Alumnus Leads a Pillar of the Kansas City Community

Bloch School of Management selects Mike Perry to receive 2022 Alumni Award
Photo of Mike Perry standing beside a railing with one hand on it, smiling at the camera

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration.The Henry W. Bloch School of Management is honoring Mike Perry (B.B.A. ’89) with its Class of 2022 Alumni Achievement Award.

Mike Perry (B.B.A. ’89) is the president and chief executive officer of Hallmark Cards, Inc., the iconic, family-owned brand founded and based in Kansas City. In addition to the well-known greeting cards business, Hallmark Cards, Inc. owns Crayola and Crown Media Family Networks, offering three linear cable channels and a subscription streaming service.

Perry has been an employee of Hallmark since 1989 and held numerous leadership positions within the company, including as president and CEO of Crayola. Perry is only the second person outside of the Hall family to be named CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc.

A long-time member of the Kansas City community, Perry is involved with United Way and Children’s Mercy.

We asked Perry about his long career with Hallmark and how his time at UMKC helped shape his career.

You’ve managed so many different facets of business from marketing to finance, HR to operations. Which is your favorite? What has been a favorite project or initiative you have led or been part of?

Honestly, I have enjoyed each of the various roles. I have always enjoyed more general management roles that incorporate each of the different functions across the business. My favorite roles, outside of my current role, were as the president of Hallmark Flowers and as the president & CEO of Crayola. Both roles prepared me nicely for my current assignment.

What advice do you have for students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

Go do what you get excited about doing. A job with a promising career path or high compensation won’t be enough in the end. Don’t get me wrong, these are not bad things –but if you lack passion for the work, there will likely always be a nagging “fulfillment gap.”

How did UMKC prepare you for, or contribute to, your success?

I was grateful to have UMKC as an option. I needed to work to attend college, and I knew clearly that I was interested in business. UMKC gave me great options that enabled both things.

I had good instructors. The practical applications for life and business were good, but the enduring value instilled was a mindset toward continuous learning and growth. The mentors and new information we need to keep growing and evolving –it’s all out there. But you do have to have a proactive plan for seeking it.

Word or phrase you use most often?

Thank you.

What is your favorite book, movie, podcast, television show, etc.?

Wow –not sure I have just one?? But let me be clear that my favorite cable channel is the Hallmark Channel!!

About the Alumni Awards

Join us in honoring Perry and the other Class of 2022 awardees at an in-person celebration at 6 p.m. April 29, at the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center. To register, visit UMKC's Alumni Association website. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to donate to student scholarships, contributions can be made online.

Learn more about Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Published: Feb 21, 2022

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