Gov. Mark Parkinson has appointed Ed McKechnie, chief commercial officer for Watco Companies, Inc., to the Kansas Board of Regents. McKechnie will serve the remainder of former member William (Bill) Thornton's term that expires in June 2010.
"As a state legislator, business leader and life-long Kansan, Ed has always been dedicated to promoting and improving all that our state has to offer," said Parkinson. "Ed knows from his many years in business that a strong economy requires a skilled, educated workforce. He will bring a unique perspective to the Board of Regents as it continues its critical mission of upholding our higher education institutions."
For the past decade, McKechnie has been with Watco Companies, based in Pittsburg, KS, leading the railroad company's business development, communications and government affairs divisions. McKechnie, who serves as chairman of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's Legislative Policy Committee, is a former state representative. During his tenure in the Kansas House of Representatives between 1991 and 2001, he served on a variety of committees, including Appropriations and the joint committee on Legislative Post Audit, according to a release from the governor's office.
The Kansas Board of Regents is a nine-member body that governs the state's six universities, and supervises and coordinates 19 community colleges, six technical colleges, and a municipal university.