Jim Merrill
Jim MerrillPresident
Jim Merrill recently retired following a career in marketing research and academics.  Most recently, Jim was president and chief science officer for Applied Marketing Research, a company he co-founded in 1993.  Prior to founding Applied Marketing Research, he was principal and head of operations for another Kansas City-based marketing research firm and research manager for one of America’s top 100 advertising agencies.

Jim’s academic experience includes several years as assistant professor of marketing with the Indiana University School of Business and an appointment as visiting professor of marketing at the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was also invited to serve as marketing instructor in the CIMBA international study program in  Italy.  He is currently enjoying travel, family life and working with non-profit organizations devoted to hunger abatement.

Christina Martin
Christina MartinPresident-Elect
Christina Martin provides pro bono consulting services to After the Harvest. She has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit executive management, specializing in domestic hunger relief.

She was the founding director of Kansas City Harvest, one of the first food-rescue programs in the United States. As the founding executive director of Foodchain–The National Food-Rescue Network, she raised millions of dollars for member programs, and she helped facilitate one of the nation’s largest nonprofit mergers between Foodchain and America’s Second Harvest (now Feeding America).

Ms. Martin formerly served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where she taught freshman and sophomore writing courses for seven years.

She holds B.A. degrees in history and English and an M.A. in English from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Jane Smeltzer
Jane SmeltzerTreasurer
Jane retired from Metropolitan Community Colleges after serving in leadership roles for 17 years, including Director of Purchasing, Director of Management Systems, and Director of Finance and Accounting. Prior to that, she held various accounting, audit and financial positions with Amoco and Marion Laboratories. Since retiring, Jane has worked as a consultant for several area companies. She has also served as Treasurer for the Kansas City Express women’s running group, and the Hampton Park Homes Association.

Jane has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She also holds CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) certifications. In addition to her volunteer work with After the Harvest, Jane is an active volunteer for both the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and KCUR Public Radio. Her hobbies include knitting, biking and hiking.

Vickie Harris
Vickie HarrisSecretary
Vickie is the President of Integrity Consulting Solutions, LLC, a newly-formed company focused on human resources and mediation services. Vickie partners with companies on human resource strategy, coaching and counseling; diversity strategy, initiatives, and measurement; coaching workforce and workplace conflict. Vickie also mediates in the areas of civil, domestic, and workplace within Kansas and Missouri, and has joined Mid-American Nazarene University as an adjunct professor.

Vickie has a bachelor’s degree from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Master’s Degree in management and human resources from Webster University.

As the former Director of Corporate Diversity and Inclusion for Hallmark Cards, Inc., Vickie set strategic direction and provided leadership that fostered company commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Vickie is a committee member with Women’s Employment Network, and formerly served on the boards of Rose Brooks Center and Kansas City Harmony.

Sally Luck
Sally Luck
Sally Luck is director of corporate services for Hallmark Cards, Inc., in Kansas City, where she has held positions of increasing responsibility since her employment in 1982. Sally has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in food services management and an MBA in management from Rockhurst University in Kansas City. She is a registered dietitian. Sally is past board president of Harvesters—the Community Food Network and past co-chair of the board of Foodchain – The National Food-Rescue Network. She has volunteered for Rose Brooks events for a number of years. Each year she coordinates Hallmark volunteers to provide a Christmas party for the children. She has been a speaker at national conferences and workshops for various corporations and food service trade associations.
Kelly Schwalbe
Kelly Schwalbe
An Iowa farm boy with more 30 years of marketing communications and practical agricultural experience in livestock and crop production, Kelly is the senior member of BCS Communications (now Sage Communications), which he founded with two partners in 2003. He provides strategic market planning, public relations services and technical writing, as well as media, industry and influencer relations consultation.

Kelly has worked with many large and small agribusinesses, as well as producer and professional associations, to develop and implement innovative marketing
communications programs that effectively reach customers, prospects and influencers. In addition, he has organized national and international conferences and education programs to address issues important to clients in the food production industry.

Today, he works primarily on the John Deere, NovaSource Crop Protection and other ag accounts. Kelly remains active in his family’s 600-acre corn, soybean and commercial cow-calf operation and owns a 90-acre farm in south central Iowa.

Kelly has a BS in agricultural journalism from Iowa State University and post-graduate studies in risk/crisis communications management from Harvard University. He cu1Tently serves as chairman of the Professional Improvement Foundation of the American Agricultural Editor’s Association and executive advisor to the AAEA board of directors, and is active with the National AgriMarketing Association, Livestock Publications Council, and National Association of Farm Broadcasters.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark is a global procurement manager at Hallmark Cards, Inc., supporting its IT and marketing divisions. He has worked at Hallmark since 1987. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Mark has served on other boards including the Institute of Supply Management–Kansas City, the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, and the advisory board for the Society of St. Andrew’s western headquarters.