able to make friends and learn about community. The small-town feel of Hutchinson makes it a great place for us to our 8 kids.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” - Douglas Adams

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

Make sure you have a passion for what you do. If you have passion you will always find the time.


Tap to close

Zoe Schumm

ZOE SCHUMM

AGE

30

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

The Hutchinson Zoo

JOB TITLE

Development & Sales Manager

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

My husband & I moved to the area for his job & I looked around the community for a position that for my eclectic skill set (apparel & textile design, graphic design, web development, entrepreneurship, non-profit management). The position at the zoo was an oddly perfect match.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

Being asked to be on my alma mater’s Professional advisory board and creating a partnership with Kansas State University to lead study tours to Guatemala to share my love of the country & the people with the students in the Apparel & Textile Program.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

Board member Education & More (past), Kansas State Apparel & Textile professional advisory board member, Coordinator for the Cinco De Mayo Festival in Hutchinson, Kids club teacher at church, VBS crew leader, foster mom, mentor to young women through the church & Kansas State University.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

What I love most about Hutchinson are the people. When my husband and I moved here in the winter we hit an ice patch and spun into the ditch on the highway a couple miles out of town. We had four people stop to help us in the hour that we were on the side of the road! It was amazing that people cared enough to stop. It’s that same heart in people that makes Hutchinson such a great place to live.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“A strong woman stands up for herself, a stronger woman stands up for others.” - Unknown

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

Get to know Jesus. He has, and continues to change my life.


Tap to close

Amanda Smith

AMANDA SMITH

AGE

38

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

First National Bank of Hutchinson

JOB TITLE

Senior Vice President and Manager, Human Resources

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

During my first year at Wichita State University, my family’s health insurance premiums almost doubled during open enrollment. I took an interest into the reasons why insurance premiums increase and who is responsible for educating employees about it. I joined the college Society for Human Resource Management chapter and quickly knew that was the profession I wanted to pursue.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

I’ve been blessed with many proud moments throughout my working life. I’ve been given opportunities to lead, manage, and push myself to do more than I could have ever envisioned. I am always proud when I can positively impact others with resources, advice or simply listening. Being in the HR profession, I get the unique opportunity to know and interact with all employees. It is one of the best things I enjoy about what I do. This nomination means a lot as well; it is quite humbling.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

- Kansas Bankers Association Benefits Committee member
- Cause for Paws, Inc. board member
- Delos V. Smith board member
- Hutchinson Community College Alumni board member (former President)
- Hutchinson High School Business Department Advisory board member
- Central Kansas SHRM Chapter member (positions held in the past are President, President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary)
- Wichita State University Alumni member
- Holy Family Altar Society member
- Young Professionals of Reno County member
- United Way Community Work Day volunteer

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

Some of the many reasons that Hutchinson is a great place to live are evident in the organizations I volunteer for. They represent my passions and fulfill my desire to give back in even a small capacity. I’ve had the privilege to work for a few of the best companies in Hutchinson. Being surrounded by mentors, leaders, co-workers, friends and family is a blessing.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“Keep your heels, head, and standards high.”

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

My advice is to be genuinely kind to all you meet; you never know what impact they may have on your life now or in the future and find joy in at least one piece of each day, no matter what it is, then you've found success.


Tap to close

Jackson Swearer

JACKSON SWEARER

AGE

30

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

Reno County Health Department

JOB TITLE

Community Health Equity Specialist

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I moved back to Hutchinson in 2015 with the goal of giving back to my hometown. I am fortunate to have a job that I find fulfilling. I hope and believe I am contributing toward a vision of Hutchinson and Reno County where people are healthy and safe where they live, work and play. Every day, I get to work with amazing friends and colleagues who also want to be involved in our community and make it a better place for everyone.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

My proudest professional moments have been opportunities to present at major conferences in my field, including the Assets Learning Conference in Washington, DC (2016) and the Kansas Governor’s Public Health Conference in Wichita, KS (2018).

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

- Young Professionals of Reno County: Advisory Council Chair (2018); Ambassador (2017); Voice Team Chair (2016); Participant in Numerous Service Team Projects (e.g. United Way Work Day, Adopt a Highway, Soup Kitchen, Commodity Boxing, etc.)
- Downtown Hutchinson Revitalization Partnership: Board of Directors (2017 – 2018); Economic Development Committee Chair (2018)
- Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee (2017 – 2018)
- Entrepreneurship Task Force (2018)
- Raising the Flag Steering Committee (2018)
- Stage 9: Actor – “Our Town”, “Talking Tombstones”, “Almost, Maine” (2017)

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

Hutchinson has amazing amenities for a town of its size. There is so much to do and so many ways to get involved. The people I have met here are wonderful, and truly care about making this community an even better place to live and work. All these factors make me very happy to be in Hutchinson.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

If you want something to exist or to improve, find other people who share your passion and work with them to make it happen. If everyone waits around for someone else to do the work, nothing ever gets better. But you also cannot do it all yourself. We all need each other to make progress.


Tap to close

Ashleigh Vieyra

ASHLEIGH VIEYRA

AGE

32

CITY OF RESIDENCE

Hutchinson

EMPLOYER

USD 308

JOB TITLE

3rd Grade teacher, Graber Elementary, Head Cheerleading Coach at Hutchinson High School, gymnastics and cheerleading instructor at Hutchinson Gymnetics Academy.

WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?

I am a people person so I knew early on that I wanted to have a career where I would be able to work with people every single day and school was always such a positive place for me and I LOVE to learn so becoming a teacher was an easy decision for me. I have been blessed with incredible teachers growing up who helped shape my ideas about what a teacher should be and ignited my passion for the field of education.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL MOMENT?

Every single day as a teacher provides amazing moments. There is nothing better as a teacher when students make that connection with a topic or skill that that has been a challenge for them and they feel the pride of pushing through something tough and succeeding. Helping them reach goals and achieve things they never thought possible makes this the best profession ever.

I have also been blessed to be USD 308’s teacher of the year in 2014 and I am also USD 308’s teacher of the year for the 2018-2019 school year.

PLEASE LIST ALL PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES.

Being a teacher I get to organize various clubs and activities for my students to participate before and after school starts.

I also get the privilege of being the head cheerleading coach at Hutchinson High School and I coach gymnastics and cheer and Hutchinson Gymnastics Academy. Through these endeavors we do kids clinics, help in schools with their family nights, and spend time reading to students in our community.

This past year and this current year I am the assistant director for the cheer side of the Kansas Shrine Bowl. The money that gets raised for the Kansas Shrine Bowl football game goes to providing health care for all the children who utilize the Shriners hospital. Being a part of this organization has been a blessing to me, and I have learned so much through this experience.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE HUTCHINSON/RENO COUNTY IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK?

Hutchinson is a wonderful community to live in. We have so many opportunities for our youth and families in our community. We have a small town feel, with a lot of the privileges that a big city has. One of my favorite things about our community is that we pull together in times of need and help each other as much as possible. I have loved growing up in Hutchinson, and I am so thankful that my children get to grow up in our city as well.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”

WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR LIFE?

I think the best advice I can give anybody is to be kind to everyone. You never know what kind of battle they are facing day in and day out and kindness is free. You can’t control how other people treat you, but you are in complete control of how you respond and react back to them. Kindness will always win at the end of the day.


Tap to close