Gov. Parson to address Downtown Council Annual Luncheon


Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will deliver remarks at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Gov. Mike Parson is coming to Kansas City next week to address Downtown business, civic and philanthropic leaders at the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

On the heels of his first State of the State address yesterday in Jefferson City, the Governor’s office confirmed with the Downtown Council (DTC) this morning that Parson will make remarks in the luncheon program that begins at noon Thursday.

The annual event is expected to attract more than 1,000 business, civic and philanthropic leaders who will learn first-hand and celebrate Downtown’s progress, accomplishments and fiscal health.

The Governor will deliver his remarks immediately following a State of Downtown report and video delivered by William Dietrich, DTC president & CEO. The State of Downtown represents a statistical portrait of the health and trajectory of Downtown Kansas City, coupled with video images and testimonials from Downtown stakeholders.

“We are delighted to welcome Gov. Parson to the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon,” Dietrich said. “Our members and stakeholders are eager to learn more about his core legislative priorities of workforce development and infrastructure, and the critical roles they play in the future of Kansas City and the state of Missouri.”

The Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon – this year, Destination Downtown KC – will illustrate how Downtown’s remarkable renaissance is attracting residents, conferences, visitors, employers and workers to a thriving arts, cultural and business scene.

The annual event will celebrate progress and accomplishments; present awards; assess the trajectory of Downtown Kansas City for the long-term; and, embraces the largest urban networking event of the year. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Kay Barnes Ballroom at the Convention Center.

“Downtown’s emerging role as a leading destination was underscored this week, when National Geographic Traveler selected Kansas City, Mo. as one of eight cities worldwide on its listing of 28 Best Trips Around the World that appears in its current edition.

“Most visitors to this Midwest outpost come for the barbecue and that jazz, but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” the magazine reported.

The Destination theme also serves as a platform to showcase an urban hotel boom that is currently unfolding in Downtown, including a 200 percent increase in hotels (from eight in 2015 to 24 by 2020) and an 85 percent increase in rooms (from 3,414 to 6,415), including the 800-room Loews Kansas City Hotel at 1534 Baltimore. The 800-room Loews hotel is expected to open in spring 2020.

Additional luncheon highlights

  • Keynote Conversation between Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman and CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., and Jeffrey J. Jones II, president and CEO of Kansas City-based H&R Block. They will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead to maintain and accelerate the growth of Downtown KC.
  • Presentation of the J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award in Recognition of Downtown Stewardship & Community Vision to Kay Barnes. The former mayor – considered the architect of the revival of Downtown – will be the 17th recipient of the Kirk Award, presented annually to leaders whose vision, guidance and commitment have helped set Downtown on a path for revitalization.
  • Presentation of the 2018 Urban Hero Awards honoring individuals who impact Downtown on the grassroots level. The Urban Heroes also will be honored during a reception on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23.
  • Immediately before the luncheon, guests will participate in the Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit. More than 50 booth spaces will highlight new developments, creative businesses and the arts of Downtown.

The Annual Luncheon will feature three honorary co-chairs, including Paul Neidlein, Midwest Regional President, JE Dunn Construction; Jeffrey J. Jones II, H&R Block; and Brenda Tinnen, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Sprint Center.

To reserve your seats, visit or contact Ann Holliday,, or Ashley Broockerd,