A Remarkably Healthy Ranking of the KC Area’s Top Private Companies

The Kansas City region is home to many extraordinary companies, and this month we’re proud to unveil one hundred of them in Ingram’s 100—the ranking of the KC region’s largest privately held companies.

By Joe Sweeney

The ebb and flow of company growth and retraction is an interesting dynamic to observe. Our editors have made it easy to study the area’s leading private firms and how they’re trending. Most companies on the Ingram’s 100 continue to grow and prosper. That said, uncertainty with the economy has effected some organizations. Nonetheless, companies that have claimed their position on the Ingram’s 100 are all players.

Revenues for each exceed $100,000,000—many of them by many multiples. Perhaps most interesting is that 26 of this year’s companies have revenues in excess of $1 billion. This is a dramatic change from a decade ago, and the number of billion-dollar companies could double again by 2027. This year’s Ingram’s 100 rankings show several companies with dramatic growth between YE 2015 and YE 2016.

Most notable is Topeka-based 125 year-old Security Benefit with just under 50 percent growth in this time frame. Security Benefit revenues roared back up to #6 this year from #9 in 2016. This is extremely rare with mature companies, especially a multi-billion dollar one. Most others in the Top 10 enjoyed a substantial increase in revenue, most notably JE Dunn Construction with 14.2 percent increase and Saint Luke’s Health with a 13 percent, half a billion dollar increase. Black & Veatch is up 8.3 percent and GEHA is up 7.8. I’m personally pleased to see Hallmark increase revenues by $300 million to reverse its course and record an 8.1 percent increase. Burns & McDonnell’s revenue slightly dipped from YE ’15 to ’16, but their revenues are nearing that of colleague Black & Veatch, despite B&V having nearly twice the number of employees firm-wide.

Other top performers among private companies to watch enjoyed substantial growth over the last year. Given the basis that all 100 firms have excess of $100 million in revenue, their growth is significant. Several worth noting, and moving up our ranking, are Haren Laughlin Construction (+72.53 percent), NBKC Bank (+49.25 percent), KBP Foods (+40.9 percent), Netsmart (+40.4 percent), Sioux Chief (+38.9 percent), CRB (+25.25 percent), Roberts Auto Group (+24.6 percent), Husch Blackwell (+23.25 percent), Stormont Vail (+19.5 percent), City Wide Maintenance (+18.7 percent) and Liberty Hospital (+18.5 %). It takes months and a fair amount of arm-twisting to obtain revenues from private companies, especially for some following a year of revenue decline.

I would like to thank the organizations on Ingram’s 100 and many who did not make the top 100 for their cooperation in supplying data to enable us to rank the region’s largest private firms. This is a difficult and time-consuming project, but we think it’s an important one. We know our readers enjoy and use the data. It takes a high level of trust for organizations to feel comfortable enough to submit their revenues, and we’ll continue to report them accurately and responsibly.

I think you’ll enjoy reviewing this year’s ranking of Ingram’s 100, as well as getting to know the twelve companies we selected among the Best Companies to Work For in 2017. Periodically, the stars align but arguably never more so than in the development of Lenexa City Center. Ingram’s editors are pleased to deliver these features and more in what we consider one of the most important issues of the year. Enjoy!

About the author


Joe Sweeney

Editor-In-Chief & Publisher


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