State insurance commissioner, potential gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Sebelius to be Telepower panelist

HAYS, KS -- Kansas State Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius, widely seen as a front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination for Kansas governor, will participate in the Telepower 2001 Public Policy Panel on Thursday, Sept. 27, at Fort Hays State University.

Sebelius was first elected as insurance commissioner in 1994. Before that, she served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1986 to 1994. She is the daughter of former Ohio Gov. John Gilligan and daughter-in-law of the late U.S. Rep. Keith Sebelius of Norton. She is currently a board member for Kansas Kids Count and Topeka Public Schools Foundation.

The panel, which will discuss the new strategic plan for economic development in Kansas, will include Charles Ranson, president of Kansas Inc., Randy Tomlin, president of Southwestern Bell Kansas, Stan Rice, Pioneer Communications, and Roger VonFeldt, Rural Telephone.

"We'll be discussing how the state views its future economic development, especially in the context of rural communities and information technology," said Dr. Joe Aistrup, moderator for the panel and director of the Docking Institute of Public Affairs.

The panel is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. in the FHSU Memorial Union.

Telepower is a two-day conference sponsored by Fort Hays State's Docking Institute of Public Affairs and is designed to teach local rural leaders of technological information to use in economic development, government, education and health care.

This year's underwriting sponsors include Southwestern Bell and Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. The corporate sponsors are Rural Telephone, Information Network of Kansas, Garden City Information Technology Cooperative, Kansas Small Business Development Center, and the Kansas Association of Counties.

The supportive sponsors include Sunflower Electric Power Corp., Utilicorp United, WestLink Communications, Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing, Avaya Communication, Robert and Sheryl Cox, and Palm.

Other topics covered in this year's Telepower Conference include work force development in the new economy, when locals make it big, the economy's new deal, and electronic medical records.

For more information or to register for Telepower 2001, contact Cathy Drabkin at (785) 628-5952 or visit the Web site at

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