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Kevin Barth
President & CEO, Commerce Bank
Centurions Class of 1992

Centurions Leadership Celebrating 40 Years: Kevin Barth

In 1976, the KC Chamber launched a new program designed to prepare Kansas City’s leaders of tomorrow. They called it the Centurions Leadership program. Throughout 2017, in honor of the Centurions 40th Anniversary, we’ll be sharing some of the stories of Centurions alumni.

Kevin Barth

Where were you in your career when you went through the Centurions program?
I was just starting to take on management responsibility with Commerce.
Tell us about the strongest connection you made from the program (personal or professional).
Several of my classmates became CEO’s or owners of companies. I met some of my closest friends in KC, in the program.
What would you say about the program to companies that have never participated in Centurions?
It is a very good investment in time and money. Your employees will graduate much more knowledgeable about important issues affecting Kansas City and build relationships with future leaders in both the public and private sector. Those relationships will serve them and your company well for years to come.
What is your fondest memory during your time as a Centurion?
The bonding during and after the task force presentations.
What committees or task forces did you serve on while in the program?
The most enjoyable task force was the Sports and Entertainment task force.
How did Centurions make you a better leader?
Not being a native of Kansas City, the task force presentations helped me gain valuable insight into areas and institutions in the city that I might not have had the opportunity to learn about.
What did Centurions teach you about service and giving back to the community? 
It helped me gain a better appreciation for the importance of corporate giving in helping many social service organizations serve the community.
What advice would you give to current and future Centurions?
Capitalize on every opportunity offered by the program. Cultivate relationships with the other participants – many of them will be important leaders in their organizations and the community.
What boards do you currently serve on?
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City Area Development Council, Kansas City Life Insurance Company, Hodgdon Powder Company, and Commerce Bank – Kansas City.
How has Kansas City changed since you were in Centurions?
Kansas City’s leadership base has expanded. When I was in Centurions, leadership was concentrated around a few companies and families. There is a new generation of leaders from around the metropolitan area who have gained influence because of their success with the companies they have grown. This is a very positive thing for the city and should eventually help us take a more holistic approach to success in the greater metropolitan area.

Posted: 1/18/2017 1:59:15 PM