I’m running for mayor because I want Shawnee to dream big.
For too many years, I’ve watched businesses bypass Shawnee to locate to other municipalities, which has cost us tax revenues that continue to burden our residents. Now, more than ever before, we must work together as a team to move our city forward!
In my nearly six years of representing you on our city council, I’ve been blessed to turn my love for Shawnee into public service. During that time, I’ve had the privilege of a front seat view of how hard our city works – both government and private sector – and how we pride ourselves on always doing more with less.
"IT'S TIME FOR US TO BOLDLY DEFINE WHO WE ARE."
Good governance and fiscal responsibility should and will always be our top priority, but a thriving community doesn’t exist on that alone. It’s time for us to boldly define who we are: find ways to differentiate ourselves from our neighboring cities and leverage those strengths so that we are a true contender for economic development on the regional and national stage. With a master's degree in public administration and a professional background in both government and economic development, I believe that I am best-suited to take on that challenge.
I’m the product of two working-class parents – who met when my father was driving an ice cream truck in south Wichita the summer after my mother graduated high school.
They were married just three months later, and several years after, my younger brother and I joined the family.
Unfortunately, a heart attack took my dad just shy of my fourth birthday. In the years that followed, my mother made ends meet by working as a sacker at the local grocery store, retail assistant, and store greeter. It wasn’t easy, but we were getting by, often with very little left at the end of the month. And then, in 1991, something happened that would once again shake our world.
Me, at the age of five in 1987 in Wichita, Kansas. #HomeHaircut
Our house was destroyed by an F-5 tornado that would go on to level much of Andover, and take several lives.
I remember every detail of that night, but my memories of the incredible outpouring of support from the broader community changed the trajectory of my life. I knew I wanted to be a part of giving back to a place that had given me so much.
Mom and Dad. My favorite photo of us.
With a combination of scholarships, Pell Grants, student loans, and a variety of part time jobs, I became the first in my immediate family to go to college.
I graduated from Kansas State University (where I met my husband, Bryan), and later received my Master’s Degree from the University of Kansas. Bryan now works as a patent and intellectual property attorney, and we're members of Church of the Resurrection (COR).
civic, political, and non-profit work
In the years that followed, I’ve worked in a variety of civic, political, and non-profit positions, and ultimately joined a local architecture firm last year to assist school districts in improving the educational experience for their kids – often times free lunch kids like me.
Me with one of my personal heroes, Senator Bob Dole. #Kansas
Why should any of this matter to you?
Because I know the meaning of hard work, and believe deeply in the transformational power of personal responsibility. Because I understand the impact even a few dollars can have on a family budget, and because I chose Shawnee to make my home to create a better life for my future family and myself. Those values are what I take with me every day in service to our city, and what would guide me your mayor.
Some of my earliest memories are of my grandfather coming home from a long day of work at Boeing. Following his service in the Korean War, he returned to Wichita as a machinist, where he would go on to spend more than forty years working before retirement. It was a demanding job, but he never complained. And even in his downtime, he was always fixing or building or helping those around him.
Grandpa Kessler taught me the value of a hard day’s work, and the commitment to see a job through, even when the going gets tough. And he taught me that every member of the team is valuable and deserves respect for their contribution.
These lessons have served me well, both in putting myself through college, and throughout my professional career. Just as I have on the city council, I will bring this same work ethic to the mayor’s office. We have a bright future ahead, if we’re willing to put in the hard work to get there.
it's time for shawnee to step up.
Strong leadership and municipal knowledge are crucial to A New Shawnee.
Shawnee has an incredible history that we can all be proud of; but it’s going to take more than a proud history to carry us towards the promise of a better tomorrow. It’s time for Shawnee to step up and be a real contender, and that will take strong leadership skills and an intimate knowledge of municipal governance and economic development. I firmly believe that my professional and personal experiences have positioned me to step up to the task…and I am absolutely ready to take it on.
Please join me and share my passion for a more vibrant and promising future for Shawnee!
Stephanie Meyer currently serves as the Shawnee City Council President, where she has represented Ward Three since 2013. She is a fourth generation Kansan, native of Wichita, and graduate of both Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. Her professional background includes communications, governmental affairs, and business development work in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Stephanie’s community involvement includes serving as a Past President of the Shawnee Rotary Club, Current Chair of the Johnson County Theatre in the Park Advisory Council, Board Member for Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, Director Emeritus for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series, Volunteer “Big” with Big Brothers Big Sisters; and she recently became a living kidney donor. In 2018, she was honored to receive the Gene Amos Service Above Self Award in recognition of her contributions.
Membership and Service
She is an alum of the Greater Kansas City Chamber's Centurions Leadership Program (2019), Leadership Kansas (2014), and Shawnee Tomorrow (2013); a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s National Leadership Network, and a delegate to the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) trips to Tunisia and Morocco (2014) and Timor-Leste (2019). She also serves as the Vice Chair of the National League of Cities First Tier Suburbs Council and is a member of the NLC Young Municipal Leaders Steering Committee and Community and Economic Development Advocacy Committee.
Campaign Super Dog
I’m Charlie, the official Meyer for Mayor campaign mascot! I was born in rural Franklin County, and spent the first several months of my life on the run from the law. Eventually, I was brought in to the fantastic team at Prairie Paws Animal Shelter in Ottawa, where I lived for more than four months while begging for walks, counter-surfing, and waiting for my forever home.
My parents adopted me in August of 2016, and now I get to live in Shawnee, where I have plenty of room to roam (and still plenty of counters to surf). Most days, you can find me chasing my friends at Broadmore Kennels, or outpacing my mom on one of the many great trails in our neighborhood. Have I mentioned I’m really fast?
Lots of people try to guess what kind of dog I am (Australian Cattle, German Shepherd, and Whippet leading the pack), but my mom says I’m her favorite kind – a mutt.
I love laying on my sunny driveway, meeting new friends (watch out for my full body hugs), peanut butter, and squirrels… I’m definitely going to catch one someday.
I can’t wait to meet you out on the campaign trail!