KCADC History

By the late 1960s, Kansas City had been through a rough time. In the words of Charlie Kimball, a Kansas City businessman, Kansas City was “under utilized, under built, under recognized and under energized.”

However, at the turn of the decade things began to change for Kansas City. Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Ike Davis and other city, county and business leaders had a vision and, they were determined to see that vision through.

During Davis’s term, more than $5 billion in new construction began, 75 percent of which came from the private sector. The twin sport stadiums, Crown Center, Kansas City International Airport and Hospital Hill began to change the face of Kansas City.

Residents knew the region had a lot to offer, but not everyone everywhere shared that perception. One New Yorker’s response to the question, ‘What do you think of when you think of Kansas City?’ was… ‘I don’t think of Kansas City at all.’

Area Leaders Launch PrimeTime

In 1971, area leaders decided to change that. About 20 of them met to discuss Kansas City’s non image. They discussed several ideas but the idea that carried the day came from Bill Johnson, Hallmark Cards’ public relations director. He suggested a major, on-going public relations campaign.

Over the next few months, leaders met at weekly breakfast meetings to hammer out the details. The Carl Byoir agency in New York would handle the campaign and a local steering committee would direct it. Its name would be PrimeTime.

The success of PrimeTime, along with the Kansas City region's desire for aggressive image marketing and job creation, led to the creation of KCADC. Today, KCADC represents 18 counties and 50 major cities in Kansas and Missouri. 

Think KC™ Campaign

Think KC™ is KCADC's national marketing and branding campaign. It positions Greater Kansas City as the preeminent location of choice for growing corporations.

KCADC is promoting KC as a great place to work and live. We're also solidifying relationships with real estate developers and site consultants through hosting events, direct marketing and industry trade shows. The goal of Think KC™ is to raise the region’s profile among top business decision makers, upgrade our national image, and present our region as a top U.S. city to attract companies, jobs and new residents.

OneKC Campaign

onekc-web-01OneKC, KCADC's regional unity campaign, symbolizes the cohesiveness of the entire KC metro area – the economic, social and cultural interdependence between our two states, 18 counties and 50-plus communities.

The overall message of the OneKC campaign is simply, "we are one." Our goal is to create a competitive advantage for the KC region in the race for new jobs, investment and tax base. Our business strategy is to create a seamless, unified "metro product" for corporate decision makers, site consultants and real estate influencers.By creating a regional mind set, we increase our chances for new investment and in attaining the top-tier image KC deserves.The OneKC mindset reminds us that we all benefit from each city's unique success. It provides KC residents with a unified sense of place and pride.

Competitive Advantage

Everyday our region competes against other major metros. We compete for new corporate investments, new jobs and talented people.

As OneKC we can compete and win. 

Here’s why.

As a unified force, we have one of the most diverse and attractive portfolios in the nation. 

When KCADC was created Don Hall and Henry Bloch, leaders of two of the region’s most powerful and prestigious corporations and two of the nation’s most recognized brands, believed to compete on a national level, we must present our business environment as a region, not individual communities.

Their vision set a precedent in economic development.  But, more importantly it put Kansas City in the game to win more than 500 companies and more than 50,000 direct jobs. 

The goal of OneKC is to continue to strengthen that vision and ensure our region remains a top contender for companies looking to expand or relocate. 




Board of Directors