Former Burns & McDonnell CEO offers leadership insight

Retired executive and civic leader Greg Graves adds voice to Speaker Series lineup

Lee’s Summit, MO—November 10, 2017— Greg Graves, former CEO of Burns & McDonnell, headlined the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council’s Speaker Series luncheon on Wed., Nov. 8 at the Emaline Ballroom, 616 SW 3rd St., Lee’s Summit, Mo. Graves, who retired in 2016, shared leadership insight gleaned from “go-to” books such as Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Graves said mentors throughout his career taught him to be willing to listen and learn from others while striving to “be present” at all times. He cited H&R Block Founder Henry Bloch, Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, and current Kansas City Mayor Sly James as demonstrating “Level 4 Leadership” outlined in Collins’ book.

“KC’s top leaders throughout the years also happen to be great listeners,” Graves said.

Greg Graves is one the most successful local business leaders in Kansas City history. During his 12 years as CEO of Burns & McDonnell, gross revenue grew from $300 million to $3 billion and employment grew from 1,500 to 5,500 employees. He retired from Burns & McDonnell in 2016 but continues to serve the Kansas City community as Chair of the University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board and The Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Besides philanthropic service, Graves is staying busy in retirement by developing a family retreat and lake in rural Cass County.

“When LSEDC kicked off the Speaker Series, Greg Graves was at the top of our list for speakers. It was fantastic to hear his personal story and thoughts on leadership, success and commitment to the community,” said LSEDC President Rick McDowell.

In addition to Graves, the LSEDC 2016-2017 Speaker Series lineup has featured Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, EyeVerify Founder and CEO Toby Rush, National Civic League President Doug Linkhart, and Carol Marinovich, former CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.