October 23, 2023
The Bennington State Bank (BSB), a leading independent community bank in Central Kansas, is proud to announce that Debra Adams, VP, Treasury Management Officer, graduated from the prestigious 2023 Leadership Kansas program in Topeka Kansas on Friday, October 20.
Adams was honored with the 2023 Distinguished Leadership Award during the graduation ceremony. This esteemed award, selected by the Leadership Kansas Executive Team, is given to one outstanding member of the Leadership Kansas class who exemplifies exceptional leadership qualities and has made a profound impact in the community.
“Deb absolutely deserves this award for so many reasons,” stated Jessalyn Hollenbeck, Director, Education Foundation, Kansas Chamber of Commerce. “The Distinguished Leadership Award goes to one classmate of 40 that shows great leadership skills. This individual motivates, inspires, guides the class toward achieving goals, shows cohesiveness, is respectful of others, shows enthusiasm, problem-solves and is a role model. Recipients are celebrated for their positive impact on others and the world around them.”
Hollenbeck further emphasized Adams’ commendable attributes, noting, “Deb showed us how wonderful she is through many different experiences throughout this journey. She cares and showed respect to her classmates, is involved in her community, became greatly involved in the Salina area session, celebrated others and their achievements, had meaningful conversations, and leaned into this process fully.”
Brett Mitchell, BSB Chief Banking Officer, commended Adams stating, “Debbie’s leadership and commitment to delivering solutions that enhance our customer experience make her the perfect fit at BSB and for Leadership Kansas. Her well-deserved recognition in the Leadership Kansas program is a testament to her exceptional abilities.”
Reflecting on her experience, Adams stated, “Participating in the Leadership Kansas Program has been an incredibly humbling and enriching experience. I am deeply honored to have been selected for this opportunity. The insights, connections, and skills I have gained in Leadership Kansas are invaluable,” said Adams.
Rafael Mendez, VP of Customer Culture at Blue Beacon, is a Leadership Kansas Alum from Salina and the individual who nominated Adams for the program. Mendez highlighted the significance of the Leadership Kansas program. “The Leadership Kansas program is a highly prestigious 7-month program. It is an initiative of the Kansas Chamber. Accomplished leaders attend monthly 2.5-day sessions in different communities across the state. They acquire valuable insights into the key issues affecting Kansas and its people.”
Mendez further commented on Leadership Kansas holding a session in Salina stating,” This year, Salina was selected to host an official session for the first time. This achievement was made possible by the generous support and sponsorship from the community.”
As the Salina local chair for Leadership Kansas, Mendez expressed his pride in nominating Adams’ for Leadership Kansas. “I was honored to nominate Debra Adams for consideration for this year’s class. She was not only selected among 40 accomplished leaders out of 500 nominations, but her ability to lead, connect, and elevate those around her throughout their time together stood out. She was recognized by being named the Distinguished Leader award for this year’s class. I am proud of Debra and how she represented herself, her company, and the community of Salina. Debra is a fellow alum and, more importantly, a friend. I look forward to strengthening this connection between Salina and Leadership Kansas for years to come.
Darren Gragg, CEO and President of Bennington State Bank commented, “It’s no surprise that Debbie was selected for the 2023 Leadership Kansas program. Her work ethic, connection to community and innate ability to build relationships makes her the perfect candidate for this experience.”