Thursday, Jul. 14th 2016

Shawnee businesses recognized for impact in community


SHAWNEE, Kan. July 13, 2016 – The Shawnee Economic Development Council (SEDC) Executive Committee Chair Jeff Hagen, Grafton Staffing, presented 11 awards from the Shawnee Economic Development Council at the annual Business Appreciation Luncheon today. Shawnee Mayor Michelle Distler (in photo on left) joined Hagen for the presentation to the nine businesses recognized with Business Development Awards and two businesses honored with Downtown Partnership Awards. The prestigious Shawnee Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Award was also presented.                    

The selection criteria for the Business Development Award includes having projects that were completed or nearly completed in the last 12 months, projects that involved a capital investment of at least $1 million, and/or projects that created a significant amount of jobs in the community. 

“Shawnee has worked hard to grow jobs and new investment, across a variety of property types during the past year,” said Hagen. “This has yielded the attraction of new industrial, retail, and office projects that have grown employment, contributed to strengthening our community, and increased the commercial tax base.”  

This year’s Business Development Awardees included:

Beauty Brands: The Shawnee store has more than 20 employees and occupies over 9,000 square feet in the Shawnee Station Shopping Center in a portion of space previously occupied by Old Navy.

Knubs Pub: Located at Woodsonia West Center near K-7 and Johnson Drive, this unique local pub offers a variety of made-from-scratch menu items and features 24 beers on tap.  The décor is trendy with subway-style train seating and graffiti art on the walls.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites: The new 112-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites is west of I-435 on Midland Drive. Dozens of new jobs have been created, adding to the tax base with a $10 million capital investment, and enhancing the transient guest tax fund by way of additional hotel room capacity.  

McAlister’s Deli: A fast-casual restaurant concept, the approximately 4,000 square foot restaurant is located on Shawnee Mission Parkway between Nieman and Quivira. The Shawnee location is the first in Johnson County and third in the metro.

Nuts and Bolts True Value Hardware: This locally and family-owned store is the fast-growing brand in home improvement and neighborhood hardware stores.  The 20,000 square foot store on Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm is the company’s eleventh location in just eight years since forming. 

Planet Fitness: Planet Fitness is a new anchor retailer at the Millcreek Shopping Center. The 28,000 square foot facility features exercise equipment, free weights, circuit training areas, in addition to a spa area. This is the second location in Johnson County and seventh in the metro.   

PeopleAdmin: This information technology company is a leader in cloud-based talent management software for education and government clients. PeopleAdmin makes the hiring process easier, evaluating performance, and provides a framework for metrics and compliance to support HR professionals and managers. Located at the Nieman Business Park near 75th Street & I-35, the company has grown from 70 to 100 local employees since last fall, and is currently seeking additional employees. 

TallGrass Freight Company: TallGrass offers a wide range of trucking and transportation logistics services including intermodal, rail services and more.  In three years, TallGrass has rapidly expanded making new office and distribution space necessary.  Located at 83rd & K-7 Highway the 20,000 square foot facility has 10 employees and expects to hire additional employees in the future. 

Village Cooperative of Shawnee:  A 55 and over senior housing development on Johnson Drive, Village Cooperative of Shawnee is over a $12 million investment. The 55-unit development is a cooperative structure where each resident is also an owner of the development. One and two-bedroom units with popular amenities have contributed to the quick sale of all units. 

The event also honored two Shawnee businesses for their investment in downtown Shawnee.  Overland Park Regional (OPR) Medical Center ER of Shawnee was honored with the Downtown Impact Award. This award recognizes the business that has made a significant economic, employment, or visitor impact in the downtown Shawnee area. Recipients are selected by the Shawnee Downtown Partnership. The ER of Shawnee opened in the fall of 2014 as the city’s first 24-hour emergency medical facility. It has all the capabilities of most hospital ER’s and handles less severe traumas than OPR.  It is staffed with a full-time physician, RNs and more than 30 medical professionals.

McAlister’s Deli was honored with the Downtown Revitalization Award.  This award recognizes the business that has made the most significant improvement to the appearance of a downtown commercial building in the past year. Located on Shawnee Mission Parkway, the restaurant features a contemporary look with landscaping and signage that has enhanced the aesthetic of the commercial corridor from the previous building in that location which was constructed more than 60 years ago.

The finale of the event was the presentation of the prestigious Shawnee Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Award to State Farm Insurance – Jim Allen. “State Farm Insurance and Jim Allen have been an integral part of downtown Shawnee for more than 35 years,” said Shawnee Chamber of Commerce President, Linda Leeper. “Jim established one of the most successful operations for his industry in the entire region.”

The Hall of Fame Award is a special recognition of an individual who has played a major role in shaping the face of the community and making a tremendous contribution to the chamber and the city over a long period of time.  It is selected by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

About the SEDC

The Shawnee Economic Development Council, a division of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce Corporation, works collectively with the City of Shawnee and the Shawnee Chamber to drive business growth and development. The Shawnee Chamber of Commerce Corporation 501(c)(6) includes the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, the Shawnee Economic Development Council and Visit Shawnee. For more information, visit  


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