2017 Bloch Magazine

Page 1

BLOCH Fall 2017

Henry W. Bloch School of Management | University of Missouri-Kansas City

CELEBRATING HENRY BLOCH and the legacy he is building



Bloch graduates are taking the next step.

Where are you now? Life has brought many changes since you were a student at UMKC. Maybe you’ve gotten married, started a new job or even moved to a different city. Let us know! Help UMKC stay in touch. Please take three minutes to provide updated information.



THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY Henry W. Bloch School of Management Fall 2017




Inside Features 10 Lasting Impact


News Briefs

Around the Bloch

2 Meet Dean Brian Klaas

24 Big Data Drives Big Results Jeff Johnson researches big data and changes in customer behavior

The Kansas City metro area benefits from diverse talents of Bloch alumni

4 Enactus continues tradition of

The Legacy of Henry W. Bloch

6 Bloch faculty receive teaching

A Kansas City icon repays the community he loves

20 Global Value of Investing in


5 Hieu Phung (B.B.A.) has a global passion


8 Bloch congratulates Fred Hays on retirement


Bloch helps students develop a global view

CREDITS Production: UMKC Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications Editors: Bradley Bartlett and Megan Cooper Art Director: Terry Raumschuh Photographer: Brandon Parigo Writers: Megan Cooper, Stacy Downs, Rachel Hodgson, John Martellaro, Samuel Nelson, Patricia O'Dell

26 An Innovative Incubator Bloch partners with Country Club Bank to open Bloch Venture Hub 28 A Global Impact Alumna of the Year makes a mark in Kansas City and beyond 29 Honoring Role Models Entrepreneur Hall of Fame celebrates induction of second class 30 Year In Photos Bloch looks back on events from 2016-17 32 Back to the Classroom Dave Donnelly transitions back to professor from role of dean

Bloch Magazine is published annually by the Henry W. Bloch School of Management to encourage interest and support among UMKC alumni, friends and constituents. BSM 17022211



NEWS Briefs

Meet Dean Brian Klaas While he’s only been on the Bloch School scene a short time, Brian Klaas, Ph.D., is ready to make his mark on UMKC and Kansas City. Klaas comes to Bloch from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, a school with a number of nationally ranked programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.


In addition to his duties as dean of the Bloch School, Klaas is also a professor of management. Bloch faculty and staff are excited to have Klaas’ leadership in driving the Bloch School to the next level of success. And when he’s not on campus, you can be sure to catch him around Kansas City — embracing all the community has to offer. First impression of Kansas City? It’s a gem flying a bit under the radar. Outstanding community spirit, positive public and private sector engagement, entrepreneurial energy — all combine with an extremely high quality of life. KC also has easy access to world-class museums, farmers markets, performing arts venues and professional sports. Favorite Kansas City barbecue restaurant? Thus far at least? To this point, I have been to Gates, Joe’s Kansas City, Jack Stack and Q39. There is no way to identify a favorite among that group — all were amazing. I loved the ribs at Gates and Joe's, the Crown Rib and beans at Jack Stack and the brisket and burnt ends at Q39. Recently, Henry Bloch suggested a few more that were on his list of favorites. I can't wait to make my way through the rest of the list. Tea or coffee? How do you take it? No sugar, please, otherwise I’m good. I love both tea and coffee in all iterations and in great quantities. I’m looking forward to having coffee meetings at Crows Coffee and The Roasterie. We hear you’re a fan of Mel Brooks. Favorite Mel Brooks movie? "The Producers," closely followed by "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein." Best advice you’ve ever received? I had a colleague who, after every meeting, would wish me well by saying, “Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal.” Pithy and full of meaning. I should also say that Tom Bloch’s book about Henry is a storehouse full of great advice. A couple of my favorite lines from Henry that the book quotes are: “Everybody makes mistakes but not everybody learns from them” and “The difference between success and failure is usually in the little things.” Favorite things about the Bloch School thus far? There are a lot of good people genuinely trying to do good things. Initial thoughts on opportunities for collaboration with other UMKC schools? The School of Computing and Engineering has innovated in a number of areas, and the connection between entrepreneurship and engineering offers opportunities for collaboration — so does the need to serve experienced engineers looking to hone managerial and business skills. Similarly, there are opportunities for joint programming with the College of Arts and Sciences and with the School of Law as it relates to innovation and entrepreneurship. Plus, the Bloch School is currently working with the School of Education to increase awareness among underrepresented high school students in the KC region about the opportunities in business and entrepreneurship. These are, of course, just a few examples; there are many impressive schools here at UMKC that offer opportunities for partnership with academic programming.


BLOCH  Fall 2017



NEWS Briefs



The 2016-2017 Enactus team celebrates their win at the regional competition.

Enactus Continues Tradition of Success The UMKC Enactus team made Kansas City proud when they competed for a national title at the 2017 Enactus United States National Exposition at the Kansas City Convention Center in May. This was the fifth consecutive year the team qualified to compete at the national level. The team won the regional competition in Garden Grove, California, in April, then advanced to nationals, which happened to be in Kansas City this year. During the first day of the national contest, the UMKC team progressed to the semifinals for the second consecutive year where they ended their journey as one of the top 16 teams in the country. For this year’s competition, the team’s


BLOCH  Fall 2017

projects were built on the concept of human-centered design. Ideas ranged from raising funds for and managing construction of a solar-powered well at a school in rural Nigeria, to conducting entrepreneurial workshops and helping create business plans for self-employed artists in Kansas City. Enactus is a global organization for college students who volunteer to develop projects that create positive change through entrepreneurial action. “The team identifies needs in the community and creates solutions to those needs that are sustainable,” says Ben Williams, J.D., MBA, assistant director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Bloch School and advisor to the Enactus team. “It’s purely volunteer work.”

A five-student team representing the Bloch School won the local CFA Institute Research Challenge sponsored by the Kansas City chapter of the CFA Institute, an organization of investment professionals. Team members included Ryan Moazamian, Hannah Gambrell, Kyle Harris, Matthew Hanson and Charlotte Gilman.

During the Eighth Annual Strategic Management Case Competition, three competing teams presented recommendations to Fike Corporation executives and a panel of judges comprised of Kansas City area business leaders. The winning team members were Molly Compton, McKinley Mason, Jeff Pack, Joe Samoszenko and Rachel Weber, each of whom received a $1,000 scholarship applicable to any Bloch School graduate program.

Pavithra Paravastu won the Women’s Investment Competition, an online virtual stock simulation. Throughout the course of the competition, she competed against approximately 100 graduate and undergraduate students nationwide, including students from MIT, University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University.



Hieu Phung builds connections in the UMKC International Student Affairs Office.

