The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council welcomed several new investors in the first quarter. One of them is Leigh & O’Kane. The structural engineering firm was founded more than 30 years ago in Kansas City. In 2017, Owners Amanda Bush and Adam O’Kane took over the business and moved operations to Lee’s Summit.
Leigh & O’Kane works both as a primary engineering consultant and as consultants to area engineers and consultants throughout the Kansas City area. Its services include buildings, bridges, infrastructure and special inspections.
Leigh & O’Kane’s extensive portfolio includes work at the Kansas City Zoo, KC Live!, Bartle Hall Conference Center, and the University of Missouri. Currently, Leigh & O’Kane is working on the parking structure and bridges for the new single-terminal KCI.
As a woman-owned business, Leigh & O’Kane was able to access Missouri Department of Transportation projects through an on-call contract with the Bridge Division. Most recently, their work with MODOT has included a variety of bridge work in rural Missouri.
Bush and O’Kane, both Lee’s Summit residents, moved the business and its staff of 12 to an office near I-470 and Douglas in 2018. While part of their decision was driven by the location of their homes, the partners say that was not the only benefit.
“It’s a good location to the highway, it was financially competitive versus staying where we were,” said Bush. “Our employees, even if they don’t live in Lee’s Summit, it’s easy to get here from the highway. There’s lots of good restaurants for lunches and business meetings, so we just liked the location.”
O’Kane agreed, adding that it is still just as easy to get to sites and clients in downtown Kansas City.
“It doesn’t feel like it’s been a sacrifice at all,” said O’Kane “It’s much nicer, much more convenient for us.”
Now that Leigh & O’Kane is settled in its new office, Bush & O’Kane have begun to get involved in community organizations.
“It’s not something that we had done previously as a firm,” said O’Kane.
In early 2019, they joined a business development network, where they met Allan Bush of Alpha Omega Geotech, who prompted them to learn more about the LSEDC.
Leigh & O’Kane is already rekindling old connections through the organization. O’Kane attended the LSEDC Annual Meeting in July, where he ran across a former business acquaintance. Architecture firm GLMV recently became LSEDC investors as well. While Leigh & O’Kane had previously worked with GLMV, the firms had lost touch. Since running into members of their team, O’Kane has reached out to strengthen the old bond.
“It’s [the LSEDC] already making new connections in this group,” said O’Kane. “There’s a lot of possibilities.”