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Watch KC Relocation Success Stories at RelocationSuccess BECAUSE IT’S MORE THAN JUST A HOUSE. YOUR NEXT PHASE. YOUR BEST PHASE... 913.599.6363 Kansas City Area Development Council Investors Dan, Maria, and Mike O’Dell RIGHT HERE IN KANSAS CITY.
KATIE VAN LUCHENE WRITER
Favorite local spot: The treelined sidewalk between Farina and the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts
Where I find inspiration: Helzberg Hall, while listening to the Kansas City Symphony
RANDY MASON WRITER
Favorite local spot: The off-leash dog area at Shawnee Mission Park
Where I find inspiration: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum at 18th & Vine
ANN M. CLIFFORD WRITER
Favorite local spot: Nelson Island at the end of Mill Creek Streamway Trail
Where I find inspiration: Art Alley in the Crossroads Arts District
PUBLISHER, KC OPTIONS
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KCADC DIRECTOR, EVENTS & MARKETING JAUQUI CRAIG
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KCADC SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, DESIGN & CREATIVE JONATHAN KNECHT
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SPECIALIST, GRAPHIC DESIGN VINNY PRIVITERA
THANKS TO OUR TEAMKC ADVISORY BOARD FOR GUIDING EDITORIAL:
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MALFER & ASSOCIATES
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Additional photography courtesy of: Black Dog Coffeehouse; Bonjwing Lee; Build KCI; Cameron Gee; Carlos Moreno / KCUR 89.3; Corvino Supper Club; Crown Center; Dance Fit Flow; FitBark; Grace Linn; IDEA Space; J. Rieger & Co.; Jauqui Craig; Johnson County Park and Recreation District; Kara Brock; KC Current; KC Film Fest/Larry F Levenson; KC Pioneers; KC Streetcar Authority; Louisburg Cider Mill; Made in KC; Meta; Morgan Miller Photography; Museum at Prairiefire; NBCUniversal; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art; Paul Andrews Photography; Plexpod; Ruby Jean’s Juicery; Screenland Armour; Servaes Brewing Co.; Sporting KC; Starlight; The Bold Americana / Emma Lundberg; Todd Zimmer; Venture for America; Vine Street Brewing / Kemet Coleman; VisitKC and Zip KC.
Special thank you to: Afterward Tavern & Shelves; Arron Zimnawoda; Café Corazón; Fairway Creamery; French Market; HITIDES; Mid Coast Modern; Panther’s Place; Pet People; Shayla Nash MUA; Woodside Health Club
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MILLER PHOTOGRAPHER Favorite local spot: The River Market area Where I find inspiration: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art PAUL ANDREWS PHOTOGRAPHER Favorite local spot: The Ship in West Bottoms Where I find inspiration: The River Market and Columbus Park neighborhoods
local spot: Our backyard, working on projects with my sons and in our swath of music venues
I find inspiration: In people that are passionate about what they are doing 2 KC.org Not pictured: LONITA COOK WRITER Showcase Publishing, Inc. ©2022 All rights reserved. Any reproduction in any form is strictly prohibited without written consent of the magazine publisher. > > >
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Imagine the Potential
4 KC.org 2 Contributors 6 Letter from the Editor ON THE COVER 90 The Brews Brothers Meet the founders of KC’s first Black-owned brewery. 10 Welcome to KC Heartland Get to know the basics - from our communities to our industry strengths. PEOPLE 35 Creativity + Community Matt brings “Midwest coolness” to KC. 42 Right on the Money Anita ties together banking, philanthropy and family fun. 48 No Coast, No Problem From Miami to KC, entrepreneur Alfredo loves his new home. 53 Designing KC Meet Dominique, an architect making a positive impact in KC. 63 For the Record For recordBar owners, Steve and Shawn, nothing can hold music down. 80 Pioneering Sports A new sports franchise has landed in KC. 85 On the Air Sportscaster Aly is in her element when she’s on the field. PLACES 39 Thrift On Vintage finds await you. 65 Sounds of KC Dive into the music scene. 67 Bring the Kids Family fun for all. 71 Kansas City Delicious Eat your heart out. 76 Wellness in KC @emilycoxwellness gives us all the recs. In this edition... 2022-2023 Get Technical Growth and innovation drive KC’s tech scene. Workforce Initiatives KC brings learning to life. From KC to Bel-Air Local artisans contribute to TV’s most anticipated remake. Now Showing Explore the silver screen in KC. Local Lingo Your vocabulary just expanded. 41 51 58 61 96 >> > >>>
Helping Dreams Take Flight
“CrossFirst Bank assumed our success before we had it and it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. From day one, they took a real interest in us and our business…from visiting the hangar, to guiding our financial strategy, to making introductions to other service providers in Kansas City…they have been tremendous partners and we’re excited to continue to grow with their help.”
– RYAN MENDON, OWNER AND GENERAL MANAGER, SKYBOUND HELICOPTERS Plaza | 816.895.4600 Leawood | 913.327.1212 crossfirstbank.com
Member KC Options Ad 2022.indd 1 4/8/2022 11:11:05 AM
Live like a local.
When traveling to a new destination, I always try to “do as the locals do.” I choose the everyday hangouts over the tourist traps. The nooks and crannies of a place that make it unique — that’s what I want to experience.
In Kansas City — so great it has to fit inside two states — those nooks and crannies can be found around every corner.
Of course, we’re proud of our big wins, like being named a host city for the FIFA World Cup in 2026. (Check out how we celebrate on page 10.)
But what really makes KC memorable is the little moments. It’s the people and places that become part of your routine. When you start to get stuck in your “bubble,” it’s knowing that there are countless places to explore and that being a tourist in your own city is always an option.
>You see, once you set foot in Kansas City — or KC Heartland, as we like to say — it doesn’t take long to start feeling like a local. KC embraces you. It welcomes you with open arms. Right away, you’re invited to uncover your KC, whether you’re a sports fanatic, bookworm or collector of comics. (Name an interest — there’s a regional Facebook group for that.)
As you turn the pages of KC Options, you’ll learn what it means to truly live like a local. You’ll read the stories of individuals who are flourishing in our region, building their own unique communities and settling into lives they love. Oh, and you’ll pick up some pretty stellar restaurant recommendations along the way.
With every story, you’ll feel more and more like one of us. Welcome to KC Heartland.
Addie Linn Editor-in-Chief KC Options firstname.lastname@example.org
6 KC.org >>>
One of my favorite weekend hangouts, Panther’s Place, located in the Westside neighborhood.
What makes us invaluable: Our People Bow tie or blue jeans, couch or cubicle … however and wherever you’re at your best, that’s how and where we want you to be. bv.com/careers MAKE YOUR MARK. JOIN US From manufacturing and IT to accounting and communications, Dairy Farmers of America offers rewarding jobs in a variety of fields. Apply now at DFAMILK.com/careers Dairy Farmers of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Every day, we impact the lives of our dairy farmer-owners across the country and bring wholesome dairy to family tables around the world. © 2022 Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. HUMR22005
Your Future Career Starts Here
At AdventHealth, we see you – the whole you. We see your life beyond these walls, and we promise to care for you physically, mentally and spiritually. Be part of the shift to a brighter future in health care in a place that understands the depth of your service and heights your career can reach.
Find a Place to Grow Your Career
As the largest healthcare provider in Kansas City, our network includes AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, AdventHealth South Overland Park, and AdventHealth Ottawa. Our tradition of caring has its foundation in sixty years of providing genuine and excellent care to our communities. Our proactive and collaborative approach ensures every patient achieves the highest level of compassionate care. Our wide range of services continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing healthcare environment and the needs of our patients across every stage of life. We follow the best-recommended practices within the healthcare industry and strive to enable our healthcare professionals to succeed. Our accreditations are a testament to our commitment to our patients and employees.
AdventHealth Shawnee Mission
Formerly known as Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 West 74th Street, Merriam, KS 66204
AdventHealth South Overland Park
7820 West 165th Street, Overland Park, KS 66223
1301 S Main Street, Ottawa, KS 66067
*Our Kansas network of care includes hospital care, urgent care, nursing facilities, home-care agencies and more.
With a sacred mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ, AdventHealth is a connected system of care for every stage of life and health. More than 80,000 skilled and compassionate caregivers in physician practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies and hospice centers provide individualized, wholistic care. A shared vision, common values, focus on whole-person health and commitment to making communities healthier unify the system’s more than 50 hospital campuses and hundreds of care sites in diverse markets throughout almost a dozen states. For more information about AdventHealth, visit AdventHealth.com.
Scan QR code to Search Careers in AdventHealth Kansas
The Kansas City region is a thriving Midwest metropolitan area. Spanning two states and more than 9,000 square miles, KC envelops a vast collection of communities and neighborhoods. Whether your lifestyle is more urban, suburban or rural, there’s a little pocket of paradise carved out just for you. Anywhere you land, the people are sure to be the reason you call KC home.
