Past Metzler Mentor Classes

Metzler Mentors

brian williams

Brian Williams

Director of Development, the Folly Theater
Metzler Mentor, 2016-2017 (Protege: Jake McMillian)
Metlzer Mentor, 2017-2018 (Protege: Jordan Borrell)

Beginning in January 2015, Brian joined the Folly Theater as Director of Development. From 1984 through 2014, he practiced law in the area of business litigation with an emphasis in environmental litigation. A significant part of his earlier career, was spent in securities litigation, class actions, professional negligence claims, and ERISA litigation. For the last 15 years, Brian practiced with Stinson Leonard Street and its predecessor firms.

Along with his late partner, Steve Metzler, Brian has been involved in a wide range of nonprofit organizations to help build a stronger, healthier, more vibrant and more diverse community, including the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, Human Rights Project, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City Young Audiences, Good Samaritan Project, and so many more.

angela hurt

Angela Hurt

Founder and CEO of Veracity Consulting
Metlzer Mentor, 2016-2017 (Protege: Drew Elliott)

Angela's key tenet is relationships matter – no relationship is insignificant. Each is essential to personal and professional development. Her technology career began in 1999 with a Kansas City-based consulting firm. Her willingness to learn from others allowed Angela to develop relationships in the industry, creating opportunities for experience working national. Angela founded Veracity Consulting in 2006. Her vision was to build success through thoughtful relationship-building and understanding of work environments.

She volunteers with local outreach programs that support women and is the Co-Chair for Kansas City's 2015 GoRed for Women Campaign, which raises awareness of women’s heart health issues.


J. Michael Sigler

First Vice President Investments at Robert W. Baird
Metlzer Mentor, 2016-2017 (Protege: Joey Saunders)

Since 1976, Mike Sigler has worked as a Financial Advisor for prominent investment banking firms Stern Brothers and George K. Baum and joined Robert W. Baird and Co in 2000 where he serves as a Vice President and Senior Investment Consultant. He graduated from The Barstow School in 1972 and Hamilton College in 1976 with Honors in French.

Mike currently serves as Chairman of the UMKC Chancellor’s LGBT Council, past chair of the UMKC Pride Breakfast, and has sung over 25 years with the Heartland Men’s Chorus. He servies on boards for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Francis Family Foundation. He has previously served on the boards of the UMKC Associates, the Richard Cabot Clinic (now part of St Luke’s Hospital), and the Unicorn Theater.


Shelly Freeman

President of FineLine HR Consulting
Metlzer Mentor, 2016-2017 (Protege: Lindsey Collins)

Shelly L. Freeman is the President of HROI LLC. Formed in 2002, HROI counsels and consults with employers on the full range of human resource issues, conducts independent investigations and provides dispute resolution services for harassment, discrimination and other serious employee complaints, and develops and conducts management and supervisory training on HR-related topics for companies throughout the country.

Shelly received her law degree from KU, and has been a Labor & Employment attorney for over 25 years. Most recently she was selected among The Best Lawyers in American®, 2012-2015. She was named by the Business Journal as one of the 2006 “Women Who Mean Business”; she has been named one of Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers since 2006, and was honored by SHRM-KC as the “Contributor of the Year” in 2005. She is the Past President of SHRM-KC, and The Quality Hill Playhouse Board of Directors. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.


Dan DeLeon

Owner and Navigator at Mixture LLC
Metlzer Mentor, 2016-2017 (Protege: Darr Jenkins)

Dan DeLeon, Navigator at Mixture LLC started his candle, bath and body company in 2008. Since then Dan has been involved in all aspects of product & packaging development, marketing, production and sales development. Mixture offers over 80 fragrances in 48 products. Mixture started with 2 employees in a 1,500 sqft. warehouse. Today Mixture employees approximately 35 people and has a 22,000 sqft. production facility in Merriam.

Dan's other involvements have been with the Bacchus Foundation serving on many committees as well as serving on its board. Dan has spent time serving on an alumni advisory board for Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

Angela Rizzo

Angela Rizzo

Marketing Director at Ciena
Metlzer Mentor, 2016-2017 (Protege: Jessie Lueck)

Angela has been in tech most of her career and is currently with Hewlett Packard Enterprise where she serves as the Director of Cloud Digital Marketing. Angela is responsible for advertising and generating demand for cloud offerings, developing and maintaining the cloud web properties, and leading the cloud social media team. In 2014, Angela earned a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the Stanford Center for Professional Development and the Stanford Graduate School of Business offered in partnership with Hewlett Packard Executive Development.

She is the past president of the board of directors of the Mid America Assistance Coalition and past board member of the Kansas City Human Rights Campaign. She is currently serving on the Kansas City advisory board of The Victory Fund.


