Central Exchange, Women's Organization Kansas City, Professional Development, Personal development, Women's Lyceum, Networking Opportunites Kansas City

The Central Exchange is Kansas City's premier organization providing development opportunities for women. It provides high caliber programming on an ongoing basis, designed to develop leadership skills, foster professional and personal development and encourage community involvement.

Central Exchange, Women's Organization Kansas City, Professional Development, Personal development, Women's Lyceum, Networking Opportunites Kansas City

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CiCi Rojas
President and CEO

Cici brings to Central Exchange extensive experience leading community and advocacy organizations, most recently serving as Vice President of Community Engagement for Truman Medical Center. Rojas has also served as the President and CEO of both the Dallas and Kansas City Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and as Vice President of Strategic Alliance with the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Rojas is active in civic organizations on the local, state and national levels. She is the national Chair for the Latino Coalition Foundation and a Member of the Camp Fire USA National Board of Trustees. In Kansas City, she is Chairwoman of Hope House, and a member of the Executive Committee Board of Directors for both KCPT Public Television and Friends of the Zoo. She also serves on the following Boards: Metropolitan Community College’s Foundation; Guadalupe Centers, Inc.; Kansas City Convention and Visitor’s Association; Heartland Women’s Leadership Council, and the BATS Exchange Listing and Hearing Review Council.

Jackie West
Chief Membership Officer 

Jackie has been on staff with Central Exchange since 1993.  In her role as membership director, she is responsible for the recruitment and retention of members and works closely with the Membership Council in meeting their goals. She also has a dual role as director of Central Exchange South and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Overland Park facility. 

Jackie is active in the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce.  She is a graduate of Ohio State University with a BS in Business Administration.  



Lilli Zarda
Chief Operating Officer 

Lilli joins Central Exchange after serving for 22 years as the Executive Director of American Heartland Theatre (AHT) in Crown Center, which was one of the regions top 25 attractions for many years.  She brings extensive experience in finance, accounting, human resources, operations, marketing and strategic planning to the Central Exchange.  While at AHT in Crown Center, Lilli was also instrumental in the opening of two new facilities, Off Center Theatre and Screenland Crown Center. Prior to joining American Heartland Theatre, Lilli was the Executive Vice President of Dinner Playhouse, Inc. (DPI), the parent corporation of Waldo Astoria and Tiffany’s Attic dinner theatres.

After graduating from the University of Kansas, Lilli started her public accounting career as a CPA with Coopers and Lybrand. Lilli resides in Leawood with her husband, Dr. Chris Beever and their cat, Louie.  She is an avid jogger, usually accompanied by her granddog; swimmer; skier and gardener.


Edgar Palacios
Manager of Community Engagement & Performance

Edgar is a bilingual “utility player” who is passionate about building relationships and connecting people to the resources they need in order to be successful. He is a strong believer in the power of teamwork and has been described as a collaborative leader that pays close attention to detail, efficiency and executes in a determined and precise manner. He most recently worked at Truman Medical Centers providing support to both the Vice President of Community Engagement and Chief Financial Officer.

Edgar attended Rockhurst University, graduating with a Master in Business Administration. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, earning a Bachelor of Music degree. As an aspiring philanthropist, Edgar enjoys volunteering in the community.

He served as Social Committee Chair prior to becoming President of the Young Latino Professionals of Greater Kansas City, an organization dedicated to providing access to networking, professional development, civic engagement and philanthropic opportunities to its members.. He also serves as President of the Kansas City Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. He maintains his connection to music by working with local arts organizations and serves on the board of new Ear Contemporary Chamber Ensemble as their Marketing Chair. Edgar was honored to have been a Man of the Year candidate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in early 2012. He lives in Roeland Park, KS, with his wife, Amanda, and their son, JoJo.


Whitney Robinson
Communications Coordinator

Whitney was recommended to us by several of our members and has an impressive background. Whitney is a graduate of the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece with a BA of International Relations and Diplomacy and a Minor of Media and Communications. She has significant experience in writing for several non-profit organizations, experience in creating and running social media campaigns, and is well-versed in social media platforms. Previously she was a Graduate Assistant for Park University in their Study Abroad department while seeking a Masters in Communications and Leadership. Whitney has studied and worked abroad in Greece which lends a unique and interesting perspective. She will be helping us maintain and develop our communications strategy. 

Susan Bruce
Manager of Member Engagement 

Susan has been a Central Exchange member since 2000. Earning a BS from Kansas State University and a MA from Wichita State University, she brings 25 years’ experience as an educator, Kansas State Department consultant, and adjunct faculty member. Her career path includes business development, project management, sales, marketing, politics, and small business ownership.  A two-time recipient of the CX Firehouse Award, various leadership roles include: Women at the Leading Edge, Membership Committee Chair, Nominating Committee, CEEF fundraising, Ambassador outreach program, Recruiting, Orientation, and event planning for CX anniversary celebrations.


Susan’s family modeled giving back and helping others in her Wichita hometown. Susan has participated in the betterment of many different organizations in our Kansas City community.

Eunyoung Young
Chef, Catering Manager

Eunyoung started her culinary journey in 1992 working for the TGI Friday’s corporation. She mastered every “back-of-the-house” certification and developed new employees as a trainer and new store opener. Six years later she chose to leave the workforce and become a full time mom raising 3 children (now 16, 14, and 11). It was over that time that she really identified her passion forcreating fine foods, and became a student at the JCCC Culinary Program developing her art in fine dining and pastries. During the program she worked in several different venues ranging from privately owned fine dining to national hotel restaurant and catering events. Also, her entrepreneurial spirit came through as a sole proprietor of catering services for private and corporate events, as well as the UMKC Bloch Business School Executive MBA program. She has a passion for making great food and loves to watch customers enjoy her meals and desserts. 


Jessica Leeker
Administrative Assistant

Jessica recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communication from The University of Kansas. She remained involved in the community all four years of her college career. Jessica served as a Marketing Specialist, Event Planner and Classified Account Executive at the University Daily Kansan, an award-winning college newspaper. She worked on many social media campaigns as a Social Media Coordinator for Style on the Hill, a student fashion and culture blog. Jessica helped coordinate and participated in philanthropic events contributing to Women’s Transitional Center Center of Lawrence, Prevent Child Abuse America, Girl Scouts and the Confidence Coalition with her sorority. Originally from St. Louis, she is excited to start a life in Kansas City and join Central Exchange's team!

 
 
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