Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, who was the first woman to serve as mayor of the city, received the Kansas Citian of the Year Award on Tuesday at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner.
Barnes served two terms in office between 1999 and 2007. During that time, downtown Kansas City and the city’s Crossroads Arts District underwent considerable development and change: the Power & Light District, H&R Block’s new world headquarters and the Sprint Center all opened during those years.
In a press release announcing the award, the Chamber also praised Barnes as “a strong advocate for minorities, members of the LBGTQ community, and women.” Barnes helped found the Central Exchange and the University of Missouri Women’s Resource Service Center, according to the release.
Barnes, who ran her own communication and leadership development firm from the late 1970s until her time as mayor, was appointed senior director for university engagement at Park University in July.