Business people for September 19th


The Kansas Department of Transportation recognized employees who celebrated their anniversary in October for their longstanding service to the state of Kansas.

The News reporting team celebrating work anniversaries included: 40 Years: Larry Kjellberg, Highway Maintenance Supervisor, Ness City ’30 years: James Beesley, Engineering technician senior, garden city


Eric Kennedy
William Widener

Effective September 19, the Kansas Department of Corrections promoted three employees to the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. Steven Clayborn was promoted to Facility Maintenance Supervisor while Eric Kennedy and William Widener both were promoted to Prison Warden III.


Cynthia A. Vienna

NEWTON – Cynthia A. Vienna, Attorney at Adrian & Pankratz, PA, in Newton, was recently recognized in the Wichita Business Journal’s Women Who Lead in Legal category.

Vienna was portrayed in the magazine and will be honored at a later date at an event organized by the Wichita Business Journal. The magazine recognized women in the legal profession who provide guidance and support to their colleagues and contribute to the success of those around them.

Wiens offers legal advice in all areas of geriatric law with a focus on estate planning, estate and trustee management, Medicaid planning, guardianship and related issues of geriatric law. She believes that quality legal representation requires personal service and attention to detail.


Kevin Ford

GREAT BEND – Through a partnership with Mirror and The Center for Counseling & Consultation, Kevin Ford is a new substance-using clinician visiting clients in central Kansas four days a week.

Ford has been a drug advisor for 36 years. He is currently employed by Mirror and looks after customers at the center’s locations.

Ford started visiting customers in the area and surrounding areas in late July, and about a month later it had 40 customers.

He meets customers Mondays and Wednesdays at 5815 Broadway in Great Bend; 217 E. Ave. N in Lyon on Tuesdays; and 606 Topeka, Suite 101 in Larned on Thursdays.

Ford is a licensed addiction counselor and a Kansas certified gambling advisor.

In 2015, Ford helped develop an outpatient program at The Center. Other employers over the years have included the Kansas Department of Corrections, where he served as the division head and director of the chemical dependency recovery program at the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility; and New Chance, where he worked as a consultant and interim supervisor.

The Center for Counseling & Consultation is a community mental health center in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, and Stafford counties. His confidential 24/7 crisis hotline number is 800-875-2544.

Jennifer Scott Koontz

NORTH NEWTON – Jennifer Scott Koontz, MD, MPH, of Newton, receives the Outstanding Alumnus Award 2021 from Bethel College at its alumni banquet on October 3rd and is a former Bühler resident and former director of the Kaufman Museum Steve Friesen, the Distinguished Achievement Award 2021.

Koontz graduated from Bethel in 1998 majoring in psychology and science. She then spent two years with the Mennonite Voluntary Service in Hamilton, Ontario, before earning her Masters in Public Health from the University of Kansas in 2001 and her MD in 2005.

While at KU Medical School, Koontz founded and ran the JayDoc Free Clinic, a student-run uninsured clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, and later co-founded the JayDoc Community Clinic in Wichita.

She completed her specialist training in family medicine on Via Christi in Wichita, where she was senior physician last year. By 2009 she was certified in both family medicine and sports medicine and began practicing at Pinnacle Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, Newton and Hutchinson.

Since then she has also worked as a team doctor and medical director for sports training and student health at Bethel.

Koontz has practiced family and sports medicine since 2012 and served as the medical director of cardiac rehabilitation at Newton Medical Center, recently renamed NMC Health.

Koontz was the 2009 Bethel Young Alumnus Award winner and one of three Women of the Year in Harvey County in 2017.

She currently holds a number of leadership positions including President of the Harvey County Medical Society, member of the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative Board of Directors, and Chair of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Sexual Violence Task Force.

But it was their job to educate the public about COVID-19 and public health and safety measures that earned this latest recognition. For months she read everything she could find and then distilled it into COVID-19 updates on Harvey County on the global situation, which she posted on her Facebook page and made available to everyone.

Koontz coordinated a group of doctors who contributed to the county’s reopening and testing plans, advocated for adequate testing and contact tracing programs, and tirelessly advocated frequent hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing face coverings in public spaces.

She also organized a group of volunteers to sew masks and distribute them across the schools and other streets. Her efforts also earned her an Ad Astra Star Award from Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Kansas.

Koontz lives in Newton with her husband Matt Koontz ’98 and their three children.

Steve Friesen

Friesen was born in Lawrence, grew up in Bühler and graduated from Bethel in 1975 with a BA in history and social sciences. He then earned an MA in American Folk Culture from the State University of New York’s Cooperstown Graduate Program at Oneonta.

He returned to his southern Kansas homeland in 1976-77 as director of Bethel’s Kauffman Museum and then spent a year in the Office of Museum Programs of the Wichita Public Schools, 1977-78, before moving on to educational programs. to direct the Littleton Historical Museum in the Denver area for the next four years.

After two years in Baton Rouge, La., As a service worker with the Mennonite Central Committee, Friesen moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania as director of the Hans Herr House in 1719. In 1990 he returned to Colorado as Museum Director for the City of Greeley and later became director of Molly Brown House in Denver. In 1995, Friesen took over the management of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, Colorado, from which he retired in 2017 after 22 years of service.

In 2018 he was inducted into the Jefferson County (Colo.) Hall of Fame.

After retiring from the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, Friesen teamed up with his wife, Monta Lee Dakin, to create Friesen-Dakin Museum Consulting, a part-time company. The two have worked together in the museum profession for 80 years.

He has written three history books, authored chapters for several books on museum management, and authored numerous historical articles and book reviews for academic and popular publications. In 2021 he began writing a regular column for True West magazine. He is an active member of the Western Writers of America.

Friesen and Dakin are parents to two children (including Bethel graduate Elizabeth Friesen) and have one granddaughter.

Friesen is a member of the Beloved Community Mennonite Church in Denver and continues his lifelong association with Bethel College as a member of the Kauffman Museum Board of Directors.

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