2018 Meeting History

January, 2018 – KWEN Forum on Environmental Issues

This is a pivotal moment in our culture. Women are stepping into leadership roles and making a significant positive change. The 2018 KWEN Forum will highlight these changes and give you ideas, insights, methods, and examples plus the confidence and competence to empower you to reach your dreams. Join us for an inspiring evening with these women.

This year’s panelists are:

Lynn Byczynski received a degree in science journalism from KU in 1980 and worked for the next decade as a newspaper reporter covering government, education, and the environment. Beginning in 1990, she decided to patch together a livelihood from farming, part-time teaching, and freelance writing. In 1992, she started the national periodical for market farmers, Growing for Market, and ran it for 25 years before selling it in 2016. She is the author of several books about market farming, most notably “The Flower Farmer,” which has been credited with jump-starting the local flowers movement. Lynn and her husband Dan Nagengast were founding members of the first organic certification agency in eastern Kansas, the first CSA in Kansas, and the first cooperative CSA in the U.S.  In 2011, Lynn and Dan bought Seeds from Italy, the U.S. distributor for Franchi Sementi, the oldest family-owned seed company in Italy. They recently relocated the business from the farm to the former Sunrise Garden Center, and they are training their two adult children to take over the company in the near future.
Jill Elmers owns and operates, along with her fantastic crew of staff and volunteers, Moon on the Meadow farm, a certified organic farm on the eastern edge of Lawrence, Kansas in the Kansas River bottoms. We farm 7+ acres of a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and small fruit and 10 acres of heirloom turkey red wheat that is freshly ground into flour. We utilize three 2000 square foot hoop houses to extend our season and attempt to grow all year around. We market our products through a 300 person CSA (community supported agriculture), farmers markets, and to local restaurants, grocery stores, and our local school district. We are dedicated to sustainable agriculture, feeding our local region, and teaching others both young and old to garden and farm.
Lynelle Ladd has been a Pollution Prevention Specialist at Kansas State University’s Pollution Prevention Institute since November 2016.  Her work at PPI includes environmental compliance assistance in the Kansas Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, in the Food Recovery Program and serves as the committee chair of the National Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Education Subcommittee as well as a member of the National Steering Committee for NSBEAP. Prior to SBEAP, Lynelle worked as a Permit Writer at the KDHE Bureau of Air for over 8 years, worked as an Industrial Hygienist at Kansas Department of Labor for 5 years and was the KDHE Air Quality Inspector for Southeast District Office in Chanute for 4 years. Lynelle has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Secondary Education from Emporia State University.
Charlotte Tritch is a lecturer and Associate Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the University of Kansas. She earned an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and an MBA from The University of Chicago. After completing her graduate degree, Charlotte started her brand management career at Alberto Culver, a personal care products company in Chicago, managing hair care brands such as TRESemmé, Nexxus, and Alberto V05. She then accepted a marketing management position at Payless Shoes in Topeka, KS, where she was responsible for marketing the women’s footwear and accessories brands, and led the guest designer partnerships and cause marketing efforts. Charlotte then applied her consumer marketing experience to the hospitality industry, first as the marketing director for three boutique hotels and then as an independent consultant working primarily with clients in the hospitality industry. She joined the University of Kansas as the Associate Director of Entrepreneurship Programs in 2011. Charlotte teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in Entrepreneurial Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship, and Corporate Entrepreneurship, and is a recipient of the Dykes-Budig Teaching Professorship. She has served as a faculty advisor for several student organizations, and works with MBA students through KU’s Jayhawk Consulting practice. Charlotte also has volunteered as a community organizer for Kauffman’s 1 Million Cups entrepreneurship program, and as a mentor for the SparkLabKC business accelerator.

July, 2019 – Writing from Nature with Elizabeth Schultz

Poet, Educator, and Environmentalist Elizabeth Schultz lead attendees through exercises designed to help cultivate a sense of place. Attendees crafted poems and had the opportunity to inscribe them on natural fiber paper made with native plants. The event ended with a lovely sunset walk through the Baker Wetlands.