KDOL Executive Leadership


Honorable Delia Garcia
Acting Secretary

Hon. Delia Garcia serves as the Acting Secretary for the Kansas Department of Labor, appointed by Governor Laura Kelly in January 2019. Garcia returned to Kansas after serving eight years in senior leadership in the national organizations ReflectUS, National Migrant Seasonal Head Start Association, and the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. In 2004, she was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, where she served six years. Delia made Kansas history both times by becoming the first Latina woman and the youngest female to serve in the Kansas Legislature in 2004, and again the first Latina woman to serve as a Kansas Cabinet Secretary in 2019. Garcia is utilizing her business, policy, and non-profit community advocacy expertise to serve hard working Kansans and their families.

Delia received her Masters Degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in Public Administration from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wichita State University. She is also a graduate of the Harvard University Executive Leadership Program and the Aspen Executive Leadership Institute. Delia is a charter member of Kappa Delta Chi Service Sorority at Wichita State University.  Garcia received numerous recognitions for her leadership and community service, including a permanent exhibition in the State of Kansas Historical Society Museum as the first Latina elected in Kansas.

brett photo Brett Flachsbarth
Deputy Secretary

Brett joined KDOL in 2005 and was appointed to Deputy Secretary in 2019 by Acting Secretary Garcia. During his time with the agency, he worked in a variety of roles including Director of Unemployment Insurance, Chief of Appeals and Counsel to the Employment Security Board of Review and the Public Employee Relations Board. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Information and Technology Support Center (ITSC).

Menghini, Julie 2019 Julie Menghini
Communications Director/Legislative Liaison

Julie is a lifelong Kansan with a dedication to service. She served eight years in the Kansas House of Representatives, including two years as the Minority Whip. She graduated from Pittsburg State University and holds the Senior Certified Professional Certification from the Society of Human Resource Management. Prior to joining KDOL, she worked as the Human Resource Director for Pittsburg Community Schools USD 250.

Searles, Laurel Klein Laurel Klein Searles
Unemployment Insurance Director

Laurel Klein Searles is originally from Minneapolis, Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Laurel then moved on to the Washburn University School of Law. She graduated with Deans Honors in 2008. Immediately after graduation, she began working as Staff Attorney with the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. In 2012, Laurel joined KDOL as an Appeals Referee. She was then promoted to Chief of Appeals in September 2015. In October 2018, Laurel joined the Social Security Administration as an Attorney Advisor. She is pleased to be returning to KDOL to serve as Director of Unemployment Insurance.

Brady, Peter Peter Brady
Industrial Safety & Health Director

Peter Brady leads KDOL's Division of Industrial Safety and Health (ISH), which overseas safety programs for both public and private entities in the State of Kansas, as well as the administration and enforcement of the Kansas Amusement Ride Act. In addition to his duties with ISH, Peter assists KDOL with legislative issues and outreach during the Kansas legislative session.

Prior to joining KDOL, Peter was a Cavalry Scout in the United States Army. He served at both Fort Riley, Kansas and Camp Hovey, Republic of Korea. Prior to serving in the Army, Peter earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Texas Tech University. During his time at Texas Tech, Peter interned for the United States Senate in Washington, D.C.

Dawn Palmberg Dawn Palmberg
Fiscal Director

Dawn was hired as the Chief Fiscal Officer for KDOL in 2013 and continues to serve in this role. She has been in public service accounting for over 17 years. Prior to KDOL, Dawn worked for the Adjutant General's Department, the Kansas Insurance Department and the Kansas Water Office in various accounting roles. She earned her Bachelor of Accountancy from Washburn University in 2003 and is currently working on her Masters of Accountancy from Emporia State.

Brady, Peter Lacie Worcester
Human Resource Director

Lacie joined KDOL in October 2012 as an Auditor in the Audit and Investigations unit. She transitioned to Human Resources in December 2014 and was promoted to Human Resource Director in January 2016. Prior to joining KDOL, Lacie was a Program Administrator with the Department of Commerce.

Cahill, John John Cahill
Information Technology Director

John joined the KDOL team as the CIO for Information Technology Services in 2015. Prior to coming to KDOL, he worked for several public organizations, as well as private organizations, in various technical roles. He graduated from Topeka West High School and earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Southwestern College. John received his Masters degree in Organizational Leadership from Southwestern College in 2012.

Cahill, John Justin Whitten
Chief Legal Counsel

Justin is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. He completed his undergrad at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he majored in Applied Mathematics. Justin received his law degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, MO. Immediately after graduating, he joined the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), starting as an Honors Attorney before becoming a Trial Attorney. Justin joined KDOL in March 2019 as the Chief Legal Counsel.

Berland, Angela Angela Berland
Labor Market Information Services (LMIS) Director

Angela is originally from Damar, Kansas, and graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media in 1998. After working in the Secretary of State’s office throughout college, she joined KDOL’s LMIS division in 1997 as a part-time intern. She worked in several different Research Analyst positions at KDOL, became a Unit Supervisor in 2005 and then Deputy Director in 2009. Angela served on numerous internal committees and on multi-agency initiatives and currently serves on the National Policy Council of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program.