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KC chamber names an urban-core construction company as its top 2017 small business

Alpha Energy and Electric wins Mr. K small business award

Alpha Energy and Electric wins Mr. K small business award during the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Small Business Celebration. Video by Shane Keyser | The Kansas City Star
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Alpha Energy and Electric wins Mr. K small business award during the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Small Business Celebration. Video by Shane Keyser | The Kansas City Star

Alpha Energy and Electric Inc. got its start in a two-room office with two employees a dozen years ago.

It has since grown to a 10,000-square-foot headquarters in the urban core while working on such projects as the renovation of Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums and the Sprint Center.

On Tuesday, it was honored as the small business of the year by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Ike Nwabuonwu, chairman and CEO, accepted the Mr. K Award at the chamber’s 31st annual Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center hotel. The company also was named the International Small Business of the Year.

The chamber said 580 people attended the luncheon.

“To God be the glory. When we started on this journey, we had ideas, we had a mission. We also knew if we had God in our mission, everything would work out,” said Nwabuonwu, in accepting the award.

He also thanked JE Dunn Construction and Mark One Electric Co. Inc., and his employees, whom he called the backbone of the company. He also renewed the company’s commitment to the urban core, where it got its “humble start.”

Alpha plans to expand its headquarters at 1100 E. 34th St., just east of Troost, by 3,400 square feet in June. It also is working on creating a community improvement district in the area.

It currently has more than 50 employees in Kansas City; St. Marys, Ga.; and Las Vegas.

Along with the area projects, Alpha Energy has won or participated in projects at Fort Leavenworth, Fort Riley, Whiteman Air Force Base, the federal building in Lincoln, Neb., and the U.S. Department of Agriculture facility in Ames, Iowa.

Internationally, Alpha Energy is working with the Nigerian government to develop, design, construct and operate power-generation facilities, and with Ghana to develop renewable power infrastructure in that country.

The company works closely with the Full Employment Council to hire people from the urban core.

More than 1,600 small businesses in the Kansas City region were nominated for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Awards in the fall of 2016. Then an independent panel of judges selected the Top 10 Small Businesses for 2017. The companies were judged on growth or sustainability in revenue, outstanding employee relations, and excellent service to the community.

Other companies honored at the luncheon:

▪ Diverse Small Business Award: Webb Technology Group. This award is geared toward certified Minority Business Enterprise, Woman-owned Business Enterprise, Veteran-owned Business, LGBT- or Service Disabled Veteran-owned Small Business. Webb Technology has certifications as a minority, veteran and LGBT-owned business. The firm’s primary mission is app development for minorities and women who own small businesses.

▪ Entrepreneur Award: J. Rieger & Co. This award recognizes a company that is less than 3 years old and demonstrates a high level of entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, perseverance, innovation and determination.

▪ Legacy of Kansas City Award: Andrews McMeel Universal. The Legacy of Kansas City Award honors longevity of 15 years or more in business within the region, with a proven record of providing quality products and/or services in the Kansas City metro area.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC

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