KEVIN DOWNEY - FOUNDER
Kevin Downey, born and raised in Orland Park, IL, is a Kansas City area professional and entrepreneur with a history of success in business development and sales. He grew up in an entrepreneurial family, with immigrant grandparents who ventured into the restaurant business in the 1950’s.They sold their restaurant in the 1970’s and built a ceramic tile retail and distribution business, where Kevin spent a lot of his time growing up. This business evolved into one of the largest importers of European ceramic tile in the United States.
Kevin completed his Master’s Degree with Honors from Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. Prior to that Kevin attended the University of Iowa where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree and met his wife, Melissa in the late 80’s. They are both still Hawkeye fans.
Kevin’s early successes were in the golf industry. He was a golf professional right out of college, and then drifted towards golf sales. He started out as an Outside Sales Executive at Slazenger Golf Company in Greenville, South Carolina in 1997, where he more than tripled sales in his territory within two years. Kevin later worked in a similar role for Callaway Golf Company in Carlsbad, California where he continued to see exceptional results and established his mastery of the sales profession. Kevin moved to the Kansas City area with Callaway in 2000.
In 2003, Kevin got the entrepreneurial itch and opened Leawood Office Business Center, an Executive Office Suites. He served as the project manager of the multi-million dollar real estate development and then utilized his sales background to develop the business through advertising, public relations, and product pitches. He also built an engaged, well-trained staff and implemented business strategies to ensure the long term health of the operation.
In addition, Kevin founded and directed pirfa Recruiting Systems in Overland Park, KS. Kevin created a formula for optimizing the recruitment process using his solid business analysis abilities. His keen eye for high-quality, qualified candidates combined with his advertising background built a business that produced boundless talent for his clients.
More recently, Kevin has stretched his entrepreneurial legs with the addition of Kickin’ Ads to his portfolio. Kickin' Ads is a boutique recruiting agency based in Overland Park, KS.
Kevin spends his free time enjoying his wife and two sons, coaching ice hockey, fitness, and traveling to as many exciting places as possible.
NATALIE CECINI - DIRECTOR
Natalie Cecini (previously Williams) was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. She and her sister, Micki, were raised by their single father and entrepreneur, David. Throughout Natalie’s childhood David started his own consulting and engineering firm that took him on travels throughout the United States and around the world. He is still successfully running the firm, and now flies his own plane to reach his clients. Through him, Natalie learned that hard work and appropriate risks are important to success.
Natalie met her husband, Mike, in high school while attending Olathe South and they’ve been together ever since, for over 20 years now. In the earlier years, Natalie was fortunate to be able to stay at home with their 2 kids, Tatum and Trevor, while simultaneously completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from Ashford University.
In 2009 the Cecini family relocated to Phoenix, Arizona ready for a new adventure! At that time, Natalie began her career with Caesar’s Entertainment at their Harrah’s Ak-Chin property. She started as a VIP Casino Host, a marketing / sales / service position, serving as a personal liaison to VIP level players to ensure they had an exceptional experience every time they visited Harrah’s.
From there Natalie was promoted to Beverage Operations Manager. In that role she oversaw multiple venues and led a team of 5 supervisors in a department of over 70 employees. Natalie thrived in that role, and in her first full year received the annual Caesar’s Entertainment Chairman’s Award for Superior Leadership.
Thereafter Natalie was given the opportunity to serve as the Hotel Operations Manager at Harrah’s. In that role she oversaw the operation of a 300 room, 4 Star resort. Natalie improved all measurable areas of the hotel through a strong focus on well trained and highly engaged employees. Natalie was selected to serve as a mentor to other property leaders and participated in Emerging Leaders’ Summit in Lake Tahoe, NV.
In 2015, Natalie and her family returned to the Kansas City area. Since then, Natalie has worked for Kickin' Ads, a premier recruiting & job posting agency based in Kansas City. She enjoys the diversity and innovative nature of the job, and the opportunity to be involved in an entrepreneurial journey.
Natalie enjoys traveling with her family to beautiful beaches, hiking, and yoga. She is also an avid reader and music lover who rarely turns down the chance to see live music.