Barbara Stapleton, vice president of workforce and education, joined the GO Topeka team in March 2015 after serving as the associate director for career and technical education, workforce development for the Kansas Board of Regents. Barbara has used her relationship management talents in a breadth of industries, including higher education, banking, legal and even transportation & logistics; working for fortune 500 companies, non-profits, small businesses and state government. Her love of people and comments on all her report cards of “talks too much” have served her well in her positions over the years. From serving as a marketing officer to a senior account executive, engagement and collaboration is what drives interactions for her. Originally from Indianapolis and now a transplanted Kansan, Barbara loves to travel, but appreciates the sunshine, community and localness of Topeka. She has over 20 years of relationship management, business development, marketing and professional development experience, holding a bachelor of arts in political science from Purdue University and a master of science in management from Baker University.
Barbara and her husband Michael, have two children, Connor and Corinne, two dogs, Bella and Loyd and two cats, Salem and Dizzy, but no picket fence.
If you weren’t doing what you do today, what other job would you have? One of my minors in college was theatre and I absolutely love live theatre, having performed in numerous plays and musicals, as well as directed and served as a dialect coach. So, rather than answer what other job would I have, more so my dream job would be to work in theatre arts, performing, directing and creating experiences.
What’s the most unusual place you have visited? When I studied abroad, one of the trips I took was to the Rock of Gibraltar, off Spain’s southern coast. We interacted with the barbary macaques on the island, the only wild monkey population on the European continent. We were thirteen miles from the African continent and could see the coastline of Morocco. The whole semester was wonderful and I had other places that were favorites, but Gibraltar was by far the most unusual.
Do you love or hate rollercoasters? I love rollercoasters. My first coaster was at King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Beast, the longest wooden roller coaster in the world.
Senior Vice President of Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development
Entrepreneurial & Minority Business Development