2018 Annual Business Excellence Awards Luncheon

Molly Ramirez News



The Platte County Economic Development Council celebrated its 28th Annual Business Excellence Luncheon on Friday, December 7th at the Embassy Suites KCI. The main event sponsor was the Kansas City Aviation Department, Bank of Weston sponsored a gift item to all guests, Five Star Lifestyles was the award sponsor, Platte Valley Bank sponsored the event program, Zona Rosa was the presentation sponsor and Embassy Suites sponsored the VIP reception.

Eight Platte County companies were awarded Business Excellence awards for job creation and/or significant expansion and investment projects. These companies contributed over $176 million in private investment, filled more than 1.5 million square-feet of space and created over 800 jobs with potential for another 1,000 jobs at full capacity.

“This annual event always reaffirms that Platte County is an excellent business location. We come together to celebrate new investment in our community. The celebration provides an opportunity for the Platte County EDC and its members to show appreciation to the businesses that have chosen Platte County as their home,” said Executive Director Alicia Stephens.


Education Partner Awards

The Platte County EDC added a new award category this year to recognize businesses that are investing in their future by interacting with school districts and students. The Platte County EDC in cooperation with the Park Hill School District and Platte County R-3 School District recognized two businesses who have proven to be outstanding partners to Platte County education providers.

Aviation Technical Services’ Riki Donner, St. Luke’s North Hospital’s Doug Brensing, Park Hill School District Superintendent Jeanette Cowherd, Platte County R-3 School District Superintendent Mike Reik and PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt

Aviation Technical Services 
Aviation Technical Services assists with mock interviews, provide training for the aviation program instructor, participate in advisory roles, provide equipment for students on which to practice, and employ students after graduation.

St. Luke’s North Hospital 
Both the Northland Career Center and Park Hill Professional Studies express that St. Luke’s North Hospital has been a great partner for their health science students. They too assist with mock interviews, serve in advisory roles, provide tours, and this year will host approximately 100 interns.

2018 Community Development Awards

The Community Development Award recognizes civic and business leadership in five Platte County communities. Each of the businesses recognized is a successful and integral part of Platte County, capturing the spirit of community far beyond serving their customers’ needs.

City of Weston Mayor Cliff Harvey and Miss Doyle’s Soapery owner Cheryl Mitchell

Weston Community Development Award winner: Miss Doyle’s Soapery
In 2004, Cheryl Mitchell had a vision of designing all-natural alternatives to soaps, lotions, deodorants and healing products. She moved her business, Miss Doyle’s Soapery, to Weston in 2016. Cheryl’s motto is “building and empowering a strong, inspired, and passionate community.” To that end, she started a program called “Active Duty Soaps” and for every bar of soap purchased, the business sends soap to an active military member. Miss Doyle’s Soapery already achieved its goal of 1,700 bars of soap sent in 2018, so they are now targeting 2,000 before year’s end.

A similar program the business runs is called “Inspire Bath & Body” and already 100 bottles of lotion and spray have been donated to the YWCA domestic shelter and home for women and families in St. Joseph.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, Velociti’s Deryk Powell, City of Riverside Mayor Kathy Rose and Platte County Commissioner John Elliott

Riverside Community Development Award winner: Velociti
Velociti, a global provider of technology deployment services, opened in 1995 and moved to its current Riverside location in 2012. The company strongly believes in giving back to the community which is why they focus their efforts on local causes. The long list of commitments Velociti makes each year includes a sponsorship of Generosity USA, an annual Blood Drive with Community Blood Center, food drives for Harvesters and the Veterans Community Project, and employee drives for Toys for Tots and Synergy Services. Velociti also supports Big Brothers Big Sisters and sponsors a scholarship at the Northland Regional Chamber’s Excellence in Education banquet.

In addition to its numerous charitable contributions, Velociti works with First Student and the safety manager for the City of Kansas City to ensure proper installation of transportation technology to ensure the safety of students and community members.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, City of Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt, Horticultural Impressions’ Aaron Jung, Platte County Commissioners John Elliott and Dagmar Wood

Platte City Community Development Award winner: Horticultural Impressions 
Platte City’s Horticultural Impressions opened its doors in 2007 and has grown from 2 to 12 employees. The company continues to improve the landscape in the community and aims to ensure Platte City is visually welcoming to all who visit. Owner Aaron Jung is an active community member, serving on the Platte County Regional Sewer District Board and the Platte County Planning and Zoning Board.

