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BLOCH Fall 2015

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

Better together

Bloch and Kansas City working to build a thriving business community

Celebrating those who fearlessly create.

Thank you to our sponsors, whose commitment will benefit the next generation of fearless leaders. All proceeds benefit the UMKC Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Summer Scholars and Vets2Ventures programs.



THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY Henry W. Bloch School of Management Fall 2015


News Briefs

Kansas City’s School of Management

2 Bloch students continue tradition of success 3 Student hopes to turn lifelong interest in aviation into a career

At the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, we pride ourselves on being Kansas City’s source for preeminent management education. We are proud of our deeply rooted connection to the city, and it’s always at the forefront of our actions. Everything we do — educating future leaders, developing new programs, networking with alumni and constituents — we do with the goal of uplifting Kansas City.

4 A great year: 2014-15 in photos 5 EMBA celebrates 20 years of shaping leaders 6 Bloch bids farewell to Cary Clark 8 Faculty, staff recognized for excellence 9 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame connects visitors with local legends


You may have heard of our twin-pillar focus: entrepreneurship and innovation in the for-profit sector and social entrepreneurship in the public and nonprofit sector. By infusing social entrepreneurship into the teaching of standard business practices, we train our students to understand that true business leaders are not measured by the profits they make, but how they change their communities. The Bloch School also works to develop programs not provided elsewhere in the region. This past year, as the areas of finance and real estate continued to expand in Kansas City, we were acutely aware that leaders were needed. This led to the implementation of the Master of Entrepreneurial Real Estate and the Master of Science in Finance programs. We also launched the Intensive Full-Time Master of Business Administration program in 2015. Created for experienced professionals, this one-year program prepares students to climb the ladder in their respective industries. Further, our students, employees and alumni are out in the community in full force. Our faculty and staff members serve on advisory boards, hold civic appointments and are involved in initiatives focused on bettering the city. In 2014, three Bloch alumni were honored at the UMKC Alumni Awards for their professional and philanthropic achievements. Everywhere you turn in Kansas City, you can find connections to Bloch.

10 Building a Better Kansas City M.P.A. alumni improve the community through their careers. 14 The Next Generation of Business Leaders Internships provide professional learning opportunities for Bloch students. 20 Emerging Business Trends

Bloch programs prepare businesses and graduates for the future.

Around the Bloch 26 An Eye for Investments Nathan Mauck conducts research on international finance. 28 Bloch Students are #goingplaces Bloch students are highlighted in UMKC campaign. 30 Class Notes Bloch alumni share their notable achievements.

I hope you enjoy the stories in this issue as we share Bloch’s pride in giving back to our incredible city.

31 Opportunity Knocks Rebecca Warren follows her career from Kansas City to San Diego.


32 Bloch Students to Mentor Local Schools New Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center receives funding for completion. CREDITS Production: UMKC Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications Assistant Editor: Megan Cooper Art Director: Terry Raumschuh Photographers: Janet Rogers, Dan Videtich Writers: Megan Cooper, Stacy Downs, Kristy Hill-Wegner, Liz Murray, Suzanne Raney, Hallie Spencer

David P. Donnelly, Ph.D., CPA Dean, Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Bloch Magazine is published annually by the Henry W. Bloch School of Management to encourage interest and support among UMKC alumni, friends and constituents. On the cover: Illustration by Neil Nakahodo


BSM 15020744

NEWS Briefs Bloch Students Continue Tradition of Success MORE HONORS Yuliana Onopriyenko (B.S.A.) received the 2015 Academic Award, presented by the Kansas City chapter of Financial Executives International. Onopriyenko was one of four students selected for the prestigious award from universities across Kansas and Missouri. For the fifth straight year, the Bloch chapter of the Financial Management Association won the title of Superior Chapter, placing the group in the top 10 percent of over 200 chapters worldwide.

Enactus Advanced to Quarterfinals in National Competition The 2014-15 UMKC Enactus team advanced to quarterfinals at the U.S. National Competition in St. Louis April 13-16. The presentation team of Ricky Abnos (B.S., mechanical engineering), Chad Feather (B.B.A.), Dennis Mowry (Pharm.D.), Joohae Yoon (B.A., urban planning and design), Kate Ragan (Pre-Pharmacy), Lindsey McClaran (B.B.A.) and Sanjay Jenkins (B.B.A.) beat over 80 teams and ultimately lost to the 2014 national champion. Enactus is an international student organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders. At the national competition, students compete with the goal of using entrepreneurial skills to help those in need. In total, more than 180 teams from across the country competed. “We’ve maintained the momentum from the national competition and are planning our projects for next year. We aim to improve every year, and are excited by the potential of our current team,” says Ben Williams, assistant director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, instructor in the Global Entrepreneurship department and the new Enactus advisor.

Bloch Team Wins ACG Cup for Third Time A UMKC team won the Kansas City Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Cup for the third consecutive year, beating out competitors from across the region. The team, composed of Henry W. Bloch School of Management graduate students, included John Atwell (M.S.F.), Jacquie Ward (MBA) and Colin Livasy (M.S.F.), along with faculty advisor Nathan Mauck, Ph.D. They received a $5,000 cash award and the prestigious ACG Cup title. The ACG Cup is a case study competition designed to give students from leading MBA and M.S.F. programs across the


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country real world experience in mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity. “We’re excited for this third consecutive win because as we strive to excel in every individual competition, we also want to achieve consistency in performance over time,” says Fred Hays, chair of the Bloch School Department of Finance. “This win demonstrates that our students not only have a solid understanding of the principles of financial valuation, but also have strong presentation skills, which are highly valued.”

