Work History

Work History
2011 - Present

Communication Specialist

Kansas Department of Revenue

Responsible for communicating with all interested audiences about the Kansas Department of Revenue's DMV Modernization Project, a three-year effort to replace aging mainframe systems used for driver licensing, motor vehicle titling and registration, and inventory management with a single, modern system that is easier to use, maintain and enhance.

Develop communication plans that identify all audiences directly affected by the change, channels for reaching them and key messages essential to them.

Maintain, update and expand email marketing database of stakeholder contacts through which project updates are sent.

Work with project teams to identify and distill information that needs to be shared with project partners.

Maintain and enhance information provided on project website.

Speak to stakeholder groups about pending change and how it affects them.

Respond to media inquiries as needed.

1999 - 2011

Communications Director

Kansas Department of Agriculture

Responsible for all public communication through the department website, newsletters, social media, the news media and other channels.

Primary spokesperson responsible for responding to all media inquiries. Arranged responses from, or interviews with, subject matter experts, when needed. Provided one-on-one coaching to prepare staff for interviews. When beneficial, elevated media requests to director level.

Monitored media coverage of department to ensure accuracy and fairness. Asked reporters to correct harmful inaccuracies. Wrote letters to the editor and op-ed pieces to clarify department's view of issues. Pitched story ideas to reporters.

Monitored news for topics of interest to the department and its constituents, and provided a daily email of the day's top news to management.

Briefed governor's communications staff on issues receiving media or public attention. Provided written communication -- talking points, letters, news releases, op-eds -- when needed.

Reviewed and edited communication pieces created by department programs that were intended for constituent groups and the public, including newsletters, fact sheets, legislative testimony, web content and other media.

Prepared and published the department's annual report and other reports as needed.

Worked with federal and state agencies, academia and constituent groups on common concerns (e.g., foodborne illness; emergency preparedness and response; invasive pests, improper pesticide applications and foreign animal diseases that could jeopardize domestic or international trade).

Maintained extensive, segmented database of contacts in mainstream and agriculture media, stakeholder groups, partner agencies and elected officials.

Completed successive courses in crisis communication and coached staff who interact with the media.

Represented the agency in a variety of venues, including as a member of the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom's board of directors and as a member of the public information teams involved in emergency response communication for foreign animal disease and other disasters.

Organized events like Kansas Agriculture Day and Kansas Farmers' Market Month, which required collaborating with other agencies, the governor's office and constituent groups.

Supervised the department's homeland security specialist and the rural development and outreach coordinator.

1999 - 1999


Army and Air Force Exchange Service

Responsible for writing product descriptions for seasonal and annual catalogs and for laying out catalog pages. After three months on the job, I was given sole responsibility for overseeing production of a seasonal catalog. This entailed choosing design elements, like fonts, and designing product layout for photo shoots, in addition to copywriting and page layout.


1992 - 1998

Bachelor of Arts

Washburn University

Activities and Societies: The Washburn Review, staff writerWomen in Communication, student memberWashburn Mass Media Association, elected officerDean's Honor RollPresident's Honor RollMass Media Endowed Scholardship recipientGPA scholarship recipient



Social Media Platforms


I have rock-solid writing skills and experience writing news releases, web content, brochures, fact sheets, talking points, speeches, newsletters, letters to the editor, op-eds, backgrounders, public service announcements, features, media kits and annual reports.

MS Office -- Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Publisher

Digital Photography

Content Management Systems

Crisis Communication

Completed a training series on crisis communication through the Kansas Department of Agriculture's involvement in the Multistate Partnership for Security in Agriculture, a collaboration of 13 Midwestern states. Training was provided by Dr. Vincent Covello, founder of the Center for Risk Communication.   The training series included:   Message Mapping, February 2005 Key Spokesperson Training, June 2005 Advanced Spokesperson Training, March 2006 Joint Information Centers, April 2006    


My strong writing skills prepared me for all of the editing I was responsible for at the Kansas Department of Agriculture. I edited the secretary of agriculture's outgoing correspondence, all legislative testimony, new website content, newsletters, fact sheets, reports and publications.

Publication Layout

I transitioned from using QuarkXPress at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service to PageMaker and later InDesign at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.   Primary layout duties at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service involved seasonal and annual catalogs.   Layout duties with the Kansas Department of Agriculture involved annual reports, brochures, signs, displays and other promotional materials.   When laying out publications using photographs, I used PhotoShop to edit or enhance them as needed.   I used my publication layout skills to develop fact sheet templates in Microsoft Word for Kansas Department of Agriculture program areas. This allowed program staff to develop their own public information pieces that I would edit and approve before they were shared publicly.

Writing Samples

About Me

I am a professional, results-oriented, problem-solving communicator with more than 10 years of experience. I am proficient in public, media and government relations; crisis communication; writing; editing; publication layout and design; and event planning. I have experience using Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, web content management systems, and Microsoft PowerPoint, Publisher, SharePoint and Excel. I am naturally inquisitive, innovative, organized and motivated.

My positions in state government have required a high degree of discretion and professional conduct and provided me ample opportunity to hone my skills. I am now ready for a challenging new opportunity. The ideal position will allow me to be a primary contributor in the workplace, provide me opportunity to interact with the community at large and foster my continued professional development.

Affiliations and Boards

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Topeka Chapter Member 2009-present

Communication Officers of State Departments of Agriculture (COSDA) Member 2000-2010 President 2007-2008

Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom Board Member, 2005-2008


"Lisa is an innovative communications professional who was always on the lookout for new and unique ways to bring agriculture's story to the general public. She created the agriculture department's first logo and ensured our brand was evident in all agency publications."  

Jamie Clover Adams

Former Kansas Secretary of Agriculture

Now Director of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

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"Lisa has done outstanding work improving our publications, our website and more. In addition, I appreciate the great job she has done preparing me for media interviews and public speaking. I particularly appreciate her work preparing me to address a hostile crowd of water users unhappy about the message I had to deliver to them. Lisa has a strong work ethic and consistently delivers a superior product on a timely basis. I would highly recommend her for any communications position."

David Barfield

Chief Engineer

Kansas Department of Agriculture

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"During the time I worked for the Kansas Department of Agriculture, I saw Lisa manage multiple emergency and day-to-day projects and priorities with the utmost professional demeanor. She is steadfast in her work, and supportive of leaders, peers and employees alike. Being successful in her career is important to Lisa, but so is promoting the success of her peers and the organization for which she works. Without reservation, I recommend Lisa as a top communications expert, one with the ability to quickly size up problems and develop successful strategies for getting the right information across, in any type of situation."

Ida Kirmse 

Chief Executive Officer


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"Lisa served in an advisory capacity to our executive board. She faithfully attended board meetings and was able to let us know of partnerships and connections that were of great benefit to our organization. She also helped organize many agricultural groups for the Kansas Agriculture Day event held each year at the Capitol. Her efforts allowed us to have a seamless, enjoyable and educational event. In her work with the Kansas Foundational for Agriculture in the Classroom, Lisa exhibited a high degree of creativity and professionalism. Her work ethic is impeccable. If we had the available funding, we would certainly be looking to hire her."

Cathy Musick 

Executive Director

Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom

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"Lisa is a skilled communicator who can gain expertise on any topic and communicate it to the general public or industry groups. Her writing and editing skills are superior. Lisa always gets the job done, and done well.”

Carole Jordan

Rural Development Director (Retired)

Kansas Department of Commerce


Family time, especially game night

Fitness walking

Food and cooking


Personal and professional development

Latin music and dance