TREKK Design Group, LLC Wins 2019 Small Business of the Year

Civil engineering firm TREKK Design Group, LLC was named the KC Chamber’s 2019 Small Business of the Year. CFO and Managing Partner Kimberly Robinett was presented with the Mr. K Award, named after Kansas City’s legendary entrepreneur Ewing Kauffman.

The 17-year-old firm is known as a leader in clean water and safe roads. TREKK’s projects cover everything from sanitary sewer investigations to highway signal designs to bridge designs. In fact, TREKK designed the lighting and drainage for the Christopher S. Bond bridge. Robinett and her husband founded TREKK in 2002 in their basement. Now, they have nearly 150 employees in several locations across the Midwest.

“I was at Sprint and my husband had been in the civil space his whole career, and we saw an opportunity to do work that our lives touch every day,” said Robinett. “The work that we do everyday is clean water and safe roads. It doesn’t get any more rewarding than that.

As engineers in the field of wastewater treatment and traffic controls, they encourage their employees to bring entrepreneurial mindset to the workplace. That mindset has led to innovative technologies – such as the patent on their sanitary sewer camera which allows them to monitor underground sewer overflow levels without having to send crews underground as often -- making it safer for their employees in the field. 

“There is a huge problem with old infrastructure in this country and the unseen things underground,” said Robinett. “We are the eyes for the unseen.”

TREKK was honored for their collaborative workforce, which emphasizes empowering employees to come up with creative solutions to industry challenges, their focus on mentoring young people in the industry, and their emphasis on research and development. 

TREKK is also involved in the following projects across the Metro:  

  • Annual Water Main Replacement Projects 
  • The Johnson County Gateway Interchange 
  • Tauromee Avenue Improvements in Kansas City, KS

In addition to TREKK, the full list of the 2019 Top 10 Small Businesses include: Agforce, Charlie Hustle, IBC, Inc., KC Bier Co., Lever1, Odimo, RFP360, Ripple Glass, and VeriShip.

The Mr. K Award is given each year to the small business that best represents the three pillars of Ewing Kauffman’s success: sustainable growth, strong employee relations, and a commitment to giving back to the community.

In addition to the Mr. K Award, the Chamber also honored four other small businesses for the following awards:

  • The Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to  Üdo, offering individual personal assistants through an online on-demand service.
  • The Legacy of KC Award honors a company that has been in Kansas City at least 15 years, has a proven record of providing quality products and services, and shows a high level of community involvement. This year’s recipient was The Roasterie.
  • DataLocker won the inaugural Weida International  Business Award. DataLocker focuses on secure systems and secure data. This year’s International Award was renamed after Paul Weida of Black & Veatch’s Government Affairs team. Weida will retire in June.
  • The Diverse Business of the Year Award went to Weave Gotcha Covered, a woman owned- and LGBT-owned business that is a full-service custom and design fabrication studio.

This is the 33rd annual Small Business Celebration.

2019 Small Business Celebration Award Winner - TREKK Design Group