Kansas City, MO – April 2, 2021 – Charlotte Kemper Black, Director, Charitable Trusts & Foundations for Commerce Bank, has been named to Ingram’s “40 Under Forty” class of 2021. The annual award recognizes the very distinguished achievements and future promise of young executives, professionals and community leaders in the Kansas City area.
As foundation head, Charlotte oversees grantmaking for six private foundations and charitable trusts with combined assets of more than $500 million. They include the William T. Kemper Foundation, the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, the Oppenstein Brothers Foundation and Commerce Bancshares Foundation.
Each foundation plays an important role in Kansas City, with recent highlights including participation in the Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, leadership gifts for the current Truman Library and Pembroke Hill School capital campaigns, and regular ongoing support to community staples ranging from Operation Breakthrough to KC Friends of Alvin Ailey, as well as many newer and smaller efforts.
“Charlotte serves as our company ambassador to help us meaningfully address a wide range of community needs, including support for established cultural organizations as well as more recently for evolving social issues tied to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin Barth, Chairman & CEO Commerce Bank Kansas City. “She provides trusted, strategic counsel in helping our Commerce business leaders prioritize and make the best possible impact on the communities and locations where we live and work.”
“Her role requires an extraordinary level of community savvy and empathy as we bring the best of Commerce’s financial knowhow and resources to bear on helping our communities thrive. All Commerce teammates can take great pride in making a difference in their hometown communities through the commitment of the team Charlotte oversees.”
In 2020 alone, the Commerce foundation office made carefully researched recommendations for more than 200 individual grants to nonprofits and handled over 800 additional grant payments in that same time, for a total of roughly $25 million in charitable outlays.
In addition to Charlotte’s foundation work, she is co-leading the community engagement strategy for a bank-wide diversity, equity and inclusion initiative.
In the community, Charlotte serves on the board of the Truman Library Institute and on the KC Rising Steering Committee. She was involved with the launch of the new Classical KC radio station and serves on its advisory council. She is also president of her local alumni club.