Crafting a Strong Foundation

Bob Regnier honored with 2017 Bill French Alumni Service Award

Bob Regnier (MBA ’78) is one of Kansas City’s best-known and most frequently honored civic leaders and philanthropists. While the impact of his civic service is felt throughout the metropolitan area, his commitment to the University of Missouri-Kansas City demonstrates why UMKC is known as Kansas City’s university.

Regnier was honored as Kansas Citian of the Year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in 2011, citing his leadership and service to organizations and causes ranging from the Chamber and the Civic Council to Union Station, MRI Global, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

His many, vital and varied roles at his alma mater over more than a quarter-century, however, are the primary reasons he has been chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Bill French Alumni Service Award, presented annually in recognition of extraordinary service to the university.

“I came to UMKC for my MBA, but in the process became connected with some great people,” Regnier said. “That was my initial hook but I came to believe that the KC region needed a strong urban university. UMKC is a significant factor in the success of the ‘Big KC’ region.”

In listing highlights of Regnier’s involvement at UMKC, it’s hard to know where to start. Certainly one of his most impactful roles, however, was as co-chair of The Campaign for UMKC, the university’s capital campaign that surged past its original $250 million goal more than a year early. The seven-year effort concluded in 2016 after raising more than $302 million.

Regnier’s other significant involvement is with UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management. In 2012, the Regnier Family Foundations – established by Bob Regnier and his siblings to honor their parents – gave $3 million to endow the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Bloch School. They also named the institute’s signature event, the Regnier Family Foundation/Bank of Blue Valley Venture Creation Challenge.

Regnier is a member of the UMKC Foundation Board and has also served on the Bloch School Alumni Board and Finance Advisory Board. He also serves as a mentor in the Bloch School’s entrepreneurship programs, another example of his commitment to entrepreneurship.

“I believe strongly that small business in America is the future of our country. I want to support entrepreneurs in achieving their goals,” he said.

Regnier is president and CEO of the Bank of Blue Valley, which he founded in 1989 in a double-wide mobile home with four officers and four employees. Under his leadership, it has grown to be a major financial institution with four operating divisions and more than 200 employees working in six locations.

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes 16 alumni and one family with top honors. UMKC will honor Regnier and other outstanding alumni at the 2017 Alumni Awards Luncheon April 20 on campus. The luncheon is one of the university’s largest events and proceeds support student scholarships. Last year’s luncheon attracted more than 500 attendees and garnered more than $120,000 in scholarship funds.

Click here for tickets or sponsorship information for the April 20, 2017, Alumni Awards Luncheon.

Click here for more information on the 2017 Alumni Award recipients.

Nominations are now open for the Class of 2018 Alumni Awardees. Click here to nominate fellow alumni who are deserving of the campus’ highest recognition for alumni achievement. Nominations close March 5.

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