Convening students, entrepreneurs and top civic leaders, the 32nd annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on Tuesday recognized some of the area’s top innovators, including the creative mind behind one of Kansas City’s most iconic structures.
The University of Missouri Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management presented its International Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Moshe Safdie, an architect whose work includes one of Kansas City’s most popular buildings, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. An author, educator and theorist, Safdie’s projects include the World Exhibition in Montréal, 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 — who founded the fast-growing financial tech firm C2FO — were honored as Regional Entrepreneurs of the Year for their contributions to the area’s business, arts and entrepreneurial communities. In addition to C2FO, the Kempers founded Kemper & Company, the Collectors Fund and YEPKC, an entrepreneurship and scholarship program that pairs high school students with businesses in Kansas City
BNIM, JE Dunn Construction, Mark One Electric and U.S. Engineering were awarded the Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The four firms were all a part of the project team that built the Kauffman Center.
UMKC student Chad Feather earned the Student Entrepreneur of the Year award. At the age of 12, Feather founded Premier Sales, a firm that buys and sells overstocked and damaged merchandise. In addition to the award, Feather earned a $2,500 scholarship.
Check out photos from the event below.