The award honors emerging leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business; contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and serve as role models for young women personally and professionally.
“Jessica has set the bar high for young professionals in Kansas City,” said Kelsey Hill, assistant director of Kansas City alumni programs. “She is engaged in a way that inspires alumni to be present and proud of their University. We could not be more proud of Jessica and are honored that she is serving as president of the Kansas City board.”
As managing director of the Kansas City Area Development Council, Palm manages the organization’s talent recruitment initiative, TeamKC: Life+Talent. The nationally-recognized program strengthens the region’s competitive advantages through programs such as InternKC by engaging interns to encourage setting in the KC region. She’s also publisher of KC Options magazine, which answers the question “Why KC?” to candidates, new hires and interns from around the world.
“Supporting young professional women in the Kansas City business community is a great way to engage and leave a lasting legacy no matter what your age,” Palm said. “The camaraderie of women leaders in Kansas City is powerful, and as a young professional in our community having access to these individuals for collaboration and mentorship has propelled my personal and professional aspirations greatly. It is truly an honor to be recognized among such successful and incredible women in our region as an ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award honoree.”
Grey Group promoted Michael Houston to Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. A 10-year veteran of Grey, Houston, c’15, has served since 2016 as Global President and becomes only the fifth person to hold the CEO position since Grey’s founding in 1917. Read full article.
If you attended the University of Kansas or lived in Lawrence during the early 2000s, you might remember the radical politics of Solidarity. The ECM has housed the Solidarity Library for about 10 years now, according to Ailecia Ruscin, a local photographer who helped found Solidarity as a KU graduate student around the dawn of the millennium. Read full article.
Former Kansas point guard Aaron Miles, who got a crack at the NBA and spent eight years playing overseas and later coaching on KU coach Bill Self’s staff, officially was named the head coach of the NBA G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday. Read full article.
Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, on Monday joined the staff of Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer in anticipation of Gov. Sam Brownback’s resignation. Barker graduated from the KU School of Law in 1997. Read full article.
Jessica Nelson has been selected for the KC Chamber’s ATHENA Young Professionals Leadership Award. Nelson, j’11, is the current president of the Greater Kansas City Network of the KU Alumni Association and is the managing director for TeamKC:Life+Talent with the Kansas City Area Development Council. Read full article.
Holly Teeter, l’06, has been nominated by President Trump to be a federal judge in Kansas. Teeter currently works in Kansas City, Missouri, and her background includes work at the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm’s Kansas City office. Read full article.
The University of Kansas will soon have a new interim vice chancellor for public affairs. Reggie Robinson, director of KU’s School of Public Affairs and Administration, will assume his new role effective Aug. 14, KU announced earlier this week. Robinson, a KU alumnus, has led the School of Public Affairs and Administration since 2014. Read full article.
In her new position at the AAG office, Emily Fekete will lend her expertise in communications and media geographies to the communications team through new content curation, social media and program development. Fekete holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Jenifer Ashford, a Prairie Village resident who current serves as prosecutor for the cities of Shawnee and Lake Quivira, has been named to fill a 10th judicial district magistrate judge opening. Ashford, who graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law, will be sworn in later this month. Read full article.
Russ and Linda Sims, e’79, have sort of made it their signature move to take a bright blue flag that reads “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” to all of the historic and scenic places they’ve traveled to both capture the moment and represent the Jayhawks. Read full article.
The Institute for Energy Law is honoring Houston partner John Bowman, l’80, with its Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award, which is given to one energy litigator each year whose achievements “have won the admiration of his or her peers,” according to the organization. Read full article.
Jessica Nelson, managing director of TeamKC: Life+Talent, helps tell the Kansas City story to young professionals in an effort to recruit them to the area. Nelson, j’11, is executive vice president of the Greater Kansas City Area alumni network. Read full article.
Sara Shepherd, the LJWorld’s education reporter, shares a number of tidbits from the Hill in her column, including some honors and awards. Four KU graduate students recently completed international research in their respective fields; a research project manager received the KGS Outstanding Support Staff Recognition Award; and KU received a $100,000 grant to help students pursue fieldwork in places like Wyoming and Turkey. Read full article.
