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Don Hall, Jr., Named 2016 “Kansas Citian Of The Year”



Don Hall, Jr., President & CEO of Hallmark, was named “Kansas Citian of the Year” at the 129th Annual Dinner of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Tuesday night. The annual award is given “only to those persons whose civic contributions and achievements have reflected the insight, creativity and consciousness necessary to build and maintain a quality urban community.”
 
The theme for the evening was “What’s Next, KC?” with the audience and speakers answering the question in a variety of ways.
 
Kansas Citian of the Year Award is a family affair
 
Don Hall, Jr., joined his family’s company in 1971, working in a variety of areas including manufacturing, product development, sales, and creative, before being named CEO of Hallmark in 2002.
 
“Don’s impact on Kansas City has been tremendous,” says Bill Berkley, CEO of Tension. “His fingerprints – in a very positive way – are all over important Kansas City initiatives. He’s a father, a husband, a family member, a CEO, a community leader. And he moves between all of these roles effortlessly.”
 
“Don Junior doesn’t just work in one part of Kansas City’s communities. He is ubiquitous. He works all around,” says Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (Cleaver was named Kansas Citian of the Year in 1999).
 
Don Hall, Jr., is a member of the Board of the Hall Family Foundation, which has provided millions of dollars to improvements to Union Station and the Nelson-Atkins Gallery of Art, toward the KU Cancer Center’s efforts to achieve Comprehensive Cancer Center status, and to early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, neighborhood revitalization, the arts, and community improvement.
 
He’s the fourth member of his family to be named Kansas Citian of the Year. His mother, Adele Hall, father Don Hall, Sr., and his grandfather and Hallmark founder Joyce C. Hall all received the award previously.
 
So “What’s Next, KC?”
 
 The theme for the dinner was “What’s Next, KC?” with people tweeting their answers using the hashtag #WhatsNextKC. Speakers included three young entrepreneurs who are definitely ‘what’s next,’ including Major Baisden (OK Program), Jill Minton (t.Loft cafés) and Toby Rush (EyeVerify).
 
Outgoing Chamber Chair Terry Bassham (KCP&L) said his answer to the question was the new Kansas City Neighborhood Academy, the charter school which opened earlier this year as part of the Chamber’s Big 5 Urban Neighborhood Initiative.
 
Incoming Chair Karen Daniel (Black & Veatch) answered, “­We’re what’s next” as the business community increases its exports and connections to the global economy.
 
And Chamber President & CEO Joe Reardon’s response:  An interconnected region that knows no boundaries. We go from border war and state line road to “Kansas City Way” and “Best Connected Region in the US. A transportation system that works for business and connects people to jobs using innovation as the key to our connected future. A KC that celebrates being in the center of the country and then makes it easy to reach the US and around the world. An inland port that sends the signal that “our KC” is the world’s KC - easy to get to and the best place to live and do business.”