Mayor James announces his appointments to the Kansas City Port Authority Board of Commissioners

New members bring a range of backgrounds and perspectives to important board

Mayor James is proud to announce his selections to serve on the Board of the Kansas City Port Authority. The Port Authority is a political subdivision of the State of Missouri established in 1977 by the City of Kansas City. While state statute requires a minimum of seven members on the board, Mayor James has chosen to expand the board to include nine members. The board has primary responsibility and leadership in the area of environmental stewardship and sustainable development along the Downtown Riverfront and the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base.

“It is my pleasure to nominate these nine residents of Kansas City to serve as stewards of one of our most valuable resources. Each of them brings decades of experience in their individual fields and unique perspectives to the Port Authority. From government and transportation to development and environmentalism, I believe this board strikes a balance that will explore new and exciting possibilities for our inland ports. We are a city founded here because of our rivers, born on their banks and prosperous because of their commerce. I have every confidence this group will guard well our shared resource. As with all who have served Kansas City, my sincere thanks goes to the outgoing Port Authority Board for all their hard work,” said Mayor James.

“The slate of commissioners recommended by the mayor is an excellent group with diverse skills that will be critical in helping the Port Authority achieve the ambitious and vital objectives that are ahead.  It is now time for the Kansas City community that we serve to ‘expect more’ from the Port Authority and the projects that we engage,” said Michael Collins, President of the Port Authority.

The Mayor has appointed the following residents of Kansas City, Missouri to Port Authority of Kansas City’s Board of Commissioners:

Shomari Benton is a practicing attorney at Finch & Campbell LLP, a full service law firm located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  He is also co-owner of method, a men’s clothing boutique in the Crossroads.  Since 2007, he has been active with Green Works, a nonprofit dedicated to environmental education and work force development for urban teens. Mr. Benton is a resident of Kansas City’s Third Council District.

Linda Clark, a graduate of the University of Kansas, is a life-long Kansas City resident. Ms. Clark recently retired after 28 years of service as an engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, ending her service as Assistant District Engineer for District 4 in Kansas City.  Clark has a diverse engineering background which includes funding, planning, design and construction of large highway projects. Ms. Clark is a resident of the Third Council District

Joanne Collins served on the City Council of Kansas City representing the Third District at Large for 17 years. Ms. Collins has held presidential, gubernatorial, regional, county and local appointments and is an advocate for human rights, environmental justice, sustainability and voting rights. Ms. Collins is a widow with two children, three step-children, five grandchildren and 10 step-grandchildren.

John Fierro, a lifelong Kansas City native, has extensive experience in fundraising, strategic planning and consensus building. Mr. Fierro holds an Executive MBA from Rockhurst University. He serves as President/CEO of Mattie Rhodes Center and was formerly the President of the Board of Commissioners for the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, serving as its first Latino President. He is a resident of the City’s Westside.

Dan Fowler is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School, and has been a resident of Kansas City’s Northland since 1986.  An attorney with the firm of Collins, Fowler, Harlan, L.L.C., he serves as President of Northland Neighborhoods, Inc.; Treasurer of Forward Kansas City; Chairman of MetroCare, Inc. nonprofit that provides for specialty health care for the uninsured. Mr. Fowler also served as Deb Hermann’s campaign treasurer in her run for Kansas City Mayor and is a resident the Second Council District.

Dana Gibson serves as managing partner of Mallin/Gibson Properties, which operates commercial real estate, loft apartments, condominiums, gallery, studio, office and retail spaces in the River Market and Historic Garment District communities.  Mr. Gibson serves on the boards of the River Market Community Association, the River Market Community Improvement District, and the Westside Housing Organization. He is immediate past Chair of the Downtown Council’s Housing Task Force.

Karin Jacoby is a licensed attorney, registered engineer and holds a masters degree in Public Administration.  Jacoby opened Spica Consulting in 2009 and specializes in emerging water resource management challenges.  She is a member of the National Committee on Levee Safety, appointed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Civil Works to provide Congress with recommendations and a strategic implementation plan for a national levee safety program.  Since 2001 she has served as Executive Director of the Mo-Ark Association and serves on the Board of the National Waterways Conference.  Ms. Jacoby is a resident of the 49/63 neighborhood in the Fifth Council District.

Juan Rangel, Jr. is a resident of Kansas City’s Northland and serves as the Director of Community Engagement for Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City.  Before joining MCC, Mr. Rangel worked for 12 years for the National Conference for Community and Justice (now Harmony), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism. He serves on the Board of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, UMKC Women’s Center, Truman Medical Center, Guadalupe Center Inc., Heartland Men’s Chorus, and Research Development Institute.

George Wolf is a partner with the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm, where he is the Chair of the General Litigation Division and a member of the Executive Committee.  He obtained his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri and his law degree from Northwestern University.  Mr. Wolf is a member of the board of directors for the Downtown Council and Friends of the River-Kansas City. Mr. Wolf is a resident of the Brookside neighborhood.

Contact: Danny Rotert: 816-513-6581 or cell: 816-547-6418