November 20, 2023 3 min read

Leadership Missouri celebrates 31 new graduates

In a ceremony on November 16, 31 leaders from organizations across the state graduated as part of the Leadership Missouri 2023 class. The class spent the previous seven months traveling across Missouri, networking with peers and learning about challenges and opportunities facing our state.

The celebration also marked the completion of the 32nd class of the Leadership Missouri program. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry founded the program in 1990 and has hosted classes each year — with the 2020 program postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would like to congratulate all of our Leadership Missouri graduates. It’s been a great experience to work with these very talented leaders from across Missouri and help grow their potential to Missouri move forward,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “We designed Leadership Missouri to elevate the talent of our state’s leadership pool and establish a forum for sharing ideas and best practices. Over the past 33 years, all of our expectations for this program have been met — and more.”

Alongside the graduation ceremony, the Missouri Chamber also took a moment to honor Mr. Warren Erdman, a 1990 graduate of Leadership Missouri, with the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Erdman said. “Leadership Missouri is the premier leadership program where current and emerging leaders — both men and women — come together to become better leaders and to make our communities stronger. As a participant in the program, I learned so much about the challenges and the opportunities of our beautiful state and our communities. As a graduate and alumni of Leadership Missouri, it has been a pleasure to continue to help the program grow great leaders.”

Erdman, Executive Advisor Strategic Projects at Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), stood out as a distinguished alumnus due to his longstanding service to the program, as well as his service on the Missouri Highways & Transportation Commission, recognition as a City Year Kansas City Idealist of the Year, and recognition as a top 10 most influential person in the railroad industry by Railway Age magazine.

“Warren Erdman is a leader among leaders, and his generous service to Leadership Missouri has been vital to our program’s success. This honor is very well deserved, and I congratulate him on being named the 2023 Leadership Missouri Distinguished Alumni,” Mehan said. “With the success of our alumni and leaders like Erdman, it is clear that Leadership Missouri is no less vital today than it was at its founding in 1990, when Erdman was a member of the charter class. Missouri needs strong leadership to confront today’s challenges. We need leaders like Erdman and our 2023 graduates who can work across industries and regions to unite our state. That is exactly what Leadership Missouri provides, and we are very grateful for Erdman, our new graduates and everyone who helps make Leadership Missouri a success.”

2023 Leadership Missouri Graduates

  • DeAnn Bennett, Evergy
  • Ben Berhorst, State Technical College of Missouri
  • Theresa Calvert, Carylon Corporation
  • RJ Catizon, Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council
  • Jeff Coiner, Missouri State University
  • Stephanie Cooper, Douglass Community Services, Inc.
  • Austin Davis, Missouri Department of Public Safety
  • Paul Eisenstein, Missouri Department of Economic Development
  • Stephen Forsha, William Woods University
  • Amanda Good, Missouri Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Inc.
  • Sarah Graff, United States Government
  • Jill Hathaway, Missouri Small Business Development Center at UMKC
  • Renee Jurgensmeyer, Scholastic
  • Dana Keller, Gamm, Incorporated
  • Jeremy Ketterer, AT&T
  • Kalisha McLendon, DDS, Cross Trails Medical Center
  • Ryan Melton, Community Support Services of Missouri
  • Christopher Nolan, BJC HealthCare
  • Lyndsey Parker, Missouri Enterprise
  • Sheila Schwartz Parsons, K&S Wire Products
  • Chrissy Peters, Missouri Secretary of State’s Office
  • Melissa Robinson, City of Kansas City
  • LaQuinta Scott, Walmart
  • Andrew Shaughnessy, MPH, Limitless Horizons Consulting LLC
  • Scott Shipers, Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • Jason Terry, Gilmore & Bell, P.C.
  • Ben Thompson, Gilmore & Bell, P.C.
  • Marco Tipton, Ameren Missouri 
  • Ashley Varner, Hitachi Energy
  • Cara Weber, Missouri Partnership
  • Amy Wescott, Philanthropy Missouri

The 2024 class of Leadership Missouri is now accepting applications. Learn more at

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