An anniversary year is often cause for introspection, a time to reflect on both stellar achievements and missed opportunities, and to look at what’s yet to come. That’s certainly been the case for us at Ingram’s as we close in on 40 years in service to the business community.
Not long ago, we took note of research that said the average age of a company on the S&P 500 in the 1930s was more than 67. Today, it’s down to 15 years. Some of that has to do with the way the index is structured, but some of it reflects the loss of companies once considered invincible, but now ghosts in the history of commerce.
So we decided to look around at companies or organizations also achieving significant milestones this year, and we were surprised at how many have held up, and for how long. Some of their stories are here; others we could identify are also listed in these pages. And because records are incomplete at the state and local levels, it’s entirely likely that many more are lighting candles this year.
To one and all, we extend our congratulations. We wish you all the opportunity to celebrate many more years.
William Jewell College | 165 Years
As organizations go, William Jewell College is at the head of the class for years in operation. The college is named for William Jewell, a physician, legislator, and Baptist layman. In 1848, he offered land worth $10,000 (equivalent to about $261,000 today) to start a college, and collaborated with various Baptist organizations to realize that vision. A year later, Missouri lawmakers granted the charter that created one of the first private, four-year men’s colleges west of the Mississippi; it became co-ed after merging with a women’s college.
Sought-after by a number of towns sprouting up in the region, the college was regarded as a prize by the residents of Clay County, an area then regarded as the “edge of the American wilderness. A founding member of the Board of Trustees was Rev. Robert James, a nearby Baptist
minister, whose sons—Frank and Jesse James— left a legacy of a different sort.
A private, four-year liberal arts college with roughly 1,100 undergraduate students, William Jewell offers more than 40 majors and 20 minors in natural sciences, humanities, social science, professional and applied science, pre-law and pre-medicine. For years, the campus was the pre-season training camp for the Kansas City Chiefs, and fans would make the trek to Liberty to catch those drills every summer.
A particular point of pride at William Jewell is the Oxbridge Honors Program, the only one of its kind in the U.S., Students work individually with faculty tutors and spend their junior years at Cambridge or Oxford universities in England. That program is underwritten in large part by the Hall Family Foundation.
Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter made speaking appearances on campus at various points of their political careers, and Bill Clinton
addressed the 1993 commencement by phone (his god-daughter, Sarah Staley, was in that graduating class). The college was also the site of tenor Luciano Pavarotti’s international recital debut.
Benedictine Sisters | 140 Years
The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration traded the Swiss Alps for the open spaces of northwest Missouri when they founded the American branch of their order in Clyde, Mo., in 1874. They are part of a monastic community living according to the Rule of St. Benedict, a book that serves as a guide for monastic living—it largely boils down to “work and pray.” His original work was written in French, but Sister Colleen Maura McGrane recently published the first English translation of St Benedict’s Rule.
The congregation is also closely related to the Order of St. Benedict, which sent a group of sisters to Atchison, Kan., a few years
earlier. They established Mount St. Scholastica in 1863 (now celebrating 150 years), a school for girls that complemented the founding of
St. Benedict’s College in 1858. The college today is Benedictine College.
Today, the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration consists of about 80 religious women, whose motherhouse is still in Clyde, but who also work in Tucson, Ariz., and Dayton, Wyo. Their service to the church comes through contemplative prayer, perpetual adoration and dedication to the Eucharist, and the sisters constitute the largest religious producers of altar breads (also called communion hosts) in the nation. Since the order’s arrival in Missouri, members have also focused on educating immigrants and other residents. They entered the Kansas City area in 1943, and for roughly 40 years, they owned the iconic facility near 63rd Street and Meyer Boulevard, adjacent to what is now Hogan Preparatory Academy.
Kessinger/Hunter & Co. | 135 Years
Kansas City’s oldest commercial real-estate company began as a small partnership in 1879. Today, it has more than 200 employees who manage more than $2 billion in real estate assets. The company provides services in sales and leasing, property management, development and construction management, and it works with industrial, office and retail properties across the U.S., Canada and Europe, managing an aggregate 23 million square feet of property. Across the nation, Kessinger/Hunter has developed more than 9 million square feet of projects in every corner of the nation.
