WWU Adds Three ‘Savvy’ Women to Board of Trustees

A bank president, a financial adviser and a mystery author were
appointed to the William Woods University Board of Trustees at the annual
Spring Board of Trustees meeting Friday.

They are: Kimberly Brixey Barnes, president and chief
executive officer of The Callaway Bank; Kathleen Kunkler, vice president and
financial adviser for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Kansas City, Mo.; and Rita
Mae Brown, best-selling author, Emmy-nominated screenwriter and poet.
“Our alumni now make up the majority on our board of
trustees, with 15 of 24 members,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, president of William
Woods University, said. “I am pleased and excited to be working with these
savvy new members, and I look forward to the contributions they can make, based
on their experiences in the business world.”
Originally from West Plains, Mo.,
Barnes graduated from William Woods in 1987 with a B.S. degree in accounting
and a minor in computer science. She started her career as a lobby assistant at
The Callaway Bank and was appointed president last October.
A strong supporter of the United Way and Relay for Life, she
also serves as a member of SERVE’s Board of Directors and the Boy Scouts of
America Great Rivers Council Executive Board. She is a Board of Associates
member, serves on the WWU President’s Community Council, and was the recipient
of the Board of Associates William Woods University Alumni Service Award in
Barnes serves on the Missouri Independent Banker’s
Association Board of Directors and is a member of the Missouri Banker’s
Association and Independent Community Banker’s Association. She and her
husband, Rob, live in Fulton.
Kunkler is a 1982 William Woods graduate with a Bachelor of
Arts degree in English communications. In addition to her position with Morgan
Stanley Smith Barney, she has a passion for community engagement, currently
serving on the advisory board of the Great Plains Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals.
Other civic contributions have included Children’s Mercy
Hospital, Mattie Rhodes Counseling and Arts Center, Kansas City AIDS Service
Foundation, and SAVE. A basketball and softball student-athlete during her time
at The Woods, she has continued her interest in athletics, serving as board
president of Women’s Intersport Network of Kansas City.
She has been listed in Midwest CEO magazine’s “Most
Influential Women” and Kansas City Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean
Business.” A native of Hays, Kan., she currently resides in Prairie Village,
Brown has had ties with
William Woods for several years.  She was
the commencement speaker in 2000 and 2010, and she set one of her mystery
novels, “Cat of the Century,” on the WWU campus. Author of the groundbreaking best
seller “Rubyfruit Jungle” in 1973, Brown has written more than 40 books since
then, including several mysteries “co-authored” with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown.
She has also written an autobiography, a cookbook and a
writer’s manual. She has been twice nominated for an Emmy, for her scripts
“I Love Liberty” and “The Long Hot Summer.” She also has
served as president of American Artists, Inc., which was founded in 1981 to
option novels for television and film.
In addition, Brown is a reviewer for several large
metropolitan newspapers. She reviews translations from Attic Greek and Latin,
as well as assigned novels, for the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer,
Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Book Review.
She holds a B.A. in English and classics from New York University and a Ph.D.
in English and political science from the Institute for Policy Studies in
Washington, D.C.