MEMBERS

Spring 2021

Jill Biesma
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As a licensed civil and environmental engineer, Jill's passion is development of practical risk management strategies for acquisition, investment/financing and asset management of commercial real estate and engineering infrastructure systems.

 

Jill is a strong advocate for supporting business growth and career leadership opportunities for women.  She is the majority owner and President of Environmental Advisors and Engineers, Inc., a certified Woman-Owned business which has been in business since 1998.

 

On a personal note, I am an avid KC Royals, Chiefs and college sports fan and enjoy photography, travel, barbequing, gourmet cooking, biking, golfing, swimming, and fishing.  My husband, Ken and I have two sons, Mark and Jason, who are 28 and 25 now. Both were Division 1 College Athletes (K-State Baseball Pitcher and Boston University Decathlete).  All of us are active practicing engineers (civil, mechanical, architectural, and biomedical).

Jenny has over 21 years’ experience promoting leading-edge surgical products, medical devices, and other industries. She is known for her exceptional leadership, training, motivational skills, strong work ethic, and for dedicated, customer-focused sales approach, all of which have resulted in an impressive track record of sales achievements.

  

She attended Indiana University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in marketing with a minor in psychology. She loves the psychology behind the sale and enjoys helping others understand the importance as well. 

  

Jenny has a passion for working with others to elevate their goals, actions, and performance. Her philosophy is: “Nothing without Effort.”

  

She lives in the Kansas City area with her supportive husband and fabulous daughter. 

Jenny Bitar
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Tina Branine 
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Tina is focused on being a dedicated advocate for her clients. She is also motivated to ensure that her clients are receiving the highest level of service so that it alleviates their stress. Tina’s personality and caring attitude will put a smile on your face. However, just know, that she is also a fierce negotiator.

 

Tina takes her passion for the customer experience seriously and is very appreciative that the majority of her business and success is thanks to referrals from past clients. As a graduate of KU, she is a dedicated college basketball fan and is the loving mother of a furry child. Tina specializes in the Johnson County, Kansas Market area.

Brandy Branstetter

Brandy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and the Founder & CEO of Fresh Financial Planning. With over a decade of experience helping clients achieve their financial goals, she specializes in helping clients gain clarity around complex financial topics. Brandy graduated from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and immediately started pursuing her career in financial planning and investment management. When she’s not at the office she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, Alexa and Ethan. 

 

"I’m looking forward to learning the game of golf to give me other opportunities to make business connections in a more casual environment. I’d love to be outside hosting my clients or other business professionals out on the golf course and turn an ordinary meeting into something fun and memorable."

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Hayley Cacioppo
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Hayley is focused on helping clients meet their business goals through digital marketing. With 15 years of experience in a few  of the top Kansas City marketing agencies she has honed her trade and marketing strategy chops. Thinking big, strategies over tactics, can be gruelling work but the ROI is always there.

 

On a personal note, Hayley lives in Leawood, Kansas as mom to three awesome kiddos ranging from 3 years to 19. She enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her husband, kiddos and friends.

 

“I was so lucky to be accepted into the Driving Pursuits KC Program! What an awesome way to merge networking, supporting women and learning something new. It is probably the most selfish thing I have done for myself lately!”

Meghan Dudek

Meghan is a method-driven designer, with over 18 years of experience in the interior design industry. She works on projects of varying scale, scope and style with a focus on The Healing Environment and the overall concept of evidence-based design. Meghan's experience and project oversight include owner representation within the healthcare community, turnkey operations, complex phased renovations for large hospital complexes and new construction. She is accustomed to working as a member of the architectural design team to help create an image and environment that fulfills the client's vision, meets all functional demands as well as the clinical mission.

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Lindsey Jones
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Growing up, I played every sport I possibly could.  For me, it was about broadening my strengths and constantly growing.  This habit has definitely followed me into adulthood and shoved me directly into the construction industry.   Everyday in construction is an exciting challenge to explore new ideas and relationships. 

