Our Team

The Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship (dba NetWork Kansas) continues to grow the first statewide network established in the United States devoted to the growth of entrepreneurship and small business.  

At NetWork Kansas, our people and partners  are the key to creating a sustainable entrepreneurial environment in every Kansas community. We are fortunate to have a group of collaborators dedicated to creating a thriving entrepreneurial environment and we will continue working together to ensure the success of entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

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NetWork Kansas News

CEO and Directors

  • Steve Radley, President & CEO

    Steve Radley is the President and CEO of NetWork Kansas. A resident of Wichita, Steve began his career in the private sector as the 28th employee of a business startup technology company, Brite Voice Systems in Wichita. The company grew from $6 million to more than $175 million during the nine years Steve worked for Kansas entrepreneur Stan Brannan. Since then, Steve has co-owned two businesses including a manufactured housing dealership that was sold to the largest manufacturer in the country, Champion Enterprises. Steve’s work experience centers on business development and taking products and businesses from startup to maturity. Steve has an MBA from the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, an MA in Christian Ministry from Friends University, and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.

    Email: sradley@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-7572
  • Erik Pedersen, Vice President of Entrepreneurship

    Erik is the Vice President of Entrepreneurship for the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship DBA NetWork Kansas. Erik’s initial task was the development and growth of the NetWork Kansas referral center. Erik’s responsibilities have grown to oversee the Entrepreneurship (E-) Community partnership. This partnership, which has grown to 48 E-Communities, includes an injection of capital raised locally through the NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship Tax Credit Program to help start and grow businesses in rural Kansas communities. Erik graduated from Friends University in 1988 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Erik began his career in 1990 when he went to work for a Wichita-based technology startup company, Brite Voice Systems, owned by Stan Brannan. At Brite Voice, Erik worked in marketing and business development. In 1997, Erik left Brite Voice to start a manufactured housing dealership with Steve Radley, President of the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship. The business was later sold to the largest manufacturer in the country, Champion Enterprises, and Erik remained with Champion as General Manager until May 2005. Erik’s work experience centers on the overall operation and management of fast growing businesses and organizations.

    Email: epedersen@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-8841

Full-Time

  • Tiffany Nixon, Product Manager, Expertise

    Tiffany graduated from Wichita State University in December of 2014 with a Bachelor's in Business Administration in Management. While attending Wichita State University, Tiffany took part in the Cooperative Education program and obtained a job with NetWork Kansas as a part-time referral coordinator. She was raised in an entrepreneurial family that has owned several small businesses in Missouri and Kansas and loves the opportunity to work one-on-one with entrepreneurs through NetWork Kansas.

    Email: tjnixon@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-6025
  • Amara Kniep, Product Manager, E-Community Programs

    Amara graduated with her Bachelor's Degree in Marketing, with a minor in Management, from Wichita State University in May 2014. She began her professional career at NetWork Kansas in June 2012 as a Referral Coordinator. She spent several years in the Referral Center, eventually becoming Lead Referral Coordinator, before leaving to work for the Kansas Department of Commerce. At Department of Commerce, Amara worked in Workforce Development assisting job seekers with job readiness skills. She returned to NetWork Kansas in August 2016 and is greatly looking forward to managing E-Community programs and processes. Amara is excited to participate in economic and entrepreneurial growth throughout Kansas.

    Email: akniep@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-8832
  • Anne Dewvall, Manager of Entrepreneurship Communities

    A member of the NetWork Kansas team since February 2008, Anne serves as the Manager of Entrepreneurship Communities and oversees NetWork Kansas' board certified programs. Anne has strong entrepreneurial roots, having worked for numerous entrepreneurs and owned three businesses herself. She is a passionate champion of entrepreneurship at all ages, serving as a BPA volunteer for Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas and coordinator of the NetWork Kansas Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge series. Anne is a lifelong Kansas resident, a National Merit Scholar who graduated in the top 1% of her high school class and stayed in Kansas to graduate with honors from Wichita State University with a BA in history and a minor in sociology and a MLS from Fort Hays State University with an emphasis on English literature.

