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Going To Kansas City: Lifetime Midwesterner

Greg Vranicar

“Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Greg Vranicar grew up in a small town in Nebraska and went to college in Iowa. He currently works in Kansas City, Mo., as a planned giving director for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Before that, he worked as a lawyer for Richard’s-Gebaur Air Force Base.

“When I was looking for Air Force assignments I asked to be any place but the Midwest because I had spent all my time in the Midwest," says Vranicar. "And the assignment person in Washington D.C. said, we knew you asked that, but we thought you’d really like Kansas City because so many of our officers who come there end up staying there. And that proved to be true with me, and with a lot of my colleagues.”

Vranicar says he and his wife and are very big jazz fans, and find Kansas City a great place to enjoy music.

"We’ve been fans of Milt Abel, over the years we’ve seen a lot of the old timers and now the new timers, many of them in the Bobby Watson’s program at the UMKC Conservatory,” he says.

Here is more about Vranicar and his "Going to Kansas City" story:

Name: Greg Vranicar

Age: 60+     

Came to Kansas City from: Iowa City, Iowa, after completing law school at The University of Iowa.

Why I came: I was assigned here by the U.S. Air Force, to Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base near Grandview to work in the Staff Judge Advocate's Office.

First impressions:  Kansas City was larger and very spread out, more so than any other place I had ever lived previously. It’s very beautiful with fountains and great architecture.  There is more wealth and more poverty than I had ever seen before, and there is great music and art.

View today: Kansas City is a place that grows on you and can easily become a new home. It has been that for me, as with two of my brothers and their spouses and children.

The biggest surprise: I was surprised that one did not have to come from the elite to fit in well here. The social scene is relatively easy to enter and serve.

Why I stayed: I have stayed due to the good work in law practice and nonprofit fund development I found here. Also the nurturing of my faith which is very important to me, and the diverse people of the city. I have very much enjoyed helping others through volunteering in Kansas City.

Favorite thing to do in Kansas City: Probably my favorite thing is to listen to live jazz, especially the youthful folks who are now energizing Kansas City at so many of our fine jazz venues.

Next Kansas City adventure: My next adventure might be to apply my talents in some new ways as I approach "so-called retirement" which I am sure will be very active. 

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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