Board of Directors

 Missouri Leadership Seminar 2017

Taylor Rutledge, Chairperson

2018 marks Taylor’s 10th seminar on staff and 6th year as a board member. She’s held multiple positions including secretary, webmaster, director of recruitment, vice chair, and now chairperson.

When Taylor isn’t volunteering for Missouri Leadership Seminar, you can find her teaching fifth grade at Carl Junction Intermediate where she was recently named Teacher of the Year for the district or playing with her dog, Jemma.


Jessica Barszczak, Vice Chairperson 

Ambassador Year: 2007

I’m a proud alumna of Missouri Western State University and The University of Texas at Austin. I currently am a hospital social worker in the Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, MO. I am a huge Kansas City Royals and Chiefs fan. I really enjoy spending time with my dog and volunteering with my local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter.

Alyssa Niemeyer, Director of Recruitment & Travel

Ambassador Year: 2010

A Bowling Green, Missouri native, Alyssa is married to her high school sweetheart Jeff and the two live in Columbia with their dog, Callie. Alyssa is in her first year of teaching special education at Derby Ridge Elementary and pursing her Masters of Teaching. In her free time, she enjoys general crafting, holiday decorating, trout fishing, spending time outdoors, and baking desserts. She has served on the board for four years now. This is Alyssa’s second year serving as the Director of Recruitment and Travel. Alyssa loves having the opportunity to make a difference through volunteerism with her MLS family!

Family Photos and head shots 17-97

Dani Wilson, Director of Programs

Ambassador Year: 2012

Dani is originally from a small town in the Bootheel of Missouri called Steele, but is currently attending school at the University of Missouri in Columbia. She is majoring in Business Management and Political Science and has hopes of continuing to law school after receiving her bachelors degree. This will be Dani’s second year working with programs for the Seminar, and first as Director. When not working on making Seminar a great experience, Dani enjoys working with her service sorority, Little Sisters of the Gold Rose, lounging around with her dog, Remi, and watching way too many episodes of Netflix.

Ally Rettke, Co-Director of Operations

Ally is from Washington, MO (which is an hour west of St. Louis), but she currently lives in Kansas City, MO. Even though she lives in Royal’s territory, she is a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan! She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Truman State University and is now in her third year as a high school math teacher at Excelsior Springs High School. She did not attend MLS as an ambassador but became involved through her twin sister who attended in 2008.


Snapchat-689171247Abby Rettke, Co-Director of Operations

Ambassador Year: 2008

Abby was born and raised in Washington, MO and currently lives in Windsor, MO.  She is in her third year of teaching high school math and absolutely loves it. She received her bachelor’s (mathematics) and master’s (secondary education) degrees from Truman State University. She is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan and in her spare time she loves to read and travel.


photo-1Director of Seminar Staff:

Tinsley Rutledge

Ambassador Year: 2012

Tinsley is originally from Lamar Missouri, but currently attending Missouri Southern State University in Joplin Missouri to obtain her degree in Secondary English Education. She enjoys reading, regular trips to Michael’s Craft Store, and petting her dog, Jemma. This is Tinsley’s first year as Director of Seminar Staff, but third year on the Board. She is thoroughly excited to start planning this year’s seminar and working with MLS’ incredible volunteers!


Bio pic

Lydia Berns, Director of Finance & Reporting Treasurer

Ambassador Year: 2008

The 2018 seminar year is Lydia’s 4th year serving as Financial Chair. Lydia spends a lot of time traveling for her non-MLS job which she enjoys. Recently she had the chance to visit Havana, Cuba and San Juan, Puerto Rico with her traveling companion, her mom. Lydia is very close to her family and tries to spend as much time with them as possible. Lydia also loves getting to see her MLS family whenever the opportunity presents.

IMG_3800 (1)Shelby Haskins, Director of Public Relations

Ambassador Year: 2014

I am from a small town around Joplin and grew up on a farm. I loved sports growing up and still do, huge football fan. I am currently attending the University of Missouri where I am pursuing my Bachelors and Masters in Accounting. 




Madison Ebeling, Reporting Board Secretary 


image.pngAlexsis Perdue, Corporate Grants & Donations

Ambassador Year: 2016

I’m a senior at Lincoln High school, and will graduate high school with my Associates Degree Completed. I am very active in mission trips, FBLA, cheerleading, and MLS. This will be my second year on the board and coming back on staff as a JUFA.


Charlu Hill, Garret Hill, & Ralph How, Optimist Representative


Eric Tate Co-Director of Alumni


Simone Thomas, Seminar Webmaster


Trisha Daughtery, Director of DWAP (Dinner With A Pro)


FB_IMG_1510781040108Jocelyn Clayton, Assistant to Recruitment

Ambassador Year:

Jocelyn is a freshman at Park University majoring in English and Secondary Education with a Legal Studies minor. An alumni of Craig R-III High School, she enjoys playing the flute, reading, and volunteering! Jocelyn began a club during her first semester at Park called Phi Beta Lambda, a national leadership organization for all majors. When not studying, you can probably find her either at dance practice or hanging with her roommate!

Michael Werkmeister, Assistant to Programs


Janelle Dempsey, Theme Coordinator

Ambassador year: 2014

Janelle is a KC native and attends Rockhurst University. She is studying Spanish Education with a minor in French. She aspires to learn 10 languages or more and wants to teach English as a second language abroad. This will be her 4th year on staff and her first year serving on the board of directors. As theme coordinator, she is excited to serve through her love for creativity and artwork. She loves MLS because it is a life-changing experience that allows her to invest in the souls of men and women.

Tyler Hulshof, Assistant to Staff


©2017 MLS

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