Leaders of Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City announced that Denise E. Gilmore will receive the prestigious 2014 Legacy Promise Award at this years’ Pink Promise Brunch on May 10 at the Overland Park Convention Center.
Gilmore came to Komen Kansas City as a volunteer on the board of directors in 2009. She first journeyed through breast cancer with her mother, who lost her courageous six year battle in 2000. Little did Denise know that 10 years later she would have to fight her own battle. In 2010, Gilmore was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was blessed to be surrounded by a caring circle of family and friends. She says, “I was in the right place at the right time,” as she also had the unwavering support of her Komen Kansas City family providing knowledge and comfort.
Breast cancer wasn’t finished with Denise’s family. In 2011, her sister Lynetta White was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Lynetta lost her battle in January of 2014. Just recently, she had another sister diagnosed with breast cancer. Gilmore, now more than ever, is a passionate advocate for breast health awareness for women.
She is dedicated to encouraging women of color to get screened – as minority women are more likely to get diagnosed at a later stage and to die from breast cancer. Denise wants to join hands with women of every race, color and creed to help end breast cancer. She knows those efforts start with family, friends, and spreads out from there. Her firsthand experience shows how important it is to detect breast cancer early.
Denise currently serves on the Komen Kansas City Affiliate Board of Directors as Vice-President. She has been a committed volunteer for the Race for the Cure, Pink Promise Brunch and advocating for legislation to make breast health care accessible to all women. She is also on the Wyandotte County Breast Health Task Force to address the disparity of outcomes in Wyandotte County, Kansas. She reaches out to women diagnosed with breast cancer to be a source of encouragement and support, providing information and inspiration. She is deeply committed to making a difference in the lives of those who are touched by breast cancer.
Each year, the Komen Kansas City Affiliate recognizes a breast cancer survivor, co-survivor or breast health advocate who is making an impact in the community in the fight against breast cancer. Since 2011, Komen Kansas City has honored an individual or group who has demonstrated an understanding and awareness of issues related to breast cancer and survivorship. His/her volunteer efforts have demonstrated a commitment to educating the public with life-saving messages about the importance of early detection and/or making healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent the disease.
Professionally, Gilmore is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jazz District Redevelopment Corporation, located in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, Missouri. She leads the district’s commercial redevelopment effort to attract developers and tenants for the mixed-use urban district and to ensure that the redevelopment of the district is in keeping with the strategic plan for cultural preservation of the historic district. She is recognized as an authority on urban redevelopment in urban core communities, with a particular focus on equitable development and urban heritage preservation. Gilmore presents workshops and provides technical assistance at conferences and forums throughout the nation.
In addition to the Jazz District’s redevelopment activities, Denise serves on a number of appointed and volunteer Boards and Commissions, including the Industrial Development Authority, Parking and Transportation Commission, Greater Downtown Area Plan Implementation Committee, Parking Policy Review Board and the Streetcar Expansion Advisory Committee.
Gilmore was recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential African Americans in Kansas City” in 2009 by The Globe newspaper, and as the “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by Alpha Phi Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc. She serves as President of the Twin Citians Club and is a member of the Kansas City Missouri Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Gilmore holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Kansas, and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Business Administration from Rockhurst University. She has a Certificate in Community Economic Development from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch School of Business. Denise has a daughter, Rebecca, who is a graduate of Harvard University.
For more information on the Legacy Promise Award or the Pink Promise Brunch in general please visit: PinkPromiseKC.org.