Eric Wade is a
shining example of what a Park University education can prepare a
graduate to accomplish. Wade received a bachelors of arts degree in
political science from Park University in 1982 and earned a masters
degree from the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs in 1985.
Since graduation Wade has carved out a distinguished career in
local public service in the Greater Kansas City area. His career
includes serving as a Budget Analyst with the City of Kansas City,
Missouri and Assistant City Administrator with the City of Blue Springs,
Missouri. These positions were followed by nearly twelve years as the
City Administrator of Merriam, Kansas, where he oversaw all areas of
city administration, including budgeting and capital improvements.
He played a major role in the development of Merriam Towne
Center at I-35 and Johnson Drive. In 2000, Wade became the Johnson
County, Kansas Deputy County Manager. Johnson County is home to
approximately 460,000 residents and covers 477 square miles with 21
cities. Wade is responsible for the county’s Development Services,
including Public Works, Stormwater Management, Transit, Wastewater,
Environmental, Airports, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Zoning
Administration, Facilities Management and Finance. These departments
have more than 870 employees and budgets totaling over $170 million.
This is not the first time Park has shown its pride in this
graduate. In 1992, the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs named Wade
Outstanding Alumnus for Area A (Public Management). He has also received
the Stanley Fisher Outstanding Graduate School Award from the Greater
Kansas City Chapter of the American Society of Public Affairs. In 2001
they also named Wade the Greater Kansas City Chapter of ASPA Local
Administrator of the Year.
Wade is a lifetime resident of the Kansas City area. His wife,
Kerri is a nurse practitioner at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Daughter
Brooke is five years old. He also has served on Park’s Alumni Council.
Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann brought Wade’s achievements to the attention
of the Alumni Council when he nominated Wade for the
Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Over the years Dr. Hauptmann has watched his former student climb the
ladder from his position in the second graduating class of HSPA to hold
one of the top spots in one of the most affluent counties in the