Karla Lees – President/CEO

Lees brings a comprehensive vision honed through experiences in the military, industrial sales, and active community engagement. A veteran with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, she finds joy in fitness activities and cherishes family moments with her husband, daughters, and their canine companions.

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Shawn Smith – Business & Media Director

Shawn’s childhood was in Dodge City, Kansas, then he moved to Elkins, Arkansas, during middle school, and returned to Jetmore, Kansas, for high school. He graduated from Hodgeman County High School and earned his associate degree from Dodge City Community College and his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University.

Shawn started his career at KS StateBank in Manhattan, Kansas as a teller, then worked at Harborstone Credit Union in Washington State as a loan officer. He returned to Dodge City, transitioning to accounting at Smoll & Banning, CPAs, LLC before joining Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce in November 2022.

In his leisure time, Shawn indulges in family moments, chats with friends, cycling, swimming, snow skiing, hiking, reading, watching movies, and cherishes moments with his dog Winston and cat Ashes.

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Joni Wittman – Events Director

Joni grew up on a farm south of Montezuma and after graduating high school she moved around experiencing life in Seattle, WA, Kansas City, MO and Crested Butte, CO. She returned home to southwest Kansas in 2014.

Joni and her family moved to Dodge City from Meade in 2015 and started working at the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce in 2018.

Joni and her husband Kelly, along with their son Alec enjoy spending time in Red River, New Mexico, going to their family lake house in Council Grove and spending time with their family and friends.

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