Four honorees to be inducted into Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

Four distinguished alumni will be inducted into the Lee’s Summit High School Hall of Fame on April 8 at Lee’s Summit High School. Alumni being honored for the 2016-2017 school year are Lois Rygaard Brayfield, Class of 1978; Robert (Bob) N. Hartnett, Class of 1974; Laurence Pressly, Class of 1949; and Nelson F. “Nikk” Thompson, Class of 1969.

The distinguished alumni will be recognized at the annual LSHS Hall of Fame banquet to be held at 6 p.m. on April 8 at LSHS. Cost per person is $25, and reservations are required.  For more information, please contact the high school at (816) 986-2107 or e-mail to renee.baxter@lsr7.net.

Lee’s Summit High School has inducted distinguished graduates into the school’s Hall of Fame for 21 years. Alumni are inducted each year during a dinner ceremony. Plaques featuring the honorees are also displayed on the wall of fame at Lee’s Summit High School, which is located just outside of the James T. Brockman Lecture Hall.

The LSHS Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of graduates and staff. Alumni are eligible for this honor 10 years after graduation. Nomination forms for the 2017-2018 school year are available by calling Lee’s Summit High School, (816) 986-2000. They should be returned to the high school at 400 SE Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit, Mo., 64063.

Lois Rygaard Brayfield – Class of 1978

Lois Brayfield, is an award-winning, cross-channel marketer, acknowledged by clients and colleagues alike for her expansive knowledge, both practiced and sophisticated. She knows what works and has the experience to prove it — more than 30 years of studying direct marketing results. She applies this wealth of data to every project and has helped developed an integrated process that ensures campaign effectiveness. As CEO of J.Schmid, she has built a successful company with offices in Kansas City and San Francisco.

Ms. Brayfield has travelled the world, working with leading direct marketers, including Hallmark, Jockey, Reebok, IKEA, American Express, HoneyBaked Ham, Sprint, Brookstone, Sears (Canada), Mark & Spencer (UK) and EziBuy (Australia). She is a current vice president and board member of NEMOA (National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America), Dean of Creative for Catalog University, Advisory Board Member for Target Marketing Magazine and on the Content Curation Committee for the National Direct Marketing Association. Her expertise spans every aspect of the industry — from strategic design and customer experience, merchandise analysis, marketing strategies, brand development and catalog feasibility to start-up strategies and re-positioning.

In 2001 she was named Kansas City’s Direct Marketer of the Year. The Kansas City Direct Marketing Association has proffered their AMBIT Award to her over 100 times, including for Best of Show in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2007. She has served on KCDMA’s Board of Directors for six years, and was the fourth woman in the history of the 750-member organization to be named president. She was a past board member of the American Catalog Mailing Association and helped found the organization.

Other honors include Ingram’s magazine’s “50 Missourians You Should Know” and “Forty Under Forty,” KC Business Journal’s “25 Women Who Mean Business” and “25 Best Small Places to Work,” honored by the Native Sons of KC as the first “Scout” award winner and accepted into both the Kansas City Centurion Program and the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program.

Ms. Brayfield graduated from LSHS in 1978, earned an associate degree from Hannibal-LaGrange University, a bachelor’s degree in graphics design and advertising from Central Missouri State University, Professional Direct Marketing Accreditation from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an honorary PhD from Hannibal-LaGrange University.

She currently lives with her husband, Ted Brayfield in Hollister, Mo.

Robert (Bob) N. Hartnett – Class of 1974

Bob Hartnett graduated from Lee’s Summit High School in 1974. He continued his education at Kansas State University. He graduated with a bachelor of landscape architecture in 1980 and began his career with the City of Lee’s Summit Public Works Department in August the same year. Holding a number of positions throughout the years, Mr. Hartnett is currently the deputy director of public works. In 1982, Mr. Hartnett earned a Kansas Registered Landscape Architecture license. At this point Missouri lacked a professional registration law. For several years, Mr. Hartnett worked with Prairie Gateway Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to pass a licensing law in Missouri. He often testified before the Missouri House and Senate Committees. After numerous attempts, a law was passed in 1991 and Missouri license LA-14 was issued to Mr. Hartnett. During this time, Mr. Hartnett worked actively in professional associations, serving on the Board of Directors for local chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Public Works Association. His leadership and extensive professional experience led to his 1997 appointment to the Missouri Landscape Council. 