The company is at the forefront of the push to strengthen Kansas City’s role in the transportation-distribution-logistics realm;
most recently, it rolled out a new 821,663 square-foot warehouse in the I-35 Logistics Park in Johnson County. It’s the largest spec building ever constructed in Kansas City, and just one of three the company plans to build at the 200-acre I-35 Logistics Park in Olathe. It sits just seven miles from BNSF’s new Kansas City Logistics Park.
Independently owned and operated, Kessinger/Hunter is a member of the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance, the world’s largest privately owned real-estate services firm. The company says its reputation is grounded in the values of teamwork, responsiveness, innovation, knowledge and commitment.
Kessinger/Hunter is also an active corporate citizen, embracing fund-raising efforts for such non-profits as the Susan G. Komen Foundation and its Race for the Cure, Harvesters, the Salvation Army, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, the Children’s Place and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Spencer Fane Britt & Browne | 135 Years
In 1879, a pair of lawyers from Osceola—William Tell Johnson and
John Lucas—moved their legal practice to Kansas City. A great many billable hours later, what had grown into the firm of Johnson, Lucas, Graves & Fane merged with Spencer Britt & Browne in 1952, setting the stage for the regional law firm we know today.
Spencer Fane Britt & Browne is headquartered in Kansas City, with additional offices in St. Louis, Jefferson City, Overland Park, Denver and Omaha.
It’s a full-service firm operating in trial and appellate settings in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts throughout the country, and its strong selling point for potential clients is that the firm brings a broad range of expertise to a setting like that of a small firm offering highly individualized and
Among its practice concentrations are environmental enforcement and compliance, labor and employment, employee benefits, dispute resolution and litigation, business transactions, financial services, economic development and incentives, intellectual property, tax and estate planning, health care, and governmental affairs.
With roughly 100 lawyers on staff (most of them based at the flagship in Kansas City), Spencer Fane ranks among the 10 largest law firms in this market, and more than two dozen of those were recognized in the most recent production of Ingram’s Best Lawyers in Kansas City listing for 2013.
The firm also boasts a comparatively robust line-up of blog topics by members of the staff, who post on such legal topics as aviation sales,
environmental law, human-resource issues and constructio law, community banking, health care and aspects of commercial law of particular interest to readers in the Midwest.
Stormont-Vail HealthCare | 130 Years
Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center traces its roots to the merger of Christ’s Hospital (founded in 1884) and the Jane C.
Stormont Hospital and Training School for Nurses (1894), which allows it to claim its status as the second-oldest hospital in
Following its more recent mergers with the Cotton-O’Neil Clinic in 1995 and PediatricCare in 1996, Topeka-based Stormont-Vail has emerged as an integrated health-care system that serves a 12-county area of northeast Kansas. Its operations today include the Medical Arts Pharmacy, Jane C. Stormont Women’s Health Center, Stormont-Vail Single Day Surgery and the Stormont-Vail Foundation, a key player on the Topeka philanthropic scene.
The main facility itself is a 586-bed acute care center offering inpatient and outpatient services, along with various community health initiatives and outreach services. It was the first hospital in its region to use cardiovascular digital imaging system in its cardiac catheterization lab, and still is. And in Shawnee County, the state’s third-most populous, it is also the only hospital with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Shook, Hardy & Bacon | 125 Years
The largest law firm in the Kansas City region—by numbers of lawyers and by revenues—boasts a rich history that ranges from
an early partner’s successful lawsuit against the James Gang to tackling the first tobacco lawsuit in Missouri.
The firm we know today as Shook, Hardy & Bacon was founded in 1889 by Frank Sebree, a former Missouri legislator. Headquartered in a 24-story office building at Crown Center, Shook now operates 11 offices worldwide as a major player in the litigation field. It counts among its staff 1,200 employees overall, with more than 500 of them being attorneys and 200 others serving as analysts and paraprofessionals. The firm practices in more than 40 different concentrations, including agribusiness, banking, environmental and employment litigation, estate Planning, intellectual property work, public policy and toxic tort cases.
