Carol Olson, Chair of Allen County Multi-Agency Team
Carol was born and raised in Iola, graduating from Iola High School and Allen County Community College. She has 40 years of banking experience, with the last 14 years at Emprise Bank as Branch Manager. Carol has been involved with Allen County Multi-Agency Team (ACMAT) for 7 years serving as Treasurer and accepted the position as ACMAT Chair in Dec 2021. She is committed to ACMAT’s Mission of collaborating with community partners to pool resources to help meet the needs of children and families. She is an active member of Grace Lutheran Church, Grace LWML; serves on the Board of Friends of the Bowlus; and the Allen County Planning Board.
She enjoys camping, being on the water, hiking, walking, reading, music, and spending time with her family.
Marie Parker, Vice Chair
Marie was born and raised in Lawrence, KS (Rock Chalk!) and moved to Iola in 2022. She has worked with the special needs population in a variety of ways all her life. She has a degree in Criminal Justice and works for CASA of the 31st Judicial District (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and has volunteered with them for several years. She is committed to helping her community by being involved in multiple activities that will improve Allen County and SEK for years to come.
Marie is an active member of the Faith Assembly in Humboldt and enjoys serving in her church. She loves animals, being outdoors, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Kristin Wright, Treasurer
Kristin is a Neosho County native that moved to Allen County in 2011 and quickly fell in love with the community! She helped in the foundation ideas for our local Sunday Soups, joined the Humanity House board in 2019, and now acts as the ACMAT treasurer. Kristin’s tool belt includes twelve years of banking experience, which led her to her career in Humboldt as a Branch Manager for Emprise Bank. As cat mom to three and an aunt to fourteen, Kristin’s goals are to keep Allen County thriving so others can pick up on the beauty she did years ago!
Marcia Davis, Secretary
Marcia Davis works as the Director of Community Engagement at Thrive Allen County. She works with the community of La Harpe, Kansas to empower the residents to get involved in local government, speak out, building relationships and community. All to build a better City of La Harpe. Marcia is a graduate of the University of Kansas. Before moving to Iola and working at Thrive Allen County Marcia worked as the Minden, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Director and the Beloit, Kansas Parks and Recreation Director. Marcia enjoys gardening, biking, swimming, exploring Southeast Kansas, and spending time with family and friends.
Michelle Meiwes, Board Member
Michelle was born and raised in Southeast Kansas, graduating from Prairie View High School near LaCygne and Pittsburg State University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She moved to Allen County when she married in 1989 to join her husband to farm cattle and raising our 5 children. Michelle started her employment with Hope Unlimited in November 2000 as the Coordinator of the Child Visitation and Exchange Program. This program was implemented that year in response to a need that was seen by advocates working with victims in Shelter and Outreach. Through the years, she has occupied many positions within the agency and is proud to be a member of the organization and look forward to watching it to continue to grow. The expansion of programs has been implemented to meet the unique needs of victims of intimate partner violence in our service area. Michelle’s employment naturally led her to the ACMAT coalition, and she has been an active member of the coalition since it’s conception. Michelle has served as co-chair of the Allen County Substance Abuse Task Force with Sheriff Bryan Murphy. This committee was formed in response to the needs identified while gathering data for applying for the Drug-Free Communities grant and sought to explore, adopt, and apply policy and procedure throughout Allen County to reduce the use or misuse of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs among the youth in our communities. She has served as past president of ACMAT and continues her involvement as a board member.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her children and grandchildren. She loves to travel and enjoy learning about new cultures and having new experiences. She has a passion for animals and take pride in running bred Quarter Horse foals she has raised and sells each year. She also loves being outside, gardening, and growing flowers in the summertime.
Robin Griffin-Lohman, Board Member
Robin is a Kansas native that moved to Iola in 2019. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in English from Emporia State University, she traveled throughout the US surveying power lines for many years. In 2015, she transitioned into the non-profit world and worked with those that have an intellectual or developmental disability. Currently, she works as the Community Developmental Disabilities Organization Director at Tri-Ko and has a small survey business, Field Systems Contracting, LLC. Robin also has some passion for reducing stigma, especially surrounding substance use and misuse.
Jessica McGinnis – Drug-Free Community Coordinator
Jessica is a Kansas native who moved to Iola in 2012 and serves as the Drug-Free Community Coordinator for Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center and Allen County Multi-Agency Team (ACMAT) coalition. She has over 7 years of experience working in public health with rural communities on addressing substance use prevention, chronic disease reduction, and creating healthy lifestyles. Her passion is promoting health and wellness and improving the quality of life of Allen County residents by building unique partnerships through intentional community engagement. Jessica graduated from Allen Community College. She obtained a Sports and Recreation degree from Ashford University in Iowa. She is currently in the Fort Hays State University Master of Social Work program. Jessica enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her spare time, walking in nature, hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, and boating, trying new recipes, and traveling. She firmly believes all people should have opportunities to live healthy and active life.
Debora J Higginbotham, LMSW, LMAC, and Drug-Free Community Director
Debora is an outpatient therapist located in Iola, KS. She spent eight years as a case manager and supervisor in child welfare in rural Kansas; and two years as a drug and alcohol counselor for outpatient setting level 1 and Intensive treatment with involvement in Drug Court. Debora received her education from The University of Kansas with a Master of Social Welfare and completed an Internship at Elizabeth Layton Center in Ottawa, KS with an emphasis in addition counseling completing the requirement for Certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Her degrees are Master of Social Work/Licensed Master Social Worker State of Kansas and Licensed Master Addiction Counselor State of Kansas.
Teagan Kern – Drug-Free Community Intern
Teagan is originally from South Australia, moving to Southeast Kansas in her childhood. Teagan has lived in Allen County since 2001. Teagan Joined Allen County Multi-Agency Team in 2022 as a Drug-Free Coordinator Intern. Teagan is currently working on her Master of Social Work degree at Fort Hays State University. Teagan earned her Bachelor of Psychology from Fort Hays State University in 2021. Teagan has been employed by the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center as a Children’s Case Manager since 2018. Teagan enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her spare time. She also enjoys reading, traveling, and going to music concerts.