Marci Penner and her father, Milferd Penner, co-authored three Kansas guidebooks in the early 1990s and then founded the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to help preserve and sustain rural culture. Marci is currently the executive director of the Foundation.
In 2002 and 2003 Marci went to every one of the 627 incorporated cities in Kansas to research for "The Kansas Guidebook for Explorers." The observations, conversations, and fact-finding not only resulted in a popular 432-page guidebook but also provided excellent information for the Kansas Explorers Club and We Kan! newsletters that Marci writes.
Marci presents dozens of speeches, slide shows, game shows, and seminars in Kansas and beyond each year. She consults daily with Kansas communities and often with other states interested in the concepts of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The Foundation hosts the annual Kansas Sampler Festival, a Retreat for Rural Leaders and a biannual We Kan! Conference. She is a tireless advocate for rural communities and promoter of what there is to see and do in the state.
Marci, a graduate of Kansas University and a double-sport letterwinner, received her Master's degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Wisconsin. She spent five years in the Philadelphia area as an elementary guidance counselor before returning to Kansas in 1990 to work with her father. The offices of the Kansas Sampler Foundation are located in the Kansas Sampler Center on the family farm near Inman.
Marci is dedicated to helping Kansans see Kansas with new eyes and to keeping our communities alive and vibrant.