Committees

KC Rising’s Committee Members, Task Forces and Volunteers are made up of a collective of local professionals from a diverse range of industries. Together we ensure that our initiatives are met.  

Steering Committee

The KC Rising Steering Committee is the governing body for the KC Rising initiative and is composed of business and community volunteers from across the metropolitan area who are committed to regional collaboration.  The Steering Committee: 

  • Guides overall direction, ensures integration of strategies, and is accountable for accomplishing the KC Rising goals. Key performance indicators in support of the overarching goals are established by each KC Rising initiative, committee and teams, to be monitored and reviewed by the KC Rising Steering Committee on a regular basis.
  • Maintains strategic focus on the aggressive pursuit of the KC Rising goals.
  • Evaluates the strategies and activities of KC Rising committees and teams.
  • Seeks out best practices in other metropolitan areas and national trends relevant to KC Rising strategies and goals.
  • Reports progress annually to the KC region.

Leadership

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John F. Murphy (Co-Chair)

Partner & Immediate Past Chair

J. Murphy Strategies

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Neal Sharma (Co-Chair)

CEO

DEG Digital

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C. Mauli Agrawal

Chancellor

University of Missouri - Kansas City

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David Alvey

Mayor / CEO

Unified Government of Wyandotte County / Kansas City, KS

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Dr. Kimberly Beatty

Chancellor

Metropolitan Community College

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Ramin Cherafat

CEO

McCownGordon Construction

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Jessica Dain

Superintendent

Piper School District

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Michael Duffy

Community Development Director

City of Riverside, MO

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Steve Edwards

Chairman & CEO

Black & Veatch

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Laura Evans

Business and Education Advisor-in-Residence, Education

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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Bill Gautreaux

Business Partner

MLP Holdings LLP

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Douglas A. Girod

Chancellor

University of Kansas

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Charlotte Kemper Black

Director, Charitable Trusts & Foundations

Commerce Bank

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Elizabeth MacLeod Walls

President

William Jewell College

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Maria Meyers

Executive Director

UMKC Innovation Center

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Tracey Osborne Oltjen

President

Overland Park Chamber of Commerce

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Bob Regnier

President & CEO

Bank of Blue Valley

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Dennis Ridenour

President & CEO

BioNexus KC

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Scott Smith

Director, Strategic Initiatives

HNTB

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Qiana Thomason

President & CEO

Health Forward Foundation

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David Von Drehle

Columnist, National Affairs & Politics

The Washington Post

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Shalea Walter

Vice President, Marketing Manager

Arvest Bank

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Carolyn Watley

Vice President,  Community Engagement

CBIZ

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Eileen Weir

Mayor

City of Independence

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Fred Wise

HR Director - Global Talent Acquisition

Hallmark

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Pedro Zamora

Executive Director

Hispanic Economic Development Corporation

People Driving Committee 

The People Driving Committee exists to ensure the Kansas City metro region can develop, attract and retain the diverse talent necessary to grow the region’s economic competitiveness.

    Leadership

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    Laura Evans (Co-Chair)

    Business & Education Advisor-in-Residence, Education

    Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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    Steve Levy (Co-Chair)

    Chief Operating Officer

    McCownGordon

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    Adam Arredondo

    CEO

    STARTLAND

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    Carrie Coogan

    Deputy Director for Public Affairs & Community Engagement

    The Kansas City Public Library

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    Jayson Cuba

    Benefits Advisor

    The Miller Group

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    Keith Gary

    Vice President

    BioNexus KC

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    Maria Gibbs

    Director, Recruiting

    Cerner

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    Tirzah Gregory

    Associate Vice President

    HNTB

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    Jeremy Hegle

    Senior Community Development Advisor

    Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

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    Laurel Hogue

    Director, Vice Provost, Extended Studies

    University of Central Missouri

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    Jim Jamieson

    Director, Strategy & Transformation

    Honeywell FM&T

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    Angela Kennedy

    Director, Investor Relations

    KCADC

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    Lindsey Lanzisero

    Vice President of Total Rewards

    H&R Block

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    Martha McCabe

    Executive Director

    KC STEM Alliance

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    Mickey McCloud

    Chief Academic Officer

    Johnson County Community College

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    Megan Remley

    Senior Vice President, Unit Leader

    Lockton

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    Aaron North

    Vice President of Education

    Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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    Kelly O'Connor

