Social Media Club of Kansas City Elects First Executive Board

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Social Media Club of Kansas City announced the results of their first-ever Executive Board elections at their monthly breakfast in October 2009.

Through their Ning community, hundreds of SMCKC members nominated candidates and voted for President and Vice President and board positions in Awareness, Education, Advocacy, Industry Leadership and Technology categories.

Social media use is growing at an accelerated rate, with over 75 percent of online adults in the U.S. interacting with social technology on a regular basis, according to Forrester Research. Newly elected SMCKC president, Lisa Qualls, said giving the local group official leadership will further legitimize the use of social media in the local business community.

“SMCKC started as a grass roots effort less than two years ago and has since experienced tremendous growth,” Qualls said. “With a membership of over 800, and as more businesses begin to use social media, having a well-organized group creates opportunities for members to assist these companies and find new methods for connecting online communities.”

The elected board:

• President: Lisa Qualls

• Vice President: Ryan Flannagan

• Industry Leadership Chair: Mike Burns

• Awareness Chair: Whitney Mathews

• Technology Chair: Jeff Smith

• Education Chair: Mark VanBaale

• Advocacy Chair: Jenn Bailey

• Board Advisor: Ed Roberts

The Executive Board members bring a diverse set of valuable skills to the organization. The group comes from all areas of Kansas City and as far west as Topeka, bringing knowledge in technology, media, project management, marketing and business. The board will focus on making SMCKC networking and education events easily accessible to every interested person in the Kansas City area, as well as highlighting the talent and vision of SMCKC members and cementing the region’s reputation as a national hub for social media innovation.

The next SMCKC breakfast will be held at the Kansas City Café (1532 Grand) on November 6, 2009 at 7:30 a.m.

Twitter: @socialmediakc

Social Media Club of Kansas City Executive Board
Lisa Qualls, President – Lisa is co-founder and Chief Development Officer of LightThread, LLC, a next generation strategy, interactive services and web development firm specializing in optimizing business performance and brand. She brings significant professional experience in technology, sales, product development, program management and business operations. Lisa serves as author for two blogs, speaks on social media topics at various events, and enjoys helping businesses learn how new media and technology can make a positive impact to their bottom line. You can find her on Twitter: @lqualls4444

Ryan Flannagan, Vice President – Ryan is the President of Myriad Tech LLC, creating and launching such products as TweetNewz and, featured at TechCrunch 50, Demopit 2008 and South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive VIP Room 2009. Ryan also has strong technical expertise, including over four years of experience in social media and project management. He has helped organize the Kansas City Ruby User Group and is an active member of the Lawrence Twitter Group. You can find him on Twitter: @ryanflannagan

Mike Burns, Industry Leadership Chairperson – Mike works as a marketing manager for Shawnee-based Perceptive Software where he applies his 13 years of experience in business communications, proposal development and contract management. He has served as a web editor for The Sporting News Online and, worked as a proposal manager for Sprint-Nextel, and is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. You can find him on Twitter: @wrytir

Whitney Mathews, Awareness Chairperson – Whitney is an Online Consultant in social media strategy for the industry-leading Lawrence Journal-World. She works with local and regional businesses to develop and manage their online communities. Whitney studied multimedia journalism at the University of Kansas and was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award for her online coverage of the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Union Station. She authors a personal blog, speaks on social media at various events and brings an unrivaled passion for Jayhawk athletics to the SMCKC executive board. You can find her on Twitter: @whitneymathews

Jeff Smith, Technology Chairperson – Jeff is a blogger, podcaster and geek. He is a fan of all things social media, technology and the social tools available for us to use for work and play. Jeff’s blog ( has gained so much regional attention that he was recently invited to live Tweet from the Kansas City Chiefs press box. You can follow him and his technology discoveries on Twitter: @jeffisageek

Mark VanBaale, Education Chairperson – Mark loves to connect and interact with people and communities via social media. He has served as chairperson for two Kansas City Twestivals, most recently raising money for Wayside Waifs in September 2009. Mark loves to mentor and help others learn how to use social media tools to improve communication among businesses, friends or strangers. You can find him on Twitter @markvanbaale

Jenn Bailey, Advocacy Chairperson – Jenn is a native Rhode Islander who lived in a number of towns before landing in Kansas. She is an active speaker and head of The Social Lites, a business focused on social media education and consultation. When not Tweeting Jenn writes children’s books and roams the world on freelance photography assignments. You can find her on Twitter: @jennbailey

Ed Roberts, SMCKC Founder – Ed is the founder and former lead organizer of SMCKC. He now serves as an advisor to the Executive Board. Ed is a former broadcast meteorologist and the co-owner of LRC Weather, LLC. He is also an award-winning podcaster. You can find his daily Kansas City Weather podcast at You can find him on Twitter: @EdRoberts

Media Contact
Whitney Mathews
Cell: (785) 979-7842
Twitter: @whitneymathews