Mayor James Announces Commission focused on Summer Youth Employment

November 17, 2014 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Local leaders answer Mayor James’ call to create a sustainable method for creating new summer job opportunities for Kansas City’s youth

Today, Mayor Sly James announced the appointment of a commission comprised of local business and civic leaders charged with creating new summer job opportunities for Kansas City’s youth. This effort will operate under the name of Hire KC Youth. Hire KC Youth is an initiative of the Bright Future program aimed at adding both public and private sector job opportunities for area high school and college students.

The commission is tasked with identifying funding sources, placement sites and providing professional development opportunities where appropriate.  These opportunities will focus on partnerships outside of City departments.

“I applaud these commissioners for stepping up and making a difference for our kids to provide them with the tools they will need to succeed in the future,” said Mayor James.  “This level of engagement from stakeholders outside city government is certainly exciting and I am looking forward to evaluating what strategies and plans they develop going forward.”

The Commission will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, December 3 at 3:00 p.m. at City Hall.

Members of the Commission:

Co-chair, David Gilmore, Pastor, Centennial United Methodist Church

Co-chair, Heather Humphrey, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel, Kansas City Power & Light

  • Amy McAnarney, Vice President of External Relations, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
  • Carolyn Watley, Vice President, CBIZ
  • Clyde McQueen, President & CEO, Full Employment Council
  • Joe Melookaran, President, JMA Information Technology
  • Greg Kratofil, Jr., Technology Attorney, Polsinelli
  • Bob Hill, Pastor, Community Christian Church
  • Begonya Klumb, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, UMB Financial Services
  • Alise Martiny, Business Manager, Greater Kansas City Building & Construction Trades Council
  • Scott Hall, Vice President of Strategic Planning, KC Chamber
  • Donna Deeds, Executive Regional Director, Northland CAPS
  • David Ficklin, Vice President of Development, Sporting Kansas City
  • Debby Ballard, Director of Community Affairs, Sprint
  • Robert Epsten, Retired, Founder and Chairman of Major Brands
  • Carol Smith, Vice President of Community Impact, United Way – Greater Kansas City
  • David Gentile, Retired, President & CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield
  • William Chapin, Senior Vice President of Business and Operations, Kansas City Chiefs


To learn more please contact Chantell Garrett, Special Assistant for the Office of Civic and Community Engagement at 816-513-6576 or


Contact: Joni Wickham: 816-513-6582 or cell: 816-572-2152