The company gives generously with time and resources to a number of great causes including events such as Sample the City and the Holiday Lighting Celebration. Employees also volunteer their time and resources to organizations such as the local Boy Scouts, the Platte County Community Center, Platte County R-3 School District and Platte City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Al’s Bar & Grill owner Al Burns and City of Parkville Mayor
Nan Johnston

Parkville Community Development Award winner: Al’s Bar & Grill
In 2010, Al Burns opened Al’s Bar & Grill in Parkville and the neighborhood family bar now has 15 employees. Al believes in helping wherever and whenever he can and that he and his team consistently help a number of causes in the community.

Each year, Al’s sponsors a golf tournament to raise money for the Parkville Police “Shop with a Cop” program. In 2018 they raised $1,400 through the generosity of their regular customers. They also donate food to the department’s annual holiday luncheon for senior citizens. Al’s Bar & Grill also donates food and money to local civic groups including the Boy Scouts, American Legion, VFW and Knights of Columbus. In 2018 they are raising money for City Mission.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, EDC of Kansas City’s Bob Langenkamp, KCI Auto Auction’s Doug Doll, Platte County Commissioners John Elliott and Dagmar Wood

Kansas City Community Development Award winner: KCI Auto Auction
KCI Auto Auction, located in the KCI Corridor, is a growing business that has already expanded multiple times. The company relocated to Platte County in 2008 in order to be closer to the airport.

In 2012, the company launched its KCI Cares program which is run solely by employee volunteers. Through KCI Cares, the company has donated around $850,000to various local charities, and the group has also raised thousands of dollars for abused and neglected women and children in Kansas City.

The company won Auction of the Year from the National Auto Auction Association in both 2016 and 2018, and has also received awards from several of its customers such as Kia Motors. KCI Auto Auction currently has 150 full time employees.

2018 Business Excellence Awards

The Business Excellence Awards are an honor roll of businesses which have made significant investments in the creation and retention of jobs and quality of life in Platte County.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, Argosy Casino’s Brad Forbes and Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber

Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa
Argosy Casino has operated in Riverside for 24 years, and in 2007 the facility expanded with a hotel and spa. This past year, the property underwent major renovations as the Argosy continues to invest in its 412,000 square foot entertainment complex. The multi-million dollar transformation included renovation of all 258 guest rooms, hallways and the hotel lobby. Two new restaurants have opened in the past two years: 99 Hops House and The Lucky Taco.

The Argosy Casino Hotel and Spa is the only Four Diamond Distinction casino hotel in the Kansas City area,which is a prestigious distinction granted to restaurants and hotels that are deemed upscale, offering the highest degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail. The Argosy is committed to maintaining a quality product and service to guests.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, BioLife Plasma’s Tyson Brimberry and Heather Tatge and Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber

BioLife Plasma Services
BioLife Plasma Services has opened its third location in the Kansas City area. The brand-new 15,730 square foot building opened for production along Ambassador Drive in the Tiffany Springs East Development on November 10th. Once fully operational it is expected to employ close to 70 people.

BioLife Plasma Services is an industry leader in the collection of high-quality plasma that is processed into life-saving plasma-based therapies. It operates numerous state-of-the-art plasma collection facilities throughout the United States and Austria. BioLifePlasma Services’ new location is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to collecting quality plasma in a safe and clean environment.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, BMS Logistics’ Jon Pence and Lonnie Welter, and Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber

BMS Logistics, Inc.
BMS Logistics, headquartered in St Joseph, Missouri opened its 15th facility in 2018 in the KCI Intermodal Business Centre. With the new location, the company brought 200 jobs to the area and filled the 432,000 square foot building. BMS Logistics provides total turn-key solutions concentrating on warehousing, contract packaging and distribution services. Over the past 32 years, their business has grown from one building to their current 15 buildings, encompassing more than 3 million square feet throughout Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. Services include contract packaging, building product displays such as pallet displays and PDQs, order fulfillment (both retail and ecommerce), kitting, warehousing and distribution.

BMS’ mission is to provide the highest quality of services to their customers; to provide a productive, meaningful work environment for their staff; to establish and maintain customer satisfaction;and to be a valued member of their community. BMS is excited to be part of the Platte County community. The proximity to St. Joseph and their anticipated customer base in Kansas City, access to a diverse workforce, as well as the quality of the building, confirmed the company’s decision to lease the entire Logistics Centre IV building.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, City Rent A Truck’s Jeff Schuetz and Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber

City Rent A Truck
A family-owned business, City Rent A Truck has been operating in the Kansas City area for 54 years, and it opened its third location in the KCI Corridor in July 2018. The new location now serves as the company’s new headquarters. City Rent A Truck offers dozens of work vehicles for rent and lease, including box trucks, flatbeds/stake beds, cargo and passenger vans, pickup trucks, and trailers. Each vehicle is available in a variety of sizes body styles and configurations to suit each customer’s needs.