Adrienne Rosel Bulinski, a motivational speaker and entertainer, will be the emcee for the 2017 Pancake Day Talent Show Feb. 25. Bulinski, j’05, is a Liberal native and former Miss Liberal, Miss Kansas. She currently lives in Denver. Read full article.
Jacob Burmood, a sculptor and 2013 University graduate in ceramics, recently received agrant from ArtsKC, a fund which makes grants to artists, arts organizations, and arts programs throughout the KC region, for his work with casting draped cloth into bronze. The grant gives him access to more of that bronze, a material that does not come cheap for most sculptors. Read full article.
Beginning this semester, the KU School of Business and the Business Analytics Club will present a monthly symposium on topics surrounding data analytics. The second symposium in the series will feature Ruben Sigala, b’97, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Caesars Entertainment Corp. Read full article.
Leawood-based Blooom raised $9.15 million in Series B financing, giving it the resources necessary to boost its marketing to reach more of its target audience of middle-class workers and grow even faster. Blooom CEO Chris Costello, b’95, told the Kansas City Business Journal that the $9.15 million gives the company plenty of time to prove that it has a business model that can grow. Read full article.
Students can now quickly and easily keep up with the actions of President Donald Trump, thanks in part to the work of a student here at the University. Peter Federman, who is working toward his Ph.D. in public administration, helped develop Track Trump, which is downloadable on smartphones and has a desktop version. Read full article.
Sixteen students, faculty and staff have been selected as University of Kansas Men of Merit, recognized for positively defining masculinity through challenging cultural norms, taking action and leading by example while making contributions to the university and/or the community. Read full article.
Two recent KU graduates, Austin Barone, b’16, and Lei Shi, e’05, PhD’17, were selected as part of Pipeline’s 2017 entrepreneurial fellowship class, announced at the Innovator of the Year event Jan. 26 in Kansas City. Both graduates’ startups were launched through The Catalyst, KU’s student business accelerator. Read full article.
The partners at McDowell Rice Smith & Buchanan PC elected Kristie Remster Orme as the first woman president in the firm’s history. Orme is a 19-year veteran of the firm, a member of its Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Banking & Financial Services groups. She earned a degree from the KU School of Law in 1997. Read full article.
Hissan Anis and Kate O’Hara Gasper were promoted to partner status at Lathrop & Gage, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Anis earned a degree from the KU School of Law in 2009; Gasper graduated in 2008. Read full article
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The Greater Kansas City Network has elected its officers and six new board members for the 2016 to ’17 term. Kansas City is the nation’s largest community of Jayhawks with more than 94,000 alumni. Lindsay Hare, c’02, l’05, lives in Leawood and will lead the board as president. She is an attorney and partner at Norton Hare.
Jessica Nelson, j’11, managing director of TeamKC, Kansas City Area Development Council, lives in Olathe and is executive vice president. Another Olathe resident, Sheri Hart, f’93, who manages compliance at Adknowledge, is secretary.
Executive committee members include Jace McClasky and Andrew Wank. McClasky, c’95, l’01, lives in Prairie Village and is principal attorney at Burke McClasky Stevens. Wank, b’09, enterprise relationship manager at blooom, lives in Leawood.
Six alumni who join the existing board members are:
Sasha Flores Boulware, Fairway, c’98, g’00, owner of Esbee;
Bobby Burch, Kansas City, j’11, editor in chief of Startland News;
Kimberly Hobbs, Kansas City, j’94, vice president of partnerships and premium sales at AEG Worldwide/Sprint Center;
Billy Marshall, Prairie Village, c’00, territory sales manager at Straumann, USA;
Todd Moore, Kansas City, c’96, project director at KU Medical Center; and
Melissa Thomson, Overland Park, j’01, business development manager at TREKK Design Group.
“We have six exceptional new additions to our board membership that will, without a doubt, be incredible assets to the network,” says Hare. “We cannot wait to get to work and further develop our local alumni programs and outreach to the Kansas City community over the next year.”
