Janice Suzanne Smith, Ed. D
Executive Director & Founding Member
Janice Smith joined SOCI Communities in February 2019 after serving as the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund’s Executive Director for five years. Previous to her state service, she held the position of Executive Director of The Opportunity Project (TOP) in Wichita, a non-profit organization currently serving 700 low-income children across three centers that serves as a state and national model for high quality early childhood programming. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing innovative early childhood programs proven to have strong positive longitudinal outcomes for at risk children. She is a leader in local and state collaborations to support quality initiatives in early childhood and has been a key player in the development of financial private-partnerships.
Prior to joining TOP, Janice was a classroom teacher and administrator for the Mulvane and Wichita Public Schools. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor with Wichita State University, Newman University, Butler Community College and Cowley Community College. Janice holds a PhD of Education in Educational Leadership from Wichita State University. She holds an MA in Communications from Wichita State University and a BA in English/Education from Park College, Parkville, Mo.
Amanda L. Adkins is a leader in business innovation, a mother, and healthcare champion. For the past 15 years, Adkins worked as an executive at Cerner Corporation, a global Kansas City based healthcare and information technology company.
Professionally, she advises providers and employers across the United States on how to cut healthcare costs and improve health outcomes for individuals and families. In the course of this work, she has been a leader for consideration of social determinants of health in communities (SDOH). A belief in the importance of SDOH was a major consideration when she founded Systems of Care Initiative.
Prior to her career with Cerner, Amanda served as Professional Staff on the US House Rules Committee and worked on commerce issues in the United States Senate. She was also the Political and Executive Director of GOPAC under the leadership of former Congressman David Dreier (R-CA) and later Governor Frank Keating (R-OK).
Amanda served on the Executive Committee of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce for 14 years. She also previously served on the Boards of The Salvation Army and The Entrepreneur Coalition.
Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas in 1998 and has lived in Overland Park, KS for over 20 years. She and her husband, Jason, have been married for 22 years and have two high school aged children.
Melissa B. Frerking
As the Vice President, Executive Director of the First Hand Foundation, Melissa Frerking leads an entrepreneurial foundation that is establishing innovative models for a healthier tomorrow.
Melissa has developed and deployed population health programs in Kansas City and helped replicate them around the world. By creating a range of programs with a preventative approach, working with wider populations in school and community settings, and promoting healthy behaviors, Melissa is empowering individuals to take charge of their health.
During her 30-plus years at Cerner, Melissa has had a number of executive roles in IP development, consulting, support, and marketing. She was responsible for Cerner’s first health care solution to automate the laboratory and was involved in creating Cerner’s Vision Center, educating constituents on Cerner’s vision.
Melissa is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri where she received a Bachelor of Science in computer science and marketing and her MBA from Rockhurst University.
Jeanette Hernandez Prenger is the Founder and CEO of ECCO Select, an award-winning IT consulting and professional services firm and one of the top 500 Hispanic Businesses in the United States.
Jeanette serves on the Missouri Workforce Investment Board and has served four governors, three mayors, a congressman and a senator. She serves on the executive board for the Heart of America Boy Scout council as well as The Latino Coalition, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and the Women’s Forum for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Jeanette is a board member of Junior Achievement USA and Orphaned Starfish Foundation. During her professional career she has committed to bettering her community by focusing on business, education and the arts.
Jeanette has been named an Enterprising Women of the Year by Enterprising Women magazine and has been featured in HER Life Magazine, FORBES, Business Week, Oprah Magazine and many other career and business publications. Jeanette is a graduate of Park University with a BS degree in Management Information Systems.
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