Board of Directors

 Missouri Leadership Seminar 2019

Taylor Rutledge, Chairperson

2018 marked 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 second grade in Ozark, Missouri or connecting with leaders across the state.


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 at the VA Medical Center in Kansas City, MO. I’m currently working on my MBA and in my spare time spoil my dog, Hosmer, and volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City.

Alyssa Niemeyer, Co- Director of Recruitment

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!

Haley Weidner (2)Haley Weidner, Co- Director of Recruitment

Ambassador Year: 2010

Haley attended the University of Missouri where she received degrees in agricultural business and communication; and as a self-proclaimed nerd, she loves her job as a scientific writer. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Dale, and together they have a senior cat and rescue puppy that they love to spoil. In her spare time, Haley loves hiking, baking, or attempting “old lady” crafts while binge-watching Hulu.

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 third year working with programs for the Seminar, and second 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-1Tinsley Rutledge, Director of Seminar Staff

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!

11377326_931758170219884_7933066460683624426_nTyler Hulshof, Director of Finance & Reporting Treasurer

Ambassador Year: 2011

Tyler is a CNC Machinist and an entrepreneur from Dexter, MO. He received his undergrad and M.B.A. from Maryville University. Tyler participated in his first seminar in 2011, and has been heavily involved with the organization ever since. Although spare time is sparse for the entrepreneur, he enjoys watersports and spending time at the lake.

Madison E

Madison Ebeling, Director of Public Relations 

Ambassador Year: 2016

I am currently attending the MIZZOUMACC program in Columbia, Missouri and working towards gaining a degree in Human Services. I am an avid dog lover, and enjoy everything MLS. My ambassador year was 2016 and I have been back every year since! I am so excited to be working as the Director of Public Relations this year as well.

IMG_1270Michael Werkmeister, Reporting Board Secretary

Ambassador Year: 2013

Originally from Eolia, Missouri, Michael loves repping the east side of the state at seminar. He is a University of Missouri – Columbia alumni with a degree in Architectural Studies, currently pursuing a Master of Architecture at the University of Michigan. “No matter how far I go, MLS will always be my home and family, and I will stay involved to provide the best seminar experience possible for incoming ambassadors.

downloadSusan Gettys, GFWC Representative

Susan is currently serving as the GFWC of Missouri State President. GFWC is the largest women’s volunteer service organization in the world. We have clubs in all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. Clubs across Missouri support MLS to provide students the chance to learn leadership skills and become interested in volunteering in their communities.

32313429_10211827833150801_4055214254372945920_oCharlu & Garret Hill, Optimist Representative

Charlu and Garrett Hill continuously fundraise across the state of Missouri to help keep the Missouri Leadership Seminar free of charge to the students who attend. Over the course of the year, Garrett and Charlu attend conferences and civic organization club meetings to present the seminar and host fundraising efforts. With every event they attend, they do their best to bring along a few staff members to participate and to share their experiences. It’s a true honor to be able to represent the seminar at these events and continuously fundraise through the years.


Alexsis Perdue, Corporate Grants & Donations

Ambassador Year: 2016

I currently attend Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri. This year will be my third year on the board and third year as a JUFA.

FB_IMG_1510781040108Jocelyn Clayton, Assistant to Recruitment

Ambassador Year: 2015

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!

20180904_152838Trisha Daughtery, Director of DWAP (Dinner With A Pro)

I was an alumna & have volunteered for MLS & similar seminars all across the country for 20 years now. I currently live in Lees Summit with my husband, 5 year old daughter, & 2 fur children. I am the owner & a stylist at Complete Beauty Hair & Nail Salon. I love spending time with my family, friends, & traveling.




IMG_1355.JPGSimone Thomas, Seminar Webmaster

Ambassador Year: 2014

I am a Film Student at Savannah College of Arts & Design in Atlanta, GA. 2019 is my 5th year with MLS and I plan on doing many many more. After finishing film school I plan on working as an Editor and Producer for HBO and Netflix. I volunteer in Winneba, Ghana every year, and my favorite thing to do is eat and watch movies!



Ashley JAshley Juniewicz, Assistant to Recruitment

Ambassador Year: 2017

Ashley is a senior at Incarnate Word Academy. She plans on attending Hendrix College in the fall of 2019, and she will major in biology and computer science. This year will be her first year on the board and second year on staff. She has lived in St. Louis my whole life, and she lives with my parents and my dog (Kasey). She loves MLS because it is a life-changing weekend that gives you a larger support system than she ever thought possible!

DSC_0187Rachel Licklider, Assistant to Recruitment

Ambassador Year: 2016

I am currently attending East Central College where I am working towards completing a degree in Early Childhood Education to fulfill my passion for learning and leadership. I live on a family farm and enjoy serving my school, church, and community. I fell in love with MLS in 2016 and have been back ever since as a JuFa and have participated as Assistant to Recruitment for two years.



ShelbaShelby 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.



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.

IMG_20190103_132352_201Madi Vance, On-Site Theme Coordinator

Ambassador year: 2013

Madi is a native of Olathe, Ks.  She was introduced to MLS through her cousin, who was a long time board member, as well. This will mark her 6th year returning on staff and 1st year on the board. Currently she is enrolled at Pittsburg State University as a Senior in the BSN nursing program. Upon graduation she plans on moving to South Carolina with her finance and 2 fur babies. In her free time she enjoys going to the archery range, spending time on the farm, and volunteering with the animal shelter.

48167291_2061199230602990_6942783504061038592_oEric Tate, Assistant to Staff

Ambassador Year: 2013

I am graduating with an elementary and special education major and in the hunt for a job. I had my ambassador year in 2013 and have loved every minute of my time on staff. I was the director of alumni for 2 years before taking my current position on the board. I am most excited to get connected with all of the staff this year.




©2019 MLS

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