League Leadership

Meet the 2022-2023 Junior League of Topeka Leadership

Photo Credit: Lisa Schwartz Dinkel

2022-2023
Board of Directors

President
Amber Carlson
President@jltopeka.org

Amber Carlson is the President of the Junior League of Topeka. She joined the Junior League of Topeka in 2015, upon returning to our community after an eighteen-year hiatus. She was the 2015-2016 New Member MVP and helped develop and formulate the plans for our magazine, Capital Impact, of which she served as the first editor for the inaugural edition. She briefly served on our board as VP of Communications in 2017. She then helped behind the scenes as a member-at-large and served on the Leadership Council as our Obligations and Recognitions Chair. Amber was our 2020-2021 VP of Funding Development where she led the council to successfully diversify our fundraising efforts during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. She was the 2020-2021 Active Member MVP. Most recently she served as President-Elect.

After attending the University of Kansas, Amber made her way into the advertising world as an Account Executive and then as the owner of a small advertising, public relations, and marketing agency in Kansas City. She then gained experience in publishing as Advertising Director, Acting Publisher, and Associate Publisher of an alternative newsweekly in Augusta, GA. Amber and her husband have been married for twenty-five years, have six children, one son-in-law, and two perfect grandsons. They started the “Dr. Kristopher and Amber Carlson Family” donor advised fund at the Topeka Community Foundation in 2015 to pay it forward into the community that they raise their family in, and to encourage others to join in philanthropic giving. Amber is the VP of Operations for Mid America Health, PA.

 

President-Elect 
Laura Harrison
president.elect@jltopeka.org

Laura Harrison joined the Junior League of Topeka in 2019 and is currently serving as the President-Elect. She has also served as the Executive Secretary, VP of Nominating, and a member on the Funding Development Committee.  She has participated in the Little Black Dress Initiative.
Laura has her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and is a second-grade teacher at Auburn Elementary.  She has served on her school’s Leadership team for 6 years and enjoys being involved in after-school activities to work with students.
Laura has four children: Jackson, Grace, Brooklyn, and Gabriel.  They keep her busy and active.  They enjoy hiking, kayaking, swimming and playing games together. When she isn’t with her family, she is most likely found reading a book down at the lake.

Treasurer
Rockell Otero
Treasurer@jltopeka.org

Rockell joined Junior League of Topeka in 2019 with enthusiasm and passion to give back to the community, grow professionally, and make new friendships.  Rockell served on the Funding Development Council before her Treasurer position and has participated in several different projects and volunteer opportunities within the league such as writing for the Capital Impact Magazine, LBDI, baking for CASA, and serving on the DEI committee.

Rockell has her MBA and serves as the Financial Controller for Prairie Band, LLC, the economic development company of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, overseeing 9 subsidiaries and growing! Rockell also serves as the board CFO and Secretary for Mill Creek, LLC and a Project Manager for Prairie Band Health Services. Rockell has served as VP of Finance for the Friends University National Association of Women with MBA’s, is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Greater Topeka (best and most resilient class ever!), and volunteers for the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Shawnee County Parks and Rec, and Topeka Soccer Club and more recently, Rockell has joined Topeka Mosaic Partnership as a co-coach.

Last but certainly not least, Rockell enjoys spending time with her crazy and busy family, Jerald and their four kids, Julian, Sasmo, Ttigs, and Wenbi. In her spare time, Rockell’s hobbies include golf, live music, hiking, baking, and gardening.

 

Executive Secretary

Jill Gary

Secretary@jltopeka.org

Bio to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Vice President*
Renae Carsten
EVP@jltopeka.org

Renae is originally from Hutchinson, KS and has moved around several cities in Kansas before settling in Topeka 12 years ago. She is a Nurse Practitioner at Stormont Vail and received her Master’s Degree from Washburn University. Renae has been in healthcare for over 16 years. After Renae’s husband and her officially decided to stay in Topeka and raise their three young kids here, she has become more involved and taken a greater interest in our community.

Renae joined the Junior League of Topeka in 2017, where she has served on multiple councils and held various positions, most recently as the Provisional Member Coordinator. In 2020 Renae developed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, also serving at its first Chair. Additionally, she was named Active Member MVP.

