#MCCGrads2018: Alumnus, civic leader Charlie Shields to be keynote commencement speaker

Charlie Shields

Charlie Shields — president and CEO of Truman Medical Centers, president of the Missouri Board of Education and a former member of the MCC Foundation board — will be the keynote speaker at Metropolitan Community College’s 2018 commencement ceremony. The event will be Thursday, May 17, at Municipal Auditorium downtown.

“Mr. Shields is an outstanding choice for keynote speaker because he is one of our own,” Chancellor Kimberly Beatty wrote in an announcement to MCC employees.

Last fall Shields, an MCC alumnus, was honored with the Missouri Community College Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Beatty and MCC-Longview President Kirk Nooks presented Shields with the award in December.

This year’s commencement will also feature the first student speaker in the seven-year history of one unified ceremony for all five MCC campuses.

Shields served on the MCC Foundation Board of Directors from April 2013 to June 2017, including on the board’s executive committee.

He also served 20 years in the Missouri General Assembly, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, where he was president pro tem for two years.

Shields earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri, but he did so after graduating from MCC-Longview in 1979.

He joined Truman Medical Centers as chief operating officer of TMC-Lakewood in 2010, and assumed his current role in 2014. Before that, Shields worked for many years as part of the management team at Heartland Health in St. Joseph.

He also serves in leadership positions with the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Civic Council and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative. He is a founding board member of the UMKC Health Sciences District, a collaboration between TMC, UMKC, Children’s Mercy, the Kansas City Health Department and other entities.