who we are
Meet The Team
Marge Aherns chair, is a retired Veterans Administration social worker. Her volunteer activities have focused on voter rights, and social, economic and racial justice, especially through the League of Women Voters of Topeka-Shawnee County and Kansas, and her church. She lives a block and a half from the former grocery at Huntoon and Lane and began working on the problem of loss of accessibility to quality and fresh foods for her neighbors in 2018. Her concerns relate to justice and healthy equity.
Ann Marshall, treasurer, has lived in Central Topeka since 1972 and is concerned about the quality of life for Topeka residents. She currently serves as the president of the Chesney Park NIA. Her leadership and community activism has played a large role in advancing the CTGO Group's efforts and will continue to move our project toward our future goal reestablishing a neighborhood grocery store.
Janet Cathcart, secretary, is also a lifelong Topekan who is deeply concerned about the Central Topeka community. She was an active parent in Topeka Public Schools 501 while her children attended Randolph Elementary, Landon and Topeka High School and continues to be an advocate for public schools. A member of League of Women Voters observer core and a member of the Elmhurst Neighborhood Association, she oversees grocery research and organizing CTGO Group's correspondence and documents.
Michael Dell is a passionate, dedicated volunteer and champion for low-income people in neighborhoods throughout Topeka who has dedicated his life to this advocacy. He is a past board member of the Topeka Human Relations Commission, formerly the city's civil rights' enforcement agency, serving both as its vice-chair and chair. He has created and generated the content for the Tennessee Town NIA website and his journalism and writing experience also has been an important part of the CTGO Group's efforts.
Clark W. Trammell has help executive management positions in several fields including business, banking, entrepreneurialism, economic development, and transportation. He has served on both for-profit and nonprofit boards in the United States and internationally. He is a community activist and is involved with several programs in the community. Clark also manages a consulting practice, the Kansas Executive Group/ Colorado Executive Group LLC.
James Monson was born and raised in Topeka. He is committed to strengthening the Topeka community and volunteers at several local organizations. He has an entrepreneurial background and works as a Business Advisor for the Kansas Small Business Development Center. He received Marketing and Entrepreneurship and Innovation degrees from Washburn University and is currently working towards a Master of Business Administration. James will serve at the pleasure of the CTGO Board of Directors.
Pastor Harry B. Christian Jr.
Pastor Harry B. Christian Jr. is a native of Madison Heights, Va. He retired from the United States Air Force after 24 years of service. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, Texas, in 2009. He was ordained as an Elder in the Methodist Church in Topeka since July 2013. Pastor Chrisitan is passionate about justice and served as the co-chair of the Topeka Jump Justice Ministry for two years. He currently serves on the executive board for Topeka Jump. He has also served on Topeka's Affordable Housing Review Committee.
Mary Thomas became executive director of Community Resources Council in 2013 after retiring from the Shawnee County Commission representing District Two. CRC is a nonprofit that connects the resources in our community through collaboration, advocacy, research and education, and operates three empowerment centers at former elementary schools Avondale East, Lundgren, and Stout. She has more than 30 years of legal experience and oversees every aspect of CRC's initiative including facility management tenant relations, public presentations, education and training workshops, facilitating meetings and events, and program management.
Relyn Strom is a dedicated educator and servant leader, known for her passion for teaching and her commitment to the betterment of the education system. Born and raised in a small town, she developed a strong work ethic and a love for learning for an early age. With a solid foundation in demagogy, she embarked on her journey as a teacher working the K-12 education system for 23 years. She took on various leadership roles that allowed her to shape educational policies and advocate for positive change. As an administrator, Relyn was deeply committed to fostering a collaborative and empowering work culture for teachers. Her commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of students continues to inspire others in the education community.