LINC Leadership



Bert Berkley, Founder

Bert Berkley is the founder and a past chairman of the Local Investment Commission (LINC). He has made numerous presentations on the LINC model across the country and around the world, including the Netherlands, Israel, and Taiwan.

Berkley served on the board of the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and is currently on the boards of the Institute for Educational Leadership and Center for Leaders (both in Washington D.C.) as well as state of Missouri and several local boards.


Bailus Tate, Interim Co-Chair

Tate was nominated as Interim Co-Chair of the Local Investment Commission in January 2015.

Tate also serves on the Missouri Family and Community Trust, which is a public/private partnership involving leaders of many of the state's significant agencies.

Other leadership positions held include Vice Chairman/Treasurer of the Kansas City Police Retirement System, and Vice Chairman/Treasurer of the Kansas City Civilian Employees' Retirement System.



Jack Craft, Interim Co-Chair

Craft was nominated as Interim Co-Chair of the Local Investment Commission in January 2015.

Craft also serves on the Missouri Family and Community Trust, which is a public/private partnership involving leaders of many of the state's significant agencies.

Formerly of Craft Fridkin & Rhyne, he merged his firm with Lathrop & Gage in 2004. He served as the Chairman of the 1990 New Zoo Committee formed to pass the bonds necessary to finance the Zoo. In 1996, he was Chairman of the Missouri Task Force for the Bistate Initiative and the Missouri Chairman and Treasurer of Yes On Union Station.

Craft formerly served with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Western District of Missouri.



Landon H. Rowland, Chairman Emeritus

Landon Rowland, who led LINC for 21 years, died on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015.

Rowland was on the initial LINC Commission established in November 1992 and succeeded Bert Berkley (LINC's Founder) as chair in December 1995.

Rowland's exuberance, wide-ranging interests, and deep sense of social justice encouraged the young organization to act on opportunities, be highly accountable to the community, and be stalwart stewards of the funds received.

While highly connected, Rowland deeply valued LINC's grassroots commitments to "serve the community in need" and its "bottoms up" approach.

Read more about Landon H. Rowland



Gayle Hobbs, President

Gayle Hobbs is president of the Local Investment Commission (LINC) – a wide-ranging, well-regarded community collaborative known for its broad agenda to improve the lives of children and families in Kansas City, Mo. and Jackson County.

LINC was named a 2003 “Community of Excellence” by the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council and Communities Can!, affiliated with Georgetown University.  In November 2002, LINC was honored with a “Families Count” award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The governments of Israel and The Netherlands have invited LINC to work with them on neighborhood and community development issues.

Hobbs regularly addresses national groups on welfare-to-work, neighborhood governance, school-based human services, child care, child welfare, financial strategies and community involvement, particularly the business sector.

LINC supports more than 80 school sites that are working to develop comprehensive neighborhood services.

Hobbs is a licensed clinical social worker. 



Robin Gierer, Deputy Director - Operations

Robin Gierer joined LINC after 10 years as a senior executive with the Mo. Dept. of Social Services. As a member of the director’s office he worked on a range of change agendas including initiation of Community Partnerships around the state and serving on the design team of the public/private partnership known as the Family and Community Trust. 

Gierer is responsible for LINC's finance, human relations and operations.

He served as Executive Director of ARCHS, the Community Partnership in St. Louis. He has extensive experience in revenue maximization from his years in Medicaid and was a leader in system reform efforts for Social Services directors Gary Stangler and Kathy Martin.

Gierer served 24 years with the Dept. of Social Services and moved through the ranks from Income Maintenance Caseworker and Social Service Worker to Policy Analyst in Medicaid.

Gierer received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, completed the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, and attended the Center for Creative Leadership.

He joined LINC in 2003.






Brent Schondelmeyer, Deputy Director - Community Engagement

Schondelmeyer is responsible for LINC’s overall communications efforts including its newsletter, website, public affairs and other external affairs.

H is background includes extensive experience in journalism including The Kansas City Star, the Associated Press, the Kansas City Business Journal, the Kansas City Health Care Times and the Budapest Business Journal. He is a published author and local historian.

He has served on various non-profits and has public board appointments that include Community Advisory Committee Health Care Foundation Greater Kansas City (2003); Mid-Continent Library Board (2003); and City of Independence Heritage Commission (2003). 

Schondelmeyer received a B.A. from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Ia. (1976) and a M.Sc. Public Administration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics, London, England (1981).

He joined LINC in 1995.


Andrea O'Neal, Deputy Director - LINCWorks

Andrea O’Neal is the Deputy Director for LINCWorks, LINC’s welfare-to-work initiative.

She joined LINC in 1999 and has served in several roles including Site Coordinator, Case Manager, and Program Supervisor. Prior to joining LINC she worked at Friends of Yates, Inc. (Kansas City, Kan.) as Director of Operations and Management. She has also worked as staff and volunteer with Kansas City Parks and Recreation youth leagues and was a graduate assistant for Women’s Basketball at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has extensive experience in youth development, afterschool programming, community organizing, training and development, and welfare-to-work operations.  

O’Neal received a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University, a Master of Public Administration and Educational Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and is an Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) Fellow.


Janet Miles Bartee, Caring Communities Administrator

Janet Miles-Bartee joined LINC since 1998 and has served in several roles including line staff, Site Coordinator, and Supervisor. She has extensive experience in afterschool programming, community organizing, youth development, and training and development.

Miles-Bartee received her Bachelor of Arts from Park University.

Sean Akridge, Caring Communities Administrator

Sean Akridge joined LINC in 1996 as Site Coordinator at Woodland Elementary School (Kansas City Public Schools).

He has also served as Site Coordinator at Northeast High School (KCPS) and at Procter Elementary and Van Horn High School (Independence School District).  In 2009, he was promoted to Site Supervisor and in 2015 to Caring Communities Administrator.  

Akridge has extensive experience in youth development, afterschool programming, and community organizing.  He has a B.A. in Psychology from University of Missouri-Kansas City and is an Education Policy Fellowship Program fellow.