A GLOBAL PASSION Bloch student dedicated to connecting with international peers Hieu Phung (B.B.A.) understands the importance of creating connections across cultures. Upon coming to the United States from Vietnam in 2013, Phung made it his mission to connect with other international students like himself, making the Bloch School the perfect place for him. “Getting to know all of the international students at the Bloch School is really cool,” Phung says. “Forming relationships with peers who have faced similar challenges or obstacles as me is inspiring.” Holding executive positions in clubs like the International Student Council, Phung is heavily involved with international affairs on campus and believes in the power of cultural diversity on college campuses. “It’s a good thing we have different cultures coming together here,” Phung says. “It provides diversity in ethnic backgrounds, but, more importantly, diversity in the way people think.” And as important as diversity is on a college campus, Phung knows it is equally as important in the workplace. “With diverse workers, you get local knowledge you don’t get access to from secondary research,” he says. “There are some

things you can’t learn through books.” After graduation, Phung plans to stay in Kansas City to earn his MBA from the Bloch School and find work in marketing or international business management. He sees the opportunities for growth in terms of international management in Kansas City and values the strong, already established connections the Bloch School has with many businesses in the area, not to mention the opportunities for businesses oversees. In the long-term, Phung hopes to work in higher education, in partnership with students to develop student-oriented programs much like he does now. A lot of his inspiration comes from his favorite Bloch School professor, Laura Rees, Ph.D. He will never forget her contagious energy, support of his aspirations and guidance through his entrepreneurship project. In addition to being a great professor, Rees is also a mentor to Phung, giving him a few pieces of advice he will take with him on his professional journey. “She told me not to be shy and to talk to new people,” Phung says. “And if you have opportunities, go and get them.” – Samuel Nelson



Around the BLOCH


Bloch Faculty Recognized for Excellence


he Bloch School is fortunate to have a diverse mix of faculty members who offer their expertise and inspiration to students every day, but two Bloch faculty members were rewarded for their excellence in teaching, research and community engagement during the “Celebrating Excellence” faculty and staff awards ceremony in April 2017. Each year hundreds of suggestions are submitted to the awards nominating committee, recommending highly qualified faculty and staff for awards based on their contributions, mentorship and support of students, and their success in research. “Celebrating Excellence” highlights a key component of a nationally recognized university such as UMKC — caring and experienced personnel who are dedicated to the university’s mission of putting students first. The 2017 “Celebrating Excellence” award ceremony honored two Bloch School faculty.

Jeff Johnson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Marketing and Supply Chain Management Trustees' Faculty Scholar Award The Trustees' Faculty Scholar Award annually recognizes faculty members who show exceptional promise for outstanding future research and creative accomplishments. Awardees have demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievements at UMKC while at the rank of assistant professor. Johnson is known among students for his outstanding instructional presence in the classroom, and in just three years at the Bloch School, has published 18 peerreviewed articles, 17 of which were published in Tier 1 journals.

Bloch Professor Produces, Writes Film “The Tree” a feature film by Stephen Pruitt, Ph.D., Arvin Gottlieb/Missouri Endowed Chair of Business Economics and Finance, made its Kansas City premiere at the Kansas City Film Festival in April 2017. “The Tree” is a heartwarming film about an 88-year-old woman


BLOCH  Fall 2017

who takes a road trip from Wamego, Kansas, to Terre Haute, Indiana, to visit her oldest and dearest childhood friend. The film was written and produced by Pruitt and his wife, Mary. The film stars the now 89-year-old Kansas City legend Joicie Appell in her first starring role in a feature film.

Nathan Mauck, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Finance Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award, Business The Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award is awarded annually to an outstanding teacher. Nominees are selected based on student evaluations, development of teaching materials, concepts and techniques, peer reputation and dedication to teaching. This is the second time Mauck has received this award, the first being in 2015. Mauck is known for creating an exciting learning environment, extending from his teaching philosophy of engaging students in order to inspire a lifelong interest in learning.

Bloch Celebrates Favorite Faculty Members of the Year Each year, the Bloch School honors two faculty members for their commitment to creating great experiences within and outside of the classroom. The winners of these student-voted awards are recognized at the spring commencement ceremony where they are awarded a plaque and $500 prize. Below, see how these two faculty members have impacted the Bloch School in the words of the students who nominated them. David Lloyd, J.D. Instructor, Business Communication and Law Favorite Undergraduate Faculty Member of the Year “Professor David Lloyd had the biggest impact on me. It seems as though no matter how busy he is, he always has time for students, and truly had our best interests in mind. His Management 301 class is one of the most beneficial classes I took at UMKC. Every assignment had a purpose and that purpose was usually to help the students find a job they wanted and secure that job with professionalism." “In my opinion the absolute best professor I felt made the greatest impact on my school life was David Lloyd. Not only was he in tune with the culture of the business law world, he was entertaining and enriching in his lectures and required by far the best most interesting reading for the class. He is the definition of the perfect model teacher.”

Scott Helm, Ph.D. Director, Executive M.P.A. Program, Associate Teaching Professor of Public Affairs Favorite Graduate Faculty Member of the Year “The Bloch School has many outstanding professors, but Dr. Helm is just stellar. He’s in it for the right reasons and cares about his students! I’ve learned a great deal from him and have nothing but praise for him.” “I have had the privilege of having Scott as a professor and advisor throughout the M.P.A. program. While many professors have enriched me academically, Scott has by far had the greatest positive impact. In addition to being an outstanding professor, Scott has the important ability of relating to his students. He recognizes that what is happening outside the classroom impacts what is able to happen inside the classroom.”

Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership Awarded Kauffman Grant The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership will continue to expand its work to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Kansas City area, which is home to 6,835 nonprofit charitable organizations. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has awarded the Midwest Center a two-year, $396,800 grant which will support the center’s extensive portfolio of nonprofit leadership and organization development programs and services, as well as expanding the center’s research capacity in the areas of social entrepreneurship and governance. Scott Helm, associate director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, said the Kauffman Foundation approached the center two years ago as part of its decision to invest in the development of intermediaries serving Kansas City’s nonprofit sector. The foundation recently decided to renew the investment for two more years. The primary objectives of the new grant will be to: • Sustain and enhance the capacity of the metro area’s nonprofits • Expand the center’s own capacity for data analysis • Create more community engagement and focus on research capacity •Create Learning Circle programs for nonprofit organizations The Learning Circle programs will focus on helping nonprofits build their ability to engage in program evaluation. Between 10 and 20 nonprofits that need evaluation services, but have been unable to afford them, will participate for six months. As a result of completing these steps, the agency will have accomplished an evaluation from start to finish, leaving them with one program they can replicate year after year. This concept will connect the nonprofits with each other, creating a cross-pollination of ideas and resources, and build their long-term capacity for future evaluations. bloch.umkc.edu


NEWS Briefs


There are at least 40 things you should know about Fred H. Hays, Ph.D. Just casually scanning his corner office at the historic Bloch School building, brimming with books and photographs, you can tell he is living a colorful life — especially when he says, “I’ve already packed and taken home a lot.” The No. 1 Fred factoid: he taught at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management for 40 years and he will be missed as he starts his welldeserved retirement. Here are 39 other tidbits that help tell a few chapters of his story.


BLOCH  Fall 2017

2 3


5 6



9 10

His advice to anyone: Take risks. That’s the best way to reap rewards. Best advice he was given: Do what you love. “If you don’t enjoy doing it, why do it? I promised my mom to never work a day in my life, and I’ve kept that promise.” He served as the Henry W. Bloch/ Missouri Endowed Chair in Financial Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2017, as well as the chair of the Department of Finance. Prior to that, he was the Carl W. Allendoerfer Professor of Banking and Finance at UMKC from 1984 to 2011. “You know how you can tell you’re old? You can remember not one but two 500-year floods” (about the Country Club Plaza floods in 1977 and 1993).

He and his family have endowed four scholarships for Bloch students, and plan on funding a fifth. “If you look at our students at UMKC, many come from hardworking families and the students are working, too, without breaks to fund their education.”


One scholarship pays for studyabroad opportunities for learning different facets of business and entrepreneurship.


Another gift goes to Bloch students studying for a master’s degree in finance.


Another scholarship supports students studying risk management.


A fourth scholarship is for financial technology. “In the 1970s, we were afraid that computers were going to eliminate jobs, but they created jobs. We have to stay ahead or our curriculum will not be relevant in five years.”


And Spain.


And Czech Republic.


And China.


In addition to UMKC students, others in the international program have come from Harvard, UC-Berkeley, Michigan State, Virginia and many other universities.


A favorite memory of traveling in Europe: Watching tennis matches at the French Open from up-close seats at a reasonable price.


His recommendation for others in Europe: Go to a French cooking school in Versailles, prepare a three course meal and enjoy the results.


He has stories about the early years of working in the historic Bloch building. “You knew it was October when you saw the red wasps flying around.”


