The Downtown Council of Kansas City has chosen the Hall family, along with Hallmark Cards and Crown Center, to receive the 2017 J. Philip Kirk, Jr. Award early next year in recognition of community vision and downtown stewardship.
“I’m thrilled that the Hall family will be the recipient of the Downtown Council’s Phil Kirk award,” said Cathy Smith, Chair of the DTC and vice president of corporate planning for Faultless Starch/Bon Ami. “Through Hallmark Cards, Crown Center, and their own civic leadership, the Halls have contributed greatly to making Kansas City the creative, artistic, and culturally advanced city that it is.”
Hallmark Cards has operated its corporate headquarters in Downtown Kansas City since the company was founded in 1910. In 1968, the company established the Crown Center Redevelopment Corp. to revitalize more than 85 acres within the urban core. Today, the Crown Center campus is home to Hallmark’s headquarters, along with hotels, offices, residential housing, entertainment venues and retail shops.
“Hallmark and the Hall Family are deeply honored to receive this award,” said Hallmark CEO Don Hall, Jr., “because it celebrates the economic vitality of Kansas City, something the company and my family have been deeply committed to for generations.”
Today, Hallmark is a diversified portfolio of businesses with about $4 billion in annual revenues and 28,000 employees worldwide. The company is led by CEO Don Hall, Jr. and President Dave Hall, grandsons of founder J.C. Hall and the sons of Donald J. Hall, Hallmark board chairman.
Hallmark’s key businesses include: greeting cards and gift wrap, Hallmark Gold Crown retail stores, home décor and gifts, Crayola art materials and toys, Crown Media cable television channels, and Crown Center, a real estate development company.
“The Kirk Award honors leaders whose vision, guidance and commitment have contributed to setting Downtown Kansas City on the path to revitalization,” said Bill Dietrich, president & CEO of the Downtown Council. “The Halls epitomize these qualities in their professional and personal lives, as did the award’s namesake.”
Since 1943, the Hall Family Foundation has been a catalyst to enrich the community and help people. Donald J. Hall serves as board chairman for the family’s foundation which has played a leadership role in countless transformative Downtown projects, including the redevelopment of the Quality Hill neighborhood, the restoration of Union Station, the expansion of Children’s Mercy Hospital, the restoration of the Folly Theater, the new building addition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the construction of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
The Kirk Award selection panel, consisting of Downtown Council officers and past chairs, bases its recommendation on the nominee’s contributions to Downtown Kansas City in at least two of the following areas:
- Creating a capital investment, new building, renovation or technology
- Increasing the Downtown residential or employee population, business starts or entrepreneurial retail starts
- Improving Downtown neighborhoods and quality of life, in the areas of businesses, housing, streetscape or the urban environment
- Displaying a continued commitment to improving the social fabric of Downtown
The establishment of the Phil Kirk Award in 2002 marked a strategic decision to recognize those leaders, those champions who have played critical roles in lifting Downtown from the depths of despair in the 1980s and 1990s into the juggernaut that we see today. For a list of past recipients, including the 2016 recipient, Al Mauro, Jr. (pictured here) go to http://www.downtownkc.org/awards/.
The award will be presented at the Downtown Council’s 2018 Annual Luncheon that will unfold from11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26 in the Convention Center’s Grand Ballroom. Learn more about the luncheon, sponsorship opportunities and registration details at: http://www.downtownkc.org/annual-luncheon/