Six UMKC Alumni Named to Ingram’s 40 Under Forty List

Honorees are civic-minded, highly accomplished executives

Six University of Missouri-Kansas City alumni have been named to this year’s 40 Under Forty list. Compiled by Ingram’s magazine, 40 Under Forty honors “accomplished and civic-minded young business executives in the Kansas City region.”

The UMKC honorees include Jesse Barnes, 2010 Education; Stephen Hopkins, 2013 Management; Susan Leonard, 2000 Education; Cara Olson, 1998 Management; T.J. Preuss, 2003 Law; and Jonathan White, 1998 Biological Sciences.

Barnes is the executive director of the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. He is a board member for Awesome Ambitions, a youth advisory group, is a member of the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts, and is a board member for Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Barnes earned a master’s degree in education from UMKC in 2010.

Hopkins is the director of the innovation lab for Dimensional Innovations. Ingram’s recognized Hopkins’ ability to direct “efforts to create unique, eye-catching and innovative ways for companies and organizations to reinforce their brands…” He is currently working on a master’s degree from the Bloch School of Management.

Leonard is the principal of Pembroke Hill’s Middle School. “I hope my faculty would say that I have made them better in their classrooms and with their students, that I push them to be the best they can be while also being a supportive coach they can go to for help and good advice when needed,” Leonard told Ingram’s. She earned a master’s in Education Administration from UMKC in 2000.

Olson launched the Digital Direct unit at Digital Evolution Group nine years ago. Today, Ingram’s says the Digital Direct unit accounts for nearly $10 million in revenue. Olson earned a bachelor’s of Business Administration from UMKC in 1998.

Preuss joined the Wagstaff & Cartmell law firm right out of UMKC School of Law in 2003. Since then, Preuss has had a hand in product-liability cases against Avandia, Celebrex, Ephedra and Vioxx. “I’ve found nothing more rewarding than helping victims who’ve been injured by America’s largest corporations,” Preuss told Ingram’s.

White is a principal scientist for MRIGlobal where he is the lead investigator on two separate research initiatives being conducted on behalf of the National Cancer Institute. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from UMKC in 1998.


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