    STEM, Diversity and Recruitment Specialist

    Garmin

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    Toree Pederson

    President

    Aligned

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    Bill Schwarz

    Director Organizational Development

    Evergy

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    Molly Weaver

    Director of Talent Acquisition

    Children's Mercy

    Traded Sectors Driving Committee 

    The Traded Sectors Driving Committee was created in 2020 to review industry data to determine the region’s industry strengths. The committee will monitor economic disruptions and select an industry where the region has existing strength that is sooner to recover due to KC being uniquely positioned. The committee will help determine a now and next sector, as well as help in the selection strategy for said sectors.  

      Leadership

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      Barbara Bichelmeyer (Co-Chair)

      Provost
      University of Kansas
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      Rich Smith (Co-Chair)

      President & CEO
      Henderson Engineers Inc.
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      Jeff Bloemker

      Market Administrator
      HCA Physician Services Group
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      Hubert Benitez

      Vice President, Strategy & Innovation
      Rockhurst University

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      Katherine Carttar

      Director, Economic Development
      Unified Government of Wyandotte / Kansas City, KS
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      Alan Cobb

      President & CEO
      Kansas Chamber
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      Wesley Fields

      Office Managing Partner
      Bryan Cave
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      Cathleen Flournoy

      Vice President, Business Recruitment
      Missouri Partnership
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      David Frankland

      Principal
      Novation iQ
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      Nathaniel Hagerdon

      CEO
      Northpointe

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      Sonia Hall

      President & CEO
      BioKansas

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      Nathan Hermiston

      Senior Vice President, Convention Sales & Services
      Visit KC
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      Jolie Justus

      Associate General Counsel
      Truman Medical Center
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      Dan Moye

      Executive Director, Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority
      EDCKC

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      Neelima Parasker

      President & CEO
      SnapIT Solutions 

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      Megan Remley

      Senior Vice President, Unit Leader
      Lockton
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      Dennis Ridenour

      President & CEO
      BioNexus KC
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      Melissa Roberts

      Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship
      Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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      Allison Schmitt

      President
      DI Build

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      Megan Segura

      Director of Special Projects
      KCADC
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      Nick Suarez

      Senior Managing Director
      Newark Grubb Zimmer

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      Joshua Taimoor Nana

      CEO / Founder
      MTAR

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      Michelle Weigand

      Chief Transformation Officer
      Honeywell

      IDEAS Driving Committee

      The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Driving Committee exists to build innovation capacity in the Kansas City metro region to increase the region’s prosperity. Capacity is built through building bridges between early-stage companies and corporations, fully develop a capital continuum, recruiting talent, moving ideas to market, and telling the story of entrepreneurship in Kansas City. 

        Leadership

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        Alan Lowden (Co-Chair)

        Chief Information Office
        H&R Block

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        Maria Meyers (Co-Chair)

        Executive Director
        UMKC Innovation Center

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        Adam Arredondo

        CEO
        STARTLAND
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        T.J. Berry

        Deputy District Director
        KC Region SBA

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        Jill Beveridge

        Vice President, Innovation
        Russell Stover

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        Robert Conklin

        Vice President, Technical Operations
        MRI Global

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        Brian Hancock

        Executive Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer
        Kansas City Southern

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        Chris Kelly

        Program Coordinator, Supplier Diversity
        Metropolitan Community College

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        Ron LeMay

        Managing Director
        OPENAIR Equity Partners

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        Jim Malle

        Coordinator, Entrepreneurship and Industry Initiatives
        EDCKC

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        Jenny Miller

        Network Builder
        KCSourceLink
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        Anita Newton

