Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author. A citizen of Israel, Canada and the United States, Safdie was born in Haifa in 1938. He relocated to Canada with his family in 1953, and graduated from McGill University in 1961 with a degree in architecture.
After apprenticing with Louis I. Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montréal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition. In 1964, he established his own firm to realize Habitat '67, an adaptation of his undergraduate thesis. Habitat represented a turning point in housing design, modern architecture and urban planning, and today it enjoys status as a Canadian National Heritage Site and living landmark.
Over a celebrated 50-year career, Safdie has explored the essential principles of socially responsible design with a distinct visual language. His humanistic philosophy on architecture and urbanism focuses on the design of the public realm and responds to the essence of place with inherently buildable solutions. Safdie's projects can be found in North and South America, the Middle East, the developing world and throughout Asia and Australia, spanning a wide range of typologies, including airports, museums, performing arts, libraries, housing, mixed use and entire cities. Many projects become beloved regional and national landmarks and have catalyzed cities and neighborhoods with their realization.
In addition to the acclaimed Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which has had a significant economic impact on the arts in Kansas City, several other projects have expanded the idea of how communities come together. Examples include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, which has become a cultural tourist destination; the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, the national museum of the Sikh people in India, which has become a pilgrimage destination; and the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Singapore, which has re-imagined the entire bayfront in Singapore into an expanded public realm that celebrates its prominent waterfront location.
Safdie is the recipient of numerous awards, honorary degrees and civil honors, including Companion of the Order of Canada, the Gold Medal from both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the American Institute of Architects, la Medaille du Merite from the Order of Architects of Quebec, Canada and Israel's Rechter Prize. The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum awarded Mr. Safdie the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016.
Sandy Kemper is the founder of C2FO, a financial technology company which created the world's first electronic market for working capital. C2FO was founded in 2008 with the goal of addressing the limitations of existing financial markets and trapped liquidity world-wide. C2FO now serves more than one hundred thousand customers across 110 countries as it strives to match all the world's Accounts Receivable with all the world's Accounts Payable. In 2002, Christine Kemper founded Kemper & Company, a marketing research business that works with global brands to improve marketing and sales. Together, the two are also founders of The Collectors Fund (TCF), the management company for the American Masters Collection and the Twentieth Century Masters Collection, the first art ownership and investment funds that allowed members to display the art in their homes. The Collections comprise works by many of the most recognized American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Further, the Kempers founded the Kansas City Collection (KCC), an organization promoting and celebrating the Kansas City region's artistic community by bringing together exceptional artists and local businesses, simultaneously promoting arts sales and the brands of KCC's business partners. In addition, the two founded YEPKC, a competitive entrepreneurship and scholarship program that pairs high school students with entrepreneurial businesses in Kansas City and helps fund the students' college tuition. Currently, Christine is founding the first all-girls, college preparatory charter school in the Kansas City public school district.
BNIM, JE Dunn Construction, Mark One Electric and US Engineering may have very different businesses, but they share one common trait â€“ their heart & soul permeates Kansas City. Working together on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, these four firms played an integral part in developing an iconic image of the Kansas City skyline, as well as a treasured civic asset.
As a multidisciplinary firm that is Building Positive, BNIM reimagines the relationships between people and place, designing environments that are as beautiful as they are impactful and human. The firm believes great design is born from the processes and people that bring it to reality.
In each of the communities BNIM calls home - Kansas City, San Diego and Des Moines - they elevate human experiences through interdisciplinary environments and high-performance building design. Their approach to meeting design challenges focuses on Human Purposed Integrated Design, which prioritizes human insights and building performance through a collaborative process.
BNIM has played an important role in projects that are making Kansas City the best place to live, work, and play. The firm's passion for Kansas City and for the arts, community leadership, and volunteerism has been instrumental in shaping topics that better Kansas City.
For 47 years, BNIM has maintained that when we collectively advance the vitality of our community, we improve the well-being of the world. From intimate homes to entire city blocks, design should elevate human insights, instincts and vitality to rethink our relationship with place and one another.
Mark One Electric Co., Inc. was founded in 1974 to service small commercial accounts and industrial clients. Mark One quickly earned a reputation for completing difficult jobs under demanding circumstances and before long were working all across the country for customers such as Ford and GM.
Since company founders Carl 'Red' and Josephine Privitera retired in 1994, the leadership team comprised of their four children has taken the company in new directions, providing an array of electrical construction services from design-build and pre-construction to underground, data and specialty systems.
Mark One's portfolio includes some of the region's highest profile projects, including the Hollywood, Argosy, Ameristar and Isle of Capri Casinos, the Kansas Speedway, Arrowhead Stadium, Kauffman Stadium, the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts, the Kansas City Streetcar and more.
Mark One's corporate culture is comprised of 10 principles focused on respect for others and accountability for themselves. Company President Rosana Privitera Biondo lives these principles as she strives to create more opportunities for Women and Minority Owned Business. She is also committed to advancing the region's economic interests as one of the Kansas City Area Development Council's co-chairs.
Founded in 1924 by John Ernest Dunn, Sr., JE Dunn Construction is one of the largest commercial contractors in the United States, specializing in construction management, program management and design-build projects of every size. With more than 3,000 employees in 20 offices throughout the United States, JE Dunn focuses on delivering the best client experience and bringing invaluable leadership and innovation to every project they build.
JE Dunn's vision is to be an indispensable business partner for their clients by first understanding their purpose, goals and customers and then delivering transformational solutions with certainty of results.
JE Dunn remains committed to the communities they serve. They exist to enrich lives through inspired people and places. JE Dunn enriches lives through community service work, development programs for employees and most importantly through the people who use the buildings they have the privilege of building. JE Dunn has found that inspired people build inspired places.
Established in 1855, U.S. Engineering has grown to be one of the nation's top design-build mechanical contractors. Whether constructing, servicing, maintaining or providing energy analysis on facilities, the priority remains the same: to deliver the highest performing buildings with the lowest total cost of ownership for building owners. US Engineering aims to think innovatively to provide the expertise needed to help facilities evolve as their businesses grow. Their success comes from their commitment to be a trusted advisor for the life of the building.
As Chairman and CEO Tyler Nottberg says, "Our experience and expertise give us the ability to have a more significant impact on the world than the average company. Whether it is in high-profile service or construction projects, innovative approaches to solving school renovation problems, or purely charitable endeavors, we have always taken seriously the idea that we are stewards of this institution, this industry and our communities. That is what it means to leave a legacy."