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The governing body of Freedom’s Frontier is the Board of Trustees. Members are opinion leaders from throughout the area and have made financial investment in the organization in addition to using their influence to raise the needed funding to date. The role of this board is to provide governance to the organization and develop fundraising strategies to support its coordination, represent the national heritage area to the public and accept the ultimate legal authority for the organization. While the Board is keenly interested in the success of the heritage area, it yields to the partnership team to set programmatic and project priorities.


Honorary Co-Chairs
Mike Parson, Missouri Governor
Laura Kelly, Kansas Governor

Ex-Officio Members
Patrick Zollner
Executive Director, Kansas State Historical Society
Gary Kremer
Director, State Historical Society of Missouri

Board of Trustees
Kevin W. Wood, Chair ’25
Gary Nevius, Vice Chair ’27
Grant Glenn, Immediate Past Chair ’23
Larry Pfautsch, Member-At-Large ’23
Kristen (Yarǫ́nyąˀawíˀ) Zane, Member-At-Large ’28
Karen Arnold-Burger, ’30
The Honorable Dwane Benton, ’30
Marsha Corbin, ’25
Marilyn Davis, ’25
Mike Delaney, ’29
Kent Glasscock, ’31
Ray Hill, ’28
Steve Hitchcock, ’30
Mary Ice, ’23
John M. McGee, ’28
Caronda Moore, ’28
Martin Owens, ’30
Luther Smith, ’29
Bill Tempel, ’29
Bob Totten, ’28
Angel Tucker, ’28
Mary Billington*

*Elected by Partnership Advisory Group


The Board of Trustees meets six times a year. These meetings are open to the public.

February 15, 2023 – Johnson County Museum
April 12, 2023 – 1855 Harris-Kearney House and Westport Historical Society
June 14, 2023 – Lee’s Summit Historical Society
August 9, 2023 – Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop-Farm
October 11, 2023 – Shawnee Town 1929
December 13, 2023 – Cass County Historical Society


The Board of Trustees meets six times a year. These meetings are open to the public.

February 14, 2024
April 10, 2024
June 12, 2024
August 14, 2024
October 9, 2024
December 11, 2024

Meeting locations TBA.


The documents on this page provide an overview of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. New members of the Freedom’s Frontier Board of Trustees receive a printed copy of these documents, compiled in a notebook. If you have questions about the information in these documents, or about Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, please contact a member of our staff.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Arter
Clark Balderson
Connie Banwart
*The Honorable Duane Benton
+George Breidenthal
Peggy Buhr
Kay Caskey
Charles Clark
Joanne Collins
*Jody Craig
Kelvin Crow
Chuck Curtis
Mary Davidson
*John Dillingham
David Dunfield
Janith English
Rev. Stacy Evans
+Henry Fortunato
+Ross Freeman
Michael Gibson
+Stanley K. Harris
Mary Hunkeler
Charles Jones
Crosby Kemper, III
Shelia Lampe
Jim Maag
+Karen McCarthy
Elle McCoy
Jeremiah Morgan
James P. Muehlberger
+Emanuel Northern
Terry Ramsey
Jim Rankin
E.J. Rolfs
Kelly Sartorius
Brig. Gen (Ret.) Donald Scott
Kala Stroup
*Judge Deanell Reece Tacha
Nancy Thellman
Joan Wagnon
Bill Wagnon
Brian Welch
Walter H. Wulf

*Served as Board Chair (Judge Tacha was the Founding Chair)
+ Deceased

The Case Statement has been recreated on the About Us page.

View original document.

The 41‐county area in Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is recognized as an area of special historical importance. Our story is one of conflict and struggle between regions and peoples seeking differing visions of freedom and liberty. From the opening of the frontier, through the Border War and continuing today, our area has often been at the nexus of the clashes in American history. The Board of Trustees endorses and supports the nine Guiding Principles of FFNHA as set forth in the Management Plan. We will assist our partner groups in telling the stories of their communities well, while also showing how those stories fit into broader regional history. We will seek in our decisions to provide the best results for the highest number of our partners and for the communities they serve. All parties to any decision will be treated with respect, integrity, and honesty. We will provide good stewardship of the funds of the organization and to maintain high standards of governance.

View document.

Conflict of Interest arises when the personal or professional interest of a Board Member is potentially at odds with the interests of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. If an issue to be decided by the Board involves potential conflict of interest for a Board Member, it is the responsibility of the Board Member to:

  1. Identify the potential conflict of interest.
  2. Not participate in discussion of the program or motion being considered.
  3. Not vote on the issue.

It is the responsibility of the Board to:

  1. Only decide to contract with persons or organizations with which the Board Member is associated that are the best qualified among those available for the service and are willing to provide the service needed at an appropriate price.
  2. Record in the minutes of the Board Meeting the potential conflict of interest, and the use of the procedures and criteria of this policy.

Many Board Members serve, with or without compensation, on boards of other organizations which, from time to time, may have interests potentially at odds with those of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. A Board Member owes a duty to both organizations to attempt to avoid conflicts of interest and to disclose them when they arise.

View document.

An Audit Committee of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area shall be appointed by the Board President.

The duties of the Audit Committee shall include reviewing:

  1. Responsible for obtaining and overseeing audit services. The results of the annual audit performed by others.
  2. The adequacy of internal controls of the organization.
  3. The accuracy of the records and reports submitted to the Board.
  4. The proper authorization of activities and expenditures of the organization.
  5. The continuing tax-exempt status of the organization and identification of activities that might endanger it.
  6. Payment of payroll taxes, sales taxes and other taxes.
  7. Proper and timely filing of corporate reports.

View document.

The Nominating Committee appointed by the Executive Committee shall nominate new Board members:

  1. Who are residents of Kansas or Missouri. At least 25% of the Board must be resident in either state at all times.
  2. Who will agree to fulfill the Board’s expectations for members; learning and remaining informed of federal legislation and other governmental actions, and of the mission, policies, procedures and programs of the corporation. And who will attend a majority of Board meetings, participate on committees as assigned, assist in fund raising, personally contribute on an annual basis and serve as fiduciaries of the corporation.
  3. Who have wide acquaintance in the area served by the National Heritage Area and are representative, as a group, of the diverse backgrounds and heritages of the people in the region. Particular efforts will be made to nominate candidates from regions and backgrounds not then well represented on the Board.

View document.

Compiled in spring 2017, these materials were presented to staff of the National Heritage Area program.

View document.


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