    Email: adewvall@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-7059
  • Ciara Thyfault, Product Manager, Rural Entrepreneurship, Central Region

    For over three years, Ciara was a staff member in the NetWork Kansas referral center. At the end of 2015, she was hired to be the primary point person for the central region E-Communities. Ciara graduated from Wichita State University with a BS in Business Administration in Marketing and a minor in Entrepreneurship. She grew up outside of Towanda, KS but now resides in Wichita. Because she grew up in a rural community and has family members throughout the state in other rural communities, Ciara loves fostering relationships and working with her E-Communities to cultivate an entrepreneurial culture.

    Email: clthyfault@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-0083
  • Imagene Harris, Manager of Economics and Operations

    As Manager of Economics and Operations, Imagene oversees the day-to-day workings of NetWork Kansas' flagship funding programs and ensures they meet federal and state guidelines. Imagene joined NetWork Kansas in December 2013 after working in compliance for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Imagene especially appreciates the opportunity to work with an organization whose resources not only help Kansas businesses and entrepreneurs but also improve the quality of life in Kansas. Imagene is a lifelong Kansan, hailing from Ottawa and now calling Lawrence home, where she also earned a BS in environmental studies from the University of Kansas. After hours, Imagene enjoys spending time with her three rambunctious dogs, riding her horse, and training for triathlons.

    Email: iharris@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (785) 296-0383
  • John Paul Gendron, Manager, Referral Center Programs and Operations

    John Gendron started working with NetWork Kansas in 2005 as a part-time referral coordinator while still a full-time college student and entrepreneur. He graduated in 2006 from Wichita State University with degrees in entrepreneurship and marketing. John was hired full-time in 2007. John completed an accelerated MBA through the Center for Management Development at Wichita State University in 2008, earning additional certifications from the Edward Lowe Foundation for economic gardening as a Program Director and most recently, as a Team Leader for the National Strategic Research Team. In his current role, he leads economic gardening engagements for second-stage Kansas companies and manages the Kansas Economic Gardening Network program as well as the Network Kansas referral center.

    Email: jpgendron@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-6024
  • Kristi Pedersen, Manager, Budget & Administration

    As Financial Specialist for NetWork Kansas, Kristi is responsible for all aspects of the accounting process. Her career began in 1990 working in the accounting department for Brite Voice Systems in Wichita, KS. After 7 years experience with Brite Voice, Kristi became a stay-at-home mom. During that time, Kristi continued to work part-time in accounting for a couple of small business ventures. In 2009, she was hired to oversee NetWork Kansas’ accounting. Kristi graduated with a BA in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Bethany College in 1989.

    Email: kpedersen@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-8808
  • Simone Elder, Manager of Rural Entrepreneurship, Western Kansas

    Simone joined NetWork Kansas in 2015 as the Manager of Rural Entrepreneurship, Western Region after serving as the Wichita County Economic Development Director. Her longtime passions for entrepreneurship, rural Kansas communities, and youth development coincide in this position. Simone helped pioneer the Ogallala Commons Internship Program in 2007 and launch the Wichita County youth entrepreneurship fair in 2013. She credits her interest in entrepreneurship to her entrepreneurial family and entrepreneurial hometown of Atwood, Kansas. Simone is proud to be “Rural by Choice” and a Kansas Explorer. She is a lifelong Kansan who graduated with distinction from the University of Kansas in 2011 with a B.S. in business management and leadership studies and a concentration in entrepreneurship.

    Email: selder@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (785) 626-0666
  • Ted Kriwiel, Product Manager, Metropolitan Entrepreneurship

    Ted graduated from Wichita State University in 2012 with a degree in entrepreneurship. A Kansas native born in El Dorado, Ted embraces entrepreneurship as a way to find creative solutions to problems. He and his wife Ellie enjoy traveling and outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.

