Kansas City, Mo. – William H. Dunn Sr., known fondly around Kansas City as Bill or Mr. Dunn, celebrated his 100th birthday on July 20, 2023, and Mayor Quinton Lucas proclaimed July 20, 2023 as Bill Dunn Sr. Day to commemorate the positive impact he has made on the city.
The Dunn family name rings throughout Kansas City and beyond, with Bill Dunn Sr. spending 73 years working at the company and playing a significant role in its success, as well as helping shape Kansas City into what it is today. The JE Dunn offices and jobsites celebrated in a variety of ways, with a blue truck parade driving around Kansas City and to Mr. Dunn’s house, a happy hour event with a virtual appearance by Mr. Dunn, birthday cakes, and videos from employees around the country.
“As we celebrate my grandfather’s 100th birthday, my family and I are honored and proud to reflect on his influence on so many people’s lives. His timeless values and unwavering dedication to the principles of hard work, integrity, and excellence has become the cornerstone of the company’s philosophy, shaping the JE Dunn identity and reputation,” says Tim Dunn, Chairman of the Board and JE Dunn Chief Investment Officer. “He has helped transform skylines and most importantly provided incredible philanthropic leadership in our community. We are excited to celebrate this milestone birthday with him!”
The son of founder John Ernest Dunn, Bill Dunn Sr. held a variety of positions at JE Dunn before retiring as chairman emeritus in January 2020. He started as a laborer in 1946 after graduating from Rockhurst College and moved through the ranks in different positions throughout the company. In every position held, Dunn instilled the golden rule of treating others as he would want to be treated and made sure to always give clients more than 100 percent.
While Dunn’s breadth of knowledge and experience in construction is unmatched, his passion for helping those in need has positively impacted countless lives. He has been recognized with various awards around town, including Kansas Citian of the Year and Philanthropist of the Year. He has served on more than 100 non-profit boards, and his betterment of communities at large through philanthropy has always been his greatest reward.
JE Dunn President and CEO Gordon Lansford has worked closely with Dunn for nearly three decades. “I’ve learned so much from Mr. Dunn over the years. His passion for building runs deep—certainly on the numerous projects he has worked on over the course of his long career, but also when building relationships,” says Lansford. “He has committed so much of his life to bettering our communities by humbly serving others and giving back.”
The Dunn family has become synonymous with giving back, after Dunn started the Dunn Family Foundation in 1981. Now known as JE Dunn’s Community Impact team, the purpose of giving to charitable causes remains strong, with JE Dunn donating 10 percent of its net income to charities every year.
Lansford states, “A lot of leaders and mentors will say great, inspiring things, but it’s so much more powerful when you see them live their lives that way.