The Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center in Mission, Kansas.
Earlier this week we announced the winners of our 2013 Leadership Awards. Mayor Laura McConwell and Mission, Kansas were one of the winners.
Mission is a first-generation suburb of just under 10,000 people, located 8 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. At just 2.7 square miles, Mission feels like a small town despite being minutes away from the center city.
Some might see Mission’s small size as an obstacle to economic vitality. But the community in Mission saw smart growth strategies as a way to raise the profile of the city far beyond it’s small size.
Mayor Laura McConwell has helped make those plans a reality. McConwell has served as the City of Mission’s Mayor since 2002, replacing Sylvester Powell who served as mayor for the previous 25 years. Originally inspired to serve on the town council to speak for young families who at that time were not well-represented, McConwell has become a driving force behind several impressive smart growth and sustainability initiatives in the city.