More than 50 teams competed for up to $55,000 in seed funding at the 2015 Regnier Venture Creation Challenge. Mobility Designed, formed by E-Scholars graduates Liliana and Max Younger and Michael Litscher, took the top prize and a $15,000 team award to help grow their venture. Andrea Biagioli (MBA) ranked fourth in the country for performance on the Bloomberg Aptitude Test, a global finance exam. Paul Frauen (MBA), Adam McClusky (M.S.F.), Sam Snider (M.S.F.) and faculty advisor John Clark took first place at the local CFA Institute Research Challenge for the second consecutive year. As a part of their undergraduate capstone, three teams provided recommendations to Freightquote, a local online freight shipping provider. Basing their advice off a case study developed by Freightquote’s executive team and Bloch faculty, the winning team, Ernest Armah (B.B.A.), Mark Buergler (B.B.A.), Connor Coday (B.S.A.), Jacob Halpern (B.B.A.) and Julie Whistman (B.B.A.), each received a $1,000 scholarship redeemable for any Bloch School graduate program.




FREQUENT FLYER Student hopes to turn lifelong interest in aviation into career

For Jaspreet Singh (B.B.A.), it’s all about connections. Singh completed his third internship with United Airlines in summer 2015. With United, he’s gained experience in the areas of social media and passenger systems. With all the knowledge learned in his internships, what does Singh consider his most fascinating takeaway? Those he’s met along the way. “I meet all kinds of people on flights,” Singh explains. “It’s incredible how you can get on a plane and in a matter of hours be connected with people on the other side of the world.” Singh’s passion for the aviation industry has been a lifelong one, kept alive by the challenges and opportunities for innovation the field provides. “It’s one of the most difficult, but rewarding, industries,”

Singh says. “It’s like working on a complex puzzle. You have to figure out how to keep going forward with all the moving parts.” Exposure to the business community is a primary reason Singh chose the Bloch School, and it has paid off. “The corporate relationships UMKC has are so important,” he says. “The urban setting creates opportunities for internships and connections that aren’t available at other universities.” As for the future, Singh hopes to leverage his experience to land a full-time marketing or product development role with United Airlines — but he won’t leave Bloch behind. “My professors and mentors here have been top quality. I’ll be sure to stay in touch with them and visit Bloch when I can after graduation.” — Megan Cooper


NEWS Briefs

2014-15 IN PHOTOS

John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Company, is an inaugural inductee of the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Bill Eddy, Dean Emeritus, judges the 2015 Strategic Management Case Competition.

Zach Pettet (B.B.A.), 2014 Student Entrepreneur of the Year, discusses his venture with a guest at the EOY Awards.

Andrew Elsberry (B.B.A.’15, E-Scholar ’15) is congratulated by Henry Bloch at the E-Scholar Graduation Ceremony.

New freshmen and transfer students get acquainted with Bloch at a Convocation event.

Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten, speaks with Regnier Institute Advisory Council Chair Mary Bloch.

Thank you, donors. The Bloch School wishes to thank all donors for their generous and continued commitment in the 2014-15 year. To make a gift, visit

Keep in touch Send us your alumni news and read about former classmates at

Richard Wetzel (MBA ’01) speaks at a panel discussion during Henry Bloch Entrepreneurship Week.


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Mark Joseph (M.S.F. ’12), Michael Kavaney and Chris Icenogle hit the green at the annual alumni golf tournament.

Executive MBA Celebrates 20 Years of Shaping Leaders By Megan Cooper

For the past 20 years, transforming talent for Kansas City and beyond has been the mantra of the Bloch Executive MBA. The EMBA was founded in 1995 under the vision of Bloch School Dean Emeritus Bill Eddy. Eager to develop a program that would shape and train Kansas City’s experienced business leaders, Eddy formed a faculty committee to develop the concept of the program. “The emphasis on teamwork has been there since the beginning and is still a key component of the program,” says Lee Bolman, Ph.D., Marion Bloch/Missouri chair in leadership and member of the original EMBA development committee. The Bloch EMBA’s connection within the Kansas City corporate sector is key to the program’s success. The link to the business community provides practical context to the knowledge learned in class, explains EMBA Executive Director Kimberly Young. “Our students interact with our corporate partners over and over again. They build and sustain relationships.” The strong business support translates to more students recommended to the EMBA. “We are highly supported by our corporate partners,” Young says. “Our students are twice as likely to have been referred by an employer when compared to other programs across the country.” While the program has evolved, so have the careers of its students and alumni. With an EMBA degree, graduates have gone on to lead their organizations in roles such as CEO, CFO and president, with some launching their own businesses. Kurt Hadermann (EMBA ’15), credits the EMBA for his recent success. “Since graduating, I have accepted a new position as director of information technology at Cohen Financial, which allows me to use my new knowledge and skills to help grow the company strategically,” Hadermann says. “Before, my career path had

a very narrow focus; the Bloch EMBA opened doors, giving me the chance to grow in a broader direction.” John Palacios (EMBA ’14), credits the program for his promotion to national sales director for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei at Eli Lilly and Company. “What actually got me excited to take this overseas assignment was the visit we made to China during our international residency part of the program,” he says. Last year Palacios relocated to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for his position. “I have gained so much knowledge. I learned how to purposefully lead people while remaining authentic and true to myself and was able to build unbelievable connections within my current organization and all around the world with

“Before, my career path had a very narrow focus; the Bloch EMBA opened doors, giving me the chance to grow in a broader direction.”

Kurt Hadermann (EMBA ’15)

John Palacios (EMBA ’14)

— Kurt Hadermann

people from different businesses. I learned to get out of my comfort zone and try new things.” Over the program’s 20-year history, pushing the edge and trying new things has led to success for the EMBA and its students. The Bloch School celebrated these achievements during an anniversary celebration held during UMKC Founders’ Week in late September. Alumni attended classes, a breakfast networking session, coaching sessions and an alumni-tailored seminar. With the EMBA network over 500 strong and still growing, the staff are looking at other ways to involve these alumni in the program and with the Bloch School. “I meet with alumni often to discuss their careers and how we can be of service to them,” says Young. “We offer continuing education seminars and invite them to Bloch events. We hope to see alumni involvement continue to increase.” Moving forward, the Bloch EMBA will continue to be a cornerstone of Kansas City professional development. “The EMBA is an important part of the talent development toolset for leadership in Kansas City and the region,” Young says. “It creates an environment where the next generation of executive leaders can develop skills and a credible network that will support their future endeavors in this city and around the world.”





Lessons Learned Retiring faculty advisor reflects fondly on time with students By Megan Cooper


ary Clark joined the Bloch School in 2005 after working in the corporate sector for close to 30 years. Serving as the advisor of Enactus, previously Students in Free Enterprise, was one of Clark’s crowning achievements at Bloch. When he began overseeing Enactus in 2005, there was one student participant. Today, Enactus has 65 members across the UMKC campus and has found success competing at the regional and national level. Enactus is an international student organization with teams in 36 countries and 1,600 universities. Its objective


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is to connect student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities. Enactus is funded by the top 500 corporations in the world that are interested in hiring graduates with Enactus experience. Due to his accomplishments, Clark was inducted into the Sam Walton Fellow Hall of Fame in 2014, an exclusive honor extended to less than 50 individuals since Enactus began. As Clark bid Bloch adieu in 2015, we asked him to reflect on his time at UMKC.

Q&A with Cary Clark You’ve worked closely with Enactus over the years. What’s your fondest memory of working with them? That’s like asking me to pick my favorite student — it’s impossible! The real enjoyment for me is seeing the students develop. I’ve had students who will hardly make eye contact the first year then go on to become the organization president. That’s what has kept me coming back year after year. Faculty, staff and students at UMKC collectively acknowledge you as a great leader. What’s your reaction to that? It’s humbling. Certainly, I’m complimented when people say my advice on how to do something worked for them, but I don’t do it for the compliments. I do it to help people and hopefully put a smile on their face — that’s the ultimate measure of success. What will you remember about the Bloch School? The people are so welcoming and warm. I initially joined the team at the Innovation Center, so when they split, I went with that group. When I came back to Bloch, everyone greeted me with open arms. It was like I never left. What is the most crucial piece of advice you impart upon your students? Believe in yourself. Many students I work with are experiencing so many firsts and are unsure of themselves. My faith in them allows them to have confidence in themselves. Also, don’t wait until senior year to begin networking and investigating potential career opportunities. If you could do it all over again, would you follow the same path? I would. Before it happened, I never dreamed of being in academia. My time in the corporate world was important because it gave me great business acumen, and it’s allowed me to have a niche in experiential learning — I can share my hands-on experiences. Any benefits and rewards I received from the corporate world are unmatched by the pride I’ve had working with students. What are your plans after retirement? My wife and I have plans to travel. I mentioned an upcoming trip to Washington to one of my former students, and we’re going to meet up when I’m there.

Faculty and Staff Pay Tribute to Cary Clark Cary is an inspiration to many Bloch School and UMKC students, staff and faculty. He gives to others so much that he set the standard of how “giving of yourself” works. — Jewel Madsen, advisor, MBA Programs It has been such a pleasure to work with Cary over the last several years. I’ve always been amazed at his respect and love for our students. They have benefited from his leadership, and we will all truly miss his spirit and dedication. — Kami Thomas, assistant dean We are so proud of the success of the UMKC Enactus chapter. Cary has done a wonderful job of leading the chapter. But, more importantly, he has made a positive difference in the lives of all the members in the chapter. Congratulations! — Dave Cornell, associate dean Cary has been a wonderful person to work with. He is a friend to faculty and a mentor to students. He has made huge impact in the lives of many students. I’m going to miss Cary’s sense of humor around the office. — Ben Williams, Enactus co-advisor I’d like to thank Cary for his time and investment in the students of the Bloch School. They are very lucky to have had someone like him who truly cares about their learning. — Kimberly Young, executive director, Bloch Executive Education

Assistant Professor Receives Tenure Brent Never, Ph.D., assistant professor of Nonprofit Leadership, was awarded tenure this year. Since joining the Bloch School in 2009, Never has consistently been a standout within the faculty and was awarded the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award in Business in 2014. Receiving tenure is a five-year process for faculty members and is one of several milestones in an academic career. Never received his Ph.D. in public policy from the School of Public and Environmental

Affairs at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, most recently conducting research on nonprofit service provision at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. “Earning tenure is a significant achievement, and Professor Never is welldeserving of this recognition,” says Dave Renz, Ph.D., public affairs department chair. “As an integral part of our department, I’m excited to see what the future holds for Dr. Never.”


