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Mary O'Connor

EVP, Logistics/ Creative Brand Management

Throughout her professional career, Mary has demonstrated tremendous dedication to her work, her community and her extended family.

She has been involved in the male-dominated industries of construction and banking for over 35 years.  In the construction industry, she overcame obstacles many women face by becoming an entrepreneur, founding a successful company with her husband John.  In banking, she began at UMB in her early twenties and has served on the board of Country Club Bank since 2004.  After providing facility design and general contracting services for years to Country Club Bank, she joined the bank full-time in 2009, and currently serves as EVP, Logistics/ Creative Brand Management.

Mary has positively impacted the community landscape by overseeing more than $50 million in quality design/build construction projects for a variety of non-profit organizations and businesses, including all Country Club Bank facilities – over 20 of their locations to date. In the nonprofit arena, she broke through the 50 year gender barrier at The Carriage Club as the first female president.  While on that board and serving as chair, she had a leading role in overseeing construction projects totaling $9 million.

Her favorite project to date is the identification, acquisition and total renovation of 1 Ward Parkway.  Formerly an underutilized, dark and dated multi-tenant building, she persuaded the owners to sell it, the tenants to move and completely gutted all floors.  The ultimate result included nearly 15,000 feet of new interior and exterior space, state-of-the-art energy and audio/visual ability and was taken from demo to full occupancy in under 12 months.  It now serves as the 73,000 square foot headquarters for Country Club Bank with over 200 coveted Plaza-front parking spaces.

Currently, in her executive position at Country Club Bank, she works on behalf of the bank to provide clients the most relevant, personal and financially beneficial experience in Kansas City.  She further encourages bank associates, women and men alike, in obtaining all support, training and leadership opportunities available.  She is particularly interested in advocating financial literacy for women and bank partnership with local leaders and entrepreneurs for community betterment.

Mary has also been profoundly affected by family tragedies – the 1986 shooting and subsequent death in 1989 of her sister Amy, and care for her sister Tricia, who suffered permanent disabling injuries in a 1989 car accident caused by a drunk driver.  Tricia finally succumbed to those injuries and passed away in January, 2015.  Mary’s efforts have included promotion of the Amy Thompson Run for Brain Injury since its inception, including service as a past co-chair.  The run has raised more than $2 million to date in assistance of all people with brain injuries and the professionals who treat them, and is the single largest contributor to the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City.

Many of her other philanthropic efforts similarly center around health issues that have impacted her family.  These include serving as board chair for the MS Society in support of her mother, Jeanne Thompson, and sister Ann, both afflicted by MS.  Mary’s husband, son and sister Tricia all developed Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes.  In pursuit of a cure, she raised over $1.3 Million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by partnering with her husband as auction chairs.

She similarly supports education in a variety of chair and volunteer capacities and her passion for the arts includes committee work at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Mary’s biggest contribution, though, may be instilling in her four children the ability to face tragedy by focusing on how they can make a positive difference.  Her greatest pride is in their determination to turn away from vengeance or negativity and toward what can be done to improve the lives of others.  She credits her parents for instilling this belief in her, and is delighted to see that positivity resonate through the next generations.