Michael Collins, president and chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Kansas City, Mo., and a member of the Park University Board of Trustees, will present the keynote address at his alma mater during Park’s Kansas City Area December 2017 Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 9. The ceremony will be held at the Community of Christ Auditorium, 1001 W. Walnut in Independence, Mo., starting at 10 a.m.
The event will include 384 Park University students eligible to graduate and participate in the ceremony — 150 students are set to receive a master’s degree and/or graduate certificate, and 234 students are scheduled to receive a bachelor’s degree, associate degree and/or undergraduate certificate.
As president and CEO of Port KC, Collins oversees the strategic growth and vision of the quasi-governmental entity which manages a diversified portfolio of waterfront development along the Missouri River, including commercial real estate development finance, creating intermodal inland port facilities and enhancing river borne freight along the Missouri River.
Prior to joining Port KC, Collins served as vice president at Swope Community Enterprises. He also worked for former Missouri U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, first as a legislative correspondent and legislative assistant in Bond’s Washington, D.C., office before being promoted to senior adviser working on policies related to transportation, economic development, commerce, appropriations and labor. In addition, Collins led Bond’s Kansas City regional office.
Collins, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Park in 2004, is the immediate past chair of Park’s Board of Trustees after having served as chair from 2015-17. He is in the midst of his second three-year term on the Board. He also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Rockhurst University and completed executive education at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Along with Park’s Board of Trustees, Collins is on the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Economic Advisory Council. He has served on boards for Truman Medical Centers, the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, KC SmartPort, Engage Cuba Advisory Board and the Urban Land Institute-Kansas City Advisory Council.