2022 Keynote Speaker to be announced in the coming days!


2021 keynote speaker, Angela Duckworth, is the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help children thrive. She is also the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behavior Change for Good Initiative, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics.

A 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Angela has advised the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs.

Prior to her career in research, Angela founded a summer school for underserved children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2018, celebrated its 25th anniversary. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math and science teacher at public schools in New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Angela completed her undergraduate degree in Advanced Studies Neurobiology at Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. With the support of a Marshall Scholarship, she completed an MSc with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University. She completed her PhD in Psychology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Angela’s TED talk is among the most viewed of all time. Her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a #1 New York Times best seller. She is also co-host, with Stephen Dubner, of the podcast No Stupid Questions. Angela will join us live at C3KC 2021!



2021 Speakers


President, AltCap

AltCap is a high-performing, impact-driven community development financial institution. Mr. Alonso serves on the Board at Community Capital Fund, Saint Luke’s Health System and Midtown KC Now, and has been an adjunct professor at UMKC’s Department of Architecture, Planning and Design, where he teaches a course in urban redevelopment.


Co-Founder & CEO, LEANLAB Education

Ms. Boody has spent her life in education, as a teacher in urban charter schools, public schools and in nonprofit management. She explores the intersection of education with creativity, community building and entrepreneurship and is the co-founder of LEANLAB, an organization building communities and launching transformational innovations into K-12 schools.


Secretary, Kansas Department of Administration

Dr. Burns-Wallace is a national trainer and curriculum developer for national professional development organizations, nonprofits and higher education institutions on such issues as micro-aggressions, multi-generational workplace differences, diversity and inclusion, change management, professional development pathways and strategic planning.


Executive Director, Socrates Program, Aspen Institute

Mr. Carter directs the Socrates Program, a global education forum for leaders, and speaks at conferences, leads workshops and moderates panels and seminars around the globe. His honors include being an Eisenhower Fellow to China, a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow for Young American Leaders and a Broad Foundation Resident in Urban Education.


Deputy Director, Public Affairs & Community Engagement, KC Public Library

Ms. Coogan has spent her career advocating for digital literacy and inclusion locally, nationally and internationally, sharing ideas and challenges with people working to bridge the digital divide worldwide. She serves on the board of Digital Inclusion KC Coalition and was formerly the Executive Director of Literacy Kansas City.


CEO, Aperio Philanthropy

Ms. Derouene created Aperio with a passion for making it easier for nonprofits to realize their fundraising potential, helping organizations figure out how to do what they know to do. She believes communities depend on neighbors helping neighbors and that nonprofits enable people to be part of solutions for problems no government or company can solve.


Medical Director, Child Psychiatry Inpatient Services, Marillac, The University of Kansas Health System

Dr. Douglass is also an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His practice focuses on adolescent psychiatry, suicide prevention and first-episode psychosis. After medical school, he completed residencies in pediatrics, adult psychiatry and child psychiatry.


President and CEO, United WE

United WE promotes equity and opportunity for women and their families. Wendy has worked with the National Kidney Foundation and Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and served on the boards of Nonprofit Connect and the Civic Opera Theater.


Global Lead, VMLY&R’s Experience Practice

Mr. Gaikowski serves many of the world’s greatest companies and introduces Design for Business to thousands of executives and professionals across the world. He is a passionate and lifelong learner who fuses human-centered design, behavioral economics and competitive strategy to unlock sustainable value for people, business and culture.


Director of Major Gifts, UMKC Bloch School of Management

Dr. García is a sociologist by training and a fundraising professional by trade. He is an energetic leader with a dedication to data-driven strategy and decision-making in nonprofit organizations. He was previously the Associate Executive Director of Miami City Ballet.


Board of Directors, The Association of Junior Leagues International

Katie’s experience as a community leader and business executive/entrepreneur in strategy and product development enables her to creatively advance positive change. She currently serves as Board Chair for University Academy, on the Board of Directors for AltCap, Board member of The Association of Junior Leagues International, and is past president of the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri.


