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Area Residents Join Greater Kansas City Leaders

February 2017

The Doniphan Leadership Institute graduated its 20th Cohort Jan. 8 at William Jewell College. Staff and sponsors congratulated the 17 Doniphan Fellows who live and work throughout Greater Kansas City.

Seventeen area executives became graduates of the Doniphan Leadership Institute following a ceremony at William Jewell College Wednesday Feb. 8.

The graduates included staff members of organizations ranging from Ameristar Casino Hotel to Mid-Continent Public Library. Now in its 10th year, the institute is cosponsored by the Pryor Center at the college and the Clay County Economic Development Council.

The new Doniphan Fellows had high praise for the program as they addressed nearly 100 family, friends and coworkers at the event. Although they live and work throughout Greater Kansas City, many had similar observations about the institute.

“I used to feel alone in making decisions,” Kimberly Harris of Liberty Hospital and a Lawson resident said. “But now I realize we share the same challenges.”

Melissa Mohler, who works for Clay County and lives in Smithville, agreed. “I learned to ask what are my strengths instead of what are my weaknesses,” she said. “That’s a first in my life.”

Anthony Sands, who works for the City of Gladstone and resides there, saw the program as an opportunity for expanding horizons. “It helped me to grow a lot,” he said. “It was quite an experience.”

Annette Shelton resides in Kearney and teaches at the schools there. “I thought I was going to learn some tips and tricks,” she said. “What I learned is about myself.”

Jacque Davis, a Parkville resident who works at Liberty Hospital, said she learned a lot by observing how other students from different backgrounds struggled with similar issues. “We were all from very different industries, but we all face similar problems,” she said. “Everybody in the class learned.”

Olathe resident Tina Hartford, who works at lngredion, praised the program for its strategies. “I have been through many leadership classes in the past, and this has definitely been the most impactful,” she said. “I used to just model other leaders, but I learned that their style may not be for me. I have to develop my own style of leadership.”

Amy Leonard Sleeper, of Prairie Village and Children's Mercy Hospital, noted a similar experience. “I’ve learned that a leader does not come in one shape and size,” she said. “Everybody has to develop their own way of becoming a leader.

The dinner event was held in the college’s Yates/Gill Union and included speakers Kevin Shaffstall, director of the Pryor Center for Leadership Development at the college; Joe Millas, guest instructor; Tom Vansaghi, professor of Business and Leadership at the college, and Jim Hampton, executive director of the Clay County Economic Development Council, cosponsor of the Institute with the Pryor Center.

The complete list of new Doniphan Fellows is Amy Barclay, Mid-Continent Public Library, Mission; Linda Currid, Ameristar, North Kansas City; Jacque Davis, Liberty Hospital, Parkville; Kimberly Harris, Liberty Hospital, Lawson; Tina Hartford, lngredion, Olathe; Melissa Kesner, Children's Mercy Hospital, Overland Park; Amy Leonard Sleeper, Children's Mercy Hospital, Prairie Village; Jordan McKinney, William Jewell College, Liberty; Melissa Mohler, Clay County, Smithville; Sheila Montgomery Park, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City; Nkolika Obiesie, Clay County Public Health Center, Kansas City, Ks.; Tyler Polsgrove, KCP&L, Platte City; Anthony Sands, City of Gladstone, Gladstone; Jill Seib-Schaub, Mid-Continent Public Library, Kansas City; Annette Shelton, Kearney Schools, Kearney; Bronson Smith, Harrah's Casino, North Kansas City; and Nikki Thorn, Clay County, Liberty.

For additional information on the institute, call the Development Council at (816) 468-4989 or visit this page. You may also contact the Pryor Center at (816) 415-5052.

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