About

Who We Are

The Economic Club of Kansas City was founded in 2005 as a nonprofit organization at the inspiration of Thomas M. Hoenig, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Dr. Hoenig served on the Club’s Board of Directors as its first Chairman, along with Homer Erekson (Dean and Professor at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri—Kansas City) and Paul Thompson (President and CEO of Country Club Bank). Paul continues to serve on our Board and is currently the Board’s Secretary.

The Club is nonpolitical, nonpartisan, and nonprofit and takes no side on any issue considered in its forum.

Our mission is to

1

Provide a structured forum for engaging Kansas City’s business leaders with world-class thinkers on critical issues in business, economics, and finance.

2

Catalyze local discussion, understanding, and leadership on these issues.

3

Foster economic curiosity.

Leadership

Club directors, which are drawn from our membership, provide general and active control of the Club’s business. Their primary responsibilities are setting the Club’s strategic direction, assisting and overseeing the development of each year’s calendar of programs, recruiting new members, and providing financial oversight. The president and executive director, who also serves as a Club director, directs and implements programs and activities approved by the board.

Board of Directors

Mark Bluhm

Partner

Lathrop GPM LLP

Mark Bluhm is a partner at Lathrop GPM LLP.  He has been with that law firm and its legacy firms since receiving his degree in Economics from Stanford University and his Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration from Washington University.  Mark is a Chambers-rated business lawyer who represents clients in acquisitions, divestitures and strategic alliances.  He has served as the Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Marketing Partner of Lathrop Gage LLP (now Lathrop GPM) and on its Executive Committee.  Mark was a co-founder of a startup healthcare company and served on the Board of Directors of a bank for 25 years and on the Boards of Directors on several nonprofit organizations.

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Pamela Breuckmann

Chair

President and Chief Executive Officer

Ferrell Capital

In leading Ferrell Capital, a privately held, diversified holding company with investments in real estate, private equity and other assets owned by the Ferrell family (Ferrellgas), Pam’s efforts are focused on carrying out the Family’s long-term strategic plan, sourcing and developing new investments opportunities and guiding existing business investments. Prior to becoming the President & CEO of Ferrell Capital, she was the Chief Financial Officer at Ferrell Capital.

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Esther George

President and Chief Executive Officer

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Esther leads a workforce of close to 2,000 employees in the Kansas City headquarters and its branch offices in Omaha, Denver and Oklahoma City.

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Stephen Gound

Chairman Emeritus

Labconco Corporation

Steve Gound is the Chairman Emeritus of Labconco Corporation, a Kansas City-based global manufacturer of scientific and laboratory equipment which has been management owned and operated since 1925.  Following his graduation from the University of Nebraska with a Degree in Accounting and Finance, Steve, a CPA, joined the Audit Division of Arthur Andersen & Co. and spent 9½ years primarily serving manufacturing clients.  In 1979, Steve joined Labconco as Treasurer and progressed through various roles including Vice President-Finance, Executive Vice President, President  & CEO, Chairman and Chairman Emeritus.  Steve has served as a Director on numerous Boards including The Children’s Place, Gillis Center, Cornerstones of Care, Kansas Bio, MRIGlobal, Commerce Bank of Kansas City, and The Economic Club of Kansas City.  He has also served as Chairman of the Laboratory Products Association, the industry trade association of which Labconco is a long time member.  Steve and his wife, Patti, are parents to two adult children and grandparents to 3 grandchildren.

Wendy Guillies

President and Chief Executive Officer

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Wendy leads the Foundation’s work to boost student achievement in the Kansas City region and to accelerate entrepreneurship across the country. With more than $2.5B in assets, the Kauffman Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. The Foundation approaches its work from the middle of the country with a solid Midwest mindset – working to build practical and workable solutions to today’s challenges. Before becoming CEO, she played an instrumental role in building the Foundation’s local, national and global reputation as a thought leader and innovator in its fields.  Wendy has worked at the Foundation since early 2000 and was named President and CEO in 2015.

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Brian Klaas

Dean, Henry W. Bloch School of Management

University of Missouri—Kansas City

Brian joined the Bloch School of Management as Dean in June 2017. Since coming on board with Bloch, Klaas has been focused on ways to grow the Bloch School’s awareness and engagement in the Kansas City metro. His key initiatives include modernizing the Professional MBA program, increasing overall enrollment and elevating the Bloch School brand.

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Chuck Morris

President and Executive Director

The Economic Club of Kansas City

Chuck joined The Economic Club of Kansas City in January 2020. Prior to joining the Club, he was a Vice President and Economist in the bank supervision and risk management function at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, from where he retired in 2018 after 35 years at the Bank. He began his career in 1983 as an economist in the Economic Research Department, with a research and policy focus on banking, financial markets, and macroeconomics. In 1999 he moved to a general management leadership role, rotating over the next 9 years through several administrative departments. In 2008 he moved to the bank supervision function, where he led the banking research and risk analysis departments, focusing on banking and financial market policy analysis and research. He also spent six months in 2012 at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. serving as acting deputy to Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig. Chuck holds bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in economics from UCLA.

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Chad Rock

Managing Director, Commercial Banking

BMO Harris Bank, Kansas City

Chad has over 19 years of banking experience and during that time has worked with companies in numerous industries across the Midwest. His particular area of emphasis is helping companies with financing needs driven by M&A transactions, succession planning, and business growth. He currently oversees a team of bankers that work with middle market and mid corporate companies in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas and the surrounding areas. Chad currently serves on the board of The Children’s Place, the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Economic Club. He and his wife Tracy, and their two sons, Landon and Graham, reside in Overland Park, KS.

Charles Sosland

President and Chief Executive Officer

Sosland Companies, Inc.

Charles Sosland is president and chief executive officer of Sosland Companies, Inc. of Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A., a family-owned holding company focused mainly in publishing magazines, newsletters and websites serving American and global food and agribusiness. In addition to the Linda Hall Library, Charles is a member of the board of trustees of UMKC and Union Station Kansas City. Charles is also a member of the Advisory Board of Commerce Bank of Kansas City and serves on two charitable foundations, The Sosland Foundation and The Oppenstein Brothers Foundation.

Paul Thompson

Secretary

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Country Club Bank

Paul J. Thompson is the Chairman & CEO of Country Club Bank, a $1.9 billion commercial bank with 21 locations in the greater Kansas City area.

Country Club Bank also operates a wealth management division, which includes Country Club Trust Co. with $2.1 billion in assets under administration as of June 30, 2020; Country Club Financial Services; CC Capital Advisors; The Capital Corporation; Asset Management Group; and Tower Wealth Managers.

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