An inside look at the KC chapter and a chat with one of KC’s most sought after board members and strategists

MAY 7, 2018

Siobhan McLaughlin Lesley, executive DIRECTOR, Gilda’s Club Kansas City

Siobhan McLaughlin Lesley is the Executive Director for Gilda’s Club Kansas City, an organization providing education and support to anyone with a cancer impact. Siobhan has over two decades of experience in providing marketing communications and development leadership to some of Kansas City’s most successful and visible marketing communications companies, as well as civic and arts organizations.

Siobhan received her cancer support training at The Benjamin Center in Los Angeles, the founding chapter of the Cancer Support Community and Gilda’s Clubs.

Prior to joining Gilda’s Club Kansas City, Siobhan served as vice president and director of client services at Walz Tetrick Advertising and as president and COO at Valentine Radford.

Siobhan has served on a variety of nonprofit boards in the arts and social services sectors. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors of The Kansas City Ballet, Goodwill Industries of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas, The Health Care Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee, the Mayor’s Task Force on Progress and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. She is also a trustee of Pembroke Hill School.

Siobhan has her master’s degree from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Siobhan has two lovely daughters; Cianan attends the University of Michigan Law School and Olivia attends the University of Glasgow, Scotland.


1.      Develop your skills on a working board. This is a great way for young professionals to gain experience before joining a governance board. On a working board, committees are more tactical and reflect the organizational structure by assisting with marketing, finance, etc. Make sure to match your skill set to the committee where you’ll be most valuable to the organization.

2.      Choose an organization that matches your personal mission. You’re using your free time, so however you plan to use your time on a board, understand the organization’s mission, and think about how it fits with your personal mission.

3.      Don’t just show up. Engage. The organization is counting on you, because you represent the community. If you don’t show up, the organization doesn’t hear your voice or benefit from your talent.