City Auditor’s Office
City Clerk’s Office
City Planning and Development
Convention and Entertainment Facilities
|Dr. Rex Archer|
Neighborhood and Housing Services
Parks and Recreation
Senior Advisor – Local & County Government
Jim Giles moved to the 29th floor of City Hall from the 22nd after working as an aide to Councilwoman Gottstein for the last four years. Prior to City Hall he worked in the nonprofit sector where money was equally scarce. Committed to many of Kansas City’s fine organizations, he was honored to serve at the local and national levels of the National Kidney Foundation and as executive director of the Jackson County Historical Society.
Both of his degrees, a BA in Sociology and MPA, were earned from Kansas City’s own UMKC. Although proud of his Roo heritage, he is surprisingly a KU basketball fan. His parents, three sisters and eight nieces and nephews are scattered across the country, but Jim envisions himself retiring in his Plaza apartment, watching Dancing with the Stars on DVR and reminding himself that frozen pizza is not a food group.
Senior Advisor – Policy
Jason moved back to Kansas City following a five year stint in Fort Collins, Colorado while his wife was working towards a Masters Degree at Colorado State University. Jason was the Western Regional Field Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee working with Congressional candidates in a ten state region. He has over 10 years of political experience including: management, field, finance, press, government relations, project management and labor.
Jason did his undergraduate tenure at Baker University where he was a two-time WWFA All-American and a member of the campus golf team. Following graduation, Jason started working campaign politics and moved to various states to work on various races. In the vain attempt to get a real job, Jason earned his M.BA from Baker University in 2005 and moved to Colorado. In between campaigns, Jason worked at breweries where he developed a love for making beer.
In his spare time, Jason is an avid home brewer, a member of the Dead Last BBQ Competition Team, a Krav Maga Instructor, a MMA trainer and a BJJ coach. He is married to the perfect woman and lives in the Northland with his wife and dogs.
Special Assistant for Creative Communications
Kelly is the middle child, which honestly explains a lot. A native of Omaha, Ne., she moved to Kansas City after a brief identity crisis landed her in professional sports for the first few years of her career. Looking for an opportunity to serve the greater good, she transitioned into the non-profit sector, managing events and marketing efforts for national organizations until she discovered that public service is where she belongs.
With a B.S. degree in Public Relations from Northwest Missouri State University, and over 10 years experience managing communication
Kelly lives in a 100 year old home in the Brookside neighborhood with her husband and daughter. She loves home renovation projects and has a hard time trusting anyone who can survive without caffeine.
Senior Advisor – OCCE
Roosevelt, along with his wife (Amanda) and daughter, moved to Kansas City back in 2001. Roosevelt and Amanda now reside in South Kansas City, where their awesome ten year old daughter attends fifth grade in the Center School District. He received his Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts from UMKC, and is now pursuing his Master’s in Social Work/Public Administration. Prior to working in the Mayor’s office, Roosevelt worked as an organizer for the Democratic National Committee and prior to that, for the Missouri Department of Social Service.
He has a strong interest in social justice and public policies that effect metropolitan areas like Kansas City. Roosevelt’s hobbies include martial arts (Jiu Jitsu), and he has had several amateur fights. When not working or getting punched in the face, Roosevelt enjoys reading and hanging out with his family. A couple of his favorite books are Stephen King’s The Stand and W.E.B. Duboise’ Souls of Black Folks.
Roosevelt is originally from Phoenix, Az., and was born with six fingers on his left hand.
Chief of Staff
John is a native of south Kansas City and attended St. Thomas More grade school in the City’s Sixth District where he dominated the basketball courts of the City’s CYO league. After graduating from St. Thomas Aquinas High School John ventured north to the frozen tundra of Madison, Wisconsin. If you think we have snow here in Kansas City, you should go up there. After living in Wisconsin, Ireland and Washington, DC, John returned to Kansas City to receive his law degree from UMKC. He practiced law in Kansas City for five years prior to being appointed by President Obama to the Heartland Region of the General Services Administration.
John lives in the Union Hill neighborhood with his better half, his wife Katie. Together they are proud parents to son Jack and Teddy, their English Bulldog. John loves disheveled hair, skinny ties and Kansas City’s boundless potential.
Special Assistant for Public Affairs
Erin Mullally graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science. Yes, that makes her the lone tortured Mizzou fan in our office. Erin also proudly reminds us that she is the youngest member of the staff, but don’t worry we make sure to embarrass her with pop culture references from before her time on a daily basis.
Her senior year she spent the best 6 months of her life studying international policy (or so she tells us) at the University of Amsterdam. While there, she became well travelled and discovered all that Europe had to offer, but in the end decided to come back and call Kansas City home.
On the weekends Erin enjoys exploring Kansas City. As a resident of historic Columbus Park you can usually find her at local neighborhood establishments, including Happy Gillis and Pandolfi’s Deli. She takes on a variety of interesting hobbies, but her favorites include discovering new records to add to her grandfather’s vinyl collection, pretending to be a professional movie critic, and taking long naps in her hammock.
Born and raised in the heart of the city. Katherine is what we would call a true Kansas Citian, having lived in almost every part of Kansas City. She is a graduate of Van Horn High School, where she could be found in the gym year round. Playing an essential role in the development of youth in the Center of Hope Youth Department she worked in a variety of roles from dance instructor to counselor to co-creative director for many years. Exemplifying to her daughter and others that you can be successful and still reach back to help others.
