Manhattan Entrepreneur Wins $10,000 Kansas Katalyst Award
For the second year in a row, Manhattan has claimed the Kansas Katalyst Award.
Blade Mages, founder of 502, a strategic marketing agency, was announced as the 2018 award winner on Monday, February 26th at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.
The Kansas Katalyst Awards were created in 2015 by a group of mid-west Kansas entrepreneurs in an effort to recognize innovative, socially conscious and community-driven business owners.
The award is given once per year and decided through a series of community nominations and a board of judges who carefully review the impact of each entrepreneur. In 2017, Manhattan Entrepreneur Allyn Weddle, founder of Weddle and Sons Roofing, won the award.
During the 2018 award ceremony, friends, family and members from the Manhattan community gathered to share words about Mages and the impact he has had in community organizations near and far. Tony Parker said, "Blade has an exceptional drive of leadership that will do whatever it takes. I've had the privilege to watch him over the years make an incredible impact throughout Manhattan, and across the state."
"Blade will stand up here and tell you that his team is who deserves this award, but it really is his determination to do what it takes to help those he is working alongside," 2017 award winner Allyn Weddle said.
The Kansas Katalyst Award comes with a $10,000 prize, of which the winner chooses a non-profit to donate the funds to. Mages chose Flint Hills Foster Teen Camps to be the organization to receive the $10,000 prize.
Mike and Lisa Irvin are the co-directors of Flint Hills Foster Teen Camps and have been operating since 2009. "The camp is more than just a camping experience, it is a place where foster teens are safe and can relax from the stress of their uncertain lives while experiencing activities that allow them to be kids, to build trust, and to give them HOPE."
The Irvins expressed that the camp simply would not be where it is today without the work that Blade helped with in 2015 for the camp. Mages held a Brand Boost for local non-profits and Flint Hills Foster Teen Camps were selected to receive thousands worth of free marketing and brand strategy services. "We are forever indebted to you Blade for all that you have done for us," said the Irvins.
Learn more about Kansas Katalyst at kansaskatalyst.com.