 

My role as Business Development Manager for BlueScope Construction fosters this desire by allowing me many different avenues to focus on, with building relationships being at the top.  Covering the eastern half of the country, from Kansas City to the East Coast, I constantly look forward to growing and strengthening all relationships I possibly can;  with the hopes that some sports (golf/Chiefs) get thrown in from time to time.

Julie Klima is the Executive Director of Gift of Life, a national model for the support, awareness and success of organ, eye and tissue donation through education and mentoring. She thrives using her breadth of nonprofit and private sector experience to add value to the community and loves learning with and from other strong female leaders. Julie is a returning member of Driving Pursuits and serves as the Secretary of the board of Digital Women Kansas City, co-facilitates Leadership Drive for Central Exchange, and is on the Operations Committee for Support KC. 

 

"I feel so fortunate to have been invited into the DPKC community to learn about the game of golf.  Professionally, this unique opportunity will help build confidence in my techniques in order to lean into opportunities for conversations and interactions I may have been previously left out on."

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Laura Lawson

Laura is co-leader of a construction law team providing outside general counsel services for one of the top design firms in the country and for multiple contractors and owners who undertake construction projects. Her work with these clients involves: drafting, reviewing, and negotiating design and construction contracts (AIA, DBIA, AGC, EJCDEC and Consensus), defending   professional   negligence breach of contract cases, which   includes   drafting, pleadings and discovery, taking and defending depositions, preparing witnesses for deposition, trial, and arbitration, developing trial or arbitration strategy, and negotiating and resolving disputes with contractors, clients, and subconsultants.

Laura recently completed a nine-month secondment at a large design-build construction firm, which provided her with invaluable insight into the needs of her design and construction clients. Laura also has been appointed and acted as the decision-making arbitrator for several arbitrations conducted under the American Arbitration Association’s rules for construction disputes.

Melissa Lyon

I joined Striem in 2016 as the accounting manager, where my responsibilities have grown to include the HR function.  Prior to Striem, I was Vice President of Accounting for Nations Valuations Services.  Throughout my career, I have really enjoyed enhancing and implementing new processes to help departments and companies operate more efficiently.   

I graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Master of Science in Accountancy. 

I currently live in Kansas City with my youngest daughter, Chase, and my miniature English bulldog, Beaux.  When I am not keeping busy with work or kids, you can find me outside reading a book in the sun, preferably by the beach!

Mariel Martinez
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 As a UnitedHealthcare Agent Manager Mariel helps support the External Distribution Channel (EDC) in the Kansas City market. She started her professional career as a Medicare agent in this market and understands the importance of having an agent to help navigate the healthcare world. Her favorite part about her role is getting to spend time learning about our agents’ businesses and hosting training sessions.


In her spare time she enjoys volunteering as the Recruitment Advisor for the Tau Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi at the University of Kansas.

 

She is passionate about being a role model to young college women and helping them develop personal and professional skills to prepare them for life after college.

Deb North

Deb North is the President/CEO of True North Consulting, LLC, a Woman Owned Search Firm in the Kansas City area.   Deb brings over 20 years of experience in search and staffing!  She is active in the staffing industry and holds 3 key certifications- CPC , TSC and CSP.  

 

Deb is very passionate about encouraging women and girls to pursue careers in STEMM and is a board member of the WiStemm Initiative through the Central Exchange as well as on the Technical Advisory Council for TCALC.   Deb has 3 very active daughters and is pursuing initiatives to encourage girls in non-traditional sports. 

Jessica O'Donnell
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I am an experienced Operations Executive focused on success through transformational leadership. Over the course of my career, I have focused on developing and empowering people to achieve their greatest potential. I am a workflow and process improvement champion and have identified significant expense reduction opportunities. I am experienced in journey mapping and roadmap development, always keeping an eye to the future. 