Expertise in those fields helped generate more than $317 million in revenues in 2012 to bolster its claim to being the region’s top firm. From its base in Kansas City, Shook now has extended its reach to Houston, Miami, Orange County, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.—plus international offices in Geneva and London.
The firm earned distinction as “Product Liability Department of the Year” by The American Lawyer for 2013 and has been recognized as “Global Product Liability Department of the Year” for nine consecutive years by Who’s Who Legal—The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.
Some of the largest multinational corporations on the planet are Shook clients, hailing from such varied sectors as tobacco, pharmaceutical, medical device, automotive, chemical, electronics, financial services, health care,
insurance and reinsurance, construction and design, consumer goods, and food industries. We’d run out of pages in this magazine trying to list them by name, but the client roster includes such well-known brands as Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bausch & Lomb, E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Toyota and Ford Motor Co. The firm says its success is derived from the expertise of its veteran lawyers, its long-standing client relationships and diverse skills that distinguished the firm from its beginning.
Sprint Corp. | 115 Years
When long-distance opened to competition in the 1980s, Sprint seized the opportunity by leading all U.S. telecom companies with the first nationwide, 100 percent digital, fiber-optic network. That was a long way technologically, chronologically and geographically from its roots. Back in 1899, Cleyson Brown organized the Brown Telephone Co. in Abilene, Kan., and hook-ed up the first long-distance line to Kansas City.
Over the decades, through organic growth and acquisition, the company has evolved into one of the biggest private employers in the Kansas City region. Although the local work force has fallen considerably from its peak roughly a decade ago, Sprint’s Overland Park campus still holds roughly 7,500 employees. Sprint served more than 54 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2013.
Now Sprint is launching the world’s first curved, flexible smartphone and is rebuilding and rolling out its 4G LTE. But Sprint is also sowing
Kansas City’s entrepreneurial seedbed with its Sprint Accelerator, designed to bring some of the country’s leading entrepreneurs and innovators to Kansas City, with many of them focusing on health care because of the region’s wealth of resources and assets that include the animal-health corridor, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, MRIGlobal and the National Cancer Institute-designated University of Kansas Cancer Center, and others.
As a corporate citizen, Sprint encourages its employees to volunteer with various organizations, and they responded by logging more than 24,000 hours of service on behalf of Kansas City non-profit organizations in 2012. Sprint executives serve on nearly 90 non-profit boards throughout Kansas City area. The company also supports its hometown community by donating millions of dollars to Kansas City-area programs like the United Way, Harvesters, American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Bridging the Gap, the DeLaSalle Education Center, the Kansas City Symphony, the Liberty Memorial Association, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Christmas in October, and Rose Brooks.
Westar Energy | 105 Years
In 1909, American Power & Light Co. created Kansas Gas and Electric Co. so it could expand to service 5,000 customers, mostly in Wichita, Pittsburg and Frontenac. By 1925, it was serving 50 communities and 49,000 customers, providing not just electricity but natural gas to Hutchinson, Newton, Pittsburg and Wichita.
Today, the company based in Topeka is known as Westar Energy, and it is a power player in the power sector. Westar employs about 2,400 people and serves nearly 700,000 customers (roughly equal to one out of every four Kansans), with energy centers that crank out more than 7,000 megawatts of electricity feeding 35,000 miles of transmission lines.
The company experienced significant growth through the 1990s, especially after the historic merger of Topeka’s Kansas Power & Light with Wichita’s Kansas Gas & Electric to become Western Resources. It served 560,000 electric customers and 1 million natural gas customers in three states, and in 2001 it adopted the Westar name.
In addition to the natural-gas and coal-fired generating stations it owns throughout eastern Kansas, Westar has a share of the Wolf Creek nuclear station near Burlington, and a series of wind-turbine facilties across western Kansas.
HNTB Corporation | 100 Years
To say that HNTB has changed Kansas City’s skyline would be an understatement. Signature projects of the employee-owned infrastructure-building firm include the designs of the ASB Bridge, the 12th Street Viaduct, Kansas City International Airport, the Truman Sports Complex and the original Paseo Bridge. Founded in Kansas City in 1914, HNTB serves public and private owners and contractors, including the Missouri and Kansas departments of transportation, as well as large and complex bridges, highways, airports, public buildings and public-works projects across the country.
