Barbbara Weathers HeadshotBarbara Weathers
Executive Director

After successfully working for over 15 years in higher education for both for-profit and nonprofit institutions, administrator and professor, Barbara Weathers is the Executive Director at Graceland University Institute for Professional Development, Independence, Missouri Campus.

Launched in January 2012, the GU Institute researches and creates professional training programs, including noncredit executive certificates in Leadership, Multigenerational Workforce, Innovative Organizational Culture and Teams in a Virtual World. All programs are created from a variety of practitioner and academic publications containing the most recent research and trends in each subject matter.

With 12 years of marketing research and presentation development, Barbara oversees all aspects of the Institute from program development to partnering with businesses to provide training that fills current needs. Barbara, with her experience in curriculum development in undergraduate and graduate programs, received a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives in 2009 in recognition of her work in higher education.

Beyond the education realm, she has been involved in the creation of strategic plans for multimillion dollar organizations and done extensive research in the areas of leadership, human motivation and consumer behavior. Passionately active in community and workforce development, Barbara has served on various committees with chambers of commerce’s throughout Missouri and served as board member for nonprofits such as Women in Need of the Ozarks and the Human Society.

Previously she was the Director of Outreach Activities, Coordinator of Leadership Studies and Adjunct Communications Professor at Drury University. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s in Communication from Missouri State University.


Nona Cady pinkNona Cady
Program Coordinator

As Program Coordinator for the GU Institute, Nona provides support for the non-credit program development and course implementation through Internet research, web site development and social media.

A Graceland alum, Nona brings institutional knowledge and passion to this new position after working more than 14 years in higher education for both for-profit and nonprofit institutions.

After graduating from Graceland University, Nona excelled in graphic design and production management the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the American Business Women’s Association. With her years of graphic design, production management and product branding experience, she has a successful history of producing multiple award winning publications. Nona holds seven CASE and two PRISM awards for creative design magazine layout and invitation design. Freelance clients include The Portrait Gallery, UMKC Office of Communications, UMKC School of Law, Park Collage, Young Peacemakers Club, RPI Physical Therapy and Coro.

Beyond education, she’s been an active member of the Colonial Hills Community of Christ Congregation by serving on the “Breakfast with Santa,” “Easter Extravaganza” and the “Tag Sale” committees. Passionately active in her sons’ activities, Nona is a certified youth worker and has served on various committees within the Blue Springs South Jaguar Pride Marching Band.

Mark Brewster - headshotMark Brewster
Business Development Associate

Mark brings 25+ years of sales, community relations and account management experience to his role in business development for the GU Institute.  He has serviced business clients’ needs all over the Kansas City Metro and beyond for large and small companies in a variety of competitive industries.

Mark earned a business and economics degree from Graceland University.  He is a graduate of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Program and has served in leadership positions for several area chambers, civic and trade organizations.   Mark has also served on several boards of directors including the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City.

Mark is a persuasive communicator with a strong customer service orientation.  He comes from a long line of educators and has taught adult education courses.  He leads and provides for his large family and teaches youths in his church.  And yes he is an Eagle Scout.