FlagshipKansas.Tech, a non-profit organization focused on advancing Kansas as a hub for technology and innovation, is pleased to announce the hiring of Conner Hampton as its new Executive Director. In its commitment to lift up Kansas’ powerhouse technology industry, the organization also announces the expansion of its board of directors from nine to 13, including the appointment of six new members and a slate of new officers. 

“We are excited to welcome Conner as our new Executive Director and to work with our talented governing board to drive innovation and economic growth in Kansas,” said Ben Sebree, Chair of FlagshipKansas.Tech and SVP of R&D at CivicPlus. “Flagship plays a vital role in positioning Kansas as a leader in technology and innovation, and we are committed to pursuing that goal with unwavering determination and enthusiasm.”

About Conner Hampton

As Flagship gears up for growth, Hampton brings experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and relationship building to the position. While he was Development Director of Center City Academy and Relationship Manager at United Way of the Plains, Hampton established a proven track record of leading successful fundraising campaigns and building strong partnerships within the community and region. At Center City Academy, he nearly tripled the general fundraising total for the organization in less than two years and led efforts for a $6 million capital campaign to build an early child development center in downtown Wichita. Hampton is also actively involved in the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Kansas Non-Profit Chamber, Downtown Rotary Club of Wichita, and The W – A Community of Young Professionals.

In his new role at Flagship, Hampton will focus on moving forward the mission, bringing value to members, engaging new members and sponsors, expanding the Registered Apprenticeship program, and growing the Ad Astra Technology Summit. 

“I am excited to join FlagshipKansas.Tech and work alongside such a talented and passionate board,” Hampton said. “I look forward to building upon the organization’s strong foundation and driving growth and innovation in the technology sector in Kansas.”

About the Board of Directors

Luis Rodriguez, President at Keycentrix – a national top competitor in pharmacy software, led the organization in 2022 as board chair. Under his leadership, Flagship received more than $645,000 in grant funding, launched a Registered Apprenticeship Program for tech roles, and held the inaugural Ad Astra Technology Summit. His last act as board chair was to extend the chair and vice chair terms, add a new Immediate Past Chair role, and increase the board from nine to 13 seats. 

“As a founding board member, I’ve watched the organization grow and mature. We continue to evolve to support the longterm health, sustainability and success of the organization,” Rodriguez said. “I’m confident this will set the stage for more growth and expansion of value for our members and our state.”

The governing board will be led by Chair Ben Sebree, SVP of R&D at CivicPlus – an international software provider founded in Manhattan, Kan., and Vice Chair Megan Harper, Director of Marketing & Sales at Twin Valley – the state’s largest independent broadband and communications company. Rodriguez will support them as the Immediate Past Chair. Amanda Duncan, Vice President & Chief Development Officer for Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, will continue her role as Treasurer along with Rick Ehresman, consultant and former owner of Spectrum, Inc. – a specialist in custom software development, as Secretary.

Flagship is focused on raising awareness about the tech industry, attracting and retaining technology talent, and supporting technology workforce training and education. With these goals in mind, six new board members were recruited. Callie Harris, Assistant Principal at Maize USD 266 Pray-Woodman Elementary, and Dr. Anthony Muscat, dean of Wichita State University’s College of Engineering, join the board as STEM and education experts. With the increasing national and state focus on broadband accessability and its direct link to education, workforce and technology innovation, Flagship adds Jade Piros de Carvalho, Director of the Kansas Office of Broadband Development to the board. Additionally, developing a positive climate in support of startups is essential for the growth of Kansas tech. To increase startup representation on the board, Steve Werner, CEO and co-founder of Lawn Buddy – a 2016 startup providing software solutions for the lawncare industry, and Quinn Robertson, Senior Associate at NXTUS and its angel investor group Accelerate Venture Partners, will join as new members. 

Dan Reisig, VP of Technology at UV&S – a national records storage operation, will move from the advisory board to the governing board. Sascha Ohler, SVP Outdoor Recreation at Tyler Technologies – a national provider of software and services for the public sector, and Scott Sproul, President & CEO of Innovation Center – a provider of economic and entrepreneurial assistance to businesses in rural Northwest Kansas, will continue as members of the board. 

Check out the full board and advisory board roster.