by Joni Wickham with Teresa Bruns Sosinski
As the daughter of a teen mother and raised in the conservative rural south, Joni Wickham was the first in her family to receive an education and overcome the barriers of socioeconomic hardship and others’ low expectations of her. A native of North Carolina, Joni came to Kansas City after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. She began working on former Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ staff and soon became the office’s Chief of Staff. She has proven herself to be an accomplished political strategist and negotiator, communications expert and organizational leader. She was motivated to create a first-of-its kind women’s empowerment initiative which has been implemented in several major cities. Joni received a BA in Political Studies from Meredith College and a master’s in political science from University of Missouri. She was the recipient of the 2019 Mel Carnahan Public Service Award from the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs. Joni lives in Kansas City with her two-legged and four-legged family.
Teresa Bruns Sosinski has written countless articles for non-profit publications and is the editor of several books. Teresa received a BA in English at Creighton University and is proud that her two children are as much a stickler for grammar as she is. She and her husband Dave live in New Mexico but call Kansas City home.