The 2023 Leadership Manhattan graduating class poses with Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs Mitch Holthus (far left) and Greater Manhattan Community Foundation President Vern Henricks (far right) Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN
Mitch, Holthus, play-by-play voice of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks at Tuesday’s Leadership Manhattan graduation ceremony. (Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN)

Leadership Manhattan’s 2023 graduating class was recognized at a Tuesday ceremony hosted by the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.

A group of 18 professionals completed the class which included visits to local and state government functions, in addition to civic engagement, and other community activities. Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs Mitch Holthus delivered the keynote speech at Tuesday’s ceremony, recalling how head coach Andy Reid’s leadership inspired a winning culture after the organization had sunk to its lowest point in franchise history.

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Holthus noted in his remarks the “secret sauce” to the Chiefs recent winning success, crediting Coach Reid’s ability to be an effective listener, listening to both absorb and to ascertain.

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Each graduating class gets involved in a community service project. Greater Manhattan Community Foundation President Vern Henricks approached the class for help distributing products he receives monthly that have expired shelf-life for sale and can only be donated.

Class of ’23 member Ross Metheny says the class came together and helped launch Community Cares Chest, an initiative to help distribute those items to local nonprofit agencies.


Class member Brayson Benne recalled the interactions the class had visiting with state and local leaders on a variety of topics these past several months.

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Gail Urban, with Amicus Wealth Management, received the Lyle Butler Distinguished Leadership Award at Tuesday’s ceremony joining the likes of past winners including Kent Glasscock, Wayne Sloan, Mary Vanier and Tom Hawk.

Holthus, who last spoke at this event in 2003 says Manhattan is like a second home for him.

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The 2023 Leadership Manhattan class included Lindsay Adams (CGN Advisors), Carrie Alt (BHS Construction), Brayson Benne (Olsson), Katie Curtis-Baker (True Colors Flint Hills), MollyPatt Eyestone (Stormont Vail Health), Brad Ingalls (Riley County Police Department), Scott Johnson (Maximum Performance Therapy & Fitness), Ellen Knackendoffel (The Trust Company), Ross Metheny (Eat the Frog Fitness), Kyle Montoya (McCownGordon Construction), Chris Norbert (KS State Bank), Megan Plattner-Junek (Alliance Realty), Jill Reynard (Charlson & Wilson Bonded Abstractors), Brad Ross (Orazem & Scalora Engineering), Jake Schulte (Networks Plus), Veronica Sims (Varney & Associates, CPAs, LLC), Dustin Thompson (Exchange Bank) and Rob Wild (American Family Insurance).