Kansas Citian of the Year Award

The Kansas Citian of the Year Award is the highest honor the KC Chamber can bestow.

Presented at the Annual Dinner in November, the award is given “only to those persons whose civic contributions and achievements have reflected the insight, creativity and consciousness necessary to build and maintain a quality urban community.”  The Kansas Citian of the Year Award is now recognized as the most significant honor bestowed upon a single individual by any organization in the metropolitan area.

The announcement of the award is a surprise – and each year presents a different challenge in making sure the unsuspecting award winner is, in fact, in the audience to receive it!

An indication of how times have changed: when the award was first presented in 1960, it was called the “Mr. Kansas City Award.”

Since that time, the list of award winners has grown to include dozens of men and women who have made a lasting and positive impact on their community. 

Past Kansas Citians of the Year

J. Philip Kirk, Jr.2013 Kansas Citian of the Year
Following his graduation from Northwestern Law School in 1963, Phil Kirk was engaged in numerous sectors of the real estate brokerage and development business. These include office renovation projects in office buildings in the heart of downtown Kansas City, and the development and construction of new high-rise office buildings and structured parking garages, also in downtown Kansas City.
Phil was one of the founders and managed the development of the "Not-for-Profit Campus" in downtown Kansas City that has utilized historic preservation of several buildings in the Quality Hill Historic District, creating a campus of not-for-profit organizations which are in turn able to share meeting rooms, parking and other shared common needs. In conjunction with this project, he created the 11th Street Corridor Tax Increment Financing District that helps the neighborhood maintain historic buildings and streetscapes.
He served on the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Select Committee, which authored the MARC-URBAN CORE REPORT.
He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri, a member of the Counselors of Real Estate, and served as real estate consultant to numerous private and not-for-profit organizations. He was also a member of the American Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association.
Phil championed the fundraising and creation of the Hope Lodge for the American Cancer Society and renovation of the historic First National Bank Building into the central Library. He also was a benefactor for the DeLaSalle Education Center, the Urban Core efforts of the Boy Scouts, the YMCA, Habitat and many other charitable organizations.