Sandy Schermerhorn

Principal of the Schermerhorn Law Firm
Metlzer Mentor, 2017-2018 (Protege: Alyse Zadalis)

Sandra L. Schermerhorn is the principal of The Schermerhorn Law Firm where she emphasizes employment law and mediation of employment disputes, and was a partner in the Kansas City, Missouri law firm of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne for 22 years. While building an impressive and distinguished legal career, Sandy also holds the title for first female law clerk of Kansas City and first female President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

More recently, she received the Daily Record’s 2006 KC Legal Leader award. In 2010, the Missouri Bar Foundation awarded her the Spurgeon Smithson Award “for extraordinary service toward the increase and diffusion of justice in society and for dedication to the purposes of the legal profession.” In 2014 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from UMKC Law School and UMKC Law Foundation.

She is also the past President of the Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City and is the past chair of the Advisory Board of the Women’s Foundation. She has been a director and past president of the board of the Kansas City Free Health Clinic (now Kansas City Care Clinic), director and past president of Women With One Voice Foundation, and a Trustee of MAST (Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust). She has been a member of the Board of Directors and President of Good Samaritan Project, an AIDS service organization, from 1990 through 1996. She was a founding member and Vice President of the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City. She has served on the boards of the Community Housing Network and the Unicorn Theatre.


Chris Hernandez

Communications Director for the city of Kansas City, Missouri
Metlzer Mentor, 2017-2018 (Protege: Josh Dampf)

Chris Hernandez serves as chief spokesman for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and City Manager Troy Schulte. He is director of the City Communications Office, supervising a talented staff of communicators who provide integrated and strategic communications support to city departments and programs. The office handles media relations, social media, the city’s website and community engagement, while also producing original video programming and graphic design services. Chris also anchors "The Weekly Report” on Channel 2, the city's cable channel.

Chris was previously known as “that guy on the news” during more than 20 years as a television news journalist. He was a political reporter and analyst, covering human interest stories and disasters as well. Chris worked in cities as diverse as Amarillo, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois. Chris also served for one season as marketing director at Unicorn Theatre in midtown Kansas City.

Chris volunteers with several local non-profits. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired and the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Previously Chris served on the boards of YouthFriends and the Mattie Rhodes Center as well as KCPT-TV's Community Advisory Board. Chris has served as Honorary Co-Chair for the "Homecoming" fundraiser for SAVE, Inc., DIFFA Holidays by Design, the AIDS Bicycle Challenge and the "Faces of Diabetes" public awareness campaign.


Sarah Morris

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications at the University of Missouri Kansas City
Metlzer Mentor, 2017-2018 (Protege: Ericka King)

As the assistant vice chancellor for marketing and communications at UMKC, Sarah Morris is responsible for marketing and brand management, publications, web development and KCUR 89.3 FM. Her 25 years of combined experience in business and higher education provide the foundation for her expertise in strategic communications, integrated marketing, business operations, profit and loss management, and training and development.

She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s in business administration from Baker University.

Sarah’s professional and community engagement includes board positions with WIN for KC, Greater Kansas City Sports Commission, KCUR, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Women’s Center at UMKC, and Rose Brooks Center.


Kirk Isenhour

Senior Director of Philanthropy for the Truman Medical Centers Charitable Foundation
Metlzer Mentor, 2017-2018 (Protege: James (J.R.) Montgomery)

Kirk Isenhour has more than 20 years of marketing, sales and fundraising experience with both corporate and not for profit organizations. Kirk is Senior Director of Philanthropy for the Truman Medical Centers Charitable Foundation. Prior, Kirk was the VP of Marketing & Development for the Kansas City CARE Clinic (formerly the KC Free Health Clinic) where he implemented a name/brand change while increasing individual and event fundraising including the clinic’s well-known Bloom Party. Kirk’s earlier career included sales & marketing and human resources roles at American Century and J.P. Morgan.

A long-time supporter and volunteer in the community, Kirk has served on the boards of the AIDS Service Foundation of Kansas City, SAVE, Inc, Episcopal Community Services, and was also on the National Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign and the vestry of St. Michael & All Angel’s Episcopal Church. He currently serves on the board of the Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, MO. Kirk is a graduate of the University of Kansas.


Megan McCurdy

Partner, Stinson Leonard Street LLP
Metlzer Mentor, 2017-2018 (Protege: Hunter Hess)

Megan McCurdy, a partner at Stinson Leonard Street LLP, is a commercial litigator successfully defending companies in financial service actions, contract disputes, business torts and product liability actions. She helps her clients in all aspects of the litigation process, from motion practice to discovery to trials. Megan is a 2015 Women’s Justice Awards Honoree by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, a Top Litigator Under 40 by Benchmark, and a Rising Star by Superlawyers.

Megan currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Women's Employment Network in addition to chairing her law firm's recruiting committee. Megan is a board member of the UMKC School of Law Alumni Association and active with her church, Central United Methodist Church, located in Brookside. Megan's wife also practices law and together, they have two children.


Joan Albright

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

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: Ashley Williamson)

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: Christian Mitchell)

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: Birju Solanki)

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: Russell Cornelius)

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.



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