Our Leadership 

TERRY ATWATER

Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director

After 30 years in the corporate environment, Terry has embraced his lifelong passion of assisting youth in preparation for independent living. Terry is dedicated to assisting youth in the Foster Care System with enhancing their personal skill set by providing a structured, stable and secure environment that our youth can call their home. With housing being the critical component, Terry and his Leadership Team continue to explore housing opportunities to assist individuals who have experienced “life challenges”, yet strive for independence and personal productivity as they reintegrate back into their communities.  

 

Terry has spent many years assisting youth, whether coaching youth football and basketball, as well as founding the C.O.P.E. (Consider Opportunities in a Professional Environment) program, a cooperative effort between KG&E (Currently Westar Energy) and USD 259 (Wichita Public School System) to expose students to guest speakers in various professions. Terry was also a member of the Wichita State University Men’s Basketball Team in 1982 – 83, the Missouri Valley Conference Champions (25-3). Terry has served as an adjunct instructor at Friends University and Baker University in the undergraduate and graduate business programs. Terry never misses an opportunity to share with youth through mentoring, and currently serves as a Mentor/Facilitator at USD 259 schools with Real Men Real Heroes, Inc. and was recently appointed as a Board Member for League 42 Non-Profit Baseball Organization centered at McAdams Park in Wichita Kansas.

 

Terry’s educational background includes an Associate of Arts Degree from Seward County Community College, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management, and a Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Development/Organizational Development, both from Friends University. Terry believes that environmental exposure is a critical component in developing youth and that formal and informal education is invaluable. In a nutshell, Terry believes that the best “angle” to approach meeting the individual needs of today’s youth is the “try-angle”.

GARNEY HILL

Chief Financial Officer

After 20 years in the banking industry, 18 years in non-profit work and 20 years as an entrepreneur, Garney has decided to take all of his leadership skills and channel them in the area he has focused on his entire career.  The one common denominator that all of these positions possessed were, Garney’s ability to work for those who were considered less fortunate or those who have had many life challenges. 

By joining the “It Takes A Village Leadership Team”, Garney is looking to share his talents and leadership to help this phenomenal organization expand its reach Nationally. 

As Vice President of the Community Development Corporation for Fourth Financial Corporation, Garney’s primary focus was to work with individuals, families and non-profit organizations to provide startup funding for small businesses, housing for individuals and families, and a community resources for those who were credit challenged or required alternate banking needs.

Garney also was the CFO for the E.C. Tyree Health & Dental Clinic which was a safety net clinic (non-profit) who provided services for those who are uninsured or under insured.  The E.C. Tyree Clinic not only provided services inside the four walls, but also partnered with USD 259 title 1 school’s to provide dental services as an outreach service to the elementary schools. 

One of Garney’s first business ventures was B&B Financial Services.  This mortgage company’s primary focus was to assist individuals and families in the purchase or refinance of their most valuable possession, their home.  Garney also provided financial budgeting and credit repair free of charge to these individuals.  His primary clients were those with credit challenges

Garney has also worked with 100’s of young men in our community.  Garney is also the Vice President of Basketball Operations and a coach for the Kansas Pray & Play Basketball organization.  This is the premier AAU basketball organization in Wichita and one of the top programs in the Midwest.  Over the last 20 years we have sent over 60 boys to college for free on full scholarships.

Garney is a graduate of Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Graduate of Brian Tracy Motivational Speaking Academy in San Diego, CA, Graduate of National Church Business Administrator School from Southwestern Baptist Theological College, Ft. Worth TX, Graduate of Commercial Lending School from Schools of Banking in Lincoln NE and a Graduate of Community Development Lending School from American Bankers Association in Norman OK.

 

Garney has been married for 34 years to Sherrie.  They have three children Brooke, Bryce and Trey and they also have two grandchildren Avant and Charleigh.

LYDELL FLOWERS

Chief Operating Officer

Lydell Flowers serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for It Takes A Village Inc. Lydell oversees the day-to-day operations of the transitional living homes and the youth that live in the homes. Lydell has a passion for assisting youth with their daily living skills and helping them define their plan for success.

Lydell has over 20 years of experience in various fields including information technology, entrepreneurship, fitness and social services. Lydell’s other passion is technology and he is constantly looking for new ways to help It Takes A Village Inc run more efficiently.

Lydell’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Computer Information Systems from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.

DR. SHARLA SMITH

 Employee Engagement and Development Consultant

Dr. Sharla Smith serves as a Consultant in the role of Employee Engagement and Development for It Takes A Village, Inc. In her role at ITAV, Dr. Smith focuses on staff development and success and program development and expansion. Dr. Smith is a Health Services and Systems Researcher that specializes in bringing together public health practitioners, academicians, community, and policymakers to improve the health and wellbeing of the community. Dr. Smith’s work focuses on strategies for organizing and financing public health services, access to preventive care services, program and partnership development, infant and maternal mortality, and community health delivery systems for vulnerable populations. Dr. Smith has over 13 years of experience manipulating large datasets and performing descriptive, cross-sectional, and longitudinal data analysis using SAS and Stata. Dr. Sharla Smith completed her Ph.D. in Health Services and Systems Research with a specialty in Health Economics (2013). Dr. Smith earned an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (2000), and a Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Management from UAMS (2004).

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