Business Buzz

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Johnson named Prairie View President/CEO

Prairie View recently announced Marcy Johnson. EdS. LCPC, as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. She will officially join the Prairie View staff May 10.

“We look forward to welcoming Marcy to Prairie View and supporting her in helping to fulfill our important mission,” said John Waltner, Prairie View Board of Directors chairperson.

Marcy Johnson. EdS. LCPC

A native of Medicine Lodge, Johnson has a worked in the behavioral health field for over 17 years as a direct service clinician, mid-level manager and executive. She most recently served as Vice President of Treatment Services (Chief Clinical Officer) at Mirror, Inc., where she was responsible for clinical and budgetary performance for 18 locations throughout the state of Kansas. During her time at Mirror, Inc., employee turnover decreased, telehealth services were implemented and services expanded, including the opening of three new facilities.

As her career unfolded in Newton, she became increasingly aware of Prairie View’s legacy and mission.

“Prairie View’s mission is succinctly aligned with my vision for helping not only people, but communities,” Johnson said. “Prairie View is one of many leading components to the success of community investment. I want to be a part of that.

“I want to help lead an organization that finds value in the communities and the people we serve, working collaboratively with other partners to make them the best communities possible.”

Self-described as a futuristic thinker, Johnson says she excels at identifying areas within an agency where growth opportunities exist.

“Mental health care should be a priority in schools, homes, companies and communities,” she said. “The growth of mental health awareness and the need for mental health care has been amazing. However, at the same time, there is still work to be done. Prairie View will serve as one of many to answer the need for advancement of mental health care through awareness, education and treatment.”

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Emporia State University and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She continued her education with a post-master’s Education Specialist in School Counseling degree, also from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

She is a member of the American Counseling Association and National Association of Professional Women.

Johnson hopes to continue the legacy that has been established and to continue the clinical work that is being done.

“My goal is to serve as a good steward of the mission and values of Prairie View, to evaluate needs, and answer the call to help where we can,” she said.

Meridian Center chef hired

The city of Newton recently announced the addition of Chef Reuben Garcia to the Meridian Center team.

Garcia has over 20 years of experience cooking in a conference environment. Garcia first day was April 12; he passed his inspection on April 13

His hiring is timely; due to the elimination of mass gathering restrictions, Hospitality Director Michael Lunsford reports that booking activity at the Center has picked up, with over $20,000 in revenue in  two weeks.

Annual meeting planned

The Warkentin House Annual Membership meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. April 25  at the museum, 211 E 1st St,

The Rolling Greek Food Truck will be parked on-site and there will be a free concert by the Hearts 4 Him singing group outside on the porch. The museum will be open for tours and anyone interested in the house is welcome to attend between 4 and 6 p.m.

The museum is seeking volunteers willing to serve as docents. Please contact them if you are interested. Those willing to serve must be able to pass a background check. For more information call 316-283-3113

KDOT seeks public comments on draft Long Range Transportation Plan

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is providing Kansans a 30-day public comment period on the draft 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The plan provides a 25-year statewide vision for the future of transportation in Kansas. Comments can be made until May 18 by visiting

The draft plan inventories the state’s transportation system that includes highways, transit, rail, air and active transportation elements. It also identifies issues and trends that will influence the transportation system over the next 25 years such as technology advances, digital access, connections between health and transportation, the economy, demographics and the durability of the infrastructure.

In addition, the LRTP outlines ways KDOT and its partners can support prosperity and quality of life for all Kansans by:  

•           Making travel safer

•           Preserving the system

•           Creating a more responsive project pipeline

•           Delivering programs more effectively

•           Designing practical improvements

•           Leveraging KDOT’s partnerships with stakeholders

•           Preparing for the future of tech-enabled infrastructure

•           Continuing commitments to multimodal programs; and

•           Supporting economic development and job growth

The draft LRTP was created with extensive input from citizens and transportation stakeholders across Kansas during KDOT’s 2019 Local Consult meetings. KDOT also conducted series of stakeholder webinars during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a wide range of key transportation partners, human service providers and tribal organizations.