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Small Business

The "Mr. K" Award

The late Ewing M. Kauffman was the epitome of the successful entrepreneur. And the values he both espoused and lived form the criteria for selection of The Chamber’s Small Business of the Year.

Mr. K started his career as a salesman, but the more orders he brought in, the more they cut his commission or territory. (It just didn’t do to make more money than the company president…)  So he quit, grinding oyster shells in his basement at night to fill the orders for calcium supplements he got during the day. That’s how Marion Labs began.

As a businessman, Mr. K was known for his appreciation for (and generosity to) his employees. And he is still loved for the many contributions he made to Greater Kansas City.

As with many business awards, candidates for The Chamber’s Small Business Awards are judged by the growth or sustainability of their business. But they also must have strong employee relations and a record of giving back to the community. Just like Mr. K.

Read more about Ewing Kauffman from the Kauffman Foundation website >>

Past "Mr. K" Award winners

The following is a list of previous winners of the "Mr. K" Award as the Chamber's Small Business of the Year:

Boulevard Brewing Company - 2012
SFP - 2011
Athletic Rehabilitation Center - 2010
Kansas City Internal Medicine - 2009
SunlightenTM (formerly Sunlight Saunas™) - 2008
ViraCor - 2007
Hoefer Wysocki Architects - 2006
S&M NuTec, LLC - 2005
LaserCycle InkCycle, Inc. - 2004
Datacore Marketing - 2003
Strickland Construction - 2002
CommuniTech.Net - 2001
SKC Communication Products Inc. - 2000
Missouri Bank & Trust Company of Kansas City - 1999
Marketing Associates International - 1998
Gould Evans Affiliates - 1997
Worth Harley-Davidson - 1996
Robert D. O’Byrne & Associates Inc. - 1995
Phelps Tool & Die Co., Inc. - 1994
Bagel & Bagel Inc. - 1993
OTR Express Inc. - 1992
Big Bob’s Used Carpet Shops of America Inc. - 1991
PB&J Corporation - 1990
Kansas City Valve & Fitting Co. - 1989
Cerner Corporation - 1988
Nicholson Kovac - 1987
Blankenship Distributors Inc. – 1987
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