        Chief Innovation Officer
        Community America

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        Tina Peterson

        Founder & Manager
        T-Mobile Accelerator

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        Melissa Roberts

        Senior Program Officer
        Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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        John Rochelle

        Program Director, Innovation
        University of Kansas Health System
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        Amy Slattery

        Founder & CEO
        Odimo

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        Siad Taiym

        Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer
        Lockton
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        Sherry Turner

        Executive Director,
        Women's Business Center, Enterprise Center of Johnson County 

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        Rick Usher

        Assistant City Manager, Entrepreneurship & Small Business
        KC Bizcare

        Capital Access Taskforce

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        Alan Lowden (Co-Chair)

        Chief Information Officer
        H&R Block

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        Maria Meyers (Co-Chair)

        Executive Director
        UMKC Innovation Center

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        Klassie Alcine

        President
        KC Common Good

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        Ruben Alonso

        President
        Alt-Cap
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        T.J. Berry

        Deputy District Director
        KC Region SBA

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        Chris Bornheimer

        Chief Financial Officer
        Lead Bank
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        Rob Bratcher

        President
        Commerce Bank - Kansas City

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        Brandon Calloway

        Executive Director
        Generating Income For Tomorrow 

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        Katherine Carttar

        Director, Economic Development
        Unified Government   of Wyandotte County / Kansas City, KS

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        Jean-Paul Chaurand

        Executive Vice President
        H&R Block Foundation
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        Isaac Collins

        Owner
        Yogurtini

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        Simone Curls

        Executive Director
        Prospect Business Association
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        Bill Dana

        President/CEO
        Central Bank KC
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        Jason Dehaemers

        Chief Financial Officer
        Trust Neighborhoods

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        Daniel Edwards

        Managing Principal
        Digital Builders

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        Dell Gines

        Senior Community Development Advisor
        Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

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        Rebecca Gubbels

        Business & Program Development Consultant
        Missouri Small Business Development Center

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        Donald Hawkins

        Founder
        Tenth

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        Geoff Jolley

        Executive Director
        LISC

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        Mark Larrabee

        President & CEO
        Arvest Bank
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        T'risa McCord

        Interim President/CEO
        KC EDC

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        Aija Morris

        CEO & Co-Founder
        Greenline Initiative
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        Denise Omer

        Vice President Grantmaking and Inclusion Initiatives
        Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
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        Stacy Purvis

        Community Development Banker
        PNC
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        Melissa Roberts

        Senior Program Officer
        Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

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        Joshua Rowland

        CEO & Vice Chairman
        Lead Bank
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        Tim Saracini

        Chief Financial Officer
        Community America

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        Bryan Shannon

        Managing Partner
        MSTS

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        Amy Slattery

        Founder
        Odimo

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        Matt Tapp

        Executive Director
        Platte County EDC

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        Sherry Turner

        Executive Director,
        Women's Business Center, Enterprise Center of Johnson County

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        Kerrie Tyndall

        Assistant City Manager
        City of KCMO

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        Theodis Watson

        Assistant Vice President
        Central Bank Midwest
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        Shakia Webb

        AVP Small Business Relationship Officer
        UMB

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        AnnMarie Wills

        CEO & Founder
        Leverage Lab
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        Pedro Zamora

        Executive Director
        Hispanic Economic Development Corporation

        Supplier Diversity Taskforce

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        Alan Lowden (Co-Chair)

        Chief Information Officer

        H&R Block

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        Maria Meyers (Co-Chair)

        Executive Director

        UMKC Innovation Center

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        Adam Arredondo

        CEO

        STARTLAND

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        Maria Antonia Pérez-Andújar