The building has undergone major renovations. For starters, steel beams were installed to support hundreds of pounds of books, Hays says.


What was the biggest change at the Bloch School? “When I first arrived, there were very few female students. Now there is more of an even balance.”

He has a background in banking. He worked after high school and during college at Citizens National Bank in Waco, Texas, learning the operations inside and out.


He grew up in Texas and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and finance from Baylor.

Next up: a fifth scholarship will assist students studying wealth management. Other scholarships may follow in the future.


Another reason for endowing the scholarships: He wanted to pay forward the scholarships he received in high school, which helped make a big difference to him.


He began leading study abroad at Bloch in 1990. The trip in May 2017 was his 25th anniversary leading a London program.



These programs permit students to experience international business firsthand through visits to major corporations, governmental organizations, financial institutions and not-forprofit organizations.

He spent 15 years on the board of the nonprofit Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. The center operates with more than 200 employees and thousands of patients per year.


Classes he taught include commercial bank management, financial management and global financial markets and institutions courses at the undergraduate level, and graduate courses in managerial economics and global macroeconomics.


Now that he’s retired, he plans to indulge more in one of his passions: fishing.

In 1970, he won the Pat M. Neff Outstanding Debater Award for being the top debater at Baylor. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where he taught for six years before coming to UMKC.


“I didn't know hardly anything about Kansas City and even less about UMKC,” Hays says of his arrival in 1977 from Louisiana.


He credits Sarah, his wife of 42 years, for moving here. “She’s from Salina, Kansas. It was nice for our two sons to be that close to their grandparents.”


“I thought I was going to be fired shortly after I got here,” Hays says of the first state budget crisis he went through shortly after he arrived. “You know, last in, first out.”



What he’s learned about state budget challenges in funding higher education: “They’ve always been an issue. You can’t constantly worry about them.”


For example, on the London program he and the students have visited Parliament, Lloyd’s of London, Lockton Global, Cerner, Bloomberg, Populous, State Street and many others.


He and students have also traveled to France.


And the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg).


And Germany.


Like a true numbers guy, he admits he’s actually only been at Bloch 39 years and 6 months. He shrugged when asked about truly leaving Bloch. “I’m not cutting the strings completely.”





Kansas City metro area benefits from diverse talent of Bloch alumni By Megan Cooper


BLOCH  Fall 2017

Two states. Fifteen counties. More than two million residents. There’s no denying Kansas City is a major city, and the opportunities that exist within its borders are bountiful, especially if you are a Bloch alum ready to make an impact. The Bloch School’s location puts it in the heart of Kansas City, making it a part of our city’s core. Its location, combined with experiential curriculum, mentorship opportunities and the engagement of supporters like Henry W. Bloch, sets up our students for success as leaders across all facets of Kansas City’s workforce. From health care to finance, civic service to cultural engagement and more, Kansas City’s businesses and nonprofits are flourishing with trailblazers who have been able to make their mark, thanks to their Bloch education. Read how a few Bloch grads, who came to UMKC from different walks of life, took advantage of Bloch’s diverse opportunities and have since been putting their skills to the test to make an impact across the Kansas City metro area.

Natasha Kirsch (E.M.P.A.’14) Founder/Executive Director, Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child and The Grooming Project

EMPOWERING THE PEOPLE When she was starting her nonprofit organization to better the lives of Kansas Citians, Natasha Kirsch knew there was no better place to launch her dream than the Bloch School. A self-described “jack of all trades, master of none,” Kirsch has worked as a graphic designer, business administrator, bookkeeper and stay-at-home mom. While in a position at a shelter for addicts and alcoholics, Kirsch was taken aback by the lack of opportunities for those who were less fortunate. “I was working with homeless mothers, and realized that even though they were ready to do whatever it took to help their children, their pasts made it nearly impossible to do so,” she says. As Kirsch struggled to find ways to help, her mother, a pet salon owner, reached out to ask for her daughter’s assistance in placing an ad online for animal groomers. She was desperately in need of additional employees, and expressed to her daughter that she would “take any warm body who walks through the door and train them.” A lightbulb went off for Kirsch. She realized she could match the market demand for groomers with a social demand of giving jobs to

unemployed mothers — so she came to the Bloch School to learn how. “The Bloch School is the entire reason I feel confident making difficult decisions every day,” Kirsch says. “I learned how to write a business plan and read financials, and that relationships and trust are the only way to be effective.” Upon her graduation from Bloch, Kirsch launched Empowering the Parents to Empower the Child (EPEC), a 501c3 nonprofit of which The Grooming Project is the pilot program. EPEC is devoted to empowering families to become self-reliant through job training, so they can work toward ending the cycle of poverty. Kirsch won the 2013 Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, allowing her to receive additional mentoring from the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership. As she launched her organization, Kirsch reaped the advice of some of Kansas City’s foundational entrepreneurs. And she thinks this startup culture is what makes Kansas City unique. “I’ve traveled the world, and I don’t think there is a better place to start a business than right here.”



Mahnaz M. Shabbir (B.B.A. ’82, MBA ’84) President, Shabbir Advisors


Jason Carter-Solomon (MSERE ’13) Vice President, Commercial Banking/Real Estate, Enterprise Bank & Trust

FINDING A PASSION Jason Carter-Solomon stumbled into his passion and is now in full stride, using it to make an impact. Carter-Solomon has been a banker for five years and focuses specifically on originating commercial loans for real estate developers and investors. Intending to gear his banking career toward commercial development, he built a network at the Bloch School that showed him a new side of the industry.

“When I was looking for programs, the Lewis White Real Estate Center had the most compelling combination of instructors with real-world, applicable experience.”


BLOCH  Fall 2017

Mahnaz Shabbir blazed her own trail thanks to her experiences at UMKC, and now she’s keen on helping others successfully blaze their own paths. Shabbir arrived in Kansas City in 1980, after relocating for her husband’s job. Driven by her desire to work in health care administration, she enrolled in the Bloch bachelor of business administration program to gain insight around human and labor relations. She began pursuing a master’s degree immediately after, originally enrolling in the master of public administration. “While in the M.P.A. program, I participated in the UMKC Women’s Center’s mentorship program, which placed me at Baptist Medical Center,” Shabbir explains. “My mentor said I needed more finance courses, so I transferred to the MBA program and designed my own degree focused on marketing and health care administration.” After completing her studies at UMKC, Shabbir spent 18 years at Carondelet Health, where she was responsible for projects such as the four-story medical

mall at Saint Joseph Health Center. But eventually, she had the urge to go it alone. In 2003, Shabbir founded Shabbir Advisors, an integrated strategic management consulting company focusing on planning, marketing, public relations, diversity transformation and education on a national and international basis. Shabbir has given hundreds of lectures to organizations interested in diversity issues on local, national and international scales. Though she’s traveled the world, Kansas City and UMKC are close to Shabbir’s heart. “My husband and I raised four sons here. This is our home,” Shabbir says. “In Kansas City, you find there are a lot of connections. I wouldn’t want to leave.” Shabbir has stayed involved at UMKC since her time as a student. “Basically, if UMKC called, I’d be there.” And UMKC has become a family affair, with her eldest son receiving with a degree in pharmacy and an MBA from UMKC, and another enrolling in the MBA program. “I hope to have another son enrolled in 2018 — stay tuned.”

