It's Your Business includes Reagan McCloud, Melissa Briggs, Casey Whale, Joe Hodgson, Freddy Cooper

·5 min read

Hires

Reagan McCloud
Reagan McCloud

Reagan McCloud has been named manager of government relations for Kansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. effective Aug. 1. McCloud’s responsibilities include state and federal legislative advocacy and promoting member engagement in grassroots initiatives. McCloud is a native of the Newton area, where his family farms and ranches. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tabor College and is a spring 2022 graduate of Washburn University School of Law where he was active in the Washburn Agricultural Law Society. McCloud interned with a lobbying firm during recent Kansas legislative sessions. KEC is the Kansas statewide service organization for 26 electric distribution cooperatives and three generation and transmission cooperatives. Headquartered in Topeka, KEC represents the interests and provides needed services and programs to electric cooperatives that serve member/consumers within the state.

Melissa Briggs
Melissa Briggs

TFI announced Melissa Briggs is its new chief administration officer. Briggs has served at TFI for eight years in various roles and has extensive experience in clinical and therapeutic services, as well as comprehensive management experience. Prior to serving as the CAO, Briggs served as the senior vice president for clinical and assessment services. Before that, she served as executive director and vice president of residential and clinical services over Pathway Family Services, an agency of TFI. Briggs will be responsible for the management oversight of TFI’s administrative departments. Briggs received her bachelor’s in psychology from Pittsburg State University, as well as a master’s in community counseling from Pittsburg State University. She also holds a PhD in counseling education and supervision from Kansas State University.

Casey Whale
Casey Whale

Stormont Vail Health announced that Casey Whale, M.D., has joined its medical team and will practice as an orthopedic surgeon at Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, 2660 SW 3rd St., in Topeka. Whale is an adult reconstructive orthopedic surgeon who specializes in complex primary total knee and total hip cases. He has trained to treat complex joint revisions to the knee and hip whether the circumstance be an abnormality, infection, injury, revision or replacement when a total knee or hip has been in place for too long. Whale joins Stormont Vail after finishing his residency at Wright State University, where he completed more than 700 cases as an orthopedic surgery resident. Whale earned his medical degree at the University of Utah after attending Weber State University for his bachelor’s in clinical laboratory sciences and a minor in chemistry.

Joe Hodgson
Joe Hodgson

Topeka's Mission Creek Camp & Retreat Center announced the hiring of Topeka native Joe Hodgson. Hodgson has nearly 20 years of experience with the Topeka YMCA, serving most recently as executive director of the Southwest Branch as well as executive director of operations. He began his work with the YMCA in July 2004 as health and wellness director, with several promotions through the years. Hodgson also serves as co-chair of Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods. Since 2008, Joe has helped to engage the community in the work of the coalition, which includes the passage of a Complete Streets policy resolution for Topeka as well as a Bikeways Master Plan. And Hodgson is the lead pastor and worship leader with the Imago Dei Church, which is part of the Kansas District of the Wesleyan Church. Hodgson earned his bachelor's in kinesiology, at Kansas State University in 2000.

Freddy Cooper
Freddy Cooper

Stormont Vail Health announced that Freddy Cooper, M.D., has joined its medical team and will practice as a primary care physician specializing in outpatient internal medicine at 901 Garfield Ave. in Topeka. Cooper has spent time all over the world and credits his background to who he is today. He was born in Mumbai, India, where he completed most of his schooling before moving to the U.S. for his residency. He moved to Florida for his internal medicine residency and has also spent time at a few hospitals in North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia working in specialized departments. “I’ve gotten the best of both cultures and that matches my personality today,” said Cooper. “My parents are my number one inspiration who still live in India. Seeing them work so hard and making all the sacrifices that they did for me to be a physician is what inspires me.” Cooper attended Seth SG Medical College in Mumbai before going to Memorial Healthcare System in Florida for his residency.

Boards

James P. Zakoura
James P. Zakoura

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees unanimously re-elected James P. Zakoura, of Overland Park, to serve as chairperson for Fiscal Year 2023. He has been on the KPERS Board since 2018 with his appointment by Gov. Jeff Colyer in January 2021. Gov. Laura Kelly reappointed Zakoura to the KPERS Board for a second four-year term. KPERS’ Board is responsible for Trust Fund investment oversight, adopting actuarial assumptions, and hiring and monitoring the executive director and outside service providers, including investment managers and consultants. Zakoura hails from Osawatomie and now lives in Overland Park, where he is a member of the law firm of Foulston Siefkin LLP.

Ron Johnson
Ron Johnson

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees Chairperson James P. Zakoura, of Overland Park, has re-appointed Trustee Ron Johnson, of Seneca, to serve as vice chairperson for Fiscal Year 2023. Johnson has been on the KPERS Board since 2019 with his appointment by Kansas Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman. Johnson retired as president and chief executive officer of the Community National Bank in Seneca after 18 years of service. He is a past chairman of the Kansas Bankers Association and the Bankers Bank of Kansas. Johnson has been chairperson of the Nemaha Valley Community Hospital and is a trustee of the Seneca Housing Authority. He earned a bachelor's of Economics from North Dakota State University and has completed post-graduate work at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado.

Honors

John H. Hutton
John H. Hutton

John H. Hutton, the managing partner of the Topeka law firm Henson, Hutton, Mudrick, Gragson, & Vogelsberg, LLP, was honored by being selected by his peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America© 2023 in Real Estate Law, Construction Law, Banking and Finance Law, and Commercial Litigation. Hutton earned his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Kansas.

Topeka-area hirings, promotions, retirements and other announcements can be emailed to iyb@cjonline.com.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: It's Your Business includes KEC, TFI, Stormont Vail Health, KPERS