Wickham James Joni Wickham headshot

Joni Wickham


A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Joni and her indisputable southern accent arrived in Kansas City almost 15 years ago after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. In her eight years with the mayor’s office—the majority of them spent as Chief of Staff—Joni proved herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader. An artful negotiator, Joni helped steer Sly’s major development projects in Kansas City while raising the city’s profile at the national and international levels.

Prior to her time at city hall, Joni worked with the American Federation of Teachers, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and in the office of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. An accomplished alumnus of University of Missouri where she earned her Masters of Arts in political science, Joni was the recipient of the 2019 University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs Mel Carnahan Public Service Award. She was also named one of the 50 most powerful people in Kansas City and is a member of the Kansas City Business Journal’s prestigious Class of 2023 Women Who Mean Business.

Joni is the author of the best-selling book titled, “The Thin Line Between Cupcake and Bitch: Taking Action, Driving Change and Getting Results.”