    Email: tkriwiel@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-0214

Part-Time

  • Jazelle Thomas, Referral Coordinator

    Jazelle Thomas is a marketing and integrated marketing communications major and a graphic design minor at Wichita State University. She is currently helping her mother start her business and is involved in the Shocker Student Marketing Association as well as the American Marketing Association. Though she truly enjoys marketing, she feels that she'll enjoy the entrepreneur's world even better. She's excited to learn all she can at a NetWork Kansas.

    Email: jthomas@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-6050
  • Kristan Wiedeman, Referral Coordinator

    Kristan is pursuing a Human Resource Management degree from Wichita State University and will be graduating in the spring of 2018. She has obtained an Associate’s degree from Cowley Community College under a music scholarship. She has been surrounded by an entrepreneurial family in both Kansas and Oklahoma and enjoys helping people be successful in operating businesses in Kansas. In her spare time she enjoys taking pictures of friends and family, singing and reading.

    Email: kwiedeman@networkkansas.com
    Phone: (316) 425-6032
  • Thomas Papadatos, Referral Coordinator

    Thomas is a student at Wichita State University and a Wichita native. He is pursuing degrees in Finance and Management Information Systems and will be graduating in the Spring of 2017. Thomas is interested in learning more about entrepreneurship with the hopes of pursuing his own entrepreneurial endeavor in the future. In his free time he enjoys; listening to, learning and producing music, reading and coffee.

    Email: tpapadatos@networkkansas.com
    Phone: 316-425-6033

Supporting Partners

  • University of Kansas School of Business,

    The University of Kansas provides in-kind support to NetWork Kansas by providing office space in the KU School of Business in Lawrence. The relationship enables coordination between Network Kansas and the school’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which strives to develop an entrepreneurial mindset among all KU students and faculty.

    Website: http://www.business.ku.edu/
  • Kansas Department of Commerce,

    The Kansas Department of Commerce (KDOC) took the lead role in the establishment of NetWork Kansas by bringing in all of the organizations that would provide both tartup and ongoing assistance. Currently, KDOC convenes monthly meetings with a variety of resource partners and collaborates with NetWork Kansas on ongoing initiatives. KDOC is a key network partner in delivering assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses.

    Website: www.kansascommerce.com
  • Kansas Small Business Development Center Lead Center,

    The Kansas Small Business Center Leader Center (KSBDC) plays a key management role as well as providing administrative assistance in executing operating tasks. The KSBDC Lead Office also participates in strategic planning and is heavily involved in the strategic direction of the center.

    Website: ksbdc.kansas.gov
  • Fort Hays State University,

    Fort Hays State University (FHSU) plays a key role in the overall operation of NetWork Kansas by providing support in the areas of accounting, information technology, legal, finance, and administration. Fort Hays State Departments also provide expertise in the area of research and participate in the Regents Working Group for Entrepreneurship Education.

    Website: http://www.fhsu.edu/
  • Wichita State University,

    Wichita State University (WSU) played a leadership role in the development of the legislation that created NetWork Kansas and also played a leadership role in startup activities. WSU provides office space and support in the areas of facilities and information technology. WSU Departments also deliver expertise in the areas of research and business plan competitions, as well as participating in the Regents Working Group for Entrepreneurship Education.

    Website: www.wichita.edu
A NetWork Kansas E-Community is a partnership that allows a town, a cluster of towns, or an entire county to raise seed money for local entrepreneurs through donations from individuals or businesses within the community.

The E-Community Partnership has grown from six communities in 2007 to fifty-five in 2016.  During the first eight years of the E-Community partnership, more than $7.7 million has been loaned to over 285 businesses, leveraging an additional $35.5 million of additional capital (bank loans, owner down payment, resource partner loans, etc.).

Learn more.

NetWork Kansas resource partners are nonprofit or public sector organizations that provide business-building services to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Working with a NetWork Kansas resource partner helps businesses get the prompt, local assistance they need to access all types of resources to start or grow their business. NetWork Kansas has a network of 500+ resource partners offering all kinds of business assistance.

Join Us

Are you a non-profit or public sector organization that offers resources that promote small business and entrepreneurship growth? Join our network by becoming a NetWork Kansas resource partner. Learn more