        President & CEO

        Index Lingua

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        Sharon Auck

        Owner

        Fresh Approach Cleaning Professionals LLC

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        Nakisha Bausby

        Diversity Manager

        JE Dunn

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        Joyce Christanio

        Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity

        Sprint

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        Robert Conklin

        VP of Technical Operations

        MRI Global

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        Joe Davis

        CEO

        Custom Engineering

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        Martina Derra

        Owner & President

        DiverseID LLC

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        Alexandra Donnelly

        Senior Vice President, Global Operations

        C2FO

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        Gena Fitzgerald

        Vice President, Supply Chain

        Children's Mercy

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        Todd Fitzpatrick

        Vice President, Commercial Lending

        First Business

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        Debashis Haldar

        CEO

        Kong Telecom LLC

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        Chris Kelly

        Program Coordinator, Supplier Diversity

        Metropolitan Community College

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        Marvin Lyman

        Corporate Relations and Business Development Manager

        Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council

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        Sandra Olivas

        Commercial Lending Business Development Officer

        Bank of Labor

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        Jordan Warzecha

        Co-Founder & CEO

        Backstitch

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        Jennifer Pozzuolu

        HR Manager

        Garmin

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        Kim Randaloph

        CEO/President

        Heartland Black Chamber

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        Sharon Reed

        Procurement Officer

        Unified Government of Wyandotte County

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        Nia Richardson

        Assistant, Director for Small Business + Entrepreneurship

        KC Bizcare Office -City of Kansas City

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        Martha Salinas

        Chief Customer Officer

        MSTS

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        Mary Shannon

        Founder

        Connectus Worldwide

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        Timberlyn Smith

        Environmental Consultant

        Mustardseed Cultural and Environment Services, LLC

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        Oliver Trejo

        Supply Chain Manager

        Cerner

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        Sherry Turner

        Founder

        Women's Business Center, Enterprise Center of Johnson County 

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        Betsy Villarreal

        President

        BVA LLC

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        Valerie Coyazo

        Lead Supplier Diversity Manager

        Evergy

        Data & Analysis Resource Team

        The Data & Analysis Resource Team exists to support KC Rising in creating and maintaining a metrics framework to measure progress toward goals, enable community action and provide data for decision-making. Regular reports will be provided to the steering committee and annually to the community at large regarding Horizon Goals, system and strategy metrics. In addition, the DART will support driving and enabling committees in finding data to inform activities and provide data analysis and visualization to tell the story of committee work.

        Leadership

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        Ahmed Abdelmoity (Co-Chair)

        Director, Division of Neurology

        Children's Mercy

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        Peter Eaton (Co-Chair)

        Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics

        University of Missouri-Kansas City

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        Trent Armbrust

        Director, Strategy, Bioscience and Technology

        Kansas Department of Commerce

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        Kaitlin Bast

        Director, Public Policy

        KC Chamber of Commerce

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        Kate Bender

        Deputy Performance Officer

        City of Kansas City, Missouri

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        Jared Benesh

        Director, Customer Experience Capabilities

        H&R Block

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        Josh Boehm

        Solutions Architect

        mySidewalk

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        Karin Chang

        Executive Director

        University of Kansas City - Missouri,  Urban Education Research Center

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        Doug Davidson

        President

        County Economic Research Institute, Inc. (CERI)

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        Silas Dulan

        Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

        Evergy

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        Alison Felix

        VP, Branch Executive and Economist

        Federal Reserve Bank

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        Lauren Frazell

        Director, Analytics & Insight

        DEG

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        Melissa Hazley

        Director, Community Research, Training and Evaluation

        University of Missouri - Kansas City

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        Jim Jamieson

        Director, Strategy & Transformation

        Honeywell FM&T

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        Laura Lester

        KC Area Research Liaison

        MO Department of Higher Education

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        Jenny Miller

        Network Builder 

        KCSourceLink

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Megan Mooers

        Program Analyst

        Hispanic Economic Development Corporation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Jeff Pinkerton

        Director, Economic Research

        MO Department of Economic Development

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Dan Tesfay

        Data Analyst-in-Residence

        Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Kaitlyn Thomas

        Finance Analyst

        MO Department of Economic Development

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Paul Tiedt

        Senior Vice President, Research

        Service Management Group

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Robin Smith

        Senior Director

        DeBruce Foundation

        Economic Modeling Team

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Ahmed Abdelmoity (Co-Chair)

