Marie Pyko, current library public services director and longtime Topeka resident, will be the library’s new chief executive officer. She will begin her new duties on Oct 22.
Pyko replaces former CEO Gina J. Millsap, who retired Dec 1, 2020. Thad Hartman, Chief of Staff, has served as Interim CEO for the last 10 months.
“The Board is very pleased that it was able to hire an individual with strong Topeka – Shawnee County ties,” said Jim Edwards, Trustee Board Chair. “A 28-year career with this library gives her a broad range of experience and qualifications that has prepared her to be CEO. We are also very fortunate to have an executive staff team that carried on the normal operations of the library during the interim, which included some very trying times.”
Pyko is a dynamic leader in the Topeka and Shawnee County community. She has received local, regional and national recognition for early literacy services, community partnerships, innovative reading initiatives and civic engagement. In her role as public services director, she managed the public, youth, program and community services departments. Pyko is a leader in implementing the library’s community impact goals and the development of annual work plans.
She began her career telling stories in the Kids Library and fell in love with libraries. Pyko has managed several areas of the library including senior services, local history/genealogy, the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery and technical services. Nationally, she is recognized as a leader, spokesperson and presenter within the American Library Association, Kettering Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts.
Community involvement and education
Pyko enjoys being actively involved in Topeka and communicating the essential role of the library with community leaders. She serves on the United Way on Grade Achievement Impact Council, Smart City-Momentum 2022 and the YWCA Racial Justice Book Club. She is also the current president of the Rotary Club of Topeka.
Pyko holds a bachelor’s degree in human development psychology from Wayne State University (Detroit) and a master’s degree in library science from Emporia State University. She resides in Topeka with her husband Marc and son Landon, who is a student at the University of Kansas.
CEO search committee
“I appreciate the honor of serving as chair of the 2021 TSCPL CEO Search committee,” said Joan Hicks, Trustee and CEO Search Committee Chair. “THANK YOU to each member for all your work in this effort! Each one of you brought a unique perspective to this process. With the diligent and thorough work of Bradbury Miller Associates, the consultants assisting with this effort, this process took approximately four months from the national advertisement of this opening to its conclusion today with the hiring of a new CEO. We truly believe we have found the best person for this job in Marie Pyko! Congratulations Marie and we look forward to the future of the TSCPL!”
The CEO Search committee members were Trustee & Committee Chair Joan Hicks, Trustee Beth Dobler, Trustee Jennifer Miller, Trustee Liz Post, Friends of TSCPL Board representative John Conlee, The Library Foundation board representative Judy Moler, TSCPL staff representative Jesse Maddox, and and ex-officio member Trustee Chair Jim Edwards.