President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Kansas City

Ms. Grant leads the Urban League in their mission of enabling African Americans and other disadvantaged persons to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. She is founder of the COVID-19 Collective Impact Collaborative, is engaged in numerous civic and community organizations, and is a Ruckette on KCPT’s political commentary show, Ruckus.


Senior Pastor, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

Rev. Hamilton is the founding pastor of Church of the Resurrection, the largest United Methodist Church in the U.S. He received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award for his work in racial reconciliation, and engaging in acts of justice and mercy in the community is a focus of the congregation.


Owner, Gender, Inc.; TransFamilies Program Manager, Gender Diversity Services

Ms. Jackson became an advocate for transgender rights in 2014 when her speech about her daughter’s transition at the age of four went viral. Her daughter was featured on the cover of National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution” issue. Gender, Inc. offers professional development, consulting services and transgender-inclusivity training.


Founder, Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy, Kemper & Company

Ms. Kemper’s career includes work in politics, entertainment, education, marketing, fundraising and philanthropy. Her marketing and research consultancy has advised local, national and global brands since 2002. She serves on many boards, including as president of the KC Symphony Foundation.


Founder & President, Uncover KC

Uncover KC strives to build a bridge between those who wish to improve their community and those who need help doing so, through active voluntarism, event management and more. Mr. Lager is also an adjunct professor at William Jewell College’s Pryor Center for Leadership Development.


Senior Consultant, Aspen Leadership Group,
Principal, Kathleen Loehr & Associates

As Principal of Kathleen Loehr & Associates and a senior consultant with Aspen Leadership Group, Ms. Loehr knows that gender matters in philanthropy. As a national thought leader, she helps organizations adapt their fundraising practices to engage women for increased impact and funding. Ms. Loehr translated the research on women and philanthropy into her book, Gender Matters: A Guide to Growing Women’s Philanthropy.


Executive Director, Mental and Behavioral Health, The University of Kansas Health System

Ms. Lucht has dedicated her life to the mental and emotional well-being of others and is passionate in her loyalty to vulnerable and underserved populations. She has worked with multiple prison populations and believes we all deserve to be healthy in mind, body and soul and treated with dignity in our times of need.


Founder & Executive Director, Urban TEC

Ms. Montgomery leads Urban Technology Empowered Communities in closing the digital literacy divide in urban schools and communities. She uses an innovative approach and delivery to engage students and community members with technology tools, knowledge, skills and abilities to be successful and prepared for jobs in the global career marketplace.


Assistant Professor / Psychologist, Onco-Psychology Program, The University of Kansas Medical Center

Dr. Muenks specializes in cancer and has research and clinical experience in diversity-related topics, minority psychology issues and multiculturally competent practice. She serves as Chair of the DEI committee in the Mental and Behavioral Health Department at KU Med.


Community Development Director, American Public Square

Committed to relationship-building, entrepreneurship, leadership and community, Ms. Muller models respect, empathy and inclusion as tenets of a just society. A business owner, author and board member, she is founder of Coffee Lunch Coffee and KC Common Good. Her purpose is to connect, inspire and empower community.


Trial Lawyer, Berkowitz Oliver LLP

In addition to being a busy trial lawyer, Mr. Oliver has a board consulting practice and invests significant time in our community, serving on the boards of AlignED, William Jewell College, DeLaSalle School, MRIGlobal, the UMKC Trustees, Teach for America-KC, the Spencer Art Museum, the Francis Family Foundation and more.


Vice President, Marketing & PR, KC Area Development Council

KCADC serves as the region’s sales and marketing team, attracting corporate investment, jobs and talent. A national thought leader featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and Business Insider, Ms. Palm is proud to be on the executive leadership team of the No. 1 regional economic development group in the country.


President & CEO, GKC Chamber of Commerce

While Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, Mr. Reardon led the effort to bring Google Fiber to KCK and saw the opening of Sporting Park. He is also former President/CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.


