In August of 2017, Leo E. Morton was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of DeBruce Companies, a private investment firm managing a diverse portfolio of private equity and other asset class investments across a broad range of industries, including biotech, energy, manufacturing, technology, and real estate.
Mr. Morton served as Chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City for over 9 years after serving 3 years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Prior to assuming the Chancellorship, Morton had been senior vice president and chief administrative officer for Aquila Inc. Prior to UMKC, Morton’s management career spanned 40 years in a wide range of engineering and manufacturing positions with Aquilla Inc, AT&T Microelectronics, Bell Laboratories, General Motors, Rust Engineering Co. and Corning Glass.
Morton serves on multiple boards and civic organizations, including The DeBruce Foundation, Childrens Mercy Research Institute Advisory Board, Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation, Behavioral Health Holdings, LTA Manufacturing, H&R Block Foundation Board, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, and the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy. He also serves on many advisory committees that positively impact the Kansas City community.
For his commitment to justice, Morton received the Henry W. Bloch Human Relations Award from the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee in 2012. And in 2014, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce named Morton Kansas Citian of the Year. He has also been the recipient of numerous other awards and most recently received the Robert B. Rodgers Award from High Aspirations, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City in 2018, honored as a 2019 Kansas City Legend in Ingram’s 45th Anniversary Edition, and received an honorary Doctorate for William Jewel College in 2020. Morton has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University, and a Master of Science degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.