Bloch School Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Honor Visionary Leaders

Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Announces Honorees for 32nd Annual Event

The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri-Kansas City, has announced the honorees for its 32nd Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebration.

The event is Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri. A Venture Showcase and Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the awards program following at 7:30 p.m.

Chairs for the 2017 event are Anne St. Peter, Founder of Global Prairie, a global marketing firm; and Bill Gautreaux, co-founder of Inergy LP, now Crestwood, and Partner at MLP Holdings LLC.

The 2017 honorees are:

Moshe Safdie, Henry W. Bloch International Entrepreneur of the Year

Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist and author. After apprenticing with Louis Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montréal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition. In 1964, he established his own firm to realize Habitat ’67. Habitat represented a turning point in housing design, modern architecture and urban planning, and today is a Canadian National Heritage Site and living landmark. Celebrating a 50-year career, Safdie’s projects can be found worldwide, including everything from airports to performing arts to entire cities and more. In addition to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts where the event will be held, several other projects have expanded the idea of how communities come together. Examples include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, the national museum of the Sikh people in India; and the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Singapore.

Sandy and Christine Kemper, Regional Entrepreneurs of the Year

The Kempers are founders of C2FO, a financial technology company which created the world’s first electronic market for working capital. C2FO was founded in 2008 with the goal of addressing the limitations of existing financial markets and trapped liquidity world-wide. In 2002, the Kempers founded Kemper & Company, a marketing research business that serves global clients. They are also founders of The Collectors Fund (TCF), the management company for the American Masters Collection and the Twentieth Century Masters Collection, the first art ownership and investment funds that allowed members to display the art in their homes. Further, the Kempers manage the Kansas City Collection, an organization promoting and celebrating the Kansas City region’s artistic community by encouraging local companies to display work by exceptional local artists in their places of business. In addition, the two founded YEPKC, a competitive entrepreneurship and scholarship program that pairs high school students with entrepreneurial business in Kansas City and helps fund their college tuition. Currently, Christine is founding the first all-girls, college preparatory charter school in the Kansas City public school district.

BNIM, JE Dunn Construction, Mark One Electric and U.S. Engineering, Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship

These four Kansas City firms were all part of the project team that built the Safdie-designed Kauffman Center, which has become an iconic image of the Kansas City skyline as well as a treasured civic asset.

As a multidisciplinary firm that is Building Positive, BNIM reimagines the relationships between people and place, designing environments that are as beautiful as they are impactful and human. The firm believes great design is born from the processes and people that bring it to reality. In each of the communities BNIM calls home — Kansas City, San Diego and Des Moines — they elevate human experiences through interdisciplinary environments and high-performance building design.

JE Dunn Construction is one of the largest commercial contractors in the United States, specializing in construction management, program management and design-build projects of every size. JE Dunn focuses on delivering the best client experience and bringing invaluable leadership and innovation to every project they build. JE Dunn’s vision is to be an indispensable business partner for their clients by first understanding their purpose, goals and customers and then delivering transformational solutions with certainty of results. JE Dunn enriches lives through community service work, development programs for employees and most importantly through the people who use the buildings they have the privilege of building.

Mark One Electric Co., Inc. was founded in 1974 to service small commercial accounts and industrial clients.  Mark One quickly earned a reputation for completing difficult jobs under demanding circumstances and before long were working all across the country for customers such as Ford and GM. Mark One’s portfolio includes some of the region’s highest profile projects, including the Hollywood, Argosy, Ameristar and Isle of Capri Casinos, the Kansas Speedway, Arrowhead Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts, the Kansas City Streetcar and more.

Established in 1855, U.S. Engineering has grown to be one of the nation’s top design-build mechanical contractors.  Whether constructing, servicing, maintaining or providing energy analysis on facilities, the priority remains the same: to deliver the highest performing buildings with the lowest total cost of ownership for building owners.  US Engineering aims to think innovatively to provide the expertise needed to help facilities evolve as their businesses grow. Their success comes from their commitment to be a trusted advisor for the life of the building.

A Student Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at the EOY event. Selected by the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation leadership and Regnier Institute Advisory Council, the recipient will be an entrepreneurship student who has successfully developed and launched a business, product or venture. The winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

“The EOY Awards not only celebrate  the heart and soul of entrepreneurs, but also the program raises the resources needed to educate and support the next generation of innovators in Kansas City,” said Gautreaux.

“This year’s honorees exemplify Henry Bloch’s brand of entrepreneurship – innovative, world-class, authentic, with a focus on giving back to the community,” added St. Peter. “The Kauffman Center in many ways represents Kansas City at its best – a great achievement made possible because of entrepreneurial success coupled with generosity, vision and civic responsibility – so it was a natural choice as the venue for this year’s celebration.”

The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards event is an iconic Kansas City tradition started in 1985. Beyond its philanthropic cause, this event is a valuable forum where Kansas City CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, industry legends, world-class faculty and students alike are able to celebrate a common passion. The event celebrates entrepreneurial spirit and serves as a source of inspiration to future generations of innovative entrepreneurs.

All proceeds from this event directly benefit the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s student and community programs. The Regnier Institute at the Bloch School focuses on connecting students and community members with a comprehensive combination of world-class research, renowned faculty, cutting-edge curriculum and experimental programs driven to deliver results and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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