Wednesday, February 2, 2022 from 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM CST
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501c Foundery and via Zoom 
700 N Market St
Wichita, KS 67214

Driving Directions 


Marissa Miller, VISTA Programming Coordinator 
Kansas Nonprofit Chamber 

ED Series 02/02/2022 

If you want to know about Thomas Montiel, get to know his service and involvement in the community. 

Thomas was hired to serve as KANSEL's Executive Director in 2017, and within his first year he led his staff through a full rebranding, updated all bylaws, purchased a new campus, and modified core educational programs to shorter cycles that helps serve more students with higher quality outcomes.  

In the last three years Thomas has helped KANSEL to become more proactive in the community. This has included the Wichita Literacy campaign to help increase local literacy awareness Rock It Out Theater (RIOT), a free arts program for youth 8 to 18, Firebirds, KANSEL's volunteer program, and is currently building KANSEL's Urban Farm and Literacy Gardens on campus. Once completed it will include over 18,000 square feet of outdoor learning space.
When asked about his favorite part of working at KANSEL in a recent article, Thomas responded: "Watching people find success through their own will and dedication, is my favorite part of what we do. They get to discover they can accomplish great things." "This is, for us, not about resume building, it is about community building."  
Born and raised in Wichita, Thomas attended Wichita Public Schools, graduated from Wichita West High School, and completed both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Friends University.
The mission of KANSEL is personal to Thomas. His mother dropped out of high school at 18 and his grandfather immigrated to the United States from Mexico after his father, Thomas' great grandfather, served as a lieutenant in Pancho Villa's army. Prior to KANSEL, Thomas worked in a variety of industries including non-profit, government, education, retail, and construction trades.
In addition to his Executive Director role, Thomas also occasionally makes teaching appearances as an adjunct professor at Friends University in their Master of Business Administration program, sits on other regional non-profit boards, and mentors non-profit executives and new entrepreneurs.
Outside of work, Thomas and his wife Karen, an amazing CPA, have 7 children ranging in ages 3 to 14, and enjoy sports and traveling as a family.
Thomas's professional and personal dedication to our shared community comes down to the future. "In Sedgwick County, more than 72,000 adults are considered functionally illiterate and nearly 50,000 in-school students are behind in reading and/ or math...That is not the world I want my children or your children to grow up in. We are going to have to start having the difficult conversations, without blame or fear, to move things forward."