Owner, President, CEO Bennett Packaging Company – Lee’s Summit, MO
Kathy Bennett, along with her husband Doug, founded Bennett Packaging and Displays in 1987. A leader in the Midwest region of the United States, Bennett Packaging and Display’s produces over $50 million in annual revenue, and has built a reputation for producing competitively priced, quality products and integral service. The company has enjoyed over two decades of steady business growth adding over 450,000 square feet of physical space, and technologies which have yielded contracts with those who sell to Wal-Mart, and more. Born in Odessa, Missouri, in 1950, Bennett began her first job while working in a Missouri corn field at the age of 14. She attributes her personal philosophy, work ethic, and ambition to her parents Herman and Naomi Mollman whom she calls “true salt of the earth people with very little money who would never have considered going on the dole.” By the early 1970’s, Bennett found herself supporting two small children. With little formal education, she decided to become a real estate broker, and enjoyed success in the field for many years. In 1984 she married Doug Bennett, and in 1987 with a $30,000 real estate commission check and several loans, they purchased the assets of a very small manufacturing company which would later become Bennett Packaging and Displays. “We did not know what we did not know. We just worked hard, did what we said we would do and pampered our customers. We found great people and tried to treat them right,” reflected Bennett. With a philosophy of charitable support being of the most benefit when it offers ‘a hand up, not a hand out,’ Bennett was thankful to meet Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader and Honorary Doctorate Dr. Terry Neese, and to sit on the board of Neese’s Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). Bennett supports a variety of other charitable causes including a local women’s shelter, and an organization that provides companion dogs to returning wounded veterans.