Vreni Fernandez (B.B.A. ’12) Executive Director, Kansas City Automotive Museum

DRIVING HER SUCCESS Searching for a challenge as a student led Vreni Fernandez on a path where she’s in the driver’s seat of her own success. Fernandez began at UMKC as a pre-physical therapy major with a minor in business administration. But soon, she found herself changing gears. “By the end of my freshman year, I found I enjoyed my business and marketing classes more than my anatomy classes,” she says. “So I made the switch to become a full-time business major and shortly afterwards, I joined two organizations — Delta Sigma Pi and Enactus — to help me network within the business community.” In addition to her business-oriented extracurricular activities, Fernandez volunteered for a variety of organizations during her time as a student. As she began to search for an opportunity to engage with a local startup, she found herself in the right place at the right time. “The Kansas City Automotive Museum’s founder contacted one of my professors, Pamela Dobies, about a concept for a car museum in Kansas City,” Fernandez says. “I have always had an appreciation for cars, and I am a proud Kansas Citian who loved the challenge of

being involved with a large project from the ground up.” This connection landed Fernandez an internship with the Kansas City Automotive Museum, and she worked her way through the ranks. “My internship turned into a board position, which led to a hired position once we received a major donation,” she says. “I actually had a job offer from another company when the museum received its first major donation, making it possible for us to open a full-time position. I was too dedicated to leave during such a pivotal and exciting time.” Luckily, Fernandez was able to launch her career in a city that could support her dreams. “From a professional perspective, Kansas City is a blossoming metropolitan area with tons of economic growth. It’s a great place to be if you’re a young professional.” And she plans to keep working to keep Kansas City on the map. “I am very proud of my accomplishments here, and I hope that I can make my city proud by bringing another world-class museum to our town.”



Chiluba Musonda (B.B.A. ’09, M.P.A. ’12) Executive Director, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and Museum

FINDING HIS PLACE While looking for business schools in the United States, Chiluba Musonda never imagined Kansas City would become his home away from home. Musonda grew up in Zambia, located in Southern Africa, and confesses that when he was enrolled in the Bloch School bachelor of business administration program, he was simply looking to gain acceptance to any business school in the United States. “Once admitted to the Bloch program, I became aware of the numerous scholarship and internship opportunities,” Musonda says. “This was in addition to the rigorous courses, all of which helped me grow intellectually, personally and professionally.” Following the completion of his bachelor’s degree, Musonda continued his relationship with UMKC, going on to receive his master’s in public administration in 2012. He then shifted from student to employee, working in building operations for the Student Union. In 2014, Musonda was able to use his experiences as an international student to help those in similar situations when he filled the role of advising coordinator in the UMKC International Student Affairs Office. In this position, he advised over 700


BLOCH  Fall 2017

international students on pertinent immigration regulations. These days, Musonda works for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, as the executive director of the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and Museum. “I always wanted to work for the government, be it at the local, state or national level,” he says. “My goal was to run a department or entity in that realm, and without my Bloch degrees, particularly the M.P.A., I would not be where I am today.” In addition to filling a career goal, this new position allows Musonda to give back to the city he has come to love. “Kansas City was the perfect location for me to transition to life in the United States,” he says. “The laid-back culture in our big-small city was ideal for my personal and professional development.” Musonda’s passion for the city is so strong, he even put it in writing. In 2015, he published a memoir, Home Away From Home: The Story of an International Student’s Journey from Africa to America. “This is why I titled my memoir Home Away From Home, and used an image of downtown Kansas City on the cover — I love this city!”

Laura Boswell (B.B.A. ’08, MBA ’13) Chief Operating Officer, Minds Matter, LLC and communityworks, inc.

EXPERIENCING HER DREAM Laura Boswell dreamt of working in health care, and by leveraging her Bloch education, she’s now a leader in a budding health care sector. “I spent several days a week volunteering in hospitals through middle and high school,” she explains. “I've had many experiences that allowed me to explore the health care field, including participating in the Edward A. Smith Urban Leadership internship with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.” Doranne Hudson, associate teaching professor in management and executivein-residence at Bloch, served as Boswell’s mentor through that program, and her direction was paramount to Boswell’s experience. “Professor Hudson provided fantastic guidance and insight as I studied leadership, and the challenges associated with it,” Boswell says. While at the Health Care Foundation, she learned of progressive service delivery models that focus on traditionally medically disadvantaged populations. “It was clear that a lot of traditional medical model services were moving to the home or community,” Boswell says. “I realized this was a sector within

the industry where I could have the greatest impact.” Boswell worked for a few nonprofits before landing a position as a business analyst at Swope Community Enterprises, where she analyzed new business prospects. In that role, she worked with numerous home and community-based health care agency owners. Then she connected with the entrepreneur behind Minds Matter, LLC, an organization dedicated to helping individuals who have experienced a brain injury live independently at home, and was offered the role of chief operating officer. These days, Boswell’s daily tasks involve a variety of operations, from contract negotiation, to software development, strategic planning and more. “I do whatever it takes to provide a stable foundation which enables the organization to grow," Boswell says. She gives Kansas City some credit for her success. “It’s a big small town at heart,” she says. “There is an incredible amount of innovation happening, and several ways to share viewpoints, all with a Midwestern feel.”

Randall L.“Randy” Rhoads (M.P.A. ’73) Mayor, Lee’s Summit, Missouri

ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY As mayor of the city of Lee’s Summit, no two days are the same for Randy Rhoads. With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Rhoads didn’t know how strong his civic ties would become. While working at Black & Veatch as an engineer and project manager, Rhoads was appointed to a city board, beginning his community engagement. Rhoads credits his Bloch education with giving him a civic perspective, and allowing him to recognize different ways to address issues and take on challenges in his career.

“While at Black & Veatch, the skills I learned at the Bloch School allowed me to move from the technical world to a managerial role.”




HENRY W. BLOCH A Kansas City icon repays the community he loves By Rachel Hodgson

Every day of the work week, you’ll find Henry Bloch at his office on the Plaza. He’s leading meetings, connecting with local businesses and working with nonprofits — not relaxing at home, even though he’s earned it after decades of hard work. Instead, he is still determined to find ways to help Kansas City — to repay his debt to the community he credits for his success. On July 30, Henry celebrated his 95th birthday. He has raised a family, navigated bomber planes in World War II, launched H&R Block and given back more to the city than most will ever realize. Some of Henry’s friends and family talked with us about his life and legacy, as well as the work yet to be accomplished in the community.

Proud to be from Kansas City Henry grew up in a middle-income Kansas City neighborhood near his future wife, Marion Helzberg. It was at the ripe age of thirteen that Henry was first inspired to improve life for humanity when he watched the 1936 movie “The Life of Louis Pasteur”. He studied at UMKC, then known as the University of Kansas City, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1944. World War II took him overseas and he became a decorated war hero, navigating 32 combat missions in B-17 bombers. By the late 1940s, Henry was a budding entrepreneur in Kansas City, and in 1951 he married Marion, the love of his life. The couple had four children in the 1950s — Robert, Thomas, Mary Jo and Elizabeth — and lived a thrifty lifestyle in a home rich in love. “Dad was always able to balance the important things in his life and prioritize what was important — business, family, and even recreation. He was never too consumed by work or too wrapped up in what he was


BLOCH  Fall 2017

doing at the office to neglect his family,” says Tom Bloch, former CEO of H&R Block and chair of the UMKC Foundation Board.

The Failure Behind the Success Considering the immense success of H&R Block, it’s hard to imagine a business venture of Henry’s failing, but success is often built upon the lessons of failure. Henry’s early venture United Business Co. turned out to be hard work. He and his brother Leon formed the bookkeeping company in 1946 and fought for eight years to make it work. Eventually, Leon left and his brother Richard joined in. “It was a terrible business,” Henry says. “We would get one new client and then we would lose one. Some of our accounts struggled to keep their doors open from one month to the next. And they couldn’t always pay what they owed us.” In an effort to produce income on the side, Henry and Richard prepared income tax returns for $5 apiece for friends and family. Before they knew it, they had a list of 160 clients. One year they tried to stop doing tax returns to focus on their bookkeeping company, but a client pushed them to focus on the tax business instead. Thankfully, they heeded the advice and pioneered the franchises of H&R Block. Since then, H&R Block has grown to more than 12,000 retail locations and 70,000 tax professionals. Henry retired as CEO in 1992 and as chairman in 2000. To this day, whenever he visits the downtown Kansas City location, he is treated like a celebrity. Young employees cannot help but take selfies with the humble KC legend. “Henry is intelligent, wise and smart, but he differentiates himself from others because he’s selfless,” says Bob Virgil, a friend of Henry and advisor to the Bloch

Henry Bloch celebrates his 95th birthday with Bloch School student leaders who were thrilled at the chance to engage with him, a celebrity in their midst. Bloch always makes time to ask students about their schooling during his frequent visits. bloch.umkc.edu



H&R Block in its humble beginnings in the 1960s when the Blochs charged only $5 to complete a tax return.

