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2017 Class of Rising Stars – Jake Jacobson


Jake Jacobson is the director of public relations at Children’s Mercy. According to Rachel Hodgson, Great Plains SPCA; he has accomplished more than many non-profit public relations professionals in their entire careers and continues to reset the bar higher and higher. “Jake is able to tap into skills and experience from a diverse background in marketing, PR, journalism, management, public speaking, and social media from non profits and for profits alike,” said Rachel. “His inventive storytelling brings the mission of Children’s Mercy alive as well as the many non profits fortunate enough to have his voice and his passion. At Children’s Mercy, Jake shares patients’ inspiring stories and physicians’ innovate care with an ever-growing audience through national PR, social media and community engagement. He has been instrumental in the success of two campaigns – Inside Pediatrics, a documentary that took an inside look at the lifesaving work of the organization, and Big Slick Celebrity Weekend, which brings A-list Hollywood stars and their friends to Kansas City to make a difference.”

Said Dr. Randall L. O’Donnell, Children’s Mercy: “Days before I learned of his recent nomination for the 2017 Rising Stars, we had just welcomed more than 20 community leaders to join us for our immersive Discover Children’s Mercy program that allows guests to experience firsthand the magic we see every day at the hospital. Three patients shared their perspectives, and Jake stepped in for our pediatrician-in-chief to guide our esteemed guests through a wrap-up discussion. He put the room at ease, sparked great discussion and brought it back to what makes Children’s Mercy so special. In addition to his official roles of leading our national PR, social media and community engagement efforts, Jake has grown the hospital’s presence and continually sets new benchmarks.”

His current community service involvement includes the Centurions Leadership Program, where he serves on the alumni board; Public Relations Society of America (Greater KC) where he served as vice president of communications and is currently the New Pros chairman; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City, serving as a Red Shoe Society board member and was a Team RMHC fundraiser for the 2015 Chicago Marathon; WIN for KC’s Women’s Triathlon volunteer emcee; Arthritis Foundation of Kansas City board member, Jingle Bell Run race director, Art for Arthritis emcee, and 2013 Volunteer of the Year; National Multiple Sclerosis Society board member, team captain and volunteer; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City marketing committee member; Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner planning committee member; and Nonprofit Connect’s Philly Awards planning committee member.

Added Tami Greenberg, Ronald McDonald House Charities Kansas City; “I know that William Gillis defined the attitude of community volunteers when he said, ‘They see something that needs doing to make Kansas City better, and they care enough to get it done.’ And Jake Jacobson is that volunteer. He sees what needs to be done. It could be kids with serious illness or the families challenged by taking care of them. It could be people living with MS or people living with arthritis. It could be young people in need of support and development or the non-profit community seeking to advance the common good across Kansas City. And more importantly, Jakes cares enough to get it done. He leads committees, serves on boards and advances strategic work, leveraging his leadership and service to change this community in multiple ways. And he sometimes ‘gets dirty’ doing his good work, like when he rides a bike 150 miles to fight MS. And none of this counts as his ‘day job’ as director of public relations for Children’s Mercy.”

Recently, Jake has received multiple recognitions and awards for his outstanding work at Children’s Mercy. He is the 2016 recipient of the SMCKC Awards and the 2015 recipient of the Gillis Spirit Award, the Social Media Club of Kansas City Trailblazer of the Year Award, the Nonprofit Connect Philly Awards, the Missouri Association for Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Awards, the Public Relations Society of America (Greater Kansas City) PRISM Awards, and honored by the National Public Relations Society of America.

Jake is very honored to be included in the group of Rising Stars, both past and present, who have accomplished so much and are doing great things. “I realized that being an emcee or an announcer at a race or hosting a happy hour were important ways to give back to the community. I believe in playing your strengths, doing some good and having some fun.”

Also featured in the October 28, 2017 issue of The Independent
By Ann Slegman
Photo Credit: Tom Styrkowicz


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