C. Stephen Metzler Mentor Program

Applications for the 2018-2019 Class are Now Closed!

Thank you for your interest, applications for the 2019-2020 class will be open in November 2018. If you have any questions or issues, please contact Mid-America GLCC board member Michael Hopkins at MichaelJohnHopkins@gmail.com.

Program Overview

The C. Stephen Metzler Program, administered by the Mid-America GLCC, exists to promote and expedite the success of aspiring LGBT professionals in the Kansas City community through one-on-one and group mentoring with local business and community leaders that have demonstrated a significant commitment to the LGBT and greater Kansas City communities.

This program is an incredible opportunity for both mentors and proteges to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diversity and complexity of our LGBT identity and community. Mentors will gain a new perspective on the issues facing younger LGBT leaders, and proteges will learn invaluable lessons from the experiences and advice shared by our mentors.

Our goal is to help proteges learn to become stronger leaders in the workplace and in the community by building strong personal and professional networks, thanks in part to the connections available through our highly engaged mentors.

Remembering Steve Metzler


In 2015, the Mid-America GLCC and the entire Kansas City community lost an individual that exemplified personal, professional, and community leadership through his family business, an extraordinary record of community service and civic engagement, and most importantly through the many lives and good works he inspired every single day.

The Mid-America GLCC will be forever grateful for his service and friendship, and is proud to memorialize the legacy of C. Stephen Metzler through our mentor program. #BeLikeSteve


Meet the 2018-2018 Mentors


Joan Albright

JRA Consulting, (Retired) Vice President from CardinalHealth
Metzler Mentor, 2018-2019 (Protege: TBD)

Joan has recently retired as Vice President of a Fortune 15 Company, CardinalHealth, but continues professional activities through JRA Consulting of Leawood, Kansas. Through this, she coaches leadership and sales skills based on the experience and knowledge acquired through 34 years in the pharmaceutical distribution industry.

Other than the current involvement with coaching and consulting, Joan enjoys traveling and attending Saint Andrew Christian Church with her spouse, as well as golf, trout fishing, caring for my 95-year old mother, and puttering in the yard and in the basement.

Among the things she treasures most are what's called our “Logical Family,” a family of like minds built around the character and ethics of Steve Metzler, who led us to “change the world one cocktail party at a time.”


Gillian Power

Chief Information Officer at Lathrop Gage LLP
Metzler Mentor, 2018-2019 (Protege: TBD)

As CIO for Lathrop Gage LLP, Gillian Power is responsible for aligning the strategic direction of the firm’s technology, information governance and management, and legal research with overall firm strategy. Ms. Power serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee, and is an active member of the KC Diversity and Inclusion Consortium and MAGLCC. She also helped found Transfinity KC, a chorus for trans signers and allies.

Gillian has been an active volunteer in the legal technology community, serving five years as a committee member and two years as a thought leader for the annual International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) Conference. She was a recipient of an ILTA Distinguished Peer Award in 2011 for the area of server/operations and was a shortlist nominee for the ILTA Distinguished Peer Award for IT Professional of the Year award in 2013 and the ILTA Distinguished Peer Award for Leadership award in 2014.

Gillian grew up in South Africa and received a master’s degree in technology from the Durban Institute of Technology in South Africa. She is part of the EMBA class of 2018 at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC.


Troy Lillebo

Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Relations at UMKC
Metzler Mentor, 2018-2019 (Protege: TBD)

Troy Lillebo serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for External Relations at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). Over his 26-year career in higher education, he has worked at the University of Missouri Columbia, the University of Arizona, Ball State University, and the University of South Dakota. Troy lives with his partner, Brian Ellison, and their brown mutt, Charlie, in the Southmoreland Neighborhood.

His work in higher education began in student affairs and residential life. Currently, Troy oversees various areas within the University Advancement division including the UMKC Board of Trustees, government relations efforts on all levels, community relations, and special event. At the very essence, his job is to help connect the university to the greater Kanas City community.

Troy is a proud member of the Greater KC Chamber’s Centurions program and continues to serve on the Alumni Board of that organization. He was a member of the Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet leading the community engagement team. Troy has been able to exercise his passion for the arts as a member of the ArtKC’s Regional Cultural Arts Plan steering committee, the Alvin Ailey Gala committee, and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre Board.


Mary Jo Shaney

Partner and Shareholder at White Goss Law Firm
Metzler Mentor, 2018-2019 (Protege: TBD)

Mary Jo serves as a shareholder and member of the White Goss law firm’s Executive Committee. She is a trial attorney with experience in state and federal courts, and before administrative and legislative bodies. Her substantive practice areas include land use, zoning, and related constitutional litigation, as well as business law.

Mary Jo is a member of the Missouri and Kansas Bar Associations and has earned admission to the federal courts in the Eighth and Tenth Circuits. She has argued before appellate courts in both states. She is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America and is a Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyer. She has been awarded the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating and has been selected for the Bar Registry of Preeminent Women Lawyers.

She is an avid bicyclist and outdoors person, reader and poetry writer.


Tai Nguyen

Co-owner and Managing Member of Cafe Trio
Metzler Mentor, 2018-2019 (Protege: TBD)

It has happened to many of us, we graduate from college with a degree in our chosen field, begin taking the calculated steps to build a career, land that prestigious job with a top industry firm, then suddenly the realization hits: This is not what I want to do with the rest of my life. Recalculate. This is the story of Tai Nguyan, managing member, along with his partner Chris Youngers, of Café Trio, one of the most vibrant and enduring independently-owned restaurants in the Kansas City metro.

Tai graduated from Rockhurst College with a BSBA in Accounting. He obtained his CPA license in 1996 and worked as a tax accountant for Grant Thornton, LLP for nearly a decade, specializing in manufacturing and construction. He continued his professional career with Alexander Key, LLP, while at the same time, beginning a new and defining chapter in his life, starting Café Trio with Youngers in 2003.

With no previous restaurant experience, Tai and Youngers learned the restaurant business from the ground up. When Café Trio opened its doors at its original midtown location with just 5 employees, Tai was the bartender, busser, host and accountant. Youngers was the chef and handyman. Together they begin creating a name for themselves in the restaurant business and a loyal following that remains with them today.

Tai has been a native of Kansas City since 1975 when his family immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. He lives in midtown Kansas City with his partner of 20 years, 3 dogs and 2 cats.


Tami Greenberg

Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald of Kansas City
Metzler Mentor, 2018-2019 (Protege: TBD)

Tami has been the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City since 2015, and previously served in leadership roles with the National MS Society and United Way of Greater Kansas City. She currently serves on the KCMO Downtown Council, the Village Presbyterian Church Mission Committee, and the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Women’s Leadership Council. She and her wife, Mary Chris, have been together for 22 years, and are the proud and busy moms of two teenage boys.

Tami has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois, and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She is a 2007 graduate of the Centurions leadership development program of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and served for 2 years on the Centurions Alumni Board. She served as a member of the inaugural Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet in Kansas City Missouri in 2013-2014, and she was a member of the Active Living Task Force for the Chamber’s Healthy KC Initiative, among many other volunteer activities

Notably, Tami was profiled in the Kansas City Star’s 2013 Thanksgiving cover story, “Saying thanks in 40 ways”, was recognized as a 2015 Woman of Influence by Kansas City Business magazine, and as a 2015 NextGen Leader by the Kansas City Business Journal. In 2017 Tami received the Centurions Bernard Powell Award, in recognition of positively impacting greater Kansas City and demonstrating extraordinary community leadership and action. She was also honored to sit in the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat at Kauffman Stadium.


UMKC LGBTQUIA Partnership umkc-lgbtqia

The Metzler Mentor Program enjoys a unique and important partnership with the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) and it's Office of Student Invovlement for LGBTQIA Programs and Services.

Each new school year, Metzler Proteges work closely with our UMKC liaison to organize and engage with LGBTQIA juniors and seniors. The goal is to help prepare students to transition from undergraduate studies into the workplace and other professional settings. Students are also introduced and exposed to the greater Mid-America GLCC community through B2B Networking Events, the Business Equality Conference, and other great chamber programs.

The Metzler Mentor Program is proud and grateful for our partnership with such a progressive and supportive academic institution.


Metzler Mentor Program Committee

michael hopkins
Michael Hopkins, Founder and Principal of Curate Health and founding board member of the Mid-America GLCC

Michael Hopkins is a successful healthcare technology professional with prior experience at Cerner Corp., Lexmark Enterprise Solutions (previously Perceptive Software), and most currently Intouch Solutions where he is a Manager for Client Services for the mobile products team. Michael recently started his own company, Curate Health, which is building a consumer ready personal health record and social network to help people care for themselves and their loved ones better.

Michael was on the founding board for the Mid-America GLCC and has recently returned to launch the mentor program. He is a Kansas City Health Commissioner, is on the board of SAVE Inc., and is involved with AIDS Walk Kansas City.

kim jones
Kim Jones, Managing Partner at Seyferth Blumenthal & Harris and founding board member of the Mid-America GLCC

Kim is an experienced trial attorney, successfully defending employers nationwide in labor and employment matters. Kim also provides training to management and non-management employees, conducts workplace investigations, and advises her clients on thorny employee relations issues. Kim has been recognized by her peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America, a Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer, one of the Top 100 Lawyers, and Top 50 Female Lawyers in Kansas City.

Kim’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to her civic engagement. She has served on the boards of the Central Exchange, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. She is also committed to the arts, serving on the Nelson-Atkins Museum Business Council’s Steering Committee, and previously serving on the Friends of Art board.

Jonathan Pryor, Assistant Director for LGBTQIA Programs & Services, Office of Student Involvement University of Missouri Kansas City

Jonathan serves as the Assistant Director for LGBTQIA Programs & Services in the Office of Student Involvement at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Jonathan completed his PhD and Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri in Columbia. His research explores university campus climate and staff leadership, specifically focusing on how institutions support LGBTQIA populations in higher education.

A native of southeast Kansas, Jonathan attended the University of Kansas for his undergraduate degrees in Communication and Religious Studies.

Jonathan has served UMKC since 2012 and has helped increase UMKC’s commitment to gender and sexual diversity programming through inclusive policy practices, enhanced involvement opportunities, and scholarship support for UMKC’s LGBTQIA+ community. Jonathan loves Kansas City and is proud to partner with Kansas City’s many LGBTQIA serving organizations.



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