Kristen grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. She graduated from Shawnee Mission South Highschool and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Emporia State University in December of 2002. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Kansas State University in May of 2005. She has lived in Salina Kansas since the fall of 2003. At that time, she was a full-time graduate student with a teaching assistantship. After graduation, she began working for the Ottawa County Health Center as their HR Director.
After three years, Kristen took a position as Director of Youth Services at Trinity United Methodist Church. She also occasionally substitute taught at USD 305 middle schools and high schools. In 2010 she took a part time HR position with Bergkamp Inc. A year and a half later, she accepted a full-time role as the Human Resources Manager that she holds to this day.
Kristen loves the SAUW mission: To Strengthen Our Community! She believes it is important for each person to help their community thrive, be it through volunteering, providing for a family, putting together a project that enhances life in Salina and especially through simple acts of kindness. Her personal passion is for education and as an HR professional, she sees the need to help others become financially stable and choose healthier options.
Both of Kristen’s parents were teachers and her husband is the Director of the Theatre at Salina Central High School. She likes to call herself a “teacher in denial.”
Kristen would love to see financial literacy continue to be taught at earlier ages. She also believes in the need to focus on creating well-rounded adults that are able to give back to their communities. As an employer, she wants employees that are skilled enough to handle the ever changing markets, but also able to work with teams of people.
Stephanie grew up in Council Grove and went to school at CGHS. She graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Restaurant Management. She also obtained her professional Human Resource certifications and holds both PHR and SHRM-CP certifications. She has lived in Salina since 1985 and started her first job in Salina on April Fools’ Day as the Restaurant Manager of the Iron street Burger King. She worked at Burger King for almost 16 years, developing the restaurant into a training store and then advancing to the role of District Manager. She left Burger King in 2000 and had a brief stint as a territory consultant for Orion Food Service (a division of Schwann’s).
In 2001, Stephanie accepted the first position in pharmaceutical sales, became a district trainer for Schering Plough, and ended her career in pharmaceuticals as a Specialty Sales Representative with Merck-Schering Plough. She went back into the restaurant industry in an executive role with Freddy’s franchise. She is now the Vice President of Human Resources with the Bank of Tescott. She enjoys working with people, solving problems, and helping to train and develop people to reach their maximum potential.
Stephanie has worked with United Way for over 30 years. She likes being a part of United Way because it is such an integral part of the community and impacts so many lives. Her volunteer time is limited, so she likes to volunteer where she can make the most difference. She also volunteers at Sunrise Presbyterian Church as an Elder and she is President of SHRMA, a local Human Resources organization.
Stephanie is married to Kevin Cool. Together, they run Cool and Eitel construction with their business partner, Bryan Eitel. She has two adult sons, Adam and Jordan Young, who both have successful careers in Kansas City. Stephanie wants to be able to help Salina community members obtain financial health and stability, accomplish healthcare initiatives, and close the gaps in education.