In a world that sometimes feels disconnected, BBT board member Kim Plank is on a mission to make connections! Kim’s vast, economic development career spans the corporate, civic, entrepreneurial, and philanthropic industries. Yet there is a common thread that weaves throughout her professional tapestry: a deep love for people, a desire to bridge economic gaps, and a willingness to spark courageous conversations in order to create sustainability in the communities that she serves. Kim’s experiences have taught her the power of empathy, community engagement, and the eternal impact leaders can make beyond the balance sheet. Her own faith in God is integral to it all.
Kim Plank has decades of experience as a networking strategist, connecting individuals, organizations, and enterprise, for impactful public and private partnerships. She has developed strong, lasting relationships with executive stakeholders to support significant, collective missions, both regionally and globally. Her efforts have increased the rate of innovation for corporations, and brought thriving innovation ecosystems to life in emerging markets.
Kim is now CEO and Founder of Kim Plank consulting. Prior to that, she was VP of Partnerships and Development at the Waymaker-Group, where she forged P3 Partnerships with universities and emerging cities, and led teams to execute the pre-development work needed for creating impactful innovation districts.
Before joining Waymaker Group, Kim served as Vice President of Business Development for Vario Marketing and Advertising and consulted with African American churches and the Academy of Lifestyle Medicine’s HEAL Initiative, to create an entire curriculum and training program to address health disparities in urban communities. Currently in Beta in St. Louis, ACLM hopes to launch the program nationally in 2023.
In 2016 Kim was recruited as the General Manager for the Cambridge Innovation Center St. Louis, partnering with Cortex and regional executives to further develop the campus and startup ecosystem. Leading expansion efforts for a third CIC STL location, she negotiated contracts and managed relationships with the board of directors, property management and real estate developers, and 300 customers. Here, Kim was invited by the World Trade Center St. Louis to serve as part of the delegation to Argentina, in an effort to build AgTech and other innovation relationships for St. Louis.
Kim came to CIC as a seasoned economic developer from the St. Louis Regional Chamber, where she recruited businesses to the St. Louis Region as the Director of Health Science and Services & Biosciences from 2013-2016.
From 2003-2013 Kim worked in St. Louis ministry positions including:
● Executive Director and Development Director of Urban K-Life Christian sports and mentorship ministry, serving teens in the comprehensive public high schools of North St. Louis.
● Capital Campaign Director, The Crossing Church Chesterfield
● Director of Outreach for The Crossing Church, Chesterfield, MO where she developed the Community Outreach Ministry with national impact.
Kim launched her entrepreneurial career working in her family’s motorcycle business in Southeastern Ohio. She assisted Philadelphia entrepreneurs in opening a mystery shopping business, developing a focus group facility, and an advertising specialties company. After moving to St. Louis, she opened Runaround Sue, a domestic cleaning company and KpWired Designs, a jewelry design company, donating profits to single moms in North St. Louis.
She continues her work with women, churches, and other nonprofits in North St. Louis to create pathways to entrepreneurship and workforce development that will allow for sustainable employment opportunities. She is also active in networking together young leaders to carry out efforts for equitable economic reconciliation and restoration in St. Louis.
CURRENT BOARD MEMBERSHIP: BBT (new member), Light A Single Candle Foundation (board member) and Tabernacle Development Corporation (Advisory Board)
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s Degree of Science, Ohio University, Cum Laude
● Major: Organizational Communication Minors: Business Management and English
● Certificate of Leadership, Neighborhood Leadership Academy, University of Missouri St. Louis
Speaker/Panelist: WISE Women’s Conference, STL/Argentina Trade Delegation, Accenture Women in Leadership Conference, Unconventional Business Network, Innovation City Podcast, St. Louis Community Cast Podcast, Rockwood School District, Business Health Coalition,