In 2002 and 2003 Marci went to every one of the 627 incorporated cities in Kansas to research for "The Kansas Guidebook for Explorers." The observations, conversations, and fact-finding not only resulted in a popular 432-page guidebook but also provided excellent information for the Kansas Explorers Club and We Kan! newsletters that Marci writes.
Marci presents dozens of speeches, slide shows, game shows, and seminars in Kansas and beyond each year. She consults daily with Kansas communities and often with other states interested in the concepts of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The Foundation hosts the annual Kansas Sampler Festival, a Retreat for Rural Leaders and a biannual We Kan! Conference. She is a tireless advocate for rural communities and promoter of what there is to see and do in the state.
Marci, a graduate of Kansas University and a double-sport letterwinner, received her Master's degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Wisconsin. She spent five years in the Philadelphia area as an elementary guidance counselor before returning to Kansas in 1990 to work with her father. The offices of the Kansas Sampler Foundation are located in the Kansas Sampler Center on the family farm near Inman.
Marci is dedicated to helping Kansans see Kansas with new eyes and to keeping our communities alive and vibrant.
WenDee's main task with the Foundation is to oversee the Kansas Sampler Festival and improve results by supporting the host community and creating a consistent template. The Kansas Sampler Festival is the signature event of the Foundation. She also is helping upgrade Foundation programs in all technical areas, is converting thousands of slides to digital, and is taking current digital photographs around the state to update the photo bank. WenDee helps organize the We Kan! Conference, the Retreat for Rural Leaders, and activities of the Kansas Explorers Club and assists with the many diverse projects that help preserve, sustain, and grow rural culture.
Verna Lee Penner