Power People of Kansas City 2017

Super powers, dynamic duos and wonder women of KC

(page 6 of 9)



   Steve Kraske (Editorial board, The Kansas City Star; host, KCUR's Up to Date; associate professor, UMKC)

   Kraske is the modern-day KC version of Walter Cronkite. You believe him. And after his work as a newspaper reporter for almost three decades, you trust that he not only knows what’s he’s talking about, but he also knows where the bodies are buried. If it happens in Kansas City, we want to know what Kraske has to say about it.


   Nick Haines (Executive producer, KCPT)

   He makes public affairs sexy. Is it his Welsh accent or his sartorial fashion sense? We can’t decide, but we do know that he’s the only one on TV doing the Lord’s work of not only producing public affairs programming, but making it must-see television. Kansas City Week in Review does a deep dive into city issues, and you feel smarter after watching.


   Sam Zeff (Education reporter, KCUR)

   If you’re not listening to Zeff’s political podcast, Statehouse Blend, give yourself a smack upside the head. Zeff is one of our city’s most skilled reporters. From covering education to politics, he’s got the inside scoop. When he’s on the radio, we turn the volume up so we don’t miss a thing.


   Dana Wright and Scott Parks (Hosts, KMBZ's Dana and Parks)

   This talk radio duo’s show is 75 percent middle-school bathroom humor, so it’s the other 25 percent we care about. When Wright, a former TV reporter who had some serious investigative chops back in the day, and Parks, who’s a lot smarter than his radio persona would have you believe, get serious about issues in the metro, it’s radio you can’t stop listening to.


   Secret Power

   Tony’s Kansas City

   He’s brash. He’s bitter. He loves typing in all caps. And if you can get pass the photos of lingerie models, you’ll usually find some compelling information. Tony, with the help of his merry band of tipsters, breaks legitimate news stories. They may not admit it, but checking the Tony’s Kansas City website a couple times a day is a must-do for every newsroom in the city.



   Julián Zugazagoitia (Director and CEO, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

   Zugazagoitia is entering his eighth year at the helm of the Nelson-Atkins. He’s been brilliant in telling the museum’s story to the people of Kansas City. In his tenure, he’s made art not only more accessible, but more appealing to the masses.


   Bill Lyons (Board chairman, Kansas City Symphony)

The symphony keeps meeting and surpassing fundraising goals with Lyons as board chairman. The Masterpiece Campaign successfully generated the desired $55 million, and top-notch programming that Lyons helps sponsor makes the Kansas City Symphony one of the most exciting and financially secure orchestras in the country.


   Jeff Bentley (Executive Director, Kansas City Ballet)

   Twenty years at the KCB proves that Bentley is adept of pirouetting around challenges. Under his leadership, the Kansas City Ballet has grown dramatically. In his two decades, the Bolender Center has been built, the KCB has successfully transitioned to performing at the Kauffman Center, and the KCB is coming into its own as one of premiere ballet companies in the country.


   Charles Bruffy (Artistic Director, Kansas City Chorale)

   In 2018, Bruffy marks 30 years as artistic director of the Kansas City Chorale, and the quality musicianship in the choir continues to earn plaudits. Once a singer for the great Robert Shaw, he has helped the Kansas City Chorale win Grammys in 2007, 2012 and 2015, solidifying its reputation as one of the nation’s most technically sound choral groups.


   Deborah Sandler (General Director and CEO, Lyric Opera)

   Pulling double duty of the Lyric Opera is no small task. But Sandler, who’s been with the Lyric since 2012, is also the co-chair of the Women’s Opera Network, which strives to increase the involvement of women in leadership positions within the historically male-dominated opera community.


   Secret Power

   Rusty Sneary and Shawnna Journagan (The Living Room)

   If you’ve never heard of The Living Room, you’re missing out. In 2010, Sneary and Journagan founded what is a hybrid theater space and incubator for local talent. Since that time, The Living Room has produced more than 50 shows and has focused their mission on new works written and performed by Kansas City artists.