2023-2024 Board Members

Shirley Martin-Smith came to Lawrence in January 1977 to open a staffing company. Over the years she has connected thousands of talented people with work on a temporary and permanent basis.
Along the way, she served as a Lawrence City Commissioner and Mayor, advocating for attracting new companies to the area and for the expansion of companies already here. During her tenure in city government, she met Dwayne Peaslee who was a great advocate for job creation and especially for addressing the need for technical training and the trades as great careers in which to earn a good income, raise a family, and own a home. Dwayne was a mentor to many workers and business owners, and his dream of a technical training center came true for Lawrence and Douglas County.
Shirley has served as Chair of the Board of Peaslee Tech since the beginning and values the employees and the volunteers who have contributed to the success of Peaslee Tech.

Cindy Yulich has been part of the Lawrence Community since 1991 when she joined Emprise Bank. Before joining Emprise, she worked at Security Bank of Kansas City for 10 years. She grew up in Kansas City, KS, graduating from Turner High School in 1977. She graduated from Emporia State University in 1981 and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado in 1998. She has served on the board of Peaslee Tech since its founding in 2014. In addition, she has served on the USD 497 Board of Education from 2004-2008, the LMH Health Board of Trustees (2012-2020), the EDC of Douglas County (2005-present), the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Board (2005-2012), PIRC Committee, United Way Board of Directors and is a 1995 Graduate of Leadership Lawrence. She has been married to her husband, Mitch, since 1981. He works for Westlake Hardware in Lawrence. Her son, Brett, lives in Lawrence with his fiancé, Khrista, and her son, Jordan, lives in Tecumseh, KS with his wife Kristi, and their son, Owen.

Bobbie Flory has worked as the Executive Director of the Lawrence Home Builders Association for over 25 years. As the daughter of a builder and developer, she was equipped to promote the housing industry and help navigate the many obstacles to providing housing for all. Bobbie has served on various community boards over the years including the Lawrence Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission, Van Go Mobile Arts, Tenants to Homeowners, Chamber of Commerce, O’Connell Youth Ranch, Kansas Building Industry Association, and the Douglas County Economic Development Corporation. In addition to community boards, she serves in various capacities at her church. Her commitment to the Peaslee Tech board is especially important as declining workforce growth in construction has been identified as a top priority both nationally and locally. Bobbie lives on the farm with her husband, Scott. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Bonnie Lowe, IOM, serves as the CEO and President of the Chamber, Lawrence. She has been with The Chamber for nine years, and beginning her fifth year as its CEO. Prior to working with The Chamber, Lowe was a financial investigator with the US Attorney’s Office for five years which followed a banking career as market president.
Lowe is involved in many Chamber-related organizations and serves in leadership roles. She is the Immediate Past-Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Kansas, Board Chair of MAKO (Chamber executives of Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma), and is a member of the Major Cities Council for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Locally, Lowe serves as a board member for the KU Innovation Park at the University of Kansas, as well as Peaslee Tech. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the KU Center for Research and serves on its Audit and Finance Committee.
Bonnie and her husband, Jamie Lowe, reside in Lawrence and enjoy spending time with family, including their grandson, Patrick.
Brittany Hall is Bird Creek Shawnee, and her name is Kakaawaciisi, horse clan, one who is running around.
Brittany started her academic career at the University of Missouri in 2006 and transferred to Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) in 2007. She graduated with a degree in Indigenous American Indian Studies in 2012 and then earned a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Baker University in 2015. During her time at HINU, she participated in cheerleading and was Homecoming Queen in 2010.
She did work study at Little Nations Academic Center from 2009-2012. After graduation, she was at Little Nations federally from 2012-2016. In 2016, her business career started at Haskell Foundation as an administrative assistant then promoted to Business Manager. In 2018, she started at The University of Kansas in The Life Span Institute as a grant coordinator performing post-award and financial administration supporting SWIFT Education Center. She currently works for SWIFT Education Center as a Technical Assistance Research Coordinator. In Spring 2018, Brittany taught Vision Quest for a semester and came back in Fall 2019 to teach Haskell Seminar then in the School of Business in Fall 2020 and taught Management Organizational Behavior, Business Technical Writing, and Principles of Marketing till finishing as an adjunct professor in May 2022.
Along with being on the board for Peaslee Tech, she is the President of the Haskell National Board of Regents, the advisor for the Phi lota Alpha chapter at the University of Kansas, a board member for Caesar’s Ford Theatre, volunteers in the winter shoveling snow for Douglas County Senior Resource Center. Brittany has previously served as the Secretary for the Shawnee Tribe Cultural and Historic Preservation Committee, Treasurer for Native Staff and Faculty at Kansas University, the advisor for the Phi lota Alpha chapter at the University of Kansas, and the KU Pow Wow Committee.
She has one son who is a student at Hillcrest Elementary and enjoys spending time with him, going to the gym, learning her language, beading and sewing, and being an animal and plant lady.

