11:00 a.m. Medallion Theatre — Panel Discussion:

KC IMAGINE: K.C.’s Next Industry Cluster

Kansas City has several “industry clusters.”  An “industry cluster” is a group of firms and related stakeholders that gain productive advantages from operating in close proximity that have benefited from active civic support to help grow their industries.  KC examples include  KC SmartPort, BioNexus and the Animal Health Corridor.  Panelists will discuss how industry clusters are formed, how they work and whether KC’s digital media industry could benefit from forming KC’s next industry cluster.


Link: https://youtu.be/KbyDb4Di3hg

Gary Sage – Moderator

Principal—Applied Economic Development Research & Policy

Gary Sage is the principal for consulting for Applied Economic Development Research and Policy.   He retired in June 2018 from the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City where he had served as their Research & Policy Officer, Senior Business Development Officer & EDC Co-President.  During his 17 years with the EDC, Gary’s work included fundraising, business development and legislative affairs.  He also served as the President of Metropolitan Community College’s Business & Technology school from 2005 to 2010.  His 34-year career in economic development and community college administration has helped him provide leadership to Thank You Walt Disney’s funding and development activities.  He is a current member of the Board of Directors for Thank You Walt Disney, Inc. a Director-At-Large of the UMKC Alumni Governing Board and a member of the Board of Directors for Urban TEC.   

Dominique Davison AIA, LEED AP, NCARB

Managing Principal, DRAW Architecture + Urban Design

Dominique Davison, AIA, is a recognized leader in Kansas City’s architectural community, a respected figure in the city’s entrepreneurial circuit, and a voice in the national Smart City tech movement. In 2005 she founded DRAW Architecture + Urban Design to explore the intersection between research, resourcefulness, and simple, clean forms. Her award-winning practice is a recognized leader in sustainability and was named Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter in 2014. She won Architect of the year in 2018 and will be the AIAKC chapter president in 2023. Her role as a founding member of Women in Design Kansas City and the Ecological Urbanism Series and her position as a KCMO Landbank Commissioner exemplifies her commitment to vibrant communities. Dominique holds a Master of Architecture from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley.

Aaron Deacon

Managing Director, KC Digital Drive

Aaron Deacon is the founder and managing director of KC Digital Drive, a nonprofit civic organization with a mission to make Kansas City a digital leader and help cities adapt to disruptive technology change. He works with mayors, entrepreneurs and civic leaders in Kansas City and around the world to help build ecosystems that connect infrastructure, emerging technology and social impact. He combines a high-level strategic approach with boots-on-the-ground project implementation and management in smart cities, civic tech, digital inclusion, digital health, and education. He earned a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Dallas.

Chris Gutierrez

President, Kansas City SmartPort

Chris Gutierrez is the President of Kansas City SmartPort, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization that works to attract freight-based companies, such as manufacturing, distribution and warehouses, to the 18 county, bi-state Kansas City region. SmartPort is an affiliated group of the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC).
Chris has been active in logistics and international business for more than thirty years.  He has worked in the public and private sector in economic development, international business and lo tics.Chris’ community involvement includes his positions as a board member of the following organizations: Board of Advisors of the University of Kansas Supply Chain Management Program, CSCMP, Mid-America District Export Council, Kansas State MBA Program, and World Trade Center – Kansas City. He is also alumni of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions.