Veterinarian and hotel, real-estate developer to be inducted into Kansas Business Hall of Fame

March 7, 2013

A Michigan native who created three hotel chains and a New Jersey veterinarian whose work on animal nutrition launched a Kansas pet-food company will be inducted this summer into the Kansas Business Hall of Fame at Emporia State University.

Jack P. DeBoer, chairman of the board of Hix Corp. in Pittsburg, Kan., and founder of Residence Inn, Summerfield Hotel Corp., and Candlewood Hotel Co.; and the late Dr. Mark Morris Sr., who developed the pet food formulas that would become Hill’s Prescription Diet and Hill’s Science diet, will be recognized at the KBHF induction ceremony during the 41st annual Team Kansas/Kansas Cavalry Awards Banquet on Tuesday, June 11, at Emporia State University in Emporia.

Gov. Sam Brownback will attend the ceremony to recognize these two men who have added to the business community’s prestige and growth. This is the 25th year for the Kansas Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The Kansas Business Hall of Fame is located at Emporia State University, which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding. Business leaders selected for the KBHF are widely known for their contributions to Kansas, and are recognized as role models. The KBHF recognizes historical contributors and present-day leaders who have made private enterprise work in Kansas and throughout the country.

Previous inductees include such prominent Kansans as Pizza Hut founders Dan and Frank Carney, Clara and Russell Stover of Russell Stover Candies, Don Hall of Hallmark Cards, Clyde Cessna of Cessna Aircraft Co., Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler Corp., and William Allen White, entrepreneur and Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the Emporia Gazette.

The only program of its kind in the state of Kansas, the Kansas Business Hall of Fame serves as a chapter of the American National Business Hall of Fame.

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