Karla Lees – President/CEO

Karla grew up in California where she competed in sports, gymnastics, and cheer before enlisting in the US Navy after high school, following in her grandparent’s footsteps. While in the Navy Karla was stationed on the USS Nimitz as a Machinist Mate in the Reactor Department.

Following her career in the Navy, Karla obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University.

In 2016, Karla moved to Dodge City where she has been involved in the community in both Non-Profit and Industrial positions. During her free time Karla enjoys working out and spending time with her family and pets.

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Shawn Smith – Business & Media Relations Coordinator 

Shawn was born in Dodge City, Kansas and has resided in many different places since he was born. He lived in Dodge City most of his childhood until he was in middle school when his family moved to Elkins, Arkansas. He moved back to Jetmore, Kansas when he was a junior in high school and graduated from Hodgeman County High School. He attended community college in Dodge City where he received his associates degree. After he graduated from DCCC, he moved to Manhattan, Kansas where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in financial services.

After graduating from Kansas State University, he started his career in the banking industry at KS StateBank in Manhattan. He eventually moved to Washington State for a few years and worked for Harborstone Credit Union while living there. He decided to move back to Dodge City so he could be closer to his family and started working in accounting for Smoll & Banning, CPAs, LLC before joining the Chamber in November of 2022.
During his off time, Shawn likes to spend time with his family, talk and hang out with his friends, ride his bike, swim, snow ski, hike, read, watch movies, and enjoys spending time with his cats as he is an animal lover.

Shawn is ecstatic to be employed for the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce and to see what the future will hold for him during his time working for the Chamber.

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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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