New Leaders Set for KC Rising

After two years under the guidance of the KU Medical Center’s Doug Girod and former HNTB executive Scott Smith, the KC Rising Steering Committee announced this morning that three new co-chairs would assume duties on March 1: John Murphy, past chairman at Shook, Hardy & Bacon; Sandy Price, former human resources executive for Sprint; and William Gautreaux, chief marketing officer and president of Crestwood MSL.

KC Rising is a business-led initiative formed to develop the region’s economic potential, with backing from the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the Mid-America Regional Council, the Kansas City Area Development Council, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and regional chambers of commerce.

Smith, the former president and CEO at HNTB Infrastructure, said the initiative was meeting its goals.  “With hundreds of volunteers engaged from the regional business and civic community,” he said in a release announcing the leadership change, “impactful initiatives already underway and new partnerships formed with regional leaders, we have built trust and committed leadership – we can’t ask for more than that.”

On his watch with Girod, KC Rising created processes for identifying the region’s best opportunities for growth, particularly with sectors that compete on a global scale, as well as in innovation, entrepreneurship and human capital. “I don’t know of another time in our region’s history that the business and civic communities have come together in such strong alignment on ways to move our community forward, accelerate job growth and improve employment opportunities for all of our residents,” said Girod, executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Gautreaux has served on the steering committee since 2014, and Price, now a board member with Great Plains Energy, has  previously served as the co-chair of the human-capital work group. Murphy, as well, is a steering committee veteran who has seved as advisory board chair for the KC InvestED initiative.

Smith and Girod will continue to serve on the steering committee. For more information on KC Rising and its agenda for growth, go to