Rochelle Adams, Director of Finance and Operations
Rochelle joined Kansas Action for Children as executive assistant to the president and CEO and the operations specialist in December 2011. She manages day-to-day operations, including accounting, human resources, office technology, and grant coordination.
Before joining KAC, Rochelle was a legal assistant to a bankruptcy trustee for many years. She has also been a Hospital Assistance Program case manager and provided accounting services. Rochelle is from Topeka, Kan., and she earned a bachelor’s degree in business accounting from Washburn University.
Heather Braum, Health Policy Advisor
Heather came to KAC in July 2020 in the newly created post of health policy advisor. She previously worked in library technology and continuing education at the Northeast Kansas Library System. Most recently, she was a full-time doctoral student and candidate in library and information science at the University of South Carolina.
A fifth-generation Kansan, Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oklahoma Baptist University and holds a master’s of library science from Emporia State University. She continues work on her PhD.
Emily Fetsch, Director of Policy and Research
Emily is the director of policy and research at Kansas Action for Children and its Kansas Center for Economic Growth project. Previously, she was a researcher at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Public Religion Research Institute and the associate director at the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.
Emily holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas.
Jami Jones, Organizational Effectiveness Director
Jami joined Kansas Action for Children to help implement its three-year strategic plan. To make Kansas the best state to raise and be a child, KAC needs to be the best place to work. With nearly 20 years of experience in change management, project management, and organization development, Jami equips people and workplaces with tools to make positive and lasting change. Her strategic, action-oriented approach is anchored in defining key issues and finding thoughtful solutions.
She is a 2006 graduate of Portland State University, as well as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and Associated Certified Coach (ACC).
Queren started at Kansas Action for Children in May 2020 as our new communications specialist. She previously worked at Ogden Publications, where she was a digital content specialist and created video content, wrote blogs and newsletters, and managed social media accounts. At Ogden, she also photographed magazine covers and established a community garden.
As a first-generation immigrant and Kansas resident, Queren has overcome many challenges to shape her life and career path. She now lives on a farm with her husband and daughter. During her free time, she loves to garden and study aromatherapy and herbalism.
Adrienne Olejnik, Vice President
Adrienne began work at Kansas Action for Children in September 2018. She has also worked in gaming, finance, and libraries. Adrienne has been actively involved in local and state community work through service as a city council member, community foundation chair, leadership program graduate, and board positions.
She is a 2005 graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, where she studied finance and management. Adrienne lives in Rossville with her husband and two daughters.
Mitch Rucker, Outreach Specialist
Mitch served as the legislative director for the Kansas House majority leader during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions and was field director for U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall (KS-01) during his 2016 campaign. He also worked on the 2014 campaign of former U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, and was an intern at Sen. Jerry Moran’s Washington, D.C., office.
Mitch attended the University of Kansas, where he majored in Economics and Political Science. A fifth-generation Kansan, Mitch grew up on his family farm outside of Burdett.
John Wilson, President
John joined Kansas Action for Children in September 2017. He spent the previous 10 years working at the intersection of design, public health, and policymaking. John helped build the Alliance for a Healthier Generation into the nation’s leading nonprofit organization focused on children’s health.
As a Kansas State Representative, John worked to redefine the culture of the Legislature to make it more open and collaborative. He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Kansas, where he studied visual communication. The best parts of his day are when he’s spending time with his wife, Jami, and their two sons, Parker and Henry.
Clay Wirestone, Communications Director
Clay came aboard in 2017, crafting messages for Kansas Action for Children and the Kansas Center for Economic Growth project. He held editing, reporting, and design positions at the Topeka Capital-Journal, Concord (N.H.) Monitor, Tampa Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Closer to home, he interned as a reporter for the Salina Journal and Parsons Sun.
Clay has written for PolitiFact, Mental Floss, and the History Channel, and his work has appeared at cnn.com and HuffPost. He earned English and journalism degrees from the University of Kansas. He lives in Lawrence with his mystery novelist husband and their 8-year-old son.