Tom O’Grady, HNTB Central Division president, is happy to boast of the new book honoring the company’s 100th year, Being HNTB,
because it describes the employees’ delivery of a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program delivery and construction management.
O’Grady, who supervises an eight-state region from Colorado to the Gulf Coast, said some organizations have been clients for 70 years or more. The firm’s
legacy lies in moveable-bridge designs for railroads and, later, toll roadway bridges and toll highways. As transportation itself evolved, the company moved into development of the U.S. interstate highway system, while also providing aviation and water services, sports and public architecture, and rail and public transit, program management and integrated delivery, including design-build and public-private partnerships.
The firm was originally organized with partners, who didn’t incorporate until 1992. It wasn’t long after that, in 2000, that HNTB adopted an employee stock ownership program. “On the client side, we are seeing more design-build, more public-private partnership and we have to be able to deliver in whatever way our clients need us to,” O’Grady said.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City | 100 Years
The Federal Reserve is marking the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Federal Reserve Act. The original “bank” in Kansas City was the R.A. Long Building at 928 Grand in Downtown Kansas City, which opened in 1914, and remained there until a new $4.3 million building could be built across the street at 925 Grand. It opened in 1921.
When federal officials designated Kansas City as the base for one of its 12 districts, it made Missouri unique: Being home to the St. Louis Fed as well as the one here, we’re the only state that can boast two Federal banks.
The attractive and well-secured Federal Reserve building opened in spring 2008, and is the newest in the Federal Reserve System. It is 14 stories high, with a combined 600,000 square feet, and houses about 1,000 employees at its 1 Memorial Drive location.
The 10th District includes Kansas and western Missouri, but also covers Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and northern New Mexico. It’s part of a system responsible for influencing the nation’s supply of money and credit, regulating banks and other financial institutions, serving as a banking and fiscal agent for the federal government, and supplying payments services to the public through depository institutions like banks, credit unions, and savings and loans.
The Fed building is also more than just a series of offices; it’s home to the Money Museum, where you can watch millions of dollars in currency be processed, pick up a gold bar worth nearly $400,000, or explore other interactive exhibits—all while learning about the economy. In addition, the Kansas City Fed’s Student Board of Directors program allows students the learn about the Federal Reserve.
Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. | 90 Years
Associated Wholesale Grocers is one of the largest grocery wholesalers in the United States and the nation’s oldest grocery cooperative. Founded in 1924, AWG does more than just supplying stores in more than 30 states—it provides opportunities for grocery operators to grow sustainable business models. And it assists retail members—many of whom really are Mom-and-Pop family businesses—establish strategic positions within their own markets.
Based in Kansas City, Kan., AWG distributes is the grocer for grocery stores, distributing fresh meat and produce, specialty foods, general merchandise and health care products to retail outlets.
Its range of merchandising programs and promotion services help grocer members develop their own enterprises by assisting with advertising, interior design and decorations for stores, real estate services and more.
The company also provides marketing services such as Web site development, social media development, e-mail and text-message marketing, recla-mation services that cover damage allowance and reimbursement, professional staff and consultation services, and engineering services.
AWG serves stores from Colorado to the Carolinas and Louisiana to Wyoming. The home base serves as one of the company’s nine distribution cen-
ters, with others not far away in Fort Scott, Kan., and Springfield, Mo. Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Memphis, Nashville, Southhaven, Miss., and Pearl River, La., account for the others, and combined, they supply goods to 2,987 active retail stores.
Despite closing in on a century in operation, AWG has achieved record sales in recent years, with 2013 sales topping $7 billion.
Charles F. Curry | 90 Years
For nearly a century, the Charles F. Curry name has been a fixture in Kansas City realty circles, first as a realty company, but now with three operating
units that serve the greater Kansas City area: Charles F. Curry Real Estate Co., Curry Investment Co. and Curry Association Management. Together, they
offer a full complement of services that cover nearly every facet of real estate, from leasing and management to sales and consulting services.
