2017 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Dennis Ray Brockman, Sr.

Dennis BrockmanWashington High School, 1983

Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Fairfax Elementary, Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle

Dennis Ray Brockman, Sr. lives by these powerful words his mother spoke to him years ago: “Regardless of where you come from, you can be whatever you want to be as long as you are committed, dedicated and a hard worker.”

Those words resonated strongly with him as the youngest of seven children growing up and attending school in Kansas City, Kansas, as much as it does today as the regional vice president of operations for the Midwest Region of Starbucks Coffee Company living in Naperville, Illinois. He has served in this leadership capacity at Starbucks for the last two of his nine years with the company.

Among his responsibilities are oversight for 14,000 partners (or employees) and 630 sites located in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Ohio. Prior to this, he was the district manager and regional director for Starbucks in the Kansas City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. areas. 

His friends refer to him as a natural born leader who has served in leadership roles most of his life from his college years at Emporia (Kansas) State University to his church.  He is thankful to God for the support he received as a young child from the Bethel Baptist Church, under theleadership of the late Pastor R.C. Higgs.

Whenever Brockman has an opportunity, he shares personal and professional wisdom with his children, colleagues and youth in the community. He is known for giving his best and motivating others to do so. As an exceptional orator, he is often called upon to speak at seminars and Black History Month presentations. 

He is recognized for several achievements by Starbucks, including the District Manager of the Year in 2001; the Spirit Award, creating the drive-through certification program, and becoming the first in the nation to achieve the legendary drive-thru service ranking. 

Brockman has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emporia State University.

He and his wife, Evonna, are the proud parents of Dennis Brockman, Jr., and DeVonna Brockman.

What is his advice to students? “Take advantage of being a student by enjoying the experience, make sure you are at your best every day and show appreciation to those supporting you – parents, teachers, staff and administrators,” he said.

This is important to him because he knows the profound impact these individuals had on his life and confidence as a youth. “KCKPS gave me a solid foundation about being inclusive and the importance of diversity. The compassion that everyone showed toward us from the bus driver, the cafeteria worker, the custodians, the teachers and administrators was a part of that foundation. I graduated from school knowing I could do whatever I wanted to do and could compete with anyone.”