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KC Chamber Announces 2017 Top 10 Small Businesses

The next step in the Chamber’s 31st annual Small Business Celebration

It started with 1600 nominations, which led to 110 candidates, and is now down to ten – the KC Chamber’s Top 10 Small Businesses for 2017. One of the ten will be selected Small Business of the Year and Mr. K Award winner at a May luncheon.
The Top 10 were announced at a private reception Thursday night at Faultless Event Space in the West Bottoms. The businesses were selected by an independent panel of judges; 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. One of the first winners of Small Business of the Year was a young company by the name of Cerner.
The Chamber’s 2017 Top 10 Small Businesses are:
  • Alpha Energy & Electric, Ike Nwabuonwu/Chairman & CEO, KCMO  – An energy and electrical construction company which started in a small 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, integrated media company specializing in syndication, publishing, and entertainment. (Think Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts, and Doonesbury – all part of the Andrews McMeel cartoon stable.)
  • BHC Rhodes, Kevin Honomichl/President, Overland Park - Celebrating their 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 Wyse/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 his child asked, “How do we improve care for patients like me?” A 2016 employee survey showed that the number one reason their 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 has become one of the few patina specialists nationwide.
  • Paleterias Tropicana, Jose Luis Valdez/Owner, KCKs - The company began in the summer o 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.
Next up:  the Top 10 CEO Panel Breakfast will feature CEOs from each of the Top 10 companies sharing their stories, challenges, successes, and best practices. May 4, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m., Kansas City Downtown Marriott, 200 W. 12th Street, KCMO.
The final event in the annual celebration is the Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon, May 16, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., The Westin Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, 1 Pershing Road, KCMO. The Top 10 will be honored and the Mr. K Award winner announced.