Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners
Jack Holland, President (2019-Present)
Jack Holland is Managing Director of Stifel in Kansas City, Missouri. He entered the investment banking business in 1976 after receiving his B.A. from the University of Missouri where he was an Evans Scholar, and a J.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has participated in many of the region’s most significant financings over the last 35 years including: Truman Sports Complex, Sprint Arena, KCI Airport, Kansas Turnpike, Kansas Speedway, Springfield-Branson Airport and the Brush Creek Improvement Plan. Mr. Holland has served on a number of boards including Theater League, Avila University, Studios Inc., REACH Healthcare Foundation, Kansas City Consensus, Missouri Reapportionment Commission, The Kessler Society and the Western Golf Association.
Jackie Nguyen, Commissioner (October 2021)
Jackie Nguyen is a first generation, Vietnamese American, daughter of a refugee. She is the owner of Cafe Cà Phê, Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffeeshop. Prior to entrepreneurship, Jackie was a professional actor, traveling the country with various Broadway shows such as How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Hair, My Fair Lady and most recently, Miss Saigon. The pandemic gave her an opportunity to explore untapped passions such as business ownership and community work. Cafe Cà Phê is only one year into business, but has become a safe space for marginalized communities, especially of the Asian and Asian American narrative. With a background in theatre, a knack for public speaking and a true love for people, Jackie continues to work actively to find ways to help those around her. She is originally a West Coast girl, and then spent 10+ years in New York City. Kansas City, however, has become her new home — place where she hopes she can help diversify, enhance the vibrance and amplify the love that this city already has.
Alejandra Perez, Commissioner (October 2021)
Alejandra (Alex) Perez is the Scholarship Director at the Hispanic Development Fund in the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. She holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from UMKC. Alex looks forward to engaging all residents, especially students from the high schools and colleges she serves in the KC Metro Area, to learn and have access to the resources in our community which can enhance the lives of their families, and simultaneously make for a stronger Kansas City.
Scott Wagner, Commissioner (2019-Present)
Scott Wagner is former Mayor Pro-Tem and 1st District At-Large City Councilmember. He is the director of Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT), a Community Development Corporation that facilitates resources for the Historic Northeast community, works with neighborhoods and businesses, and spearheads important projects related to the community.
Mary Williams-Neal, Commissioner (2019-Present)
Mary Williams-Neal is the Founder/CEO of the Get Ahead Club since 1998. She is a former 3rd District City Councilwoman (1995-2003). Ms. Williams-Neal attended UMKC, Gates Rib Tech and Harvard University. She is a member of Village Presbyterian Church, and is focused on family and community engagement.
Chris Cotten, Director
Chris Cotten is a parks professional with 30 years of experience in sports management and parks and recreation operations including 16 years as department director in the cities of Salina, Kan., Normal, Ill., Joplin and Harrisonville, Mo. He previously worked for KC Parks managing the Brush Creek Community Center from 1999-2004. Mr. Cotten received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary & Physical Education from Drury University and a Master of Physical Education with an emphasis in Sport and Leisure Management. He is also a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional.
The Board of Parks and Recreation holds public meetings every other Tuesday at the Parks and Recreation Department Administration building, 4600 E. 63rd St. All meetings start at 2 p.m. and are open to the public.
To contact the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners
Karmen Houston, Secretary
4600 E. 63rd St.
Kansas City, MO 64130