MARC logo projected on screen with awards in shadow foreground

2023 Regional Assembly and Leadership Awards

The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, 1 E. Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Please join us on Friday, June 9, for the annual MARC Regional Assembly. The event will feature keynote speaker Valerie Lemmie, director of exploratory research at the Kettering Foundation, and the 2023 Regional Leadership Awards. 

Networking begins at 11 a.m. The program will start promptly at 11:30 a.m.

Registration is now closed. 

“Building Civic Culture: Engagement, Trust, Impact”

How can local governments and communities effectively come together to find solutions to shared problems?

In her keynote address, Valerie Lemmie will speak to the importance of democratic civic engagement to foster public trust and achieve community impact. You’ll hear examples of governments and institutions that adapted to changing times through innovative engagement strategies, resulting in stronger “civic muscle” and more sustainable communities.

About the speaker

Valerie Lemmie

Lemmie launched her career in the Kansas City region and went on to serve as city manager for the cities of Petersburg, Virginia, and Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, in addition to roles in higher education. She also served as a public utility commissioner for the State of Ohio and acting chief of staff for Congressman Mike Turner, Ohio's 10th district.

An adept strategic thinker with more than 35 years of experience in solving public problems and controversial issues in governmental organizations and local communities, Lemmie joined the Kettering Foundation in 2014. Lemmie has served on numerous local, federal and international boards and commissions, and is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Lemmie is a published author and noted speaker on democratic civic engagement, social equity and governance.

She received her B.A. in political science and urban sociology from the University of Missouri and a M.A. in urban affairs/public policy planning from Washington University.

Regional Leadership Awards

At the assembly, MARC will present the 2023 Regional Leadership Awards. These awards honor people, organizations and initiatives that advocate regional concepts, approaches and programs; address regional challenges; apply innovative solutions to regional problems; and advance a regional vision of excellence and opportunity.

2023 Regional Leadership Award recipients

Dr. Kimberly Beatty

Dr. Kimberly Beatty

Chancellor, Metropolitan Community College

For transformative leadership at Metropolitan Community College and dedication to ensuring all residents in the Kansas City region have access to higher education.

Chief Bryan Dehner

Bryan Dehner

Former Fire Chief, Overland Park, Kansas

For steadfast dedication to public service and commitment to bringing innovative solutions to meet regional challenges.

George Guastello

George Guastello

President and CEO, Union Station

For exemplary local and regional leadership in creating a thriving Union Station, a beloved and nationally recognized icon.

Parade of Hearts Logo - Tall

Parade of Hearts

For uniting our region through local art and supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event location

Focus Area: Local Government