Gwen’s career spans work in the mental health field, media literacy, nonprofit leadership, environmental education, business sustainability and conservation. She worked in Kansas City for years in the disabilities field, launching the first ever public campaign for people with developmental disabilities, focused on the full potential of every individual. She completed her Master’s in Public Administration, coordinated programs at the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership and led efforts in media literacy in the Kansas City area. She started the Keep Kansas City Beautiful organization with Bridging the Gap and led the efforts for litter-free festivals, reducing illegal dumping in the region and establishing standards for community beautification.
Just before working for Symphony in the Flint Hills, Gwen led Development in Latin America with The Nature Conservancy, focused on water, food security and smart infrastructure as a member of TNC’s senior leadership team. Gwen’s passion is to encourage others to appreciate and learn more about the Flint Hills endangered landscape as part of the global grasslands – the least-protected habitat type on earth. Her focus is Development, Marketing and Public Relations at Symphony in the Flint Hills.
An entrepreneur, Gwen is the founding owner of Ad Astra Food and Drink in Strong City, Kansas. She has been a mentor for young people as they develop their own business dreams, while maintaining respect for local culture. One of her favorite days of the year is serving with the Chase County Youth Entrepreneurs as they present their business concepts for the community. She is active as an alumnae of Centurions, a leadership program of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the boards of the Strong City Preservation Alliance and Shadowcliff, Inc. With her husband Brian, Gwen enjoys living on a ranch with their bison herd and dogs. They are part of a local landowner conservation partnership to keep the Flint Hills intact as a sustainably productive conservation landscape for future generations. During quiet time, you can find Gwen near a pristine Kansas spring-fed stream or hiking the hills with friends and taking photos or making food for a crowd. Her favorite part of Kansas: the remarkable people and sunsets.