About the Free Bird Team

Free Bird Business Solutions, Inc. is a “boutique business” that has been proudly built on customer referral and often works with repeat clients.

Because of that, we only take on work projects that we know we can do very well, and we always work to provide customer value by over delivering with regard to the quality of the work product and service provided.

Having that kind of reputation, Free Bird  Business Solutions, Inc. is able to recruit and retain top talent; those who represent the best in their fields and consistently bring their “A-game” to the table with the clients they serve. 

While we have an extensive cadre of associates at Free Bird, meet some of our key staff:

Claudia Larkin, MPA
Claudia’s experience in the areas of management, marketing and business operations is vast and varied, with a 20-year career that includes serving in positions at the highest level or corporate, not-for-profit, and government organizations.

Prior to founding Free Bird Business Solutions, Inc., Claudia worked professionally with many people in Kansas and nationwide who came to know her for her experience in strategic planning, marketing, partnership development and program design and management.  She has built departments and staffing teams from the ground up, and her work has won awards at the national level.

Claudia created Free Bird Business Solutions in 2004, as organizations began to seek her out for assistance with their business needs.  Her main focus today is working with businesses to establish best practices.  Clients look to her for organizational turnaround strategies designed to put companies back on solid, healthy financial footing. Claudia also works with boards and staff on development issues involving strategic planning, revenue development, teambuilding, goal setting, leadership and customer service. 

Claudia received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas and a Bachelors Degree from St. Bonaventure University.  She has served on numerous boards and is an active community volunteer.  She was honored as a YWCA Woman of Excellence in 1999 and was selected as the 2000 Honor Graduate for the Edwin O. Stein School of Public Administration at the University of Kansas, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.

Michael Larkin, MPA
Vice President of Operations
Free Bird grew quickly, and Mike joined the organization in February 2005 as the Vice President of Operations. 

Retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel from the Kansas Army National Guard, Mike has an extensive background in human resource management and staff training and development. He has managed the training needs of hundreds of staff for the Kansas Army National Guard and served as the agency’s EEOC officer.  Upon retiring, Mike served as Executive Director of the Kansas Employer Coalition on Health, providing leadership and legislative advocacy to an association whose mission it was to ensure employers adequate healthcare options for employees.  He was later recruited by the State of Kansas to serve as the Employee Pharmacy Benefits Director, managing the pharmaceuticals contract valued at over $70 million.

Today, Mike works with NPOs providing ongoing management services.  With extensive experience in operations, Mike’s talent is in establishing processes and procedures, evaluating staffing needs, and creating HR infrastructure

Diane Oakes
Senior Associate/Project Manager
Diane Oakes is a dynamic executive with over fifteen years of proven success in organizational and strategic leadership.  A graduate of the Executive Leadership program at Wharton School of Business, Diane mastered the art of corporate planning by providing direction and guidance in the formulation, integration and implementation of long-term and short-term operating objectives, meeting or exceeding corporate goals each year.  As an adjunct faculty member at her alma mater, Wichita State University, Diane taught courses on gender and communication, social issues and women’s history. 

Most recently, Diane was approved by the Kansas State Supreme Court as a core mediator.  Diane currently provides mediation services for employers/employees, small claims court and tenant- landlord disputes.  3455 SW Brandywine Court      Topeka, Kansas  66614         Phone: 785.608.6714          Fax:  360.935.5419