NEWS Briefs

Bloch Faculty, Staff Recognized for Excellence Three Bloch faculty and staff members were honored at the 2015 UMKC Celebration of Excellence Faculty and Staff Awards. This university-wide ceremony acknowledges some of UMKC’s most impressive employees for their outstanding contributions to students and the community. “These faculty and staff members exemplify the qualities and dedication we want all of our employees to strive for,” says David Donnelly, Bloch School dean. “We are proud of their accomplishments and grateful for their service to the Bloch School.” Larry Garrison, Ph.D. Helen Kemper/Missouri Professor of Accountancy AWARD: 2015 Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching The Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is an annual award presented to an outstanding faculty member from each higher education institution in the state. Dr. Larry Garrison has been a member of the Bloch School Faculty for more than 28 years and exemplifies the very best of UMKC’s values. Garrison teaches five taxation courses each year at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and his students are always his top priority. Additionally, Garrison has received the Missouri Society of CPAs Outstanding Educator Award, UMKC Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and has twice received the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award.

Nathan Mauck, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Finance AWARD: Chancellor’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award in Business The Chancellor’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching is UMKC’s highest honor for distinction in teaching for an assistant professor, and the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award is awarded annually to an outstanding educator. Over the last two years, Mauck has published six articles, five of which were published in top finance journals. Mauck creates an exciting learning environment, extending from his teaching philosophy of engaging students in order to inspire a lifelong interest in learning. Mauck is popular among the student body; in 2014, he was voted the Bloch School Favorite Faculty Member of the Year. See page 26 for information on Mauck’s research.

Jacqueline Hawkins Office Support Assistant, Department of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation AWARD: Staff Council Dedication Award The Staff Council Dedication Award is presented to a UMKC Staff Council Committee member who consistently participates in Staff Council activities above and beyond the call of duty. Recipients of this honor exceptionally demonstrate dedication to making UMKC the workplace of choice for all staff. Jacqueline Hawkins currently serves as secretary on the Staff Council Executive Board and as the Staff Council representative for the Faculty Senate and Facilities Advisory Committee. In addition, Hawkins served as co-chair for the Staff Conference for Professional Development the past two years.


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Be Inspired in the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Honor meets inspiration in the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, which opened to the public in December 2014. The Hall celebrates those who built businesses from the ground up. This interactive experience is designed to give the entrepreneurs of the future a chance to connect with successful entrepreneurs past and present. Follow the navigation below to see the many ways the Hall of Fame can inspire you.

The Inaugural Inductees

Navigate the exhibit 1 Enter the hall Located on the main level of the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Hall of Fame is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3 Hear the story Touch the screen and the words come to life. See photos, read a biography and watch a video of each entrepreneur reflecting on their journey.

2 Get the details Before learning about each honoree, learn more about the Hall itself. Educational material is available on the Hall, inductees and how to make the most of your visit.

4 View the artifacts See a piece of the inductees’ histories. In addition to a photo and biography, each honoree personally selected an artifact that encompasses their entrepreneurial journey.

5 Learn more The detailed website lets you learn about each person who was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame as well as the history behind its creation and lots more. Visit to learn about the hall or plan a visit.

G. Kenneth Baum, George K. Baum and Company Henry W. Bloch, H&R Block David Brain, EPR Properties Mike Brown, Euronet Worldwide William Dunn, Sr., JE Dunn Construction Shirley and Barnett Helzberg Jr., Helzberg Diamonds Inc. Lamar Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs Ewing Kauffman, Marion Laboratories Bonnie Kelly, Teresa Walsh, Jerry Kelly,  Silpada John T. Lockton III, Lockton Insurance Cos. Dan Lowe, RED Legacy John McDonald, Boulevard Brewing Company Regnier Family, Regnier Family Foundations John Sherman, Inergy Terry Van Der Tuuk, Graphic Technology Inc. L. William Zahner, A. Zahner Company Hugh Zimmer, Zimmer Companies


Building a better


Master of Public Administration alumni improve the city through their diverse lines of work By Megan Cooper

Public sector jobs, such as government, health care and nonprofit, employ more Kansas Citians than any other industry.

This trend is increasingly common across the country. The mission of the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) is to provide the knowledge and skills for students to become leaders in the public sector. At the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, professors help students intersect their passions with community needs. In public administration classes, students hone their skills to better the lives of others. Alumni of the M.P.A. program work throughout Kansas City and across the nation to make a meaningful impact. Tim Van Zandt, Gloria Jackson-Leathers and Paul Berardi are examples of leaders whose actions improve the lives of Kansas Citians every day.


TIM VAN ZANDT /// Vice President of Government and Community Relations St. Luke’s Health System

Health Care Chameleon


he ever-changing nature of the health care field prompted Tim Van Zandt (M.P.A. ’99) to study the industry’s many facets. His journey led him to St. Luke’s Health System, where he serves as vice president of government and community relations. Van Zandt’s work in health care began when he was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives. He served on the budget and appropriations committees, which oversaw funding for the Department of Health and Mental Health. “I can’t say I initially had a burning desire to enter the medical field,” Van Zandt says. “But as I got in deeper with my work on these committees, I wanted to better educate myself.” While still a member of the House of Representatives, Van Zandt earned his M.P.A. degree with an emphasis in Health Services Administration. He didn’t expect the degree would be a stepping stone to educating himself even further. Soon after leaving the state legislature, Van Zandt moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked in health-care policy. Before he

knew it, his craving for knowledge led him to a different type of education. Feeling there was a void in his awareness of the clinical side of medicine, Van Zandt received his nursing degree and practiced as a registered nurse in a trauma unit for two years. “Gaining clinical, hands-on experience added a level of credibility I was missing before,” Van Zandt says. “Working as a clinician gave me new insight and supplemented the knowledge I had from previous positions.” Van Zandt returned to Kansas City in 2008. Through relationships he developed during his Bloch M.P.A. internship, he was offered a position in the public affairs division of St. Luke’s Health System. Van Zandt has learned many lessons in his career. The advice he shares with others is simple. “Change is the only thing to be certain of. You must constantly be open and willing to educate yourself further.”



