A charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and former three-term member of the Board of Directors, Ardie A. Davis founded the American Royal International BBQ Sauce, Rub, and Baste Contest and the Great American Barbecue Sauce, Baste, and Rub Contest. In 2012, he received the Pioneer of Barbeque award at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue. He is the author of nine barbecue cookbooks.
Paul Kirk, a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and member of the Board of Directors for 23 years, operates the Baron's School of Pitmasters. The author of twelve barbecue cookbooks, he has won more than 530 cooking and barbecuing awards, among them seven world barbecue championships, including the prestigious American Royal Open, the world's largest barbecue contest.