Family Foundation. “He’s not into making a name or putting the spotlight on Henry Bloch. His goal is always much larger — making society better, making Kansas City better, and helping people who haven’t been as fortunate as he has.”

Paying a Debt to Kansas City Though he is known around the world for his business acumen and innovation, Henry is never one to focus on his achievements. Rather, he’ll boast about the greatness of Kansas City and how he is trying to repay his hometown since he considers this community responsible for his success. “We owe a debt to Kansas City, and my hope is that our family foundation will help pay that debt," Henry says. "Over the years, I have enjoyed giving back to this wonderful city through both civic involvement and philanthropy. And in the process, I’ve learned that true success is not measured in what you get, but in what you give back." In 2011, he and his wife established the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation to build on their dedication to making

the Greater Kansas City area better. The foundation focuses on seven areas, including the family’s “legacy organizations.” Some closest to Henry have compared his dedication to serving Kansas City in multiple facets to the holistic care of the mind, body and soul. And that is reflected the family foundation’s priorities: the mind has been the Bloch School, the body served through Saint Luke’s Health System and the soul with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Kansas City’s School of Management As a former student, Henry has a natural affinity for UMKC. Per his vision, the Bloch School has a strategic focus on twin pillars of excellence: entrepreneurship and innovation in the for-profit sector and social entrepreneurship and innovation in the

public and nonprofit sector. Henry’s hope is for the Bloch School to be considered a center of excellence for UMKC and Kansas City, creating leaders and the next generation of entrepreneurs, recruiting top students from around the country and ranking in targeted areas. “To me, becoming the top school in the world at creating the next generation of entrepreneurs is an exciting and worthwhile goal,” Henry says. His support over the years has manifested in many ways, including the creation of the state-of-the-art Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2013. This building came to fruition thanks to a $32 million gift from Henry to further elevate the Bloch School as a world leader in educating and training future generations of leaders.

“We owe a debt to Kansas City, and my hope is that our family foundation will help pay that debt.” — Henry W. Bloch

Highlights of Henry's Life 1922 July 30, Born in Kansas City, Missouri


BLOCH  Fall 2017

1936 Saw the movie that inspired it all, “The Life of Louis Pasteur”

1943 Begins service as First Lieutenant in U.S. Air Force

1946 Founded United Business Co. with brother Leon Bloch

1951 June 16, Married Marion Helzberg

1955 Founded H&R Block with brother Richard Bloch

1972 Henry W. Bloch starts being featured in H&R Block commercials

“One of the reasons Henry is so impressive is his interest in leveraging his gifts to always do more, to have the greatest impact," says says Steven Norris (M.P.A. ’99), UMKC Foundation president. "Henry not only gives at a significant level — he helps others to give at significant levels and inspires them to be philanthropic." Some gifts are less obvious, like the impression he leaves on the students within the Bloch School in his frequent visits. He

associated this organization with his family’s name because he knows it is a leader of hospitals and is serving the many Kansas Citians who need access to dependable healthcare. “Saint Luke’s is grateful for their support, and we are proud to partner with them as we continue to bring the highest quality of health care to the community,” says Melinda L. Estes, M.D., President and CEO, Saint Luke’s Health System.

"One of the reasons Henry is so impressive is his interest in leveraging his gifts to always do more, to have the greatest impact." – Steven Norris

not only gives financial support to UMKC, he gives life to the dreams of the students. “Henry supports the Bloch School in countless ways, like the incredible Bloch Scholars program,” says Jean-Paul Chaurand (EMBA ’03), vice president of the Bloch Family Foundation. “It helps young men and women become the first college students in their families, and allows them to achieve tremendous success.”

Healing Kansas Citians Henry and Marion have always been known for their philanthropy, but also for their powerful love story. Henry once called their 62-year marriage the greatest success of his career. Their involvement with Saint Luke’s spans more than four decades and is rooted in the health care that he and Marion received. In 2013, Henry gave a gift to establish the Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute. “Marion’s common sense, advice and encouragement led the way for me in business, philanthropy and life. Without her, this journey never would have taken place. Honoring Marion with this gift reflects on her legacy of caring for our community and her spirit of giving,” Henry says. Beyond this significant gift, Henry has contributed to Saint Luke’s in many ways, serving on boards of the hospital and foundation to co-chairing a record-setting $85 million campaign. He has proudly

1986 Endowed the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration

2000 Retired as Chairman of H&R Block - now serves as Chairman Emeritus

A Work of Art

with Kansas Citians, they made the decision to give the collection to the museum in what now is considered one of the largest gifts in Kansas City history. “Henry and Marion’s choice to place their collection with the Nelson-Atkins was a great gift to this community and helps the museum’s European collection shine,” says Mark Zimmerman (EMBA ’13), director of administration at Nelson-Atkins. “Their preference to have their collection live in the galleries with other paintings from their time period nicely integrates and upgrades the art history story.”

A Lasting Legacy Henry’s and his family’s financial contributions to Kansas City are undeniable, but so are his intangible contributions — his character, unique voice and legacy have been impacting the Kansas City metro area for years — and will continue to do so. The next generation of entrepreneurs are walking through the Bloch School at this very moment — learning in a space that Henry has created and unknowingly absorbing his character. For 95 years, Henry has persevered through war, business failures, the passing of his beloved Marion and more, and is still full of smiles and gratitude. He has created a legacy beyond H&R Block that is based on giving back. Henry may feel as though his debt to Kansas City may never be fully paid, but the countless lives he’s touched might say otherwise. His influence will continue to impact Kansas Citians for generations.

Henry’s heart also beats with a deep appreciation for beautiful art, a passion he shared with Marion. This led to the formation of a lifelong partnership with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where they fell in love with the mission and art. Marion and Henry personally supported the creation of the Bloch Building, an addition to the museum designed by Steven Holl. This gift, along with the recent renovation of the Bloch Galleries and donation of its collection by the Bloch Family Foundation, make it safe to say the Bloch family has become a permanent part of this Kansas City icon. “Henry only wanted first-rate, museum quality pieces from the most preeminent and highly regarded artists,” says David Miles, president of the Bloch Family Foundation. “He is very proud of and devoted to the collection, often Henry came home a referring to these original works of decorated war hero — art as 'pretty pictures' rather than as detailed in his new book masterpieces." Navigating a Life: Henry Marion and Henry began Bloch in World War II, collecting artwork 40 years ago with co-authored by John the purchase of Auguste Renoir’s Herron, Ph.D., and Woman Leaning on her Elbows in Mary Ann Wynkoop, 1976, and their compilation grew to Ph.D., and released in 29 masterpieces of Impressionist March 2017. and Post-Impressionist art. The family loved hosting the pieces in their home but, wanting to share

2010 School of Business and Public Administration is renamed Henry W. Bloch School of Management

2011 Gifted $32 million to fund the building of Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

2011 Established Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation

2013 December 9, Gifted $12 million to establish the Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute

by John Herr

on and Mary


Ann Wynkoop


in World Wa

r II

2017 March 11, The Bloch Galleries open at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art




of Investing in Relationships By Patricia O'Dell

2020 BLOCH BLOCHFall Fall2017 2017

ewspapers and websites are filled with headlines of immigration bans, reconsideration of trade agreements and stories of global interest in economic and political isolation. Despite this trend, faculty, alumni and students of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management see global partnerships as essential to personal and business growth and success. The Bloch School is continuing to enhance its curriculum, broaden an already diverse population and develop new opportunities for students to explore studying and working abroad as a way to enhance both business and life experience. An awareness of markets and resources beyond our shores creates a path for executives and entrepreneurs to access broader markets, new technology and viable talent pools. This commitment to interconnectedness and the value of developing and nurturing global relationships not only mirrors Henry Bloch’s personal philosophies of recognizing opportunities and making a personal investment in building relationships, it’s a reflection of the growing significance in the global marketplace.