Hare succeeds Matthew Taylor, a senior wealth adviser at Frontier Wealth Management, who served as executive vice president from 2014 to ’15 before becoming president last year. He also led the membership committee for two years and will now serve as ex-officio president.
Taylor, b’98, g’03, has hosted and helped organize several Kansas City area alumni events, including the Jayhawk Career Networking Series, and he has served on the committee for the Rock Chalk Ball, the Alumni Association’s largest fundraiser. For his commitment and service to the Kansas City Network, Taylor received the 2016 Dick Wintermote Volunteer of the Year Award.
Nine additional board members will continue their service on various committees, including membership, community awareness, student recruitment and the Rock Chalk Ball. They are:
Jake Ballard, Leawood, b’01, senior vice president and unit manager of Lockton Companies;
Jason Booker, Olathe, b’99, senior director of corporate sponsorship and broadcast sales for the Kansas City Royals;
Scott Fiss, Leawood, b’87, principal at Johnston Fiss Insurance Agency;
Mallory Hammersmith Hannah, Kansas City, j’08, strategic marketing consultant at Mallory Hannah Inc.;
Christina Stephenson Hopkins, c’10, clinical research coordinator at the University of Kansas Cancer Center;
Grant Kollman, Prairie Village, c’10, associate director of Berkadia;
Susan Anderson Leonard, Fairway, d’96, g’07, associate principal at Shawnee Mission East High School;
Joe Mulvihill, Overland Park, b’06, director of inbound marketing at Keypath Education; and
Mark Van Blaricum, Lee’s Summit, b’99, l’02, m’08, owner/operator of Pita For Good food truck.
“The growth in the quality of programming offered in Kansas City, in addition to volunteer opportunities, student recruitment, legacy relations and the impact KU makes in community, is directly tied to the strength in leadership on our Kansas City Network board,” says Betsy Winetroub, c’05, director of Kansas City programs. “Each year our leadership gets stronger, and I couldn’t be more excited to work with Lindsay and the rest of our new officer team.”
Jessica Nelson knew from a young age that she would go to KU.
With two parents who attended the University, Nelson was born and bred a Jayhawk. “The experience that I had at the University of Kansas, I want others to experience,” she says, explaining that while the level of education and learning opportunities at the university are incredibly useful in day-to-day life, “you also have that tradition and that legacy and that camaraderie…and I think that’s something you can’t find everywhere.”
Nelson, j’11, leads Team KC Life+Talent for the Kansas City Area Development Council, a regional economic development organization tasked with promoting Kansas City as a top lifestyle and business destination. Her role includes working with a variety of people—including college student interns and corporate level executives. Finding common ground as a Jayhawk often helps break the ice.
“My job is to tell the Kansas City story, and so much of the great talent in Kansas City comes from great individuals from KU,” she says.
Each evening from 5-7 p.m., we’re hanging out at some of our favorite KU-supporting restaurants to get the scoop on the latest from The Hill, learn about upcoming Network events and share great giveaways.
Whether it’s a Royals game watch party in the Kansas City Power & Light District or sitting on the patio at Rock & Brews at Prairiefire, we’re getting out-and-about all over town to show our KU pride.
Check out the restaurant lineup:
August 17 – Rock & Brews
August 18 – Power & Light District with Royals Watch Party
August 19– Grand Street Café in Lenexa
August 20 – Teocali Mexican Restaurant and Cantina
August 21 – Johnny’s Tavern Corinth Square
The best part? We’ve partnered with KVC Health Systems to provide back-to-school donations to area children and families in need.
“I’m proud to be on the board of KVC Health Systems, and we need you on our team,” says KU Men’s Basketball Coach, Bill Self.
Twenty-nine of Kansas City’s most outstanding female civic and business leaders will be honored tonight for their contributions to the metro’s creative, entrepreneurial and nonprofit communities. Jayhawk Jessica Nelson is one of them.
Nelson, j’11, is director of Kansas City Area Development Council’s (KCADC) talent recruitment initiative, TeamKC: Life + Talent. She heads up the organization’s communication strategies, promoting Kansas City as a top lifestyle and business destination. KCADC ranked as “Best in the Class” in the nation by Development Counselors International, thanks in part to Nelson’s efforts.
