Scott Smith & Michael DeBacker, Co-Chairs of the KC Chamber’s Big 5 Transportation Initiative
The 2019 winners of the Spirit of Rosa Parks Business Partner Award are Scott Smith & Michael DeBacker, Co-Chairs of the KC Chamber’s Big 5 Transportation Initiative.
Smith, retired from HNTB, and DeBacker, head of Global Transportation at Burns & McDonnell, were recognized for their leadership in support of transportation, innovation, and workforce movement in the Kansas City region.
The KC Chamber's Big 5 Initiatives are community-based projects that build on the region’s strengths to make Kansas City the best place to live, work, start and grow a business. The Transportation Initiative recognizes that too few of metro area jobs are accessible by public transit. A robust transportation network is critical to KC’s growth and vitality. The Big 5 initiative is advocating for and supporting initiatives that enhance regional surface transportation, rail, and aviation efforts essential to sustain a dynamic business climate.
“It’s their combination of professional experience and passion for the community that drives them as co-chairs and they are driving the business industry’s interest and engagement in this,” said Joe Reardon, President and CEO of the Kansas City, Mo., Chamber of Commerce. They worked to bring a broader spectrum of business leaders to the table to really understand how their business success depends on good public transportation. “When you look at the impact that Rosa Parks had, not just on transportation but on culture and society and on the United States moving forward, those are big impacts,” said Smith. “It’s a great honor to receive a reward in her name and it makes us raise our sights very high.”
The Business Partner Award is presented to an individual or business whose support for public transportation demonstrates a commitment by the private sector to improve the quality of life for its employees, residents and visitors to the city. Focused on strategies, transportation safety, and advocacy, the Big 5 Transportation initiative is a worthy award recipient and partner, having the potential to touch thousands of lives throughout the region.
Congrats to Mike DeBacker, co-recipient of the 2019 Business Partner Award from KCATA for his work on the Greater KC Chamber's Big 5 Transportation Initiative — focused on improving the quality of life for Kansas City's employees, residents and visitors. https://t.co/QYO7hfuPwp pic.twitter.com/Txci0SHLvO— Burns & McDonnell (@BurnsMcDonnell) September 4, 2019
About the 2019 Spirit of Rosa Parks Awards
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) recognized local leaders at the 2019 Rosa Parks Spirit Awards at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland on August 27, 2019. KCATA’s 7th annual signature event honors local individuals and organizations who are making a positive impact on the region’s transit industry.