Mentoring and the Legacy of C. Stephen Metzler

The Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce membership is united by the mission to advocate, promote, and facilitate the success of the LGBT business community and their allies through the guiding principles of equality, inclusion, economics and education. We have enjoyed considerable growth in just three short years due largely to an engaged board, valuable programming, and a diverse and supportive membership.
I’m proud to be writing as a founding board member and as someone who has contributed in small part to our success, and I’m excited to be able to share our newest program, the C. Stephen Metzler Mentor Program (www.MAGLCC.org/pages/Mentoring).
The value of mentoring cannot be overstated, whether in a professional or personal context. This is something I have been passionate about since joining the MAGLCC board in 2012. However, during our first few years, we struggled to find the right lens for a mentoring program that would be unique to our LGBT community and did not exclude members based on profession or vocation.
It was not until the loss of one of our founding board members – a dear friend and community champion – that we recognized the purpose of mentoring in our community should be legacy.
In March, MAGLCC and the entire Kansas City community lost an individual who exemplified personal and professional success. C. Stephen Metzler was an entrepreneur and savvy business professional with an extraordinary record of civic engagement and community service. But what made Steve really special was the individual relationships he cultivated with almost everyone he met – and the encouragement he gave us to truly care about the community and issues around us.
As Brian Williams, his partner, reminded so many of us during that hard time, we must continue the good work that Steve inspired in so many of us. In that way we are all part of his legacy, and MAGLCC is proud to memorialize and share his legacy through the mentor program.
The C. Stephen Metzler Mentor Program will provide a diverse foundation for personal and professional development, recognizing that each individual has the capacity to be successful in business or vocation while also actively engaging in the many communities where our members are involved.
We will pair successful community leaders with aspiring young professionals for a two-year program focusing on leadership, professional development, civic engagement, and community service.
We are launching this program with an impressive group of mentors: Brian Williams, Steve’s partner and the development director for the Folly Theater

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