Diversity & Inclusion
Message from the Managing Partner
Lathrop Gage is committed to diversity and inclusion at every level, and in all aspects of our firm. We expect this commitment to be reflected not just in the professionals who make up our teams, but also in the way we interact with our clients, our communities, and one another. We endeavor to recruit and hire a diverse team of professionals who are representative of the clients we serve and the communities in which we live. We strive to ensure that every member of the Lathrop Gage team receives an equal chance to succeed, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or physical ability, thereby maintaining a workforce that reflects our values, as well as those of our clients. We acknowledge that diverse perspectives allow us to create better solutions.
We welcome constructive discussions about diversity and inclusion, from our colleagues, our clients, and our competitors. Please feel free to reach out at any time to me or the Chair of our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Bryan Minier. We look forward to hearing from you.
Vanessa Vaughn West
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 2200
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
As Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Lathrop Gage, Vanessa Vaughn West works to incorporate diversity and inclusion at every level and in all aspects of the firm. With nearly 20 years’ experience in roles focused on diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, community relations and communications, Vanessa is responsible for encouraging and fostering a culture that is respectful of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. She leads the firm’s participation and involvement in diversity and inclusion initiatives in our communities.
She previously served as the Community Relations Manager of the City of Olathe, Kansas, a role she held for nearly five years, overseeing the city’s community relations and external diversity and inclusion strategy, championing human relations initiatives and implementing related policies and practices to advance civic engagement and diversity appreciation.
Vanessa earned her B.A. in Communications from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and is also a Certified Public Manager. She is actively involved in community leadership roles as well, serving on the YMCA of Greater Kansas City’s Diversity, Inclusion and Global Council; the Mid-America Regional Council 2020 Census Regional Complete Count Committee; the Olathe Public Schools Social Justice Committee; the Francis Families Small Arts Grant Review Board; the University of Missouri - Columbia Griffith’s Leadership Society, and the University of Missouri - Kansas City’s Women of Color Leadership Conference planning committee. In 2018, she served as the moderator for the Johnson County NAACP Kansas Governor Candidate Forum.