Heartland180 Staff                    

Executive Director/CEO


Maximilian Mendoza aka "Mr. Max"

                Maximilian is a native of the Kansas City Metro  area. Youth and prevention programs are passions of his and he dedicates a majority of his time to such programs. He himself was a troubled youth who ended up in the juvenile justice system in his adolescence. Coming from a background of drugs and gang activities, system involvement was inevitable. While Max was incarcerated, his cousin was killed in drive-by shooting. This incident helped initiate his reform.  He opened up to the opportunities provided; through the help of mentoring and the realization of his own self-value, he began working to reform his life. While working on his education and participating in activities that allowed him to help his fellow inmates, Max developed a passion for helping those like him.

                Upon his release, Max continued his education in Social Work. Due to his criminal background, he had difficulties finishing his degree and finding work in that field. His determination did not allow that to stop him. He volunteered to work with youth at every opportunity he could find. He began doing his own community outreach, advocating for juvenile justice reform and speaking to youth groups about his mistakes and overcoming them. Through his volunteer work he eventually made a reputation for himself that eventually reached the Kansas governor’s office. In 2012, Max became a governor appointee to the Kansas Advisory Group, (KAG), on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In the first year of his term, he was sent to Washington D.C. for the Coalition for Juvenile Justice national conference. He learned about youth engagement training and returned to Kansas with the information for the KAG to receive a federal grant for the training and development of a state youth committee. He was appointed chairperson and remains active with that committee today.

                In addition to serving on the KAG’s Youth Committee, Max also serves as the Chairman of the KAG's  Membership Committee, on the KAG’s Executive Committee, and on the KAG's DMC/RED Committee (Disproportionate Minority Contact/Racial and Ethnic Disparities). He is also serves as a Kansas Secretary of State Appointee to the Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee. Nationally he is a member of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and locally he is involved as a member of the Advisory Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, as a Board Member of P.A.C.E.S., as a Board Member of Keys For Networking and as a mentor to youth in his community.

Program Coordinator


Vicki Johnson

Vicki is a native of Kansas City, Kansas and has resided in the Argentine area most of her life.  She received her bachelor's degrees in psychology and Social Sciences from Ashford University in 2011 and this only amplified her thirst to help others and her community.  Vicki has been working to help others and her community since she was 16.  She started working with elementary schools and community volunteer groups doing all that she could to make a difference.  Today she is on several committees and boards to make a change.  Her most recent role as Program Coordinator at Heartland 180 will assist more towards making her dream of achieving greatness for the community by assisting with violence and encouraging family involvement in children’s life.  

Administrative Assistants


Kaylee Coulter

Kaylee joined Heartland 180 as our Administrative Assistant in July 2021. She graduated from University of Missouri - Kansas City with her Master of Social Work in 2019. She is experienced in working with households experiencing homeless and fleeing domestic violence.  

She started her social work career as an intern with HappyBottoms, a local diaper bank in Kansas City providing diapers to low-income families. This is where she cultivated her passion for advocacy and social justice. She is passionate about empowering others to overcome and/or adapt to challenges in their life.  

Kaylee is excited to be part of the Heartland 180 team to expand our essential programming for those who are often underserved in our community!


Shae Schluter

Shae is an administrative assistant at Heartland 180. Shae moved to Kansas City in 2017 to pursue her masters degree and was Heartland 180’s first intern. Shae went on to graduate with her Masters in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2019. Ms. Schluter has a passion for helping children, adults, and families who are underprivileged and underserved. Shae has primarily worked with houseless individuals and families, focusing on strengths based practices to help individuals achieve their goals and needs.  

Lead Facilitators

Izzy Walker



Kendra Engel

Program Aids


Bill McNeal

Bill started working at Heartland 180 January 2020, Married 4 children ,6 Grandchildren, Former career worked at Macys Whose 1975 started driving Semi Trucks In 1978, Jack Cooper Transport 1986-1988 Signal Delivery 1988-1992, Associated Wholesale Grocers 1992-2019 . Was elected union steward 1993 Trustee Teamsters Local 955 2003-2009 Vice President 2009-2019. Retired April 26, 2019. Started Working at young women on the move through Heartland 180 Oct 2020 -present  

Alma Garcia