Ora Reynolds, the guiding force of Hunt Midwest for nearly 15 years, was recognized as the 2023 Look North Award recipient at the Clay County Economic Development Council’s annual luncheon held at Harrah’s North Kansas City Friday, Oct. 27.
Reynolds was praised for her leadership since becoming Hunt president in 2010 and CEO in 2015. A former banker, she joined Hunt in 1990 and began the first of many successful residential developments that brought over 7,000 homes to greater Kansas City. Under her leadership, Hunt Midwest has become a major commercial developer in eight states.
Several regional and national leaders joined in congratulating Reynolds in person and via video. The first, Clark Hunt, may have given her a new nickname that represents her value to Hunt Midwest Enterprises (HME) and the communities where it develops homes, businesses and more.
“Ora, my family and I are blessed to have you leading HME,” Hunt said. “You have helped make my father’s vision a reality by taking HME to new heights. In fact, some would call you the Patrick Mahomes of Hunt Midwest.”
The nearly 300 people at the event agreed. Their standing ovation indicated that Ora “Patrick Mahomes” Reynolds would stick.
Joining EDC Chair Julie Sola on stage, Reynolds was quick to credit others for the organization’s success in so many areas. “We’ve done it all, but we’ve done it all with so many incredible partners,” Reynolds said, noting contractors, elected officials, economic development organizations and chambers of commerce. “I can’t thank everyone, or we’d be here all weekend.” She also praised Lee Derrough, her predecessor at Hunt who hired her 30 years ago.
Earlier, Kansas City Police Deputy Chief Steve Young, filled in for Chief Stacy Graves in presenting an update on the department. He noted that a major issue facing the area’s largest law enforcement agency involves staffing.