City Year Kansas City Board
Local community and business leaders work together to advance our mission to ensure public schools are places all students can thrive.
Jeff Hargroves is a native Kansas Citian, where he spent his initial seven years in the KCMO public school system. He is the Founder of ProPharma Group, a global business serving the pharmaceutical industry, which he created in 2001. While devoted to both family and business, he also values giving back to the community, particularly through educational and entrepreneurial initiatives serving those most in need. Jeff is active in many civic, philanthropic, private business, and industry organizations, including leadership roles in the following:
• Greater Kansas City Community Foundation – Board of Directors
• Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) - Board of Directors
• Pembroke Hill School – Board of Trustees
• Cingulate Therapeutics – Board of Directors
• Orbis Biosciences – Board of Directors
• Play-It-Health – Board of Directors
• Pipeline Entrepreneurs
• Entrepreneurial Exchange of Kansas City
• JCCC – Biotechnology Advisory Board Member
• International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers
– various local and national board roles
• Parenteral Drug Association – co-founder and
past Midwest Chapter President
• Regulatory Affairs Professional Society – Editorial Board
Jeff is married, with 2 teenage children, living in Kansas City, Missouri and earned his Bachelor of Science in computer and electrical engineering from the University of Missouri in 1989.
Karen Daniel is the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Black & Veatch, having recently retired in July 2018 after more than 25 years with the company. Karen serves on several corporate boards, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Commerce Bancshares Inc., Snap-On Tools Inc. and of Northwest Foundation Inc. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Northwest Missouri State University and a Master of Science degree in accounting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2016, Karen became the first African American chairwoman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. In her yearlong stint, she pressed initiatives to increase opportunities for people throughout the community, particularly through education. Karen is a graduate of Kansas City Public Schools and is passionate about educational opportunities for all students.
Entering his 20th season in the National Football League and his ninth season in Kansas City in 2018, Mark Donovan was named the fifth president in Chiefs history in January 2011 after serving two years as the club’s chief operating officer. As president, Donovan is responsible for all aspects of the club’s business operations and reports directly to Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. Recognized as one of the league’s most innovative executives, Donovan brings unique experience and perspective to the team. He is one of only a few executives league-wide who has worked both at the NFL league office and for a club, with valuable perspective and strong relationships both in the Kansas City area and on a national level.
Donovan is also personally committed to the community, serving in numerous civic and charitable leadership roles, including the executive committee for VisitKC as well as the board of directors for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Truman Medical Centers. He is joining University of Kansas men’s basketball coach Bill Self to headline the KVC Hero Luncheon. He served as the honorary chairman of the 2014 First Downs for Down Syndrome Golf Classic. In addition, he chaired the 2013 Kansas City Art Institute Gala with his wife, Kathy, and served as a committee chair for the 2013 United Way Annual Campaign. He and Kathy also chaired the 2012 Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Shindig, co-chaired Cristo Rey’s Dancing with the Stars and served on the committee for Treads and Threads, benefiting The University of Kansas Hospital.
He and his wife, Kathy, have two children and reside in Kansas City.
Jon Hile served as COO with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. Under Jon’s leadership, BBBSKC was recognized as a top performing ‘Gold Standard’ agency and was awarded BBBS Agency of the Year in 2011, 2013 and 2015. In 2012, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recognized Jon as the most outstanding BBBS staff leader in the country. Jon has a bachelor's degree from Truman State University and a Masters in Public Administration from UMKC. He is a graduate of the Centurions Leadership Program (2012) and was elected to the Kansas City Missouri School Board in 2012 and served four years, including two years as president. During his term on the Board, the KCPS demonstrated four consecutive years of academic improvement under the Missouri School Improvement Plan, maintained a balanced budget, and had four consecutive years of clean financial audits. Additionally, Jon led a successful master planning effort that allowed for the redirection of nearly $8M in revenue directly to classrooms and executed the successful search process that culminated with the successful hiring of Dr. Mark Bedell.
Currently, Jon serves as a Board Member for City Year and the KCPS Foundation. He also serves in an advisory capacity to several other education improvement efforts related to early learning and school quality. Jon was recognized as one of Ingram’s magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2016. Jon and his wife, Allyson have two children, Ellery and Owen, and live in Kansas City’s historic Longfellow neighborhood.
Lily is a seasoned marketing and communications executive with deep experience across many sectors. She’s currently taking a professional pause to spend time with her young children and invest in philanthropic passions like City Year.
Most recently, Lily was a Managing Director and Regional Director of the Midwest for Global Prairie, a strategic marketing and communications firm and certified Benefit Corporation. Global Prairie crafts business-building solutions that help clients drive impact and cultivate a healthier world in sectors like healthcare, agriculture, energy and environmental sciences. During her 10+ years at Global Prairie, Lily was focused on building a talented team and growing Global Prairie’s impact with new and existing clients. Lily has built integrated campaigns and purpose driven marketing strategies for clients on a global scale. She has counseled executives on complex international mega-mergers, led grassroots projects for patient advocacy organizations and crafted messaging platforms on challenging scientific themes.
