100 Years, 100 Stories
This is one in a series of stories about the leadership of the Metropolitan Community College Foundation board. MCC Foundation directors serve as ambassadors for the college, advocate in the community on its behalf, and raise money to support student scholarships and special campus initiatives.
JOSH MAXFIELD, treasurer of the Foundation’s 25-member board of directors, joined the board in 2013.
Thirty-second bio: Maxfield works as associate general counsel for Garmin International in Olathe. At Garmin, which he joined in 2006, he also has served as senior staff attorney and assistant general counsel. He previously worked at the Polsinelli law firm in Kansas City and Davis Graham & Stubbs in Denver. He’s a member of Order of the Coif, a national scholastic society. That honor recognizes his status as graduating in the top 10 percent of his class at the University of Kansas law school. Maxfield grew up in Denver and moved to this area in 2003. He lives in the South Plaza neighborhood.
In the beginning: When Jason Dalen (now chair of the Foundation board, then a colleague at Polsinelli) asked him to consider joining, Maxfield knew little about MCC other than that some portion of his property tax bill went to the community college system.
“Then I started to do some research about MCC, and it became obvious to me how important MCC is to the city,” Maxfield says. When he met with Foundation executive director Kent Huyser, “I was really struck by his passion for community colleges in general and for MCC in particular.”
Tremendous reach: “I started to find out more about the alumni — Ewing Kauffman and Mayor Sly James and other people — and I realized the reach it had throughout the city with the five campuses. I also discovered that state funding is always a challenge and is decreasing or can decrease, so the private funding is really critical to help make up the gap. (Joining the board) seemed like something that would be really worthwhile to be a part of.”
A location near you: “Probably whichever of the (areas) you’re in is what you associate with MCC. Penn Valley is the one I saw. I didn’t know about Maple Woods and the other ones.”
For-the-job training: Maxfield says he’s fascinated by the partnerships MCC has with local companies to train prospective employees. While it’s true that most students attend college with hopes of landing a job afterward, “I just never realized people could go to school to get trained for a specific job. It just seems like such a win-win-win for the school, the company and the student.”
What the Foundation board does: “One of the primary functions we serve is helping raise funds. But it’s also raising awareness, and I think that’s why on the board we strive to have a lot of diversity of all kinds, including geographic diversity, so that more people around this region know what MCC is and why it’s important.”
An economic engine: A June 2014 economic impact report found that 96 percent of MCC students work in the Kansas City area after they graduate. “It’s like this engine that keeps cranking out skilled employees who stay here and work for local companies,” Maxfield says.
Dreams in action: Maxfield enjoys hearing from current students, “because it’s just so impressive to hear and see their passion for the experience and for MCC, and to see them fulfilling a dream, really. It’s gratifying to be a tiny, tiny piece of that on the Foundation board.”