Congratulation to Liberty EDC Executive Director Ralph Boots

for graduating in Leadership Missouri’s class of 2021!

Daniel P. Mehan President/CEO Missouri Chamber, Ralph Boots Liberty EDC Executive Director, Gaye Suggett Ameren

Boots was one of 26 leaders from organizations across the state. The class spent the previous seven months traveling across Missouri, networking with peers and learning about challenges and opportunities facing our state. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry founded the program in 1990. Thank you Ralph Boots for your commitment to our state and the City of Liberty!

Celebrating 26 New Leadership Missouri Graduates

Gaye Suggett named 2021 Distinguished Alumni

LAKE OZARK — In a ceremony on December 9, the 2021 class of Leadership Missouri graduated 26 leaders from organizations across the state. The class spent the previous seven months traveling across Missouri, networking with peers and learning about challenges and opportunities facing our state.

The celebration also marked the completion of the 30th class of the Leadership Missouri program. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry founded the program in 1990 and has hosted classes each year — with the 2020 program postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 graduates are listed below.

“I would like to congratulate all of our Leadership Missouri graduates. It’s been a great experience to work with these very talented leaders from across Missouri and help grow their potential to Missouri move forward,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO, Missouri Chamber. “We designed Leadership Missouri to elevate the talent of our state’s leadership pool and establish a forum for sharing ideas and best practices. Over the past 30 years, all of our expectations for this program have been met — and more.”

Alongside the graduation ceremony, the Missouri Chamber also took a moment to honor Gaye Suggett, a 2007 graduate of Leadership Missouri, with the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Suggett. “Leadership Missouri is the premier leadership program where current and emerging leaders — both men and women — come together to become better leaders and to make our communities stronger. As a participant in the program, I learned so much about the challenges and the opportunities of our beautiful state and our communities. As a graduate and alumni of Leadership Missouri, it has been a pleasure to continue to help the program grow great leaders.”

Suggett, the manager of regulatory affairs with Ameren, stood out as a distinguished alumni due to her longstanding service to the program, including her strong leadership as president of the Leadership Missouri Alumni Association during the pandemic.

“Gaye Suggett is a leader among leaders and her generous service to Leadership Missouri has been vital to our program’s success. This honor is very well deserved and I congratulate her on being named the 2021 Leadership Missouri Distinguished Alumni,” said Mehan. “With the success of our alumni and leaders like Suggett, it is clear that Leadership Missouri is no less vital today than it was at its founding. Right now, Missouri needs strong leadership to confront today’s challenges. We need leaders like Suggett and our 2021 graduates who can work across industries and regions to unite our state. That is exactly what Leadership Missouri provides and we are very grateful for Suggett, our new graduates and everyone who helps make Leadership Missouri a success.”

2021 Leadership Missouri Graduates

  • Ron Bogart, President, Gold Mechanical
  • Ralph Boots, Executive Director, Liberty Economic Development Corporation
  • Marc Bowers, Executive Director, St. Louis Makes
  • Chris Bowser, Vice President of Student Affairs, State Technical College of Missouri
  • Dawn Brooks, Division Director, Missouri Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division
  • Nicole Brueggeman, Program & Community Outreach Manager, Center for Rural Health Innovation, BIOSTL
  • Ryan Bushnell, Manager of Operations, Tri-County Electric Cooperative
  • Jackie Clark, Director of Government Relations & Community Affairs, LafargeHolcim
  • Laura Coalter-Parker, Partner/Agent, Coalter Insurance Group
  • Ryan DeBoef, Chief of Staff/Assistant to the President of Governmental Relations, Missouri State University
  • Danielle Dulin, City Manager, City of Warrensburg
  • Theresa Garza, Manager, Regional Economic Development, Spire, Inc.
  • Jay Hahn, Managing Partner, Hahn | O’Daniel
  • Aubrey Krcmar, Regulatory Liaison, Ameren Missouri
  • Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director, Grain Valley Partnership
  • Jeff Martin, Vice President Customer Operations, Evergy
  • Shawn Moore, Founder and Executive Director, Caregivers on the Homefront
  • Jeff Pinkerton, Director of Economic Research, Missouri Department of Economic Development
  • Jennifer Presberry, Economic Development Specialist, Co-Mo Connect
  • Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, Director of Entrepreneurship, Cortex
  • Harry Roberts, Deputy Chief of Staff, Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft
  • Lynn Struemph, Director of Finance and Administration, Missouri Department of Economic Development/Missouri Division of Tourism
  • Mike Turner, Commander, Support Services Bureau, Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • Katie Jo Wheeler, Commissioner, Administrative Hearing Commission
  • Frank White III, Vice President Development, RideKC Development Corporation
  • Jake White, Business Development Manager, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc.

The 2022 class of Leadership Missouri is now accepting applications.

Learn more at


The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the largest business association in Missouri. Together with the Missouri Chamber Federation, the Missouri Chamber represents more than 75,000 employers. To learn more, go to, or follow @MissouriChamber on Twitter.


kansas city

Liberty Economic Development Corporation

Ralph Boots, EDFP
Executive Director