50 Kansans You Should Know 2013

When it comes to Leadership, Kansas Keeps the Pipeline Flowing

When Ingram's Launched its 40 Kansans You Should Know feature in 2011, we met several arched eyebrows from The Doubters. They wondered whether the momentum from such recognition could be sustained for more than a year or two. 

To which we reply: Do the math. Let’s just assume that just one-10th of 1 percent of a given population will consistently yield accomplished leaders in business, education, public office or artistic and cultural venues. In a state of 2.8 million people, that would amount to 2,800 people. Which means we’d run short of likely subjects in . . . 2067. We’ll get back to you on how that turned out.

For now, the third installment of 50 Kansans has shown us exactly what the two previous versions did: That the Sunflower State is absolutely brimming with high achievers, critical thinkers and visionaries who understand and embrace values they consider typically Kansan—hard work, self-reliance, entrepreneurship, friendliness and an unmatched sense of honesty, integrity, care and compassion. As you read about this year’s honorees, you’ll see those traits come shining through again and again.

The funny thing is, these people are not the products of a giant genetic cookie-cutter. Regardless of ethnicity, regardless of gender, regardless of political orientation or the size of the communities they call home, almost every one of them has drawn on the same characteristics to make his or her mark on the state.

We hope you’ll find their stories as informative—and as inspirational—as we have.