Dan Nilsen, President of the Kansas City, MO firm Bishop-McCann, started his career at Ewing Kauffman’s Marion Laboratories. On May 29, Nilsen was presented with the “Mr. K” Award at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s 28th annual Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon.
Nilsen credits his experience at Marion and the leadership of Ewing Kauffman (Mr. K) as the reason for his firm’s success. At Marion, Nilsen says, “I learned Mr. K’s most important values: ‘Treat others as you want to be treated – with dignity and respect,’ and, ‘Share life’s rewards with those who make them possible.’ I founded Bishop-McCann with those same core values and try hard to live by them every single day. After 17 years in business, I can honestly tell that it’s the reason for our success. I hope he’s looking down on us right now with pride.”
- Bishop-McCann was one of the KC Chamber’s Top 10 Small Businesses, selected from more than 1000 nominated. The other Top 10 Small Businesses were honored at last week’s luncheon celebration as well.
KC Chamber President & CEO Jim Heeter says, “Congratulations to Bishop-McCann and Dan Nilsen. Their commitment to Mr. K’s ideals is obvious in the way they treat their employees as well as their strong record of community service and involvement. I think Mr. K would be proud.”
Bishop-McCann is a meetings, travel and incentive agency that designs and produces meetings, incentives, and live events worldwide. The company started with two employees in 1997 – today, Bishop-McCann has nearly 70 employees and four offices across the U.S. For the last five years, Bishop-McCann has been recognized as one of the “25 Largest and Most Influential Meetings and Incentive Companies in North America” by Corporate Meetings and Incentives Magazine.
The company is housed in the 100-year-old Taylor Building in the Crossroads District. The building had been abandoned for many years when Nilsen bought it, and required extensive renovation. Today, it offers a workplace conducive to creativity, Nilsen says, complete with a rooftop deck overlooking the Crossroads District.
Also honored at the Small Business Celebration Awards:
The Aspirational Entrepreneur Award – Snow & Co., Kansas City – The frozen cocktail bar and restaurant in the Crossroads District was started by three friends as they were finishing up their MBA’s at UMKC’s Bloch School. They plan to open a second location north of the river this summer. The Aspirational Entrepreneur award is geared towards companies less than three years old that have been built on ideology, values, and the goal to make change through enrichment.
The Legacy of Kansas City Award – Ace ImageWear, Kansas City – Established in 1932 by Ed Heilman, Ace ImageWear is a regional, family-owned uniform supply company that specializes in customized uniform, mat, towel and restroom supply programs. The Legacy of Kansas City Award honors longevity, quality products and/or services, and community service in small businesses more than 15 years old.
The Diverse Small Business Award – Alpha Energy & Electric – Alpha Energy & Electric opened for business in 2005 in a small, two-room office, providing energy and electrical services for industrial, commercial, and residential structures. Three years later, co-owners Ike Nwabuonwu and Gabriel Okafor, purchased and moved to what is now its 10,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters. Alpha’s projects include the renovated Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums, the Sprint Center, and JE Dunn corporate headquarters.
The Diverse Small Business award is given to certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Woman-owned Business Enterprises (WBE), Veteran-owned or Service Disabled Veteran-owned small businesses that have demonstrated vision, leadership, and courage by achieving business success while overcoming obstacles and maintaining a strong sense of service for the community.