Outside of Junior League, Renae serves as a Troop leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. She is also currently a member of Topeka United’s Mosaic Partner Pairs. She is passionate about adventure and time spent outdoors such as hiking, gardening, sports, and travelling. Renae also enjoys reading, photography, and relaxing with her husband to watch whatever our current favorite TV show is.

 

 

Vice President, Nominating 
Sarah Carnahan
Nominating@jltopeka.org

Bio to come.

Director of Sustainer Relations
Laine Hash
DSR@jltopeka.org

Laine Hash was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State University in 2005 with the Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Mass Communications – her emphasis was Public Relations and she minored in Business. Laine has been a Realtor in the Topeka Community for over 12 years. Laine has served on the Sunflower Association of Realtors board and on our Multiple Listing Service board. She enjoys helping the association to protect property owners’ rights. Laine was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Associate of the Year Award for her professionalism, service to the Board and service to the community.

Laine began her League service in 2010. She was the Director of Membership Development and then later served on the Board as the VP of Membership. She now serves on the Board as the Director of Sustainer Relations and enjoys connecting past and present League members together for social and philanthropic activities.

Laine and her husband have two children that attend public schools in the Topeka area. In her free time, Laine runs kids to their activities and enjoys spending time with family and friends at the lake.

 

Sustaining Advisor to the President
Jennifer Sourk

Bio to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2022-2023
Management Team

Director, Community Impact 
Lacey Bisnett
CommunityImpact@jltopeka.org

Lacey joined Junior League of Topeka in 2019 and was the 2019-2020 New Member MVP. Her first role in League was Editor of Capital Impact. The following year, she was the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator for the League. She currently serves as the Director of Community Impact.

Lacey earned her bachelor’s from Washburn University and later her MBA from Baker University. She is currently the Project Management Office VP for Advisors Excel where she has spent the last 6 years building their PMO from the ground up. Lacey serves on the board of Kansas Children’s Service League and is Chair of their Topeka Community Leadership and Development Council. She is also a founding member of the Rotary Community Action Against Human Trafficking club, and active with the Rossville Community Development Committee and Rossville Grade School Booster Club. She volunteers often for: Silverbacks, Project Topeka, Harvesters, Project Management Institute, and Habitat for Humanity. Her favorite way to give back though, is through mentoring other women in technology and Project Management. In the past, Lacey has been a part of: Topeka Mosaic Partner Pairs, Membership Chair for CAAHT Rotary, Media Coordinator for Topeka United, and an Americorps Bonner Leader. She has received the YWCA Women of Excellence and the Topeka Top 20 under 40 award.

In her free time, Lacey works on her homestead doing home improvement, caring for farm animals, foraging, hiking, gardening, and more. Lacey’s two children also keep her busy with their interests including working with the unhoused population, wrestling, roller derby, and more.

Director, Fund Development 
Sarah Dietz
FundingDevelopment@jltopeka.org

Sarah joined the Junior League of Topeka in 2018. Since then, she has held the positions of Advocacy Chair, and the Boutique Coordinator. She is currently serving as the Director of Funding Development and enjoys the relationships she has formed within the League.
Sarah moved to Topeka in 2013 to attend law school and made the decision to stay and be a part of the community. She is grateful to Junior League for the opportunity to network in the community, and form long-lasting relationships. Her work with Junior League has given her the confidence to serve on the board of the Topeka Symphony League. After graduating from Washburn University School of law in 2016, she started practicing law as Assistant Attorney General at the Kansas Attorney General’s Office. In her downtime, she can be found hiking, reading, or playing video games.

 

 

Director, Membership Experience
Jessica Iverson

membership@jltopeka.org

Jessica joined the Junior League of Topeka in 2018. Her first two years in League were spent as the Recruitment Coordinator and she is currently serving as the Director of Membership Experience.
Jessica was born and raised in Kansas City, MO and moved to Topeka in college to play softball at Washburn University where she met her husband and earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  She is currently an Associate Vice President of Life Sales and Marketing at Advisors Excel where she has spent the last 12 years.  Jessica enjoys volunteering her time at Project Topeka, Ronald McDonald House and Harvesters.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys “helping” her husband with home improvement projects and spending as much time as possible with her toddler son.

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