Thank You Party 2012

The Annual Neewollah Thank you Dinner held at the Independence Country Club on Saturday, March 2nd. Sean Clapp, Chairman of the Board, hosted the evening with Karen Turner where past Generalissimos were introduced and welcomed.

Karen Turner, 2012 Generalissimo, thanked her committee heads and members for all their hard work and reported on the success of Neewollah 2012. She was presented with a collage depicting events of this year’s Neewollah and was welcomed into the Past Generalissimos Club receiving a Past Generalissimos shirt and certificate from Val Defever.

Neewollah sponsors were recognized and thanked by the celebration.

Retiring board members Gina Botts, Karen Turner & Marty Reichenberger were recognized and presented with plaques of appreciation for their service to Neewollah.

Jeffrey Gettler was introduced as Generalissimo for 2013 and Lisa Paige as introduced as Generalissimo Elect for 2014

Denise Hines, Jay Jones & Lori Wesselowski were introduced as the newest members elected to the Neewollah Board of Directors. They were elected to the board at the annual critique meeting held earlier.

New officers for the Board of Directors were introduced. They included: Sean Clapp, Chairman; Tom Posch, Vice Chair; Stacey Yakshaw, Treasurer; and Lisa Hugo, Secretary.

Mr. Gettler announced that this year’s theme will be Neewollah 2013: Its Alive! Also announced was this year’s musical "Young Frankenstein”. Lisa Paige & Lois Lessman were announced as Co-Directors, while Lori Wesselowski and Sarah Wilson were announced as Co-Producers. Finally, Mr. Gettler announced that he is actively working on securing a professional show for this year’s festival.

Jeffrey Gettler was born and raised in Independence. He is a 2000 graduate of Independence High School, 2001graduate of Independence Community College, 2003 graduate of Loyola University Chicago and 2005 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law. He has been actively involved with Neewollah for several years having served as Co-Chair of the Grand Parade and Security Committees, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors. He is a Partner in the law firm of Emert, Chubb and Gettler, LLC. He is President-Elect of the Kansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and will advance to President in July 2013. He is a member and Past-President of the Independence Rotary Club and a Chamber Ambassador.

Lisa Paige is originally from Emporia, Kansas. She graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Educational Administration. Lisa taught kindergarten for 19 years and is now the Assistant Principal and Kindergarten Title Teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School. Lisa has been involved in 21 Neewollah musicals as an actor, choreographer and director for 9 productions. She has also served as Queens Pageant director, Talent chair, Neelah Deb co-chair and the Neewollah website co-chair. Lisa was selected to join the Neewollah Board in 2009. Lisa is the founder & Artistic Director for the Independence Children’s Summer Theatre. She has served on the William Inge Festival Steering Committee and The Memorial Hall Task Force. She is currently serving on the ASTRA Festival Board and as an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church. Lisa received the Margaret Goheen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Theatre in 2005 and was named Elementary Master Teacher for USD 446 in 2009. Lisa and her husband Mark live on a ranch south of Dearing. They have a 10 year old son, Jaxon, who loves sports and plays for the Indy Force basketball team.

An Independence native, Denise Messenger-Hines, graduated from local schools and attended Kansas State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Management and Marketing. After graduation, Denise and her husband Scott moved to the Kansas City area where she worked in marketing for a wholesale screen printer and later as a legal assistant for Consumer Advocate. In 2007, Denise and Scott moved back to Independence to raise their family. They have two children, Landon (10) and Hadley (7). Denise was employed by Cable One as Marketing Director for Kansas systems from 2007 until 2010. Denise is currently employed by Tri-County as a Para-Professional. Denise has served as a Neewollah Ticket Queen for the past 5 years and as Advertising Chair for the past 4 years. She is also involved with Eisenhower PTO and Independence Main Street, serving as Board President this year. Denise is excited about the opportunity to become more involved in Neewollah.

Jay Jones is an Independence native. He is employed as a Certified Athletic Trainer with Mercy Health for Life and provides athletic training services to Independence High School. Jay has served as the Race Director of the Neewollah 5K & 10K run for the past three years. He is a member of the Tyro Christian Church, and a trustee of Independence Community College. Jay and his wife, Valerie, have two children: Whitley and Deacon.

Lori Wesselowski has lived in Independence for the last 19 years. She is married to Barry and has three children - Erin, Alex and Anna. She has been involved in several civic organizations including PEO, Junior Child Study Club. She is currently on the Independence School Board. She is an active board member in the Children's Summer Theater, First Leadership Board member and a consultant for the Entreprenourship/ Junior Achievement class at the high school. Her Neewollah involvement includes helping with the Neewollah Fun Run, serving on the Queen's Talent, Coronation, Window Display, tickets and chair/co-chairing Queen's Tea, Brunch, Queen's Ball, Pop Party, Summer Workshop, Escorts, Candidate Co-chair and Queen's Director. "I enjoy participating in all that Neewollah has to offer and my dream is to be a judge for the dessert competition at the Chili Cookoff...hint, hint."



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