Ramin Cherafat elected Chair of KC Chamber


KC Chamber

Ramin Cherafat, CEO of McCownGordon Construction, was elected Chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (KC Chamber) by the Board of Directors on Monday, October 25.  He succeeds Carolyn Watley, Vice President of Community Engagement at CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services. 

Cherafat says his top priority as Chair is moving the KC Chamber’s strategic plan forward.  That plan includes four strategic imperatives:  Workforce, Transportation, Inclusive Prosperity, and Organizational Excellence.

The Board of Directors also elected the following slate of officers for the coming year:

  • Chair-Elect Mark Garrett, Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
  • Vice Chair Lisa Ginter, CEO, Community America Credit Union
  • Treasurer Charlie Shields, President & CEO, University Health
  • Immediate Past Chair Carolyn Watley, Vice President of Community Engagement, CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services
  • KC Chamber President & CEO Joe Reardon
  • Legal Counsel Wesley Fields, Office Managing Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP

The following were elected to new three-year terms on the KC Chamber Board:

  • Mayor Mark Boehm, City of Lenexa, KS
  • Thalia Cherry, Founder & CEO, Cherry Company
  • Kimber Myers Givner, Executive Director, Phoenix Family 
  • Gordon Lansford, President & CEO, JE Dunn Construction Company

Special One-Year Board appointments include:

  • Chase McAnulty, Owner/CEO, Charlie Hustle LLC (2021 KC Chamber Small Business of the Year)
  • Laurie Minard, Vice President Human Relations, Garmin International (Chair’s Appointment)
  • Tony Rohr, National Managing Principal, Gould Evans (Chair’s Appointment)
  • Julian Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Chair’s Appointment)
  • Demetrius Peterson, Senior Counsel, Husch Blackwell (Centurions Chair, Pinnacle Cohort)
  • Gina Lichte, President & CEO, Girls on the Run of Greater Kansas City (Centurions Chair, Apex Cohort)
  • Ariel Penner, Volunteer Manager, Ronald McDonald House (genKC Chair)

The following Elected Officials Board members approved by the Board include:

  • Mayor/CEO David Alvey, Unified Government of Kansas City/Kansas and Wyandotte County
  • Mayor Mike Boehm, City of Lenexa, KS
  • Mayor Peggy Dunn, City of Leawood, KS
  • Chair Ed Eilert, Johnson County, KS Commission
  • Mayor Quinton Lucas, City of Kansas City, MO
  • City Manager Brian Platt, City of Kansas City, MO
  • Mayor Eileen Weir, City of Independence, MO
  • County Executive Frank White, Jackson County, MO

And the following were elected as representatives of other civic organizations:

  • Steve Edwards, Chair, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City
  • Lisa Ginter, Chair, Kansas City Area Development Council
  • Lynn Carlton, Chair, Downtown Council

Terms for new officers and Board members being November 1, 2021.