31st Annual Business Excellence Awards

Allison SchultzNews

The Platte County Economic Development Council celebrated its 31st Annual Business Excellence Luncheon on Friday, December 3rd at the Embassy Suites KCI.  Since 1991, the Platte County EDC has given 193 Business Excellence Awards.  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, City of Platte City was the program sponsor and Commerce Bank was the presentation sponsor.

The theme for this year’s event was “Paving the Way” which highlights the continuous growth and development seen throughout Platte County, the fastest-growing county in the state of Missouri! After two years, it was wonderful to see everyone in person and celebrate the successes of our local businesses together.

Two companies were recognized by our Platte County school districts with the Education Partner award for their investment and commitment to our local students and schools. Our five Platte County communities each recognized a local business with the Community Development award for their accomplishments within our area. And finally, four Platte County companies were awarded Business Excellence awards for job creation and/or significant expansion and investment projects. These companies contributed over $95 million in investments, filled in 221,700 square feet of space, including a 93,000 square foot middle school, created 200+ new jobs, and totaled over 1,000 total jobs.

Education Partner Awards

The Education Partner Award recognizes 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 that have proven to be outstanding partners to Platte County education providers.

PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik, Park University Dean of the College of Education Health Professions Dr. Tim Hanrahan and Park Hill School District Superintendent Dr. Jeanette Cowherd

Park University 
The Park Hill School District and Park University have shared a special relationship for many years. In addition to being an excellent university right in our backyard and a popular choice for many Park Hill graduates, Park University has been a supporter and sponsor of the school district for many years. The University invests in the school district’s Professional Studies program and has hosted mock interviews with students on campus.

2021 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.

Platte County Commissioner Dagmar Wood, PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik, Platte County Commissioner Joe Vanover and Jeff Elsea

Weston Community Development Award winner: Sharp’s Market
Since 1993, Sharp’s Market has maintained a strong legacy in the Weston community. Doug Sharp, founder and owner, has been involved with local grocers throughout his life, starting at a young age when his father managed A&M Grocery in Excelsior Springs. He holds a meaningful passion for the grocery industry.

Mr. Sharp enjoys the connections he builds with local Platte County communities. As he says, “It is important to have a local shop in a small community.” This important statement drives home the consensus that Platte County businesses continue to drive the economic value of small businesses within our county.

Platte County Commissioner Dagmar Wood, Melinda McCombs, PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik, City of Riverside Mayor Kathy Rose, Platte County Commissioner Joe Vanover and City of Riverside Alderman Nathan Cretsinger

Riverside Community Development Award winner: Ranger Trophies
The McCombs’ purchased Ranger Trophies in 2015. Melinda McCombs and her husband, Sean, co-own and run this distinct business. While online sales for trophies lean on restricted layouts, Ranger Trophies has established a focus to provide the opposite experience, catering to a custom design for each customer.

Ranger Trophies chose Riverside as a base due to their love of the area while also recognizing the importance of participating with local school districts and involvement with the Riverside Chamber. The overall sense of collective community also drew their interest to Riverside. Overall, a commitment to the community has been key to Ranger Trophies’ success.

Platte County Commissioner Dagmar Wood, City of Platte City Mayor Tony Paolillo, PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik, Bill Gorman and Platte County Commissioner Joe Vanover

Platte City Community Development Award winner: Farm and Home Structures
After more than 30 years of working in various aspects of the commercial construction industry, Bill Gorman started Farm and Home Structures out of his KC home in January 2013. Over the past 8 years, Bill has grown his company from a sole practitioner with one framing crew to a small corporation with six full-time employees and three framing crews.

Locating the company’s first office in Platte City in May 2015 was a natural fit, as Platte City serves as the center of the company’s build territory and allows Bill to stay close to his Platte County roots. Each year the company sponsors, and works, the Jr Livestock Show at the Platte County Fair, one of the highlights of being a part of the Platte County and Platte City community.

Platte County Commissioner Dagmar Wood, Brian Mertz, PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik, Parkville EDC Executive Director Ed Linnebur and Platte County Commissioner Joe Vanover

Parkville Community Development Award winner: Brian Mertz
Many of you know Brian Mertz and Creekside LLC for their development in the northern part of Parkville. But for the last 15 years, Mertz and his company have been instrumental in reinvigorating downtown Parkville. Since 2006, Mertz has strived to modernize the area while preserving the historic downtown appeal.

A Parkville native, Mertz aspires to create a lasting positive impact for those who reside in or visit downtown but shapes it in a way to draw more tourism and businesses that continue to shape the community we all know and love.

The overall sense of fellowship within the Parkville community drives Mertz’s efforts. As he says, “There is a small-town feel that exists on the doorstep of a major metropolitan area.”

PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik, Sporting KC CEO & President Jake Reid, MD Management Director of Real Estate Garry Hayes, Councilman Dan Fowler and Olsson Vice President & Office Lead Darren Hennen

Partner Awards

This year, the Platte County EDC recognized three organizations for coming together to achieve a long-awaited goal here in the Northland, The Central Bank Sporting Complex. Their commitment to Platte County and the Northland will change the landscape of a critical area in Kansas City.

