Honorary Committee

Mayor Quinton Lucas - Honorary Chairman

Mayor of Kansas City

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II - Honorary Chairman

Emanuel Cleaver, II is now serving his seventh term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the home district of President Harry Truman. He is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services; Chair of the subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance; member of the House Committee on Homeland Security; member of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security; and member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.

Having served for twelve years on the city council of Missouri’s largest municipality, Kansas City, Cleaver was elected as the city’s first African American Mayor in 1991.

During his eight-year stint in the Office of the Mayor, Cleaver distinguished himself as an economic development activist and an unapologetic redevelopment craftsman. He and the City Council brought a number of major corporations to the city, including TransAmerica, Harley Davidson, and Citi Corp. Cleaver also led the effort, after a forty-year delay, to build the South Midtown Roadway. Upon completion of this major thoroughfare, he proposed a new name: The Bruce R. Watkins Roadway. Additionally, his municipal stewardship includes the 18th and Vine Redevelopment, a new American Royal, the establishment of a Family Division of the Municipal Court, and the reconstruction and beautification of Brush Creek.

Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees augmented by a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M, and a master’s from St. Paul’s School of Theology of Kansas City.

In 2009, Cleaver, with a multitude of accomplishments both locally and Congressionally, introduced the most ambitious project of his political career—the creation of a Green Impact Zone. This zone, consisting of 150 blocks of declining urban core, has received approximately $125 million dollars in American Recovery and Reinvestment funds. The Green Impact Zone is aimed at making this high crime area the environmentally greenest piece of urban geography in the world. This project includes rebuilding Troost Avenue, rehabbing bridges, curbs and sidewalks, home weatherization, smart grid technology in hundreds of homes, and most importantly, hundreds of badly needed jobs for Green Zone residents.

During the 112th Congress, Cleaver was unanimously elected the 20th chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

In 2016, as Ranking Member of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, Cleaver successfully co-authored the largest sweeping reform bill on housing programs in 20 years, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, a bipartisan comprehensive housing bill that passed into law with a unanimous vote.

In 2018, Congressman Cleaver received the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation. Past honorees include President Bill Clinton, the late Senator John McCain, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Cleaver, a native of Texas, is married to the former Dianne Donaldson. They have made Kansas City home for themselves and their four children, and grandchildren.


* Mr. Henry Bloch – Honorary Co-chair
Mr. William Dunn, Sr. - Honorary Co-chair

Bio coming soon!

Ms. Anita Gorman - Honorary Co-chair

Bio coming soon!

Mr. Ed Matheny - Honorary Co-chair

Edward T. Matheny Jr. was a history major at the University of Missouri, where he played varsity basketball and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. A Navy veteran of World War II, he served on the staff of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz and also participated in the occupation of Japan. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, he practiced law for more than 50 years. He was KCPT’s first president, chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri, president of Saint Luke’s Hospital, chairman of the Eye Foundation and served on various corporate and nonprofit boards. The Edward T. Matheny Jr./Missouri Endowed Chair in Neuroscience was established in 1998 at Saint Luke’s Hospital’s Brain and Stroke Institute. He is a member of the Missouri Academy of Squires and has written seven history books on subjects of local interest.

Mayor David Alvey

Bio coming soon!

Hon. Kay Barnes

Bio coming soon!

Hon. Sly James

Bio coming soon!

Mr. Bert Berkley

Bio coming soon!

Hon. Richard Berkley

Bio coming soon!

Maj Norman Besheer USMC, Ret.

Bio coming soon!

Rep. Sharice Davids

Representative Davids was raised by a single mother, who served in the Army for 20 years. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, she worked her way through Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City before earning a law degree from Cornell Law School. As a first generation college student who worked the entire time she was in college, Rep. Davids understands the importance of quality public schools and affordable higher education. It is that foundation that allowed her to go on to a successful career, focused on economic and community development, which included time as a White House Fellow under President Barack Obama.

Rep. Davids wants others to have the same opportunities to achieve their goals, which is why she has centered her career on bringing more opportunities to the middle class. In Congress, Rep. Davids is putting Kansans first, working to limit the influence of special interests and fighting to make health care more affordable and accessible to everyone. When she was sworn into the 116th Congress, Rep. Davids became one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. She sits on the Transportation & Infrastructure and Small Business Committees. She is a resident of Roeland Park.

