The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Bloch School and the Council for Entrepreneurship and Innovation are proud to educate and inspire our students and community through the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (EOY). This year's event marks 29 years of EOY, and will honor both experienced entrepreneurs and inspire future generations of entrepreneurs.
Philip Anschutz founded The Anschutz Corporation in 1965 after graduating from the University of Kansas with a business degree. The company's major business interests are in the fields of communications, transportation, natural and renewable resources, real estate, lodging, publishing, and entertainment. Included within The Anschutz Corporation is the subsidiary Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) which built and operates the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Anschutz is a governor of the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Soccer (MLS) and an executive member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Additionally, he serves as an emeritus trustee of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a lifetime honorary trustee of The American Museum of Natural History and an alumnus member of the Smithsonian National Board.
With a focused goal of leveraging technology to create a better way for carriers and shippers to work together, Tim Barton founded Freightquote in 1998. Barton's innovation and leadership has been acknowledged by Entrepreneur magazine with a Top 5 spot on their "Hot 100" list. His vision and success is evident in the recognition Freightquote has received over the years as well, including Forbes "Best of the Web" and Kansas City Business Journal's "Top 150 Private Companies". Over the years, Barton has grown Freightquote to more than 1,200 employees with annual revenue exceeding $500 million.
Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship: Sister Berta Sailer and Sister Corita Bussanmas, Co-Founders, Operation Breakthrough
Responding to pleas from central-Kansas City parents who needed quality care and education for their children, Sister Berta Sailer and Sister Corita Bussanmas founded Operation Breakthrough in 1971. The not-for-profit agency provides childcare and a broad range of social services for working-poor families. Today, it is the largest single-site childcare center in Missouri, caring each weekday for more than 500 children who come from homeless shelters, foster homes and struggling single parent families. Operation Breakthrough also provides medical and dental care, mental health services, tutoring, parent education, a food pantry, emergency aid and case management for families in crisis.
Costco's first location (originally named Price Club), opened in 1976 in a converted airplane hangar in San Diego. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse location was opened in Seattle. Costco became the first company ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in less than six years. When Costco and Price Club merged in 1993, the combined company had 206 locations generating $16 billion in annual sales. Since resuming the Costco name in 1997, the company has grown worldwide with total sales in recent fiscal years exceeding $64 billion.
EPR Properties is specialty real estate investment trust (REIT) that currently invests in three primary segments: entertainment, recreation and education. EPR has more than 180 locations in 39 states, D.C. and Canada with more than 250 tenants and $3.2 billion in total investments.
Marion and John Kreamer Award for Social Entrepreneurship: Jim and Virginia Stowers, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Inspired by their personal experiences with cancer and a desire to use their wealth to help humanity, James "Jim" E. Stowers Jr. and Virginia G. Stowers founded the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. A former medical student, Jim Stowers switched careers and started mutual fund company American Century Investments. He pioneered the application of computer power to investment management and, turned a stake of a few thousand dollars into one of the largest mutual fund companies in the country with more than $100 billion in assets.