Regional Leadership Awards

The Mid-America Regional Council recognizes individuals, organizations and initiatives that have made outstanding contributions to the region with the Regional Leadership Awards.

Award recipients advance a vision of a strong, healthy region; demonstrate commitment to its growth; and encourage others to support and work toward that vision.

MARC’s Regional Leadership Awards recognize leadership and excellence in:

  • Advocating regional concepts, approaches and programs.
  • Advancing the vision of the region as a community of excellence.
  • Addressing regional challenges.
  • Applying innovative solutions to regional problems.
  • Achieving improved quality of life and equitable opportunity for the region's residents.
Regional Leadership Awards

Excellence can be demonstrated in the following ways:

  • Significant leadership during times of regional challenge.
  • Service in guiding an important forum or organization that supports a community or the region.
  • Emerging leadership with great promise for regional impact.
  • Sustained public service. 
  • Effectiveness and innovation in working across boundaries.
  • Critical supports delivered across jurisdictions through community organizations. 
  • Mobilizing communities around an important issue. 

2024 Regional Leadership Awards

Please join us in celebrating the awardees during the 2024 Regional Assembly and Leadership Awards on Friday, June 14, 2024.

Logo for the Kansas City, Mo. Aviation Department

Kansas City, Missouri, Aviation Department

 For their vision and professional delivery of the new terminal at the Kansas City International Airport, a critical regional asset that is transforming the metropolitan area.

Gloria Ortiz Fisher

Gloria Ortiz-Fisher

Executive director, Westside Housing Organization

For significant leadership on affordable and fair housing and sustainability in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and for bringing a commitment to equity and deep understanding of community development to the regional agenda, ensuring we create communities that work for everyone.

Julie Lorenz

Julie Lorenz

Former secretary of transportation, State of Kansas 

For exemplary leadership at the Kansas Department of Transportation, advancement of regional transportation goals and commitment to engaging local governments in positively transforming the systems that form the backbone of our economies and communities.

Carolyn Wells

Carolyn Wells

Trauma and emergency preparedness manager, Liberty Hospital

For enduring leadership and service to the region through advancing health care coordination and emergency response essential to regional homeland security, and tireless efforts to strengthen the systems, relationships and protocols that help keep our communities safe.

2023 Regional Leadership Award Winners with David Warm

Past recipients


Dr. Kimberly Beatty; Bryan Dehner; George Guastello; Parade of Hearts


Ed Eilert; Dan Manley; Kathy Nelson; Dr. Steven Stites


AltCap; Climate Action Kansas City; Steve Arbo and Bill Ebel; Dr. Rodney Smith and Stephenie Smith


Paused due to pandemic


Maria Meyers; Desiree Monize; Mayor David Slater; West Central Missouri Community Action Agency


KC Scholars; Jewel Scott; Sheila Tracy; Truman Heartland Community Foundation


PREP-KC; Dr. Lee Norman; KCATA; Sheriff Mark Owen


Dr. Doug Girod and Scott Smith; KC Healthy Kids; Dr. John Nalbandian; Gene Shepherd


Kirk Davis; Ellen Hanson; Jewish Family Services; Brian Nowotny; Gene Wilson


Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and REACH Healthcare Foundation; Mark Randall; Don Reimal; Shepherd’s Centers


Todd Ackerson; Mike Burke; Dr. Ray Daniels; CASA of Jackson County and CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties; Eric Rogers