GLORIA JACKSON-LEATHERS /// Director of Kansas City Civic Engagement Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Creating Better Communities


hat gets Gloria Jackson-Leathers (M.P.A. ’01) through the day? The notion that her work is making a positive change in the region. “I’m able to see a tangible difference we are making in the community, and I realize that I play a small part in making that happen.” Jackson-Leathers was named director of Kansas City Civic Engagement at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2012. Her job is focused on helping Kansas City be a better place to live, work and play by investing in civic causes that strengthen the community and improve the quality of life for all residents. In 1998, Jackson-Leathers started her career with the Foundation in the former youth development department. Her role focused on initiatives to better the neighborhoods of Kansas City’s urban core. “The work in my early years at the Kauffman Foundation inspired me to further my career in public service,” she says.


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Jackson-Leathers says the M.P.A. program was perfectly aligned with her desire to advance her education and career. “I can’t begin to explain the value that was added by studying public administration at the same time I was working in the industry,” Jackson-Leathers says. “It was a real win-win.” The relationships Jackson-Leathers built within her cohort are ones she still leans on today. With former classmates working in similar positions across the metro area, she is able to reconnect with them to catapult joint initiatives. “There are so many corridors in Kansas City where I can see the Foundation’s footprint,” she states proudly. “Any time we hear positive feedback or receive thank you letters, it really affirms the work we do.” Jackson-Leathers encourages others to develop a career in the public sector. “I’d never miss an opportunity to thank those who want to give of themselves in their career. I can promise from experience that it will be fulfilling and rewarding.”


PAUL BERARDI /// Fire Chief City of Kansas City, Mo.

Climbing the Ladder


eadership and perseverance are part of Paul Berardi’s (M.P.A. ’02) job description. Currently serving as fire chief for the city of Kansas City, Mo., Berardi spends each day working to improve the safety of the city’s residents. Beginning his career as a firefighter in 1986, Berardi hadn’t completed formal education prior to taking the job. Experiential learning is critical as a line firefighter and emergency medical technician and was integral in his early years of work with the KCFD. “It was essential to learn the job from the ground up,” Berardi says. “But I wanted a formal education to supplement my on-the-job experience.” His aspirations prompted Berardi to earn an associate degree in fire science and Bachelor of Business Administration. When he was named deputy chief in 2001, Berardi knew he should prepare for the next steps up the ladder. “I had a sense of responsibility to prepare myself, should the opportunity arise to become chief,” Berardi says. “It’s a huge role,

and I wanted to be confident in my decision and leadership.” Berardi enrolled in the M.P.A. program to hone his skills and learn how to steer an organization. “It was a perfect match because my career was public administration,” Berardi explained. “Studying it formally primed me to take the leap to chief.” Berardi says the program resonated with him on an even deeper level, as he moved into leadership roles and away from the front line of providing care. Today, he focuses on developing policies, budgets and strategic plans to help the fire department run efficiently. One particular project Berardi managed is the acquisition of a private ambulance company. This merger allows the fire department to provide comprehensive, integrated services to the community, and according to Berardi, serving others is what it’s all about. “Simply, it’s just really rewarding to help people, and to do so in a responsible manner in partnership with the rest of city government,” he says. “It’s why I’m proud to work in public safety.”



Yuliana Onopriyenko pictured with her former supervisor, Matt Klauser, interned at BKD before landing a full-time job as staff accountant at Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture in Washington, D.C. 14

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Next Generation


Bloch interns take Kansas City by storm, gaining hands-on learning experiences for future professional careers By Stacy Downs

tudent internships have long set the best graduates apart from the rest, and partnerships are the secret ingredient to successful internships at the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Strategic relationships with area business leaders connect Bloch students with high-level experiences in accounting, finance, marketing, nonprofits, real estate and other industries. Organizations have high confidence in interns from Bloch. That means these students participate in critical projects that make a real contribution to the success of these organizations. Many times the short-term arrangement leads to permanent employment after graduation. Take a peek behind the scenes at four Bloch student experiences teaming up with BKD, EFL Associates, Infegy and Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners.

Specialized Experience In the center of downtown Kansas City, Yuliana Onopriyenko (B.S.A. ’15) interned at BKD, a public accounting firm with about 2,250 employees in 34 offices nationwide. As a junior member on the mergers and acquisitions team, Onopriyenko analyzed companies and their cash flow, advising clients who were interested in selling or buying a business. “The team only has about 25 employees, 12 of whom are in Kansas City, so it’s a very small part of a large public accounting firm,” says Matt Klauser, Onopriyenko’s supervisor and BKD senior managing consultant. “It’s highly specialized, and outside of the usual tax and audit duties associated with public accounting.” It was crucial that Onopriyenko could operate at the high level that BKD’s clients expect. “The clientele is smart and sophisticated with deep business/finance backgrounds, but they aren’t certified public accountants,” Klauser says. Combining what she learned in the classroom with previous internship experience, Onopriyenko succeeded. “She handled herself

extremely well and responsibly, and consistently asked for more projects,” Klauser says. “That’s what I look for in a student coming out of school.” The experience exceeded Onopriyenko’s expectations as well. “It was a lot more hands-on compared to other internships because it involved a lot of field work; it often meant traveling to Houston,” she says. “You hear about business-school interns having to clean the kitchen, so this was definitely quite a breath of fresh air.” A former BKD intern himself, this was Klauser’s first experience working with a Bloch student, and he intends to keep working with the school’s internship programs. “With an internship, you’re immediately forced to step out of the classroom and provide value to your client,” Klauser says. For Onopriyenko, the internship helped her meet contacts and refine her professionalism. Ultimately, the experience at BKD was impressive enough for her to land an accounting job at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C.




