BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — A Baxter Springs native who helped found a tech company cited by Forbes magazine is making another list: the Wall of Fame at the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum.

Ross Hartley, 68, will be honored at a reception at 2 p.m. Sunday at the museum.

"Any time you're honored by your hometown, it's quite an accomplishment," Hartley said Thursday.

Other people on the Wall of Fame include composer Hubert Bird, Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott, and retired businessman Gene Bicknell.

"He's in good company," said Jim Hall, the president of the Baxter Springs Historical Society.

Hartley has an undergraduate degree from Baker University in Baldwin City, and a law degree from the University of Kansas. Hartley helped his father, Robert, run an insurance company, the Hartley Agency, that Robert Hartley founded in 1935. In 1992, Hartley co-founded NIC Inc. in Olathe, that helps governments provide online services such as buying hunting licenses in Alabama and looking up licenses of nurses in Arkansas. The company now has 34 offices and serves 4,500 federal, state and local government agencies.

Kansas was the first state to contract with NIC. The company currently does business with more than 30 states and the federal government. Forbes put NIC at No. 36 on its list of America's Best Small Companies in 2014 and No. 20 on its list of the 25 fastest-growing technology companies in America in 2012.

Hartley and his wife of 47 years, Christine, now live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but he said he has lifelong friends from Baxter Springs. Hartley met his wife in Baxter Springs, played Little League here and graduated from Baxter Springs High School.

"Where you're born and raised in, and been in the same place for 52 years, it's home forever," Hartley said.

 

Reception

Ross Hartley will be honored at a reception at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum, 740 East Ave., Baxter Springs.