CEO, Vibrant Health

Mr. Sallee leads Vibrant Health in their mission of providing access to respectful, empowering, culturally sensitive and high-quality health care for the community, regardless of socioeconomic obstacles. He has been Chief Development Officer for the American Red Cross KC and Director of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters KC.


Managing Partner, Sophic Solutions

Ms. Smith is a cause-driven equity leader with a proven ability to actualize change, plus evaluate and lead community mobilization through effective systems thinking and operational innovation. As co-founder of Sophic Solutions, she offers management solutions to large and small businesses, schools and nonprofit agencies.


Assistant Dean, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas

In addition to being Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement at the LBJ School, Dr. Soto is a political analyst for NBC News and Telemundo. Her areas of expertise in the domestic policy landscape include immigration, Latinos, women and childcare, and economic equity. She has been named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine.


Senior VP & Senior Managing Director, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Mr. Stricker is responsible for overseeing the identification, planning and execution of Edgemoor’s infrastructure and real estate deals. Edgemoor has received national recognition for keeping diversity, inclusion and human equity at the forefront of the New Terminal Project at KCI.


Assistant City Manager for Entrepreneurship & Small Business, City of Kansas City, MO

In his work at City Hall, Mr. Usher represents the city in the Coalition for Digital Inclusion as they seek to define the path from digital inclusion to economic mobility and entrepreneurship. He was on the team that brought Google Fiber to Kansas City and co-founded KCBizCare, the City’s Business Customer Service Center.


Managing Director, Head of Sustainable & Impact Investment Strategy, Chief Investment Office, Bank of America

Ms. VanderBrug is responsible for driving sustainability through the investment process including thought leadership, strategy development, client experience and portfolio construction for individuals, institutions and foundations. She believes that all investors should understand their power to make an impact on environmental, social and governance matters through their investments.


Associate Professor of Urban Planning + Design, UMKC

Dr. Wagner is the faculty founder of the UMKC Center for Neighborhoods, where he seeks to transform the practice of city building to make our neighborhoods more sustainable. He is the recent recipient of a Public Service Award (with Anita Dixon) for his work to establish Kansas City, Missouri, as a UNESCO City of Music.


Weekday Anchor & Reporter at KSHB 41 Action News

Ms. Wall is a lively journalist who enjoys stories that help the people who tune in to our broadcasts daily. Her goals are to continue to grow and develop as a communicator, impact her community in a positive way and inform people through her work.


Executive Director, Mid-America Regional Council

Mr. Warm leads MARC, a council of governments for Greater Kansas City, in key regional planning initiatives. MARC is widely regarded for innovation and effectiveness in areas that include transportation, environmental protection, emergency management, aging and community services, early education, workforce development and local government cooperative services.


Vice President & Director, KC Rising, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

As VP and Director of KC Rising, which holds a shared vision of regional prosperity for all, Ms. Warren works with businesses, organizations and leaders to promote system alignment, identify gaps and monitor the region’s outcomes in key economic indicators. Her career has focused on economic and community development in local, state and international contexts.


Founder & President, The Griot Group

Ms. Watley is an industry-recognized practitioner as a political strategist and communications specialist. She’s the founder of Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to amplifying the voices of Black women. Her company, The Griot Group, is a political engagement and public relations firm that works on campaigns at every level of government.


Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, Children’s Mercy Hospital

Ms. Weaver works to find the best possible people to take care of Kansas City’s children, people with a passion for the health and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens. Her role includes setting strategy for future staffing, educational programs and high school outreach.


Director, KIPP Through College, KIPP Endeavor Academy

Ms. Williams has spent the last decade leading and transforming college access programs through culturally responsive counseling and leadership development, strategic planning and data-driven decision-making processes. She serves on the KC Public Library Board of Trustees and is a member of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II’s Black Brown Coalition and was named a 2020 Rising Star by The Independent.