MD Management – Education Partner Award, Platte County R-3 School District
MD Management has been a great education partner with the Platte County R3 School District. The most visible example of partnership would be their generous gift of 86 acres which will serve as the site for the District’s New Middle School #2 (currently under construction) and master-planned for a future second high school.

This gift alone would be more than enough to recognize MD Management as a significant education partner. However, they have been and continue to be great thought partners with the school district as we strive to identify win-win situations. For almost a decade, Platte County R3 School District has collaborated with MD Management on innovative ideas, some of which will bear fruit for decades into the future. Platte County School District truly values our relationship with MD Management, and we look forward to continuing to work together as we gracefully grow our communities.

Sporting KC – Community Development Award, City of Kansas City
The City of Kansas City is proud to recognize its relationship with Sporting KC. The City came to know Sporting when the organization was contracted to manage the fields at Swope Park back in 2013.  That relationship continued to flourish as the Sporting KC team was selected to manage the Central Bank Sporting Complex in Platte County.  The selection process for this project was grueling, but Sporting showed their commitment to the Complex and the City of Kansas City time and time again.

Add Sporting KC’s efforts to recruit the 2026 World Cup to Kansas City to the mix and it’s a pretty good indicator of their willingness to partner with and put our city in the limelight.  During the 2026 World Cup visit, Sporting included visits to both the Central Bank Sporting Complex and Swope Soccer Village.

Olsson – Rainmaker Award
Platte County EDC has chosen Olsson for the inaugural “Rainmaker” award. Little did Darren Hennen know that when he agreed to serve on a committee that it would turn into a seven-year commitment.

Olsson has been instrumental in bringing the Northland Sports Complex project to completion. After many years of study and meetings, the Central Bank Sporting Complex is the final result. This project started with the question, where is the next high growth area for Platte County?

Additionally, we want to thank Superior Bowen and Clarkson Construction for their partnerships.

2021 Business Excellence Awards

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

City of Riverside Mayor Kathy Rose on behalf of Amazon and PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik

Amazon has opened 15 different facilities in Missouri ranging from fulfillment centers, delivery stations, Whole Foods Market locations, and an Amazon 4-Star Store. Many of those facilities are located right here in the Kansas City region.

The Riverside AmazonHub Delivery Station Warehouse (DLI3) opened in 2021 to support the increased demand for Amazon products and services. The 110,000 square foot delivery center houses thousands of products that associates prepare for last-mile delivery to customers. This ensures fast, everyday shipping from the warehouse right to the customer’s front door.

PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik and Capitol Federal Branch Manager Jane Hawkins

Capitol Federal
Founded in 1893, Capitol Federal is a leader in residential lending in Kansas and Missouri and boasts more than $9 billion in assets. They have remained steadfast in their philosophy of Safety in Savings, Sound Lending, Quality Customer Service, and Commitment to Community.

The Tiffany Springs branch opened in June 2021 marking the company’s third location in the Northland, two of which have opened in the last two years. Michael Dwyer, Vice President and Branch Manager, says that the welcoming, small-town atmosphere in Platte County and the Northland makes it feel like home and they’re grateful to be in our community.

The opening of the Tiffany Springs branch shows Capitol Federal’s commitment to the investment in Platte County.

MULTIVAC President/CEO Matt Malott and PCEDC Interim Executive Director Alicia Stephens

MULTIVAC is a leading global supplier of integrated packaging, processing and automation solutions to the food and medical device markets.

In 2019, MULTIVAC began construction on the new North American Logistics Center here at its US headquarters in Kansas City. The 33,000 square foot center opened for operation at the beginning of 2021 to support the increased demand for spare parts inventory, material supplies for in-house production and an expansion of the shipping and receiving areas. The center includes an automated storage and retrieval system for high volume parts, an expanded storage area for medium and large-sized materials and an automated mobile cantilever rack system for vertical warehousing of complete machines.

In addition, 50 new mechanical and electrical engineering office spaces were built, and 68 new jobs were created right here in Platte County.

PCEDC Chair Dr. Mike Reik and Park University Dean, College of Management Kirby Brown

Park University
Park University broke ground on the $10.4 million Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center and School of Business, located on the east side of the main entrance to the campus, on December 6, 2019.

The approximately 27,000 square-foot building, which officially opened on August 16, 2021, is the new home for the University’s School of Business, including a state-of-the-art finance lab, a special innovation and entrepreneurship lab, video production studio and lounge for commuter students. The center also houses the Park Global Warrior Center, which assists service members and veterans transitioning in and out of the military.

The Plaster Center building includes eight classrooms and seven spaces of various sizes for collaboration, along with offices for the 29 full-time faculty and 5 staff that manage the School of Business programs.

The Platte County Economic Development Council is a non-profit corporation with a mission to promote, enhance and grow economic development in Platte County, Missouri.  The organization works hard to improve the business sector, the workforce environment and the quality of life in Platte County communities. Its efforts with key economic development partners, focus on business retention, attraction and expansion.