top 10 coolest companies to work for in kansas city

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As the largest city in Missouri, Kansas City offers visitors museums, fountains, one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. (Swope Park), baseball, barbecue, and jazz/blues. Along with being a major federal government hub, Kansas City’s economy includes engineering firms, drug manufacturing plants, construction, and agriculture. Within each of these industries are companies that appreciate their employees which in turn helps the organization grow. We’re honoring those companies. Below are the 10 coolest companies to work for in Kansas City:



As one of the world’s leading digital marketing agencies, VML believes a great work environment is not engineered but nurtured. They create this through groups of “VMLers” who see opportunity for change, evolution, and acknowledgement. The open office environment allows employees to not only contribute and collaborate, but continue to build a better culture. For instance, VML’s “Ministry of Fun” is comprised of volunteer employees putting in their time towards fun activities and events. As for employee appreciation, the Spark Award is given to VLMers for embodying the VML spirit and going above and beyond the work. The eight to ten winners receive prizes ranging from $500 gift cards to a dream vacation for the grand prize winner. The Community Contributor Award allows employees to nominate coworkers for a monthly drawing where the winner receives $500 to donate to the charity of their choice. Employee training and mentoring helps VML grow and retain talented employees–which then contribute to their unique culture.

JE Dunn Construction

JE Dunn

As the 12th largest general building contractor in the United States, the family and employee owned business has been a leader in the commercial construction industry for over 90 years.

JE Dunn Construction philosophy is stated in their “Pillars of Excellence” which includes commitment to: integrity, collaboration, wisdom, quality, value, sustainability and safety. In addition, JE Dunn Construction prides itself on its employees (over 2,500) and giving back to the community. This includes internal programs, on-the-job training, tuition reimbursement, and mentoring all which help employees grow in their respective careers. Community service includes donating 10% of pretax earnings to charities nationwide as well as raising money for various organizations through events that include BBQ competitions and indoor putt-putt tournaments. Overall, JE Dunn values its employees and is invested in creating a learning and growing company culture.

FishNet Security

FishNet Security

As the largest provider of information security solutions in North America, FishNet Security helps clients protect their networks and critical data from potential threats. The relatively new company, founded 18 years ago, has always put their employees first with a great support system that allows each other to be heard. The positive culture can be seen through talented leaders, team building events, and a charitable connection. Each month a department hosts a fundraiser for the charity of their choice with food, competitions, and raffles. Employee appreciation includes their “Rock On” program, where employees submit kudos or positive messages about coworkers online which in turn get grouped together and sent out in a newsletter. Those mentioned are then entered in a drawing for gift cards, and at the end of the year, executives select four or five employees for a bigger prize. Furthermore, FishNet Security helps employees grow by providing leadership trainings, classes, and IT certifications. All and all, FishNet Security’s culture is centered on their mission of supporting great employees who, in turn, provide the best protection for their clients.

Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics

Children's Mercy Group

Providing the highest-level of medical care to every child patient, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics mission is to “improve the health and wellbeing of children by providing comprehensive family-centered health care and committing to the highest level of clinical and psychosocial care, and to research, academic and service excellence.” With this mission, Children’s Mercy has been nationally ranked by the U.S News & World Report’s top hospitals in the country. Company culture revolves around a friendly and fun atmosphere for the patients such as children’s art work, interactive exhibits, and a working jukebox. Furthermore, Children’s Mercy contributes more than $176 million toward community benefit programs that support nearly 646,000 people. Every employee is a vital contributor to the patient care experience, which has more than a half-dozen formal programs that recognize employees, teams, and volunteers who exemplify the hospital values.

Henderson Engineers Inc.

