Photo of Christie Appelhanz

Christie Appelhanz

Christie Appelhanz as the executive director of the Children’s Alliance of Kansas drives system level change to improve the safety and success of Kansas children and families. Since joining the association in June 2015, Christie has led efforts to amplify the voice of private child welfare agencies both at the Statehouse and in the communities they serve. Christie previously managed government affairs and communications as vice president of public affairs at Kansas Action for Children, providing leadership in early childhood education, family economic security and children’s health. Prior to her work at KAC, Christie served as director of external relations for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas and as communications director for former Congressman Dennis Moore. She taught economics to high school students as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. Christie began her career as a business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. Christie currently serves as a member of the USD 345 Seaman Board of Education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business communication and master’s in global and international studies from the University of Kansas.
(785) 246-9381

Photo of Krystal Boxum-Loomis

Krystal Boxum-Loomis

Having been with Children’s Alliance of Kansas since 2013, Krystal Boxum-Loomis transitioned in 2016 to the newly-created position of Director of Operations. In her new role, Krystal works with each program to create system level change for vulnerable populations, enhance service delivery and support our private child welfare providers through statewide partnerships. Krystal is a native Kansan and received her undergraduate degree in Human Services with certificates in Victim/Survivor Services and Morita Therapy from Washburn University.  After working for five years in the victim services field, Krystal returned to school at the University of Kansas, where she earned a Master’s in Public Administration. Krystal has stayed involved with her alma mater, serving on the Washburn University Human Services Advisory Board since 2009.
(785) 246-9384

Photo of Denise Gibson

Denise Gibson

As the Director of National Programs, Denise Gibson is the administrator for Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP). Denise facilitates work groups to enhance and update curriculum, trains child welfare workers, and presents at national conferences. Additionally, she partners with universities on developing and designing on-going MAPP training research. As the lead administrator for MAPP, Denise consults with states and agencies on how to best implement the MAPP program at the local level, design new curriculum updates, and market MAPP to new users. Before coming to work for Children’s Alliance, Denise provided training, consultation and evaluation services for The Achievement Place programs, served as the director of an adult facility that cared for adults with disabilities, and was a Foster Care Case Manager and Professional Development Manager for The Farm, Inc. She earned a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Crime and Delinquency Studies and Spanish as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Life from the University of Kansas. Denise received The Champion of Families Award from the Family Centered Systems of Care in both 2007 and 2008. Her favorite parts about working for Children’s Alliance are meeting people across the nation and helping them.
(785) 246-9380

Photo of Donna Law

Donna Law

Donna Law has been with Children’s Alliance since 1996 when she was the first employee hired by the founding executive director. Having worked as the office manager and database manager, she currently she serves as Manager of Member Services. Donna provides member agencies with training and technical assistance on the course management system, helps foster and adoptive parents enroll in courses that meet their unique needs and ensures the integrity of data for the organization’s multiple reports. While she is the go-to resource for historical information, Donna is always looking to the organization’s future having provided the leadership for the launch of the new database and overseeing ever-changing technology needs. Before coming to Children’s Alliance, Donna worked for eight years as a legal assistant at a Topeka law firm. She is an active member her church where she serves on the board of directors. Donna is passionate about her family, health and fitness.
(785) 246-9383

Photo of Lisa Lummis

Lisa Lummis

Lisa Lummis is the Financial/Human Resource Manager for Children’s Alliance, having joined the Alliance in June 2013. Lisa’s responsibilities include all financial and book keeping matters as well as the duties of a Human Resource Manager. Lisa came to the Alliance with over 30 years of experience in finance and accounting, working for the Kansas Development Finance Authority and Blakely Crop Hail, Inc., a Topeka-based crop insurance company. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA in Accounting from Washburn University. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time on the golf course with her husband and son, and also enjoys quilt-making, cross-stich, and crocheting.
(785) 246-9382

Photo of Trudy O’Shea-Weir

Trudy O’Shea-Weir

Trudy O’Shea-Weir has been with Children’s Alliance of Kansas for fifteen years, starting March 4, 2002. Trudy is the Office Manager and Foster Care Recruitment Coordinator. She oversees the functionality of the office, foster care contacts, and serves as a point of contact for each program including MAPP. Trudy comes from a background in analytical work for Westar Energy, Inc., where she retired from after 22 years. She was a Fuel Analyst for all coal fired power plants in Kansas, starting at the Jeffrey Energy Center in 1980. She earned her degree in Business Management from Baker University. She is involved with numerous activities in her church and has been part of Meals on Wheels for over 25 years.
(785) 246-9379

Photo of Kathy Stepp

Kathy Stepp

Kathy Stepp joined the Children’s Alliance in 2013 as Director of Curricula & Trainer Development. In this role she creates, updates and trains curriculum for both online and in-person delivery. As a Master trainer of MAPP, she travels throughout Kansas and other states to certify MAPP Leaders and Approved Trainers. This has provided her a wonderful opportunity to learn about the foster care system in other states and to connect with many amazing individuals who are devoted to helping children and families in need. Before joining the Children’s Alliance, Kathy had 20 years of experience in child welfare as a foster care worker and as the training coordinator for a foster care program and residential facility. Kathy received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Wichita State University and has several national training certifications.
(785) 246-9385