10 KC.org >
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 11
In downtown’s Power & Light District, a crowd erupts in celebration after learning Kansas City will be a 2026 World Cup host city.
Catch a vibe at Outta the Blue, a beachinspired café located in Leawood, Kansas.
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 13
> > >
Cheer on Sporting KC, Kansas City’s MLS soccer team.
Patrons peruse the Día de los Muertos altar installation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Starlight Theatre hosts Broadway shows and concerts in a stunning, outdoor setting.
Get lost in the Mulvane Art Museum in Topeka, Kansas.
Topeka is one of the most talked about cities in Kansas. In ten years the population has reached a new high, the GDP has grown by $1 Billion dollars, and thousands of new jobs are available. The city is now the third hottest housing market in the United States. The time is right for you to make your mark and build the life you always wanted. Choose Topeka and invest in your future.
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Enjoy a cup of coffee at Café Equinox, nestled inside Family Tree Nursery in Shawnee, Kansas.
Enjoy sipping cider, eating donuts and picking pumpkins at the Louisburg Cider Mill.
The Elms Hotel and Spa in Excelsior Springs, Missouri is known for its luxurious amenities, attracting high-profile figures throughout its 130 year history.
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 15 >>>
BRUSH CREEK MISSOURI RIVER 47 th STREET 43 rd STREET 39 th STREET 12 th STREET SOUTHWEST Blvd. 18 th STREET SUMMIT St. BROADWAY MAIN St. GRAND Blvd. 5th STREET 670 River Market West Bottoms Downtown Midtown Power & Light Crossroads 18th & Vine Westside Union Station Crown Center Valentine & Roanoke Union Hill Hyde Park Nelson-Atkins Martini Corner 39th Street Westport Country Club Plaza UMK C River Market West Bottoms Downtown Midtown Power & Light Crossroads 18th & V ine Westside Union Station Crown Center Valentine & Roanoke Union Hill Hyde Park Nelson-Atkins UMKC Martini Corner 39th Street Westport Country Club Plaza Districts CLICK HERE to explore a virtual tour of KC. 16 KC.org DISTRICTS Neighborhoods and entertainment areas in the core of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 17 map courtesy of VisitKC
The Tailgater The Arts Enthusiast
SO MUCH KC, SO LITTLE TIME…
No matter what you’re into, Kansas City has a little something for everyone. Pick your poison, and scratch the surface of all there is to do in the region.
Browse dozens of galleries while wandering through the Crossroads Arts District at this monthly block party.
From art and jazz to automobiles and WWI, you can channel your inner historian in KC.
KAUFFMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Discover KC’s symphony, opera and ballet in this world-class venue.
Catch a mesmerizing performance by this globe-traveling contemporary cirque act.
ENDLESS LIVE MUSIC
No matter your preferred genre, discover live music around nearly every corner. More on pg. 65.
THE BLUE LINE
Scream your lungs out at KC’s No. 1 hockey bar.
KC LIVE! BLOCK
Lose your mind watching your favorite team on the 40-foot LED screen in the center of the Power & Light District.
Visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball.
REC LEAGUES FOR ALL
Show your competitive side and play in one of KC’s many recreational sports leagues, from sand volleyball to cornhole tournaments.
Arguably what Kansas Citians do best - tailgate before heading into the big game.
DINNER FOR TWO
Enjoy date night at one of KC’s 15 James Beard Award-winning restaurants.
BBQ AND BREWS
Indulge at one of KC’s 100+ BBQ restaurants or hop around to some of KC’s 85 local craft breweries.
KCK TACO TRAIL
Embark on a taco-fueled adventure following the Forbes-recognized KCK Taco Trail.
The best time of the day, partake in happy hour at a number of locales. Some of our faves? La Bodega, Bamboo Penny’s and Third Street Social.
Party like it’s 1920 at one of the region’s many speakeasies.
Wellness Warrior The Game Guru
Get your sweat on at one of KC’s 250 unique gyms.
Enjoy a delicious plant-based meal at Gigi’s Vegan + Wellness Café, Mattie’s Foods or several other vegan restaurants.
Fresh ﬂowers and produce await you at one of the region’s many celebrated markets.
ONE WITH NATURE
Immerse yourself in nature at Powell Botanical Gardens or in the Overland Park Arboretum.
Enter a di erent world at one of KC’s virtual reality arcades including DoubleTap KC, FlipSwitch VR and Disciples of Gaming VR.
Enjoy craft beer and vintage pinball in the historic Strawberry Hill neighborhood.
BOARD GAMES GALORE
Get your game on at Pawn & Pint or Cardboard Corner Cafe.
GAME SHOW BATTLE ROOM
Venture beyond city limits to Hillsdale State Park or Weston Bend State Park.
Take your chances and star in your very own game show at the Game Show Battle Rooms.
Get your Pac-Man ﬁx at an arcade bar like Up-Down or Draftcade.
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 19
Art for All
The iconic symbol for Kansas City — the KC heart — was on full display in the spring of 2022, when giant 5-foot heart sculptures took over the region.
The hearts, each decorated by a local artist, became a symbol for civic pride and continued unity coming out of the pandemic.
KC, known as the “Paris of the Plains,” lives up to the cultural vibrance of its European counterpart, with a thriving arts scene that continues to attract creatives from around the world.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is an iconic landmark in Kansas City’s commitment to accessibility across economic divides, boasting free admission to its opulent treasure trove of art history. For a more modern perspective, contemporary art also finds many homes in KC, including at the Kemper Museum and Nerman Museum.
But art isn’t only housed in the hallowed galleries of grand museums — Kansas City is recognized as a Top Choice for Creatives (Thrillist, 2022), where
painters, performers, musicians and more find a variety of opportunities to express their talents.
Every First Friday of the month, artists gather to share their works with passersby in the Crossroads Arts District and West Bottoms, where several galleries also feature an eclectic variety of local art. And each weekend, hundreds of tents pop up at City Market for Art Garden KC, where visitors can shop local-made products and listen to live music.
With organizations like ArtsKC dedicated to “advancing lives through the arts,” KC’s community support of the arts and culture scene is palpable throughout the region, a spotlight of the region’s commitment to inclusion and forward-thinking. n
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 21
> > > >
Sculptures by Nick Cave
Parade of Hearts sculpture by Sara Engman-Slaughter. Gallery art by Amy Abshier.
> >> 158 KC HEARTS 123 LOCAL ARTISTS 75 CORPORATE SPONSORS $2.56 MILLION RAISED FOR LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS
Parade of Hearts
Just off the beaten path in Kansas City, you’ll find an impressive outdoor scene with an abundance of activities to satisfy your adventure cravings. There are parks around every corner, from acres of green space to inclusive playgrounds, not to mention breathtaking state parks.
With hiking and biking trails, campgrounds, kayak and paddle board rentals, rock climbing, swimming beaches and more — the area has an activity for everyone.
Kansas City enjoys all four seasons, so there are countless outdoor experiences to take in year-round. Some of the locals’ seasonal favorites include The Fun Farm — a pumpkin patch by fall and tulip festival by spring, and ice skating at Crown Center and Park Place in winter. Summertime is perfect for exploring expansive landscapes at Swope Park, Shawnee Mission Park, Loose Park and more. n
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 23 Outdoor Exploration
> >>> 1,506 PARKS 2,207 MILES OF TRAILS & BIKEWAYS 30 DOG PARKS AVG AVG HIGH LOW SPRING 66 45 SUMMER 86 66 FALL 68 46 WINTER 43 23
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In March 2023, the largest single infrastructure project in Kansas City’s history opens its doors to the world. Kansas City International Airport — referred to as “KCI” in conversation and “MCI” when booking your next flight — broke ground on the new terminal project in 2019 following a landslide decision by voters to make improvements.
More than 200 local partners, including 126 minority and women-owned businesses, have contributed to the build-out of this 1 million-square-foot facility. Intentional steps around equitable and inclusive amenities abound. From a Flight Simulation Lab for apprehensive travelers and a children’s play area built for all levels of ability to the USO Lounge and welcoming spirit of KC Heartland is on full display.