The growing company chose Platte County for its headquarters based on its positive feelings about the business climate here and great potential base of customers. The new building has three truck service bays and one wash bay, and the site has additional acreage to be used future expansion needs.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, CVS Health’s Jim Hall and Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber

CVS Health Midwest Distribution Center 
CVS Pharmacy, the nation’s leading retail pharmacy chain, built a 762,000 square foot distribution center at the Skyport Industrial Park which officially started shipping products on October 1, 2018. The new Midwest Distribution Center is expected to create more than 360 new jobs at full ramp up, as well as up to 100 additional jobs that will be outsourced to local businesses.

CVS Health selected Kansas City for the location of the new distribution center because of Missouri’s high-quality workforce and centralized geography. With access to key road systems in the region, the distribution center will support the service and fulfillment needs of more than 500 CVS stores throughout the Midwest. Ranked #7 on the Fortune 500 list, CVS Health’s purpose is to help people on their path to better health.

Engaged Companies’ Scott Lehr and PCEDC
Vice-Chair Dale Brouk

Engaged Companies
Headquartered in Parkville since 2004, Engaged Companies is comprised of several businesses that span logistics, warehousing, technology, finance, and real estate. eShipping®, eShipping Exchange®, eShipping Distribution Services®, Engaged Expedited®, and Engaged Technologies® all provide complete logistics solutions and freight management technology to businesses on an international scale. Engaged Companies also includes EngagedFinancial®. Over the past year, Engaged Companies increased its local footprint from the 30,000 square feet corporate headquarters to an additional 250,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Park University Underground and two warehouse buildings at Riverside Horizons.

Alongside these business entities is Engaged InLife Academy Inc., a 501c3 that supports the Engaged Youth Academy® and EngagedAthletics® youth sport club. In January 2018, Engaged Companies opened a 12,000 square foot Baseball Training Center in Riverside that serves over 175 student athletes and in September entered into a partnership with the City of Parkville for a multi-phase restoration project of Grigsby Field in English Landing Park.In addition to an ever-increasing business and non-profit footprint, Engaged Companies’ employee count now totals 314, with 241 residing in Platte County (a 22% increase from 2017).

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, Ignite Medical Resorts’ Ryan Leiker and Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber

Ignite Medical Resorts
The newly opened Ignite Medical Resorts on Barry Road in Kansas City, Platte County couples uncompromising luxury with rapid rehabilitation in a program they call LuxeRehab. Ignite Medical Resorts has a unique and innovative model that has amenities such as its LuxeCafe proudly brewing Starbucks Coffee, its Fireside Grille restaurant with a Kansas City BBQ flare, the Glow Spa- featuring manicures, pedicures and massage therapy, and anon-site chapel. Guests can recover comfortably in their private suites with hospitality tablets to order room service, a housekeeping request or to book a spa appointment. The therapy department is one of the only ones in the area that has in-house employed physical, occupational and speech therapists and offers an intense 7 day a week model. Guests can get their spark back before returning home with state of the art therapy equipment, and outdoor therapy courtyard, an on-site pharmacy, continuous contact-free vital stats monitoring.

The new facility will create 125 jobs and includes beds for 90 residents.

PCEDC Chair Aaron Schmidt, Missouri American Water’s Jody Carlson and Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber

Missouri American Water
Missouri American Water recently replaced its 75-year-old facility in downtown Parkville with a new water treatment plant. The nearly 20,000 square feet of buildings were completed in 2018 on an 11-acre parcel.

The new plant greatly increases needed supplies while improving water quality and was designed to meet ongoing population growth in the Parkville region. Missouri American Water strives to use local construction workforce and local material suppliers.

The plant will deliver an initial capacity of 5 million gallons per day and is expandable to 10 MGD to meet increasing customer growth. It replaces a water treatment plant located in a downtown Parkville. The company made the significant capital investment in Parkville to replace its 75-year-old facility,with the goal to better serve its Platte County customers with reliable water supplies for years to come.

The Parkville Water District serves approximately 16,000 customers