True Blue Women Board of Directors

Vivian Gibbens, President

Vivian is a lifelong resident of Johnson County. She is a graduate of Kansas State University with a B.A. in Modern Languages and Secondary Ed. While her children were growing up she was primarily involved in their activities. From 1991 through 2005 she was involved with Habitat for Humanity/Kansas City, MO and led the Harmony House group. In 1996, after seeing An Inconvenient Truth, she felt a sense of urgency in bringing awareness to the seriousness of global warming. In 2006 she joined True Blue Women and the Environment Committee. In recent years she has focused her attention on social justice issues. In her spare time she enjoys getting together with friends, watching documentaries and going to concerts, especially jazz. She is pleased to serve as President on the Board of Directors, a group she has admired since joining TBW in 2006.

Jennifer Byer, Environment Chair

Jennifer studied French and Spanish at Kansas State University, then earned an M.A. at KU in English as a Second Language education. A self-described language geek, she previously taught English as a Second Language, Spanish and French to students of all ages. 

Currently, in addition to her role as chair of the TBW Environment Committee, Jennifer is a member of the board of the Kansas Natural Resource Council and serves as neighborhood coordinator for a pilot residential food composting program. The environmental issues she is most passionate about include renewable energy, air and water quality and solid waste reduction. She draws inspiration from her eco-pals – the smart, fun, dedicated members of the TBW Environment Committee!

Shirley English

I was thrilled to find the True Blue Women Environmental Committee and connect with other women who are passionate about caring for our planet. The Missouri group of True Blue Women is also active and involved in Missouri politics. I spent several years working for the Santa Fe Railway and then as a school counselor. I live in Lee's Summit with my husband Rex, and our dog, Gus. My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family and friends. I like reading, learning about other cultures and traveling. The issues that I am most concerned about are the welfare of our children, animals and taking care of the earth for those who come after us.

Dawn Olney, Past President
Dawn has been a member of True Blue Women since 2005, when she saw a TBW sign in Julie's yard: Value Tolerance, Celebrate Commitment. She has served as a board member for two years. She has a BS in Chemistry and Master's Degree in Liberal Arts, is married to Brad, and stayed home to raise their two daughters, now adults living in the Johnson County area. Her volunteer activities include tutoring GED classes for Johnson County Community College and she just started volunteering for Planned Parenthood as an educator. Her top interest is social justice, which was a driving force in her Liberal Arts classes and degree. She is also a committed environmentalist, although she has failed at composting three times. She enjoys walking her dog at the off leash park in Shawnee Mission Park; music, especially Broadway musicals; history; spending time with family and friends; conversation; and wishes she could play the piano better. 

Kim Olson, VP Finance - Treasurer

Kim has been on the TBW board since 2008 and is a former chair of the environment committee. She has a B.A. in environmental studies from KU and has worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 1989. She is a proud tree-hugger, is passionate about recycling, and loves finding great deals at thrift stores. New is overrated! In her spare time, she loves spending time with her husband and two cats, sharing meals with good friends and exercising, especially trail running. 

Colette Panchot, Programming Coordinator

I am honored to be part of the True Blue Women's Board of Directors after being a member of the Environment Committee. I enjoy the camaraderie of the smart and involved women I have met through TBW, and I serve on the programming arm of the board. I am the Director of Sales and Marketing at Lakeview Village, Kansas' largest retirement community. I have a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master or Science degree in Social Gerontology from the University of Central Missouri. I am originally from St. Louis, but consider myself an honorary Kansas Citian after living here more than 30 years. Go Royals! I enjoy traveling far and wide with my spouse, Melissa, and we often arrive home to find the best adventure is just around the corner in our beautiful city and the surrounding countryside.

Lesa has a Master’s in Social Welfare as well as a B.G.S. in speech, language, hearing and B.S.W. from the University of Kansas. She has worked in various areas of social work including the KC Free Health Clinic and Solace House, a center for grief and loss. She has a strong interest in policy, community organizing and being an environmentalist. Lesa has two sons, one at KU and one heading to SM North next year. She volunteers with SM North All School Booster Club and North Drama Club as well as at the elementary.  She is the Outreach Coordinator at MainStream Coalition. Lesa enjoys independent films, improv, camping, hiking, and listening to music with her husband and sons. One of her favorite quotes is “Well-behaved women seldom make history” -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. 

Jeanie Schiefelbusch, VP Administration - Secretary

Jeanie is the vice-president, administration and is a founding True Blue Women member. She works for Juniper Gardens Children's Project (part of KU), which is a community-based research program in Kansas City, Kansas, which works with low-income children and families. She has two children in the Shawnee Mission schools, and among other things she enjoys KU basketball and gardening.

Mary Sgroi

Mary is a former chair of the health care committee, as well as a True Blue Women founding member. She is an R.N., with an  M.S. from KU, who practiced in critical care and has an interest in bioethics. She has two children, one at KU and another recently graduated from Wellesley College. Her interests include health policy, gardening and floral design, reading and literacy, theatre, and travel. 

Judy Sherry

Judy served as Co-President of True Blue Women and coordinates TBW on the Missouri side of the state line. When not doing volunteer work, she heads the Judy Sherry Consortium, a Kansas City advertising agency. Judy has a B.S. in agriculture from MU – this nice girl from Chicago came to Missouri to major in fashion merchandising, and found herself in the school of Agriculture! Judy and her husband Steve have two children and four grandchildren – and they all live in Kansas City! In her free time Judy enjoys spending time with her family, working out, taking part in politics and participating in her book club.  In 2013, Judy co-founded a local chapter of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence and currently serves as President of the group. Judy feels fortunate that her passion for common sense gun laws fits very well with the mission of True Blue Women to educate and advocate about important issues.

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True Blue Women
P.O. Box 8065
Prairie Village, Kansas 66208
True Blue Women is a 501(c)(4) organization. All contributions are non-tax deductible. 
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