Educating and inspiring women leaders to make a difference for over 31 years.  Help Us Celebrate

Recruiting now underway for the 2021 class!

Each year, in a highly competitive selection process, a limited number of outstanding women leaders are accepted into program membership. The participants meet for four, three-day sessions combining continuing education in leadership development, information and major discussions of state policy issues, and exposure to the philosophies and thoughts of the state’s business, cultural, educational and political leaders.

With the wealth of talented women in the state, Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge provides an enriching experience for both the participants and the state and new channels of communication to broaden the participation of women in addressing the critical issues facing Missouri.

Find out more about the Challenge and our selection process.

Meet our New Director

The Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation (GMLF) Board is pleased to introduce you to Katie Steele Danner, the organization’s new executive director. Previous Executive Director Jan Grossmann had served in the position since 2013 and retired to spend quality time with family. The GMLF board began a search for the new executive director last summer and out of a very competitive pool, selected Danner to fill the role.

“We are so excited as Katie brings to this position decades of experience and over 25 years of involvement with GMLF as an alumna of the class, past member of the board of directors and a past President of the organization,” GMLF Board President Kim Becking said.

Danner comes to GMLF after serving as the Director of the Division of Professional Registration at the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance.  She has also served as the Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism and Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development and as a member of the Senior Executive Service for the United States of America. In addition to her experience in state and federal government, she is an experienced and innovative collaborator with a significant background in public, private, and non-profit sector community development, destination marketing and sales, partnership engagement and investment, and educational programs serving urban, rural, economically and culturally diverse communities. She possesses a successful record of creating, implementing and revitalizing innovative marketing and sales programs as well as building and leading high-performance teams.

She was elected to three terms in the Missouri House of Representative for the 2nd Legislative District, which encompassed Kirksville, Missouri. She has a proven track record of working collaboratively on both sides of the aisle and her dedication and passion for our state can be seen through her multitude of professional and community roles she has served in throughout her career working in all areas of the state including the Greater Kansas City area and Branson and Springfield in Southeast Missouri.

Katie also has a proven record of leading with Clifton Strengths themes.  The “Strength based” component was added to the class curriculum several years ago and has been a component that increases the return on investment for organizations that have empowered their women leaders to take the Challenge.  Katie’s talent DNA matches her success as a committed active Missourian.  As shown by her track record and her assessment, she is an Achiever and takes immense satisfaction in being busy and productive. She thrives by receiving Input and accumulating information, ideas, and relationships and is drawn to the process of gaining knowledge and skills. She also celebrates Individualization and is intrigued with the unique qualities of each person and has a gift for figuring out how different people can work together productively. Katie is Strategic and creates alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, she can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues, a skill that will serve her and the organization well in this new role. And finally, Katie is characterized by her Intellectual activity.  While introspective she appreciates intellectual discussions and dedicates time to reading, listening and scrutinizing facts as well as ideas and she will challenge the class to do the same.  Consequently, people seek her counsel which will serve each class participant well as she mentors and as she gravitates to discussions where the participants are committed to searching for truth and reason during each session experience.

“The Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge empowers women across our state to be more engaged in their communities and in our state to address critical issues.  I have seen first-hand through my involvement in Greater Missouri for three decades the impact that this organization has had in our state.” Danner said. “This is what led me to apply for the Executive Director position, to mentor and build relationships with existing alumna and those who will go through the program in the future.”

Since 1990, the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge (GMLC) has been providing a unique introduction for exceptional women leaders across Missouri to the complex issues facing our communities, state, and nation. The Challenge is a statewide year-long leadership symposium (program) that provides a four-session, three day/ two night program (symposia) each year for selected women leaders. Participation in GMLC provides women leaders with unique personal and professional leadership growth opportunities. Greater Missouri is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization.


GMLC Annual Campaign Grows Stronger

Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation’s first Annual Campaign, set up to help Greater Missouri fulfill our mission of educating and inspiring women leaders to make a difference through our Challenge program, is still growing stronger…but it’s not too late for your help! 

The campaign launched a few months ago and will continue throughout November.  We’re pleased to announce that our 2019 Board of Directors has stepped up with 100% participation as donors!  In addition, we’ve received very generous donations from alumnae from throughout our 30 years of classes.

Of course, any amount of donation is welcome and helps us fulfill our mission, but in 2019 we also established our True Leader Club, which consists of donors who provide a $1,000 gift or more to the campaign.   THANK YOU to those who have already reached out with your generous donations!  To date, Greater Missouri Leadership has received nearly $13,000 for our campaign!

It’s not too late to help make a difference for Greater Missouri Leadership…Checks can be mailed to GMLF at 503 E Nifong, #112, Columbia, MO 65201, or you can easily donate online with Visa or MasterCard…simply click on “sponsors” and then “make a donation” and fill in and submit the form.

GMLF Celebrates 30 Years With Special Logo

It’s hard to believe that Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year as an organization!  What began as a desire of Southwestern Bell Telephone employees in 1990 in St. Louis, has expanded to become the premier statewide leadership experience for women of all fields from all parts of Missouri.

You, as an alumna, are a part of this 30 Year Legacy!  The Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation Board of Directors is dedicated to celebrating our organization throughout 2019 in all corners of our state – because those who went before us deserve it, and those who come after us still need us.

And for 2019 – we have a 30th Anniversary Logo: 

More information regarding our 30th Anniversary will be forthcoming, and you will be able to check out the website at for more details.


Stay Connected


This message is only visible to admins.

Problem displaying Facebook posts. Backup cache in use.
Click to show error

Error: Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user changed their password or Facebook has changed the session for security reasons.
Type: OAuthException

Day 3 of session one at Columbia Career Center. Words are inadequate as frankly are pics. Great day with incredible women = persisters. ... See MoreSee Less

Day 2 comes to a close with a reception at Missouri Governors Mansion. #gmlc2020 #session1 ... See MoreSee Less

Protected with GEO protection plugin