CLIFF ILLIG is a principal investor in OnGoal, LLC, the group of successful Kansas City entrepreneurs that purchased the Kansas City Wizards from the Hunt Sports Group in 2006. Cliff and the late Neal Patterson are co-founders of Cerner Corporation, one of the leading health care information technology companies in the world.
Although a self-described latecomer to the world of professional soccer, Cliff is a big believer in the value that well-managed sports enterprises bring to their communities. He is a Kansas City native who has helped lead the development and growth of one of the region’s most successful high-technology and high-performance businesses. He is an avid sports fan committed to making Major League Soccer a prominent part of Kansas City’s professional sports identity.
Cliff believes that Sporting Kansas City represents a unique opportunity to integrate many strengths—a world-class, on-the-field competition and performance; a high-quality, soccer-specific event center; an outstanding youth soccer development and tournament capability; and a fan experience second to none. He also believes that the popularity of youth soccer and the growth of the Hispanic and international communities in the region, all accentuated by the worldwide nature of the sport, will drive tremendous fan support for professional soccer here in the Midwest.
For more than three decades, Cliff played a number of important senior executive roles within Cerner, including President and Chief Operating Officer. Cliff is also a substantial presence on the Kansas City entrepreneurial, life sciences and business development scenes.
He and Patterson invested in commercial and residential real estate and a number of golf courses. Cliff is an active angel investor and serves as an advisor to several Kansas City-area entrepreneurial startup companies. He and Patterson also garnered an array of entrepreneurial and business awards and recognitions.
As one of Kansas City’s more visible corporate leaders, Cliff serves on a number of significant regional civic boards and organizations. He is a past President of the Heart of America Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is on the Board of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Currently, he is heavily involved in the development of the Kansas City region’s life sciences commercialization and new enterprise infrastructure. He is an Executive Board member of the First Hand Foundation. In addition, Cliff and his wife, Bonne, work extensively with the Midwest Ear Institute and support a number of other local charities and philanthropic causes
Cliff is a 1972 Distinguished Graduate of the University of Kansas School of Business. He is a Distinguished Eagle Scout, a recipient of the Boy Scouts’ Distinguished Citizen Award and a member of the Greater Kansas City Business Hall of Fame.
Cliff and Bonne Illig reside in Leawood, Kansas and have two sons.