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BOTAR President – Stephanie Kissick

Stephanie Smith Kissick was introduced to the American Royal at an early age by her parents, Sonya and Cotton Smith. Her father is a past president of the Saddle & Sirloin Club, and she enjoyed going down to the BBQ contest, the lamb auction cocktail party and the rodeo. As president of the 63rd annual BOTAR Ball, Stephanie knows the importance of the BOTAR organization and it’s history to Our Town. “There’s never been a more important time to support the American Royal and agribusiness. It’s where we came from and continues to be a significant part of the on-going success of Kansas City,” she said.    

Stephanie attended Shawnee Mission East High School and graduated from The University of Kansas where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She earned a juris doctorate degree from The University of Kansas School of Law.  Stephanie met her husband, Robert Kissick, when he was paired as her escort when she was a BOTAR in 1990. Her mother-in-law, Joanie Kissick, and her sister-in-law, Carrie Kissick Larson, are both past BOTAR presidents. “They’ve been invaluable sources of ideas and support during this year,” Stephanie said. “Their friendship and advice have been indispensable.” 

Stephanie and Rob have three children. Katie was a BOTAR Page in 2007 and is a freshman at Shawnee Mission East. Bobby is in sixth grade and Maggie is in first grade at Corinth Elementary School. Stephanie enjoys volunteering at her children’s schools, and she recently served as co-chairman for the Mission Hills Country Club swim team.

Stephanie is excited to welcome the BOTAR class of 2012. This year’s class has 39 BOTARs, making it the largest in the organization’s history. Of the 39 BOTARS, 17 of them are legacies, four served as Pages, two have mothers who were BOTAR presidents, and one is the great-granddaugther of a BOTAR founder. “Our organization is a wonderful opportunity for the BOTAR class of 2012 to connect with their community as they begin their professional lives, as well as make new friendships that encompass the entire metro,” Stephanie said.

BOTAR’s mission is to support the American Royal through volunteer and financial contributions. The School Tours, one of BOTAR’s most important events, are led by members of the organization and teach students about the importance of agriculture. Students learn about a variety of things including milking a cow, herding sheep and how to ride a bucking bronco. The BOTAR organization also endows scholarships, internships and a Presidents’ Scholarship in memory of late BOTAR presidents. 

The BOTAR Ball is a unique event in Our Town, and Stephanie and her committee members are putting in many hours of hard work in preparation for what is sure to be an unforgettable night. “The BOTAR Ball is an important way to honor Kansas City families who have made civic or cultural contributions to our community. The ball – and the events leading up to it – add to the color and tradition of our great city,” Stephanie said. The 63rd BOTAR Ball will be held on October 20th at the Muehlebach Tower of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.

Also featured in the September 1st issue of The Independent
By Melissa Powell





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