What's Next KC

Over the next few weeks, you’ll experience the stories of a few people, and what they believe is next for our great city. We asked our Annual Dinner co-chairs to kick off our #whatsnextKC social media campaign.

Carolyn Watley, CBIZ, and Charlie Shields, Truman Medical Centers:
Charlie & Carolyn
Charlie: "We are quickly moving from "fly over" to "fly to" country. The number of those moving to (or back to) Kansas City because of its innovation, beauty and livability will only increase."
Carolyn: “Kansas City is on the brink of an expansion of great entrepreneurial success with a diversity of new entrepreneurs. Also, look for great new expansion at 18th & Vine with the KC Urban Youth Academy next year, making a big difference for our youth.”

Jon Cook, VML:

Jon CookWith newly announced plans to expand their presence in Kansas City, what does VML CEO Jon Cook see in our city’s future? "Growing reputation as a creativity and technology hub — with every inch of the Downtown Airport chock full of VMLers! #wearvml #whatsnextkc"

Rachel Merlo, Community Manager at Google:

Rachel MerloA thriving community of connected residents is next for Kansas City. Google Fiber continues to invest in impactful digital inclusion initiatives, partnering with civic and nonprofit organizations to ensure Internet access is available, useful and enjoyable for citizens across the metro. Personally, I am excited about who's next in Kansas City, not only what's next. I am passionate about creating opportunities for up-and-coming voices to be heard, and for dedicated leaders of all backgrounds to have a seat at the table.


Mark Holland, Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas:
Mark Holland
The rebirth of our urban core is essential if we’re going to create a healthy community that our next generation can proudly call home. This means we must address housing and transportation. We must leverage our technology to create smart urban spaces. And those spaces must feature designs that make it easy for pedestrians to explore our urban landscape. I’m proud to be part of that effort in KCK, and just as proud to see our community coming together to imagine and create a stronger, more vibrant urban core.


Karen Daniel, Chief Financial Officer, Black & Veatch
Karen Daniel
A community that works together to grow our economy, improve the lives of our children and families, create the 21st century infrastructure we need, and build an even greater Kansas City.


Michael Rea, CEO, RX Savings Solutions
Michael Rea
Kansas City is defying the stigma that startups only succeed on the coasts. If you have a cause that you believe in, like creating transparency into something as confusing as prescription pricing, you can make a meaningful difference no matter your location.


Centurions Alumni, KC Chamber
Centurions #WhatsNextKC
After a two-year immersion into various aspects of Greater Kansas City, Centurions alumni are uniquely poised to celebrate the best of our city and address what needs improved. Look to these board members and their fellow alumni to explore #WhatsNextKC and seize every opportunity to learn, serve and lead whenever possible.