Tom Esselman, Chief Executive Officer
Tom is the CEO of Connecting For Good, a Kansas City-based non-profit dedicated to bridging the digital divide, providing computer skills, computers, and internet access to low-income communities. He is also the Director of the Front Porch Alliance (FPA) Collaborative Leadership Team. The FPA, tenant of the same urban core campus as Connecting For Good, serves low income families with home visitation for early childhood and family support, as well as student mentoring and minor home repair programs. Both organizations are devoted to stabilization of the urban core family as the foundation for a life-improvement path out of poverty. Tom spent 22 years as an executive at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, where he led the development of a variety of technology-enhanced products, including Song Cards and Recordables. He retired in 2012 to pursue non-profit leadership opportunities in Florida, and now back in Kansas City. He actively partners with his wife, Mary Esselman, who is the CEO of Operation Breakthrough, an urban core early learning center, in serving over 400 impoverished youth and families everyday. Tom is a graduate of Georgetown University, with a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Affairs, and of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, at Northwestern University, with a Masters of Management.
Karita Matlock, Technology Manager
A Nebraska native and an Olathe North graduate, Karita has a Bachelor of Science in Business
Management from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She’s worked in the
technical support field for eighteen years witin various industries on the hardware and software side.
She originally joined the CFG team as an intern, and officially joined the staff in October of 2013. Since,
she has completed her Associates of Applied Science in Electronics Technology at Johnson Community
College, and served as the Computer Refurbishing Supervisor. Over the years, she has shifted to become
the Technology Manager, and is responsible for managing computer production, distribution, sales, and
recycling of electronics. She also manages our community computer labs located throughout the KC
Metro area, nonprofit technical support, and pick-ups of electronic donations. She assists in partnering
with various employment training programs to training digital literacy and computer refurbishing to
interns, students and employees. Working at CFG has allowed Karita to create an environment where
she has honed her technical, leadership, and managerial skills, while teaching others digital literacy and
technical skills at their level of comfort. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and listening to audiobooks
from the public library.
Kelly Gough, Programs Administrator
Kelly joined the Connecting For Good team in early 2019 as Administrative Professional assisting Tom and the rest of the staff. Her past professional experience includes teaching in public education, and corporate and small business B2B sales. Kelly is passionate about the mission of Connecting For Good and looks forward to helping the organization grow and have an even bigger positive impact on the members of the Kansas City community. In her free time, Kelly loves to attend live music shows, read, and spend time with her partner and three stepchildren.
Breonna Yungeberg, Education Manager
Breonna provides support to the community by collaboratively working with other nonprofits to create programming that can reach all demographics from youth to senior citizens. She came to us from her supervisor experience at Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. She's a graduate from the University of Kansas with a degree in communications and minors in leadership and journalism. Breonna wants to help adults and children succeed and secure a brighter future through education programs that involve digital learning, STEM and career-readiness skills while at Connecting For Good. In her free time, Breonna loves being with her family, partner and friends. She is the proud dog mom of a German Shepherd, Apollo.
Carol Meyers, LAMP Office Manager
Originally from Kansas City, Carol raised her four children in Johnson County, and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Economics at UMKC when her youngest started Kindergarten. She has had a long career in Real Estate and has lived across the country in Arizona and California. After returning back to Kansas City, Carol started volunteering with Connecting for Good in 2013 by teaching Digital Life Skills classes, and in 2015 joined the staff as the LAMP Office Manager and Instructional Trainer. She is responsible for running our LAMP Computer Lab and teaching digital literacy classes on a daily basis, and has a passion for helping our students learn skills of the 21st century. Upon turning 80, she went skydiving with her family to celebrate.
Chris Wiley, Technical Supervisor
Chris is a computer technician formerly trained in computer repair, data recovery, software installation, computer maintenance, networking, and more through the Kansas City Kansas Community College, the W. E. B. DuBois Learning Center, and on-going self-study. Chris is passionate about technology and reducing the digital divide – the gap between those privileged with access and education on the latest technologies and those without. He has shared this passion through hundreds of hours of volunteer computer work through several different organizations in the city including Connecting for Good, Jewish Family Services, and his own start-up (informal) nonprofit organization, TechCause. Chris has helped individuals, families, schools, churches, and other nonprofit organization by sharing his computer repair, maintenance, and networking skills. He is passionate about expanding and sharing his love for technology with those who come in.
LaDanity Timmons, Career Development Associate
LaDanity joined the CFG team through an internship with the Full Employment Council in the summer of 2016. She is responsible for teaching our Connecting to Parent Engagement course, creating course curriculum for our digital literacy program, and coordinating our workforce development programs. As a recent graduate of Penn Valley Community College, she is excited to continue school and pursue her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Outside of work, LaDanity loves to spend time playing Lego’s with her son, Akeem.
Jonathan Stricker, AmeriCorps VISTA Marketing Coordinator
Jonathan joined the team in December 2018 as an AmeriCorps VISTA. He is originally from Charleston, WV, but moved here for his one-year term from Williamsburg, VA. He is tasked with managing our social media and website updates, and you will often see him at fairs and various events. Jonathan graduated with his master's degree in the field of Government in August 2019, and he enjoys writing poetry, policywriting, music, sports, traveling, and prioritizing his time for the betterment of all that he believes in.