Tom Wierman
Tom Wierman

July 28, 2020 — The American Legion Department of Kansas’ Boys State Committee has appointed Tom Wierman to serve as the executive director of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. Wierman’s term began on July 15. He takes over for Shane Wilson who served in the role for the past year.

Wierman, a resident of Wichita, Kan., was a Kansas Boys State delegate in 1976 from Ransom High School (now Western Plains High School) before graduating there the following year. He has served KBS in a variety of volunteer positions since 1977, beginning in various counselor roles before ascending to serve in numerous adviser roles in 1986 through 1995. While family and work commitments kept Wierman away from the program on a full-time basis for 15 years, he returned as an adviser in 2010, most recently as dean of counselors.

Wierman is employed as the executive director of the Wichita-based Council of Petroleum Accountants Societies Inc., a nonprofit organization comprised of oil and gas industry accounting professionals. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1981 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 1983, both from Fort Hays State University.

As executive director for the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy, and in conjunction with the Boys State Committee, Wierman is responsible for the direction and oversight of all objectives for the program. Along with implementation of strategic planning and visioning, Wierman is accountable for the long-term health and longevity of the ALBSKLA and its resources.

The ALBSKLA provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.

The Kansas Boys State program would have celebrated its 83rd year of service in June, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 session. This was just the second time the program was canceled in its history (the 1945 session was canceled due to the end of World War II).

Planning for the 2021 session, which is scheduled to be held in June at Kansas State University in Manhattan, has started. The ALBSKLA expects to announce dates this winter.