Join the KC ChamberLogin

News Room

Your Chamber At Work - August 7, 2017


The University of Kansas Cancer Center (KUCC) – and the entire region – can be proud of all that has been accomplished during the last five years in KUCC’s push for Comprehensive Cancer Center designation. Though KUCC’s application was not approved, we as a community can certainly celebrate any number of successes.
For one thing, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has enthusiastically renewed KUCC’s five-year designation and increased its score from “excellent” to “outstanding.” During the last five years, the Cancer Center has recruited more than 35 leading researchers and physicians, enrolled more than 20,000 participants in important clinical trials, further developed capabilities in immunotherapy, precision medicine, and drug development, and worked in close collaboration with the Midwest Cancer Alliance.
The renewal of the Cancer Center designation and the “Outstanding” score demonstrate the confidence the National Cancer Institute has placed in the KU Cancer Center, which will receive an 11 percent increase in its Cancer Center grants over the next five years.
The Cancer Center began as a dream, at a time when many cancer patients and their families were forced to travel long distances, and even temporarily relocate, to gain access to promising treatments for cancer. The realization of that dream is now producing tangible results.


The KC Chamber’s Nominating Committee is now accepting Board nominations from the KC Chamber’s membership. Nomination suggestions should be in writing and mailed to: Terry Bassham, Nominating Committee Chair, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, 30 West Pershing Road, Suite 301, Kansas City, Missouri  64108; or e-mailed to, prior to September 1. Chamber bylaws allow additional nominations to be made by petition after the committee has presented its slate.

The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented annually to honor an individual’s professional excellence, community service, and for actively opening doors for women. Carol Hallquist is a retired executive from Hallmark who served as the founder and president of the company’s corporate foundation. She’s mentored many young women over the years, while also serving on a number of boards that support women.
The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award honors emerging leaders who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business; contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and serve as role models for young women personally and professionally. Jessica Nelson is Managing Director of TeamKC:  Life+Talent, a recruitment initiative of the Kansas City Area Development Council. As one of the first mentors in Project Mentor – designed to guide young professionals in public relations – she’s mentored several women, helping them to propel their professional and personal aspirations.
The ATHENA Awards Reception will be held September 28 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Little Theatre in Municipal Auditorium. It’s always a lovely event. Click here to register.

Thanks to 2017 ATHENA Leadership Award Presenting Sponsors KPMG and Bank Midwest; Leadership Sponsor American Century Investments; Service Sponsors Arvest BankDST Systems, and Sprint; Emerging Sponsors Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, CBIZ | MHMCentral ExchangeEnterprise Rent-A-CarFleishmanHillardGarmin International Inc.Hallmark CardsHenderson EngineersJE Dunn Construction GroupMcCown Gordon Construction, LLCPNC BankSaint Luke's Health SystemSouthwest AirlinesState StreetUMB Financial Corp, and Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.


At our recent POWER of Diversity Breakfast, the Chamber released results of our first Diversity & Inclusion survey, with responses from both businesses and nonprofits. There was good news, as well as plenty of room for improvement.
Scores were high on CEO/senior management teams commitment to D&I, and that everyday operation reflects the organization’s diversity policies. And a majority of KC companies are working to assure a workplace setting that respects diverse employees.
However, too many survey respondents said both their senior management and board of directors were less than 25 percent diverse – room for improvement there. (Read the full report here.)

Our Diverse Business Committee will use survey results to plan new efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion, and is planning a February event, in partnership with Project Equality, to share best practices in D&I for companies and nonprofits already involved in D&I, as well as those that would like to begin that journey. We’ll keep you updated.


Who needs paper? Take advantage of the 85% discount on a box of letter-sized paper (item #135848) or the 49% discount on a 30-pack of paper towels (item #852191). Plus, check out the black/white and color copy discounts (on paper, of course). Going paperless? Staples has the technology and storage solutions you need. CLICK HERE to enroll your company in the KC Chamber’s Cost Saving Benefit program, or email Samantha Blake to learn more.