Business Domain

businessman thinking
Meet the Voices behind this Domain

Business Domain Voices

Ed Butler – Domain Leader

Vice President, Vyve Broadband

Ricky Paradise – Domain Leader

President, Jack Stack BBQ

Rick Enna

Enna and Associates

Ed Enyeart

Senior VP, Cerner

Rickey Leathers

CEO, Savvy Salon KC

Aimee Minnich – Board Member

President, Impact Foundation

Emmitt Mitchell

Co-Founder, The Signatry; Business Entrepreneur

Mike Pitman

Managing Partner, ParaPlacement

Eric Schroeder

Co-Founder, Partner, CrossFirst Bank

Norman Smith

Owner, NPB Companies

Kasey Vena

General Manager, Country Club Plaza

Carolyn Watley

VP of Community Engagement, CBIZ Employee Benefits

Bernie Zarda

Premium Waters

The Mission of the Business Domain

Kansas City area business leaders are coming together to create a future full of opportunity and without racial division.

If you would like to join us in our mission, please read the Covenant of Racial Reconciliation below and get started by choosing to do One Good Thing from our list of suggested actions. For more resources and information on upcoming Business Domain meetings, email us at business@unitekc.org. Together, let’s unite Kansas City!

Covenant of Racial Reconciliation for the Business Domain

Whereas racial tension is complex, and we lament the damage it has caused. Arguments about the past, utilizing lightning rod words and divisive labels are not productive.

Whereas healing Kansas City and improving opportunities can only happen when people of all colors come together, with transformed hearts and serve each other as one community.

Whereas the business community has a unique responsibility as leaders, to boldly chart a new course, exemplifying the best of humanity and treating each other fairly.

Whereas we come from different experiences with different viewpoints and yet we are bound by our humanity. When we work together for the common good, it will transcend differences.

Now, therefore, my company commits to:

  • Awareness
    • Be concerned for the dignity and intrinsic value of others
    • Listen to and learn from the experiences of others from backgrounds different than our own
  • Education
    • Support the development of a world-class workforce, beginning early with children and continuing through employment
    • Support mentorship and developing talent
  • Recruitment & Development
    • Cultivate the unique and meaningful calling of each person through diversity in recruitment at all levels of the organization from leadership through entry-level positions
    • Create opportunities for advancement for people that demonstrate potential, especially those from underserved communities
  • External Opportunities
    • Use our platform to point out inequalities wherever they exist
    • Seek opportunities to create access to funding, employment, or training for people from underserved communities

I commit to this covenant for my sake and for my organization, fellow employees, and the Greater Kansas City community.  I commit to take a practical step from the Suggested Actions to make it real.

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Your name and email address will be collected and added to a list to contact when new opportunities arise to serve in this domain.

Pick One Good Thing and Get Started!

Suggested Actions

Awareness

  • Lead my internal team to ensure that our corporate visions/mission/values is understood by our entire team, and that it is applied equally to our entire team.
  • Share with the broader community my organization’s support of the Unite KC movement
  • Privately examine my personal opinions in light of my new relationships and my new knowledge, making sure that I do not harbor intentional or unintentional biases or racism
  • Network with a diverse community of business leaders and look for opportunities to create business partnerships with those groups that are mutually beneficial.

Recruitment and Development

  • Strive to have my leadership team and entire organization reflect the diversity of our community
  • Look to hire the best candidates for all positions, without regard to race or ethnic background
  • Consider establishing a mentor program that will provide inspiration to groups that traditionally have not experienced as much upward mobility in my organization. Begin laying groundwork with inner city schools to build a pipeline for mentees.
  • Host a business student – invite a business student from an underrepresented community to a networking event and introducing them to your peers.
  • Sponsor Job Search Workshop – Have a company sponsor a day / afternoon to conduct an event / workshop focused on the job search process. Focus on writing a resume, LinkedIn profile tips, interview guidance, mini mock interviews, proper follow-up after the interview, etc.
  • Avoid conflating diversity with inclusion. Diversity and inclusion are often terms used synonymously but they have very distinct meanings and should not be mistaken for the same thing. Typically, leaders believe that because their company has representation from underrepresented minorities (URM), that they are fulfilling their DEI efforts. Unfortunately, that is rarely ever the case. Diversity does not equal inclusion and at many companies, employees who belong to URM groups are inadvertently (or intentionally) excluded and end up feeling like a token. Ask yourself “what are we doing to ensure that URM feel a sense of inclusion and belonging within the workplace?”
  • Audit pay and other compensation structures to ensure they are not biased in any way.

External Opportunities

  • Explore tax and other existing government/industry incentives that could enable creating new opportunities for historically underemployed groups

Education

  • Read/listen/watch respected content that deals with race issues thoughtfully in an effort to expand my knowledge and understanding.
  • Be intentional in encouraging and developing youth of all color, showing them that life is full of opportunity
  • Conduct internal Cultural Diversity & Inclusion training
  • Take a group to experience The Underground
  • Dividing Lines – Take your team on the audio tour

Community Outreach

  • Consider joining a non-profit that needs business-minded leadership.
  • Seek out ways to hold our economic systems to the highest standards for equality and equal access, showing neither favor nor prejudice to any specific group.
  • Participate in UNITE KC activities as I am able, to show our community that our organization is committed to improving race relations in Kansas City.

Measurement

  • Establish goals for each of the above and develop practices to measure performance against those goals, taking action to continuously improve performance

 

Curated Opportunities

Community Action Agency Greater KC

Community Action Agency of Greater Kansas City (CAAGKC) provides low-income residents of Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri comprehensive support services that help them become self-sufficient.  We envision our community without poverty, and we’re creating solutions that improve individuals, families, and communities. We can connect you and your family to resources that can change your life today, tomorrow, and for years to come

Poverty Simulations

Take your organization through the Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) that offers participants a unique opportunity to glean a bit of understanding of what living in poverty is like. With very little money and an abundance of “real-life” stressors, this role-playing simulation is a perfect team-building activity for businesses and companies looking to increase social compassion and teamwork among their employees

Operation Breakthrough

The mission of Operation Breakthrough is to provide a safe, loving and educational environment for children in poverty and to empower their families through advocacy, emergency aid and education

  • Take a group from work to volunteer in a dozen different areas

INROADS 

The mission of INROADS is to develop and place talented underserved youth in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.

Share Your Professional Expertise

  • Become a corporate sponsor
  • Lead or facilitate an INROADS or INROADS College Links training session
  • Mentor an INROADS candidate or intern, or an INROADS College Links high school student
  • Become a prospective intern recruiter
  • Sponsor an INROADS intern

Executive Leadership Council 

The Executive Leadership Council (ELC) is a national organization comprising current and former Black CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies. For more than 33 years, The ELC has worked to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline. We open channels of opportunity for the development of Black executives to positively impact business and our communities

  • Promote/sponsor a black student, mid-level manager, executive or female leader for an ELC program.
  • Partner with Community Organizations to mentor local businesses – partner with community organizations to collaborate on and coach business owners on a range of topics (pop-up shops, displays in vacant spaces, vendor opportunities, mentorship, etc.).