The Hometown Team

Bobby Burch, Editor-in-chief

Bobby loves spotlighting risk-takers, bold ideas and people making the world a better place. He previously served as the tech and entrepreneurship reporter at the Kansas City Business Journal, during which time he caught Kansas City’s entrepreneurial “bug.” Before arriving in Kansas City, Bobby was the web editor at the Ottawa Herald newspaper.

When not corralling his Labrador, he enjoys photography, playing guitar and traveling.


Tommy Felts, Managing editor

A veteran of community journalism, Tommy brings expertise as an award-winning creative athlete and media executive in the Kansas newspaper industry. Honored in 2014 as one of Editor & Publisher magazine’s “25 Under 35,” Tommy most recently served as editor and publisher of The Ottawa Herald before joining Startland.

Tommy’s passion for storytelling and evenhanded journalism are rivaled only by his main gig: raising two young children and a graying pug. He and his wife, Cassie, are amateur urban farmers and easy-to-impress foodies.


Leah Wankum, Reporter

Leah Wankum

Known for her bubbly nature and offbeat humor, Leah enjoys meeting new people and telling their stories. She previously served as editor of the Richmond News in Ray County, Missouri, before she fell in love and moved to Kansas City. She also managed the University of Central Missouri’s two student publications, the Muleskinner and

An award winner in breaking news and in-depth reporting, Leah lived that small-town life near Missouri’s capital. When she’s not telling stories, she spends her time reading, cuddling with the nearest cat or grabbing a friend for coffee.


Adam Arredondo, Community builder

Adam has developed strong connections in the local civic, educational, corporate and entrepreneur communities by working as a volunteer co-leader of the Kansas City Startup Village since its inception in 2012.

His full-time role is executive director of the Kansas City Startup Foundation, a startup ecosystem incubator with a number of programs including Startland News. Aside from his love for building community, Adam is a proud Royals fan and always enjoys any competitive situation that doesn’t require true athleticism.


Elyssa Bezner, Intern

Elyssa is passionate about journalism, education, caring for the elderly, and pairing french fries with ranch. She is the managing editor for Park Hill South High School’s, The View, and loves writing about people, places, and things. She joins Startland as an intern through the Park Hill Professional Studies Program.

When not actively trying to catch up on Game of Thrones, she is outlining and writing her first fantasy novel, working in a nursing home, traveling, or spending time with her family.

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