They play in virtually all corners of the realty world, working in commercial property, multi-family dwellings and apartments, condominiums, high rises, lofts and home associations. Founded in 1924, the company currently manages about 3 million square feet of commercial space, 3,000 multifamily housing units and 150 homes associations.
J.E. Dunn Construction | 90 Years
If you have heard a symphony or opera in the world-class Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, then you know how good J.E. Dunn Construction is. So does the rest of the industry: The company has won nine national awards for its design and engineering.
John Earnest Dunn started his construction company in Kansas City in 1924.
What began as a small, family-run residential contractor would eventually grow into one of the top general building contractors in the country. with annual revenues of $2.7 billion and 20 offices across the nation.
New President and CEO Gordon Lansford III credits that success to strong, consistent leadership from the Dunn family with the primary focus of always being customer centric. “As a company, J.E. Dunn also places a huge emphasis on engaging in the communities in which we work,” Lansford said, “And it goes without saying that we would be nothing without our outstanding, talented team of hard-working employees.”
The company serves as construction manager and general contractor, building luxury hotels, multi-family units, correctional facilities, senior centers, educational buildings, and sports facilities while renovating historical structures—including Downtown’s Hilton President—and constructing the seven-story, 133-room Hotel Sorella off the Country Club Plaza.
Expansion to areas outside of Kansas City has always been part of the growth strategy of the company. Under Lansford’s predecessor, Terry Dunn (the founder’s grandson, who remains CEO of the parent company), J.E. Dunn acquired Minneapolis-based Witcher Construction, Drake Construction of Port-
land, Ore.; LTB Contractors of Houston and Hughes/Smith of Colorado Springs, and R. J. Griffin & Co. in Atlanta.
Those acquisitions helped make Dunn the 12th-largest general building company in the United States, and the company donates more than 10 percent of pre-tax earnings to charities around the country. In addition, the Dunn
Family Foundation supported more than 300 non-profits last year.
YRC Worldwide Inc. | 90 Years
This Fortune 500 company, one of the largest transportation service providers in the world, is the holding company for a portfolio of successful brands, including YRC Freight, YRC Reimer, New Penn, Holland and Reddaway.
With the largest, most comprehensive network in North America, YRC can go local or cross-continent with its expertise in heavyweight shipments and flexible supply-chain solutions for shipment of industrial, commercial and retail goods. The company is particularly proud of its Environmental Sustainability Initiatives, participating in programs and processes for protecting and preserving the environment. These strategies have the twin goals of reducing its carbon footprint while optimizing its corporate resources.
Based in Overland Park, the company has weathered some difficult years since the 2007 recession, and is still working hard to reduce debt by approximately $300 million. But a series of down-revenue years has given way to stability, and revenues for its consolidated operations in the third quarter of 2013 were up 1.3 percent over the same period in 2012.
The company’s philanthropic endeavors include support for the Community Blood Bank, Harvesters, Heart to Heart International, the VFW, and the United Way.
Hovey Williams | 85 Years
Specialists in intellectual property law, the Hovey Williams firm lays proud claim to safeguarding the ideas of inventors and creative minds since its inception. The firm, based in Overland Park, has a staff of lawyers with more than 300 years’ combined experience, and serves everything from small startups to Fortune 500 companies with services procuring patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and IP litigation.
If there’s a law firm that has entrepreneurship in its own DNA, it’s Hovey Williams. One can question the timing that Earl Hovey and Roy Hamilton demonstrated when the founded the firm in 1929, but not their will to overcome obstacles: Just weeks after they hung up the shingle, the stock market crashed, heralding the onset of the Great Depression. But the firms founders successfully navigated the challenges of that economy, making the Great Recession a snap, by comparison.
Ferrellgas | 75 Years
If you barbecue, (and every Kansas Citian does) you’re probably using Ferrellgas’ propane. The company was founded in 1939 by A.C. Ferrell in Atchison, Kan., near the tail of the Great Depression and at the onset of World War II. After successfully navigating that set of challenges, the company roared to life in the 1950s and into the 1970s, acquiring other dealers and expanding across the Missouri River.