        Director, Division of Neurology

        Children's Mercy

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Peter Eaton (Co-Chair)

        Professor Emeritus - Department of Economics

        UMKC

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Trent Armbrust

        Director, Strategy, Biosciences & Technology

        Kansas Department of Commerce

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Josh Boehm

        Solutions Architect

        mySidewalk

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Doug Davidson

        President

        Johnson County Economic Research Institute (CERI)

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Alison Felix

        Senior Policy Advisor

        Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Veronica Gielazuskas

        Assistant Commissioner

        Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Jenny Miller

        Network Builder 

        KCSourceLink

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Jeff Pinkerton

        Director Economic Research

        Missouri Department of Economic Development

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Megan Segura

        Director, Special Projects

        KCADC

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Paul Tiedt

        Senior Vice President, Research

        Service Management Group

        Communications & Engagement Resource Team

        The Communication & Engagement Resource Team exists to support KC Rising in creating and maintaining a comprehensive communication strategy to engage corporate businesses, stakeholders in education, elected leaders, nonprofits and disconnected communities, and to promote community action toward the KC Rising shared vision pillars of prosperity.  The CERT will provide strategic guidance to staff in oversight of the contracted public relations and marketing firm, support an interactive online presence through social media, help plan events, coordinate an ongoing communications strategy, and create regular marketing collateral to tell the KC Rising story. 

        Leadership

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Laura McCarthy (Co-Chair)

        Managing Director

        Global Prairie

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Eric Morgenstern (Co-Chair)

        CEO

        Morningstar Communications

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Ashlie Hand

        Director of Communications

        Diocese of Kansas City-St.Joseph

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Derek Klaus

        Director of Communications

        Visit KC

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Tim McCoy

        President + Creative Director

        Yoodle

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Jessica Palm

        Vice President, Marketing & Public Relations

        KCADC

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Miles Sandler

        Director, Engagement - Education

        Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Nicholas Segura

        Founder

        Segura Marketing

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Neal Sharma

        CEO

        DEG

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Angee Simmons

        Program Leader, Communications & Engagement

        Kauffman Foundation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Kiona Sinks

        Community Engagement Manager

        Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Shalea Walter

        Vice President, Marketing Manager

        Arvest Bank

        Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee

        Our region continues to experience significant economic disparities by ethnicity and race. Initiated in 2018, the KC Rising Steering Committee created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee to ensure that KC Rising is inclusive of diverse backgrounds and community stakeholders, in both its volunteer participation and public outreach and strategies.

        Leadership

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Tahir Atwater (Co-Chair)

        Director of Donor and Volunteer Engagement

        Jackson County CASA

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Carolyn Watley (Co-Chair)

        Vice President, Community Engagement

        CBIZ

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Teresa Ascencio

        Chief People Officer

        Academy Bank

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Nicole Collier White

        Director

        KCPS Education Foundation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Chantell Garrett

        Senior Stakeholder Engagement Advisor

        Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Andrea Hendricks

        Senior Executive Director-Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

        Cerner Corporation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Marc Hill

        President

        Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Kelly Reed

        Managing Director, Global People & Culture Solutions

        Lockton Companies

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Denise St. Omer

        Vice President of Grantmaking and Inclusion Initiatives

        Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Keely Schneider

        Executive Director

        Workforce Partnership - Kansas

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Nicholas Segura

        Founder

        LaStema.org

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Rodney Smith

        President/CEO & Co-Founder

        Sophic Solutions, LLC

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Greg Valdovino

        Director of Diversity & Inclusion

        Greater KC Chamber of Commerce

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Sherman Whites

        Director, Education

        Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

        Silas-Dulan.-Director-Diversity-Equity-Inclusion.-Evergy

        Susan Wilson

        Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion

        UMKC