Kansas City Real Estate Developer, Civic Leader to Receive Rashford-Lyon Award

Dave Harrison, founder and president of VanTrust Real Estate and a 1981 graduate of Rockhurst University, will receive the Rashford-Lyon Award for Leadership and Ethics from the University. The award will be presented as part of the 2024 Rockhurst University Leadership Series event, with presenting sponsor Tria Health, featuring renowned AI expert Kevin Roose on Tuesday, March 26, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City.

The Rashford-Lyon Award for Leadership and Ethics is named for two of Rockhurst’s influential leaders: the late Tom Lyon, Ph.D., and the Rev. Nick Rashford, S.J. Established in 2014, the Rashford-Lyon Award for Leadership and Ethics honors recipients who exemplify high ethical standards of business conduct with excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding initiative, impact of work and inspiration to others.

Harrison has quite literally left his mark on the Kansas City landscape, with more than 40 years of experience in commercial real estate. Following a decade as vice president and general manager of Opus Northwest, LLC’s Kansas City office, he established Caymus Real Estate in 2010. Subsequently, it evolved into VanTrust Real Estate two years later. The full-service real estate company has six offices in the U.S., boasting a regional focus and national scope. The company’s local projects include the Hotel Sorella and the Polsinelli headquarters on the Country Club Plaza, the redevelopment of Prairie Village’s Meadowbrook Park and the Brookside 51 mixed-use development near the University of Missouri Kansas City campus. The company was named Developer of the Year in 2023 by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

In addition to his leadership role at VanTrust, Harrison is actively involved in various civic responsibilities. He serves as a member of the UMKC Board of Trustees and chairs the real estate policy committee and is an executive committee member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Harrison is a board member and executive committee member for the Urban Neighborhood Initiative, part of the advisory board for Saint Luke’s Health Systems Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute, and a member of the board of directors for the Real Estate Charitable Foundation.

“I am humbled to receive this award from Rockhurst University,” Harrison said. “This recognition is a by-product to the Jesuit values that have guided myself, along with my two sons throughout our education, personal and professional lives. I am grateful to be acknowledged by my alma mater — thank you for this meaningful accolade.”

As the latest recipient of the Rashford-Lyon Award, Harrison joins a prestigious list of recipients that includes Tom Lyon, Ph.D.; Jane Chu, Ph.D., ’05 EMBA; Mayor Sly James, ’80; Patricia Cleary Miller, Ph.D.; Tom McCullough, ’64, and Tom McDonnell, ’66; Jean Dunn, Wendy Doyle, ’94, Lisa Ginter, ’87, Ama Karikari, M.D., ’07, Marny Sherman, ’75, and Bridgette Williams, ’16 EMBA; Joe Reardon, ’90; and Madeline Romious, ’95 MBA.

The 2024 Rockhurst University Leadership Series event features bestselling author and New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose, who is considered one of the most knowledgeable journalists on the subject of AI, presenting “Answering the Prompt: Leading With Integrity in the AI World.” It is scheduled for 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1602 Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64108. Visit the Leadership Series page for more information.

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