With glass passenger boarding bridges positioned at each of the 39 gates, a 6,300-car parking garage adjacent to the terminal, and a wealth of local and national concessions distributed throughout, ease and convenience are key components of the new front door to KC. n
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 25
Wings and Wheels: GETTING AROUND IN KC > KC STREETCAR FREE TO RIDE | 2.2 MILES EXPANDING TO 6.2 MILES IN 2025 2,000+ EV CHARGING STATIONS UNDER 30- MINUTE AVERAGE COMMUTE ZERO-FARE TRANSIT ON RIDEKC BUSES 42 RIDEKC PEDALPOWERED BIKE PICK-UP/DROP-OFF STATIONS 12 MAJOR AIRLINES 140 DAILY DEPARTURES
26 KC.org >>> KC at Work With surging industries and attractive jobs, KC stands out as a perfect junction of diverse business, top talent and ideal location. > Paralleling National Trends Kansas City’s range of industries closely reflects the national mix. This diversity keeps KC’s market adept, able to flex with new innovations, as well as challenges like the pandemic. Education Professional Financial Information Transportation Retail Wholesale Manufacturing Construction Government Other Leisure 2% 7% 12% 23% 9% 5% 5% 8% 10% 3% 11% 6% 2% 8% 13% 22% 8% 4% 4% 7% 10% 3% 11% 6% Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2020 5-Year Estimates INDUSTRY USA KC USA KC Education & Health Services Professional & Business Services Financial Activities Information Transportation & Utilities Retail Trade Wholesale Trade Manufacturing Construction & Mining Government Other Services Leisure & Hospitality 2% 7% 12% 23% 9% 5% 5% 8% 10% 3% 11% 6% 2% 8% 13% 22% 8% 4% 4% 7% 10% 3% 11% 6% Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2020 5-Year Estimates INDUSTRY SECTORS USA KC INDUSTRY SECTORS Education & Health Services Professional & Business Services Financial Activities Information Transportation & Utilities Retail Trade Wholesale Trade Manufacturing Construction & Mining Government Other Services Leisure & Hospitality 12% 23% Estimates INDUSTRY SECTORS > Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2020 5-Year Estimates
> Industrial Hotspot
With supply chain efficiency becoming ever-more critical, KC’s strengths as a leading logistics hub — and its accessibility to 85 percent of the U.S. population in two days or less drive time — make it an ideal location for manufacturing and distribution. As the demand for industrial space continues, KC’s central location, low operating costs, logistics infrastructure network and available spec space continue to attract national attention.
> Global Design, Right Here
KC is a global center for the design and build industry, home to more than 1,000 architecture, engineering and construction firms and ranking in the top 10 for concentration of A/E/C jobs nationwide. KC Global Design, a collective of the region’s top design firms and leaders, drives innovation and collaboration within the market.
Kansas City design companies have an international impact, designing 15 percent of the world’s power systems. And if you’re a sports fan, chances are you’ve had a touchpoint with KC — close to half of modern American sports architecture originates in the region.
> The Home of Animal Health
The Animal Health Corridor — stretching from Manhattan, Kansas, to Columbia, Missouri — is the No. 1 area for animal health in the world. Home to more than 300 companies, it comprises 56 percent of total worldwide animal health, diagnostics and pet food sales. In 2022, Scorpion Biological Services chose the Animal Health Corridor for a $650 million biomanufacturing facility, furthering the KC market as a global leader for bioscience and biodefense.
> Advancing Health Care
Known for top-quality care, surgical expertise and cuttingedge research, several regional hospitals rank among the best in the nation. Children’s Mercy’s genomic sequencing system — the most advanced in the world — is transforming the diagnosis of rare diseases. The University of Kansas Health System recently achieved full designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. And Kansas City health tech companies, including Oracle Cerner, WellSky and Netsmart, continue to pioneer advancements in the industry on a global scale.
> A Thriving Hub for Tech
From nimble startups to global enterprises, KC’s technology scene is skyrocketing. Recognized as a “Rising Star” for tech jobs, KC offers both highly-educated talent — 1 in 10 KC workers are employed in tech — and rapid growth of businesses within the industry. Read more about KC’s tech scene on pg. 41. n
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 27
A HOTTEST U.S. JOB MARKET The Wall Street Journal, April 2022 TOP 10 CITY FOR LAUNCHING A BUSINESS Real Estate Witch, January 2022 TOP CITY FOR STARTUPS M25, August 2022 > >>
Kansas City Tops the List in Affordability and Quality of Life
There’s no doubt that Kansas City is abundant in art, culture, shopping and sports, but if we’re being practical, numbers matter too. Fortunately, the Kansas City region scores just as well in cost of living as it does in quality of life. Kansas City’s local real estate market is strong and thriving, a trend that is expected to continue in the years ahead.
When stacked up next to comparable cities like Austin, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, Kansas City’s home affordability stands above the rest. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the median home price in the Kansas City region is just over $287,000 as compared to $325,000 for Chicago, $540,000 for Austin and nearly $1.4 million for San Francisco.
Kansas City also takes top rank when looking at livable home space for the investment. On average, a buyer looking in the $275,000 to $400,000 range in Kansas City can anticipate homes with two to four bedrooms and averaging between 1,200 to 3,000 square feet.
And Kansas City comes through for the win in number of bedrooms and square footage for the price, regardless of the price range.
But time is money too, so establishing a positive work life balance makes drive time another highly important factor. Kansas City’s average commute times is under 25 minutes, regardless of which side of the state line or which community lived in.
From golf course communities to lake living and urban condos to quiet culs de sac, Kansas City has an option for everyone. If you’re looking at moving to the Kansas City area, partner with an expert. Not only are REALTORS® experts on the city, but they are knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to finding you the right home for you in the perfect location. REALTORS® are the best resource to begin your homebuying journey.
30 KC.org DINNER FOR 2 Mid-Range GASOLINE 1 Gallon MOVIE 1 Seat AVERAGE COMMUTE TIME Minutes RENT – Monthly 1 Bedroom Outside of Centre UTILITIES 915 SF Apartment INTERNET FITNESS CAPPUCCINO SINGLE-FAMILY HOME –Median Price MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $69,240 $68,406 $80,852 $287,400 $382,700 $540,700 $999.89 $1,471.71 $1,493.14 $171.47 $199.97 $150.48 $65.00 $65.00 $74.00 $4.23 $4.61 $4.34 $10.50 $15.00 $13.00 $66.82 $84.90 $64.49 $53.45 $72.62 $48.00 $4.79 $4.87 $4.84 23.5 28.1 27.4 KANSAS CITY AUSTIN NASHVILLE COST OF LIVING Comparison >>>
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 31 $93,537 $74,621 $83,289 $110,837 $90,790 $64,994 $639,000 $325,400 $662,200 $1,380,000 $746,200 $368,200 $1,921.88 $1,378.93 $1,518.52 $2,559.62 $1,804.35 $1,248.76 $181.04 $159.21 $144.91 $218.16 $225.79 $173.28 $82.50 $80.00 $65.00 $95.00 $85.00 $65.00 $4.78 $5.48 $4.54 $6.19 $5.41 $4.82 $15.00 $15.00 $13.50 $15.50 $15.00 $12.00 $60.66 $61.21 $70.72 $64.54 $69.13 $68.13 $67.50 $56.27 $71.84 $101.36 $58.20 $37.54 $4.84 $4.54 $4.93 $5.05 $5.05 $4.51 31.5 31.8 27.8 34.1 31.0 26.9 BOSTON CHICAGO DENVER SAN FRANCISCO SEATTLE UNITED STATES U.S. Census Bureau, 2020, American Community Survey (1-year estimates) | National Association of Realtors, Q1 2022 | Numbeo.com, Aug 2022 >>> KC
Marco Rabello & Cristian Maciel
Co-founders, Taste of Brazil
Hearts + Minds
K C.o r g
From meeting as teenage volleyball teammates in São Paulo, Brazil, to opening an authentic Brazilian foodie hotspot in KC, Marco and Cristian face every challenge and opportunity with the attitude of “why not?”
Their restaurant, Taste of Brazil, has been wowing Kansas Citians since 2013. Offering authentic Brazilian street food and cocktails in downtown’s City Market, you can even find their immensely popular cheese bread (aka Pão de Queijo) in 65 local grocery stores and online. | tasteofbrazilkc.com
We’re proud to call Kansas City our block.
Yes, H&R Block knows taxes. But we also know tech, business, finance, engineering, and lots more. For 67 years, we’ve made our home in Kansas City. We’d love for you to do the same – virtually or in-person.
Explore opportunities at hrblock.com/careers
Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality | Human Rights Campaign, 2020 – 2022
Great Place to Work® | 2021 – 2022
America’s Best Large Employers | Forbes, 2021 – 2022
World’s Best Employers | Forbes, 2020 – 2021
Best Employers for Diversity | Forbes, 2018 – 2022
Best Employers for New Grads | Forbes, 2018 – 2021
ENTREPRENEUR finds joy combining CREATIVITY, COMMUNITY & KC.
>By ANN CLIFFORD
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 35 >>> Continued
When MATT BRAMLETTE was ready to make a career shift away from graphic design and advertising, he knew he wanted to do something completely different. So he made a list of things that brought joy to his life — creativity, entrepreneurial projects, music and traveling. As he broadened his scope beyond traditional jobs, he discovered Kansas City’s maker scene.