Dr. Bill DeWitt is currently the principal at the College & Career Center and oversees multiple alternative programs for USD 497, where he has worked for 11 years. He is also an adjunct professor at Newman University and The University of Kansas (KU). Bill has spent nearly three decades in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator, mostly in the Lawrence area. He was born and raised in Hays, KS. He got his undergraduate and master’s degrees from KU and his Doctorate from the University of Arkansas. He is very active in his parish at St. John’s and serves on various other boards in the Lawrence community. He currently serves as the appointee for Douglas County for K-12 Education at Peaslee Tech. Bill and his wife Amy have been married for 26 years and have three daughters who are all currently in college. He is an avid Kansas Jayhawk fan, and he enjoys attending games together with his family. Rock Chalk! They also are regular attendees to Broadway shows in Kansas City. 

Wayne Ricks was born in Nashville, North Carolina in 1955. At 10 months old, he and his family moved to Newport News, Virginia where he was raised. He left for Hutchinson, Kansas in the fall of 1974 as a walk-on for the Hutchinson Blue Dragon Football team.  In the Spring of 1975, Wayne transferred to The University of Kansas from Hutchinson Jr. College to finish his college education and athletic career. After graduation in 1982, he began a career in plastics with over 25 years of service with Packer Plastics, Berry Plastics for 22 years and Meridian Automotive Systems “Plastics” for another 3 years, before getting into the Food and Service industries. For many years he worked with organizations coaching and training others to better understand each position they chose to build on. That inspired him to start coaching Little League Football from 1983-1986, and Adult Sports from 87-92 (Basketball, Football, and Softball) before going back to girls’ basketball from 1993-2008.

Wayne currently serves on the Political Action Committee as Co-Chair, The Education Committee, a board member for Peaslee Tech, and the Executive Committee with the NAACP.  For the past 2 election cycles, he has been elected as the Douglas County Democrat PCP for the 22nd precinct serving as an At-Large Official on the Executive Committee. Wayne is also a serving member on several committees addressing voter education and registration within the community. He serves as a team leader with different justice matters organizations, which address multiple challenges in the Lawrence community, such as ending chronic homelessness (Steering Committee), restorative practices in the schools (Committee Member), jail alternatives, elder care, and affordable housing.

George Crump serves as Peaslee’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Facilitator (DEI). In addition to being the DEI Facilitator, George also fills in as an Electrician and Facilities Maintenance instructor. George retired from Kansas City Power and Light Co. George received his Bachelor of Science in Business from Rockhurst University and completed 16 hours on his Master’s in Business Administration, majoring in Finance and Industrial Relations. George is certified by the United States Department of Labor as a Journeyman Electrician, a certified Heat Pump and Air Conditioning Technician, a Certified Geothermal Heating and Cooling Technician, and a Certified Residential and Commercial Load Calculation Technician. George is the proud husband of Karen Crump. They have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. In his free time, George likes to garden, travel, and monitor the stock market.

Rick Hird is a partner with Petefish, Immel, Hird, Johnson & Leibold, LLP, in Lawrence, Kansas, with more than 40 years of experience helping clients find solutions in the areas of estate planning, probate, corporate and business law, business transactions and civil litigation.  Rick helps clients with all types of business issues, from selecting and forming the correct type of business entity, to navigating mergers and acquisitions, obtaining project and operating credit facilities, drafting contracts, and creating exit strategies with integrated estate planning.

Rick is involved in his community and believes in giving back. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and served on the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Commission (2013-2019, Chair 2011-2012). He served as a member of the Board of Directors and as President of Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and is still an active supporter.  Rick is a member of the Board of Directors of Willow Springs Fire District No. 3, Secretary of the Board of Directors of Douglas County Rural Water District No. 2, a member and past President of the Douglas County Bar Association, and a member of Rotary International.

Rick and his wife Debby have two adult sons.  They live in the country with two dogs and two cats and have a small vineyard, aptly named Wild Hare Vineyard, and enjoy working outdoors and making wine. They are also KU alumni and avid Jayhawks fans.