The Overland Park Economic Development Council (OPEDC) recognized three fast-growing companies, a long-standing business and community pillar, three commercial redevelopment projects, and longtime Overland Park icon Frank Thompson at its eleventh annual Honors Lunch on Thursday, February 1.
The NOVA Awards are given out each year to three young, fast-growing companies in Overland Park. This year the winners are:
- Avenue Link, an online marketing company that specializes in targeted online and mobile lead generation as well as data monetization services. Avenue Link is also exploring ways to leverage its digital technology and expand into healthcare and health insurance markets, using mobile and online channels to connect the baby boomer market with the right healthcare and insurance resources.
- Go Local Interactive, a digital marketing agency that helps clients build lasting relationships with its customers. Go Local differentiates itself from other marketing agencies by combining strong technical web and media expertise, a passion for creativity, and a strategic, client-customized problem-solving mindset.
- Retail Success, which provides point of sale and inventory management software, as well as electronic payment solutions and social media and email marketing to help retail customers succeed. Retail Success brought on 30 new employees in 2017, nearly doubling the size of the company.
Each year, the OPEDC inducts one company into its Business Hall of Honor, recognizing a company's long-time impact as a member of Overland Park's corporate community and their dedication to creating a better Overland Park through charitable works and philanthropy. This year, the OPEDC honors:
- OptumRx, an online pharmacy and benefits management company. OptumRx, a subsidiary of Optum and UnitedHealthGroup, the largest single health carrier in the country, specializes in the delivery, clinical management and affordability of prescription medication and health products. Calling Overland Park home since 2005, OptumRx has contributed to its national and local communities, through donated medication for hurricane victims, donated recyclable material to help support Job One, a local organization that employs individuals with disabilities, and volunteer efforts by employees at Ronald McDonald House and the Special Olympics.
The Commercial Development Awards recognize significant investment and reinvestment in the Overland Park economy. This year, the OPEDC will honor:
- Hawthorne Plaza, a redeveloped, 133,000 square foot shopping center campus. Hosting 38 business tenants, Hawthorne Plaza boasts Overland Park's newest shopping, services, and dining destination. The newly renovated architecture (designed by Hoefer Wysocki Architecture) landscaping, pedestrian pathways and parking lots provide a shopping experience that feels modern and sleek.
- The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, a longtime county effort that opened last summer. Johnson County repurposed the former King Louie bowling alley and ice skating rink into a complex that houses the Johnson County Museum and space for theater, dance, the visual arts, and conferences for the community.
- Topgolf Overland Park, a 65,000 square foot entertainment jewel in Overland Park, that attracts locals and visitors alike to try its unique adaptation of golf as a target-shooting game for all ages while enjoying a high-end restaurant and bar.
Finally, the OPEDC presented longtime city icon Frank Thompson with the Ben Craig Vision Award, given yearly to an individual who has made a significant impact in the Overland Park community. It’s named for Ben Craig, a Johnson County leader whose vision and commitment resonates throughout every aspect of our city’s quality of life – economic, development, civic, philanthropic and social. A fixture in Overland Park, Thompson owned and operated Overland Park Dodge Jeep Chrysler Ram for 31 years. He and his business grew with Overland Park and he is a shining example of the progress made in Overland Park since the middle of the 20th century. He is perhaps best-known for his deep passion for classic automobiles, as well as his and his wife Evangeline’s long-time charitable support for research and patient care at Saint Luke’s Health System. Thompson announced his intention to make a sizable donation to the City of Overland Park for improvements to Santa Fe Commons Park in downtown Overland Park.