Ferrell actually profited amid the energy crises of 1973 and 1979, as costs for other fuels soared. In 2004, it acquired Blue Rhino, and today, Ferrellgas is the second-largest propane distributor in the United States, with fiscal 2013 revenues of $1.9 billion. Blue Rhino is the country’s largest propane-by-exchangeable-tank company. But the parent serves a lot more than grill-owners. Its 1 million customers are mostly homes, businesses, and agricultural customers. Ferrellgas has 900 retail locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
A.C.’s son, Jim Ferrell, is still chairman of the publicly traded company, which recently moved to a partial employee stock ownership for its 3,700 employees. Nearly 400 of those employees live in the 22 counties surrounding the Kansas City area.
“Think of us as a modern day logistics company,” said Scott Brockelmeyer, vice president of corporate communications for Ferrellgas. Last year, the company’s IT department launched a sophisticated resource management system. “Just like you have a UPS computerized delivery, we also have hand-held devices and we route drivers more efficiently and more accurately predict when clients are running low on their propane,” said Brockelmeyer. As a result, Ferrellgas has significantly reduced the number of delivery vehicles, cut inefficient routes and reduced overtime expenses.
The company also plays a prominent role in supporting various philanthropies, in particular with an program of marked delivery vehicles that provide donations from each gallon of propane sold. It also contributes directly and encourages its staff to volunteer on behalf of such efforts as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, the Dream Factory, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Harvesters.
Bernstein-Rein | 50 Years
Bernstein-Rein is an advertising agency that offers marketing and communications services and it was established in 1964 in KC by CEO Bob Bernstein and Skip Rein, who is still active with the firm. It was named one of the top 10 branding agencies of 2009 by Advertising Age.
The agency was involved in the development of the McDonald’s Happy Meal in 1976, with Walmart between 1974 and 2006, during which time it helped to grow the retailer from a small Arkansas-based retail chain to the largest company in the world. Company clients include MetLife Employee Benefits, Black & Veatch, PetSmart, Clayton Homes, CrockPot, Havertys Furniture, Mr. Coffee, Nebraska Book Co., and Hostess Brands, for whom they re-launched the Twinkie last summer.
Bernstein’s son Steve, the president of the company, says the key to success is the company culture and his staff of 220, who helped produce revenues of more than $43 million for 2012.
“Hire great people, but also hire great people who work even better together.” Although they have fabulous clients now, Steve Bernstein says, he expects to make changes in the firm’s business model. “We anticipate changes very rapidly over the next few years,” he said. “But the core principle of coming up with creative ideas that impact our clients’ business will never change.”
Suburban Lawn & Garden | 50 Years
Bill Stueck started Suburban Lawn & Garden in the early 1950s as a lawn-mowing business while he was in grade school. Since then, Stueck and his wife Bo have grown Suburban into a multi-faceted retail, wholesale and service organization with three area garden centers, two growing facilities, and a yard-waste recycling center which accepts yard-waste for recycling into mulch and soil products. It also has a truck shop for maintaining its 150 service vehicles. It’s showroom/greenhouse in south Kansas City contains one of the nation’s largest single-site displays of landscaping
flora, tools and accessories.
The Kansas City Royals | 45 Years
We talk a lot about Ewing Kauffman’s business legacy in Kansas City with Marion Labs and the legions of entrepreneurs he inspired. But really, don’t the Kansas City Royals account for at least as much? After enduring the Lost Season of ‘68, and still appalled that Charlie Finley would move the A’s to Oakland, Kansas City rejoiced when Kauffman—with an assist from U.S. Sen. Stuart Symington of Missouri—was able to bring a franchise here in 1969. The rest is baseball history: Lou Piniella as AL Manager of the Year in that first season, iconic names like Brett, White, Otis, Patek and McRae, the ‘77–’79 disappointments with the Yankees, another just-missed year in the 1980 World Series, and winning it all in 1985. Mr. K is gone, and the names have changed, but the Royals remain a huge source of commuity pride for Kansas City.
