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Unlock unparalleled insights and connect with other Kansas City tech leaders while enjoying world-class accommodations, with all-inclusive meals, drinks and activities at your fingertips.

The CEO Retreat is the KC Tech Council's most exclusive event. Invitations are highly sought after, and previous attendees are eager to return. Local leaders come together to learn from industry influencers, network with fellow CEOs and of course, retreat. This retreat is designed with Kansas City CEOs in mind. The KC Tech Council brings together high-level speakers and unique programming that attendees wouldn't experience otherwise. In addition to well-curated programming, the retreat itself is exclusive in every sense of the word. Attendees must be a CEO or highest-ranking local official at a KCTC member company. The venue is located at a beautiful ranch south of Kansas City, offering a wide range of amenities. Nature trails, fishing and shooting ranges are all at the guest's disposal.


The retreat will take place at Maple Ranch, a beautiful private property south of Kansas City, offering a wide range of amenities and top-notch accommodations. Nature trails, fishing and shooting ranges are all at the guest's disposal.


Thursday, October 5th - Friday October 6th, 2023

Interested in sponsoring The CEO Retreat? Contact Erin Christensen.

Retreat Sessions

Jason Adkins Circle Headshot

Jason Adkins | Unite Private Networks | Former Chief Executive Officer

Jason W. Adkins is the former CEO of Unite Private Networks, a leading regional provider of fiber optic communications infrastructure. Jason joined Unite in 2012 and was a key member of the management team that grew Unite into a $150M+ yearly revenue company with over 10,000 fiber route miles and 7,500 on-net buildings. Cox Communications invested in Unite in 2016 alongside then current owners and management. Cox purchased the totality of UPN in 2023.

Over the last 28 years, Jason has been a part of the management teams of several early-stage communications companies, backed by private equity and investors, with successful exits (KMC Telecom, Telcove, KDL, and Conterra), as well as other larger established telecommunications companies (MCI, Windstream). Jason started his career in communications with two small, locally owned RLEC’s in Virginia. (CFW Telephone, Roanoke & Botetourt Telephone).

Well known in the communications industry, Jason has been published and is frequently interviewed by trade journals and industry analysts on communications infrastructure topics. He is a frequent guest on panels for industry groups and financial companies (Incompas, PCIA, J.P. Morgan, MetroConnect, RCA), and provides input to both congressional representatives and the FCC on important policy issues.

Tech and the Global Economy: Potential Influence

Chris Kuehl Circle

Dr. Chris Kuehl | Armada Corporate Intelligence | Managing Director

Dr. Chris Kuehl is a Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. He provides forecasts and strategic guidance for a wide variety of corporate clients around the world. He is the economist for several national and international organizations – Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, American Supply Association, Chemical Coaters Association International and others.  He is also the economic analyst for several state accounting societies including Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Dakota and Kansas. Prior to starting Armada in 1999 he was a professor of economics and finance for 15 years – teaching in the US, Hungary, Russia, Estonia, Singapore and Taiwan. He holds advanced degrees in economics, Soviet studies and East Asian studies.

High-Growth Tech Sectors Panel - Cybersecurity, Digital Health, and Infrastructure as Catalysts for Economic Growth

Trent Armbrust Circle

Trent Armbrust | Enterprise KC | Pillar Leader

Trent joined EnterpriseKC in the fall of 2022 after 3 years at the Kansas Department of Commerce where he served as Chief Strategy Officer and led the Office of Innovation. Prior to Commerce, Trent was the Director of Economic Development for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. Topics of professional focus are strategy development, partnership building, and cluster analysis. Trent earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Kansas State University and a certificate from Economic Development Institute. Trent is a member of the Kansas State University College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board, the NBAF IACUC, past chair of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) Community Liaison Group and past chair of the Johnson Cancer Research Center.  Outside of work Trent enjoys taking walks with his wife, visiting his adult children, traveling, wine tasting, and attending live performances and sporting events.

Maria Flynn Circle

Maria Flynn | Digital Health KC Advisory Board Chair

Leveraging experience as an entrepreneur, executive, engineer, investor, and coach, Maria works with select emerging and high-growth leaders, companies, investors, and entrepreneurial support organizations, helping them make opportunities happen. As CEO of Orbis Biosciences, Maria built a technology company that improved pharmaceutical manufacturing, won awards for its novel innovation, and was acquired by Adare Pharmaceuticals. As Managing Director of Techstars Kansas City, Maria invested in and coached companies across health tech, biotech, fintech, deep tech, and consumer tech. She has worked with founders from over 30 companies as a business growth guide.

Brad Hardin Circle

Brad Hardin | Diode Ventures | President

As a construction executive, licensed architect, LEED accredited professional and business leader, Brad is known for his ability to streamline project teams and create seamless customer experiences. As President of Diode, Brad focuses on delivering turnkey solutions for customers seeking to embrace sustainability and renewable energy all around the world. Brad’s focus on customer advocacy and partnership creates meaningful relationships that are based on trust and performance. Professionally, Brad holds patents in electrical component design, has authored books, white papers and keynoted at many conferences and industry events around the world. Brad has won numerous awards, including the National American Institute of Architects Excellence Award, ENR’s Top 20 Under 40 and the Manuel and Laura Rosen Service Award for his volunteer and mentorship efforts.

Improving Strategies and Internal Operations to make your organization “Customer Obsessed”​

Shar VanBoskirk Circle

Shar VanBoskirk | Forrester | Vice President, Principal Analyst

Shar helps CMOs lead customer-obsessed strategies at their firms while also transforming their marketing functions to deliver brand experiences that are relevant to empowered customers. Her specific research focuses on marketing strategy, budgets, staffing, organization, and creating an operating model for customer obsession. Shar has spent many years helping clients create optimal digital marketing teams and programs, leveraging research on email marketing, consumer psychology, storytelling, and digital maturity. During her 18 years with Forrester, Shar has been instrumental in the development of many of the company's marketing program evaluation methodologies, training courses, and marketing planning tools and has also been part of Forrester's sales and consulting organizations.

US Economic Outlook with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

A. Lee Smith Headshot

Andrew Lee Smith | Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City | Senior Vice President and Economist

In his current role, Lee has oversight of macroeconomic research and serves as an advisor on monetary policy matters. Lee’s research has focused on the effects of expanding and unwinding the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, the impact of forward guidance on financial markets and the econoamy, and, more generally, how central bank communication can influence expectations and economic conditions.

Prior to joining the Bank in 2014, Lee received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Kansas. He also holds a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.

Future of Workspace with Multistudio

Emily Harrold Circle Headshot

Emily Harrold, AIA, NCIDQ, NCARB | Multistudio | Associate Principal

Emily is an associate principal with Multistudio, bringing 19 years of experience as a designer, heavily focused on elevating the quality of interior architectural design across all projects. Emily believes that a collaborative, team-based approach to problem-solving will lead to innovative, client-based solutions. Clients value her ability to think, communicate, illustrate, present ideas effectively, and lead clients through challenging problem-solving exercises to resolve interior solutions with the project team. A leader in the firm and Kansas City Centurions program graduate, Emily has a passion for mentoring women entering the design industry and advocates for all the women on the Multistudio team. Her goal is to stand with and support the amazing women of Multistudio and our industry who will be the next generation of female leaders. Some of her recent notable projects include Cerner Innovations Campus, KIPP KC Legacy High School, Pembroke Hill School, and Junior Achievement of Kansas City.

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