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Contact: Beth Johnson, or (913) 766-7612

Overland Park Economic Development Council to recognize business contributions

Overland Park, Kan., February 25, 2022 – The Overland Park Chamber Economic Development Council (OPEDC) will recognize eight businesses and former Mayor Carl Gerlach for their contributions to economic growth in Overland Park at its annual Honors Lunch. The program is 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, in Johnson County Community College’s Regnier Center.

Business awards will recognize three fast-growing companies, three commercial development / redevelopment projects and two Business Hall of Honor companies. Former Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach will receive this year’s Ben Craig Vision Award.

NOVA awards, which recognize fast-growing companies, will be presented to Lula LLC, Propio Language Services and Storewise.

  • Lula, LLC, is an on-demand property management platform that streamlines the process for property managers and tenants to find maintenance contractors. Last year, Lula expanded from Kansas City to eight more cities and has plans to add up to 16 more cities this year.
  • Founded in 1998, Propio Language Services leverages technology to provide interpretation services for remote and in-person clients. Despite the pandemic, the Overland Park company saw its revenue and employee base nearly double in 2020. With acquisitions earlier this month, Propio now has 6,000 interpreters in more than 200 languages, serving primarily the health care market but also business, government and education clients. Plans for 2022 include doubling corporate employee count to about 200.
  • Formerly known as Retail Software Solutions, Storewise offers software tools to help independent grocery stores compete against national stores. The processes it moves to a dashboard free up store staff to be on the floor helping customers – a key consideration in the tightening job market. Local partnerships include Cosentino’s and the Associated Wholesale Grocers cooperative.

The Commercial Development Award recognizes significant investment and reinvestment in the Overland Park economy. This year, the OPEDC will honor Edison District, Shamrock Tower and Regency Park.

  • The Edison District in Downtown Overland Park is anchored by a five-story building with 10,000 square feet of retail space and more than 100,000 square feet of office space where more than 300 people already work. It also includes covered parking for general downtown usage. A highlight of the development is Strang Hall, a unique dining experience with six chefs providing a variety of authentic cuisines, along with a full-service bar.
  • Shamrock Trading Corporation’s new eight-story Shamrock Tower is home to 700 of the company’s 1,500 employees with room to double that number. It was designed with company growth in mind.
  • After an extraordinary $32 million transformation in 2016, Regency Park Shopping Center has flourished at the intersection of Metcalf and 93rd street as evidence by the nearly 30% occupancy rate increase from six years prior. Featuring Chiefs Fit, a 37,000 square foot fitness facility, the redevelopment is thriving with several other commercial tenants including La Fuente Mexican Street Food and Jersey Mike’s Subs.

Business Hall of Honor inductees for 2022 are AdventHealth and Fiorella’s Jack Stack.

  • When AdventHealth opened its South Overland Park campus last year, it was the first full-service hospital to open in the Kansas City metro in 15 years. Nearly 60 years after its founding, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission continues to expand its reach and draws patients from throughout the region.
  • A Kansas City tradition since 1957, Jack Stack Barbecue is now in its fourth generation of family ownership and has evolved into the largest wood-fired cookery in the country. Along with six area restaurants, Jack Stack operates a full-service catering business, nationwide shipping engine and an event venue in Overland Park.

Former Overland Park Mayor Gerlach will receive this year’s Ben Craig Vision Award. Before retiring earlier this year, Gerlach served as mayor for 16 years and was at the helm as leaders worked to redevelop areas such as the Metcalf Avenue corridor and Downtown Overland Park, and 25,000 jobs were added in Overland Park. Prior to becoming mayor, Gerlach served on the Overland Park City Council for 10 years. This award was established in 2008 to recognize outstanding leadership in honor of the decades of community service by the late Ben Craig, longtime banker and civic leader credited with helping build the nationally-recognized community we know today.

Media coverage of the Honors Luncheon is invited.
For media accommodations, contact Stan Lawson at (913) 766-7601