Royals owner to speak at William Jewell Celebration of Achievement


William Jewell College will celebrate both Cardinal Red and Royal Blue at the 76th annual Celebration of Achievement at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Downtown Marriott Muehlebach Tower.

John ShermanThe featured speaker will be John Sherman, new chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Royals and CEO of MLP Holdings, LLC. He will be in conversation with another former Achievement Day speaker, David Von Drehle, columnist for The Washington Post.  

The William Jewell College Celebration of Achievement is designed to further the excellence of the college in its community, support student scholarships and honor distinguished alumni who have made significant contributions in their fields. Three alumni will be recognized with Citations for Achievement: Rev. Dr. Vernon Percy Howard, Jr., ’86, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City and senior pastor of St. Mark Church in Kansas City; Jill McCrea Nagel, ’98, girls basketball head coach of Rock Bridge High School in Columbia and manager of Eurofins Biopharma Product Testing; and Phil Youtsey, ’82, executive advisor of the Charlotte, North Carolina, Sports Foundation and retired vice president of the Carolina Panthers.

The Rev. Dr. Vernon Percy Howard, Jr., '86The Rev. Dr. Vernon Percy Howard, Jr., '86, is the senior pastor at St. Mark Church in Kansas City and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City. He is a frequent panelist, columnist and speaker on race relations and racial justice, African American history, civil rights and religion. He previously was a senior pastor at churches in Kansas City and Arizona, where he also taught college courses. His service includes leading committees for local civic initiatives. The Kansas City Star named him to its 2018 "51 Missouri Influencers" list while the Kansas City Globe placed him on its "100 Most Influential African Americans in Kansas City" list in 2010. He also received the 2018 Invictus Award for Social Justice at the Northland Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and the NAACP Civil Rights Award. 

Jill McCrea Nagel, '98Jill McCrea Nagel, '98, serves as both a corporate manager and a basketball coach. At Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing, she serves as contracts manager following a number of years in quality assurance roles. Earlier in her career, she worked in microbiology and quality assurance at Pfizer. Since 2005, she has been the head girls basketball coach at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Missouri, after several assistant coaching and recruiting positions on the collegiate level. Her Rock Bridge teams have won five state championships and were the first in Class 5 to win four consecutive titles. Her many honors include being named the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Class 5 Coach of the Year five times and being inducted into the MBCA Hall of Fame last year. 

Phil Youtsey, '82Phil Youtsey, '82, retired in 2019 after working more than 35 years in the National Football League with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers. Upon graduating from Jewell, he spent a summer as a sales manager for a minor league baseball team in North Carolina before returning to Kansas City as a sales representative for the Chiefs. After more than a decade with the Chiefs, during which he advanced to director of ticket operations, he was recruited to join the expansion Carolina Panthers. During 25 years as a ticketing leader with the Panthers, he served as director of ticket sales, executive director of ticketing and sponsorships, chief revenue officer and finally as vice president of ticketing and sponsorships. His responsibilities included all aspects of ticketing, marketing, sales and revenue growth for the Carolinas region while implementing, selling and managing the NFL's first personal seat license concept. He currently serves as executive advisor of the Charlotte Sports Foundation. 

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