Speaker Date Topic
Meeting canceled Jul 01, 2022
July 4 Holiday
July 4 Holiday
Mary McMurray Jul 08, 2022
Johnson County Museum Rediining Exhibit
Johnson County Museum Rediining Exhibit

Topic Title: An Exploration of the Johnson County Museum's Special Exhibit, REDLINED: Cities, Suburbs, and Segregation     The Johnson County Museum's newest special exhibit takes visitors on a deep dive of the history of redlining and how it both shaped and was shaped by Johnson County and the region.

Mary McMurray is the Director of the Johnson County Museum. She holds degrees in history from MU (Bachelors), UMKC (Masters), and KU (Doctorate). She is passionate about civic engagement and using lessons from the past to inspire, empower, and embolden people to make a brighter future. Prior to her role at the Johnson County Museum, Mary worked in various roles for two presidential library foundations and as Superintendent of Historic Sites and Outdoor Education for Jackson County. She lives in Prairie Village with her 4 year old daughter, Mabel, and husband, Sean.  

Lucy Betteridge Jul 15, 2022
Interesting Outcomes in our Immigration System
Interesting Outcomes in our Immigration System

Lucy's presentation will cover issues that arise from people thinking they know the answers to their immigration problems and the interesting outcomes that result. It will cover visa preference categories/priority dates/quotas; bars to admissibility to the USA for seemingly innocuous things and finding out that you are a U.S. Citizen without realizing it. 

Lucy Betteridge grew up on a cattle farm in central Missouri. She received her J.D. from Washburn University School of Law. While pursuing her law degree, she studied the law of the European Union at Universiteit Maastricht, in the Netherlands. Lucy is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has also volunteered for the Cara Family Detention Pro-Bono Project in Dilley, TX. Her passion is helping people find creative solutions for their immigration case.  Lucy is a member of the Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club and will serve as president in 2024-2025.

Sean Putney Jul 29, 2022
World-Class 600,000 Gallons Aquarium, New to K.C. Zoo.
World-Class 600,000 Gallons Aquarium, New to K.C. Zoo.

Kansas City Zoo Aquarium Update

A world-class aquarium will be opening in 2023 at the Kansas City Zoo to enhance visitors’ experience and open new pathways to ocean conservation, education and research. Zoo visitors will enjoy an up-close and personal experience, beginning at the warm-water shore habitat and traveling “deeper” through mangrove forests, sandy shores, tropical lagoons, and coral reefs. Then they'll “ascend” through a kelp forest and end at a cold-water rocky shore. Each habitat will showcase a variety of fascinating ocean life, immersing visitors in the experience of being at the ocean. The 600,000-gallon aquarium will be situated near Helzberg Penguin Plaza, within easy distance of the front gate and accessible year-round.




Sean Putney

Executive Director/CEO

On January 1, 2022, Sean Putney took the reins of the Kansas City Zoo as its new executive director/CEO. Sean was not a new face at the  Zoo, however, as he had been serving as its Chief Zoological Officer.


A native of Pennsylvania, Sean began his 29-year career at the Catalina Island Marine Institute in California and then spent 12 years at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo working his way up through animal care and curator positions. In 2007, Sean joined the Kansas City Zoo as an animal curator and spent five years in that position before being named Director of Living Collections. In 2016, he became Senior Director of Zoological Operations and in 2019, was promoted to Chief Zoological Officer, overseeing

the Zoo’s animal collection, animal care staff, conservation program, veterinary health department, and facilities.


Sean has been instrumental in the new and renovated animal habitats that have been accomplished at the Kansas City Zoo in the last decade, as well as the increased customer satisfaction the Zoo has achieved. Sean now oversees the biggest project in the Zoo’s history, a $75-million aquarium that will open in 2023. 


Sean has been an active member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the primary accrediting body of zoos and aquariums in the United States. He graduated from the AZA’s Executive Leadership Development Program in 2018 and is a current member of the AZA Government Affairs Committee. He continues to serve as the coordinator of the AZA’s Wyoming Toad Species Survival Plan (SSP), leading efforts to reintroduce this species to its native habitat. He also spent five years as an AZA accreditation inspector.


Recently, Sean spearheaded the Kansas City Zoo’s own accreditation efforts, leading to an extension of the facility’s accreditation to 2026. AZA accreditation is considered the national standard and is granted to less than 10% of animal exhibitors licensed by the USDA.


Sean and wife Cyndie have been married 26 years, have raised

two sons, and are now proud grandparents of one grandson.




Phyllis Hardwick Aug 05, 2022
Community Capital Foundation
Community Capital Foundation

Phyllis Hardwick is the Executive Director of the Community Capital Fund (CCF).  She leads the CCF team and guides strategic direction. Her work focuses on the development of relationships with community partners, awareness of the CCF community and economic development programs, and advancement of collaborative strategies with CCF’s sister organizations, AltCap and Equity2.

Monsignor Stuart Swetland, S.T.D., Aug 12, 2022
Donnelly College
Donnelly College

Monsignor Stuart Swetland, S.T.D.,

President Donnelly College


Before arriving at Donnelly, Msgr. Swetland served as the Vice President for Catholic

Identity and Director of Pre-Theology at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD,

where he also held the Archbishop Flynn Chair of Christian Ethics. Msgr. Swetland received

his undergraduate degree in Physics from the United States Naval Academy, where he was

first in his class academically. Elected a Rhodes Scholar in 1981, he entered the Catholic

Church while studying at Oxford and was ordained a priest in 1991.


He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Oxford University where he studied

Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts from Mount

St. Mary’s Seminary; and earned his Sacred Theology Licentiate and Sacred Theology

Doctorate from the Pontifical Lateran University, in Rome. Msgr. Swetland was named a

Prelate of Honor in 2000 by St. John Paul II. Additionally, he has been awarded two

honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. One was received from Benedictine College and

the other from Walsh University.


In addition to his role at Donnelly, Msgr. Swetland is a Knight Commander for

the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus

and was the Executive Secretary for the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars for

twenty years. A convert to Catholicism, Monsignor Swetland has hosted for over 20

years various television and radio shows presenting and defending Catholic social

teaching. Pastorally, he serves as pastor of Our Lady and St. Rose Catholic Church, and as

a chaplain to the local chapters of Legatus and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in Kansas

City, KS.