Who We Are

A Collective Consensus

KC Rising provides a Shared Vision that connects strategy of various groups together. It is business-led, metrics driven and long-term focused. KC Rising is a venue where ideas can come to plan and develop a common future. KC Rising is a voice to amplify community effort around the Pillars of Prosperity.
KC Rising About Us

About Us

KC Rising is a regional economic development initiative to grow an inclusive economy, including members of the public square (business, education, government, and human services)

Formed in 2015 to help KC grow faster and more intentionally. We support and amplify complementary initiatives and serve with community-wide impact.

KC Rising exists to achieve a regional vision of prosperity for all by aligning and accelerating community effort for greatest impact. KC Rising measures progress against 10 benchmark metros that we typically compete against.

The goal is for KC to rise in rank among these metro regions on two measures: grow the economy and include everyone.
To accomplish this, KC Rising relies on a distributed implementation model, allowing for a multitude of leaders and teams to work toward a shared vision of regional prosperity. Guided by a steering committee composed of business and education leaders, as well as regional elected officials, KC Rising concentrates its efforts on seven pillars of prosperity: enterprise, industry, inclusion, connectivity, culture, neighborhoods and education. As we pursue systemic progress in the seven areas, we realize our full potential with transparency, accountability, and collaboration.
KC Rising School Smart Kickoff


C.J. Charbonneau

C.J. Charbonneau

Program Coordinator

C.J. Charbonneau supports KC Rising as the Program Coordinator. Before joining the KC Rising team, C.J. served in a variety of roles in the Kansas City arts and nonprofit communities, as an arts writer, curator, administrator, organizer, and advocate, with a focus on issues affecting women and folks with disabilities.

C.J. holds a BSBA in Organizational Development from Southeast Missouri State University, and an MA in Art History from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Maddy Johnson

Maddy Johnson

Communications Manager

Maddy joined KC Rising and the Civic Council as the Communications Manager in 2022. Before joining the team, she spent time learning the ins and outs of the development process in marketing roles for construction and engineering firms in Kansas City. Maddy graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s Urban Planning and Design program in 2015.

While there, she worked with social organizations and communities in the metro to advocate for equitable planning. Her unique experience in community outreach and marketing allows her to successfully help tell the KC Rising and Civic Council story in her current role.


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.

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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.

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Traded Sectors Driving Committee

The Traded Sectors Driving Committee was created in 2020 to review industry data to determine the region’s industry strengths.

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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.

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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.

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Communication & Engagement Resource Team

The Communication & Engagement Resource Team exists to support KC Rising in creating and maintaining a comprehensive communication strategy.

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee

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.

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Place Advisory Committee

The Place Advisory Committee (PLAC) exists to advance the shared vision of regional prosperity in relation to the Connectivity and Neighborhoods Pillars. The PLAC will focus on attainable housing and effective, accessible transportation and internet options to allow people to build better futures and open doors to economic mobility

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Capital Access Taskforce

The KC Rising IDEAS Committee small business Capital Access Taskforce was created in 2020 to advance the priority of increasing capital access for small (less than 20 employees) businesses with an emphasis on women- and minority-owned businesses.

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Supplier Diversity Taskforce

Launched in 2020, the KC Rising IDEAS Committee Supplier Diversity Taskforce was launched to advance the priority of increasing supply chain diversity.

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Economic Modeling Team

Formed at the onset of COVID -19, in April 2020, the KC Rising Economic Modeling Team was created to set boundaries on economic uncertainties and create models to predict changes and aid in economic recovery efforts in the KC region.

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Biologics Taskforce

In 2021, the Traded Sectors Driving Committee recommended biologics as our regions next traded sector. A Biologics Taskforce  has been convened to develop a strategic plan and associated goals, pursuing the promise of building the sector with a clear vision and strategy in place.

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Supporting Organizations

Align with KC Rising

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About Our Pillars

KC’s businesses are positioned to lead this charge by nurturing partnerships and cultivating innovation.

We’ve developed 7 Pillars to both unify and depict our Shared Vision of Regional Prosperity.