In 1976, the KC Chamber launched a new program designed to prepare Kansas City’s leaders of tomorrow. They called it the Centurions Leadership program. Throughout 2017, in honor of the Centurions 40th Anniversary, we’ll be sharing some of the stories of Centurions alumni.
The strongest connection I made in the program was with the Chamber itself. I was interested in becoming more involved in the Chamber and regional economic development but wasn’t sure how and didn’t know many people outside of legal circles. Through Centurions I got to know the city, the Chamber and future business and civic leaders. More than ten years after leaving the program, there isn’t an event, a board meeting or volunteer activity that I go to without seeing other Centurion alums.
What did Centurions teach me about service and giving back to the community? Writing a check is easy and forgettable. Riding a food truck around at night is hard and changes you. I think differently about the city, about people I see on the streets and about my own family.
Done well, Centurions is one of the more challenging professional endeavors offered in this city. But the benefits received are directly proportional to the effort exerted.