Martin Williams Jr. currently interns with the research team at EFL Associates.

Higher Level Martin Williams Jr. (B.B.A. ’15) currently spends 35 hours a week interning at EFL Associates, a division of CBIZ in Kansas City. EFL Associates is a 40-year-old retained executive search firm specializing in construction and engineering, professional services, higher education, life sciences, nonprofits and energy. The firm employs more than 4,000 people in more than 100 offices nationwide. Williams’ position, which he found through the Bloch Career Network, requires him to conduct national primary and namegeneration research to identify candidates for executive-level positions. His research proposes job prospects for roles such as CEO, CFO and COO. Williams was drawn to this internship because it was so different from what he had already studied, therefore diversifying and expanding his resume. “It’s been fascinating,” Williams says. “I’ve learned finance in the classroom, but this has taught me firsthand about business, specifically human resources.” According to his supervisor, Leslie Shaw, Williams proved he was the right person for the job. “We are a high pressure business that operates under intense deadlines mandated by clients, so it can be pretty stressful,” says Shaw, associate vice president and talent acquisition lead for EFL


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Associates. In this fast-paced environment, Shaw views Williams as “one of the most focused and brightest interns we have ever had.” Williams has been integral to the organization’s recent hiring successes, a few of which include a chief technology officer at a transportation logistics company; chief financial officer for a multibillion dollar construction company; the president of a university; and chief executive officer and president for a Philanthropy 400 global nonprofit. Williams believes this on-the-job experience has given him applicable knowledge for future career endeavors. “This internship has given me a higher level of experience in regards to teamwork and working on real-life projects,” he says. As for Shaw, she believes the sky is the limit for Williams. “Martin has a high level of emotional intelligence,” she says. “There is nothing he can’t do.”

Building a Career

Finding the right internship led to a career for Tiffany Tran (B.B.A. ’14). Tran attended the Regnier Career Accelerator, a networking event for students interested in job opportunities at innovationcentric organizations. At the event, she met with Infegy, a small B2B technology firm located north of the river. Following their initial



Tiffany Tran now works full-time at Infegy after completing a successful internship with the company.



Chris King interns with Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners while completing his master’s degree.


BLOCH  Fall 2015


conversation, she was asked to come in for a tour of the office. “I walked in and it was a surprise interview,” Tran laughs. “There was a long table with eight people waiting for me.” Tran was excited about the opportunity with Infegy because of the focus on market research. “When I first came in, Infegy was in the midst of transitioning over to a new product,” Tran says. “I was able to freely apply myself to conduct research internally and externally to gauge the cohesiveness of the company as a whole. It’s a golden feeling to offer something of value.” Rion Martin (MBA ’13), who worked directly with Tran on several projects, sees the importance of internships not only for students but for companies, too. “For us, it’s a great way to give back,” says Martin, Infegy marketing director. “We immerse interns in actual company projects, providing them a lot of autonomy to contribute so that they get a feel for the position and walk away knowing their work had real impact. By offering such experiential learning, Bloch is building and fostering a high-quality future workforce.” Tran appreciates the culture at Infegy: flexible vacations, full health benefits, inclusive fitness plans and year-round company fun. In May, Infegy’s employees and their significant others were treated to a seven-day Caribbean cruise because 2014 was a record year. After completing her initial internship, Tran was asked to extend her time with Infegy, which ultimately led to a full-time position with the firm. She credits the network she built at Bloch with helping her lay her career path. “I am thankful for Bloch and its connections in the community,” Tran says. “Without these internship opportunities, I wouldn’t have been able to get where I am today.”

A Seat at the Table Chris King, a current M.E.R.E. student, interns with Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners, where he learns from some of the biggest names in Kansas City real estate. Kansas City Sustainable Development Partners engages in the renovation and development of commercial buildings in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Founded in 2011, the organization is

comprised of experienced real estate professionals with strong ties to the community. They include David Brain, co-founder and former CEO of EPR Properties, a specialty real estate investment fund that builds and leases entertainment, recreation and education properties; Bob Berkebile, a “starchitect” in the sustainability arena and founding partner of BNIM; Butch Rigby, owner of Screenland Theatres and Film Row Company; Lou Steele, an international business and real estate consultant; and attorney E.F. “Chip” Walsh. “It’s an impressive group with a high level of expertise,” King says. “I’m learning about the industry as a whole, from construction and financing to leasing.” Working closely with seasoned professionals, King learns a lot from day-to-day discussions. “It’s interesting to listen in on conversations and see how they work through their thought processes to solve problems,” says King. In his role, King focuses on redevelopment of facilities purchased by the group. He researches and assists on various areas of the project, and his findings provide important information to help the projects move forward. The specialized projects King works on give him an inside glimpse of how the industry works. “Real-estate development is a complex industry with a lot of variables in the air. I have a much better idea of what it takes to be successful in this business,” King says. King plans to use his newfound insight to pursue a career in real estate development. “With this experience and the knowledge and tools I gained along the way, I have more confidence in taking the next step in my career.”

