Joseph L. Uhlman is a new attorney at Adrian & Pankratz, P.A.

Uhlman graduated from University of Kansas School of Law in 2018. During law school, he was the Chief Justice of the Court of Parking Appeals, a Justice on the Student Senate Court of Appeals, was a member of the Law Review, Moot Court, and Mock Trial councils.

He served both as an intern in the Harvey County Attorney’s office, and as a prosecutor in the McPherson County Attorney’s office before joining the firm.

Uhlman was awarded first place in the Center for Alcohol Policy’s national legal writing contest in 2018.

Before going to law school, Uhlman served in the fire service for 15 years and was the fire chief of Sedgwick. During that time, he was a member of the Harvey County Emergency Services Association, the Harvey County Communications Advisory Board and served as an instructor for fire and EMS courses in the Sedgwick and Halstead area.

Uhlman continues to volunteer for his hometown fire department and has great pride in the high quality of emergency services throughout Harvey County.


Hutchinson Community Foundation announced the hire of Dell Marie Shanahan Swearer as chief operating officer.

She will join a seven-person staff led by President and CEO Aubrey Abbott Patterson on April 15. Among her duties as COO, Swearer will oversee regulatory compliance, fund administration, gift stewardship, contracts and operations staff.

“As an attorney, trust administrator and long-time community foundation board member, Dell is uniquely qualified for this new role that will move Hutchinson Community Foundation to the next level of organizational effectiveness and impact for our community. I am thrilled to have her join our team,” Patterson said.

Swearer brings 25 years of trust administration to her new position, serving for nearly 13 years as vice president and private client advisor at Commerce Bank and 13 years as vice president and trust officer at First National Bank of Hutchinson.

Before her career in banking, she was an associate attorney at Dennis O. Smith Chtd., and a partner at Branine, Chalfant & Hill, both of Hutchinson.

Swearer has served on various Reno County boards, most recently for six years as a member of the community foundation’s board of directors, where she chaired the Audit and Donor Focus committees and served on the Governance Committee.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration management from Southwestern College, a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law and attended the National Graduate Trust School, where she achieved the status of certified trust and financial advisor.

Swearer lives in Hutchinson and has two children: Jackson of Hutchinson and Sarah of St. Louis.

Hutchinson Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to inspiring philanthropy, collaboration and innovative leadership to strengthen Reno County communities. Since 1989, the foundation has granted more than $70 million for the benefit of Reno County.


The City of Hutchinson announced it has filled two important staff positions.

City Manager John Deardoff announced the selection of Datjaeda Moore as the City’s new Human Relations Officer, and Ryan Hvitlok has been named the City’s new Planning Director.

Under the supervision of the City Manager, Moore will be responsible for administering the Human Relations Ordinance pertaining to anti-discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations in cooperation with the Human Relations Commission.

Moore comes to the City with more than 10 years of professional experience in communications, community relations and human resources, most recently as Director of Human Resources at Kansas Neurological Institute.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Colorado and expects to complete her master’s degree in Human Resource Management through Capella University later this year.

Hvitlok, who is expected to start in May, comes to the City with more than 10 years of municipal and regional planning experience, most recently as City Planner for the City of Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

He holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Minnesota State University, as well as bachelors’ degrees in Political Science and Sociology from Winthrop University.

Hvitlok is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, American Planning Association and is Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Certified.


GREAT BEND – Two Sunflower Diversified Services employees are among only 14 people selected as candidates for a special statewide leadership event.

Lacie Gibson and Cody Harris will participate in the Grassroots Advocacy Leadership Academy (GALA) April 11-12 in Topeka. Their colleagues nominated them at Sunflower, a non-profit agency that serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities and delays.

Gibson started her Sunflower career as a direct-care staff member and was promoted to training/advocacy manager. She coordinates the agency’s Aktion Club whose members provide community service and advocate for others. Also, Gibson teaches many courses designed for staff members. Her courses geared to clients include rights and responsibilities, grief and loss, and many others.

Harris has coordinated the local Disability Mentoring Day activities for the last three years and recently was selected as the Kansas state coordinator for the annual event. He also helps Families Together by providing training in western Kansas.

Also, Harris is a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and a member of Barton County Young Professionals. In both positions, he advocates for clients at Sunflower. He also assists with client education and personal-development services, as well as serving as the primary provider of community-employment opportunities. He is a member of Sunflower’s leadership team and supervises and mentors more than 20 staff members who provide day services.

InterHab, the Kansas organization that supports Sunflower and similar agencies, sponsors GALA. Participants will learn from legislators, policy makers, media professionals and advocates.


HAYS – After serving as president of Fort Hays State University for 27 years, Dr. Edward H. Hammond was named President Emeritus of Fort Hays State by the Kansas Board of Regents. Current FHSU President Tisa Mason nominated Hammond, who was then selected by the board to receive the prestigious designation.

While leading the institution for nearly three decades, Hammond was influential in moving FHSU into the 21st century. Digitizing the campus, establishing a partnership with universities in China, and creating the FHSU Virtual College, which now offers over 200 accredited online degrees and certificates, are just a few of the numerous accomplishments that occurred with Hammond at the helm.

Hammond announced in October 2013 that he would be retiring the next June, after he had turned 70. Following his retirement, Hammond began teaching classes in the Department of Advanced Education Programs and is the program director for the higher education student affairs curriculum.