DEVELOPING A GLOBAL VIEW “The simple fact the term ‘global marketplace’ is commonly used is a signpost itself,” says Michael Wizniak (MBA ’14), Bloch instructor of international business and management systems. “If we look back a decade or two, while there were some professionals who already appreciated the growing importance of the global market, most could get by without understanding or even paying attention to it. Today this is no longer the case. In a relatively short period of time, due to technological advancements and reduced barriers, the world has integrated to a level that is virtually irreversible.” The Bloch School, like other business schools nationwide, is expanding its international course base. Classes in international management, international business environment and global management consultancy are a few offerings that give students a taste of the new business community. Wizniak teaches Global Mindset for Managers, which focuses on a variety of topics that business professionals need in today’s global marketplace. “It’s a difficult class,” he says. “We focus on history, philosophy, geopolitics, economics, culture and more. But when students put in the effort, they have a better understanding of why the world is the way it is and how to begin navigating it with a broader global perspective than the vast majority of their national peers.” Keith Small (MBA ’00), Black & Veatch associate vice president of Sub-Saharan Africa, agrees. “The world has gotten smaller through improved travel infrastructure and widespread access to mobile technology that is helping to connect various cultures, clients and service providers,” Small says. Clients have options to choose from and expect more from their investments. Demonstrating value is the key to differentiation and sustained business relationships.” Small believes working in global business adds a complexity that

makes the work more interesting. “Understanding clients’ needs, considering different backgrounds and business models and then working closely with them to achieve success, fascinated me early on,” he says. “I get the best of both worlds at Black & Veatch working with more than 11,000 professionals around the world who are helping to make lives better.”

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK Small, who equates finding his place at Bloch to feeling like coming home, appreciates that the school has expanded its international curriculum and solidified global partnerships with Asia Pacific organizations and universities. He sees this as a reflection of UMKC’s goal to embrace diversity.

“When students put in the effort, they have a better understanding of why the world is the way it is and how to begin navigating it with a broader global perspective.” – Michael Wizniak

“Participating on the Marketing Advisory Council with other local industry leaders allows me to peek under the hood periodically,” Small notes. “The Bloch School faculty engage various companies in two-way exchanges to ensure curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the business community, while also ensuring students remain current and attractive to recruiters. It is impressive to see that level of diligence and care when Bloch School administrators closely examine and discuss paths to enhance various programs.” Gathering experience and knowledge and leveraging opportunity while in the Bloch School are a good spring boards for students and professionals who are intrigued by living and working abroad. “International components are infused into most of our courses now,” says Sidne Ward, chair, Department of Management and director of Bloch Global Management Education Initiatives. “Where before it might have been one course or the last chapter in the text book that you might not even reach, now all areas — marketing, finance, information systems — have cases throughout their books that have a multi-national focus.”

GET UP AND GO Beyond the current class offerings, the Bloch School also offers study abroad programs for undergraduate students and travel overseas is required for the full-time Master in Business Administration program and Executive MBA program. “Study abroad is an amazing experience,” Ward says, who has served as a guide in past study abroad programs.



Current study abroad options have included London, Portugal and South Africa. “I’ve taken a lot of students to China, and sometimes we have Chinese students who are studying at Bloch who go with us,” Ward explains. “It’s an interesting experience. They like going into the companies there that they may not have access to as local students. Our students are learning a lot from each other, which gives them a different perspective. This makes them invaluable to an employer.” Wizniak has also taken both undergraduate and graduate students abroad to five different countries in Europe and Asia since last year, and he sees the value in the investment. “We spend time with local institutions and businesses experientially learning about international business,” he says. "Some of the classes are consulting for companies in foreign markets like South Korea or conducting competitive industry research and forecasting in the EU with the coming Brexit implications.” Wizniak reaffirms that this is not a tourist experience. “The students are actually working in foreign environments,” he adds. "There is no better way to open one’s mind to our world than through experiencing it first-hand. It provides our students with an awareness and confidence to pursue a competitive and successful

"Students ... meet and work with people who have broadly different experiences. It's not only a richer learning environment, it certainly will be their experience in the workplace."

GLOBAL VIEWS CLOSE TO HOME For those students who might not be able to study abroad, the Bloch faculty and staff have structured their programs in Kansas City to help provide that worldview perspective. “One way our students have firsthand knowledge of international concepts, situations and economies is to study alongside the international students who come here to study,” Ward says. "This interaction allows students to get a different viewpoint, to meet and work with people who have had broadly different experiences. It’s not only a richer learning environment, it certainly will be their experience in the workplace.” Jill C. Anderson (MBA ’12), revenue cycle executive, Cerner Middle East, experienced firsthand the advantages of having a diverse cohort at Bloch.


– Sidne Ward

career in this global market.” But studying abroad often offers more than practical experience and an understanding of other people and cultures. “When students study abroad I can see them change,” Ward says. “Sometimes I recognize the exact moment when a student opens up to the possibility of living abroad. They begin to see a different possible future.” Still, the Bloch faculty and administration understand that not every student can afford study abroad. It’s not just the cost of the program itself, but the lost revenue of being unable to work during the time students are away. While there are a few study abroad scholarship opportunities, there can also be challenges beyond the cost. Many students are faced with obstacles that seem daunting. “We work with students who do not have anyone in their families who have studied abroad or been abroad,” Ward explains. “They don’t have passports. Their parents didn’t have passports.”


BLOCH  Fall 2017

Opposite page and top right: Students studying abroad have a variety of experiences at global corporations.


“We had representation from Cameroon, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam,” says Anderson. “Many times we would get into in-depth conversations about how economies are run in those countries.” Anderson believes Bloch’s student diversity is one of its most important elements. “Many of Bloch’s students are welltraveled, but they may have traveled for leisure and not business,” she says. “It’s my firm belief that traveling for business in this global economy makes it more comfortable to live, work and thrive in any location. Opening one’s mind to different cultures and appreciating the differences is a catalyst to additional global marketplace growth.” According to Anderson, Cerner, much like H&R Block, has broadened its focus with the changing environment. “Cerner started out by digitizing paper processes and has leveraged the global marketplace to offer an array of information software and professional services to serve an international market,” she says. "I am so fortunate because I go to work every day, and it is a ‘United Nations’ like atmosphere.” Wizniak believes there is a central guiding ideology that enables a diverse environment such as the one Anderson is experiencing to be successful. “Everything in life, be it business, government, community, everything, comes down to human beings dealing with other human beings,” he says. “Everything is relationships. But this is even more important in foreign environments.” He notes that not all countries have the same reliable formal institutions or rule of law as the United States. “This means that people need to trust each other before they can do business together.” Wizniak goes on to emphasize the universal appreciation of Henry Bloch’s model in business and in life. “Being humble goes a long way in building relationships and trust. It would be a fool’s errand to try and find a more humble man than Henry Bloch.” No one knows this better than Tom Bloch. “It was never about making the most money. He’s always wanted to help people. The most people. He thinks it’s important to make a difference.”