“I wanted to be around creative people, and the maker community was interesting because it’s made up of people who are creating things because they love it,” Matt explains. “I started to look for a way to tap into that feeling of creativity and positivity. There were a couple of local stores that I really liked, and I began to explore the idea of starting a business.”
The first step was a crash course in entrepreneurship. “I didn’t have retail experience, and I’d never started a business,” says Matt. “From my work in advertising, I was familiar with the FastTrac program available through the Kauffman Foundation. The program is basically startup 101, and it gave me the classes, resources and reality-checks I needed to understand what opening and running a business would take.”
From there, Matt and his husband, Rick Leavitt, opened the doors to Mid Coast Modern in 2015 located in the Crossroads District and later moved the store to the Westport area for better foot traffic. The store showcases “Midwest coolness” with an eclectically curated inventory of handmade, small-brand and locally sourced gift and home goods items.
“We wanted the store to be different, and we were constantly looking for unique items,” Matt says. “Rick was traveling a lot for his job, and every time he went to a city, he would visit similar stores and bring back things that might be a fit. One trip, he came back with a do-it-yourself soap kit.”
THE REGION HAS A LOT OF NICHES AND NOOKS, SO AS AN ENTREPRENEUR AND IN LIFE OVERALL, YOU CAN FIND YOUR PEOPLE. KC HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, AND THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DISCOVER.
“We tested the kit out and got interested in the process,” Matt explains. “For fun, I created a brand — Bear Soap Co. — and we started selling four different bars of our handmade goat’s milk soap at the store and local craft events. The soaps quickly became bestsellers for us.”
>The Bear Soap Co. took off, adding scents and products including bath bombs, beard balm and solid shampoos. Today, business is booming with an in-house Bear Soap maker space in the recently remodeled Mid Coast Modern store and products are available at Made in KC marketplaces on the Country Club Plaza and in Lenexa, as well as through various wholesale clients.
“There’s a lot of support for small business in KC and a lot of local pride,” Matt says. “The region has a lot of niches and nooks, so as an entrepreneur and in life overall, you can find your people. KC has something for everyone, and there’s always something to discover.”
When he’s not in the Mid Coast Modern store or building the Bear Soap Co. brand, Matt enjoys exploring KC and recommends the East Crossroads area for its vibrant and unique local businesses, graffiti art along Art Alley and a favorite out-of-the-ordinary coffee shop, HITIDES. n
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The Hunt is On for VINTAGE, THRIFT and ANTIQUE
By KATIE VAN LUCHENE
KC is a hotspot for shops that offer everything from an Eames lounge chair to a 1950s cocktail dress.
Fashion gems from band T-shirts to Prada
Score a rockabilly dress, vintage caftan or rad Hawaiian shirt at Donna’s Dress Shop. For themed parties, Boomerang rents and sells go-go boots, Star Wars swag and disco suits.
WyCo Vintage boasts the world’s largest selection of authentic classic band tees. Daisy Lee Vintage augments its tees and denim with artfully altered fashions, while The Trove offers a wall of pre-loved Louis Vuitton bags.
Get your First Friday weekends started on Thursday at Martini Corner’s Urban Mining and its three floors of vintage goodies. Down the block, Populuxe curates mid-century treasures.
Stop by West Bottoms — where weekend food trucks give a street-fair vibe — and hit must-sees, Good Ju Ju and Bella Patina. Pro-tip: bring a truck for the hutch or sofa you can’t live without.
Glenwood Antique Market, an estate sale on steroids in Overland Park, hosts 170 fashion and décor vendors. Sentimental Journey in Independence and River Market Antiques each tout collectibles from hundreds of dealers. And don’t miss 45th and State Line’s blocks of shops, including SID & Co., Christopher Filley and Modern Love.
Standout stand-alone shops
Slater Street Antiques in Shawnee displays vintage-painted furniture and garden goods, while 816 Vintage on Belton’s Main Street has primo mid-century furnishings.
Looking for old world style decor? Deck out your home with English cottage furnishings from Charlecote or French chateau garden treasures from Pear Tree Antiques. n
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> >> >
DO WORK THAT MATTERS
Every day, over 6,000 employees in Kansas City and New Mexico come together to do work that matters at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus, managed by Honeywell FM&T. They’re dedicated to supporting our national security mission by manufacturing sophisticated mechanical, electronic and engineered-material components.
The Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus is managed and operated by Honeywell FM&T.
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Growth and innovation drive KC’s TECH SCENE.
By ANN CLIFFORD
Rendering of Meta’s $800 M hyperscale data center in North KC
Kansas City’s tech scene, which was in growth mode well before the pandemic, is getting even hotter with the region’s increasing work-fromanywhere capabilities. In recognition of KC’s rapid growth in tech jobs since 2015, the Brookings Institute ranks the market as one of its “rising star metros” for tech.
KC is well-known as a healthtech hub thanks to companies including Netsmart, Quest Analytics, WellSky and Cerner, the last of which became part of Oracle following its multi-billion-dollar acquisition in 2022.
In recent years, KC has also established itself as a center for cybersecurity. Torch.AI, named one
of America’s best startups by Forbes in 2022, is leading the industry with cutting-edge artificial intelligence-powered data processing. And the recent merger of locally-based Fishtech Group and the Herjavec Group (helmed by Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank) formed a new cyber defense-focused company — Cyderes — based in KC, London and Toronto.
With KC in the heart of the Animal Health Corridor — the largest concentration of animal health companies in the world — startups including Fitbark and Vytelle are focused on utilizing tech and data intelligence to accelerate the industry. Companies such as DSI and SafetyCulture
capitalize on the region’s strengths in industrial technology; and the decisions by Meta to build its hyperscale data center and by Panasonic to develop its 4,000-employee EV battery plant in KC further solidify the region’s future as a technology center.
Fueling this growth is the market’s skilled workforce, with the number of tech workers continuing to rise. The region’s commitment to expanding its talent pool can be seen in immersion programs like KC STEM Alliance’s Code Ninjas, which targets kids ages 5 to 14, and the KC Tech Council’s Apprenti program, which provides apprenticeship opportunities to individuals looking to transition into technology. n
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RIGHT ON THE MONEY
By KATIE VAN LUCHENE
When Anita Newton pitched the idea of an innovation lab to CommunityAmerica Credit Union, a position was created just for her. But work isn’t the only reason Anita is high on Kansas City.
If Kansas City needs a new motto, ANITA NEWTON has one ready: The sweet spot for work, family and philanthropy.
Anita and husband Dean, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Kansas, along with twin teens Sydney and Spencer, could be the tagline’s poster family.
As Chief Innovation Officer at Community America, Anita develops member services that deliver financial well-being to individuals and families.
One program that percolated in her innovation lab — a suite of free college planning tools — was so successful it’s now used by credit unions across the United States and was featured in Forbes. But the word community isn’t just part of her employer’s name; it resonates throughout her life.
The family lives in Prairie Village where, she says, “our kids had the ideal childhood, like walking from middle school to the Village to meet up with friends.”
The couple has always focused on creating family experiences. They’re big into sports, from KU basketball to professional teams. The twins recently graduated from Shawnee Mission East, where Anita compares a Lancer pep rally to the excitement of a Chief’s game.
Weekends usually find the group at a dog park with goldendoodles, Scout and Bailey, and an evening at home often includes a round of Bananagrams or Charades with friends.
As new empty nesters, their itinerary includes more date nights at Lidia’s, Sushi House or neighborhood favorites Story and Café Provence.
And that’s not all. Philanthropic efforts such as co-chairing Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Red Hot Night in 2022 and being honorary chairs for the Starlight Gala in 2023 are additional outlets for this community centric power couple. n
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 43 KC
> > > The Newtons aren’t the only dog lovers in town. Livability lists KC as a top region for dogs and their pet-parents. Meanwhile, the metro is home to: 30 DOG PARKS 147 PET FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS 134 PET FRIENDLY HOTELS >>> > > >
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Amelia Bearhardt Drag Queen
A KC-area native, Sam is a Kansan through and through. When living in Indiana after graduating from Kansas State University, he realized he missed the art of performance. Thus, the fabulous, applause-loving Amelia Bearhardt was born.
“Amelia is an enigma of tape, glue, glitter and paint. She’s a love letter to strong Kansan women and Kansans’ grit and heart.”
When Sam would come back to KC, Amelia would come, too. Now a full time Kansas Citian once again, you can find her hosting biweekly show tunes acts and performing weekly at Missie B’s, Woody’s KC and Hamburger Mary’s.
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From MIAMI to the MIDDLE OF THE MAP
By RANDY MASON
ALFREDO GARCIA, PH.D. has spent most of his life near the ocean — first in Miami, then North Carolina, Boston and New Jersey. Even “across the pond” in London.
But that doesn’t stop him from declaring,“I’m very bullish about Kansas City.”
