Article Category Archives: Alumni News

Kansas City Alumni Host Reception and Entrepreneurial Panel Discussion

The Kansas City Bulldogs gathered for an exciting and informative reception, May 2. The event took place at Fishtech headquarters, recently named Kansas City’s coolest office by the Kansas City Business Journal.

In addition to being united in a really fun space, the evening also featured an entrepreneurial panel discussion moderated by Ryan Shreve (’02) who currently serves as chief financial officer at Fishtech Group. Participants were able to learn more about innovation and entrepreneurship from Kansas City area alumni panelists.

Topics covered included advice for thriving in fast-changing environments, how to learn from mistakes and adapt to move forward and how their Truman education prepared them to excel in the innovation/entrepreneurial space.

The alumni panelists for the event were: Marco Ilardi (’99), president of Adknowledge; Roger Obrist (’01), chief operating officer of Redwood Trading; and Jeff Poe (’90), chief financial officer of Mariner Holdings.

Mall Garden Dedicated to Beloved Bulldog

The Truman State University Foundation hosted a series of events on campus the weekend of April 14 to honor donors and celebrate the sesquicentennial. One of the more serene gatherings was the dedication of a mall garden spot in honor of Denise Smith.

All totaled, Smith devoted more than a third of her life to the University. As a student, she was a proud member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, maintaining her ties with the chapter long after receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1979. Following 12 years as the general manager of KMEM radio in Memphis, Mo., she returned to her alma mater as director of alumni relations. She later served as the interim co-director of advancement from January 2016 until her untimely passing in November 2017.

During her nearly 18-year career, Smith worked tirelessly with the Alumni Board of Directors to create a nationwide network of Bulldogs. She was passionate in her efforts to ensure all alumni felt a genuine connection to the University. Because of her leadership, there are now 10 alumni chapters throughout the country, along with a handful of smaller alumni clubs. The University’s travel program has grown in popularity, visiting the likes of France, Scotland, London and, later this year, Iceland. Working in conjunction with the board, Smith helped institute National Truman Spirit Day, celebrated annually on the first Friday in October. Most recently, she was instrumental in establishing TruCare, a monthlong service initiative to inspire alumni to volunteer their time to charities in their communities.

More pictures of the garden dedication, as well as all of the photos from the Truman State University Foundation weekend, can be found at