Kevin Downey, born and raised in Orland Park, IL, is a Kansas City area sales leader and entrepreneur with a history of success in business development, program design, and team building. He grew up in an enterprising 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 he 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 devoted Hawkeye fans.
Kevin’s early successes were in the golf industry. He was a golf professional right out of college, and then drifted towards the sales branch of the sport – a move that would shape the rest of his booming career. In 1997, he started out as an Outside Sales Executive at Slazenger Golf Company in Greenville, South Carolina 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. After a short time, Kevin relocated with Callaway to the Kansas City area in 2000.
In 2003, Kevin took his experience to the next level and opened Leawood Office Business Center, a series of 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.
After a little over 10 years as an entrepreneur, Kevin took another leap forward and founded Kevin Downey Recruiting Systems in Overland Park, KS. As director, 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.
The following years led Kevin to discover an untapped niche in the food industry. In 2018, he revolutionized business for restaurants and caterers by introducing an abundant source of sales: corporate catering. Through careful study of workplace trends and culture, he crafted a tri-level marketing program and soon went to work assembling his sales squad, which he named Lightning Sales and Marketing Group. With a proven strategy and a stellar team in place, he unleashed a bounty of sales for his food industry clients. And true to the name, restaurants and caterers alike were thrilled at how “lightning fast” they saw results.
Kevin took the approach he so carefully honed, and joined the Apple Spice team in 2019. As a consulting VP of Sales, he became a pivotal part of developing their franchise locations. With the keen business savvy earned throughout his career, Kevin quickly perceived areas for development. This resulted in the creation of his turnkey sales solution that revolutionized operations. He built and trained a nationwide sales team from the ground up, as well as devised all tools to ensure their success. Apple Spice continues to lead the catered box lunch industry, now better than ever thanks to Kevin.
When he’s not building businesses and closing sales, Kevin enjoys free time with his wife and two sons, competitive running, golf, and traveling to as many exciting places as possible.