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I ON PHILANTHROPY

Cheers To Volunteers! – Brian Votava

Brian Votava is passionate about the Who Is Carter Foundation. He serves on the organization’s board of directors and is a driving force behind the annual Who Is Carter Gala. Brian is the director of development and founding partner of NorthPoint Development. He often engages other NorthPoint staff members in a variety of volunteer roles […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – Zack Donnelly

Zack Donnelly is a member of the Centurions Class of 2021. He serves on the legacy project committee and is a member of the Tourist In Your Own Town Task Force. Zack earned a degree in finance and entrepreneurship from The University of Kansas. He is employed with The John A. Marshall Company. Volunteering with […]

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Children’s Mercy – Virtual Red Hot Night

Children’s Mercy’s Red Hot Night will be a virtual affair on February 20th. Randy Pope and Walter Porter are serving as co-chairmen of the 17th annual event. The evening promises to be great fun, including Dustin Colquitt as emcee, live entertainment, silent and live auctions, and inspiring mission moments. All proceeds will benefit the Children’s […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – Demetrius Peterson

Demetrius Peterson is an attorney at Husch Blackwell, where he conducts investigations for schools on alleged violations of the institution’s policies and federal civil rights law, including sexual misconduct, racial discrimination, and harassment. He has very much enjoyed his time so far with Centurions, where he serves as the steering committee chairman. Demetrius earned a […]

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Cheers to Volunteers! – Chris Elkins MacFaden

Chris Elkins MacFaden started volunteering at The Folly Theater three years ago. Since then, she has become an integral part of the team. Chris has served on the volunteer council as secretary, ushered many events, worked in concessions, and served champagne at the Frolic Bubble Bar to patrons. She received the Volunteer of the Year […]

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Cheers to Volunteers! – Kellie Sullivan

Kellie Sullivan is a longtime member of the Kansas City Symphony Alliance. She served as chairman of the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse committee for the 2020 event which was completed, but never opened to the public, due to the pandemic. How did Kellie deal with that? By coming right back – she is now hard at […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – Lisa Womack

Lisa Womack is the director of mobility services at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. She is responsible for managing paratransit and other contracted services under the RideKC brand of services. Lisa is a member of the Centurions Fall Class of 2020, where she has volunteered with Uplift, Kansas City Hospice, and HappyBottoms. Originally from […]

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Kansas City Young Audiences – Spark the Arts in Young Hearts

Michael Fields served as the honorary chairman for the Kansas City Young Audiences’ (KCYA) first Virtual Luncheon: Spark the Arts in Young Hearts, which was held on October 14th. Jill Warren was the chairman. Jim Cosgrove, better known as “Mr. Stinky Feet,” was the emcee, and appeared in a 30-minute video along with KCYA students. […]

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2020 Class of Rising Stars Jason Wright

Jason Wright is vice president of JE Dunn Construction Company. Recently, he and his colleagues at JE Dunn built a deck for Friends of JCDS (Johnson County Developmental Supports). “Helping people in need who cannot help themselves such as children or those with disabilities gives me great joy. Thanks to God for giving me the […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – William Trakas

William Trakas is an associate architect with BNIM Architects. He is a member of Centurions, where he has served as co-chairman of the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee and as a member of the Creative Scene Task Force. William has volunteered with Uplift, Prep-KC, The Groundhog Run, and Giving The Basics. He graduated from Tulane […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – Nate Chastain

Nate Chastain is a commercial insurance broker for Lockton Companies, where he negotiates insurance programs for other companies. Nate and his wife, Nichelle, have a son, Otto. He is a member of Centurions, and he has been thrilled with the program. Nate’s favorite volunteer opportunity is with Urban Christian Academy, which is a private, tuition-free […]

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2020 Class of Rising Stars Bess Wallerstein Huff

Bess Wallerstein Huff is the director of marketing and community outreach at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Her primary focus right now has been to offer support to arts organizations and cultural institutions that have been negatively impacted due to COVID-19. “As a member of the arts community, I have been dedicating time […]

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Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas – 47th Annual Snow Ball

Susan and Ernie Straub III are the honorary presidents, and Karen and Craig Gaffney are the presidents for the 47th Annual Snow Ball, which will be held on January 16th. For the first time ever, the Snow Ball will be a completely virtual experience, with friends hosting their own in-home parties to engage guests. Proceeds […]

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Cheers to Volunteers! Alane Watts

Alane Watts joined Lead to Read KC as a reading mentor in 2016 because she believes, “By helping develop strong readers, we impact the future of our community. We give students the foundation to thrive academically and achieve their dreams.” Alane volunteers alongside nearly two dozen of her colleagues from American Century Investments, many of […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – Kelsey Rockey

Kelsey Rockey is in her second year as a Centurion, where she has served as the co-chairman of the recruiting committee, is on the retreat committee, and will serve with the Healthcare Task Force later this year. Kelsey is the director of account services at Parris Communications. She has given her time and talent to […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – Greg Moore

In his second year as a Centurion, Greg Moore has served on the diversity equity inclusion committee, the Sports, Park, and Recreation Task Force, and the steering committee. Professionally, this sports enthusiast has been with the Kansas City Royals’ marketing department, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and Pro Athlete, before his current position as COO of Charlie […]

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Spotlight on Centurions – Jen Houston

Jen Houston is a senior vice president and community relations manager for UMB Financial Corporation. As a member of Centurions, Jen is the chairman for the Centurions’ Spring Cohort’s Environmentalism Task Force, and she has served on the steering committee. Jen has a bachelor of journalism degree and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish […]

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Cheers to Volunteers! – The Salvation Army

Sometimes the simple solution is the best one. The Salvation Army relies on a multitude of bell ringers stationed beside their signature red kettles for fundraising. Last year, volunteers spent more than 5,000 hours ringing bells. The sound of the bells draws attention to the kettles, and attracts passersby to donate their change – and […]

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2020 Class of Rising Stars Chuck Cuda

Chuck Cuda is a principal/broker at Opes Commercial Real Estate. He is on the board of trustees of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Mid-America Chapter. Chuck has served as a member of the Light the Night executive leadership committee and was chairman of the event in 2018. Chuck organized his own event, Green Tie Gala, […]

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Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri – Karen Crnkovich

Karen Crnkovich has been a member of the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri for 16 years and is serving as the 2020-21 president. Karen has served on the board of directors for four years and in many other roles, including director of fund development, director of training, board assistant, Holiday Mart co-chairman, and advocacy […]

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Cheers to Volunteers! – Moe Chizari

Teaching math might not be everyone’s idea of happiness, but for Moe Chizari, it’s exactly what the semi-retired accountant and volunteer loves to do. Moe spends his free time working with Literacy KC’s program, High School Equivalency Test preparedness. Giving back motivates Moe to do the work of teaching, and the joy comes when students, […]

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