Meeting/Event Information


Professional Development: Giving Back - Good for the Soul and the Career

May 23, 2017
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
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HNTB, 4th Floor Conference Room
715 Kirk Drive
Kansas City, MO 64105

Join us on Tuesday, May 23 at HNTB to hear from PR and marketing professionals on how they balance and manage a busy career, a personal life and giving back to the community. Rachel Hodgson, Marketing Strategist for UMKC's Bloch School of Management, and Jake Jacobson, Director of PR for Children’s Mercy, will be sharing why giving back is important to them and how it has helped shape their career and personal lives and why all professionals should consider making time to give back to the community in which they live and work. The discussion will be moderated by Gene Willis, Director of Marketing for Drug Free Sport, veteran marketer and community advocate.

To join in with our panelists and the giving spirit, donations will be collected for Noah’s Bandage Project and the BMA Foundation at the lunch. Noah’s Bandage Project, one of the local charities that benefits from BMA Foundation fundraising, has two goals – 1) to help provide cool and fun bandages to kids that need them, and 2) to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research. (There is no obligation to donate, but any little bit helps.)

Special thanks to HNTB for partnering with us for this professional development event!
Tuesday, May 23
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Networking and Registration: 11:30 a.m.
Presentation and Lunch: Noon - 1 p.m.
715 Kirk Dr., Kansas City, MO 64105
(4th Floor Conference Room)
There is surface lot at the southwest corner of 12th and Pennsylvania. There is sign reading QUALITY HILL PARKING and is surrounded by a wrought iron fence. Once parked, walk one block north along Pennsylvania to 11th/Kirk and turn left. The HNTB entrance is about half way down the street on the left side.

Tickets (Lunch will be catered)
$25 Price for GKC-PRSA Members
$30 Price for Non-Members

Rachel Hodgson (@AllThingsRachel), Marketing Strategist for UMKC's Bloch School of Management

Rachel is a born and raised Kansas Citian who sees every day as an opportunity to make our community a better place. She recently became the Marketing Strategist at UMKC's Bloch School of Management where she is cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship for the for-profit and non-profit sectors across KC and the globe. Prior to this role, she was leading the award-winning marketing and communications teams at Great Plains SPCA and Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. She is a KU Jayhawk who got a taste of the advertising world with Meers Advertising and Smith Marketing & Public Relations. Rachel has valued volunteerism from a young age as well as leadership development, which she kicked into high gear as an AHEAD scholar at Central Exchange. She currently serves on the Red Shoe Society Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City, the Steering Committee of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Kansas City, and Nonprofit Connect committees. When Rachel isn't at UMKC, you can find her hanging out with new and old friends at community events across KC and traveling whenever she has the chance.

Jake Jacobson (@JakesJournal), Director of PR for Children’s Mercy

Tapping nearly 20 years of experience in brand-side PR and daily journalism, Jake Jacobson shares Children’s Mercy’s stories of inspirational patients and innovative caregivers through national editorial coverage, social media and community engagement. This spring, Jake is triple-stepping out of his comfort zone by participating in “Dine & Dance With The Stars,” with hopes of surviving his 3-minute ballroom routine and raising $30,000 for BMA Foundation and Noah’s Bandage Project (learn more at Honored as KC’s 2017 Emerging Volunteer of the Year by Nonprofit Connect, Jake enjoys volunteering, emceeing or mentoring with Ronald McDonald House Charities, MS Society, Boys & Girls Clubs, Arthritis Foundation, Girls on the Run and other nonprofits while being a cheerleader for all things KC.

Moderated by Gene Willis (@GeneWillis), Director of Marketing for Drug Free Sport

When Gene gave up his senior year of football to become a sports editor for his high school student newspaper, it was a clear sign that writing and the business of sports was in his future. His study of Sport and Entertainment Management at the University of South Carolina and two internships with MLB’s Kansas City Royals solidified his zeal toward storytelling and understanding athletics. In his position as Director of Marketing for Drug Free Sport, Gene uses his writing, presentation skills, digital and event marketing, and strategic planning experience to reinforce the idea of fair and safe sport via Drug Free Sport’s multichannel marketing outreach. As company spokesperson and having nearly 20 years of experience, he has been quoted by USA Today, Slate, CNN iReport, CBS News, and The Kansas City Star. Additionally, Gene has led marketing product launches and partnership marketing during his time at HNTB, Applebee’s, AMC Theatres and Andrews McMeel Universal, while also having advertising account management stops at MMGY Global and Two West/Sandbox. He currently works with clients, the media, and the Drug Free Sport team to ensure that athletes and athletic leaders are making informed decisions, based on the vast resources available within their Drug Free Sport relationship.





$25.00 Price for GKC-PRSA Members

$30.00 Price for Non-Members