A look back at the 2023 MARC Regional Assembly

Jun 12, 2023
| Posted in
2023 Regional Leadership Award Winners with David Warm

More than 600 people from across the region attended the event.

The program included a luncheon, an overview of MARC’s focus areas and presentation of the Regional Leadership Awards.

Event Recap

Valerie Lemmie, director of exploratory research at the Kettering Foundation, delivered a keynote speech about the importance of democratic civic engagement to foster public trust and achieve community impact. Her speech included examples of governments and institutions adapting to changing times through innovative engagement strategies, resulting in stronger “civic muscle” and more sustainable communities. 

This work is important because it is through work that we build public trust. It is through work that we build relationships. ... Building a culture of civic engagement means we have to work differently than we did in the past.

Valerie Lemmie, Keynote speaker

Following Lemmie's address, MARC honored the recipients of the 2023 Regional Leadership Awards.

"The honorees we are recognizing today have made extraordinary contributions to the region and it’s a pleasure to celebrate them," said Janeé Hanzlick, commissioner for Johnson County, Kansas, and first vice chair of the MARC Board of Directors. 

The 2023 Regional Leadership Award recipients are:

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.

"Dr. Beatty is a major asset to our region and literally wrote the book on transformative leadership," said Beto Lopez, mayor pro tem of Lee's Summit, Missouri, and second vice chair for the MARC Board of Directors. 

Bryan Dehner

Former Fire Chief, Overland Park, Kansas

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

"First responders in our region are better prepared thanks to the leadership and vision of Chief Bryan Dehner. He has proven his steadfast dedication to public service," said Curt Skoog, mayor of Overland Park, Kansas. 

Parade of Hearts

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

"Parade of Hearts is very proud we might be a small piece of the heart history in Kansas City... from our heart to yours; thank you very much for his honor," said Jenn Nussbeck, who accepted the award on behalf of the Parade of Hearts board.

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.

"On a day that we celebrated the heart of Kansas City in so many ways... there is no better champion for the heart of our region than George Guastello. Congratulations," said Quinton Lucas, mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. 

Full Program Recording

The full program video is now available.

Save the Date

Please plan on joining the next Regional Assembly on Friday, June 14, 2024, at the Sheraton Crown Center.