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Mary F. Birch

As chair of the firm’s Government Relations practice, Mary Birch tracks issues and developments that may affect client businesses at the local, state and national levels, and consults with clients as to how they may participate in the legislative decision-making process. Her main focus is on strategic issues management.

Mary is not an attorney, but with nearly four decades of experience in government relations and consulting, she creates strategic solutions that help our clients through her long-established relationships with elected officials and staff members in numerous agencies and at all leadership levels.

From 1984 to 2002, Mary served as president of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, where she directed business and government relations efforts that led to an unprecedented level of business growth in the city. During her tenure, 62,000 jobs were created and 4,000 new companies located in Overland Park. Mary played an important role in many highly visible special projects, including:

  • Development of the Sprint campus and the Overland Park Convention Center
  • Relocation of Nordstrom to Oak Park Mall
  • Implementation of the 1999 and 2010 Kansas Transportation Plans
  • Construction of the Overland Park Chamber’s office building in Corporate Woods and the Johnson County Courthouse
  • Creation of the Johnson County Education Research Triangle.

Mary was the first woman in the country to earn a Certified Chamber Executive designation, and was named “Johnson Countian of the Year” by the Johnson County Community College Foundation in 2002.

Prior to joining the firm, Mary also served as an independent consultant to local and national chambers of commerce and other not-for-profit organizations.

Areas of Professional Emphasis

  • Government Relations
  • Issues Management
  • Economic Development Packaging
  • Lathrop Gage Federal PAC
  • Community Involvement
  • Political Intelligence/Involvement
  • Strategic Planning Facilitation
  • Special Projects
  • Leadership Development & Training
  • Business Development/Marketing

Honors

  • United Community Services of Johnson County, Citizen of the Year, 2019
  • Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • Kansas City Business Journal,Kansas City Power 100, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Johnson County Community College Foundation, Open Petal Award, 2014; Johnson Countian of the Year, 2002
  • Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri, Pearl Award, 2012
  • Overland Park Chamber Economic Development Council, Ben Craig Vision Award, 2011
  • Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau, Edwin C. Eilert - Converge Award, 2010
  • Kansas Bioscience Organization (BioKansas), R&D Magnet Award, 2009
  • Luke’s Foundation, Books & Boutiques, Honorary Chair, 2009
  • Transportation - Leveraging Investments in Kansas (T-LINK), task force member appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, 2008
  • Kansas City Business Journal, Women Who Mean Business, Class of 2006
  • Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ Life Member Award, 2005; Chairman’s Award, 1993; Certified Chamber Executive, 1989
  • Overland Park Rotary Club, Distinguished Service Award
  • Rotary Foundation, Paul Harris Fellow

Current Affiliations/Involvement

  • Enterprise Center in Johnson County, Board of Directors
  • Johnson County Community College Foundation, Board of Directors; Executive Committee, Past President
  • KU Cancer Center Funding Partners, Chair, 2019-2021
  • KU Edwards Campus, Board of Advisors
  • KU School of Nursing, Advisory Board
  • Shawnee Mission School District, Committee for Excellence
  • UMKC, Madam President Camp, Board of Directors
  • Underground Social KC, Mentor
  • United Community Services of Johnson County, Advisory Board

Presentations

  • Panelist, “[Women Who Mean Business] WWMB@20: Beyond Business,” Kansas City Business Journal, Kansas City, Missouri, September 27, 2019
  • Moderator, Lathrop Gage Kansas Legislative Forecast Breakfast, Overland Park, KS, December 11, 2019
  • Panelist, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce & Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, Forecast Panel, 2019
  • Speaker, Johnson County Education Research Triangle (JCERT), 10th Anniversary Celebration, 2019
  • Annual Presenter, Central Exchange, Executive Women in Leadership Conference
  • Annual Facilitator, Kansas City Tomorrow, Leadership Program, The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

Previous Affiliations/Involvement

  • AIA Kansas City, Board of Directors
  • American Chamber of Commerce Executives, Chair
  • America’s Town Square, board member
  • Blue Valley Educational Foundation
  • Candidate for Kansas Lieutenant Governor, 2002
  • Chamber of Commerce Executives of Kansas, Chair
  • City of Overland Park, 50th Anniversary Celebration, Chair
  • The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Tomorrow, Facilitator
  • Colorado Institute, Chair
  • Community Foundation of Johnson County, Chair
  • County (Johnson) Economic Research Institute, board member
  • Governor’s 2000 Transportation Task Force
  • Governor’s Insurance Advisory Task Force
  • Heart of America Boy Scouts, Trailhead District Committee
  • Highway 69 Association
  • Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, Presidents’ Council
  • Johnson County Community College Foundation, Board of Directors, President
  • Johnson County Courthouse Campaign
  • Kansas Chamber of Commerce & Industry, board member
  • Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), Transportation Economic Impact Group
  • Kansas Industrial Developers Association
  • Kansas Transportation Committee
  • KCInvestEd, Chair
  • Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), Johnson County Board of Directors, Chair
  • Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), Transportation Forecast Committee, Chair
  • Midwest Governor’s Conference, Chair
  • Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, President
  • Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau, board member
  • Overland Park Rotary Club
  • Safehome, Board of Advisors; Capital Campaign
  • Shawnee Mission Education Foundation
  • Shawnee Mission School District, Superintendent Search Committee, Chair
  • Speaking of Women’s Health Conference, Planning Committee
  • Union Station Assistance Corporation, board member
  • United Community Services of Johnson County, Board Member; Strategic Plan Committee
  • University of Kansas Medical Center, Advancement Board, Chair
  • S. Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors; Local Chamber Committee
  • S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Institute for Organization Management, Chair; Instructor
    • Courses taught: Government Relations 101, Advanced Government Relations, Future Trends in Chambers, Non-Dues Income, Community-Wide Visioning, Leadership Development Programs, Professional Ethics
  • Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City, Capital Campaign Committee
Photo of Mary F. Birch
  • Overland Park

    10851 Mastin Boulevard
    Building 82, Suite 1000
    Overland Park, KS 66210-1669
F: 913.451.0875

Assistant

Cherie King
913.451.5193

Education

University of Kansas, B.S.J., 1974