The Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce revealed its 2018 recipients of the Truly the Best Business of the Year awards on Thursday. The four winners, announced at the chamber’s monthly membership luncheon, are: Coldwater, Longview Funeral Home & Cemetery, Whistle Stop Coffee & Mercantile and HSMC Orizon LLC.
For more than three decades, the chamber has recognized businesses and organizations in four categories. The selections are based on a number of criteria, including service to the community and the chamber, a commitment to good business practices and a history of good employee relations.
Not for Profit: Coldwater
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Founded 10 years ago, Coldwater is a faith-based nonprofit whose mission is to foster hope in the community while providing food and clothing for those in need. More than 30 volunteers sustain Coldwater’s extensive programs, which include a food pantry, clothes closet, senior mobile pantry, Harvesters’ BackSnacks and more.
“Lee’s Summit is a great community, but there are people in need and families struggle. My job is to make people aware of what the needs are,” said Monte Stull, community director.
The needs of Lee’s Summit residents are on the rise, and Coldwater is growing as a result. The organization’s short-term goal includes moving to a larger facility.
“If we can serve people in need and ease that a little bit, that’s what we’re here for,” Stull said.
According to executive director Monica Humbard, Coldwater benefits more than those it serves.
“Coldwater has helped bring an awareness to the needs in our community by providing not only services to address those needs but also giving compassionate volunteers a place where they can come to care for those who are struggling,” she said.
5 or Fewer Employees: Longview Funeral Home & Cemetery
Since 1964, “caring for others” has been the guiding principle for Longview Funeral Home & Cemetery. This culture is born from its mission: “Respect for the Family, Respect for the Individual, and Respect for the Profession.”
Whether providing compassion to grieving families or serving the residents of Lee’s Summit through volunteer efforts, this small but mighty team has made a positive impact on the community.
Longview employees volunteer year-round in a variety of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street and chamber initiatives, including the farmers market, Oktoberfest and Piccadilly Gala. In 2016, Melissa Beall, Longview’s general manager, received the New Member Dynamo award from Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street for her volunteer efforts.
Longview also has adopted a street in Lee’s Summit that employees care for quarterly.
“We focus on the volunteer hours and recognize how important it is to the success of the community,” Beall said. “Our goal is to continue supporting the community and events that bring the community together.”
6-20 Employees: Whistle Stop Coffee & Mercantile
A downtown Lee’s Summit icon, Whistle Stop Coffee & Mercantile has welcomed the community with its great coffee and service for the past 25 years.
Ten years ago, Candace Jennings purchased Whistle Stop, and the shop has grown since she took over.
“I attribute our growth to our amazing staff, excellent customer service and the continued support of our community,” Jennings said. “Our customers are incredible!
“They love that we have an ever-changing menu, so you will always find new drinks and food to try. We also have a large selection of gourmet coffee beans from around the world, so there is something for every palate.”
The shop offers pastries, breakfast and café-style lunches. It also gives local artists and vendors the opportunity to showcase and sell their work.
“Our customers come to relax, join friends and hang out with family,” Jennings said.
20+ Employees: HSMC Orizon LLC
HSMC Orizon LLC offers a diverse array of financial and IT services and expertise.
Focused on customer service, the company attributes much of its success and growth to a work environment in which employees thrive in a culture of encouragement, respect and collaboration.
“My focus is on our team, and a great team is what allowed us to win this award,” said Gary Hawkins, HSMC Orizon LLC founder and director. “Our greatest strength is the strength of our team and their commitment to service and quality.”
Since 1994, the HSMC Orizon LLC team has been involved with a variety of area nonprofits and service projects. The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, John Knox Village and St. Luke’s East Hospital are just a few of the organizations the company has supported over the years.
“Since the first day we were in business, we’ve worked very hard to become a good corporate citizen and give back to the community,” Hawkins said. “It has been, and will always be, an important part of our corporate culture.”