Alfredo came to the region three years ago when his wife Ali was accepted into the Clinical Psychology program at KU.
“I’m an entrepreneur,” he says proudly. One whose resume lists advanced degrees in religion and sociology, with work in writing, fundraising and arts administration.
Last year, Alfredo turned his sights to real estate. As a principal with RG Capital Partners. he helps identify distressed properties that can be revived as offices, homes and artist enclaves, turning them into a profit for investors.
“Because I’m willing to take on the dirty, the nasty and the hard,” he explains, “people here have been willing to help me make it happen.”
Alfredo loves the data digging that comes with the job, but nothing replaces searching out rehab-worthy buildings tucked away in forgotten corners of the greater KC region.
Along the way, he enjoys finding good places to eat, drink and play, such as Café Corazón, a Hispanicowned coffee shop with locations in Westport and the Crossroads. Or Afterword Tavern & Shelves, where he loves to “geek out” perusing books on display while sampling a craft cocktail.
For a memorable meal, Alfredo is known to highly recommend James Beard Award-recognized Corvino Supper Club and The Antler Room.
He also has discovered a great Cuban sandwich in an unlikely place — near the Croatian Cultural Center on Strawberry Hill.
Blue Caribe, he’s happy to report, serves“the closest taste to home.” n
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>>> > >>
By ANN CLIFFORD
Albert Einstein famously said that “learning is experience,” and KC’s wide and varied range of educational programs definitely takes this to heart. From elementary and high school through higher ed and workforce development, students of all ages have countless opportunities to bring learning to life.
IDEA Space KC’s mission is to spark the imaginations of K-12 students around Innovation, Discovery, Entrepreneurship and Arts. The thoughtful and accessible curriculum includes after-school and summer programs, as well as partnerships with area schools and nonprofits.
aSTEAM Village inspires K-12 students and adults to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) through hands-on learning programs, including robotics, video gaming and engineering.
Real World Learning (RWL) is a community initiative launched by the Kauffman Foundation to help students prepare for life after high school through immersive projects and internships with local employers. For example, Pro X, just one of the many RWL options, is a five-week summer internship that enables students to gain professional experience, along with a monetary stipend and academic credit.
LaunchCode works with KC tech companies to identify workforce needs, providing free tech education and job readiness training to students of all ages. Upon completion of the program, graduates are directly connected with local apprenticeships and jobs.
Startland Education focuses on helping students embrace human-centered design thinking and social change through real-world learning by offering innovation challenges, pitch competitions and access to internships.
Venture for America is designed for KC’s entrepreneurial-minded students. The program gives recent college grads invaluable firsthand experience through two-year fellowships with local startups. n
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KC BRINGS LEARNING to LIFE for STUDENTS of ALL AGES.
KC Workforce by the Numbers 93% HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATED 31 MAJOR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES 31,000+ HIGHER ED STUDENTS GRADUATE ANNUALLY > > > >
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DESIGNING KC: Architect makes a POSITIVE IMPACT.
By ANN CLIFFORD
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 53 >>> Continued >
When DOMINIQUE DAVISON and her husband, Robert Riccardi, moved to Kansas City in 2004, they were seeking a place that would not only bring them closer to extended family but also serve as a springboard for their architectural practices.
“It was an exciting time. There was a lot of energy, especially circling around KC’s downtown,” she says. “It’s been amazing to see so many ideas come to fruition.”
Dominique quickly found a welcoming community and tapped into the region’s deep entrepreneurial resources, including the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac program and an informal support network called the Biz-EMamas, made up of women business owners.
She launched DRAW Architecture + Urban Design, a positive-design-focused practice, in 2005 and PlanIT Impact, a technology business aimed at measuring the cost-benefits of lower carbon impact design, in 2017.
Dominique’s commitment to making the community a better, more positive place extends beyond her businesses. She serves as a Commissioner for the Land Bank of Kansas City, Missouri, which helps to return vacant properties to productive use, and on the advisory board for the Urban Land Institute. Dominique is also on the advisory board for KC Global Design, an initiative focused on elevating the KC region as a global destination for design.
In her off hours, Dominique can often be found meeting friends at Messenger Coffee (a space designed by DRAW), lunching at Ricos Tacos Lupe on Southwest Boulevard, or playing a round of mini-golf with her children, Fina and Lucca, on the lawn of the NelsonAtkins Museum of Art.
“The Nelson is such an amazing institution,” she says. “Coming from the East Coast, I was floored by the collection, and we’re fans of all the fun, family-friendly events. Plus, the space itself is a fantastic example of KC’s dedication to great architecture.” n
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From KC to BEL-AIR
By LONITA COOK
In West Philadelphia, “The Fresh Prince of BelAir” was born and raised, but it’s in Kansas City where an idea inspired the resurrection of the iconic 1990s sitcom. Morgan Cooper, a KC native, renewed interest in the coming-of-age tale with his dramatic reimagining of the series.
NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock, leverages Morgan’s vision into drama series, “BelAir” — an unflinching cultural digest to launch the emerging platform into the stratosphere.
Wanting to retell the original story with a more serious tone, Morgan proved his concept with a trailer that had fans from around the globe clamoring for a full series.
“I think one of the reasons the trailer did so well was by-and-large because of the craftsmanship,” says Cooper. “It just had a larger-than-life feel that allowed people to immerse themselves in what this could be like as a feature film, as a one-hour drama. That was a part of what was compelling for Will [Smith] — my dedication to artistry and creativity.”
Before writing, directing and producing “BelAir,” Morgan honed his craft as a professional cinematographer in Kansas City. He credits his ability to execute the series to the “10,000 hours” he’d dedicated to filmmaking in the years prior.
An idea, craftsmanship and rising to occasion are the components of the show’s success, but Morgan says it’s something closer to home that makes the new series special. “So much of what has defined my work is Kansas City artistry. I think you feel it in the [‘Bel-Air’] material. It has some soul in it. It has a handmade quality to it and I really do feel like that comes from that Kansas City touch.”
And it’s not just KC influence — it’s KC presence. Morgan commissioned the works of Kansas City artisans who, like him, have years of preparation and the confidence to answer a higher call. Their work is featured prominently in the show and its social media accounts.
Local painter Harold Smith was one such artist. “Morgan Cooper’s show addresses complex narratives of Black masculinity in America. The characters in the series are complex, sophisticated, successful but also with some street qualities. This is what I address in my work.”
Local fashion and textile designer, Whitney Manney, was also called upon for her creative talents, tasked with creating a wardrobe for the character of Ashley.
“I think it’s incredibly awesome of [Morgan] that he made the effort to include as many Kansas City artists as possible because he could have easily used L.A. fashion designers, artists and musicians,” applauds Whitney. “Seeing my work on screen, well, this is global at the end of the day and it’s going further than I ever dreamed.”
The Morgan Cooper concoction for success is simple: passion, vision, persistence and creativity.
“Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction,” Morgan says. “Some of the best artists in the world come from Kansas City and it’s possible to create something that’s game-changing. If you have a story within you and you’re passionate, don’t let anything stop you from bringing it to life.” n
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 59 >>>
Now Showing: FILM IN KC
By LONITA COOK
MORE ELECTRIFYING than KC’s industry of LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION.
Steph Shannon, film & new media director at the Kansas City Film Office, is a careful custodian over the ever-blossoming KC film industry. Her role is straightforward: grow film in Kansas City.
“Love of film and the film community is prevalent [here], as evidenced by the surprising number of productions I work with through KC Film Office each year.”
Steph leads us to cinema’s sanctuary — the moviehouse. “Local theaters like Screenland [Armour Theatre] give us access to the best indie films,” she says.
“[KC film] is a strong, prosperous community that helps lift each other up to create the best
possible films,” says Adam Roberts, owner and programmer of Screenland. He notes Screenland’s special role as a “community-driven theater offering the most diverse lineup of films you’ll find in the region.”
Since 1996, local filmmakers have also had the opportunity to showcase their films on the big screen at KC FilmFest International. As the festival has grown to include films from around the country and the world, 30 to 40 KC films are still presented each year.
KC film extends beyond the region’s borders and even beyond entertainment. Mama.film, a nonprofit based in Wichita, Kansas, “brings together
storytellers and audiences to champion humanity through a maternal gaze, centering stories that foster empathy, identity and the human experience,” says founder and executive director, Lela MeadowConner. The organization helped bring the Sundance Film Festival to Lawrence, located in the KC area, in 2022 — one of only seven “Satellite Screens” in the country, and the only one not located on a coast. And the silver screen isn’t the only thing on the rise in KC — the small screen is, as well. Several shows have been filmed in KC in the last few years, including “Queer Eye,” “Bargain Mansions” and the new Amy Poehler-produced show, “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” n
> > >> KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 61
KC RANKS AS A “BEST PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK AS A MOVIE MAKER”
— MOVIEMAKER, 2022
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UP CLOSE and PERSONAL , the way MUSIC should be.
