Meet Our Team

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Our Cause:
Preserving and Sustaining Rural Culture

The Kansas Sampler Foundation is a public non-profit 501(C)(3) organization.

Our mission is to preserve and sustain rural culture by educating Kansans about Kansas and networking and supporting rural communities.

The goal is to keep every town viable that shows the will and spirit to help itself.

Meet our amazing team.

Marci Penner / Co-director

Marci Penner is a big fan of exploring Kansas, promoting (and living) rural culture, and reframing the challenges of sustaining community into opportunities. When she and her father, Milferd Penner, researched their first Kansas guidebooks in the early 1990s, they saw a need to educate Kansans and network and support rural communities. They formed the public, non-profit Kansas Sampler Foundation in 1993 to meet those goals.

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Sarah Green / Co-director

Sarah Green loves Kansas. She is a co-director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, joining the organization full-time in 2023.    Her travels regularly take her to every region of Kansas and she is proud to call the state her home. She is encouraged by the power of communities and the ways in which Kansans come together to brainstorm creative solutions to challenges. She respects the complexities of rural communities and appreciates rural Kansans for their resourcefulness and their commitment to the places they make their homes. 

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Simone Elder / Power Up and Engagement Manager

Raised in rural Atwood, Kansas, Simone was no stranger to rural areas when she chose to move to Leoti 12 years ago to take a position as Wichita County Economic Development Director. Through her experiences in Wichita County and then across the western half of the state as she worked for NetWork Kansas as an E-Community Coach, she grew acquainted with more of the opportunities and challenges of rural Kansas. There are many things that Simone loves about Kansas from the geography to the cuisine, but the best part is the people.  

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WenDee Rowe / Project Manager

WenDee is the project manager of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, the IT Department, and the main force behind the social media communications. She is also the co-author of Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers and accompanied Marci to every incorporated city in Kansas for research. She lists her Kansas journey highlights as learning about the geographical diversity of Kansas—and eating a pancake in every county.

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Kim Clark / Bookkeeper

Kim Clark started her position as bookkeeper for the Kansas Sampler Foundation in January 2012.  She also serves as bookkeeper for Clark Construction Service, Inc. as well as for McPherson Backhoe, Inc.  She previously held accounting positions at Reno County Historical Society, and The Historic Fox Theatre since moving from Colorado in 2003.

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