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Connections – Chris Constant

Chris Constant is a beautifully complicated man, yet so very humble and charming, it’s almost hard to believe that so many talents and qualities exist in just one soft-spoken man. As he unfolds, much like a piece of origami, we find out so many endearing and intriguing pieces. Born in South Korea and adopted by his local parents, Our Town has always been Chris’ home. He grew up in the Brookside/Waldo area, graduated from Rockhurst High School, and has been immersed in Boy Scouts since he was a young Cub. But most importantly, since his early days, Chris has been a community builder. He helped to lead the formation of the Freshman Retreat at Rockhurst that still exists today, and he has spent countless hours volunteering for Boy Scouts and has spent five years on its local board. He also serves on the board of The Family Conservancy. 

We haven’t even scratched the surface with this Renaissance gentleman. In his elementary and junior high days, he fell in love with music. He participated in band and orchestra, and was a part of the Kansas City Youth Symphony. It would make sense that Chris entered Mizzou as a music major and spent a couple of years and a lot of energy and dedication to a career in music: Until it didn’t make sense. He started to consider the actual economics of a career in music and decided it might be a better passion and hobby than a true career. So, he turned his college stint into a five-year plan and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration (with Mortar Board recognition, by the way). 

He continued to study in London for a time, and worked for Cerner as a consultant, before he decided he liked being a student too much, and he hightailed it back to Mizzou for an MBA. As his community-building personality was in high gear, Chris found great satisfaction in working as a graduate assistant in the career center. He loved gathering peers, helping them pursue possible career options, find clubs to belong to, and understand for themselves that building a community is so important – no matter what stage of life one is in. Chris is driven by bringing something to the table that will help a group – and make it better than the sum of its parts. This defining characteristic – whether in Scouts, work, or board service – is what makes him so effective, as he continues to wear multiple hats throughout his career, civic, and personal lives. 

Chris, Rob, Isaac, and Emily in Riviera Maya

Ready to launch into the work world, Chris realized that some of his colleagues had spoken highly of The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, so he decided to apply. In 2011, he joined the bank as an assistant examiner in the consumer affairs department (yes, bank examiner). Not sure we saw that coming. He was promoted to several management positions, and then in 2019, he rotated to the Human Resources department, where he held the title of assistant vice president. From there, he moved to the role of assistant vice president of Community Engagement and Inclusion. Let’s stop here for just a moment. Chris is emphatic that, “It is amazing that I can have several different careers within one institution! The professional development at The Fed is incredible, and it allows individuals to stay with the same company, but experience completely different positions – finding their strengths as they go.” Currently, Chris has returned to the bank examining side and holds the position of vice president, Bank Supervision and Risk Management. 

While Chris never felt like he was “missing” anything by not experiencing South Korea, he decided to visit eight years ago, and he now has a new affinity with the country. “I never had the burning desire to find my Korean roots, but I’m happy to now discover this part of who I am.” In the meantime, Chris has found time to get married (to husband Rob Lundien), and have two children. In lovely full-circle fashion, they grew their family through adoption and surrogacy and are now parents to their three-and-a-half-year-old son, Isaac, and their one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Emily. And, with his desire to build consensus and bring groups together, he is already excited to share his birth-country with his children, when they are old enough to understand it. But for now, Fairway is home, and their hands are full with the delights of small children, busy careers, and we suspect – a lot of music. 

Featured in the May 4, 2024 issue of The Independent.
By Anne Potter Russ

 

Anne Potter Russ

Anne is thrilled to be working with The Independent again, and even happier to be with some great people. Having served as editor from 2005 to 2009, it is a pleasure to be able to connect with the readers of this timeless magazine. Anne and her husband, Norbert, live in south Leawood, and have two grown kids, Diana and Nick, as well as two rambunctious dogs.

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