2017 Distinguished Alumni

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Mary McClure, Class of 1972

The Alumni Committee of the Sedalia School District Foundation has selected Mary McClure as the‭ ‬2017‭ ‬recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.‭ ‬Ms.‭ ‬McClure is a‭ ‬1972‭ ‬graduate of Smith-Cotton High School where she was a co-editor of the Archives‭; ‬news editor of the school newspaper‭; ‬president of the Future Teacher’s Club‭; ‬a member of the Latin Club,‭ ‬Speech and Debate Team‭; ‬and Spiz Pep Club.‭ ‬She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics Journalism from the University of Missouri and a MBA from Harvard Business School where she was the vice president of the Women’s Student Association.

For more than‭ ‬35‭ ‬years,‭ ‬she has been a leader in the corporate and nonprofit sectors in Kansas City.‭ ‬Her notable record of achievements over a‭ ‬20-year executive career at Hallmark Cards,‭ ‬combined with her service as a community volunteer,‭ ‬reflect her commitment to excellent managerial leadership,‭ ‬generous service to others,‭ ‬and significant contributions to society.‭

During her career with Hallmark Cards,‭ ‬she led business units as a vice president and general manager.‭ ‬She frequently initiated cross-divisional projects such as Senior Women Mentoring Group.‭ ‬For over eight years she worked exclusively on Christmas products leading the launch of the Barbie and Star Trek ornaments as well as the creation of Hallmark’s Holiday Barbie doll.‭ ‬Her team developed a line of alternative humor cards which grew to over‭ ‬$50‭ ‬million in annual sales.‭ ‬She helped establish the company’s entrance into the digital marketplace,‭ ‬leading the early development of the www.hallmark.com business.‭

Following her retirement from Hallmark,‭ ‬Ms.‭ ‬McClure continued her corporate career as the Managing Director of McClure Management Consulting where she facilitated teams to create new strategies for non-profit clients including the Kansas City Zoo,‭ ‬Powell Gardens,‭ ‬and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

Ms.‭ ‬McClure has had a lifetime belief that food brings people together.‭ ‬For the past‭ ‬12‭ ‬years she has followed her passion to help provide food to those who are hungry by volunteering with the Harvesters Community Food Network-Kansas City’s Food Bank.‭ ‬In‭ ‬2006‭ ‬she became a Master Gardener and set up a demonstration garden at Harvesters to encourage others to grow produce to help feed the hungry.

During Ms.‭ ‬McClure’s tenure as Harvesters Board Chair from‭ ‬2010-2012,‭ ‬the agency was testing the BackSnack program to feed hungry children.‭ ‬The program’s goal was to provide a weekly backpack filled with nutritious,‭ ‬child-friendly food for school children who are at-risk of hunger at home on weekends.‭ ‬With funding support that Ms.‭ ‬McClure helped secure,‭ ‬Harvesters was able to quickly start up BackSnacks and provide for‭ ‬8,000‭ ‬school children.‭ ‬Today,‭ ‬the Kansas City Harvesters program is the largest in the country delivering‭ ‬20,000‭ ‬BackSnacks a week.‭ ‬In recognition of Harvesters tremendous innovation and growth the agency was named the National Food Bank of the year during Ms.‭ ‬McClure’s tenure as Board Chair by Feeding America,‭ ‬the national organization of food banks.

As one of her Distinguished Alumni nominators wrote,‭ “‬Mary takes complex projects and organizes them into simple action plans her teams can follow.‭ ‬And she always gave others credit for her successes,‭ ‬which are numerous.‭ ‬Mary is the perfect blend of Missouri farm girl and Harvard MBA.‭ ‬She uses the values and skills of a strong work ethic,‭ ‬humility,‭ ‬coalition building,‭ ‬and approachability gained from her excellent public school experience and rural upbringing.‭”

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