Experiential learning is a common theme at the Bloch School. By engaging in hands-on opportunities, students extend their successes outside of the classroom and apply them to real-life situations. Bloch students are eager to learn, develop and become a part of the fabric of the Kansas City business community. Whether a student seeks experience in accounting, finance, marketing, management, public affairs or real estate, the Bloch School’s strong partnerships connect ambitious students with thriving organizations — allowing them both to grow together.



BUSINESS TRENDS How Bloch prepares businesses and graduates for the future

By Suzanne Raney and Kristy Hill-Wegner


BLOCH ď Ž Fall 2015

Economies, societies and communities all exist in a state of constant evolution. Organizations must recognize and adapt to change in order to be successful. That explains the intense focus at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management on identifying and teaching emerging trends in management. Staying current is considered a key component of the school’s mission: be the preeminent school in transforming talent and achieving sustainable growth in for-profit, public and nonprofit enterprises. “Our job as educators is to always look ahead and identify cutting edge techniques and developments in our industries. Our faculty do a phenomenal job of turning those developments into lectures, trainings and even classes,” says Bloch School Dean David Donnelly. “We want Kansas City to count on the Bloch School for all their business and management solutions.” Those who benefit from the Bloch School focus on emerging trends ranging from full-time undergraduates, to fledgling entrepreneurs, to rising executives in Kansas City’s top companies. Bloch Executive Education, for example, focuses on providing customized solutions for area industries. Offerings range from one-day workshops, to talent development and even months-long specialized training for top leaders in the organization. “It’s the service part of our mission,” says Kimberly Young, executive director of Bloch Executive Education. “We want to see Kansas City companies continue to grow, thrive and be successful. Our part of that is equipping leaders with business acumen and leadership skills that will prepare them to be some of the best in the country and in the world.” While new ideas emerge daily, Bloch faculty and administration have identified three current trends generating strong demand for understanding and interpretation. Leveraging massive banks of data to guide business and consumer decisions is one area in high demand. The connection between the business world and nonprofit world narrows every day, and social entrepreneurship has emerged to fill that gap and serve as a bridge between the two worlds. Leadership development and retention has never been a bigger issue as the baby boomer generation retires and there are significantly fewer leaders ready to fill those positons. In the new, leaner management model, development and retention processes must be redefined.


Technology has brought us an absolute explosion of information about customers and products. Harnessing the potential power of that information, efficiently and strategically, is a hurdle many leaders struggle to overcome. For a long time companies have collected information about what a customer buys at the register, the price, the quantity, etc. But that “structured data,” which is more straightforward, is dwarfed by the amount of “unstructured data” flooding companies. Now an organization could potentially link a customer’s buying history to unstructured data about the customer’s personal life, such as if the person has kids, is going through a divorce or loves country music. That’s “Big Data,” and it’s coming from social media, combined with the proliferation of information-gathering devices, ranging from smartphones to exercise-tracking fitness monitors. In addition, cloud-based storage and increasingly inexpensive of senior executives say computing make crunching management decisions immense amounts of data achievable. are based on hard analytic The next piece of the big data information puzzle centers on the right talent. Employers need leaders who can - sift through data, organize it, analyze it and utilize it to guide company decisions. It’s required to keep up with competitors. “It’s such an explosion, companies are recognizing that they don’t have the right skill sets,” says C. Anton Ames (EMBA ’10), an instructor in the Bloch School’s executive MBA program. “This is a tough person to find, but businesses need them. The data is here, and it isn’t going away.” The Bloch School responded by retooling business statistics classes to increase focus on data analytics, preparing students to see the strategic picture drawn by data. In the EMBA program, the new data analytics class is being cotaught by a statistics professor, who can explain the numbers, and an IT professor who can teach students what to do with them. Brent Never, assistant professor of nonprofit leadership at the


“We want to see Kansas City companies continue to grow, thrive and be successful.” – Kimberly Young, executive director of Bloch Executive Education


“Our job as educators is to always look ahead and identify cutting edge techniques and developments in our industries.” – David Donnelly, dean Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Bloch School, co-taught a new data analytics course with Ames last year. Never says more and more companies are asking for graduates who can use the growing mountain of data to guide strategic decisions. “We’re not creating technicians,” Never says. “We’re creating leaders who are not afraid of numbers.” The payoffs of implementing big data solutions help companies in four ways, according to a Dell survey of mid-sized companies: • 50 percent reported increased quality and speed in decision making • 49 percent saw product quality improvement • 46 percent understood customer needs better • 47 percent were able to identify and take advantage of business opportunities Leah Gentry, a digital marketing consultant who is also halfway through her EMBA, says the Bloch School data analytics class is critical for executives because it teaches them what is possible. “Until you open that window of what’s in that world, most people have no idea of what’s possible,” Gentry says. “Big data is so powerful, but so complex.” Gentry, who until January was director of digital at Sprint Corp., adds that the class also teaches of U.S. social enterprises future and current executives to be cautious with data analysis. were created in 2006 She points out that the biggest or later difficulty is asking the right questions involving the whole - data set. Otherwise even the best analysis will lead to the wrong answer.