Mr. Carl Di Capo

Bio coming soon!

Mr. John Dillingham

Bio coming soon!

Mr. Webb Gilmore

Bio coming soon!

Mr. Mike Haverty

Bio coming soon!

Adj. Gen. Kevin James

Bio coming soon!

Ms. Julia Irene Kauffman

Julia Irene Kauffman is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1987 by her mother, Muriel Irene Kauffman, and embodies a mission and vision that focus on support of the performing arts and the arts health and education in the Greater Kansas City area.

In 1995, Julia was designated Chairman of the Board of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. She spearheaded the effort to build the Center in downtown Kansas City, fulfilling a dream of her late mother, Muriel. The gleaming glass structure is internationally acclaimed for its stunning architecture and precision acoustics. The celebrated opening of the Kauffman Center took place in September 2011. Spanning more than eight years of successful operation, a renewed message of growth and vitality is clearly visible on the Kansas City skyline. A reawakening in the metropolitan performing arts scene is unmistakable as is revitalized arts education and wide reaching cultural enrichment.

Ms. Kauffman’s civic and philanthropic activities include serving as Vice President of the Kansas City Symphony Foundation Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board of the Kansas City Ballet. She is a member of the Kansas City Royals Baseball Club Board of Directors since 1997. Julia was named a Trustee of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2012. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2012, Ms. Kauffman was awarded a Doctor of Music Honoraris Causa by the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. Julia was appointed to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Board of Trustees in 1997, serving until 2016.

Other civic recognition includes acceptance of the 2011 J. Philip Kirk, Jr. Award for Community Vision and Downtown Stewardship presented by the Downtown Council of Kansas City. In 2014, Julia was presented the Second Annual UMKC Foundation Award of Distinction. She is a past recipient of the Kansas City Council on Philanthropy Philanthropist of the Year Award and The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Award. The UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management Council for Entrepreneurship and Innovation named Julia as the 2011 recipient of the Marion and John Kreamer Award for Entrepreneurship in Volunteer Community Service. Her distinguished service in the arts was also recognized by William Jewell College with the William F. Yates Medallion. In 2016, Ms. Kauffman was named as the recipient of the Henry W. Bloch Human Relations Award by the Jewish Community Relations Bureau | American Jewish Committee and in 2019 the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation was awarded the Pillar Award by the Regional Arts Council for its significant investment in arts and culture.

Julia’s diverse interests include having served as a member of the Board of Directors of the PBS Foundation. She is a member of the Visiting Committee to The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as a past member of the Board of Directors of the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard, and Airmen’s Club in New York City from 1995 – 2018.

Mr. Hugh Libby

Bio coming soon!

Judge Bill Mauer

Bio coming soon!

Gen. John Miller USA, Ret.

Lieutenant General (Retired) John E. Miller served over 34 years in the US Army. Commissioned as an Infantry Officer, he served in line units, staff positions and Army Schools. He had multiple assignments at the US Army Command and General Staff College where he was a Tactics Instructor, Deputy Commandant and Commandant. While Commandant, he was concurrently responsible for 11 other Army Schools that provide tactical training and education for Commissioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. At the time of his retirement from active duty he was serving as the Deputy Commanding General (Futures) of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Army’s first digitized command and control system in a combat brigade. He is a former commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He served two combat tours in Viet Nam: the first as an Infantry Company Commander in the 101st Airborne during Tet ’68 and the second as a District Senior Advisor in the Delta. His service includes 10 years of Cold War service with line units from platoon to Division in Germany and the United States. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (with OLC), the Silver Star, the Soldiers Medal, the Legion of Merit (with 2 OLC), the Bronze Star V (with 2 OLC), Air Medal V (2), the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Aaron and Hurr award from the US Army Chaplain’s Corps, among others. He holds a BS in Mathematics from Missouri State University and an MS in Operations Research from Georgia Tech. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. Miller also attended Executive Development programs at Yale University, the Menninger Foundation and Leadership at the Peak, Denver, CO.

