Eugene Bertram Berkley Named a Lifetime Achiever by Marquis Who's Who


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Known as Bert Berkley, he is a renowned presence in the civic community of the greater Kansas City area.

    MISSION HILLS, KS, June 29, 2018 -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Eugene Bertram Berkley a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Mr. Berkley celebrates many years' experience and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Mr. Berkley served as president and chief executive officer of Tension Envelope Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri from 1/14/1962 to 9/23/1988, and has served as chairman of its board since 1967. Mr. Berkley secured numerous patents in the field. Tension Envelope is well known as the first company to develop the string and button closure commonly used for document envelopes, and now makes more specialty envelopes than any other envelope company. Tension has diversified into packaging and automation for online order fulfillment and pharmacy automation.

Known as Bert Berkley, he is a renowned presence in the civic community of the greater Kansas City area, so much so that in 2009 he co-authored the book, "Giving Back: Connecting You, Business, and Community." Mr. Berkley is the recipient of the 2010 award from the Mayor of Independence, Missouri and a 2009 Senior Civil Rights Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as in 2008, he was the recipient of a Proclamation by the Mayor and City Council of Kansas City, Missouri in recognition of his numerous civic contributions. In 2000, he received the Distinguished Service to State Government from the National Governors Association.

Born in Kansas City in 1923 to Eugene Bertram Berkowitz and Caroline Newman Newburger, Mr. Berkley served in World War II for 42 months, 22 of which were in the Philippines. He entered the Army as a private, went to Officers Training School, and came out of the Army as a First Lieutenant, Infantry. He then completed his final 2 years at Duke University, the same year he married Joan Meinrath. Two years later, in 1950, he received a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University School of Business Administration. Shortly after graduation he was called back for the Korean War. He served 17 additional months, 11 of which were in Korea. He was awarded a Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Mr. Berkley was president of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, an organization of CEOs of the 85 larger Kansas City businesses, dedicated to improving life of the total community. Mr. Berkley served as president of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, 1968 – 1969. His leadership with the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce was recognized with its 1972 Distinguished Service Award, "Mr. Kansas City."

Mr. Berkley has held corporate directorships in Canadian Cellulose, Vancouver, British Columbia; Bookstop, Inc., USA; The Reference Press, USA; and the E. S. Wigg and Son, Adelaide, Australia. He was chairman of The Heart of America United Way Comprehensive Needs and Services Survey Committee, responsible for reorganizing the Metropolitan effort, 1971; Chairman, The Center for Work Force Preparation of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce; Advisory Board of the National Parks and Conservation Association; and from 1994 to 2000 was the director of the University of Kansas Natural History Museum. From 1999 to 2012 he served as a director of the Family and Community Trust of the State of Missouri; Founder, Local Investment Commission, a citizens group which oversees all federal and state dollars which come into Kansas City for social services, 1992 to present; Director, Turn the Page KC, to get children to read at grade level by third grade, 2012 to present; member Advisory Council of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum 2016 to present; Leadership Council, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, 2011-2014; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, 1990-2002; Director, Menorah Medical Center, 1980-1994; and Director, National Council of Economic Education, 1993-1995.

Mr. Berkley received the Community Guardian Award from the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, May, 2017; was recognized as a Lauriat, Jr. Achievement Business Hall of Fame, November, 2016; he received the Hugh J. Zimmer Award for Excellence in Urban Education from the University of Missouri Kansas City, April 2016; he was recognized by the United Way of Greater Kansas City as the recipient of its Adele Hall Spirit of Community Caring Award, September 2015. He received the Kansas City Globe Newspaper Lifetime Honoree, Society of Influentials Award, March 2015; and the Robert H. Meneilly Stand Up Speak Out Award from Mainstream Coalition, October 2014. He was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters by Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Missouri, May 2010. In May 2009 there was a dedication of the Bert Berkley Chair for Community Relations by the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee in honor of his pursuit of justice in the community over the decades.

Mr. Berkley also received the 1982 Distinguished Service Award from the Friends of the Johnson County Library; a 1989 Chancellor's Medal from the University of Missouri at Kansas City; a 2011 award from Pembroke Hill, his high school; as well as a 2013 Legacy Award and a 1991 CEO Advocate of the Year award from the Mid-American Minority Supplier Development Council. He has been a long-standing member of the Envelope Manufacturers Association, which presented him with the Chairman's Award in 1988 and the Founder's Award in 2009.

For civic services to the residents of Kansas City, Mr. Berkley was included in numerous volumes of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the Midwest, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in Finance and Industry. In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Mr. Berkley has been featured on the Marquis Who's Who Lifetime Achievers website. Please visit for more information about this honor.

He has three children, Janet Lynn (Berkley) Dubrava, William Spencer Berkley, and Jane Ellen (Berkley) Levitt.

Mr. Berkley enjoys camping and white water rafting. He is available to go fly fishing at a moment's notice.

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