Mr. Hartnett was appointed by Missouri Gov. Bob Holden in 2002 as a member of the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors and Professional Landscape Architects (APEPLASPLA). Gov. Matt Blunt reappointed him in 2008. At the conclusion of Mr. Hartnett’s two terms as a member, Gov. Jay Nixon appointed him as Board chair of APEPLSPLA in 2015. Mr. Hartnett is the first professional landscape architect to hold the position. During this time, Mr. Hartnett was elected to position on the Board of Directors to the International Council of Landscape Architecture Boards. 

Mr. Hartnett continues to serve Lee’s Summit, volunteering his time to support the Lee’s Summit Symphony, the Historical Society of Lee’s Summit and actively participated with the Lee’s Summit Sesquicentennial celebration. He served as a youth soccer coach for Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation and Lee’s Summit Soccer Association. To date, he remains involved with the Lee’s Summit High School soccer program and has announced for men’s and women’s soccer since 2006.

Bob and his wife, Gina, have a daughter, Erin, and a son, Kevin.

Laurence Pressly – Class of 1949

Following graduation from the University of Missouri, Mr. Pressly was a partner in the family dairy and livestock operation.  In 1956 he joined the University Extension and became an area dairy specialist for West Central Missouri.  In 1972 he was appointed as the agribusiness manager of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City.

In 1975, Mr. Pressly was hired to run the American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo.  In 1977 he was promoted to executive vice president and general manager, a position he held until 1985, at which time he left to pursue a career in real estate, which continues today as senior broker associate with the Reece Nichols Company with designations in the area of short sales and foreclosures as well as a certified Reece Nicholas consultant.

Mr. Pressly also served in several civic positions with the City of Lee’s Summit. He served on the Lee’s Summit Board of Zoning and Adjustment, the Lee’s Summit Planning Commision, the Lee’s Summit Zoning board, the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and the Lee’s Summit City Council. Additionally, Mr. Pressly serves as an usher at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Lee’s Summit, where he and his wife Janet were married. Mr. Pressly has constantly striven to model ethical and moral principles, carefully examining issues and decisions with the goal that they will be beneficial for Lee’s Summit and its residents.

Nelson F. “Nikk” Thompson – Class of 1969

Nelson F. (Nikk) Thompson graduated from Lee’s Summit High School in 1969. After graduation, Mr. Thompson was accepted into West Point Academy. As he prepared to depart for West Point, he made a decision to instead join the 173rd Airborne Brigade and left for the Vietnam War in 1970. During this time, he received several commendations from the United States Army for his service his country.

After returning from Vietnam, he served as a liaison noncommissioned officer at Fort Ord, Calif., where he assisted in fine tuning the Special Unit Enlistment Program. Mr. Thompson received a letter of commendation for outstanding leadership. Nikk also taught at West Point Academy in 1972 where he was issued a letter of appreciation from Col. Richard L. Gruenther for outstanding performance of instructing, advising and evaluating cadets as well as platoon and company tactical training.

In 1976, Mr. Thompson earned his associate degree from Longview College in applied science. In 1998, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible and organizational leadership at Calvary Bible College. In 2006, he earned his master’s degree in Christian studies from the Calvary Theological Seminary.

The bulk of Mr. Thompson’s career was spent serving as a police officer for the City of Lee’s Summit. Mr. Thompson spent 27 years working as an officer, a detective and as a hostage negotiator. Mr. Thompson’s largest contribution to his community was the implementation of the Crisis Intervention Team, which he developed with Chief Scott Lyons and Capt. Brian Wilson. That initiative has spread through all metro area police departments and across the state of Missouri.

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