Henderson Engineers 1

The comprehensive engineering design firm offers four specialty services: fire dynamics (fire alarms, sprinkler design, code, etc.); impact illumination (architectural lighting); collective tech (network infrastructure & security planning); and outcome construction services (engineer-led design/build). Culture at Henderson Engineers Inc. is encompassed by respect, integrity, professionalism, hard work, and mixing rules with imagination. Furthermore, they value autonomy, flexibility, and opportunity among employees so that their success is reflective of the companies overall success. As for community service, Henderson Engineering gives back with their Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program–an after-school program for high school juniors and seniors that introduces these three areas with hands-on projects. They also support a range of local arts organizations, programs, and artists. Along with the company perks, such as a quiet room and gym memberships, employees at Henderson Engineering all live by the motto: work hard, play hard and give back.


Lockton 3

As the world’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm, Lockton provides risk management, insurance, and employee benefits consulting services. The company’s culture includes: recognizing associates as the most valuable assets, managing the business for consistent and orderly growth, being committed to the highest standards of excellence in everything, and a highly ethical and caring culture. Employee onboarding at Lockton includes a Producer Training Program and an Associate Account Manager Position where they train recent college graduates into becoming professionals. As for community involvement, Lockton has a United Way Campaign–March to One Million–raising one million dollars to help the community. This includes helping local children reach their potential, promoting financial stability and independence, and improving people’s well beings. Overall, employees at Lockton grow marketable skills and learn how to be part of a team.

Burns & McDonnell Engineering

Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell is a global engineering, architectural, construction, and environmental firm dedicated to making clients successful. The company is 100% employee-owned–a unique benefit that cultivates a culture of entrepreneurial thinking, generosity, loyalty, hard work, and fun. As for employee appreciation, the company never miss an opportunity to celebrate achieved goals. Employee-owners also receive appreciation through a service awards program, a recognition program, and a generous year-end performance-based bonus. Burns & McDonnell has enjoyed success throughout the years and in turn, strives to share that success with the communities in which employee-owners live and work. In 2014, for the second year in a row, the firm raised more than $2.3 million for United Way. In addition to many ongoing giving back projects, Burns & McDonnell selects an annual Charity of Choice with national presence — Ronald McDonald House Charities was selected in 2014. More than $170,000 was raised and employee-owners spent 1,000 hours completing service projects and cooking at chapters across the nation.

Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch

As a global leader in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for the crucial areas of energy, water, and telecommunications, Black & Veatch’s mission is to “Build a World of Difference.” Having many global opportunities, Black & Veatch has employees in more than 100 countries around the world collaborating with global colleagues on a daily basis. Employee recognition initiatives include monthly departmental awards, special awards or plaques for notable anniversaries, retirement parties, public engineer certifications, and educational milestones. As for community service, the Black & Veatch’s foundation, Building a World of Difference, provides professionals with global volunteer opportunities and invests in more than 100 global organizations each year. The foundation focuses on improvements in health and human services, education, the environment and public safety, and emergency services. As Aleksandra Robertson, one professional at Black & Veatch said, “All of us have something to contribute. We are responsible for our future and we get to utilize our talents and share in success.”

Cerner Corp

Cerner ground breaking 2

Cerner Corp. is a health information technology company that works to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and the community. Company culture is twofold: making a difference in the lives of people around the world and continuously learning and developing. Cerner’s principles help accomplish charitable and civic investment goals of health, education, and economy. The onboarding process includes entry level training programs, development and preparation for future leadership roles, and uLearn–an online learning tool. Cerner also focuses on giving back, with its First Hand Foundation, a nonprofit supported by Cerner associates that funds health-related needs for children and families when insurance and other financial resources have been exhausted. With the focus of creating the most intelligent solutions for the healthcare industry, there’s a reason why Cerner has been ranked by Forbes as the 22nd most innovative company in the world.

Saint Luke’s Health System

Saint Luke's 1

The faith-based, not-for-profit Saint Luke’s Health System provides a range of primary, acute, tertiary, and chronic care service at multiple locations throughout Kansas City and the surrounding region. The vision is simple for employees at Saint Luke’s: The best place to get care and the best place to give care. Along with customer service, education is very important, supporting accredited training programs in all major physician specialties. Furthermore, Saint Luke’s was designated as a teaching hospital since its beginning, and currently, is a primary teaching hospital of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Drawing on employees’ individual strengths makes Saint Luke’s a cohesive, integrated health system and enables them to better service their patients and their communities.