Prior to joining Global Prairie, Lily had a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working in sales and marketing at two of the world’s largest companies in Boston, MA. Lily is an alumnus of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City’s Kansas City Tomorrow program and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions Program. Previously, Lily served on the board of the Women’s Employment Network where she helped to usher in a new financial literacy program. She is a founding member, and former board of trustee member for the Hope Funds for Cancer Research based in New York, NY and Newport, RI.
Lily is a native of Newport, Rhode Island but has called Kansas City home for more than 10 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and communications from the University of Richmond. She lives in Kansas City with her husband Paul and their three children.
Anita Newton currently serves as the Chief Innovation Officer of CommunityAmerica. Her mission is to create digital products and services that will deliver peace of mind for its members. The lab has received numerous awards and their work has been mentioned in USA Today, Forbes, KCBJ.
Newton has spent the last 20 years helping marketing organizations both large (P&G and Sprint) and small (Zave Networks (acquired by Google), myEdmatch and Adknowlege) grow. She currently advises a startup called Mighty Good Solutions, a consumer goods company that makes products that are currently sold in Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target and Amazon.
Newton helps support the community by serving as co-chair of STARTLAND (formally KC Startup Foundation, Board Committee Chair University of Kansas Liberal Arts and co-chair Rose Brooks 2019 Cabaret. Newton was the 2018 recipient of the Athena Award.
Newton has taught startup marketing through the Kauffman Foundation’s Founders School and FastTrac Venture program. She also created a FLL Robotics for 100 students at Briarwood Elementary. She has written articles for Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc.com. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Harvard Business School.
Anita currently lives in Prairie Village with her husband, two children Sydney and Spencer and other ‘kids’ goldendoodles Scout and Bailey.
Matt Oates served as an elected member of the Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) Board from November 2015-April 2019, serving as board treasurer starting in 2016. During Matt’s time on the KCPS Board, the board has hired a high-functioning superintendent to execute the district’s goals. Further, the district has scored in full accreditation range two of the last three years. Oates delivered on his commitment to early childhood education (ECE) and voted to expand to 1,200 no-fee early education seats for KCPS families to ensure more students are ready for Kindergarten on Day 1. He also led and participated in thorough research for new board policies and invested in personal development in board governance.
Oates completed his K-12 education in the Kansas City Missouri School District, graduating from Paseo Academy of the Fine & Performing Arts. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a registered professional engineer in Missouri and works as a consulting engineer with Burns & McDonnell in the oil, gas and chemical industry.
Oates coaches baseball each summer through the Reviving Baseball in the Inner City (R.B.I.) program since 2009. He has volunteered in the Lead to Read program since 2014. And he served on the board at Friends of Hale Cook from 2013-2015.
John Petersen’s idea of a perfect horizon is one dotted with construction cranes on client properties. This type of visual progress is an indication that he has done his job by helping clients successfully navigate the challenging waters of real estate development and finance. As chairman of the firm’s real estate division, John has national insight into industry trends that enhances his counsel and advice at the federal, state, and local levels.
With 25 years of real estate experience, John is known for his client advocacy, as well as his unique perspective of the governmental process. Initially trained as a litigator, John has held significant leadership positions within state and federal government, including his service as Deputy Chief Counsel to a United States Senator and Chief Counsel to a Governor. The hallmark of John’s practice is his understanding of how to prepare and advance a case for approval. He is tenacious in his pursuit of a client’s business objectives and has an equal appreciation for the governmental context under which development decisions are made.
John has served on various boards throughout his career and is currently serving on the Kansas City Development Area Council Board, as well as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board. He is an active member in his community and holds membership with the Kansas Bar Association, International Council of Shopping Centers, Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and serves as a sponsor to the Urban Land Institute, Kansas Chapter.
Petersen earned his J.D., cum laude, from Washburn University School of Law in 1978 and served as the issue editor for Washburn University Law Review. He also served as the president of Phi Delta Phi. In undergrad, he earned his Bachelor of Science., magna cum laude, from Washburn University in 1975.
As chief investment officer, Katrina is part of Mariner Wealth Advisors’ executive leadership team overseeing all aspects of investments across the firm. Her responsibilities include leading our investment committee, private investment committee and is also a member of our risk committee.
Since she joined the firm in 2007, Katrina has held a wide range of responsibilities throughout the organization, including serving on the investment and asset allocation committees and managing fixed income portfolios for high-net-worth clients. Before moving into a leadership role, she co-managed a tactical ETF portfolio. Katrina has 17 years of experience in the investment industry.
Prior to joining Mariner Wealth Advisors, she was an analyst for a hedge fund in Manhattan, Kan. Katrina has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance from Kansas State University. She achieved the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation in 2009.