News Column

Ellen D'Amato to Retire as Leader of Central Exchange

Oct. 3, 2012

Diane Stafford, The Kansas City Star

Ellen D'Amato, who has led the Central Exchange for the last 10 years, will retire April 1, the women's networking and advocacy organization said Tuesday.

Under D'Amato's tenure as president and chief executive, the "CX" expanded its reach and reputation. Among other developments, it launched the annual Leadership Lyceum, thought to be the largest leadership development conference -- for both women and men -- held in the area.

She also directed the start-up of the "win-win" campaign, a community initiative to increase gender diversity in Kansas City boardrooms and executive offices. The goal, to have 20 percent of those top positions filled by women by 2015, is supported by 80 area companies.

The CX board has formed a search committee to find a replacement for D'Amato.

Board chairwoman Denise Kruse said that CX "was a very different organization" when D'Amato became president and that it owed "a great deal of gratitude for her leadership over the last decade."

D'Amato, a lawyer by training, said she would retire with "mixed feelings" and intended to remain a CX member "well into the future." As to what's in store for her after April, she merely said, "I'm thinking ..."

The Central Exchange has more than 900 members. It has locations in downtown Kansas City and in Overland Park.

Source: (c)2012 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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