Marcie Gragg



A life-long resident of Independence, Marcie Gragg has served her community as City Council member (District 1) since 2006. Prior to her election to public office, she served on the city's Planning Commission for 10 years, chairing it for 7. Her passion for revitalizing Independence's older and historic neighborhoods drew her to serve as a charter board member of 12 Blocks West. Serving first as it's Vice-Chair, she now serves as Chairman and enjoys connecting the community's needs with the resources of city government.

Dr. Dale Herl



Dr. Dale Herl began serving as Independence School District superintendent in July 2013. Prior to that, Dr. Herl served as ISD deputy superintendent of operations and finance for four years. In his time with the district, he has made it his mission to implement non-traditional ways of saving the district millions of dollars. That includes adding a health clinic for ISD employees. This saves $1.2 million every year in health care costs. Under his leadership, the ISD also became the first school district to be a captive for worker’s compensation insurance, saving more than $500,000 a year. Dr. Herl’s focus on college and career readiness has prompted the implementation of Career Academies in all three high schools, giving ISD students a competitive advantage over their peers. The ISD is being looked to as an example by Ford Next Generation Learning, to allow districts from across the country to learn from the success of the ISD Career Academies. Before joining the Independence School District, Dr. Herl served as superintendent of schools in Burrton, Kansas. The district was one of two nationwide chosen as a model school district by the Department of Education because of its stellar academic growth. Dr. Herl began his career in education as a high school math teacher and coach in the Little River School District in Kansas, before taking a job as principal in the Greeley County School District. Dr. Herl received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He went on to earn his master’s in educational administration from Fort Hays State University and received his doctorate from Wichita State. He is an active member in the Rotary and Lions Club of Independence and is on the Centerpoint Hospital Board of Directors and ISD Foundation Board. Dr. Herl and his wife Becky have four children. His oldest daughter is in college and his younger three children all attend ISD schools. Dr. Herl says he loves the opportunity to impact the lives of children each and every day, “Education is the greatest and most rewarding profession there is and I’m proud to have the opportunity to lead the Independence School District.”

Pastor Bob Spradling



Bob Spradling is one of the pastors of Maywood Baptist Church. He has served Maywood Baptist Church for 31 years. He and his wife, Toni, have three children and two grandchildren who all reside in the Kansas City metro area. Spradling is committed to western Independence. He believes that churches should discover the needs of the community and partner with the community for solutions. It was that conviction that prompted Spradling to lead Maywood Baptist to join the school boundary issue of 2007, where six schools moved from Kansas City to the Independence School District. The same conviction is the reason why he serves western Independence with the other Twelve Blocks West board members. He has served on the board of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, the NorthWest Communities Development Corporation and Twelve Blocks West. He has received awards from the Heartland Community Foundation, Independence Chamber of Commerce, and the Independence School District for his service to people in western Independence. Spradling's greatest joy is to see lives transformed through the efforts of faith-based, business, and not-for-profit organizations.

Pat Turner



Pat Turner joined Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity as the President/CEO in 2010 after working 30 years in the banking industry. Pat earned her Bachelors of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City and a Masters of Science in Management Degree from Baker University. She is also a Lead Faculty Facilitator of Strategic Leadership and Management Disciplines at Baker University, School of Professional and Graduate Studies. In addition, she achieved a certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management from Harvard Business School. Pat serves on several community and civic Boards in Jackson County, including 12 Blocks West.

Terry Atkins



Terry Akins was elected to the office of Business Manager by the membership of IBEW Local Union No. 124 in 2008. His duties include managing the day-to-day affairs of a 2,600 member local union, negotiating contracts with signatory contractors, dispute resolution between labor and management, as well as being active in local, state and national politics as they relate to the construction trades. In addition to his role as Business Manager, Akins is the Vice-President of the Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades Council. Akins also supports labor and management relations by serving on the NECA/IBEW Power Partners’ Labor Management Cooperation Committee. The Power Partners is a unique alliance of electrical contractors and labor in the Greater Kansas City Area, and is comprised of the Kansas City Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association NECA) and the IBEW Local Union No. 124. Involved in the electrical union trade nearly his entire career, Akins was accepted into the electrician’s apprenticeship at IBEW Local 124 following high school, where he completed his Journeyman and Master training. He worked in the field for 16 years as a journeyman wireman, foreman, general foreman and project manager before becoming and apprenticeship instructor in 1996. During the subsequent nine years as an instructor, Akins earned degrees in Industrial Technology, Vocational Teaching and Business Management. Prior to becoming Business Manager, Akins was appointed Business Representative in 2005. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Kansas City Area Development Council and the Governor’s Hawthorne Foundation.

Lynette Wheeler



As Chief Nursing Officer, Lynette Wheeler was responsible for all aspects of nursing service programs, standards of nursing practice including competencies and compliance with all applicable accrediting and regulatory requirements regarding inpatient, ambulatory and specialty programs. 

Wheeler has more than 30 years of combined clinical and management experience. She began her career as a staff nurse in the Coronary Care Unit at Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Cardiopulmonary Vascular Services at Heartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo. In that role, she provided senior administrative leadership and coordination of the development of the Heartland Regional Medical Center Cardiopulmonary Vascular Services Department. She was also instrumental in leading a performance improvement project that saved the health system $4.5 Million over three and half years in multiple practice areas. Prior to her work with the Heartland, she worked as Division Director of Cardiovascular Services at the Prairie Heart Institute/St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill, and Director of Cardiology and Vascular Services for the Nebraska Health System in Omaha, Ne. 

Wheeler will graduate with her DNP in Organizational Leadership from Kansas University Medical Center in May 2016. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and the Missouri Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Alex Gilpin



Alex Gilpin is the pastor of Revive Church which meets at Van horn High School in Independence and is committed to Bringing New Life to the Neighborhood. Alex and Revive love to partner with great organizations in the community as we seek to create sustainable development for those who call Independence home. Alex is married to his high school sweetheart Krystin and have two awesome kids, Nora and Axel.