Maria Jenks is a certified public accountant with more than 20 years of experience in corporate finance and accounting. She joined KCP&L in 2003 as a manager of Corporate Accounts and became director of Audit Services in 2006. She worked her way up the ranks and soon became chief internal auditor and was named Vice President of Supply Chain in January 2010.
KCP&L serves more than 800,000 residential and commercial customers in northwestern Missouri and eastern Kansas, all of whom depend upon them to deliver electricity. “It’s a responsibility we take seriously,” says Jenks. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy that helps power people’s lives.”
Jenks facilitates enterprise-wide supply chain operational efficiencies, collaboration and cost savings for KCP&L. She leads the materials management function, which includes warehousing, asset recovery, logistics, and materials control, and the procurement function, which includes sourcing and category management, supplier diversity and supplier relationships and warranty programs.
She is also responsible for launching a comprehensive, multi-year Supply Chain Transformation project to enhance the company’s cost structure and shareholder returns, and for expanding Light Source, a mentoring program that nurtures emerging minority and women-owned businesses.
She is a founding member of the KCP&L Employee Relief Fund (REACH), which supports employees who have experienced unforeseen financial difficulties, and a founder and past president of KCP&L’s Women Inspired to Learn & Lead employee resource group.
“Economic Development in Kansas City Missouri matters to me because KCP&L and the community thrive together,” says Jenks. For more than 130 years, KCP&L has played an important role in the growth and development of the Kansas City region as an affordable, reliable electricity provider. “We help customers strengthen their businesses with site selection, web development, branding and strategic planning assistance. Our goal is to help existing customers, prospective businesses and community partners succeed,” says Jenks.
Ms. Jenks is very active in the community. She serves on the board and executive committee of the Central Exchange and of SAFEHOME, a domestic violence shelter and resource for women and children. Her civic involvement also includes board membership on the Mid-America Minority Supplier Development Council, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, and the Executive Women’s Leadership Council of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Something most people don’t know about Jenks is that she is originally from the Chicago area and loves ice hockey. “I used to play with my brothers on the outdoor rinks, but now just enjoy watching my son and the Blackhawks on TV,” says Jenks. One thing she loves about Kansas City is the closeness of the community and the quality of life it offers.
In 2011, Ms. Jenks was honored as a Kansas City Woman Who Means Business and in 2012 as one of Most Influential Businesswomen in Kansas City.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy with a minor in decision sciences from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is also a graduate of the Executive Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
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