Know What You Don’t Know It’s inevitable that students and business people working abroad will be in a situation where they are unaware of customs or potential relationshipharming mishaps. Managing these situations with care can be the difference between failure and success. “It’s inevitable, and I expect to continue to find myself in unfamiliar situations as long as I spend time in foreign countries,” Michael Wizniak says. “Ultimately, it’s how you deal with the scenario that matters most. I have found that most people know you are a foreigner and expect you to make mistakes. The difference of whether they are offended or not is if your overall attitude is humble and respectful rather than arrogant and rude.”

Here are some quick tips from our Bloch alumni working abroad: >> Do your research. It’s important to understand as many culture differences as you can before traveling. >> Do unto others. Show that you are trying to accommodate cultural differences and preferences.

>> Humility helps. Show that you are trying to understand and respect people in all situations. >> Learn from your mistakes. Sometimes they can be the best learning tool. Turn these experiences into applied learning.



Around the BLOCH

Jeff Johnson: Big Data Drives Big Results


n marketing, there are any number of variables, inputs and stimuli that can impact consumer behavior: advertising, discounts, reward programs, expanded business hours and many more. Which ones drive increases or decreases in sales? Maybe you increased your Google ad buy by 15 percent, but is that really what caused the six percent spike in orders the following month? There’s no real way to tell. Or is there? Jeff Johnson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of marketing at Bloch, with expertise in personal selling and sales management, business-to-business marketing and marketing strategy. One of his major research projects involves mining big data to hone in on which customer stimuli really drive changes in customer behavior. He works with operating businesses in the community, crunching real data. The research results in a custom analysis that can help drive revenue and profitability in the organization by allowing companies to modify their marketing investments for optimal impact, getting more bang for their marketing buck without increasing overall spending. Johnson collates and analyzes the individual reports to develop insights and track the evolution of customer behavior over time. The academic payoff is expanding the knowledge base of datadriven marketing, knowledge that eventually makes its way into the classroom so future business leaders will understand the value of these tools and know how to use them. “I begin by sitting down with (managers at a specific enterprise), discuss the questions they’re facing, and develop an analysis that can help them optimize their marketing spend or improve profitability,” Johnson says. “I can marry that with things that are relevant to academics, so we get a win-win.” Managers appreciate the utility of the research findings. “We’ll tell them, ‘Here are some things driving performance, some things that are inhibiting performance.’ By spending a little more in bucket A instead of bucket B, you can increase profitability,” Johnson

says. “Often these are small, painless changes — shifting spending, not spending more. But it can have a big impact.” There’s no shortage of data to mine. “We’re tracking both firm behaviors and customer behaviors,” he says. “Say a company spends to advertise on 10 different platforms. If they vary that over time, we can analyze the response — match the pattern against sales revenue, new customer acquisition, and so on. How do the 10 buckets impact the results? If it varies, we can track the data points over time, and then we can see which input has what impacts in which direction. Where are we getting the biggest bang for our buck?”

“Knowing how well these interventions work - to know which stimuli you want to use in a given situation - that can be really powerful.” – Jeff Johnson

“It’s applying big data,” Johnson adds. "The stumbling block used to be getting data." Now there is an abundance of data generated at the retail level by scannable cards customers carry for various store-based reward, loyalty and discount programs. “Now the challenge is making sense of the data.” The goal is to capture the impact of a given intervention into the buyer-seller relationship, Johnson says. An intervention can be an offering, a discount, a specific promotion or a conversation with a salesperson. “Knowing how well these interventions work — to know which stimuli you want to use in a given situation — that can be really powerful.” – John Martellaro

REAL-WORLD INPUT: The Bloch Marketing Advisory Council Marketing research and education at Bloch is grounded in scientific and academic rigor, but it’s hardly an ivorytower exercise removed from the real world. The Bloch Marketing Advisory Council is a major reason why. The council is composed of more than 20 top marketing executives from major companies in the Kansas City region, such as Sprint, Hallmark, H&R Block and Cerner; and leaders from top advertising/marketing firms such as


BLOCH  Fall 2017

VML and Barkley. Darcy Stewart, vice president for Business Development at JE Dunn Construction Group, Inc., is the current chair of the council. Members meet regularly with both students and faculty at Bloch throughout the school year, providing guidance and mentoring, and making sure that research and teaching reflect the most current real-world issues and concerns. “The members are real thought leaders in marketing in the Kansas City

community,” says Jeff Johnson. “They are a great resource for working with data, connecting with students, advising on curriculum and generally keeping us abreast of what the market is currently demanding.” For more information on the Marketing Advisory Council or to find out other Bloch School volunteer opportunities, contact Ashley Beard-Fosnow at beardfosnowm@umkcfoundation.org.






NEWS Briefs

AN INNOVATIVE INCUBATOR Bloch partners with Country Club Bank to open Bloch Venture Hub Imagine a new elementary school that promotes a whole-child model for students kindergarten through high school, with a unique focus on developing the civic, personal, professional and entrepreneurial competencies of each child. Now imagine trying to get this big idea off the ground. That’s where the Bloch Venture Hub comes in — as Kansas City’s new launch pad for area entrepreneurs. Powered by the resources of Country Club Bank and the Bloch School’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the


BLOCH  Fall 2017

Bloch Venture Hub was developed to be a base from which budding entrepreneurs like Catina Taylor can propel their ventures forward. Taylor is the founder of Dreams KC, the unique new elementary school which achieves its student development goals through Project Based Learning, genderbased classrooms, flexible learning spaces and more. According to Taylor, an Entrepreneurship Scholars graduate, the Bloch Venture Hub has the capacity to not only expand the reach of her venture, but also allow her to give back to Kansas City.

“This incubator meets my needs by allowing me space to meet with potential funders, board members and my instructional team and strategically plan how we will transform the lives of a generation of children,” Taylor says. Top left: Country Club Bank's Mary O'Connor and the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation's Jeff Hornsby celebrate the opening of Bloch Venture Hub. Top right: Community supporters check out the innovative space at 4328 Madison. Above: Catina Taylor has moved her business, Dreams KC, into an office at the Bloch Venture Hub.

“The mentorship program has been particularly helpful. If I succeed, I want to pay it forward by returning someday as a mentor to help guide the next generation of Kansas City ventures.” The Bloch Venture Hub features a unique three-story layout that provides entrepreneurs with a place to access resources for whatever development stage they have reached. The Hub is home to seven ventures with many different focuses — from bow ties to sausage casings — and that number is expected to grow.

“I want to pay it forward by

returning someday as a mentor to help the next generation of Kansas City ventures.” – Catina Taylor

The first floor of the Bloch Venture Hub, Level 1, is home to EntreLab, an initiative designed to provide mentoring, advice and access to resources for would-be entrepreneurs in the initial idea phase. It provides a physical space to meet with mentors, attend educational programming facilitated by the Bloch School and access to the startup resources of other UMKC programs such as KCSourceLink and the UMKC Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic. EntreLab is funded by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Level 2 is a start-up incubator that will serve as a home for launchstage ventures. The space will hold approximately seven to 10 such startups, providing them access to many of the same services as Entrelab, including the 160 industry experts on the roster of the Regnier Institute mentorship program. Level 2 will also encourage the “collision factor” of a co-working space, promoting idea-sharing, problem solving and synergy among participants. Level 3 houses a scale-up incubator for ventures that are gaining traction and require more space to grow. Scaleup ventures avoid the risk of traditional, long-term leases and have access to services, programming and mentors who can provide industry-specific advice tailored to the growth phase. For more information, learn more at go.umkc.edu/bloch-venture-hub. – John Martellaro

Kelsey Carlstedt and Emily Moon, co-founders of By Grace Designs, learn they are the winners of the 2017 Regnier Venture Creation Challenge.

