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MARC announces new Director of Transportation, Ron Achelpohl

The Mid-America Regional Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Ron Achelpohl as MARC’s new Director of Transportation. Our organization shares a high regard for Ron’s management ability, values and leadership style, and we are confident in his capacity to build on the strong foundation of systems and staff to meet new opportunities. That confidence in Ron is widely shared among external stakeholders. Ron is well-qualified for this new role, with some 24 years of experience in transportation, including 16 years with MARC as assistant director. Read more on the Transportation section page»

MARC Director of Research Services Frank Lenk to receive award

The Community Indicators Consortium announced that it will recognize Frank Lenk, MARC’s director of research services, with a 2014 Hall of Heroes Award for his work in the indicators field. Frank has led MARC’s work using indicators to measure community progress for years, from the 2001 publication of Metro Outlook to the launch of the 2014 indicators website www.sustainable-kc.org. The award announcement recognizes Frank’s “significant, long-term impact on the indicators field and the improvement of community conditions and well-being.” The award will be presented at the consortium’s 2014 Impact Summit in Washington, D.C., in late September. Congratulations, Frank!

Grant funds available for transportation-related planning projects

MARC is now accepting applications for the 2014 Planning Sustainable Places (PSP) program. The program helps fund transportation-focused planning and projects for local activity centers and small areas, positioning projects to move from planning to implementation. A total of $1 million of funding is available — $500,000 each from the Kansas and Missouri Surface Transportation Program funds for livable community development. The 2014 PSP application is online at www.marc2.org/tr-psp/. The deadline for applications is August 27 at 4 p.m. local time. More»

New community engagement tool 

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MARC is pleased to announce the launch of a new online community engagement tool, www.community-pulse.com. The tool will develop and engage a thousand-member online community panel of area residents to take surveys, quick polls and participate in discussion forums about specific topics related to regional issues. The panel will foster three-way engagement — from MARC to community members; from community members to MARC; and between community members. As of July 21, the membership has surpassed 1,000 members. To all of you serving on the community, we greatly appreciate your involvement.

Prosperity at a Crossroads

Several years ago, a number of business, civic and community leaders raised the need for a more informed discussion about the economic future of Greater Kansas City. This included the desire for more sound research and rigorous analysis that can help residents and decision-makers alike better understand the economic performance of the region and begin a discussion about the future direction of the region’s economy. This report demonstrates the value of such an approach»