The American Restaurant | 40 Years
When J.C. Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards, began building Crown Center, he demanded that a top-notch restaurant be in the plans. He got one, with The American Restaurant. Soon, the restaurant was winning awards such as the AAA Four
Diamonds and the Mobil Travel Guide Four Stars, on its way to becoming one of the most popular dining sites, and among the most recognized restaurants in Kansas City. Specialties served up by executive chef Michael Corvino and pastry chef Nick Wesemann include fish, chicken, Missouri caviar and caramel apple cheesecake, with courses ranging from three to nine. The restaurant is also famous for its three-story windows with a spectacular view of Downtown.
Bruce Smith Drugs | 40 Years
Pharmacist Bruce Smith began filling prescriptions in Prairie Village after World War II, and became owner of his store in the 1950s.
William Richmond bought the store from Bruce in 1974, and Debbie Richmond has served as
head pharmacist since 1985. Accredited numerous times by the Better Business Bureau, the store also won awards for customer service on both sides of the state line, filling prescriptions 365 days a year.
Central Air Southwest | 40 Years
Central Air Southwest is a certified air carrier specializing in cargo, and cargo delivered right: The company says it has a 98.5 percnet on-time completion rate for its customers. Based at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, the company lists among its clients medical laborator-
ies, airlines, parcel delivery and air courier companies, and automotive manufacturers.
Custom Engineering | 40 Years
Custom Engineering, based in Independence, was founded in 1974 by Clarence Mabin and Joe Davis. Its expertise includes electrical, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, plumbing, lighting design, and incorporating new ser-vice dimensions of building information modeling, sustainable design, and integrated project delivery. Clients include the state of Nebraska, JEM Engineering, Valmont Industries, and Ameron Pole
Evans and Mullinix | 40 Years
Since its founding in 1974, the law firm has carried the names of two of its original partners, Tim Evans and Tom Mullinix, both of whom still actively practice law and are highly regarded throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. The combined legal staff of 13 offers a range of services for both businesses and individuals, including litigation in federal, state and municipal courts; bankruptcy courts; and administrative agencies.
Kansas City Airport Marriott | 40 years
This 384-room, 3.5-star hotel overlooks a scenic lake and boasts of being the only hotel located on KCI airport grounds with easy access to the Expo Center, shopping and dining. The hotel has a 4,500-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate 650 people, and has 21 meeting rooms. The hotel also has a Web page for managing your own event and wedding—complete with a wedding planner.
Lentz Clark Deines | 40 Years
This Overland Park law firm specializes in bankruptcy, insolvency, restructuring, receiverships, out-of-court workouts, and related tax matters. The firm actively represents debtors, creditors’ committees, equity holders, secured lenders, trustees, and other parties in business and personal bankruptcy cases. Both Carl Clark and Jeff Deines say
the firm has been involved in most of the biggest, and most complex, business and individual bankruptcy cases in Kansas and Missouri.
Liberty Hospital | 40 Years
Located just 20 minutes north of downtown Kansas City, this regional medical center serves patients from Clay and Platte counties, all the way to the Iowa border. The public, non-profit, medical center has a full range of services, and “the compassion to provide patients with exceptional care.” Its expansions through the years have included education center, off-site clinic, breast diagnostic center, “Tree House” for family members who need a place to stay, and a new da Vinci robotic surgery system.
Mark One Electric | 40 Years
Mark One Electric Co. provides electrical construction services from design/build and pre-construction to underground, data/comm and
specialty systems for business, commercial and industrial customers, and has a reputation for completing difficult jobs for clients like Ford, GM and Harley Davidson. The current leadership team has grown
Mark One into one of the Midwest’s largest electrical contractors, completing high-profile projects like Hollywood Casino, the Kauffman Stadium upgrades, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and so much more.
Seigfreid Bingham | 40 Years
Jim Seigfreid, Larry Bingham and the late Bill Burrell founded this Kansas City firm and later merged with six attorneys from Rich, Granoff, Levy & Gee. The full-service law firm, with 44 lawyers on staff, represents some of the most prominent companies in the area, including the Kansas City Chiefs, Hunt Midwest Enterprises, Applebee’s the United Way of Greater Kansas City, QuikTrip, Helzberg Diamonds, H&R Block and J.E. Dunn Construction Group.