After his retirement from active duty, LTG Miller was a regional Vice President for Oracle Corporation’s Public Sector Division and served as a Division President for L-3 Communication providing linguist, intelligence analyst and technical support for our deployed forces in 13 countries. He currently operates his own consulting practice providing operational and technical assessments in support of fielding new military hardware and innovations for military training and education. Miller is also serving as a Director on the Drone Aviation Board. His pro bono service includes serving as the Chair of the CGSC Foundation (now Chairman Emeritus) and as an Adult Faith Formation leader at St Peters Catholic Church in Kansas City, MO. He and his wife, Joan, are members of the Founders Club at Missouri State University. Miller is also a past Chair of the Board on Army Science and Technology for the National Academy of Sciences and a past Chair of the Army Distaff Foundation. He and his wife, Joan, reside in Kansas City, MO. They have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

Gen. Richard Myers USAF, Ret.

Bio coming soon!

Mr. Willard Snyder

Bio coming soon!

RADM J. Stanton Thompson USN, Ret.

Rear Admiral J. Stanton Thompson retired July 9, 2005, after 35 years of service.

Rear Adm. Thompson’s final assignment was Special Assistant for Reserve Matters to the Commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aero- Space Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colo., and was responsible for the integration of reserve forces into homeland defense and defense support to civilian authorities. He also served as a principal advisor to the Commander for maritime homeland defense. USNORTHCOM was created following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Rear Adm. Thompson was one of a handful of flag and general officers chosen to stand-up the command.

Rear Adm. Thompson graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science Degree (Majoring in Agricultural Business), and in 1974 with a Bachelor of Journalism Degree (Majoring in Advertising). He was commissioned through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), and was initially assigned to the USS Kilauea (AE-26) as gunnery officer, then cargo officer, and finally First Lieutenant (a department head position). During two extensive deployments, Kilauea supplied ammunition to U. S. Naval Forces conducting combat operations off the coast of Vietnam. He was released from active duty in September 1972.

Rear Adm. Thompson was recalled to active duty in September 1990 in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served as Commander, Port Security Harbor Defense Group TWO, Port of Al Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As group commander he was responsible for the maritime defense of this strategic port.

From 1992 to 1995, Rear Adm. Thompson served as Commander, Inshore Undersea Warfare Group TWO, Williamsburg, Va. This command consisted of 14-commissioned hardware equipped Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Units (MIUWUs). As commodore he provided and supported MIUWU forces during Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.

He was promoted to flag rank in July of 1998 and assigned as Vice Commander, Maritime Defense Zone Pacific, Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California. He was responsible to the Commander (a Coast Guard Vice Admiral) for the seaward protection of vital civilian seaports along the western coast of the United States.

From 1999-2002 Rear Adm. Thompson served as the Mobilization Assistant to the Director of Operations (J3) at United States Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii, and was responsible for planning, coordinating and executing joint and combined military training exercises within the Pacific theater of operations.

In 2000 to 2001, Rear Adm Thompson commanded Naval Reserve Readiness Command Midwest, which included 26 reserve centers and 8,000 personnel. During his command tour REDCOM-MW received the prestigious Rear Adm. F. Neale Smith Excellence Award as the number one readiness command in the nation.

His other significant reserve assignments include: Deputy Commander, Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region 10; Deputy Commander, Maritime Defense Zone 7; Commanding Officer, MIUWU-112; Commanding Officer, NR FF-1070 USS Downes; Commanding Officer, NR DDG-22 Benjamin Stoddert; and Commanding Officer, NR FF-1054 USS Gray.

Rear Adm. Thompson’s personal awards include: Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star and various other service and campaign awards.

A native of Missouri, Rear Adm. Thompson graduated from Slater High School in 1966. He retired in November 2008 (after 33-years) as the Executive Director of the Lafayette County Missouri Office of the Farm Service Agency, an agency of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. He currently is co-owner of AgSolutions Plus and manages the family farming operation.

Hon. Charles Wheeler

Bio coming soon!

* In Memoriam

Mr. Henry Bloch was the epitome of “The Greatest Generation”. As a member of the 95th Bomb Group of the Army Air Corp he was the B-17 navigator on 32 combat missions He earned The Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Cluster for meritorious including receiving the Presidential Citation for extraordinary heroism. The USS KANSAS CITY (LCS 22) Commissioning Committee were honored to have Mr. Bloch as a member of our Honorary Committee. We recognize his amazing service career and will remember him as we move forward in Commissioning the second ship to be named after the community that he loved so dear. As the old Army Air Corp song lyric said: Gave us wings ever to soar! Thank you for your service and your everlasting commitment to your city, and your country.