The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce named Mid-America Regional Council Executive Director David Warm as the 2020 Kansas Citian of the Year. And as always, his wife Julie was right by his side. Just take a look at this short video and see how often she shows up – because she has been integral to his success and his deserved recognition. KC Chamber Kansas Citian of the Year

The selection of Warm is particularly notable in a year marked by big challenges for local governments and political division. MARC under Warm serves as a quiet connecting point and coordinator of regional efforts, whether it’s administering federal transportation money or coordinating a regional dashboard with information on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Warm has led MARC since July 1990 and received numerous national awards for his leadership in the role. It’s an enormous job, working to promote and facilitate cooperation in a nine-county area that includes more than 119 separate city governments and a population of more than 2 million.

The job became bigger, and more important, this year with the need to pull together information and coordinate regional response to the pandemic. MARC has worked with local health officials to track and report data through the KC Region Covid-19 Resource Hub while also providing support to governments and nonprofits involved in serving older people with home-delivered meals and children with everything from diapers to educational support. MARC also was a player in the creation of the Kansas City Regional Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which has provided more than $14 million in grants to nonprofits providing assistance with housing, utilities, food insecurity and access to health care and child care.

Parallel to David’s leadership, Julie Warm, Ph.D. is committed to building and strengthening communities by bridging the worlds of higher education, local governments and nonprofits. Dr. Warm is currently at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she serves as the Institute for Human Development’s Associate Director for Community and University Outreach. In that capacity, she directs and teaches in UMKC’s Interdisciplinary Leadership in Disability Studies graduate certificate program. In 2020 she joined the UMKC-IHD’s research team focusing on early childhood education systems. Recent grant proposals include investigating how Head Start programs in Missouri responded to the Spring 2020 COVID-19 shut down. For the last twenty years, she has worked in academe as a community liaison, administrator, and researcher. She has a doctorate degree in nonprofit management.

Congratulations to David AND to Julie and their daughters!