The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, as the regional headquarters of the nation’s central bank, seeks to strengthen its relationships with diverse professionals including senior-level women, minority and emerging bank leaders, labor representatives and community leaders across the Tenth District’s seven states. 

As part of this effort, the Community Development department launched the Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Program (SSEP) in 2015 as a districtwide outreach and engagement strategy. The SSEP is designed to build mutually beneficial relationships, enhance the understanding of the Federal Reserve and provide stakeholders with customized programs and resources that benefit them and their organizations. 

The SSEP’s goal is to connect, engage and enhance awareness of the Kansas City Fed through strategic partnerships, tailored programs and timely resources. In a short time, the program has grown to a robust engagement strategy that encompasses all stakeholder groups throughout the Tenth District. The initiative consists of “Banking and the Economy,” a series of leadership and industry focused forums for bankers and informative roundtables with community and labor leaders.  

“Banking and Economy” forums provide industry and leadership development knowledge to enhance the careers and networks of senior level and high potential middle management minority, women and emerging bank leaders. Forums address topics such as banking regulations, cybersecurity, diversity and inclusion, economic updates, fraud protection strategies, leadership development, payment systems and social media branding. Attendees learn about Federal Reserve resources available to bankers and have the opportunity to develop a professional network with Bank staff and industry peers. 

The first Banking and the Economy forum in 2015 was attended by nearly 120 women bankers in Denver. Since then, forums have been hosted in Oklahoma City for women bankers, Kansas City for minority bankers and Denver for emerging bank leaders attracting nearly 500 bankers from across the district and country. The SSEP has also garnered national media attention from CNBC’s senior economics reporter, Steve Liesman, during the 2016 External Linkminority bankers forum

Hosting annual roundtables for community and labor leaders is a part of the SSEP’s effort that goes beyond building relationships and awareness of the Federal Reserve and fosters important discussions about economic and community development issues. Roundtables help the Kansas City Fed learn more about the organizations represented, share targeted and factual information about the Federal Reserve and identify opportunities to help address issues. For example, in 2016 labor leaders expressed concern about their members’ lack of financial education and limited resource materials. The Kansas Fed collaborated with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the United Way of Greater Kansas City to provide training to area labor leaders utilizing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Your Money, Your Goals” toolkit. This interactive training has been hosted in Kansas City and Denver and will be hosted in Omaha and Oklahoma later in 2017. Training sessions will also include continuous resources and topic-based webinars.

As the SSEP grows and seeks additional innovative opportunities to engage its stakeholder groups, providing accurate and timely information is important. A quarterly publication, News and Notes, was created to help aid in that opportunity. In addition to the suite of existing Kansas City Fed resources and publications, News and Notes consolidates several of the Bank’s resources and research into an email that offers the stakeholder group segmented, relevant and industry based content. News and Notes will help stakeholders stay connected and engaged with the Kansas City Fed and its branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha. 

Looking ahead, the Kansas City Fed plans to continue to provide relevant content and sustain positive relationships with stakeholders and focus on opportunities that allow for greater partnerships, community impact and industry support. 


Jennifer Forbes


Jennifer Forbes is the assistant for the Community Engagement and Inclusion Division. Jennifer provides support to Community Affairs Officer Teesha Miller, the Diversity, Equity …