Five Kansas City Business Leaders to be Inducted into Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame in 2020
Author: Erika O'Shea
Published: Tuesday, 19 May 2020
KANSAS CITY, MO (April 13, 2020) – Bruce Ianni, Co-founder and CEO of DDSports, and Davyeon Ross, Co-founder and President of DDSports; Christine Kemper, founder of Kemper & Company, LLC, and Sandy Kemper, founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of C2FO; and Peter Mallouk, President of Creative Planning, have been selected as the 2020 business leaders to be inducted into the Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame. The honorees will be recognized at an annual Luncheon on Friday, November 6 at The Gallery Event Space in Kansas City.
In addition to the Business Hall of Fame Laureates, Junior Achievement will also recognize Hailee Bland Walsh, CEO & Founder of City Gym KC with the KC Innovator Award. KC Innovators are recognized for positively disrupting their industries, creating jobs and opportunities, and applying innovation to solve critical social and economic problems.
“Our 2020 Laureates inspire Kansas City’s students by showing them how an innovative spirit combined with hard work can leave a lasting impact on the community,” said Kathy Rhodes, Chairman of the JAKC Board and Lead Managing Director at CBIZ. “I am proud to honor these business leaders for their role in making Kansas City a hub of creativity, entrepreneurship, and a fantastic place to work and live.”
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, the annual Hall of Fame event recognizes the achievements of local business leaders who have made outstanding contributions to Kansas City. This year’s Hall of Fame Laureates join a group of well-known business leaders and entrepreneurs including Ewing Marion Kauffman, Dave Cummings, Barnett and Shirley Helzberg, Gary Fish, and Henry Bloch, among many others.
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About the 2020 Laureates
Bruce Ianni is the Co-Founder and CEO of Data Driven Sports (DDSports). The company’s first product, ShotTracker, uniquely delivers comprehensive real-time game stats and insights to teams, broadcasters, and fans. This product disrupted the sports industry by integrating technology directly onto the court. Sensors placed on players, equipment, and the field work together to provide nearly instantaneous data. Previously, Ianni led Innovadex, a company described as “Google for Chemists”. The organization grew to have offices across the globe and is the largest product technical datasheet database in the world for the global industries it serves. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) acquired Innovadex in 2012, providing investors with an ROI factor of 42x.
Davyeon Ross is the Co-Founder and President of Data Driven Sports (DDSports), creator of ShotTracker. Ross also founded Digital Sports Ventures, which was acquired by Digital Broadcasting Group in 2011. During his time with Digital Sports Ventures, he negotiated Division 1 college sports video rights across seven major conferences. A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Ross came to the United States in 1996 on a full basketball scholarship to Benedictine College. He earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and went on to obtain an MBA from Mid-America Nazarene University. Ross is an active angel investor with ties to eyeVerify, Opendorse, Metactive, Flow Forward, and others.
Christine Kemper is Founder of Kemper & Company, LLC. Her marketing and research consultancy advises local, national, and global brands and has been in operation since 2002. She is also co-founder of The Collectors Fund and The Kansas City Collection, enterprises that invest in building markets for artists. Along with her husband, Sandy, she started YEPKC, an organization focused on nurturing entrepreneurship in high school students. Christine is a passionate community advocate, serving in leadership roles for dozens of regional nonprofit organizations. Recently, she assumed the role of Founding Chair of Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy, which opened in August 2019.
Sandy Kemper is Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of C2FO. He is also Chairman of the Board of The Collectors Fund. Prior to these pursuits, Sandy founded eScout.com, now known as Perfect Commerce, and served as Chairman and CEO from 2000-2006. He has also held the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO of UMB Bank and CEO of UMB Financial. Sandy graduated from Northwestern University in 1987 with a degree in American History. He is an active angel investor and serves on the corporate boards of UMB Financial, UMB Bank, NIC, and AXA Art USA.
Peter Mallouk is President of Creative Planning and its affiliated companies. His organizations provide comprehensive wealth management services to investment management, financial planning, charitable planning, retirement plan consulting, tax, and estate planning clients. Peter graduated from the University of Kansas in 1993 with four majors, including Business Administration and Economics. In 1996 he went on to earn a law degree and an MBA, also from KU, and is also a Certified Financial Planner. Peter is Founder, Executive Board Member, and previous Chairman of KC CAN!, a volunteer organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Kansas City children and has served on numerous other nonprofit boards.
City Gym KC arrived on the Kansas City scene in 2011 and was founded by area native Hailee Bland-Walsh. Hailee breaks barriers as one of only a handful of female gym owners in the nation. Over the past nine years, membership has exploded and currently sits at over 2,000 individuals. Her Waldo location underwent a significant expansion in 2014, growing to fill more than 11,600 square feet of space. Hailee and her organization have received many local business and fitness accolades and employ 60 employees and 15 personal trainers. In addition to her work with City Gym, Hailee is an entrepreneurial consultant, working with individuals and companies seeking to grow. She is also an engaging speaker on topics ranging from fitness to company culture.