Kennedy White

Kennedy White brings entrepreneurial spirit home to Holton

Kennedy White was gifted with an entrepreneurial spirit.

After graduating from Holton High School in 2012 and during his studies at Washburn University, White was able to start and grow a consulting firm that helps businesses create more value for themselves by identifying tax exemption opportunities within their utility charges.

“It just seemed like this great opportunity,” said White, son of Dennis and Joni White. “So I decided to pursue that.”

The business that White created, SmartSave, enabled him to travel the country, helping businesses large and small to identify and take advantage of tax exemption opportunities, even though it iwas later acquired by a larger financial firm that enabled him to follow another career path that kept him close to his home town.

Today, he continues the work he began with SmartSave while working with his father at White Law Office on Holton’s Town Square, dealing mainly in business and real estate law.

“The dream life I envisioned was right here in Holton — being able to move back here and serve the community and the people that I know and love and to be able to raise my kids here,” he said.

After high school, White said he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do with his life. He enrolled in Washburn University’s School of Business, studying business finance and entrepreneurship, a study path that would lead to the creation of a business originally known as “D18.”

“I knew I wanted to start a business of some kind,” he said. “I was working on a school project and I found out about this special tax exemption that was available to manufacturing companies and restaurants in the area… I’d heard that none of them were taking advantage of this particular tax exemption, so I looked into how to help them take advantage of it.”

That particular exemption, he said, allows businesses to get refunds based on the sales taxes they pay on energy costs. The goal of “D18” — which eventually grew into SmartSave — was helping businesses make good use of that exemption and plan for future energy and tax savings.

“I was amazed by the idea that these businesses weren’t taking advantage of the exemption, and I knew I could assist them in saving that money,” White said. “I could assist them in saving that money, and they could get a refund on the sales taxes they’d paid in Kansas for the last three years.”

White and his upstart firm started out with smaller business, then on learning that many other states besides Kansas provided businesses with similar exemptions, decided to reach beyond the Midwest. Soon, he was working with such companies as U.S. Steel and Godiva Chocolate to help them make the most of those exemptions.

For more on this and other stories, please log in to your account and select Aug. 3, 2022 under “E-Editions.”

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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