People | Ingram's Honors Kansas City's Most Exceptional People for the Good They do in Our Community

Jim Nutter

Not many people or companies have a town name after themselves, but James B. Nutter & Co., does. Welcome to Nutterville, a carefully restored area in historic Westport. James B. Nutter Sr. and James B. Nutter Jr., current president of the company, helped upstart the restoration of the historic district. "Out commitment to community is not just easy to see," says Nutter Sr. "We also like to think it's pleasant to look at." Bound by colorful flower gardens and refurbished houses the area is now known as Nutterville.

Yet, community restoration is only a token of what Nutter and son have contributed to the community. The list of organizations the duo has supported throughout the years is incomparable. Nutter Sr. says because the company started as a "close-knit" family community active participation in civic and community affairs is an important element of the company.

The father and son duo have been pivotal supporters in organizations such as Children's Mercy Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. Nutter says agencies such as these say family and home to them. Supporting the Truman Library has a special meaning to Nutter Sr., though. As a young man he got to know the past president. "It keeps me in touch with my roots," he says.

Community education is another area in which the Nutters have been active. As a Rockhurst University Regent, Nutter Sr. has also lend his helping hand to other educational causes such as the Learning Exchange, the Jackson County Historic Society, the Kansas City Public Library, and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.

The Nutter corporation combined business with pleasure two years ago when it was one of four local companies to establish the Timely Payment Rewards mortgage, a lower-cost mortgage for borrowers with past credit problems.

Nutter Sr. says supporting the community is an important part of who James B. Nutter & Co. is. "We've run this business like an extended family, and to this day, the entire Nutter Co. 'family' lives by those values."

David Block

Since 1998 David Block, senior vice president at Block & Co., has made an effort to make sure research for diabetes blooms. Rather than just contributing to one diabetic found-ation, Block founded the Emilie Rosebud Diabetic Research Found-ation. Named after his daughter, who was diagnosed with diabetes at an early age, the foundation focuses on supporting and funding research for a cure for diabetes.

But his desire to focus on diabetic research stems more than just from his personal relationship with the disease. "Nearly every family in the U.S. either has a family member with diabetes or is a friend of someone who has diabetes," says Block. "Research for diabetes is a necessity."

What makes the Rosebud found-ation different from other organizations is that up to 100 percent of every dollar goes directly to the doctors for research. As part of the group, Block has helped organize past events such as Kansas City movie premiers of the 1999 action flick "The Mummy" and last summer's block-buster film, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

In addition to sponsoring such entertaining events the foundation has also made considerable contributions to various organizations. Through Block's efforts to find a cure for diabetes Children's Mercy Hospital Diabetic Department, the Vascular Biology Lab, part of the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International have all received major support from the Rosebud foundation. Block says the goal is to help agencies and experts in the field of diabetic research to con-tinue the search for a cure.

While many of Block's efforts focus more closely on his foundation as part of Block & Company he also contributes to other organizations. He has continuously contributed to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City through its donor advised funds, and is a supporter of the Groundhog Run, which benefits the Children's TLC. Block's main charitable focus may be diabetes research, but he has shown through his works that all types of organization are important to him.