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. 

2023 Recipients

Dr. Kimberly Beatty

Dr. Kimberly Beatty

Chancellor, Metropolitan Community College

For transformative leadership at Metropolitan Community College and dedication to ensuring all residents in the Kansas City region have access to higher education.

Chief Bryan Dehner

Bryan Dehner

Former Fire Chief, Overland Park, Kansas

For steadfast dedication to public service and commitment to bringing innovative solutions to meet regional challenges.

George Guastello

George Guastello

President and CEO, Union Station

For exemplary local and regional leadership in creating a thriving Union Station, a beloved and nationally recognized icon.

Parade of Hearts Logo - Tall

Parade of Hearts

For uniting our region through local art and supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Past recipients


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