It started with 1,600 nominations, which led to 110 candidates, and is now down to 10 – the KC Chamber’s Top 10 Small Businesses for 2017. One of the 10 will be selected Small Business of the Year and Mr. K Award winner at a May 16 luncheon.
An independent panel of judges selected the finalists; criteria are based on the business principles and philosophy of late entrepreneur Ewing Kauffman (Mr. K) and include growth or sustainability in business, excellent employee relations, and an outstanding record of community service.
This is the 31st year for the Chamber’s annual Small Business Celebration.
The Chamber’s 2017 Top 10 Small Businesses are:
Alpha Energy & Electric, Ike Nwabuonwu/Chairman & CEO, KCMO – An energy and electrical construction company that started in a two-room office in 2005 and today resides in a 10,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in KC’s urban core.
Andrews McMeel Universal, Andy Sareyan/President & CEO, KCMO - A global, independent and integrated media company dedicated to entertaining fans of all ages. (Think Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts and Doonesbury – all part of the Andrews McMeel cartoon stable.)
BHC Rhodes, Kevin Honomichl/President, Overland Park - Celebrating its 25th anniversary in business, BHC Rhodes provides customers with value-added engineering design and surveying services, working with Public Works, Development, Utilities and Surveying Customers.
Bob Hamilton Plumbing, Bob Hamilton/President, Overland Park - The company founder started his business in 1983 with a truck and the tools of the trade he’d learned from his father. Today, the Bob Hamilton team has grown to 130 people providing residential plumbing, heating, air conditioning and rooter services.
Code Koalas, Ryan Wise/Owner & CEO, KCMO - Code Koalas is a digital agency that specializes in innovative custom software development. The founder started the company as a side business to earn a little extra money. Five years later, Code Koalas has outgrown its first two locations.
Heritage Biologics, Thomas O’Neill/Owner & CEO, Lee’s Summit - A leading rare-disease specialty and home-infusion pharmacy, the company was started when the owner’s child asked, “How do we improve care for patients like me?” A 2016 employee survey showed that the No. 1 reason its employees like working there is for “the opportunity to do meaningful work.”
KC Restoration, LeAnn Luemmen/Co-Founder, Olathe - KC Restoration restores and maintains the beauty of aged or damaged metal, stone and wood. Alongside escalator cleaning and power washing services, they apply finishes and coatings to metal fabrications and have become one of the few patina specialists nationwide.
Paleterias Tropicana, Jose Luis Valdez/Owner, KCKS - The company began in the summer of 2004 serving homemade, authentic Mexican ice cream to a growing Hispanic market. From that initial shop, Paleterias has grown to four locations, with a fifth scheduled to open this summer. It’s now a one-stop location for Latin-themed food, ice cream and beverages.
Pro Athlete, Inc., Scott Hedrick/CEO & President, KCMO – The Hedrick family was considering opening up a Jiffy Lube, but their frustration at trying to purchase award patches for their son’s high school letter jacket helped convince them that sporting goods was the way to go – and a lot more fun than oil changes. Today they’re a fulltime online retailer.
Weave Gotcha Covered, Kelly Wilson/Owner & Co-Founder, KCMO - Founded in 2005, this company provides custom window coverings, bedding and upholstery. Her employees are women from marginalized communities. In fact, Wilson moved her business from north of the river to midtown KC to accommodate the transportation needs of her workforce.
Kathy Hilliard, Vice President of Corporate Marketing Communications, Andrews McMeel Universal: email@example.com; (816) 581-7497