By RANDY MASON
“We’ve been friends forever,” Steve Tulipana says of his recordBar co-owner, Shawn Sherrill.
Both are veterans of bands including Shiner, Season to Risk and Roman Numerals that flirted with major label success on tours that took them to venues across the country.
“There was always a place that you couldn’t wait to get to because you knew they were going to take care of you. And they were all local joints. Like, the owner was bartending,” Shawn recalls. “We wanted to be that place in Kansas City.”
RecordBar opened its first iteration in 2005 in a strip mall on the edge of the Westport Entertainment District.
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 63 Continued
The club served a mix of indie rock, metal and surprisingly good food well into the wee hours. Soon, promoters began to take notice, booking rising stars like The National, Mumford & Sons, St. Vincent and Lizzo into its crowded confines.
“We wanted to be artist-centric,” Shawn explains, noting that in music circles, “if you treat a band well … they get back to their booking agent and he knows he can send his other bands through KC.”
When their lease expired in 2015, the duo moved recordBar downtown, just a block from T-Mobile Center.
Apartment towers and new condos began popping up around them and the neighborhood was growing quickly. Then COVID arrived, wreaking havoc throughout the music industry.
Difficult as it was, Steve says the pandemic “actually gave us time to reassess what our strengths were and how to stay in business.”
Adversity also spurred recordBar to help create a new outdoor venue, Lemonade Park. In fact, its genesis reveals a great deal about the close-knit nature of KC’s music scene.
Wes Gartner worked at the original recordBar and played in local bands. He now owns Voltaire, a restaurant in the West Bottoms. In 2020, Wes proposed transforming a vacant lot behind Voltaire into a place where socially distanced audiences could gather safely to hear live music.
Steve brought the sound gear and his booking acumen, the city gave its blessing, groups played and people came. Now, Lemonade Park is poised to enter its fourth year as a concert venue.
There’s one other part of this musical equation: miniBar in Midtown. Shawn and Steve added it to their portfolio in 2012. Opened as a low-key lounge featuring craft cocktails, miniBar has focused more and more on music. Punk rock shows upstairs have been particularly attractive to bands from near and far.
“The KC region is perfectly placed,” Steve insists. “We’re right in the middle of the country, so it’s easy to route tours through here.”
MiniBar’s second floor only seats 100 people, and while recordBar is considerably bigger, the mission of both, they say, is much the same. As Steve puts it, “You might see the same band in New York or Chicago with seven times as many people.”
Shawn adds, “Any time you walk in, you’re going to see something different and something curated. Whether it’s hip hop or comedy or whatever, we try to keep things at a certain level of quality.” n
SOUNDS of KC
Whether you’re in a major pop star’s fan club or an ardent supporter of local artists, KC’s live music scene has something for you.
A new generation of KC-made artists are making waves. Radkey, a punk-rock trio of brothers, toured with Foo Fighters and are featured in Dave Grohl’s “What Makes Us” documentary.
Indie rock band, Hembree, has songs featured in two Netflix Originals, “13 Reasons Why” and “Outer Banks.” Meanwhile, The Greeting Committee recently collaborated with Briston Maroney and are forever on the road.
And there’s no shortage of settings for catching a live show. T-Mobile Center hosts your favorite big-name artists in the heart of downtown. Outside of Chiefs season, Arrowhead Stadium is fantastic for enjoying a
concert with 75,000 of your closest friends. Experiencing a show at Azura Amphitheater, Bonner Springs’ open-air locale, is a summertime must-do.
Comprised of four stages (both indoor and outdoor), Knuckleheads is a local favorite. In addition to its headbanging music, this venue has a rich history; built in Electric Park in 1887, the building was originally a railroad boarding house. In the Crossroads Arts District, keep enjoying live music al fresco at Grinders, another beloved spot for epic outdoor gigs.
Celebrate KC’s jazz culture at The Blue Room in the 18th & Vine District or Green Lady Lounge, a dark cocktail bar with scarlet walls where you’ll find live music every night. Delight in dinner at The Phoenix or Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, where exquisite flavors and music meet.
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 65 > >>
> “SORT OF STRANGER” The Greeting Committee feat. Briston
> “GAMES (TONIGHT)” Radkey > “THIS IS A PHOTOGRAPH”
> “ALL THAT FINE” The Phantastics > “REACH OUT” Hembree CLICK HERE Keep jammin’ on Spotify… >
BRING THE KIDS:
FUN FOR ALL in every corner of THE METRO
By RANDY MASON
Locals know that families can find fun in every corner of the metro.
For starters, The Kansas City Zoo in Swope Park is home to nearly 2,000 animals. Insider’s tip — the Safari Sky Tour offers a bird’s eye view of the zoo’s Africa section, featuring zebras, rhinos, giraffes and more.
If treetop travel sounds appealing, the park has an even wilder attraction — Zip KC
Of course, rides that lift you up and spin you around have made Worlds of Fun and its aquatic counterpart, Oceans of Fun, family destinations for decades.
Goats bleating, chickens squawking and youngsters giggling… could mean you’ve found the retro-rural pleasures of the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park!
But nothing’s more retro than dinosaurs. The Museum at Prairiefire features a towering T-Rex, plus space to practice your fossil-digging.
There are plenty of things to climb on, crawl through, pound on or puzzle over at The Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City — a place where everything runs fullSTEAM ahead.
Stay on the interactivity train with a trip to Science City, located inside Union Station Kansas City, which offers a hands-on approach to learning about things like weather, chemistry and space travel.
Across the street, Crown Center is perfect for curious kids, where they can get their build on at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center or learn all about underwater life at the SEA LIFE Aquarium
Add to these the many parks and playgrounds on both sides of the state line — among them, a growing number designed to be inclusive, giving better access for families of all kinds to gather for outdoor fun in KC. n
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 67
>> > >
Hearts + Minds
K C.o r g
Kansas City Power Couple
They're the couple about town - meet Ann and Jon Marzette.
Ann is a fashionista, music teacher and business owner.
Just scrolling her “Easy as Pie KC” Instagram page will have your mouth watering. Jon is a designer by day and party starter by night. Catch him DJing a silent disco party or playing a set at Nighthawk downtown.
On any given day, you can find this Kansas City duo supporting a local business. Ann is always seeking out a new restaurant to try, while Jon swears by The Peanut on Main, where you can find him eating wings every Wednesday.
Whatever they’re doing, it’s with high energy and oh so stylishly.
Like nowhere else, creative energy in the heart of the Crossroads.
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Kansas City DELICIOUS
By KATIE VAN LUCHENE
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 71
>>> > Continued
From tasting menus and craft cocktails to backyard brews and dives, Kansas City’s food and beverage scene has something for whatever you crave.
Gone are the days when Kansas City was known as simply a bastion of barbecue and steaks (although it certainly excels at both).
Today, our region boasts more than its share of James Beard Foundation award-winning chefs, semifinalists and nominees.
Michael Smith, one of the first chefs to win JBF’s Best Chef Midwest, oversees two spaces in the Crossroads Arts District: Farina, an Italian restaurant and oyster bar, and Extra Virgin, the spot for Mediterranean tapas.
For KC’s James Beard nominees, it’s not if they’ll win that coveted medal, it’s when. Several offer tasting menus from four courses to ten-plus, including Michael Corvino at Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room. Martin Heuser’s Affäre celebrates a seasonal menu with a German twist and gourmet brats to grill at home. A six-course repast at Carl Thorne-Thomsen’s Story is a culinary treat. And while Nicholas Goellner doesn’t have a tasting menu, fans create their own with Antler’s Room’s exquisite small plates.
There’s a secret-knock vibe at a handful of KC cocktail bars including the Conductor Club at Union Station, with its rotating pop-up themes like Willy Wonka and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. J. Rieger Co.’s Hey! Hey! Club is a sexy hideaway and P.S., a nod to KC’s jazz age, is behind an unmarked door under Hotel Phillips.
Downtown Lee’s Summit offers The W as an intimate space to sit and sip. Drastic Measures in Shawnee claims “no wine, no beer, just cocktails.” And don’t miss the perfect selfie photo opp at Goat & Rabbit in the Volker neighborhood, with its “Our Little Secret” neon sign.
> From jazzy
to secretive speakeasies, Kansas City’s glass is always more than half-full.
Boulevard Brewing Company, founded in 1989, is the largest specialty brewery in the Midwest and offers a popular tour, beer hall and a Rec Deck with shuffleboards. North KC’s Cinder Block adds puppy yoga and live music to its lineup of smallbatch brews and ciders. KC Bier Co. serves up Bavarian-style beers and BKS Artisan Ales brews an award-winning IPA.