As you can see, company culture, community service, employee engagement and recognition can be shown in many different ways. Created in 2013, the Coolest Companies to Work For award establishes public recognition of companies that provide exceptional work environments.

Learn more about employee engagement.


By o.c. tanner
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Comments (20)
David Hite

What makes them so cool?

December 19, 2014   |   Reply

I’m not sure this article shows anything from the employee’s perspective. It seems they are the top ten PR messages in KC. No way of knowing if they are cool companies to work for or if they are saying they are the coolest companies to work for in KC.

December 23, 2014   |   Reply

I agree. Not sure I know why they are cool.

December 23, 2014   |   Reply

You must have never worked for QT then.

December 24, 2014   |   Reply

You definitely got a couple of these wrong. Bigger isn’t always better. And some of these companies preach one thing publicly and privately do other things.

December 25, 2014   |   Reply
Alex Gonzalez

Agree- I know and work with a few people working for Burns& Mc, Black & Veatch and JE Dunn. They all very happy to be part of this firms. Also as a subcontractor and been part of the Hispanic Contractors Association of the Greater KC Board of Directors, I’m very please to work and partner with JE Dunn.
Thank you for the article, Alex

December 26, 2014   |   Reply


December 28, 2014   |   Reply
Michelle Bunte

What was the criteria that was used to come up with the top 10?

December 29, 2014   |   Reply
O.C. Tanner

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your interest in our Coolest Companies campaign. We work with a third-party to determine our winners in each city. Our vendor researches various companies in each city based off of information online such as: reviews, articles written, and different awards the companies have received. Then they look into the company websites and talk to a representative from the companies to learn more about the inner workings and values. Winners are selected based off their company culture – not just perks in the office, such as foosball or ping pong, but on values and things like employee appreciation and company unity. We focus on why employees are really happy to come to work – what makes the job fulfilling to them. We want to select companies and show our appreciation to companies who are doing great work and who appreciate their employees.

If you’re interested in nominating a company, please fill out the form here:

January 5, 2015   |   Reply

I didn’t know it was cool to work for a sweat shop…

January 6, 2015   |   Reply
Warren Young

From an employees perspective I can tell you in all honesty that working for Black and Veatch is a very rewarding experience. It is just a great place to work on all levels.

January 8, 2015   |   Reply

I know people that work at most of the companies listed and have seen most of the companies listed in action professional and community related, very cool indeed.

January 14, 2015   |   Reply

I was VERY surprised to find my employer on this list. I’m not exactly sure what criteria have to be met, in order to be “cool”, but I know that’s not a descriptor I would use to describe what I work for.

January 15, 2015   |   Reply
Amanda Woelk

I am not surprised to see Children’s Mercy Hospital. They are an amazing employer and absolutely the BEST place in Kansas City to work!!! I am proud to work at CMH!!

January 21, 2015   |   Reply

This whole think is a puff piece for a company Called O.C. TANNER. They sell internal website to help with employee retention and making people feel good about there jobs. All the companies listed are some of the top employers in the Kansas City. This is all made up by some marketing team to sell more services to these companies.

April 30, 2015   |   Reply

Do any of the Companies have a Veteran Program for military members or their families?

August 24, 2015   |   Reply

Does any software companies offering internships, anybody give list please!!

December 3, 2015   |   Reply

Seeing Cerner on the list, I can assure that you need to do some more research!

March 30, 2016   |   Reply

JEDunn requires 100% participation from their employees and they have to fill out this survey. If you don’t fill out this survey, you keep getting emails about not filling it out. If it’s “anonymous” how do they know you haven’t participated in the survey? They also don’t hire or promote many minorities in Corporate.

June 10, 2016   |   Reply
sahil kumar


March 18, 2017   |   Reply
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