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Megan Schmidt
KU News Service
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Former K.C. mayor to speak at public administration conference

Thu, 03/28/2013

OVERLAND PARK — The first female mayor of Kansas City, Mo., will be among the keynote speakers at the University of Kansas Inspiring Women in Public Administration conference on April 17.

Kay Barnes, Kansas City mayor from 1999 to 2007, will kick off the conference with a speech at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. In the afternoon, a second keynote speaker, International City/County Manager Association President Bonnie Svrcek, will give a presentation.

This year’s conference theme is “Having It All/Making the Leap: Inspiration for Your Professional Journey.” The conference is open to public administration professionals and students in all stages of experience.

Barnes is known for leading initiatives that produced more than $4.5 billion in public and private investment in Kansas City. In addition to her time as mayor, Barnes is also founding director and distinguished professor for public leadership for the Center for Leadership at Park University’s Hauptmann School for Public Affairs. She also co-authored a book, “About Time! A Woman’s Guide to Time Management.”

Svrcek has worked as deputy city manager of Lynchburg, Va., since 1999. Before becoming president of the International City/County Management Association, she served as a regional vice president for the organization, as well as the role of president for the Virginia Local Government Management Association.

Each keynote speaker will be followed by panel discussions with prominent women in government. Participants will have the opportunity to break into smaller groups for activities on initiative and risk taking, advocacy and interpersonal communication and personal development.

Deadline for registration is April 7. Register or learn more about the conference here.

The conference is 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., but participants may opt to attend in the morning, the afternoon or both. A reception will follow at 4 p.m.



Standing just outside the Spencer Research Library, Lauren Erickson, associate director of KU Marketing Communications, spotted her favorite redhead as she lined up with other Commencement marshals before the procession began. Lauren, a proud redhead herself, loves that Big Jay also dons the same do. “I had this great vantage point to see all the grads, their families, and even Big Jay running around, hugging, smiling — I wanted to capture some of that pre-ceremony buzz.” She first became a marshal four years ago and enjoys the thrill of putting on a fancy blue gown with jaunty cap and reliving her own walk down the Hill nine years ago: “I love seeing the look on the grads’ faces as they realize how important this KU tradition is —how meaningful and significant.” It warmed Lauren’s Jayhawk heart, just as it does ours. Congrats and Rock Chalk (again) to the Class of 2015!

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