In addition to her work with KCADC, Nelson serves on the board of directors for the Alumni Association’s Kansas City network, Art Bra KC and the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Public Relations Society. She also serves as a mentor to young Kansas City professionals through Project Mentor and was the recipient of the 2014 Bill DeLay Award for distinguished service to the Greater Kansas City Public Relations Society of America Chapter.
“We are so lucky to have Jessica’s leadership on our Kansas City alumni network board,” says Betsy Winetroub, c’05, director of the Association’s Kansas City programs. “She brings a diverse knowledge of Kansas City to the group, and has helped us to expand our audience and our reach with her creative ideas, contacts and relationships. She loves KU, and her pride in her alma mater is clear with her efforts on behalf of the Alumni Association.”
For more information on KC Magazine’s 2015 class of influential women, click here.
The NextGen program identifies and develops individuals that will become leaders in the business and civic communities in Kansas City, inspiring collaboration and innovation for the region.
Brown says his day-to-day inspiration comes from several different places, but credits his family and the community as big influencers.
“I get inspired by my kids and the community around us. Kansas City right now is in a very inspiring time… if you go out and seek information and inspiration, then you will find it,” said Brown.
What is one of his most memorable moments as a Jayhawk?
“The basketball moments have been some of my best Jayhawk memories. But, quite honestly, nothing feels as good as a fall afternoon walking along Jayhawk Boulevard. Pride in school and in your state are in full bloom. It is why those of us who live here, remain here—simple beauty.”
Learn more about Jim Brown and his experiences in Kansas City here, and view a listing of all of the Kansas City Business Journal’s NextGen Leaders here.
—Jessica Nelson, Community Awareness Chair, Greater Kansas City Chapter of the KU Alumni Association
Matthew Benge, j’07, board member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the KU Alumni Association and a consultant at Schifman Remley Associates, is among the 40 young professionals named to this exclusive group of up-and-coming leaders.
The Centurions program is known as a business boot camp in Kansas City for future community influencers. Alumni from this group have gone on to lead nonprofits, run for public office and drive innovation in the business community.
Benge has served on the chapter’s board since 2011, and is currently the committee chair for the KC Alumni Jayhawk Open, an annual golf tournament sponsored by the chapter. This year’s event takes place at Hillcrest Country Club in Kansas City, Missouri.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, hunting, fishing, playing basketball and golf and reading. His most memorable Jayhawk moments? Growing up going to games with his dad and winning the 2008 National Championship.
Along with Benge, several other young professionals in group have ties to Jayhawk nation. To view a listing of the entire 2016 Centurions class, click here.
—Jessica Nelson, Community Awareness Chair, Greater Kansas City Chapter of the KU Alumni Association
Our popular summer event in Kansas City, ’Hawks, Helmets and Handlebars, was held last weekend at the KU Cancer Center’s Westwood Campus.
Despite having to be rescheduled—it was originally planned for the first weekend in June, but early-morning rains caused a change to the calendar—the event was a great success.
Children picked up complimentary bike helmets and had the opportunity to ride their bikes through a bicycle safety obstacle course, meet and take pictures with Big Jay, and even climb on a fire truck! Many thanks to the Johnson County Consolidated Fire Department #2 for providing a fire truck at the event.
“The weather was just gorgeous and we could not have asked for a better morning!” said Betsy Winetroub, director of Kansas City programs. “It was a rare opportunity for the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter to reach a wider audience.”
Prior to the event, the alumni chapter partnered with the Healthy Hawks program at the KU Medical center to host two bicycle donation drives. As a result, 95 bikes were distributed to needy children and their families. Healthy Hawks was founded in 2004 to help children and their families overcome weight-related issues.
“We hope that we were able to leave a positive KU impression on the Healthy Hawks families, and maybe—someday—those kids will attend KU!”
Check out our Storify below—a compilation of tweets and Instagram posts from the event. Thanks to chapter volunteers John Holt, j’81, l’84, and Jessica Nelson, j’11, for sharing the event through social media.
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