C-10 Podcast: Lori Top, Ep. 49

C-10 Mentor, Lori Top, works with her student Carmen during a session in 2019.


One of our initial goals with this podcast was to highlight the outstanding mentors in our C-10 Mentoring & Leadership program. We also use this podcast to highlight the guest speakers we have for our students and mentors during the weekly sessions.

Well, in this week’s episode, we’re combining both of those, if you will. On Wednesday, March 31st, we did relatively short interviews with three of our mentors in front of our students on the main stage at the Musical Theater Heritage location at Crown Center in downtown Kansas City.

This week, you’re going to hear one of those interviews, as we chat with third-year mentor Lori Top.

Lori grew up in the Kansas City area, and after getting a degree in architecture from the University of Kansas, she went to work as a Design Manager for Starbucks Coffee out of Seattle. She was in charge of rebuilds of Starbuck stores throughout Canada. Eventually, she came back to Kansas City, where she is a principal and Aviation Projects Director for Burns & McDonnell.

One thing to keep in mind as you hear those last couple of sentences and then listen to this conversation, as an architect, Lori has spent the majority of her career in male-dominated professions. She has a couple other characteristics that she’s open about in this conversation — one has made her self-conscious, particularly in a male-dominated profession, and one has helped her throughout her career. You’ll hear both of those in this chat.

Finally, some quick background. Lori was the third mentor we interviewed that night for our students, so there’s a reference or two to George and Fred, the other two mentors we interviewed. And Lori directed a lot of her answers to our students. But, frankly, whether you’re 14, 54 or 74, her answers can apply to all of us today.

With all of that being said, here’s our conversation with Lori Top. We hope you enjoy it.


For more information about the C-10 Mentoring & Leadership program for high school students, including the application process for current high school freshmen and sophomores, visit our website.

For all episodes of the C-10 podcast and ways you can listen, click here.

If you’d like to make a comment, have a suggestion for a future guest, or your company would like to help underwrite this podcast, please visit our contact page.

Comments are closed.