UMKC Launches “UMKC Proud” Billboard Campaign

Billboards feature outstanding Kansas City leaders, UMKC alumni

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Missouri-Kansas City is showing its impact – in a big way.

Billboards popping up around the metro are touting the faces of some of Kansas City’s most outstanding leaders. The showcased leaders come from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds, but they all have something in common: they’re all UMKC alumni and they’re all making a big impact on this community.

The first set of billboards feature six UMKC graduates who successfully put their degrees to work in the Kansas City metro. Another set of six graduates will be featured in early October.

It’s all part of the UMKC Proud campaign. Alumni from across the university – from the Conservatory of Music and Dance to the School of Medicine – are serving the Kansas City area, and proud to claim UMKC as their university. Learn more about UMKC’s impact on the community here.

The first set of featured leaders include: Jean-Paul Chaurand, COO of the Guadalupe Centers, Inc.; Peggy Dunn, mayor of Leawood, Kan.; Brett Ferguson, oral surgeon for Truman Medical Centers; James Jordan, ballet master of the Kansas City Ballet; Michele Kilo, developmental pediatrician, Children’s Mercy; Joe Seabrooks, president of Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley.

Jean-Paul Chaurand earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts & Sciences, and his executive master’s of business administration from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. He is the COO of the Guadalupe Centers Inc. and Guadalupe Education Centers Inc. Chaurand shows his commitment to his alma mater through service.  He served on the Bloch School Executive Education Advisory Board and is currently on the UMKC Hispanic Advisory Board.  He was the featured speaker at the Agapito Mendoza Scholarship Breakfast in March.

Peggy Dunn earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts & Sciences. She is the mayor of Leawood, Kan. Dunn’s list of civic involvement shows her absolute and tireless devotion to the region.  Here is just a small snapshot of organizations where she lends her expertise: Johnson/Wyandotte Counties Council of Mayors – chairman elect; United Way of Greater Kansas City – board member and past chairman; Leawood Chamber of Commerce – advisory board member; The Salvation Army – emeritus board member and past chairman; The Starlight Theatre – board member and past chairman; St. Luke’s South Hospital – board vice-chairman; Children’s Mercy Hospital – central governing board member; Truman Medical Centers – board member; Truman Medical Centers Charitable Foundation – emeritus board member and past chairman; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – board member; and Union Station – board member.

Brett Ferguson earned his doctor of dental surgery from the UMKC School of Dentistry. He is an oral surgeon for Truman Medical Centers. Born in Kansas City, Ferguson remains committed to his hometown through volunteer service to a number of Kansas City organizations, including the American Red Cross and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. In addition, he delivers presentations on dentistry and oral surgery careers to Southeast Health Magnet Schools.

James Jordan earned his bachelor’s degree from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. He is the ballet master for the Kansas City Ballet. Jordan has shown his commitment to his alma mater through his service as president of the UMKC Conservatory’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. At UMKC, he has worked as a guest teacher, choreographer and has taught thousands of students from UMKC and across the state of Missouri.  Jordan has also been instrumental in seeing that UMKC dancers have been on stage with the Kansas City Ballet every year for over a decade, appearing in such productions as The Nutcracker, Firebird and Romeo and Juliet.

Michele Kilo earned her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and her doctor of medicine from the UMKC School of Medicine. She is the division director of Developmental & Behavioral Sciences and a developmental pediatrician for Children’s Mercy. Kilo is also an associate professor of Pediatrics for the UMKC School of Medicine. Kilo has served her city and region well. She was appointed by Governor Jay Nixon for a two year term on the Missouri Autism Commission and served on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board. Kilo was Chairman of the Jellybean Conspiracy, a group of high school performers from both regular and special education classes who perform together to show peers throughout the region how to recognize similarities, respect differences and celebrate each other’s talents and gifts.

Joe Seabrooks earned his bachelor’s, master’s, Educational Specialist and Ph.D. degrees at UMKC. He is the president of the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. About his time at UMKC, Seabrooks said, “As a student, UMKC provided me with the safe space and place to think critically about the world we live in.  As a professional, I learned how to lead and to be accountable.  I am forever grateful to the  faculty, administrators, staff, and students, past and present, who played a role in my growth and development as a professional and as a person.”

Photo Credit: Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

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