Hop on the JoCo (short for Johnson County) Ale Trail and catch Red Crow, where every beer is named after a woman influential in a staff member’s life, or ExBEERiment, to order off the “beeriodic” table. Try a new off-the-wall sour at Servaes Brewing Company. Or catch a local food truck while you sample an amber ale at Transport Brewery
Bonus: try a “collaboration beer” made by good ol’ stand-bys like Boulevard Brewing and Crane Brewing in conjunction with KC’s new, Blackowned brewery, Vine Street Brewing. More on that on pg. 90.
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> Head’s up, beer enthusiasts! There’s an ever-growing number of taprooms, microbreweries and beer halls popping up in every corner of the metro.
85 CRAFT BREWERIES 28 DISTILLERIES 64 WINERIES > > >
KC is home to:
No coast? No problem. Get delicious seafood — including cioppino — at Earl’s Premier in the Rockhill neighborhood. (Save dessert for The Littlest Bake Shop’s gorgeous cupcakes a few steps away.)
Asian food finds a delicious home here, too. Authentic Chinese food, including dim sum, makes ABC Café a popular spot. Chewology serves upscale Taiwanese street food like dumplings, steamed buns and ramen in a cheery space.
Cozy joints like Housewife Café & Bistro in Grandview or Black Dog Coffeehouse in Lenexa offer a nice spot to post up with a cup of joe and a locally-made pastry. Or find artisanal chocolates at Christopher Elbow in the Crossroads Arts District. And Sunday brunch is BIG in KC — get down on some beignets at Louie’s Wine Dive on 119th, a bourbon chicken-n-biscuit at Blvd Tavern or a brunchy cocktail at Brass Onion. n
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> Insiders know where to find KC’s hidden gems, from dives to dreamy bistros. And now so do you.
STAYING WELL in KANSAS CITY
Guest Feature by EMILY COX | @ emilycoxwellness
KC has it all. From delectable eats, and heaps of outdoor activities, to some of the most talented and educated fitness instructors and wellness professionals in the nation – if I do say so myself.
As a nutritionist and yoga instructor, I have worked to bridge the gap between conventional and functional approaches to healing for more than a decade.
After traveling all over the globe to deepen my knowledge and experience in these practices, at the end of the day, KC is my forever home because of its incredible community.
Check out some of my favorite places to eat, practice and play in the KC Metro area.
> >> > KC
Baba’s Pantry — A current staple in my weekly rotation. Owned and operated by “Baba” himself and his family, this little gem offers the best Palestinian food you’ll find in the middle of the map. (Plus, it was just named one of Bon Appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurants in America.) Whatever you choose, don’t forget to add shatta and torshi to it!
The Russell — Business meeting? Multiple dietary restrictions? Your parents in town? Whatever the occasion … this is your spot. The Russell has everything from fresh salads to KC’s notorious BBQ, all housed in a rustic-inspired location right off Main Street.
Ruby Jean’s Juicery — These folks have got juice and smoothies down to a science. When it comes to smoothies, I look for more than just fruit and milk. You can count on Ruby Jean’s to bring not only the flavor, but the nutrients to get you through the day.
> Gyms + Studios
Woodside Health Club — If you’re on the hunt for the best gym in town, look no further. Woodside features hundreds of group classes per week led by some of the best instructors in the city. From the gym and the pool to the sauna, snacks and parties, this is your one-stop wellness shop in the KC area.
RoKC — KC peeps are no strangers to the climbing rage, and if you’re going to climb, RoKC is THE place. With multiple locations, weekly classes and both bouldering and rappelling, you won’t be disappointed.
Dance Fit Flow — Located in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District, Dance Fit Flow is the perfect place to LET GO after a stressful day. Put on your stretchy pants, let your hair down and prepare to feel empowered regardless of your dance background.
Berkley Riverfront Park — Fun for the whole fam. Load up the car for a picnic, drop the kids off at the swing set, meet your buds for a game of sand volleyball or take your doggo for a scenic walk around the river.
Zen Donkey Farms — Truly a one-of-a-kind experience for all ages. Sign up for a farm tour and take in the benefits of donkey-facilitated therapy. Oh, and each juice purchase supports the company’s donkey rescue mission — no brainer.
Chicken N Pickle — C&P checks all the boxes. Rally your friends for a day filled with fun in the sun playing pickleball or any number of leisurely yard games, all while grabbing refreshing drinks and indulging in finger-licking noms. n
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We are Made in Kansas City
No one supports local like Kansas City. From music and food to apparel and arts, Kansas Citians invest in each other. Cultivating creativity while celebrating Kansas City - that’s Made in KC.
We’re a platform for artists and makers, working with 250+ small businesses to elevate the thinkers and doers, the innovators, the entrepreneurs. Whether it’s locally-harvested honey, hand-sewn hat manufacturing, distilling spirits, or the visual arts, Made in KC is the culmination of our city’s abundant creativity and dogged determination.
Invest in Local
When you shop at Made in KC, you’re investing in our city. You’re returning $0.91 of every dollar back into our community. Order a latte from our shop - those beans are locally roasted, the milklocal, the syrups - local. Pull up to our bar - local wine, local beer, local spirits.
Kansas City is paving the way in our global economy by redefining the local one. Rethinking supply chains and reinvesting in each other, KC is ready for a future that is empathetic, equitable, vibrant, and resilient. We welcome you to visit one of our stores and to tap into to the small businesses that are making a big impact.
Your Homegrown Champions of Local
LOCATIONS BRIARCLIFF RIVERMARKET DOWNTOWN MIDTOWN NORTHLAND PLAZA OVERLAND PARK PRAIRIE VILLAGE LEE’S SUMMIT LENEXA RED BRIDGE
A great sports town GETS EVEN BETTER — Pro Gaming’s KC PIONEERS
By RANDY MASON
In recent years, the Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC and Monarchs have all brought home championships.
KC’s National Women’s Soccer League team, KC Current, is building the first stadium purposebuilt for a women’s professional team and the World Cup is coming to town in 2026.
Now we’ve added an esports franchise — the Pioneers. Professionals competing in tournaments for Rocket League and Madden NFL in front of huge online audiences is further proof that this is the “ultimate sports town.”
>We talked about it with Pioneers Strategic Advisor Jeremy Terman; Chief Gaming Officer LJ Browne; and one of the professional athletes who’s signed on — Andrew Wylie, offensive lineman with the Kansas City Chiefs.
ANDREW WYLIE: There is definitely an energy that surrounds all sports here. The Chiefs have training camp up north [in St. Joseph] and there’s a massive amount of people waiting at the gates just to watch practice. And we’ve got the loudest stadium in the world! Now we’ve got esports gaming centers popping up too.
So what exactly are the Pioneers?
JEREMY TERMAN: The easiest way to think about this is if you put the Chiefs, Royals and Sporting KC under one team name, that’s us. We have multiple EA Sports teams featuring players who put thousands of hours into the games.
These are athletes, they’re just not competing on a field. They’re competing with a keyboard or a controller. And there have been matches this year where we’ve had hundreds of thousands of people watch our games in real time.
RM: What’s the response been? I know Mayor Lucas declared July 21 Pioneer Day in Kansas City.
LJ BROWNE: We wanted to start and build locally. So that was huge for us. And the way people came out to the Halo Championship Series event here in April, it was probably the most hype event that Halo has ever thrown, as far as crowd engagement and interaction.
RM: Where do you see all this in five years?
JT: The key for the Pioneers is that no one’s doing what we’re doing in the Midwest. We’re talking to city leaders, working with Mayor Lucas, working with the Boys & Girls Club to help show youth that it’s not just being a pro-gamer, it’s the whole industry. You want to build the PC, you want to design the headsets? You can be a content creator. Or maybe one day, you can be a pro.
RM: Is that how Andrew fits in?
LJ: We’re lucky to have Andrew. I think he was the first pro athlete to come on board.
AW: I started out just enjoying playing video games. Now I’m going to these competitions, these events. It’s mutually beneficial and I’m having a lot of fun with it!
JT: What we’re building is more than just Kansas City. And that’s why our tagline is Kansas City founded, globally driven. n
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> >> Q&A
NFL MLB MLS NWSL
esports ECHL MASL AAPB
NEW KCI AIRPORT IN 2023 TOP CITY FOR STARTUPS IN MIDWEST 57,000+ OPEN JOBS IN METRO A CITY SO GREAT IT HAS TO FIT IN TWO STATES URBAN+RURAL +SUBURBAN LIFESTYLE 2.7 MILLION PEOPLE Work Live TOP 10 FOR AFFORDABLE RENT
Play HOSTING WORLD CUP 2026 AWARD WINNING FOOD SCENE 180+ ART & MUSIC VENUES 85+ CRAFT BREWERIES #3 BEST-PAYING JOBS FOR RECENT COLLEGE GRADS CHAMPIONSHIP SPORTS CITY
SPORTING KANSAS CITY IS A MODERN SPORTS CLUB. A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN FANS. LOUDER THAN SUPPORTERS. BIGGER THAN THEMSELVES. A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE COME TOGETHER. A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE SAY, “WE”. WE RAISE OUR VOICES IN UNISON. WE WEAR OUR COLORS WITH PRIDE. WE SWAY WHEN WE WIN. WE HUG TOTAL STRANGERS. WE COME TOGETHER FOR OUR CITY AND FOR OUR CLUB. THIS IS YOUR INTRODUCTION TO WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PART OF IT. WELCOME TO THE CLUB. WELCOME TO SPORTING KANSAS CITY.
