Kristi has 18 years’ experience in the federal and state contracting, program implementation, project management, and strategic planning. Kristi now heads up our new KS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) through a cooperative agreement with Wichita State University and GO Topeka.
PTACs are the bridge between buyer and supplier, bringing to bear their knowledge of both government contracting and the capabilities of contractors to maximize fast, reliable service to our government with better quality and at lower costs. PTAC services include bid matching, bid preparation assistance, specifications and standards, regulations and certifications, procurement/price history and training seminars.
Kristi joins GO Topeka, following the completion of a sub-contracting role with NASA, where she managed a team based at Kennedy Space Center providing contractor support for their Energy & Water Program to assist them to establish a ten-year master plan to meet the new Executive Order pertaining to Energy & Water.
Prior to working with NASA, she served as a civilian contractor in Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory (B.I.O.T) as part of the Base Operations Contract supporting the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and British Commands in shore-side operations. As a matter expert for Energy & Water Conservation, she helped develop the sustainability program that looks, at short-term and long-term improvements for this strategic and unique location. In addition, she oversaw the management of a multi-tier taskforce for project implementation to meet mission and conservation goals.
Kristi has worked on both sides of the contracting table, first in sales, as an account executive for Siemens Corporation and Honeywell. Her team provided a turnkey approach to sustainable, energy or cost reduction plans. Kristi facilitated third party financing to help projects reach fruition; utilizing all available state and federal incentive programs.
Before moving to the private sector, Kristi s was a civil service employee developing the Kansas Adjutant General’s Energy Conservation Program for the Kansas Army and Air Force National Guard. In this capacity, Kristi developed a statewide program for conservation and efficiency, which continues to this day. In addition, she served on the Energy Manager’s Working Group, which was tasked to develop standardized national energy savings initiatives for National Guard Bureau.
Kristi began her career working in Washington, D.C. for the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) in the technology innovation division. In 1999, CERF merged with the International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC). This created an exciting opportunity for Kristi as a junior employee. She credits this experience to developing a strong technical foundation in the world of product development from the standpoint of the inventor all the way to the purchasing contractor. Her most noteworthy project was a $15-million-dollar program funded by the Global Environmental Facility, a division of the World Bank. The program’s goal was to accelerate the penetration of energy-efficient lighting technologies into emerging markets in six developing countries.
Kristi is a native of Kansas, growing up on a 5th generation farm that is still operated by her family to this day. In 2008, she took the leap and purchased her farm in Carbondale, KS.
Who is your hero? And why?
Amelia Earhart, she was fearless and believed that women could do anything. I started learning to fly when I was 14 as a result of reading about her. She inspired me to dream big. One of my favorite quotes of hers was captured before her attempted round the world flight.
“Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart
What one event in your childhood had the greatest effect on your life? Attending Space Academy in Huntsville, AL. I was secretly convinced it would be like the 80’s movie Space Camp. It wasn’t, but it challenged me to think beyond limitations and helped me realize I could do anything.
Do you have a pet? If so, tell me about it.
I have a small farm SE of Topeka, where I sharecrop with local farmers. This year I’m currently surrounded by a corn field that, thanks to the rain and the sun, is over 7’tall! On my farm are a number of animals that live a rather comfy life as pets, granted they each have sad stories coming to me via various pet rescue efforts.
Two llamas, Larry and Momma. Two donkeys, Starkesy and Hutch. A few chickens that free range and provide great eggs. A sweet pony named Roxy, she’s blind but does remarkably well with navigating the farm, pastures, and barn. Three dogs, JT a Heinz 57 mix, who survived the Joplin F5 tornado, outside. Nala, a frisbee flying German shepherd goofball. Horton, a toy poodle who strongly believes he’s a very big dog. I’m currently fostering another German shepherd named Stella. My farm is also home to a number barn cats, all spayed/neutered, thanks to constant reminders from Bob Barker as a kid.
What’s the craziest thing you have done?
I accepted a job overseas, as a contractor with the US Military. From first phone call to the first day at work, was less than a month. I packed a bag, found a farmer sitter, and moved to the other side of the globe for a year. It didn’t fully sink in as to what I’d just done until my first morning on the island. I awoke to a spectacular view less than 50 feet from my front door of the Indian Ocean, pristine beaches and palm-trees.
Vice President of Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development
Entrepreneurial & Minority Business Development