Your Chamber at Work - May 29, 2019




Congratulations to TREKK Design Group – winner of the KC Chamber’s “Mr. K” Award as our 2019 Small Business of the Year. Wendy Guillies of the Kauffman Foundation and I presented the award to TREKK Managing Partner Kimberly Robinett at last week’s Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon. It was an honor.

The next time you drive over the Christopher S. Bond Bridge, think of Kim and her company. The bridge was just one of the design firm’s projects, along with everything from sanitary sewer investigations to highway signal designs. The 17-year-old firm is a leader in what Kim describes as “clean water and safe roads.”

The Luncheon honored all of our Top 10 Small Businesses. In addition to TREKK, they are  Agforce, Charlie Hustle, IBC, Inc., KC Bier Co., Lever1, Odimo, RFP360, Ripple Glass, and VeriShip. All amazing companies here in KC.

We also recognized four specialty award winners:

  • Weave Gotcha Covered, a past Top 10 winner, received the Diverse Small Business Award.
  • The Roasterie, started in founder Danny O’Neill’s basement, was presented the Legacy of Kansas City Award.
  • Rhonda Dolan, founder of Udo, an on-demand personal assistant app, received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
  • And DataLocker Inc. was presented the inaugural Weida Award for International Small Business of the Year. The award is now named after Paul Weida, who’s retiring from Black & Veatch and has been instrumental in leading the growth of the Chamber’s World Trade Center.

Our congratulations and thanks to all our Small Business Award winners. Can’t wait till next year!


Kansas Citians will vote for a new mayor in just three weeks. In one of the most contested races in recent years, candidates Councilwoman Jolie Justus and Councilman Quinton Lucas will answer questions on City finances, economic incentives, crime and violence, inclusive prosperity, education, transportation, and infrastructure, and answer attendees’ questions. Join us June 5 for this free event. This forum has a twist, as it’s a live broadcast of KCUR-FM's Up to Date with Steve Kraske, broadcast live from our Chamber Board Room. Up to Date airs from 11:00 a.m. - Noon, but please arrive by 10:30. We are nearly at capacity, so register today for this unique experience.


Get your ticket now for Go Global KC. The June 6 event will be held from 4-6 p.m. at Sporting Kansas City-Children’s Mercy Park. You’ll get an update on Kansas City’s export plan and international trade in our region. We will also announce our 2019 Economic Development Agency of the Year and Service Provider of the Year. This year we also honor Paul Weida of Black & Veatch’s Government Affairs team. After decades working on a national and international level, with state and local governments, Paul will be retiring this June. He’s been a dedicated contributor to the international community in Kansas City, especially the World Trade Center. Come celebrate and honor Paul and learn about the future of Kansas City’s export plan at this exciting event.


The second session in our Diversity & Inclusion Workshop Series takes place Friday, June 7 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. This working lunch will help attendees widen their scope when it comes to finding future employees. Find qualified candidates who might not pop up in a traditional hiring search, learn how unnecessary job criteria can promote bias, and how to best understand retention issues and mentoring diverse employees. This is the second workshop in our series and it's designed to be stand-alone. However, participants who attend all four workshops throughout the year will receive special recognition. Reserve your spot in this free workshop. Lunch provided!

Thanks to our Presenting Diversity sponsors Hallmark, KCP&L, and Sprint.


Join us and some of your fellow Chamber members for our next Neighborhood Networking series Friday, June 7 at the Hotel Indigo Kansas City-the Crossroads. Hotel Indigo is located at 20th and Grand in the old KC Costume location. Enjoy coffee and a light breakfast as you make new connections while seeing this amazing space. Hotel Indigo has 81 rooms and is historically certified. There’s even a nod to Jim Leedy, who opened the first art gallery in the Crossroads in an old paint brush factory. This event goes from 8:30-10 a.m. and is free for members and just $15 for non-members. Register here.

Thanks to Networking sponsors MazumaSS&C, and Sprint, and Neighborhood Networking sponsors Andrews McMeel Universal, and Spectrum Reach.