NetWork Kansas Welcomes Jenn Laird to Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership Team



Jennifer Laird

NetWork Kansas Welcomes Jenn Laird to
Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership Team

Wichita, Kansas — Today, NetWork Kansas announced the hiring of Jenn Laird, who joins the staff as Manager, Rural Entrepreneurship, Eastern Region. In her role, Laird will support the following Entrepreneurship (E-) Communities in the eastern region of Kansas: Allen County, Altamont, Anderson County, Atchison, Bourbon County, Cherokee County, Chautauqua County, Douglas County, Girard, Kansas City Urban, Lawrence Urban, Leavenworth County, Linn County, Miami County, Montgomery County, Neosho County, and Shawnee County.

Laird, a Cottonwood Falls resident who is a Kansas native and rural by choice advocate, has served as the Chase County E-Community point person for six years. Familiar with NetWork Kansas entrepreneurship support programs, Laird is a certified facilitator of Ice House and Destination Boot Camp- Destination Creation. She organized and facilitated the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) in Chase County overseeing the educational support courses as well as the event competitions.

“I am very excited to have Jenn join our team,” said Erik Pedersen, Vice President of Entrepreneurship, NetWork Kansas. “She brings a wealth of community development and economic development experience with her. That, and the fact she was the Chase County E-Community point person for a handful of years and, therefore, has a good working knowledge of NetWork Kansas, will allow her to be of great value to our eastern region partner communities.”

Beyond her experience with NetWork Kansas, Laird is the owner of Authenticity Inspired, a community development consulting agency. She served as the first Chase County economic development director where she was instrumental in helping to secure funding for a countywide 1GB broadband infrastructure build out and was directly involved in the CARES Act Funding allocations and COVID-Relief grants in Chase County.

“It is an honor and a privilege to join the NetWork Kansas team,” Laird said. “Empowering, cultivating, and advocating for the growth of vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems is something that I have long been passionate about and dedicated to in Chase County and across the Flint Hills. Now, having the opportunity to offer outstanding resources and vital support to our E-Community partners across the Eastern Region of Kansas, is truly humbling and inspiring

Laird replaces Shelley Paasch, who joined Kansas Main Street as a Business Specialist.

For more information about the E-Community Partnership, please visit: or call 877.526.8600.

About NetWork Kansas:

NetWork Kansas, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is dedicated to making entrepreneurship a priority for economic and community development in the State of Kansas.  NetWork Kansas connects aspiring entrepreneurs, emerging and established businesses, to a deep network of business-building and community development resource organizations across the state.  NetWorks Kansas is also the home of e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (e2).  e2 provides best practice solutions to entrepreneurial ecosystem building in Kansas and nationally.

NetWork Kansas facilitates the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem within participating communities through the E-Community Partnership. Contributing factors to successful development include availability of financial capital, support by local leadership and development of educational resources. All of these factors combine to increase entrepreneurial activity in participating towns, leading to increased startup activity, business expansion, job creation and more.

For more information about the Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership, visit, or call 877.521.8600



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