Governor Kelly today announced that Tom Gentile, CEO of Spirit AeroSystems, is the final member of the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce, which is charged with leading Kansas forward in recovery from the far-reaching effects of COVID-19.

Earlier today, the governor announced the other members of the SPARK Taskforce, which will be responsible for the statewide distribution of CARES Act funding. The taskforce will be comprised of a five-member executive committee and an additional 15 member steering committee. The task force will be comprised of three subcommittees that will focus on communication and engagement, finance and policy development and implementation and accountability.

“I look forward to working with this distinguished group of leaders as we move Kansas forward in our recovery efforts,” Kelly said. “I am grateful to Tom and all members of SPARK Taskforce for their willingness to serve in this critical endeavor.”

SPARK’s full membership is as follows:

Executive Committee  

  • Tom Bell, President and CEO, Kansas Hospital Association, Topeka, Kansas; 
  • Lyle Butler, President and CEO, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce (retired), Manhattan, Kansas;  
  • Senator Jim Denning, Vice President, Discover Vision Centers, Overland Park, Kansas; 
  • Jill Docking, Senior Vice President, The Docking Group – Baird Financial, Wichita, Kansas;  
  • Alise Martiny, Business Manager, Greater KC Building and Trades Council, Shawnee, Kansas.  

Steering Committee

  • Tom Gentile, CEO, Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita, Kansas;
  • Natalie Haag, Attorney, Capitol Federal Savings, Topeka, Kansas; 
  • David Harwood, Senior Vice President, Terracon Consultants & Chair, KANSASWorks State Board, Olathe, Kansas; 
  • Senator Tom Hawk, Ranking Minority Member, Senate Ways and Means Committee, Manhattan, Kansas;  
  • Representative Dan Hawkins, House Majority Leader, Wichita, Kansas; 
  • Edward Honesty, Jr., President & Chief Operating Officer, Best Harvest Bakeries, Kansas City, Kansas;      
  • Chuck Mageral, Proprietor, Free State Brewing Company, Lawrence, Kansas;   
  • David McCarty, Owner, McCarty Family Farms, Colby, Kansas; 
  • Senator Carolyn McGinn, Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee, Sedgwick, Kansas;  
  • Shelia Nelson-Stout, President and CEO, OCCK, Inc., Salina, Kansas; 
  • Neelima Parasker, President & CEO, SnapIT Solutions, Overland Park, Kansas; 
  • Jim Robinson, Partner, Hite Fanning & Honeyman, Wichita, Kansas; 
  • Secretary David Toland, Department of Commerce, Topeka, Kansas; 
  • Representative Troy Waymaster, Chair, House Appropriations Committee, Bunker Hill, Kansas;  
  • Representative Kathy Wolfe-Moore, Ranking Minority Member, House Appropriations Committee, Kansas City, Kansas.