The MMC is led by a diverse, experienced team capable of leveraging expertise and resources to expand Workforce capacity, access necessary materials and fuel innovation in Missouri.

Advisory Board:

The Advisory Board meets semi-annually to provide guidance and direction to the MMC. Members also advocate on behalf of the MMC with external stakeholders.

  Aaron Willard

  Joni Wickham

  Gordon Feller

  Jill McCarthy

  Quest Moffatt


Aaron Willard:  Aaron is the chief of staff to the Governor of Missouri, a position he began in June, 2018. Previously, he worked as the director of intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce and as a White House liaison for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Willard graduated from the University of Missouri in 2004 and earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the University
of Missouri in 2007. He obtained a graduate certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship from Stanford Continuing Studies in 2016 and earned a master’s degree in predictive analytics from Northwestern University in 2017.[1]
Willard worked as the chief of staff for the speaker of the MO House of Representatives from 2010 to 2011. He was the executive director of the Missouri House Republican Campaign Committee from 2011 to 2012. In 2014, he served on the Missouri Senate Commerce & Energy Committee. In April 2017, he became the director of intergovernmental affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Joni Wickham: A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Joni and her indisputable southern accent arrived in Kansas City almost 10 years ago after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. In her eight years with the mayor’s office—the majority of them spent as Chief of Staff—Joni has proven herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and
organizational leader. She directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics, and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues. An artful negotiator, Joni helped steer Sly’s major development projects in Kansas City while raising the city’s profile at the national and international levels. Her front-row seat at city hall shed light on how local government is still very much a man’s world, and this motivated her to create a first-of-its-kind women’s empowerment initiative, which has been implemented in several major cities.
Jill McCarthy: Drawing on 30+ years economic development experience, Jill leads the strategy, initiatives and business recruitment activities for the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC).
Jill specializes in regional business recruitment efforts across multiple disciplines, having worked comprehensively in assisting customer/shared service centers, HQ operations, advanced manufacturing, distribution/eCommerce, data centers and other operational projects. The KCADC offers urban, suburban or rural options, and provides clients with knowledge and support through extensive briefings, demographics, site visits and the facilitation of financial incentives. A few KC successes include: ChowNow, DataBank, Magna, Martinrea Intl, Littler, OptumRx, Thryv, Torch.AI, TTEC, U.S. Bank, USDA-ERS & NIFA, and the USMC MCEITS.
Her engagement in professional organizations include: CREW KC (President), ULI (KC Advisory Board), KC Tech Council (Board Member), CoreNet Global, 7×24 Exchange, AFCOM, ACCP, IEDC, as well as the state and regional economic development peer groups. She is past Co-Chair and current member of the steering committee for the Queens of the Diamond event supporting the KC MLB Urban Youth Academy, a board member of U.S. Senator Moran’s Kansas Service Academy Selection Board, a former board member of Parkinson’s Foundation Heartland, and a former Commissioner of the Johnson County Airports. In 2018, Jill was honored as a member of KCBJ’s Women Who Mean Business.
Quest Moffatt: Quest, the Digital Mercenary is known for using BANDWIDTH for Good, Growth Hacking, and is a social impact entrepreneur who has a serious passion for helping UNDERESTIMATED individuals achieve economic
independence through entrepreneurship, innovation, and skills development.
Quest has assisted 36 founders in raising $5M in the last four years, including two exits, 1 M&A, and another 103 in starting their entrepreneurial journey out of a passion to see others succeed!
Gordon Feller:  A leading expert on infrastructure and resiliency, Gordon Feller has worked for more than four decades at the intersection of environmental change, global security and technology innovation. His aim has always been to accelerate the emergence of new approaches which strengthen our systems while simultaneously enhancing our sustainability. Upon arrival in Silicon Valley in 1983, he began to work inside the executieve suite, developing projects which aimed to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. Current and past clients include the UN, World Bank, EY, S&P, HP, Parsons, MIT, World Economic Forum, Ford Motor Co, Toyota, Stanford University, University of California, IBM, Bechtel, the International Standards Organization, International Electrical Commission,  and several national governments. From 2010 – 2017, he served as Director of Urban Innovation at Cisco Systems HQ. He founded the non-profit Meeting of the Minds in the 1990s, spinning it off from the World Bank, creating a global executive leadership network.

Governing Board: The governing board meets quarterly and provides oversight on ongoing projects, identifies resources that may be needed for project success, allocates resources from their respective organizations to achieve success and identifies additional opportunities.

  Roseanna Zia, University of Missouri

  Kevin Truman, UMKC


  Richard Billo, MU S&T


Staff: The MMC Team recruits and manages research teams, links researchers with partner organizations, wins and manages grants for projects, engages with stakeholders about current and future activities, coordinates workforce development projects and provides updates to the boards and other stakeholders  
Anthony Caruso
Bob Bennett
Mostafizur Rahman