ROBERT J. SAUNDERS

BIOGRAPHY

Bob Saunders began his professional career in 1961 as the first city administrator of Belton, Missouri.  In 1965 he moved to Liberty, Missouri to assume the same position.  Both cities are growth cities in the Kansas City metro-plex.  Goals in bothrjsOrganizationConsultants cities were similar:  to begin development of a professional city organization; to establish modern budget, accounting, and other management systems; to assist the City Council in instituting modern growth policies and procedures; and, to institutionalize change to professional city management.  These goals remain areas of professional interest for Saunders. 

In 1967 Saunders joined the faculty and staff of the University of Missouri-Kansas City where for the next fifteen years he served in a variety of capacities.  Throughout his tenure, Saunders directed the Center for Management Development in the School of Business and Public Administration and for the last five years served as an Associate Dean of the School.  The Center provided management development, training, and applied research for business, public, and not for profit organizations. 

During this time Saunders developed his personal specialization as a process consultant.  Through the pioneering work of the Center in the late sixties and early seventies Saunders came to be known particularly for his work in public sector organization development and the application of process consultation methods to city council team building and goal setting.  In addition to his work with the University, Saunders consulted on a national basis with city councils in cities of all sizes through his work with programs of the National League of Cities and the International City/County Management Association among others. 

In 1981 Saunders founded the firm, Organization Consultants, and began a full time private consulting practice.  He has continued to develop the process consultation skills and methods that are uniquely augmented by more than forty years of practical experience solving problems in public, private, and third sector organizations.  These same skills make him in demand by a wide variety of organizations. 

Saunders holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri and a masters degree in public administration (city management) from the University of Kansas.  He has written articles for professional journals and is a contributor to several books.  He is has been a  speaker, panelist, and guest lecturer.  He has served occasionally as adjunct faculty for such institutions as William Jewell College and Rockhurst College Graduate School of Management among others. 

Bob Saunders is a consultant who has attempted to "practice what he preaches". His list of civic involvements are many.  He served as Chair of  the Liberty Planning and Zoning Commission for fifteen years during a high growth period and is a former member of the City Council.  He is also a former member of the Clay County, Missouri Board of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Sites and the Liberty Historic Preservation Commission.  He has been actively involved on the Boards of numerous economic development organizations, the Mid-America Regional Council, and the Missouri Municipal League.  Saunders is a former directly elected two term Mayor of Liberty, Missouri. 

 

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