Annie McKay, President & CEO
Previously the executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, Annie joined KAC as president and CEO in June 2016. Before leading the team at KCEG, Annie worked as a research analyst with the University of Kansas coordinating and assisting with evaluation of early childhood and federally funded programs targeting low-income students. A Kansas native, Annie earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and has a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She was a 2016 Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellow, a 2016 University of Kansas Women of Distinction honoree, and currently serves as a member of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet.
Janelle Brazington, Vice President of Administration
Janelle supports the mission of Kansas Action for Children by providing leadership in finances, human resources, grant management, planning, and advocacy evaluation. Janelle has been with KAC since 2003. Before working at KAC, she was volunteer director for a community services center in upstate New York and direct mail coordinator and database manager for a bank in Lincoln, Neb. Janelle grew up in Leonidas, Mich., and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Union College. Janelle is a certified professional in human resources and a member of the local and national Society of Human Resources Management. Janelle is a member of the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center Board of Directors, volunteers for the Brown v. Board National Historic Site, and is a member of the Leadership Greater Topeka Class of 2008.
John Wilson, Vice President of Advocacy
John joined Kansas Action for Children in September 2017. He spent the previous ten years working at the intersection of design, public health, and policymaking. John helped build the Alliance for a Healthier Generation into the nation’s leading nonprofit organization focused on children’s health. As a Kansas State Representative, John worked to redefine the culture of the Legislature to make it more open and collaborative. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Kansas where he studied visual communication. The best parts of his day are when he’s spending time with his wife, Jami, and their two sons, Parker and Henry.
Amanda Gress, Director of Government Relations
Amanda joined Kansas Action for Children in May 2015. She worked previously as an intern in the Kansas Legislature and at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. Amanda holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Kansas, and she is currently working to complete a master’s degree in public administration. While at KU, she competed in policy debate and promoted campus civic engagement as a member of the Dole Institute of Politics Student Advisory Board.
Rochelle Adams, Executive Assistant & Operations Specialist
Rochelle became the executive assistant to the president and CEO and the operations specialist for Kansas Action for Children in December 2011. She manages day-to-day operations, including accounting, human resources, office technology and database management. Before joining KAC, Rochelle was a legal assistant to a bankruptcy trustee for many years. She has also been a Hospital Assistance Program case manager and provided accounting services. Rochelle is from Topeka, Kan., and she earned a bachelor’s degree in business accounting from Washburn University.
Jake Frydman, Outreach Specialist
Jake joined the KAC team in September 2015 as an outreach specialist. After graduating May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity University in San Antonio, Tex., Jake returned to his home state of Kansas to work in grassroots organizing in the Lawrence and Topeka communities. Jake has always found motivation and inspiration in working to improve life in Kansas for all of those who call this great state home and is overjoyed to work towards that goal every day at KAC. When Jake is not in the office you can probably find him playing board games or kickball with his friends.
Barbara Kater, Office Manager
Barbara has worked in multiple industries during her career in project management and human resource capacities. She also led the Band Parent Volunteer Organization at Washburn Rural High School for eight consecutive years. A life-long resident of the state, she graduated from Ottawa University and resides in Topeka.