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KC Scholars

Announcing Inaugural Director of Workforce & Alumni Engagement

We are pleased to announce that KC Scholars has hired its inaugural Director of Workforce and Alumni Engagement, Sharmelle Winsett. Sharmelle will start her role with KC Scholars on November 2, 2020.

Sharmelle brings 20+ years of professional and entrepreneurial experience with expertise in business and brand development, marketing and sales. Winsett most recently served as Director of the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI), a three-phase executive leadership development program for underrepresented scholars. In this role, Winsett led the fund development strategy, conducted new scholar recruitment regionally and nationally and helped facilitate workforce development opportunities. Winsett successfully increased brand visibility resulting in new corporate sponsorships within the healthcare space.

Achieving excellence and creating equitable spaces where others can thrive has been the focus of Winsett’s career. Prior to working with BHLI, Winsett was an entrepreneur and salon owner working to diversify brand representation and hair education for beauty industry professionals and consumers. She co-created a multi-cultural educational platform and technical curriculum that was monetized and delivered across the country.

Before starting and growing her own business, Winsett spent 10 years in the Pharmaceutical industry as a Professional Sales Consultant for Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceuticals respectively (both territories based in Overland Park, KS). Winsett was awarded the President’s Club National Sales Award while at Janssen and received recognition for top performance and product growth awards from both organizations. Winsett attributes her early career success to her participation in INROADS while at Hickman Mills High School. Winsett understands firsthand the importance of mentorship, sponsorship and professional development for young people.  Her diverse professional work experience and passion for youth programming makes Winsett excited about her future with KC Scholars.

Winsett earned a B.A. in Communications, Business Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is currently working on her MBA at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

As KC Scholars evolves its workforce pipeline initiatives and connections with regional sector employers, Winsett will be critical to achieving the goal that at least 80% of Scholar graduates stay in the Kansas City region to live and work and contribute.

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