Conni Mansaw was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts at Wichita State University in gerontology and Master of Education in organizational leadership. at Newman University in 2017. A wife to Bryan, mother to Sydney and Savannah and an active member of the community, she dedicates her time, talents, and passion to many organizations and efforts in Wichita.
What is your job title and what do you do?
I currently am the constituent events manager for The Alzheimer’s Association Central & Western Kansas Chapter. I navigated from “volunteer extraordinaire to staff member.”
What is the greatest challenge working with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease?
I believe the largest obstacle that our organization experiences is the lack of acceptance that this devastating disease impacts everyone: friends, family, medical community, and business community.
How important is it for the public to understand this disease?
The fight to end Alzheimer’s is a global concern and does not discriminate who is affected.
Why did you decide to join the Wichita Professional Communicators in 2021?
An opportunity to reengage in a space that allows me to merge my love of communication in written and presentation form in the Wichita community, as well as create an opportunity to network with others to increase awareness of important issues that may have forgotten areas of diversity and inclusion efforts.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?
Reading James Patterson novels and books from Harlem Renaissance era, listening to Miles Davis, taking long walks and trying new recipes on Pinterest.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I find total silence and a completely dark room extremely peaceful.
Who is your mentor and why?
I have five individuals:
- My parents, the late Joseph Earl and Ruth Earl they instilled in me the importance of utilizing my education as the driving force to create a legacy to make my family, my community and myself proud.
- Junetta Everett: She has been a phenomenal representation of what determination, focused efforts and hard work will produce, and I have flourished as a woman, a mother, a wife and a professional woman of color because of the seeds she planted as a teen.
- Deltha Q. Colvin: As a proud product of the Upward Bound program, Ms. Colvin has been a key part of the foundation of my educational journey. During my high school journey, college preparation was her focus; during college it shifted to obtaining my bachelor’s degree and during my path of graduate studies, her encouragement assisted in my successful completion.
- Dr. Gina Marx: Career mentor and graduate school advisor who offered the guidance that assisted in my decision to begin graduate school and guided me through my journey to completion. She kept me grounded and applauded my achievements wholeheartedly.
Mansaw is involved in Sigma Gamma rho sorority, Incorporated, Alzheimer’s Association, Junior League of Wichita, St. Mark United Methodist Church, incoming member of Newman University Alumni Board, and is an executive board member of Sistahs Can We Talk, a nonprofit organization.
Interviewed by Wilma Moore-Black
Editor’s Note: Wilma Moore-Black has known Mansaw since birth and was instrumental in getting her to join WPC. Moore-Black posed the following questions to Mansaw, whose mother was a primary child-care provider for Moore-Black’s two children.