Your Chamber at Work - May 22, 2023




We’re getting organized for Kansas City’s World Cup 2026!

A news conference was held last week to announce the formation of KC2026 and its Board of Directors, made up of business executives, civic leaders, and elected officials. I’m pleased and excited to be part of that group.

I was fortunate to be able to visit Doha during the most recent World Cup and I can tell you that Greater Kansas City is in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: an influx of visitors, many of whom will spend weeks here watching the games and enjoying all we have to offer; worldwide attention; and a huge benefit to our regional economy.

That same day, FIFA introduced the official branding for the KC World Cup. You may have seen it already at Union Station, the World War I Museum, or on the KC Streetcar.

One of the outcomes we’ve been focused on is the spurring on of projects and efforts that can leave a lasting effect on Kansas City and our residents. In that regard, KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas announced at the news conference that two initiatives would be undertaken: an RFP will be issued for transportation from KCI airport to the city’s center and a new Mayor’s Commission for New Americans will be created. Meanwhile, officials are already studying the possible east-west expansion of the streetcar along the 39th Street Corridor, as well as enhanced fast bus rapid transit.

Both proposals are right in line with two Chamber priorities: robust transportation and the designation of Kansas City as a “Welcoming City” for immigrants and refugees. Stay tuned for more developments and information.

There’s still a lot to be done and decided before the influx of visitors arrive in 2026, but Kansas City is on its way.


Don’t miss another chance to connect with your fellow Chamber members at Neighborhood Networking, this Friday, May 26 beginning at 8:30 a.m. We’ll meet at Capital One Café, 430 Nichols Road on The Country Club Plaza. The Plaza is celebrating its 100th birthday this year! Capitol One Café is one of more than 120 shops and eateries offering coffee and snacks and a great location to meet friends or colleagues. It’s open to all even if you’re not a Capitol One Customer. Register here. This is free for Chamber members and $15 for non-members. The Chamber’s Neighborhood Networking Sponsors are Rock CFO, Southwest Airlines & Unbound. Our overall networking sponsors are Delta Dental and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.


Mental health in the workplace has never been more in the spotlight than it is post-pandemic. Especially for early career professionals. Join genKC for Mental Health and Wellbeing for Early Career Professionals, May 25, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Chamber Board Room, on the first floor of Union Station. Hear from experts who will focus on destigmatizing mental health discussions, strategies for promoting selfcare, and how to access resources across the region. Bring your questions. This event is free, but registration is required.


It’s time to celebrate people making a difference for women in leadership. Join the Executive Women’s Leadership Council on June 1 to kick off the ATHENA Awards season. Register for the ATHENA Awards Kickoff Networking Event, 8:30 – 10 a.m. in the Chamber Board Room. Enjoy coffee and a light breakfast as you learn more about the ATHENA awards and connect with other professionals across Greater Kansas City. ATHENA nominations also open that day. The ATHENA Leadership Award is one of the most prestigious honors for women’s leadership in our community. It is presented to someone who stands out in professional excellence, community service, and actively assists women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Additionally, the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award recognizes emerging female leaders.


Find out which KC small business takes home the Small Business of the Year Award on June 14. Register now for the Small Business Awards Luncheon, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Marriott Muehlebach Tower Imperial Colonial Ballroom, 1213 Wyandotte in Downtown Kansas City. We’ll announce the Mr. K Award winner and the Emerging Business Award, the Small Business Equity Award, the Weida Award for International Small Business of the Year, and the Legacy of Kansas City Award winners. Attendees will also hear a special panel discussion on access to capital across the region, and how lenders are working to get businesses in under-resourced communities a seat at the table to build success. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2023 Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon! The Small Business Presenting Sponsor is Evergy.