Katherine became a philanthropist in her own right joining to help promote awareness for many groups: the Sarah Coleman Breast Cancer Walk, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, AIDS Walk Kansas City, and CASA of Jackson County, just to name a few. If what Maya Angelou found to be true about the benefits of giving in that it “liberates the soul of the giver”, then we know Katherine’s soul is truly free!
With a love for history and politics, she decided, as Gandhi said, to be the change she wanted to see in the world. Not unlike a Where’s Waldo, there is no telling where she may pop up! And with her love for travel, there is no limit to where her passion will take her!
Director of Policy
A native of the Kansas City area, David is a licensed attorney with a diverse public policy background. Prior to joining the Mayor’s team, he worked in the office of public affairs at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he focused on health policy. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and worked for several years for a polling firm in the nation’s capitol prior to attending law school at the University of Kansas.
An avid baseball fan, as a high school junior David scored the winning run in the Kansas 6A State Championship. Yes, he was pinch running and, yes, he got removed from the game immediately afterward. David lives in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District, which is his favorite part of the City despite the fact that he is not artistic in the least.
Senior Advisor – Community Affairs
“Everyone who comes in contact with Genaro Ruiz knows that he is definitely a ‘Good Guy’” was the first line from a recent Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus Torch Dinner program in which he was recognized one of Kansas City’s “Good Guys.” Genaro grew up on the Westside, “the Best Side,” and from an early age, community advocacy and backing up the underdog became part of his make-up.
From his first job working with local Westside legend Tony Aguirre at the Guadalupe Centers to his current position as Senior Advisor for Community and Intergovernmental Affairs, Genaro has accumulated many years of both non-profit and government work experience. He spent six years working for Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II as a community affairs liaison and immensely enjoyed his time learning about the challenges and opportunities facing Kansas City, from one of the area’s All-Time Good Guys.
Whether it’s a summer evening at the Starlight Theatre, a cool play/musical at the American Heartland Theatre or watching the latest performance of Quixotic, Genaro, his wife(Theresa), and daughter (Miraha) enjoy attending the many performing arts amenities and outdoor festivals in Kansas City.
Director of Public Affairs
Joni moved to the City of Fountains in May of 2011 from Jefferson City where she worked for the Missouri Federation of Teachers, the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, and the Department of Transportation (not at the same time) in communications and public policy. She has extensive experience in speech writing, project management, and gluten-free baking.
As an undergraduate, Joni caught the travel bug and studied democratic institutions and journalism in Russia. Because when you think democracy and freedom of the press, you think Russia. After surviving months of borsht and pickled meats, Joni attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she received her masters degree in political science. This experience led her to work in the State Capitol for five years before moving to Kansas City.
Joni is originally from North Carolina, where she returns a couple times of year to polish her southern accent. She lives in Waldo, conveniently close to Waldo Pizza, with her husband, daughters, and the cutest shih-tzu to ever grace the Kansas City limits.
Director of Administration
Larissa Nutsch Westenkirchner grew up with four brothers and sisters in a Kansas prairie town called Norway, population 45. After high school she attended college at Loyola University Chicago, where she earned a B.A. and later an M.A. in Political Science. She met her husband Anthony while both were Loyola undergrads; and after surviving a Category 5 hurricane during their honeymoon, their ensuing years of marriage have been a piece of cake. Prior to joining the Mayor’s office, Larissa worked at small criminal defense and personal injury law firms in Chicago, and Polsinelli Shughart in Kansas City.
When she’s not wrangling several calendars at a time, Larissa can be found at home in the Northland wrangling her two children (daughter Aisling and son Oscar). In her free time, Larissa enjoys spending time with her family, discussing politics, cooking and baking (especially for holidays), and crafting (or mainly just thinking about crafting, since she’s approximately a decade behind on her scrapbooks). Larissa is also an avid movie fan; her favorites include “The Big Lebowski”, “Coming to America” and anything starring Matt Damon. She is a member of the American Political Science Association, loves the color yellow, and could eat her favorite food, Indian curry, every day of the week.
Blue Ribbon Commission on Ethics Reform
Andrea Bough, Chair
Brian D. Ellison
Barbara Glesner Fines
Citizens’ Commission on Municipal Revenue
Stanton, Susan, Chair
Rev. Thomas Curran
Donna Wilson Peters
Mayors Task Force for the Arts
Mike Burke, Chair
Pat JordanJay Tomlinson
Airick L. West
Commission on Violent Crime
Stacey Daniels-Young, Chair
C. Stan Henry
Rev. John Miles
Mayor’s Bistate Innovations Team
Mikes Burke, Chair
Alejandra Couchonnal McManus
Project Rise Advisory Committee
Patrick “Duke” Dujakovich
Tracy McFerrin Foster
Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners
Jean-Paul Chaurand, Chair
Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority
Michael Duffy , Chair
JoAnne Fox Rahtjen
Public Improvement Advisory Committee
Deb Hermann, Chair
Tax Increment Financing Commission
Ronald Yaffe, Chair
Mayor Pro Tem – Cindy Circo