40 under 40 | Young Leaders Unite | Class of 2003
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Joe Sciara, the co-president of Three Wide Marketing, has gotten a reputation as the "Joe Montana of event marketing." Like the other Joe, our Joe exhibits grace under pressure and knows that playing the game successfully requires some calculated risks. Joe took a big risk when he stepped out of a successful 10-year advertising career in 1998 to start Three Wide with Dan Fromm. The firm provides strategic leadership in the area of sponsorships, event marketing and sales promotions for such brands as Red Lobster, Coca-Cola, Sonic Drive-Ins, NASCAR and Monroe Shocks. Joe also manages to balance his professional, community and family roles. The 38-year-old is devoted to such community initiatives as the Centurions, The Highland Park Foundation, and The Simone Fontana Memorial. But "nothing is more important" than his role as father. Joe coaches little league sports year round including baseball, basketball and football for his three sons: 10 year-old twins Sal and Charlie; and 8-year-old Tommy.


Career milestones for 36 year-old Patricia Sexton include being selected as an equity shareholder and the chair of the Health Care Litigation Group at Polsinelli Shalton & Welte. Patricia believes that having one's "own book of business" presents a real challenge for a young lawyer and considers the development of her own clients and practice base as another career achievement. "Being a well-rounded lawyer," says Sexton, "means using your legal skills and knowledge to serve the community as a whole as well as individuals who are experiencing a disadvantage." Outside her law firm, Patricia serves as Chair of the Missouri Bar Young Lawyers Section Council. She is also the current president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association YLS, where she oversees the YLS Board of Directors. One of seven children, Patricia remains very close to all of her siblings, nieces and nephews. "Finally, I love to travel," she says. "Visiting new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures is another avenue for helping yourself be a well-rounded person."


Susan Sherman, 38, has worked her way through the ranks to become assistant city manager for Olathe, the nation's eighth fastest growing city of its size and her employer for the last 14 years. Susan strongly believes in community and public service and in cooperating with citizens, businesses, school districts, the YMCA and Chamber of Commerce to make things happen. "Working together," she says, "these partnerships have accomplished more than any one entity working alone. We have built a community that is diverse, growing and moving forward as a leader in the region." Susan also strongly believes in youth and the potential that they hold for the future. Olathe's Youth Congress, Youth Court and Teen Council and the Olathe Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club are just a few of the organizations to which Susan devotes her time. A 1994 Leadership Olathe graduate and a recipient of the 1998 Olathe Community Leadership Award, Susan lives in Olathe with hus- band, Fred and children, Laurel, 6 and Colin, 3.


Will Shields of the Kansas City Chiefs wins armloads of singular, national awards for good things that happen off the playing field: "Walter Payton Man of the Year (NFL, 2004); the NFL's Top "Good Guy" (The Sporting News, 2001); and Humanitarian of the Year (Pro Football Weekly, 1999). Here in Kansas City, Will and his wife Senia founded The Will to Succeed Foundation in 1993 to help abused or neglected women and children. The Shields have donated countless hours of time as well as money through their organization, which has reached nearly 100,000 inner city women and children since its inception ten years ago. And this is just one effort out of many the Shields are involved in. It's impossible to list all of Will's talents and contributions to Kansas City in this short space--for instance, while in high school, he earned a perfect score in his state solo in jazz and assembly choir--but we should mention that he is a nine-time Pro Bowl guard of the Kansas City Chiefs no simple feat in itself. Will and Senia have two sons and a daughter and live in Overland Park.