Rita M. CortÉs
About Rita M. Cortés
Elected in April 2019, Rita Cortes is a long-time resident of Kansas City Public Schools Sub-district 1 which covers the southwest corridor of Kansas City and includes the Coleman Highlands, Roanoke, Valentine, Volker, Westport, Plaza, Sunset Hill, Brookside and Waldo neighborhoods. Fundamentally, Rita believes that every child in Kansas City deserves access to, support toward and completion of a quality pre-K-12 education. She seeks to serve the students and all constituents of KCPS in ensuring that objective is achieved.
Rita serves as the executive director of the Menorah Heritage Foundation. Her role is to guide the Foundation, in partnership with the Foundation Board, toward achieving its vision through grantmaking and resource stewardship. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, she was a shareholder with Seigfreid Bingham, P.C. Her practice encompassed all aspects of general business law including business formations, business succession planning, contractual matters, estate planning, tax planning, real estate and construction law. Earlier in her career, Rita spent nearly 20 years as the chief executive officer of Hoffman Cortes Contracting Company, a mid-size Kansas City-based commercial contractor with general contracting and masonry/masonry restoration operations. Prior to returning to Kansas City to join Hoffman Cortes, Rita practiced law in the Washington, D.C. area and, prior to attending law school, worked on the legislative staff of U.S. Senator John C. (Jack) Danforth.
Rita also serves on the boards of Nonprofit Connect, the Midwest Innocence Project, the Pembroke Hill School and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. She has served in volunteer leadership roles with a diverse group of community organizations, including Truman Medical Centers, Kansas City CARE Clinic, the Builder’s Association of Greater Kansas City, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Notre Dame de Sion School, the Human Rights Commission of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and Congregation Beth Shalom, among others. In addition, Rita previously served on the legal board of First Business Bank (based in Madison, Wisconsin), on the advisory boards of local companies and as a mentor in the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP). She also spent many years coaching high-school and middle-school girls’ basketball in Kansas City and the Washington D.C. area.
Rita’s education includes a B.A. (Political Science) from Rice University; a J.D. (with honors) from the George Washington University Law School; and an LL.M. in Taxation from UMKC.