When Davy Hartman Campbell was congratulated by a well-wisher after being named entrepreneur of the year by Kansas State University, she joked that her alma mater must have made a mistake.
Hartman Campbell, who started a marketing services company called Fulfillment Plus Inc. 17 years ago, was honored Monday at a ceremony in Manhattan with the 2016 Phil Howe Alumnus Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The award recognizes business owners for their entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, personal integrity, strategic direction, market impact and social responsibility.
Hartman Campbell grew up in Manhattan and graduated from Kansas State in 1978 with degrees in business administration and modern languages. After working for a marketing company for several years, she launched Fulfillment Plus in 1999 in an 1,800-square-foot strip center warehouse in North Kansas City.
Today the company operates from a 35,000-square foot building at 1446 Taney St. in North Kansas City. There’s also a slightly smaller warehouse across the street. Fulfillment Plus has 20 employees.
“When I started, I had nothing,” said Hartman Campbell, president of Fulfillment Plus. “I’ve been extremely fortunate.”
But she also noted that the growth her company has enjoyed since starting with just one customer “took a lot of hard work and a passion for doing it.”
She also credited her employees, including several who have been with the company since the early days.
Fulfillment Plus offers a variety of marketing services, including printing, direct mail, loyalty programs, and merchandise. Her warehouse is full of items ranging from barbecue sauce to coffee cups to clothing.
Hartman Campbell, who lives in Liberty, declined to provide sales information. But the company said on its website that it now works with more than 50 clients — mostly nonprofits and small- to mid-size businesses — and handles more than 10,000 items that are shipped to customers, retailers, wholesalers and distribution centers.
“Davy Hartman Campbell is most deserving of the...entrepreneur of the year award, not only because of her business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit to start and grow a a small business, but also because of her limitless generosity and enthusiasm to help and inspire others to do their best,” said Amy Button Renz, president of the Kansas State Alumni Association, in a prepared statement.