Your Chamber at Work - June 3, 2024




Nearly 40 years ago, the KC Chamber began its annual celebration of small businesses from across the region. Our Small Business Celebration has since grown to be one of the largest in the United States with a focus on honoring the extraordinary efforts of our small business community. Now, what started in February, will culminate with the exciting announcement of the 2024 Small Business of the Year at an awards luncheon on Thursday, June 13.

At the luncheon, one of the KC Chamber’s Top 10 Small Businesses will be announced as the “Mr. K” Award winner, a noteworthy distinction that is representative of Ewing Kauffman’s enterprising spirit and philanthropic legacy. We will also award specialty awards to small businesses that are making significant contributions in the community, including the new Luminary Arts and Creative Award. And keynote speaker Jamaica Craft will tie it all together as a local talent who performed on some of the biggest stages in the world before launching her own entrepreneurial endeavors.

If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to make your reservation to attend this special event that shines a light on the small businesses that help keep Kansas City’s economy growing. This uplifting event is sure to leave you feeling inspired by the hard work and dedication of these innovative business owners. The Westin Crown Center is the place to be on June 13. Doors open at 11 a.m. with the program beginning promptly at 11:30, so reserve your seat now.


The ATHENA Award has been presented annually by the KC Chamber since 2001 to a person “who has achieved the highest level of professional excellence, devoted time and energy to the community, and especially, opened the doors of leadership opportunity to women.” In 2010, the first Young Professional Leadership distinction was added to the ATHENA program. It is presented to emerging women leaders throughout the metro area, across professional sectors, for exemplary leadership. Nominations for these awards are now being accepted, so be sure to nominate outstanding female leaders by the Friday, June 21 deadline. ATHENA Awards are presented locally on behalf of ATHENA International, an organization that celebrates empowering women leaders in 48 states and 11 countries.


genKC, in partnership with Embark by H&R Block, invites you to attend the annual Grow to genKC: Kicking KC to the Future on Wednesday, June 12! Join us from 3 to 5 p.m. at H&R Block in downtown Kansas City as area leaders stop by to discuss exciting new developments in regional infrastructure and insights into Kansas City's role in the upcoming World Cup. A networking happy hour will happen immediately after the presentation, allowing attendees to get to know early career professionals and interns. Space is limited, so register now to reserve your spot.


Healthy KC’s next networking forum on Friday, June 28, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Children’s Mercy (2401 Gillham Rd., Kansas City, MO) will focus on Improving Focus: Digital Detox. The forum begins with networking, followed by a moderated panel discussing the topic. People spend so much time looking at screens, at work and at home and, for our kids, at school as well. How does this impact wellness and productivity? What are trends that medical professionals are noticing? How can we be intentional about engaging with screens to improve our focus? Our panel will share insights from the business perspective and the medical perspective, so be sure to register to attend this free event. Healthy KC is presented in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.


Join us on Tuesday, July 11, at 3 p.m. in the KC Chamber Boardroom (inside Union Station at 30 W. Pershing Rd.) for a free event designed to collectively inform and collaboratively inspire the business community into dialogue and action that prioritizes student success and improved outcomes across the Kansas City Public Education System (KCPES). The event is a platform for meaningful dialogue with area business leaders about the data, local and statewide trends, and opportunities to collaborate on policy and strategies to address student performance issues including the literacy crisis, chronic absenteeism, learning gaps, and other topics imperative to student outcomes. Our goal is to ensure area business leaders have the most up-to-date data to strengthen conversations on student achievement and the workforce pipeline, setting the stage for community-wide action to support data-informed policy and advocacy toward improving lifelong learning outcomes for our students and their families. Register online now!