The Lenexa council last night unanimously appointed Beccy Yocham, currently the community development director, as the fourth top administrator in city history.
Yocham replaces outgoing City Manager Eric Wade, who is retiring in June after 15 years with the city. Following a national recruitment and selection process, the council voted 7-0 to approve Yocham’s contract. Councilman Dan Roh was absent. In her newly appointed role, Yocham will work with the mayor and council to set and achieve goals for the city and also oversee the city’s professional staff.
“I just want to thank the entire governing body for your confidence in me and for this opportunity,” Yocham said. “I am so excited to work with Lenexa’s outstanding employees in a new capacity going forward.
“It’s not lost on me that I have very large shoes to fill. I will do my very best to live up to the very high bar that Mr. Wade has set.”
After Wade announced his retirement, the city council began the process of renaming the top-level position from city administrator to city manager to more accurately reflect job duties and also give the city manager the power to hire and fire department heads.
Yocham’s official start date as city manager is May 1. Wade will maintain an advisory role for the city manager during the transition until his retirement June 21. The city is immediately beginning the process to fill the role of community development director.
“I just think that we have so many really wonderful, exciting things that are already going on here,” Yocham said, citing positive resident feedback in the Vision 2040 process. “I think ‘Stay the course’ is maybe the thing I would say about what I hope to accomplish in the next year. We have great momentum at City Center, and a lot of great things continuing to happen here.”
Yocham has served as Lenexa’s community development director since 2011 and previously served in the city’s legal department, including as deputy city attorney. She is one of the primary leaders responsible for the development of Lenexa City Center just west of 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard. City staff reported that to date, more than $655 million of public and private investment has occurred in Lenexa City Center.
Citing four consecutive years of record development, Yocham said the city also has opportunities to focus on new ways to invest in several components of the city, including Old Town and a citywide transportation infrastructure plan.
Mayor Michael Boehm thanked Wade for his years of service to the city and also congratulated Yocham on her new appointment. She was appointed among 78 candidates for the position.
“There was a lot of competition for this, and it’s interesting that we ended up picking someone from the ranks that has shown amazing leadership capacity,” said Councilman Tom Nolte. “She served and did an unbelievable job in the permit and planning department. It’s exciting to have Beccy in the city manager’s position and that we will now see the continuation of what we have coined as ‘the Lenexa way.’”
Yocham received two degrees in business and marketing from Pittsburg State University and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law. Prior to her time in Lenexa, she served as assistant general counsel for the League of Kansas Municipalities in Topeka.