Head shot of Kyle
July 31, 2023

Kyle Roggenkamp, new Ballard Center CEO!

This video is a short introduction to the Elizebeth B. Ballard Community Center’s new CEO, Kyle Roggenkamp! Listen to him talk about his plans to continue building on the legacy of our incredible, community-driven organization.

More Words from Kyle

The opportunity to work alongside our amazing team at Ballard is truly a dream come true. As the Development Director for the past two years, I have been blessed with a chance to learn from one of our greatest community advocates, Becky Price.Having Becky as a mentor has made a profound impact on my life. She is a non-stop force of nature advocating for the less fortunate, and getting the difficult work done for those that need it most. Becky is not just a mentor, or a boss, she is family. I owe so much to her leadership and guidance.

I grew up on the doorsteps of places like Ballard. I know firsthand the trauma facing families in crisis. I know the feeling of hunger, and the desperation that comes with it. I know the sadness of taking a cold bath and trying to sleep in the Kansas summer heat without electricity or air conditioning. I know the impact abuse can have on a child, and the amount of work it takes to overcome trauma. I wish my childhood story was unique, or an outlier, but the hard truth is that it represents the current reality for millions of children in our country.

I am one of the lucky ones that made it out of extreme poverty. I have a beautiful family. Three amazing boys, Felix, Rhett,and Otis.
I know I may be just a smidge biased, but they are the best kids ever. My wife Lisa is the rock of our family. She too escaped a difficult past and made a beautiful life for herself. Lisa volunteers over 30 hours a week in our pantry and has a love for Ballard that I am so grateful for. On weekends we come to Ballard and the kids help us sort donations, run the hallways, and laugh on the playground. Ballard is a key part of our life, a second home, and has blessed my family with an opportunity to better serve this deserving community.

We have accomplished some incredible things over the last few years at Ballard. But as Lisa always reminds me, “There is still work to be done.” We have tripled our capacity to provide crisis funding to families facing eviction, utility disconnect, or even houseless families needing help moving off the streets into a home. The cost of living has also gone up during this time.For every family we keep housed there are 10 more out there still struggling. My friends, there is still work to be done.

Our trauma informed early education program has accomplished over 95% kindergarten readiness scores while serving a population of children that have endured such traumas as abuse, homelessness, and hunger. Our education staff is exposed to secondary trauma on a daily basis, yet they show up every day for the kids and persevere. They are true heroes in my book. For every child that graduates from Ballard ready for kindergarten, ready to thrive, there are other children showing up for their first day. Children that have been through extreme trauma. My friends, there is still work to be done.

The culture Becky has developed at Ballard is second to none. We have a team that is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to best serve this community. We have a working board that is involved in our day-to-day operations, giving their time and talent for the betterment of those we serve. We have a volunteer base that is the main reason we can serve so many. We have incredible support from this community, from folks just like you. Lawrence is a special place, a place I am so proud and lucky to call home.

But my friends, as Lisa always reminds me, there is still work to be done.

Incoming CEO, Kyle Roggenkamp

An Outgoing Message from Becky

It has truly been an honor and a privilege to take on the role of CEO of the Ballard Center and carry on the legacy that was formed 58 years ago by a group of local women who were fed up with welfare and wanted to stand on their own to fight poverty and become independent.

Over the decades the leadership has changed hands many times, but the mission and the services have remained the same. I’ve been inspired by the generations of leaders before me – as Ballard’s founders stated in a LJW article in 1969 – “We are truly more powerful as a group than individually” and reported that “It’s the nitty, grittiest, most grassroots organization I know of”. Ballard is owned and operated by this community, and I am truly blessed to have been a part of it.

Since taking leadership in 2016 my priority has been developing a firm foundation with the policies, procedures, staff and board & community leaders’ expertise it takes to assure sustainability. I’ve witnessed many nonprofits struggle with leadership turn-over and was determined to provide this deserving community with an agency that has a sustainable future. Ballard is stronger today than ever before and thriving thanks to the support of this community.

Head shot of Becky

I am looking forward to retiring and handing over the reins to Ballard’s next leader Kyle Roggenkamp and spending time with my grand kids, but rest assured I will always be an advocate and cheerleader from the sidelines for “the nitty, grittiest, most grass roots organization”. I have complete faith that Kyle’s leadership will enable Ballard to continue serving our community for generations to come. Kyle has already proven his ability to engage staff in the important work we do and empower them to excel. His passion for direct service has allowed us to triple the number of households we serve with crisis funding over the last year. He is disciplined, focused, leads by example and most importantly, he is always kind, no matter what pressures he may face. I hired Kyle for a reason, and he has exceeded all my expectations.
I only ask that you stand with him as you have with me, united, fighting for the most vulnerable in our community.

Leading Ballard has been the ride of my life – I am proud to be a part of an organization that is fearless – that believes it is time to stop talking about the problems and to stand together to find the solutions to take on the impossible – Because change doesn’t happen alone.

Always remember my friends that together anything is possible.

Outgoing CEO, Becky Price

Comments are closed.

Somos Lawrence(Para español)