 

I currently reside in Lee's Summit with my two children, Emmersyn (4) and Greyson (2). When they are not keeping me busy, I enjoy watching/attending sporting events especially the Chiefs and Jayhawk basketball.

Lexa Zacny

After working in Operations at Turner Construction for six years, Lexa moved into a Business Development role. For the past two years, Lexa’s focus has been on strengthening relationships with existing partners and clients while developing new leads for our Kansas City office. Much of her time is spent creating proposals, researching qualified target areas, and continuously improving Turner’s presence in our community through a variety of activities.

 

Previous jobs she has worked on include OPCC Café, Olathe Environmental Laboratory renovation, and the Lenexa City Library for Johnson County. Lexa is welcoming the nicer weather as this gives her a chance to up her golf game and take on my her new husband.

Katelyn Peter

Director of Marketing & Business Development for Phenix Label, a family-owned printing company specializing in labels, tags, and flexible packaging for a wide range of markets.

 

Prior to joining the family business last year, I was living in Chicago and working as a Product Manager in the EdTech space. I graduated from KU with an undergrad in Management and a Master’s in Business Analytics.

 

When I’m not at work I’m spending time with family and friends, reading, working on my tennis game, and/or trying out a new recipe.

Trish Reedy

Trish Reedy is a local Mortgage Broker with over 10 years of personalized experience. In 2020, Trish ranked in the top 1% of all lenders nation-wide and was the top Loan Officer in Kansas as awarded by United Wholesale Mortgage. Trish and her team strive to make all home financing options quick, affordable, and overly convenient for seasoned and green buyers alike.

 

Trish is a Mom of two little girls, dog mom of two rascal boys (Hi Andy Reedy and Otis!) and a Kansas City fanatic. Trish is very active in her community, including serving with the Overland Park Rotary Club, Safehome, Girls on the Run, and as an Overland Park Chamber Diplomat among other local organizations. Trish was named a 2013 Influential Woman by KC Business Magazine and completed Leadership Overland Park..

Bethany Riley

After a few years working on high-rises in Las Vegas, Bethany returned home to Kansas City and joined Turner as a Project Engineer. She has held multiple positions within Turner, and currently works as a Senior Project Manager.

 

Bethany is extremely involved in NAWIC and will take over the presidency this year.  

Bridget Snodgrass

As Partner and Vice President of Senior Operations at Overland Property Group, I play an integral role in the product innovation of our senior segment brand platform, vision and culture. My primary focus includes our newest concept, Boutique Retirement Clubs and Communities, which are designed as a Live-in Country Clubs for retirees.

 

The Fairways of Ironhorse in Leawood, KS opened in May 2019, and coming soon: The Fairways of Flying Horse in Colorado Springs and Canyon Ridge in Lenexa, KS. I also am directly responsible for the operational effectiveness across our age restricted independent senior living portfolio throughout the Midwest..

Shea Stevens

Shea Stevens’ practice concentrates exclusively on family law issues including: divorce, legal separation, paternity, custody, child support, maintenance, post divorce modifications, common law marriage, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in both Kansas and Missouri. Ms. Stevens has experience in all aspects of family law, and has a team of professionals from accountants, financial advisors, realtors and therapists to provide client’s the best possible service and outcome of their case. Ms. Stevens is a graduate of Kansas State University and University of Tulsa School of Law. She is actively involved in the local bar associations,and has been recognized as a Rising Star in Superlawyers (KS & MO) and Best of the Bar – Family Law by the KC Business Journal.

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Rachel Treanor

Rachel is the Director of Business Development and Marketing for Crossland Construction in Kansas City.  

 

"I believe that golf allows for opportunities to connect with prospects on a personal level and to make lasting memories. People do business with people they like and trust, and these bonds take time and repeat contact to establish. It is important for me to be accessible to my clients and industry advocates and to give my company a competitive advantage in the current crowded construction market. I know that my ability to play golf will elevate my accessibility and connections with others."

Driving Pursuits KC is always accepting applications for the next season. Feel free to contact us to learn more.