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.

Mark Bluhm

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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Dr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace

President and CEO
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Ed.D., is president and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. With more than $2.5B in assets, the Kauffman Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.

Dr. Burns-Wallace is an award-winning public sector leader and educator who has championed policies and resources to improve lives and communities around the world.

Dr. Burns-Wallace began her career as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, serving tours in China, South Africa, and in Washington D.C. She is trained in French and Mandarin Chinese.

Dr. Burns-Wallace also served as the Secretary of Administration and the Chief Information Technology Officer for the State of Kansas under Gov. Laura Kelly.

She is the first African American to hold either cabinet seat in the state’s history. She’s also spent 15 years in higher education, serving at University of Kansas as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, University of Missouri as Assistant Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education and Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, and at Stanford University as an Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Admissions.

Dr. Burns-Wallace has served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees since 2020. She is also a member of numerous organizations focused on service and philanthropic engagement including Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc., Jack and Jill of America – Johnson County Chapter, and The Sister Circle.

Throughout her career, Dr. Burns-Wallace has been selected for numerous honors and awards, most recently as 2022 Kansas City CIO of the Year – Public Sector. Previous honors include the 2018 White House Champions of Change for College Opportunity and Superior and Meritorious Honor awards from the U.S. State Department.

Dr. Burns-Wallace’s depth of experience has made her a sought-after expert, keynote speaker, and national trainer on topics including diversity, equity, and inclusion; talent development; organizational behavior; operational effectiveness; strategic management; and authentic leadership.

Dr. Burns-Wallace holds a dual bachelor’s degree in international relations and African American studies from Stanford University, a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently holds a faculty appointment at the University of Southern California.

The most important title to this Kansas City native is mom to her son, Xavier.

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Stephen M. Clifford

President and CEO
PBI Gordon Companies, Inc.

Mr. Clifford has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of PBI Gordon Companies, Inc. since October 2020 and as Chief Operating Officer since July 2018. Prior to his roles at PBI Gordon, Mr. Clifford retired from Ernst & Young in July 2015 after having served as the Managing Partner of Ernst & Young’s Kansas City, Missouri office from 1999 until his retirement. His career at Ernst & Young spanned a total of 32 years, including 19 years as an audit and advisory partner serving clients ranging from Fortune 500 public companies to high growth, private equity-backed companies. During his tenure as the Managing Partner, Mr. Clifford was a member of the executive committee for Ernst & Young’s Midwest Area, which was responsible for nearly 4,500 professionals across the Midwest.

Mr. Clifford serves as a Director and the Chair of the Governance Committee as well as a member of the Audit Committee of Ferrellgas Partners, LP (NYSE: FGP), a Fortune 1000 diversified energy company. He also serves as a Director of PBI Gordon Companies, Inc., a diversified industrial and consumer products company that develops and markets products for the turf & ornamental care, companion animal pharmaceutical, and pet care markets. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the audit committee for the Archdiocese of Northeast Kansas.

Mr, Clifford is the past Chairman of the Board for both Cristo Rey High School of Kansas City and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In addition, he previously served as a director and treasurer for the Boy Scouts of America, Rockhurst High School, and the Kansas City Neighborhood Alliance, among others.

Mr. Clifford obtained his Bachelor of Science and Business Administration, Finance & Accounting degree from Texas Christian University.

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SecretaryBrian 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.

Klaas most recently served as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Academics and Director of the Riegel & Emory Human Resource Center at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Klaas is also a Professor of Management and previously served as Chair of the Department of Management and Faculty Director for the Master of Human Resource program. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Klaas has published extensively in such areas as human resources, dispute resolution and labor relations. His work has been published in some of the leading journals in his field, including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology and Human Resource Management, among others. He also has served on the editorial boards for a number of these journals and has had his research funded by organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management, the Upjohn Institute and the Gevity Institute.

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Stephen Penn

Managing Partner

Stephen Penn is the Managing Partner of KPMG’s Kansas City, Missouri office, where he’s responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the office and making KPMG a great place to build a career.

Penn has more than 30 years of audit experience serving a wide range of clients, principally in the financial services industry, including commercial banks and thrifts, broker-dealers, investment companies, stock exchanges, commodities and futures brokerage firms, insurance brokers, insurance companies, finance companies, and credit unions. Stephen has served in KPMG’s Kansas City, St. Louis, and Detroit offices.

As a lead audit partner, Penn has significant experience and interaction with the audit and risk committees of the board of directors, executive management, internal auditors, client regulators, corporate counsel, and other senior stakeholders. Penn has served as the leader of Kansas City’s financial services practice and as a member of KPMG’s Regional and Community Banking Leadership Team. He has led several development initiatives for KPMG, including local KPMG diversity and employer of choice programs, and has held various quality, alumni relations, and office resource leadership roles.