Regnier Venture Creation Challenge Ups the Stakes In its eighth year, the Regnier Venture Creation Challenge presented a first place prize of $20,000 — double the amount awarded in previous years. Each spring, the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosts the business plan competition, in which dozens of students can present new concepts to a judging panel of local investors, business leaders and entrepreneurs. By Grace Designs, a nonprofit clothing company which employs, empowers and elevates women living in poverty in Ghana and India, took home the top prize.

“We’re working to solve poverty through enterprise, not aid,” Kelsey Carlstedt, co-founder of By Grace Designs, says. “We can raise the price, because we’re not just selling a product. We’re selling a story.” OTHER FINALISTS INCLUDED: Wobblrs, Roberto Camacho and Max Hasselquist, second place, $10,000 Wedding in a Box, Claire Cogan, third place, $5,000 Shadow Scout, Calvin Bingham and Carrie Bingham, fourth place, $2,500

Regnier Venture Creation Challenge winners celebrate with judges and Institute leadership.






A GLOBAL IMPACT Alumna of the Year Makes a Mark in Kansas City and Beyond


ew people have more knowledge of and influence on the nation’s — and the world’s — financial stability than Esther George (EMBA ’00). George is known as a leader who speaks for the heartland in her role as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Her career success, and her dedication to her alma mater, community and region, led to her selection as this year’s UMKC Alumna of the Year. George has worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City since 1982, beginning as a commissioned bank examiner. She is the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and the first woman to serve in this position. Over the course of her nearly 35 years with the bank, George has risen through the ranks, supporting the broader mission of the Federal Reserve in assuring the nation’s financial stability. As president of the Kansas City Fed, she is also a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the body that has authority over the nation’s monetary policy. “As the central bank of the United States, the work we do at the Federal Reserve affects the lives of every American, whether they are purchasing a home, borrowing to start or expand a small business, or saving and investing,” George says. At the national and international levels, George has twice served as a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, impacting monetary policy for the U.S. and influencing economies worldwide. She has also led large initiatives on behalf of the Federal Reserve System. This includes a national effort to bring members of the financial


BLOCH  Fall 2017

industry, consumers and regulators together to develop ways to improve the speed and security of the U.S. payments system. While George’s role has national — and even global — impacts, she knows the importance of staying connected with the area of the country she represents. “My job depends on deep connections with communities across my region,” she says. “My MBA program at UMKC focused extensively on the important threads between a local community, the nation and the world, and I see this play out every day at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Our focus is on bringing strong talent to our work in the region we serve.” Just one of many ways George gives back to her community is her involvement with her alma mater, serving on the UMKC Board of Trustees and in advisory roles with the Bloch School. “Given the importance of this institution to our city, everyone in the Kansas City metropolitan community has a vested interest in UMKC and its ongoing success.” – Sara Kincaid Bloch alumni recognized at the 2017 UMKC Alumni Awards Bob Regnier (MBA ’78) BILL FRENCH ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD

Troy L. Nash (J.D. ’97, M.A. ’05, M.A. ’11, MBA ’13) DEFYING THE ODDS AWARD


Kate Spade, Tom McDonnell, Annie Hurlbut Zander and Ollie Gates were inducted to the UMKC Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

HONORING ROLE MODELS Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Celebrates New Inductees


world-renowned designer, local restauranteur, global clothier and longtime business leader all have something in common beyond their drive for success — they are all recent inductees into the UMKC Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Kate Spade, Ollie Gates, Annie Hurlbut Zander and Tom McDonnell were honored as the second class of honorees, joining an illustrious group of Kansas City icons such as Henry W. Bloch, Ewing Kauffman and Lamar Hunt. All inductees were chosen because of their inspiring stories and intentions to ignite the passions and imaginations of the next generation of Kansas City entrepreneurs — the very students walking through the Executive Hall every day. David Brain, another of the hall’s inaugural inductees, presided over the induction ceremony on March 3, 2017. “It says a lot about this community that we not only can create a hall of fame like this, but that we continue to produce the kind of outstanding people whose accomplishments earn them a place in it,” Brain, co-founder of Sustainable Development Partners Kansas City, said. “This is Kansas City at its best, and Kansas City’s university is the proper home for it.” UMKC Chancellor Emeritus Leo E. Morton offered a special thanks to Hall of Fame benefactors Joe and Judy Roetheli, and their Lil’ Red Foundation for creating this space to connect generations of entrepreneurship. “They saw the need for a dramatic and inspirational space within the Bloch School to honor entrepreneurs and inspire succeeding generations of students,” Morton said. “The Entrepreneur Hall of Fame is integral to our educational

“It says a lot about this community that we not only can create a hall of fame like this, but that we continue to produce the kind of outstanding people whose accomplishments earn them a place in it.” – David Brain

mission. We are giving students, and the community, an inside look into the journeys of many Kansas City entrepreneurs. Their stories are a testament that with the right conditions in place, there are no limits to what visionary entrepreneurs can accomplish.” Undergraduate student and former Enactus President Chad Feather added another thank you. “This exhibit, that we are fortunate enough to see on a daily basis, is a reminder that when you put in the hard work, when you follow your passion, and when you strive to succeed even when everyone else says it’s not possible, dreams can come true,” Feather said. “Thank you for inspiring all of us to forge our own paths, follow what we believe in and truly make a difference in our community.” The Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at UMKC is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. It is located inside Bloch Executive Hall at 5108 Cherry St., Kansas City, Missouri.



Around the BLOCH


1 4



Year in Photos 1. Celebrating a Leader – David Donnelly, Ph.D., is presented a custom kangaroo print by former Bloch School Alumni Association president Mike Nolan (M.P.A. ’11) and UMKC Interim Chancellor and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, to celebrate his time as dean of the Bloch School.


2. A Grand Opening – Country Club Bank’s Mary O’Connor and the Regnier Family Foundation’s Bob Regnier celebrate the opening of the Bloch Venture Hub with alumnus Zach Pettet (B.B.A. ’15). 3. Celebrating the Arts – Entrepreneur Hall of Fame donor Judy Roetheli enjoys a sneak peek of The Bloch Galleries at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art before the 2017 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame induction event. 4. Boosting Fun – Students take a break at the Boost Symposium, hosted by the Bloch Career Center. 5. An Enterprising Idea – Area high school students celebrate their win at Camp Enterprise, an event allowing high school students to interact, compete and develop new entrepreneurial business ideas.



6. Making a Case – Dean David Donnelly and Marilyn Taylor, Ph.D., celebrate the announcement of the Marilyn Taylor Endowed Case Competition Fund, which provides support for the annual Strategic Management Case Competition. 7. Idea Showcase – Regnier Venture Creation Challenge participants Gothentic showcase their idea at the event’s exposition. 8. Entrepreneurial Spirit – Tin Ho (B.B.A.) receives the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 31st Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Nov. 2016.




Back to the Classroom Dave Donnelly has served as dean of the Bloch School for the last three years. But now, he's ready to get back to class. A pillar of service, stability and success for the Bloch School, we celebrate Donnelly's time as dean, and his return to the role of professor of accounting — a change he's excited for as well.

Iʼm looking forward to interacting with students again, to have the ability to get to know them and be involved in their progress. I want to instill in them a love of learning, so theyʼre always excited about the opportunities before them.”


BLOCH  Fall 2017






Thank you again to last year’s Innovation and Entrepreneurial Spirit sponsors:


UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY Henry W. Bloch School of Management 5100 Rockhill Road Kansas City, MO 64110

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Kansas City, Mo. Permit #6113

UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Bloch students achieve a high rate of success following graduation. Check out a few highlights of our recent graduates’ career success.

90% found employment within 90 days of graduation

$100k highest reported salary

92% accepted positions in the Kansas City area

*Statistics representative of 75% of undergraduates in the 2015-2016 academic year

Want to learn more about the Bloch Career Center? visit bloch.umkc.edu/careers

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.