Former Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Carol Marinovich, whom many would say was the burning catalyst for about a decade of economic development in KCK. She is still burning the “midnight oil,” moving minds forward in her beloved city, as an adjunct professor at Donnelly College. Marinovich grew up in the critically acclaimed Strawberry Hill neighborhood, located in Kansas City, Ks. Where her mentor and Croatian grandfather imbued her with life’s guiding principle’s. She was cloistered in an American immigrant and decendant-laden area of KCK. During the lodeplus.com interview she recalled a statement she made for the Kansas Alumni magazine in 2000. As she remininced about her first term as Mayor and Chief Executive Officer of KCK’s, 1st. Unified Government. Her grandfather’s focused ideals came to mind, from a statement he once made to her.” That having the right to vote and speak publicly, was of great importance to him.”(paraphrased from KU Connection)
The genesis of Carol Marinovich was rooted in the special education field from 1972-1985, with the Unified School District #500 KCK. Since she had been a school teacher for 13 years, who daily watched the political city machine, grind its gears against the government policy machine, based directly across the street from City Hall. After discernment and complainng on numerous occasions to family, friends, and at business networking functions, about the discombobulation of city and county government, it was suggested she run for office and change the inequities across the board, that included the blighted neighborhoods with adult businesses. Carol ran for City Council in 1989 and became the first woman to assume that position. And she with the District Attorney started the implementation cleanup of “adult businesses” and denigrating neighborhoods, via policies and law enforcement.
Kansas City, Kansas Councilwoman Agenda Topics:
City Council, Kansas City, KS 1989-2005
Provided leadership in the PalaVista housing development, the first new housing in the urban core in over 30 years.
Initiated creation of first code of ethics for local government elected officials and employees.
Formed Adult Entertainment Task Force, with District Attorney, to develop new policy for city.
Carol Marinovich knew that even though she had accomplished some of her ” to do list,” or “buckets,” more community collaborations, partnerships, city charter, local and state engagements could only be accomplished after an election, as Kansas City, Kansas 1st female Mayor/CEO. She knew after “due diligence,” and research, that only about 40 cities nationwide had changed their city charters to Unified Governements. And a “dream team” was needed, if her envisage of a more Utopian KCK was to be realized, by her mayoral administration, stakeholders and constituents.
Unified Government, Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS 1995-2005
Mayor and CEO
Chief Elected Official of a city/county with a population of 158,000 and an annual budget of $230 million. Created vision for community and established policy.
Led creation of Village West retail/entertainment development which includes Cabela’s and Nebraska Furniture Mart, increasing property tax base of area from $15,000. a year to over $7 million a year, creating 4,000 new jobs.
Initiated efforts to attract major motor speedway, Kansas Speedway, which is a major tourist attraction in state with Nextel race being comparable to Super Bowl annually.
Established revitalization of urban core as a priority, resulting in new housing, increase in neighborhood groups from 5 to 120+, and decrease in violent crime.
Guided successful city/county consolidation effort which increased local government efficiency. Services were expanded while at the same time the tax rate was decreased by 18%.
During her 10 years of public service as Mayor/CEO of KCK. and afterward; Carol Marinovich received local, regional, and national acclaim awards. Plus, Board Member appointments, to nonproft and forprofit companies. She wanted to do a different job after her mayoral elected position in 2005, so she accepted a position with a national advertising agency, as Senior Vice-President at Fleischman-Hilliard Kansas City.
Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. 2005-2011
Senior Vice President and Partner
Lead the public affairs practice for the Kansas City office.
United Way of Greater Kansas City, (Chair, 2010) Board of Directors
KCPT, Board of Directors, 2005-2009
Kauffman Scholars Inc. Board of Directors, 2006-2010
Swope Community Enterprises, Board of Directors, 2006-2010
UMKC, Board of Trustees, 2006-2009
Midwest Research Institute, Board of Trustees, 2007-2010
William Jewell College, Board of Trustees, 2006-2010
Community Foundation of Wyandotte County, Board Member, 2006-2008
Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission (Chair 2009-2011), Board of Directors
University of Kansas Advancement Board, 2006-2009
International Women’s Forum
Fannie Mae National Advisory Board Member, 1995-1997
Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City Board Member, 2000-2002
League of Kansas Municipalities (Past President) Board Member, 1995-2005
Mid-America Regional Council Board Member, 1995-2005
Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce Board Member, 1995-2005
Partnership for Children Board Member, 2002-2005
Kansas Development Finance Authority Board Member, 1997-1999
RECOGNITIONS AND AWARDS
2010, Women’s Hall of Fame, Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus
2010, University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame inductee
2010, Kansas City Business Journal’s Most influential Women list
2009, Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame, Junior Achievement
2008, Mid-America Education Hall of Fame, Kansas City, Kansas Community College
2008, American Citizen Award, Southtown Council
2008, Communication and Leadership Award, Toastmasters International
2008, Women Who Changed the Heart of the City recipient, City Union Mission
2007, Kansas City Business Journal’s Most Influential Women’s list
2007, Great Leaders Award, Swope Health Services
2007, Kindest Kansas Citian recipient, Synergy Services
2006, Distinguished Service Award, American Public Works Association
2005, Kansas Citian of the Year, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
2005, Native Sons Award
2005, William F. Yates Distinguished Service Medallion, William Jewell College
2005, Pioneer Award, St. Mary University
2005, Regional Leadership Award, Mid-America Regional Council
2005, L.P. Cookingham Award, Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for
2005, Alumni Distinguished Service Award, University of Kansas School of Education
2005, Entrepreneurial Legacy Award, Kansas City Small Business Monthly
2005, Woman of Achievement, Zonta
2005, Mayor Carol Marinovich Good Neighbor Award established, University of Kansas
2004, Community Leadership Award, Points of Light Foundation
2004, Community Development Award, Kansas City Industrial Council
2004, Legends of Real Estate Award, KC Commercial Real Estate Women
2004, One KC Award, Kansas City Area Development Council
2004, Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Local Hero Award, Bank of America
2004, Distinguished Leadership in Business Award, Baker University
2004, Leadership & Diversity Award, League of Kansas Municipalities
2004, Marinovich Excellence in Community Development Award, CHWC
2004, Mayor of the Year, Kansas Mayors’ Association
2004, Best Local Official, KC Magazine
2003, Outstanding Civic Leadership in Economic Development, Jewish Community Center
2003, Leadership Award, Centurions
2003, Hospitality Leadership Award, Hotel and Motel Association of Greater Kansas City
2002, Public Official of the Year Award, Governing Magazine
2002, Excellence in Local Government Award, League of Kansas Municipalities
2001, Contemporary Pioneer Woman Award, KCK Community College
2000, Tourism Advocate of the Year, KCK Convention & Visitors’ Bureau
2000, Service Above and Beyond Award, Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1999, Kansas City’s Most Influential Woman’s Award, Ingram’s Magazine
1999, Whitney M. Young Award, National Boy Scouts of America
1998, Distinguished Leadership Award, National Association for Community Leadership
1995, First woman elected Mayor of Kansas City, Kansas
1994, Hearts of Gold Award, YWCA
1994, Woman of Distinction Award, Santa Fe Council of Girl Scouts
1990, Listed in Who’s Who in Government Services
1990, Hats Off Salute Award, KCK Women’s Chamber of Commerce
1989, First woman elected to the Kansas City, Kansas City Council
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