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KC Chamber to honor culturally-diverse professionals with Ace Award on July 29

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On Tuesday, July 29, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., three of the Kansas City region’s up-and-coming culturally-diverse professionals will be honored with the KC Chamber’s Ace Award.

Ace Award recipients are culturally diverse, mid – to senior-level managers, being recognized by their colleagues for outstanding achievement in their respective industries, inspiring and mentoring others, and making exceptional contributions to the success of their employers.

The 2014 recipients are:

  • Joyce Christanio, Senior Manager Supplier Diversity, Sprint

Responsible for development of Procurement Reward Program, writing and implementing Sprint’s online Supplier Diversity training course, and negotiating with the government to strengthen Sprint’s procurement base.

  • Kymberly A. Lewis, Manager, Human Resources EEO/Diversity Office, City of Kansas City, MO

Instrumental in raising awareness through diversity training initiatives, input into the Human Resources Department strategic plan and intranet redesign, and processing feedback to assist in recruiting a talented and diverse workforce.

  • Edgar J. Palacios, Manager, Community Engagement & Performance, Central Exchange

Implemented a bi-weekly electronic newsletter for members, transitioned the organization to a new mass email distribution system, and spear-heads a variety of other marketing and communications projects.

The 2014 business Champion of Diversity will also be celebrated for leading by example; embracing diversity in the workforce, management structure, board of directors, company culture, and in the Kansas City community. The recognition goes to JE Dunn Construction Company. In addition to the fact that the company is comprised of 30 percent women and minorities, its high school workforce training efforts, college recruiting, scholarship, and pre-apprenticeship programs set a positive example not only for the construction industry, but the entire business community.

The program features an in-depth panel discussion on the state of diversity in Kansas City. The conversation will be led by nationally-syndicated columnist Mary Sanchez of The Kansas City Star. Best practices, next steps, and opportunities will be discussed by:

  • Terry Bassham, Chairman & CEO of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L
  • Gwen Grant, CEO, Urban League of Greater Kansas City
  • Ramón Murguía, Chair, Hispanic Development Fund
  • Maurice Watson, Chair, Husch Blackwell

“The KC Chamber is committed to diversity – practicing it ourselves and promoting it in the community,” says Jim Heeter, president and chief executive officer of the KC Chamber. “POWER of Diversity is a tangible way to do that. The event has grown in popularity over the years—in step with the demographics that are transforming the business and culture of our community. The Chamber looks forward to celebrating what our members are doing, and encouraging the continued advancement of diversity in the workplace and Kansas City as a whole.”

In addition to the awards presentations and panel, there will be networking opportunities with Chamber members, officers, and directors of the region’s minority chambers of commerce.

Event tickets are $40 for KC Chamber members and $55 for non-members. Tables of 10 are available to members for $500, or $650 for non-members.

What: 2014 POWER of Diversity Breakfast

When: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 from 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Where: Westin Crown Center Hotel, One Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO

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