In 1976, the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce established Centurions as a two-year leadership development program to prepare greater Kansas City’s emerging leaders for future roles in leadership. MRIGlobal’s Stephen Mapes, Director of Finance, joined the group in 2020. This year, he was named Centurion of the Year for 2022, as voted by his peers. In recognition, he received the Centurions helmet, which is given to each year’s nominee.
Stephen was drawn to the Centurions program because of its emphasis on community service and for the opportunity to learn about the outstanding charities positively benefiting Kansas City. He is a dual-citizen Palauan American, who regularly visits the country of Palau, just east of the Philippines in the South Pacific. When visiting, he leads annual Victory Rallies against drug use in the schools and local community centers. These events include singers, skits, and testimonials by former drug addicts whose lives have been transformed. While there, he shares fun stories and inspires young audiences to live drug-free as they cultivate their gifts and realize their dreams. Stephen also recently organized a Palauan-American retreat in Kansas City for Islanders from five nearby states, with the President of the Republic of Palau being a key sponsor who joined them at the retreat virtually.
Stephen is a motivational speaker, a former Captain in the U.S. Air Force who was stationed in the Pacific, and a graduate of Michigan State University. His wife Juli is an RN at Centerpoint Medical Center and they have two college-aged children. Stephen teaches evening classes at Calvary University while in the process of completing his PhD.