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Van Williams, Public Information Officer
Van Williams, spokesperson for the City of Wichita, joined local government in May 2005 after spending 16 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist at the Wichita Eagle where he was a college sportswriter, news editor, election editor and City Hall/investigative reporter. He’s a native of Wichita who graduated from Wichita State University, where he also studied U.S. History in graduate school.
Williams is a board member of the Kansas Health Institute; The Kansas African-American Museum; Real Men, Real Heroes, a youth-mentoring and tutoring organization, and Hard Hitters Youth Boxing Club. He has served several youth mentoring organizations, including the YMCA’s Black Achievers program, Consider Opportunities in a Professional Environment (C.O.P.E), and the Jabara Family’s VE²NTUREKIDS entrepreneurial program. He is a member of the Leadership Wichita 2007 class.
Lauragail Locke, Marketing Services Director
Prior to joining the City of Wichita in February of 2008, Lauragail worked as a reporter/substitute anchor for the local NBC affiliate, KSN News for five years. While at KSN she served as the City of Wichita/Sedgwick County government reporter. Lauragail also held the position of weekend anchor/reporter at the NBC affiliate in Topeka, KS. During her time as journalist she won first and second place awards for her reporting from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. She also spent a year at the local ABC affiliate, KAKE News as an assignment editor and graphics assistant. Lauragail is a graduate of Wichita State University and Butler County Community College.
Ken Evans, Strategic Communications Director
Prior to joining the City Manager staff in March 2015, Ken served seven years in strategic communications for Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., a major supplier to Boeing and Airbus, with headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. In April 2012, Ken led the award-winning Spirit communications team response to an EF3 tornado. The company stock price fell just 1% five days after a plant shutdown, its largest customers publicly praised Spirit for rapid recovery, which actually reinforced brand strength. Communications throughout the crisis garnered honors for media relations and social media (PRDaily) and crisis communications (MarCom Gold). When new Spirit CEO Larry Lawson joined the company in 2013, Ken helped communicate the company transformation and launch a new Spirit brand in the 2013 Annual Report, and was awarded a CEO Challenge Coin.
Ken served as Communications Director for Jackson County, Missouri from 1998-2008, receiving a Local Emmy for parks marketing and numerous public service awards. Experience has also included stints in state government, advertising/public relations, and local and network TV news. Ken attended Kansas State University and graduated with honors from the Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, he is proud to be a fifth-generation Wichitan.
Tyler Schiffelbein, City7 Producer
Tyler joined the City of Wichita Communications team in May of 2008. He is in charge of producing, shooting and editing all videos for City7. He broadcasts the weekly City Council meetings and helps coordinate special events. Prior to his position with the City, he was a photographer at KAKE-TV in Wichita, KS. While employed there he was responsible for shooting, editing, lighting, and live truck operation. He began his career in May of 2004 at KAKE’s bureau in Garden City, KS as an intern. In Oct. of 2004 he moved to Wichita and became a morning show video producer, and by Jan. of 2005 became a photographer. Tyler graduated from Full Sail Real World Education in Winter Park, FL with an Associates of Science in Film. There he worked on both 16mm and 35mm short films. He is currently seeking Bachelors in Management in Information Systems at Fort Hays State University.