Central Exchange Staff
CiCi Rojas, President & CEO
CiCi Rojas was named President and CEO of the Central Exchange in February 2013. In her role, she provides vision, voice, and operational oversight for the 1100-plus members who represent a cross-section of women and men throughout the Kansas City area. Members include managers and executives, business owners, non-profit and civic leaders, and community volunteers. With more than 500 programs annually, the CX offers a wide variety of personal, professional, business development and networking opportunities at both the Downtown Kansas City, Missouri and Overland Park, Kansas locations.
Prior to Central Exchange, CiCi served as Vice President of Community Engagement for Truman Medical Centers (TMC) in Kansas City, Missouri. This role included leadership of the following: Employee Enrichment, Community Outreach, Employee Wellness, TMC Corporate Academy, and the Hospital Hill Economic Development Corporation. Prior to joining TMC, Rojas served various communities in the business and political advocacy arenas. Her executive roles include leading two Hispanic Chambers of Commerce as: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Vice President of Strategic Alliance with the Washington D.C.-based United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
CiCi has been recognized for her business and community achievements with the following awards and recognitions: 2016 "Women Who Have Changed the Heart of the City"; 2015 Kansas City Business Journal Power 100 List; 2013 Ruby Red Slipper Dream Chaser Award; 2013 Greater Missouri Women's Leadership Foundation Woman of the Year; 2013 KC Magazine Class of Influential Women; 2012 Girl Scout Pearl Award; 2011 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award; and the 2010 Dallas Business Journal's Corporate Advocate of the Year.
Rojas is active in civic organizations on the local, state and national levels. She is the National Chair for the Latino Coalition Foundation, serves on the YMCA National Board of Trustees and ION. In Kansas City, she is Past Chairwoman of Hope House, and member of the Board of Director's Executive Committee for Friends of the Zoo, the YMCA, Guadalupe Centers, Inc., and Metropolitan Community College's Foundation. In addition, she serves on the Boards of Kansas City Ballet; Visit KC; Kansas City Port Authority; Arvest Bank and the NFL 101 Committee.
Contact: Crojas@centralexchange.org, 816.389.8852
Rebecca Johnson, Chief Membership Officer
Rebecca brings over 20 years of proven marketing success to Central Exchange. She joins CX from Kansas City Public Television where she led the sales team in generating the largest revenue growth in new client partnerships. Rebecca is a dedicated professional who is innovative and passionate about achieving business goals and building strong client relationships. As Chief Membership Officer, Rebecca is responsible for corporate and individual membership growth and development. She works closely with the Membership Council of Central Exchange.
Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from North Park University, Chicago, Illinois. After graduation, Rebecca returned home to Overland Park and began her career as well as raised her three children Christopher, Chad and Carley with her husband Charlie.
Rebecca enjoys supporting and volunteering her time to First Downs for Down Syndrome, spending time with family, competing in triathlons, traveling and is a sports enthusiast.
Contact: Rebecca@centralexchange.org, 816.389.8863
Brenda Lowe, Director of Programs
Brenda comes to CX from Big Brothers Big Sisters where she worked as their administrative assistant for four years. She has worked in the public and private sectors including over 21 years for Sprint in multiple assignments beginning in Human Resources Planning and Development, transferring to State and Federal Regulatory Affairs and later as Manager of Public Affairs within Law & External Affairs. She also served on the board of SprintPAC.
Brenda attended Prairie View A&M University and has a certificate in paralegal studies from Rockhurst University. She has served on the board of the Kansas Paralegal Association as Public Policy Chair and served two terms as President of the National Association of Black Telecommunications Professionals formerly based in Washington, D.C. Brenda volunteered for over 15 years with Junior Achievement in various schools in the Kansas City area and is proud to have been a CPI and individual member of Central Exchange between 1993 and 2014.
In 2015, Brenda served on the Initiating Committee of the Gladstone, Missouri Community Visioning and Strategic Planning process. Currently, she is a third-term Commissioner of the Gladstone, Missouri Housing Commission. She is a member of Toastmasters and serves as Historian on the Executive Committee of Fishing River Chapter of the Missouri State Association of Parliamentarians.
In her spare time, she writes short stories, travels and resides in Gladstone, Missouri with her husband and best friend, Thomas.
Contact: Brenda@centralexchange.org, 816.389.8857
Peter Beffa, Executive Chef
Peter Beffa brings over 10 years of experience in the culinary and hospitality industries to Central Exchange. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management at Missouri State University, Peter followed his true passion by attending The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. He began his professional career at Rosebud Steakhouse in Chicago, Illinois. After starting a family, Peter moved to Kansas City. He kicked off his KC career working as a Sous Chef for 40 Sardines. Peter climbed the culinary ladder by helping lead an opening kitchen staff for Makers Mark Bourbon House & Lounge and acted as a culinary liaison for Vinino and McFadden’s. For the past several years, Peter has worked as a Sous Chef at Bravo Cucina Italiana. Throughout Peter’s career, he has always believed in bringing people together through good, honest food.
Outside of the kitchen, Peter rocks it with his three kids and his beautiful wife. He enjoys family time, healthy exercise and watching his children’s various sporting events.
Contact: Peter@centralexchange.org, 816.389.8856
CX South & Strategic Communications Manager
Natalie initially joined Central Exchange in 2015 working as Facilities Coordinator for the South location. In 2016, she assumed the role of CX South and Strategic Communications Manager.
Prior to joining Central Exchange, Natalie spent 6 years in Bar & Restaurant Management, supervising 50+ employees. She was most recently the Marketing and Promotions Manager for Johnny’s Tavern, LLC. Under her management, Johnny’s Tavern was named KC’s Best Bar by Kansas City Magazine and was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records. Natalie was the featured Bartender in Esquire Magazines MLB All-Star edition.
Natalie attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City and earned a Bachelor of Business degree with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Contact: Natalie@centralexchange.org, 913.333.3921
Katie Castro-Galicia, Membership Coordinator
Katie Castro-Galicia joined Central Exchange in May of 2015 as Membership Coordinator. She comes to us from HCA Midwest where she was in charge of critical customer transactions and interactions. She has previous experience in the membership world, having worked for a large and diverse chamber of commerce. Katie is heavily involved in the community and is part of several Steering Committees; genKC, Multi-cultural Business Coalition, SME Diversity Committee and oversees the CXL committee along with assisting the Membership Committee. Katie sits on the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Board. Supporting and volunteering with local organizations; Happy Bottoms, ReStart, Harvesters, Eric Berry Foundation, WCAN and many others on a regular basis is a passion of hers alongside her four sons, Alexavier student at Kansas State University, Diego senior in High School, Octavio 7th grade and Roberto 6th grade. Katie resides in Prairie Village where she enjoys spending her time with her family, traveling, attending and cheering on the hometown sports teams!
Contact: Katie@centralexchange.org, 913.333.3923