Business

KC Chamber Honors Greg Graves

Burns & McDonnell CEO Greg Graves was named Kansas Citian of the Year at the KC Chamber’s annual dinner meeting.

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce honored Burns & McDonnell CEO Greg Graves as the Kansas Citian of the Year at its 128th annual dinner meeting in November.

“Greg Graves is simply one of the finest people I’ve ever known,” says Jim Heeter, President & CEO of the Chamber, “and a quintessential example of the qualities required to be named Kansas Citian of the Year.  He cares deeply about our regional community, and is affectionately known as the ‘godfather’ of the Chamber’s Big 5 initiatives.”

The award, presented annually since 1960, is given “only to those persons whose civic contributions and achievements have reflected the insight, creativity, and consciousness necessary to build and maintain a quality urban community.”

Graves has been CEO of Burns & McDonnell since 2004, growing the company from 1,500 employees to today’s 5,200 and steering annual revenues from $420 million in 2004 to sales last year exceeding $2.5 billion. The company is 100 percent employee-owned and has consistently been named one of the nation’s Best Places to Work by Fortune magazine. It’s the 18 largest design engineering firm in the nation, with a $140 million headquarters expansion project now underway at 94th and Wornall in Kansas City, Missouri.

Graves also currently serves as Chair of the University of Kansas Hospital Authority and Chair of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre board.  He also serves on the boards of Union Station Kansas City, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kansas Advancement Board, and United Missouri Bank.

Last year, Graves and his wife Deanna donated $1 million to the University of Kansas Hospital, paired with an additional $2.5 million donated from the Burns & McDonnell Foundation. That foundation has provided more than $16 million toward four strategic areas: educational outreach, environmental responsibility, human services, and arts and culture. One of the best-known of its projects is “Battle of the Brains,” in which area high schools compete in designing new exhibits for Science City.

The Chamber’s Annual Dinner also honored incoming Chair Terry Bassham (KCP&L), outgoing Chamber Chair Terry Dunn (D&D Ranch), and President/CEO Jim Heeter, who retires at the end of the year. The theme of the evening was “Proud to be KC.”