ALY TROST MARTIN:
ON THE AIR and in her element
By RANDY MASON
KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 85 Continued > >>>
July 5, 2017. That’s the day ALY TROST MARTIN officially became a Kansas Citian.
Things started slowly, she recalls, but the University of Missouri Journalism School graduate soon hit her stride.
She joined the on-air team at 810 Sports Radio and began duties as a sideline reporter on Sporting KC telecasts. In August 2022, she went national — working the sideline for CBS Sports coverage of a KC Current match.
Oh, and she found true love in KC too. This past summer, Aly and former TV newsman Tom Martin were married at the Kauffman Center, site of their first date.
“There are opportunities here that people might not get elsewhere. Ones that give you a chance to grow,” Aly explains.
Best of all, they’ve kept her connected to her first love — soccer. “There aren’t many places where I could have been empowered to chase what I’m passionate about,” she says with a smile.
Aly has also gotten involved in Kansas City’s active philanthropy scene. She’s been a volunteer for Sporting KC’s Victory Project initiative and was a 2022 honoree for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Most Wanted Auction.
As downtown residents, the Martins are big fans of nearby restaurants like Farina and the Rockhill Grille. But the donuts and ice cream at Fairway Creamery across the state line are so tempting, she jokes, that “when we buy a house, we can’t live too close, or we’ll be there all the time.”
Meanwhile, the Woodside Health Club in Westwood has helped keep the stresses of her highprofile job at bay.
Looking ahead, Aly is excited to continue chasing her dreams in Kansas City. “I’m really impressed with Kansas City’s growth, and how many people are so dedicated to making it happen.” n
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“ THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES HERE THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT GET ELSEWHERE. ONES THAT GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO GROW.
401 Westport Road KCMO
Download the WeWork app and use code OPTIONS for 50% OFF your ﬁrst WeWork On Demand booking. Access workspace by the day and meeting rooms by the hour. *For full terms visit we.co/options Terms Apply.* Looking to switch up your workspace?
Kansas City’s multi-level and multi-experience space featuring a restaurant, bar, craft cocktail lounge, club, and rooftop with live performances each night. All are welcome, but Fountain Haus is a space where THE LGBTQ+ community and allies are celebrated.
THE BREWS BROTHERS
By KATIE VAN LUCHENE
> >> KC OPTIONS 2022 | 2023 91
The founders of Vine Street Brewing Company, Missouri’s first Black-owned brewery, aim to make beers worthy of Kansas City’s iconic 18th & Vine District.
An excellent beer requires the perfect balance of ingredients. It’s the same with a business partnership like Vine Street Brewing Company. Elliot Ivory, an engineer by trade, provides the process. Woodie Bonds, Jr., known as the prankster by fellow line workers at Ford Motor Company, is like the hops, bringing flavor and spice. And musician, marketer and urban activist Kemet Coleman adds the yeast, giving beer — and the brewery — its kick and fizz.
The trio is preparing to open their doors at 2000 Vine Street, which will include a brewery, taproom, event space and back patio. Chef Shanita McAfee-Bryant’s training kitchen and restaurant, The Prospect KC, will take a portion of the twolevel space.
Vine Street Brewing will open to a robust fan base thanks to recent collaborations with area brewing companies including Strange Days, Boulevard and Red Crow. And Woodie gained cred for his ‘Hip Hops Hooray’ beer festivals, which eventually attracted over 40 regional craft brewers. Elliot attended the event in 2019 and noticed Woodie for more than just his energy; he was the only other Black brewer there. Their friendship grew despite divergent personalities and styles. Elliot, a professed beer nerd who studies techniques, makes brews that Woodie admires for their clean, fresh taste. Woodie is the spontaneous one, not afraid to try crazy combos. “My first
attempt was a margarita-inspired beer with tequila. It was heartburn in a glass. Let’s just say I’ve improved my technique since then.” Awards and accolades attest to that. But no trophy can top the comment his daughter made while visiting family in Texas. “My dad’s kinda famous,” the 11-year-old said. “He owns a brewery in Kansas City.”
Kemet Coleman’s contributions are, according to his partners, his vision, citywide connections and the ability to throw
one heck of a party, like the one he recently hosted in the event space next door.
Along with beer tastings, party attendees received a T-shirt introducing the Vine Street logo created by Whiskey Design. The bold graphics also adorn the brewery’s windows
>>> 92 KC.org
>>> Continued KC
THIS IS BIGGER THAN BEER. IT’S NOT JUST IMPORTANT FOR THIS TOWN, BUT FOR THIS ADDRESS.
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CHARLIEHUSTLE.COM 419 W 47 TH ST, KCMO 64112
featuring elements like a jazz player, a panther and Maris, a beauty with an afro and huge hoop earrings. When asked about her, Woodie laughs and explains she’s based not on a “who” but a “what.” Maris Otter is a malt barley that imparts a slightly nutty, crisp taste to beer.
While tweaking the 10 or so brews they’ll offer when Vine Street opens, the partners have time to reflect on the significance of being the first Black-owned brewery in Missouri. “This is bigger than beer,” says Elliot, “It’s not just important for this town, but for this address.”
18th & Vine earned the distinction of “Jazz District” in the 1920s, when it became a thriving hub for Black music and business. Throughout the next several decades, jazz fans flocked to the area to hear icons including Count Basie, Hot Lips Page and Mary Lou Williams, as well as KC’s own Charlie “Bird”
Parker and Queen Bey, “KC’s Ambassador of Jazz.”
In addition to its long reputation for music, the 18th and Vine District held the offices of the Kansas City Monarchs, a nationally acclaimed baseball team in the Negro National League, throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and is still home to offices of The Call, a long-running newspaper serving the Black community.
Now, Elliot, Woodie and Kemet want to be part of the district’s renaissance.
“This soil is sacred,” Kemet says. “We realize what an impact we can have on this area by creating a destination, a place where everyone feels welcome.”
And if the Royals build a stadium nearby? The three laugh and agree they’d be fine with it. “Baseball and beer,” says Kemet. “Goes together like peanut butter and jelly.”
We’ll toast to that. n
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WE REALIZE WHAT AN IMPACT WE CAN HAVE ON THIS AREA.
KC TALKS | A guide to LOCAL LINGO
KCK — Kansas City, Kansas.
KCMO — Kansas City, Missouri.
BOULEVARD — You may think this is just a street, but locals know this as Boulevard Brewing Company, the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest.
P&L OR PNL — The Power & Light District, a downtown hub complete with more than 50 restaurants, bars, apparel stores and nightlife attractions.
THE K — Kauffman Stadium, home to the Kansas City Royals baseball team.
THE NELSON — The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where you can find KC’s signature giant shuttlecocks.
THE RIVER — The Missouri River. Not to be confused with the Kansas River, aka the Kaw, though both rivers meet up near downtown KC.
NORTHLAND — Anything north of the river.
THE PLAZA — The Country Club Plaza, an outdoor shopping oasis architecturally based on Seville, Spain. (Pro tip: locals pronounce it PLAH-zuh, not PLAW-zah.)
435 LOOP — Interstate 435, a loop that encircles much of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
JOCO — Johnson County, a Kansas county in the southern region of KC that encompasses Overland Park, Prairie Village, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa and more.
MAHOMIE — According to Patrick Mahomes himself, a Mahomie is “someone who loves to help others and loves to be a part of the community and make the world a better place.”
KANSAS CITY NICE — Kansas Citians take pride in the hospitality we show. There must be something in the water. n
Here in Kansas City, locals have a language of their own. Check out this guide to uncover insider intel on some common words and phrases you’re sure to hear around town.
WE LOVE IT HERE!
KC, you’re America’s heartland and you’re all heart. Like you, our values guide the work we do.
We love our customers. We thrive as one team, together. We dream big and deliver. We do it the right way. Always. We won’t stop being unstoppable.
That’s how we win—together.
Two things we take seriously at McCownGordon are culture and personal growth. No matter where you are at in your career, we promise to provide you an exceptional workplace. We focus on crafting a team of professionals with diverse perspectives and life experiences that reflect our communities. In fact, 98% of our associates use the phrase “love to come to work” and the camaraderie here is second to none.
If you are inspired, find out more about our culture and team at mccowngordon.com