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Dietricks focus on giving to Washburn as it helped set them on the right path

Dietricks

Washburn Lawyer - Fall 2020/Winter 2021
By Angela Lutz

When John, BA ’74, JD ’83,  and Kristina, BA ’91, Dietrick found themselves in a position to share the fruits of their successful careers, Washburn University was at the top of their list. In 2010, the couple created the John and Kristina Dietrick Law Scholarship at the Washburn University School of Law to give other aspiring attorneys a hand on their journeys to professional acclaim and satisfaction.

“We wanted to give back to the law school in a meaningful manner and show our appreciation for the excellent education I received there,” John said. “I am humbled and blessed that because of our success, Kristina and I have been able to give back to organizations that we truly believe in, such as Washburn University and the Washburn University School of Law.”

Over the years, John and Kristina have put their skills and talents to good use – and they’ve also benefited from working with each other. Realizing they wanted to own and operate a business together, in 2008, they founded HR Partners, where Kristina serves as president and owner and John as CEO and general counsel. Located in Topeka, HR Partners specializes in providing human resources outsourcing, consulting, audits, compliance, training, organizational development, and executive recruitment for a variety of organizations throughout the Midwest, including Washburn University.

“I am proud of the diversity of clients and employers we have served and continue to serve with their HR needs,” said Kristina, who has worked in the human resources industry for more than 25 years.

In addition to their work with HR Partners, Kristina has held several executive-level human resources positions in agricultural, behavioral health and health care organizations, while John has acquired extensive corporate, insurance, employment law and labor relations experience over a span of 35 years. He offers legal services through his own private firm, and he is a U.S. Army veteran, having served two tours as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

Both John and Kristina credit their time at Washburn with getting them started on the right path and helping them gain the experience, skills and knowledge they needed to achieve their personal and professional goals.

“Washburn University started the process of me growing up,” Kristina said. “Beyond the class curriculum, I was taught discipline, patience, time management and grit. And beyond the classroom, I developed lasting lifetime friendships that I value very much to this day.”

“Washburn helped me in my career at both HR Partners and my law firm by providing a sound education in the law,” John added. “While all of my grades may not have reflected this, I learned so much from the incredible law professors who were professional, understanding and helpful with all aspects of my law school education. I had wonderful experiences at Washburn University and Washburn law. Interestingly, each prepared me for vastly different – although somewhat related – careers in criminal justice and in the practice of law.”

Because of their affinity for Washburn and the Topeka community, John and Kristina have stayed involved with and connected to the university in a variety of ways throughout their lives. In addition to their law school scholarship, they have partnered with various organizations on campus to serve their HR needs, including the Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation and the Washburn Institute of Technology. John served on the law school’s board of governors and is a member of the Ichabod Athletic Fund board. The couple also regularly supports Washburn University Athletics. Even when Kristina briefly left Topeka right after graduation, she couldn’t wait to return home.

“Once I received my degree, my life took me away from Topeka,” Kristina said. “I was gone for over three years, and I could not wait to get back to the community and to my alma mater.”

Today their oldest daughter, Lauren, has strengthened their Washburn connection as a sophomore student and soccer player at the university. John and Kristina have also cemented their scholarship’s longevity by making an additional planned gift to the university, ensuring financial assistance for scholarship recipients well into the future. Many Washburn University and law school graduates have found professional homes at HR Partners and John’s law firm as well, an arrangement that benefits everyone involved.

“We have chosen to hire many Washburn grads – at both HR Partners and my law firm – because, quite candidly, we know what to expect from a Washburn graduate,” John said, referring to the same determination, patience and professionalism that have helped him and Kristina get to where they are today.

 

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Topeka, KS 66604 Phone: 785.670.4483
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