Lathrop Gage Welcomes Vanessa Vaughn West as Director of Diversity & Inclusion


Lathrop Gage is pleased to introduce Vanessa L. Vaughn West as its new Director of Diversity and Inclusion. As the former Community Relations Manager for the City of Olathe, Kansas, Vaughn West brings nearly 20 years’ experience in roles focused on diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, community relations and communications.

“We’ve found a great addition to our team in Vanessa,” said Cameron Garrison, Lathrop Gage Managing Partner. “Her background and experience will benefit our firm as we continue in our commitment of being a diverse, inclusive employer and outstanding corporate citizen.”

“As we continue to incorporate diversity and inclusion at every level and in all aspects of our firm, it’s important we have the right leaders in play to spearhead these endeavors,” said Bryan Minier, head of Lathrop Gage’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee. “Vanessa will be one of those effective leaders and we look forward to her spearheading many important initiatives to help us continue to develop a diverse, inclusive and talented workforce.”

Vaughn West previously served as the Community Relations Manager of the City of Olathe, Kansas, a role she held for nearly five years, overseeing the city’s community relations and diversity and inclusion strategy and playing a key role in managing the city’s diversity and inclusion strategies, championing human relations initiatives and developing and implementing policies and practices to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives. Among Vaughn West’s accomplishments at the City of Olathe, she sought out businesses, civic organizations and individuals who made significant contributions to enhance the city’s human rights efforts, equality, cultural diversity and the pursuit of disability inclusiveness and promoted the honorees efforts at an annual recognition program, to further instill and commend these values within the community.

Prior to her work for Olathe, Vaughn West held similar roles with United Missouri Bank, and the nonprofit group El Centro, both Kansas City-based organizations. At UMB, she served as a founding member of UMB’s Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce, helping to create an equity and inclusion strategy for bank employee recruitment and retention and related community support, and on behalf of El Centro, Vaughn West completed grant applications and administered grant fulfillment for a $1.5 million in child care capital campaign and other programmatic funding.

Vaughn West earned her B.A. in Communications from the University of Missouri-Columbia, 1999, and is also a Certified Public Manager. Vaughn West is actively involved in community leadership roles as well: she is a member of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City’s Diversity, Inclusion and Global Council; the Mid-America Regional Council 2020 Census Regional Complete Count Committee; the Olathe Public Schools Social Justice Committee; the Francis Families Small Arts Grant Review Board; the University of Missouri - Columbia Griffith’s Leadership Society, and the University of Missouri - Kansas City’s Women of Color Leadership Conference planning committee. In 2018, she served as the moderator for the Johnson County NAACP Kansas Governor Candidate Forum.

Diversity and inclusion are a priority at Lathrop Gage. The firm is dedicated to becoming a more diverse and inclusive firm whose workforce reflects the diversity of the clients served and the communities inhabited. As a reflection of that commitment, Lathrop Gage is among the first 20 law firms to pledge its support to CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, is active in the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity and earned a 90 out of 100 score on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index.

About Lathrop Gage

Lathrop Gage is a law firm whose clients form the backbone of our economy. Our attorneys provide strategic guidance in litigation, business and intellectual property law, with deep knowledge and experience in the industries we serve. We work as one integrated team from offices across the country to help our clients see beyond immediate challenges to achieve their most important objectives. For more information, visit

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