Shelly Buhler

Shelly Buhler, Chair

Shelly Buhler was originally appointed to the Washburn University Board of Regents on July 3, 2019, by Governor Laura Kelly.

Buhler is a graduate of Junction City High School and a 1987 graduate of Benedictine College with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Services. She is also a graduate of the University of Kansas Certified Public Manager program, the 2003 Leadership Greater Topeka Class and Leadership Kansas 2009, and the Kansas Association of Counties Institute of Excellence-Foundations in County Government. Formerly, Shelly Buhler was elected and served as Shawnee County Commissioner in 2006, 2010 and again in 2014. Prior to being elected Commissioner, she served as Mayor of Rossville for six years.

Buhler accepted the position as president of Hayden Catholic High School in March of 2018. Hayden is a Roman Catholic High School located in Topeka, Kansas. Currently, Buhler serves on the Hayden Foundation Board of Directors, the Topeka Community Foundation Board of Directors, and the Rossville Community Foundation Board of Directors.

During her career, Buhler was awarded the Kansas Health Foundation Community Health Leadership Award, the 2010 YWCA Women of Excellence Award in the Management Category, the Velma K. Paris Community Service Award, and the 2017 Women of Influence Community Service Award.

She and her husband, Steve, live in rural Shawnee County. Steve is the head football coach at Washburn Rural High School and teaches Journalism. They have three grown children; two of which graduated from Washburn University and one from Benedictine College who is now attending Washburn University School of Law.

Buhler is serving her second term as a Regent, which runs through June 30, 2027.   

John Dicus

John Dicus

John B. Dicus was appointed to the Washburn University Board of Regents in September 2022 by the Kansas Board of Regents. The Kansas Board of Regents member serves a one year term but is eligible for reappointment every September.

After earning his Bachelor of Science degree and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Kansas, Dicus joined Capitol Federal. He served as branch manager, branch coordinator and executive vice president for corporate services prior to being elected President of Capitol Federal in 1996. John was instrumental in the plan to reorganize Capitol Federal to a stock savings association in 1999. In 2003, he became Chief Executive Officer, and in January 2009, he was elected Chairman. He also led Capitol Federal Financial, Inc. as it became a fully public company, completing its second-step conversion in 2010.

Dicus has been honored for his dedication to the financial business community, as well as the community as a whole. Among community honors received are the 2003 Jayhawk Area Council-Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award, 2008 Living the Dream, Inc. Community Leadership Award, and the 2010 Sales and Marketing Executives, Inc. Executive of the Year Award. In March 2014, Ingram's magazine honored John Dicus, listing him among "50 Kansans You Should Know". In 2015, Dicus was inducted into the Topeka Business Hall of Fame, sponsored by Junior Achievement.

Dicus serves on various community boards, including the Kansas Board of Regents, Kansas Bankers Association, and Greater Topeka Partnership.

John Dietrick

John Dietrick, Vice Chair

John R. Dietrick is a mayoral appointee from the 20th state senatorial district, being named to the Board in 2021 by Mayor Michelle De La Isla.

John received his Bachelor of Arts from Washburn University and Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law. He also received his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. Dietrick has extensive corporate, insurance, employment and labor law experience spanning more than 40 years and offers legal services through The Law Offices of John R. Dietrick, P.A. Dietrick is admitted to practice law in Kansas and Louisiana and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, American Bar, Kansas Bar, and the Louisiana State Bar Associations.

He and his wife established the John and Kristina Dietrick Law Scholarship at the School of Law in 2010. Dietrick has served on several boards including the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, the Washburn Ichabod Athletic Fund, the Capper Foundation, the School of Law Board of Governors, and the Topeka Collegiate School. Dietrick is also a veteran who served two tours in Viet Nam as a helicopter pilot.

His term will expire June 30, 2025.

Jake Fisher

Jake Fisher

Jake Fisher was appointed to the Washburn Board of Regents by the Shawnee County Commission in June of 2023. He currently serves as the Assistant Election Commissioner for Shawnee County. Previously, he served as Legislative Liaison for the Kansas Corporation Commission. Prior to working for the KCC, Jake was a partner in Cook & Fisher, LLP, a general practice law firm.

Jake also served two terms on the Silver Lake Board of Education and currently serves on the Silver Lake City Council, Shawnee County Fire District 1 Board, and the Azura Credit Union Supervisory Committee. He earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Washburn University. While at Washburn, he was active in student government and Alpha Delta Fraternity. Jake and his wife, Tiffany, have two children and reside in Silver Lake.

His term as a Regent runs through June 30, 2027.

Craig Hulse

Craig Hulse

Craig Hulse was appointed by Governor Laura Kelly in July 2020 to serve as a member of the Washburn Board of Regents.

Mr. Hulse graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 2015. He works in government affairs and public policy. He resides in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

His term as a Regent will expire June 30, 2024.  

John Nave

John Nave

John Nave, a dedicated leader committed to public service and community development, was appointed to the Washburn Board of Regents in November 2022 by Mayor Padilla.  Nave serves as the Executive Vice President of the Kansas AFL-CIO, advocating for over 300 unions.

