Central Exchange recently unveiled our new strategic collaboration with the UMKC Bloch School, expanding the reach, services and programming of the organization. The agreement also brings a new leader to the helm: Ann Hackett, PhD. As CX Bloch Leader, Ann is taking Central Exchange to its next level of success. “Central Exchange is all about the relationships. It’s an amazing group of women, and it’s the relationships that help you grow and develop in your career.” Meet Ann. 

Ann’s Career Path

Ann with Kip, Charlotte, and Willliam.

Throughout her career, Ann’s passion for curiosity and learning has fueled her purpose. Her education focused on industrial/organizational psychology to better understand people, organizations, and relationships. Ann has 20+ years of business strategy, organizational development, and talent management experience, holding executive positions at Accenture, H&R Block, DineEquity, and as a senior advisor at the Kauffman Foundation. Additionally, she launched her own consulting firm, HumanRoot, before landing at the UMKC Bloch Executive Education where she now serves as Chief Learning & Engagement Office, Executive Coach, and Adjunct Professor for the Bloch School of Management.

Her CX Connection

Ann’s first introduction to Central Exchange was managing the CX corporate partner relationship during her tenure at H&R Block as head of Organizational Effectiveness and Talent Management. “I helped introduce the women of H&R Block to CX,” says Ann. “We got huge value out of being a part of the community. We developed a strong relationship as a corporate partner, as members, and as part of the Emerging Leaders program.” 

Her Plans as the New CX Leader

“I am excited to build on the core foundation of Central Exchange,” says Ann. “Bloch is here to amplify the work of CX, building and growing its reach.” She also looks forward to designing strong programming and furthering the relationship between Central Exchange and Bloch. “Our relationship is really complementary. We are both nonprofits furthering the cause of women and business in our community.” 

What CX Means to Her

For Ann, Central Exchange is a gathering place. And, its uniqueness goes beyond its unparalleled programming. “The secret sauce is the membership, active networking, and engagement,” she says. “There aren’t any other women’s organizations that do what Central Exchange does in Kansas City and beyond. It’s women gathering to advance their careers, talk about leadership development, learn from others, and help each other overcome the challenges they face. ” 

Outside of Work, Where We’ll Find Ann

Christmas in July — in Michigan!

During non-COVID times, you’ll find Ann meeting connections for a cup of coffee at a local café. She also loves spending time outdoors with her family, whether it’s exploring the nation or walking the trail with her goldendoodle. Her favorite family tradition is “Christmas in July.”  Her extended family lives ‘up north’, where it is very cold during the holidays. So, she celebrates the holidays in July in Michigan.  Best time of the year!

Rocket, Ann’s goldendoodle.

Her Family

Speaking of goldendoodles — meet Ann’s family. She’s been married to her husband, Kip, for nearly 20 years. They have two children William (15), who you’ll find wrestling, and Charlotte (13), who you’ll find at Girl Scouts or dancing ballet. Rocket, their goldendoodle, is four years old and the true baby of the family. 

Hidden Talents

Ann is a fan of music and the arts; she also used to be quite the flute player back in the day. She enjoys baking with her daughter and exploring amatuer photography. 

Ann enjoys amateur photography (this doesn’t look amateur to us!).

A Favorite Book She Recommends

Ann reads books for work and fun.  She also loves a good podcast!  The book she has been recommending over this past year is Designing Your Life, by Burnett and Evans.  It is a great “Design Thinking” career book and practical guide to thinking about your next career steps. 

Her Passion for Women in Leadership

Ann shares her family’s legacy of strong women with Charlotte, her daughter.

No one gets where they are alone!  Ann says, we need each other to help us grow, advance and live the lives we wish to live.  Ann has been surrounded by amazing women her whole life.  

Her mom taught her good lessons about entering the workforce after raising children during a time when it truly was not easy to do so.  She has had many other women who supported her in her career.  Not just those in more senior positions, but also women who were her peers or colleagues on her team. Her teachers were also an inspiration — women who encouraged her in college to get involved in research to learn more and helped her determine a career path that fit.


Thank you, Ann, for your dedication and vision for Central Exchange. We are grateful for you and the entire team at Bloch who helped forge this new chapter for CX. This is only the beginning, and together, the future is bright. 

Contact Ann Hackett at ann@centralexchange.org