Your Chamber at Work - June 13, 2022




One of my favorite events of the Chamber year is this Wednesday – and you’re invited.

The Chamber’s Small Business Celebration will be live and in person. We’ll honor the Top 10 Small Businesses – an exemplary group of entrepreneurs and innovators – and one of those ten will walk away with the Mr. K Award as the 2022 Small Business of the Year. We’re presenting four additional awards to outstanding small businesses as well.

The luncheon will also feature a keynote address by Kansas Citian Wesley Hamilton.

Hamilton’s story is a compelling one. Shot at the age of 24 by a man unknown to him, he was left paralyzed from the waist down. Life as he knew it was over and three long, difficult years of surgeries, medications, and depression followed.

But then he decided to take ownership of his life. He started a fitness and nutrition regimen, losing 100 pounds and winning numerous bodybuilding competitions. Then he founded an organization called Disabled But Not Really – helping other people with disabilities.

You may have seen him when he was featured on season five of the Netflix show Queer Eye. We’re looking forward to hearing his story.

I hope you’ll join us this Wednesday, June 15 from 11:00 to 1:00 at the Marriott Muehlebach Tower downtown. Email our Small Business Director, Vicky Kulikov, to register.


Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and heroic endeavor. Do you know a Kansas Citian who embodies these characteristics? Nominate them now for one of the most prestigious honors for women leaders in our community – the ATHENA Leadership Award! Submit your nominations here now through June 30. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a person who stands out in professional excellence, community service, and actively assists women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. We also recognize a woman with the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, which honors emerging female leaders. Once nominated, a candidate will then complete the application form. Award recipients will be honored at the ATHENA Awards Reception on October 6. Submit today! The awards are sponsored by KPMG and UMB.


From samosas to tamales and so much more, food brings people together. Join Welcoming KC and the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce for the International Food Tour, Friday, June 24, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Park and begin at 1615 Independence Avenue, and enjoy cuisine from the immigrant- and refugee-owned restaurants along Independence Avenue in Kansas City’s diverse and culturally rich Northeast neighborhood. For just $30 you get a wrist band and trolley access that will take you from one tasty treat to another. Every participating restaurant will have a menu item selected just for you. This event is just days after World Refugee Day, and it’s an impactful way to show your support for immigrants and refugees making Kansas City home. Thank you to our overall Welcoming KC Program Sponsor REACH Healthcare Foundation, and our Pillar Sponsors Commerce Bank, CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Hallmark and Polsinelli. Thanks also to KCU for your support of this event.


Don’t miss the POWER of Diversity, the region’s premier celebration of KC’s culturally diverse business community. This year’s POWER of Diversity Breakfast is July 20, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The LEX, 300 W. 13th Street, Suite 100 in Downtown Kansas City. The KC Chamber will honor our Ace Award winners, and the Champion of Diversity and non-profit Champion of Diversity. You’ll also learn how to strengthen your workforce by broadening your talent pool to include people with disabilities, returning citizens, immigrants and refugees, and more. The Marshall Project’s Ebony Reed moderates Kansas City small business owners who have found success with their diverse workforces. Registration for Chamber members is $40 per ticket; $400 for a table of ten. Non-members are welcome. Register here. Thanks to our Presenting Diversity Sponsors CommunityAmerica Credit UnionEvergy and Hallmark.


A healthy workplace has a stronger bottom line, healthier employees, and lower overall health costs. Apply now to become Healthy KC Workplace Wellness Certified. You have until August 31 to apply here. This certification program recognizes organizations for innovation in promoting a culture of health in the workplace. Certifications range from Honorable mentions all the way up to Platinum. Applicants will notice some changes beginning this year. The program is based on the World Health Organization's healthy workplace framework and model, offering a more holistic approach to health and wellness. Special thanks to our Healthy KC Overall Presenting Sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.