A former Topeka City Council member (2003-2007), Nave graduated from Leadership Greater Topeka, the National Leadership Development Training Program with the National Institute of Corrections. He attended Washburn University from 1977 to 1980, granting him invaluable insights into the institution's values.

Nave's contributions extend beyond politics and labor relations. He has been a long-time board member of Living the Dream Inc., earning the Community Action Award in 2008. In 2019, he received the Fannie Lou Hamer Award for his exceptional efforts on behalf of the African American Democratic Caucus of Kansas.

His involvement in community organizations is extensive, serving on the boards of the American Red Cross, Golden City Sertoma, and the Volunteer Center of Topeka. He was also a member of the KDOT/Topeka Aesthetics Design Committee, and a member of the Working Kansas Alliance Executive Board. Governor Kelly appointed Nave to the Workers Compensation and Employment Security Boards Nominating Committee, responsible for selecting appeal judges for worker's compensation and unemployment benefit cases. In 2020 Governor Kelly appointed him to the Commission on Racial Equity and Justice.

Additionally, Nave's passion for empowering the youth led to his selection for the Kansas Youth Apprenticeship Collaborative (KYAC), partnered with the National Governors Association (NGA) and Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA).

His term as a Regent is to expire June 30, 2024.

Mike Padilla

Mike Padilla

Mayor Michael A. Padilla was sworn in January 4, 2022, having served as a city councilmember before seeking the mayor's seat. He is a second generation Mexican American and one of five sons to parents born in Kansas.  Padilla began a career with the Topeka Police Department and attended Washburn University. He joined the Navy Reserve while with the police department. Padilla is the co-founder of Shawnee County Safe Streets. He has served on the Salvation Army Board and recently co-founded an after-school boxing program for boys and girls. The program, the Three Badges Boxing Club, serves a largely Hispanic population and partners with the Topeka Police Department and the Topeka Fire Department. Padilla was selected to serve on the Kansas Supreme Court Blue Ribbon Commission to address how the Kansas Supreme Court could better connect with the citizens statewide. He served on the Governor's Commission on Racial Profiling in policing. He has been a board member of the Meals on Wheels program, YMCA Metro board, Midland Care Hospice board, Mayor's Council on Diversity, and provided cultural awareness training to all city employees.

After retiring as a Division Commander Major from the Topeka Police Department, Padilla was appointed by Governor Sebelius as Chief of Enforcement for the Kansas Department of Revenue. At the Department of Revenue, Padilla identified a need for improved compliance with both liquor and tobacco tax law enforcement. He created a new unit and expanded coverage across the state to increase both compliance and revenue. After serving 10-1/2 years and through two administrations, Padilla then retired to run for elected office.

Padilla serves on the Momentum 2022 and Momentum 2027 initiatives. This collaboration is part of the Greater Topeka Partnership. He is a member of the Joint Economic and Development Organization, JEDO, a partnership with the Shawnee County Commission and the City of Topeka Governing Body.

Angel Romero

Angel Romero

Angel Romero was appointed to the Washburn Board of Regents by Governor Kelly effective August 1, 2022.

Romero serves as the Vice President for Resource Development at United Way of Kaw Valley. In his role, he oversees all United Way fundraising activities, including workplace campaign, major giving, planned gifts, and grants. Prior to coming to United Way, he worked in data collection for the Kansas Board of Regents.

Romero moved to Topeka in 2006 to attend Washburn University. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and went on to graduate from Washburn School of Law in 2013 with a Juris Doctorate, making him a proud double-Ichabod alum. He serves on various community boards, including Capital Area Crime Stoppers, and the Jayhawk Area Council-Boy Scouts of America. In addition, he serves on the board for the Kansas Association for Youth Alumni Network and spends one week each summer mentoring high school students at KAY Leadership Camp. He is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Greater Topeka, a 2011 20-Under-40 honoree, and a member of the 2022 class of Leadership Kansas.

His term as a Regent is to expire June 30, 2026.

Jennifer Sourk

Jennifer Sourk

Jennifer Sourk has served on the Washburn University Board of Regents since her original appointment on July 1, 2011, by Mayor William Bunten to represent the 18th state senatorial district. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in 2002, followed by her Juris Doctorate in 2005, and a Master of Business Administration in Business in 2008.  Jennifer is married to Grant Sourk, with two children and resides in Topeka, Kansas.

Jennifer serves as General Counsel for Midwest Health, Inc. where she oversees the legal affairs, strategic business transactions, risk management and compliance for more than 10 years of service with the company.  She is actively engaged in the Washburn community and the city of Topeka.  She has served in leadership positions as a board member of several community organizations such as Downtown Topeka, Inc., Downtown Topeka Foundation, Topeka Community Foundation and a past-president of the Junior League of Topeka reflecting her dedication to philanthropy and community service.  Jennifer also serves on the board of Vision/Community National Bank.

Sourk has been reappointed four times and her current term as a Regent runs through June 30, 2027.

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