Penn has served as Managing Partner of the Kansas City office since 2019.

He also serves on the financial council for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, Catholic Charities, the United Way, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and on the board of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy with Honors from Western Illinois University.

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Jeanette Prenger

Jeanette Hernandez Prenger

Founder, CEO and President
ECCO Select

Jeanette Hernandez Prenger serves as the Founder, CEO and President of ECCO Select. She leads one of the top Hispanic businesses in the country, with over 500 employees serving clients across North America. ECCO Select is a talent acquisition and consulting company, specializing in providing people, process and technology solutions.

She leverages her expertise in quickly assessing situations, identifying issues and developing the right solutions to help businesses strengthen operations, revenue, profitability and competitive advantages. Jeanette has put these skills into practice at ECCO Select since 1995. Beginning with a single client, ECCO Select has grown into a leading provider of technology talent for Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies, with offices in Kansas City, MO, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, MO.

Jeanette advocates for business and economic growth through her leadership and involvement in organizations around the country. She serves on the national boards of The Latino Coalition (Chair), Junior Achievement USA, Boy Scouts of America, Women Impacting Public Policy and Orphaned Starfish Foundation, as well those closer to home – Missouri Tourism Commission (commissioner), Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association (Visit KC, Chair), the American Royal, Police Foundation, the Heart of America Council of Boy Scouts, Command and General Staff College Foundation, and Park University (Immediate Past Chair). She is a former chair of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and former vice chair of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).

Follow Jeanette Prenger: www.linkedin.com/in/jprenger
Follow ECCO Select: www.linkedin.com/company/ecco-select

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President & Executive DirectorAmy Hawley Rose

The Economic Club of Kansas City

Amy is an Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist. She’s spent more than 20 years anchoring and reporting as a television journalist. She’s covered politics, high profile court cases and investigative reporting. Her reports have aired both in local and national newscasts. She earned both broadcast journalism and political science degrees from the University of Kansas. Amy is married to a Kansas City aerospace manufacturer. They have four children.

Jeff Schmid

President and CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Jeff Schmid is the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

In his role, Schmid leads a workforce of close to 2,000 employees in Kansas City and its branch offices in Omaha, Denver and Oklahoma City.

The Kansas City Fed is responsible for conducting monetary policy, providing financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. Treasury; and supervising nearly 1,000 banking organizations across its seven-state region, which includes western Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming and northern New Mexico.

Schmid represents the Tenth District on the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy for the United States. He participates in each FOMC meeting and will be a voting member in 2025.

Before joining the Kansas City Fed in August 2023, he served as president and CEO of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. He has several decades of experience leading banks and began his career as an examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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Jeff Stanton

President & COO of Labconco Corporation

Jeff Stanton is President & COO of Labconco Corporation, a privately held manufacturer of Laboratory Equipment operating in Kansas City since 1925. Jeff’s formal training was in accounting and finance, earning a BS in Accounting from the University of Kansas before starting a career in 1985 at Arthur Andersen & Co. He worked at Andersen for seven years as a CPA in the firm’s tax division before accepting a position at Labconco, which had been one of his clients for many years. Roles Jeff has held at Labconco include Director of Accounting & Finance, VP Finance, and Executive Vice President prior to being named President in 2021.

Jeff has been active in the laboratory products industry and currently serves as a director on the board of the Laboratory Products Association, the industry’s largest trade association. He served as a director for Alterra Bank, in Leawood, KS from 2011 - 2017 until it was acquired by First Business Bank (Nasdaq: FBIZ) in 2014 and eventually merged into FBIZ in 2017. Jeff has been actively involved with several outside interests, including his church, the National Kidney Foundation, home projects, and all things Jayhawk. However, his passion has been working at Labconco, helping to grow the business, set strategy and develop people.

Personally, Jeff is a Kansas City native, where he and his wife, Sarah of 37 years, make their home and together have three adult children all living in the area.

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ChairPaul Thompson

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.

During his 30-year banking career, Paul has served in various industry leadership roles. From 2014-2018, Paul served as a Class A Director on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In addition, Paul served as the 2008–2009 Chairman of the Missouri Bankers Association. He has also been an active member of the American Bankers Association, having served on the ABA Accounting Committee, the ABA Community Bankers Council, the ABA Membership Committee and the ABA Government Relations Council Administrative Committee.

A licensed CPA in Missouri, Paul earned a finance degree from Creighton University and an MBA from Rockhurst University. Paul is both a graduate and former Trustee of the Colorado Graduate School of Banking, having served from 2010-2019.

Paul and his wife, Mary – parents to five adult children, and grandparents to three grandchildren – contribute their time and energies to a number of philanthropic, educational and civic organizations in the greater Kansas City area.

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