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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP The concept of social entrepreneurship isn’t new, but increasingly people are eager to make a difference on their own, or at least shop from businesses they believe are making a difference, says Cynthia Laufer, Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge project manager and adjunct instructor. Social entrepreneurship generates creative solutions for social problems, from global reform to grassroots initiatives. The public and nonprofit world have long focused their efforts on social causes, but businesses increasingly see that there is a benefit to assist in tackling such issues. On the cutting edge of this movement are social entrepreneurs who tackle community needs with an entrepreneurial mindset. They operate within for-profit or nonprofit organizations, or a hybrid of the two. “People think we should all help each other out, and businesses that are doing that are capturing attention,” Laufer says. Each year, the Bloch School holds the Levitt Challenge to encourage students to think about how to tackle pressing social obstacles. As part of the challenge, students participate in non-credit workshops throughout the year to fine-tune their ideas and develop a business plan they can present in May. Successful teams are awarded “change-maker status,” and earn office space, access to workshops or training and other support from the Bloch School’s Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership. The last four Levitt Challenge participants named change makers were nonprofit start-ups. For example, Natasha Kirsch formed Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC). Her nonprofit will train low-income moms to work as dog groomers, a profession with a potential income of $40,000 to $50,000. Kirsch, who earned her Executive Master of Public Administration at the Bloch School in 2012, says the Levitt


NATASHA KIRSCH Levitt Change Maker Pushes Forward Challenge sharpened the tools she needed to make her business plan viable. Kirsch expects to begin operations for EPEC in the fall. Social entrepreneurship can start in a for-profit company like Tom’s Shoes, which donates one pair for every pair it sells. Increasingly companies are looking for creative ways to do good that supports their business lines and could help their bottom lines. Social entrepreneurship researcher Fredrik O. Andersson (Ph.D. ’03), assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, says the trend of corporations helping advance social issues isn’t new, but it was accentuated by the recent recession. According to Andersson, social entrepreneurship flourished at the beginning of the century, but research on the topic is still too young to explain the reasons behind the phenomenon. In Kansas City, a group of parishioners at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church formed the Red Door Center about three years ago to be a quasi-incubator for social entrepreneurs. The group serves as a resource for students who complete the Levitt Challenge. The Red Door Center focuses on using the expertise of its

“Until you open that window of what’s in that world, most people have no idea of what’s possible.” – Leah Gentry, EMBA student members, many of them retired professionals, to help new social entrepreneurs succeed. Kirsch used the incubator to help advance her idea. According to Steve Rock, one of the group’s leaders, the group helped her make connections and form partnerships but also acted as a sounding board while she developed her plan. Rock says he couldn’t think of a better way to help spread the church’s mission than to assist smart entrepreneurs wanting to tackle social problems. “We will welcome you, we will protect you and when you leave, you will not owe us anything,” Rock says.

LEADERSHIP PREPARATION AND RETENTION According to Gallup Polls, engagement, talent and 10+ years’ experience on the job are the trifecta that creates high-performing employees. As the recession fades and millennials replace babyboomers, companies find leadership retention a hard equation to solve.

By Suzanne Raney

Natasha Kirsch

Natasha Kirsch (E.M.P.A. ’12) came to the Bloch School for her Executive M.P.A. because she had an idea for a nonprofit but didn’t know how to make it happen. When she heard about the Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, she saw a perfect opportunity. “I got to the point where I needed to make this real and the challenge gave me the steps I needed to make it happen,” says Kirsch, who has been working since 2012 to make her vision a reality. Kirsch created a business plan, secured almost $200,000 in funding and is renovating space to house Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC). The nonprofit will train impoverished moms to groom dogs. Kirsch says the dog grooming profession represents one with high demand, and many grooming operations can’t find enough employees. So there is demand, and the profession has potential to offer a living wage, Kirsch says. In fact, dog groomers can make between $40,000 and $50,000 a year. “Our vision is really the kids, but to get to the kids,

you have to go through the parents,” says Kirsch, who came up with the idea for EPEC when she was working for a nonprofit that helped addicts and alcoholics. Back then, many of her clients couldn’t find work, and the few who did were paid next to nothing and “treated worse than animals.” As she struggled with how to help them, her mom, who was in the dog grooming business, complained that she couldn’t find employees. Kirsch’s idea was born. Beyond the help she got from the school and through the Levitt Challenge, Kirsch has found tremendous support from the Red Door Center, a volunteer resource for social entrepreneurs sponsored by St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City. Through connections Kirsch made through the Red Door Center, she found training space with the city at Spay & Neuter Kansas City and secured a $100,000 investment from the city for renovations. She’s almost finished raising the remaining $100,000 needed to finish the space and hopes a Kickstarter campaign will help her reach her goal, which is only $15,000 away. Kirsch says she also is partnering with the Full Employment Council, which has agreed to help fund tuition for students who attend EPEC’s training program. And she’s looking toward nonprofits that help low-income women like Operation Breakthrough, Rose Brooks Center and Sheffield Place to refer students to the program.


About a year ago, Sandra Kruse-Smith, executive coach for Bloch Executive MBA and Executive Education, surveyed several senior executives to better understand the skills they needed from their leaders. Many companies had cut employees to trim costs, but that left them with fewer people qualified to take the leadership reins, Kruse-Smith says. Also by streamlining reporting structures, companies eliminated management positions, so natural lines of progression disappeared. That basic question of what would happen to the company when the current leadership retired became hard to answer. When the economy and hiring picked up, new employees joining corporations were less prepared and less loyal, Kruse-Smith says. The companies’ flattened-out structure was hard for them to navigate as well, meaning when it was time for promotion they looked to other employers. In fact 28 percent of the lost annually due workforce reported looking for jobs in to employee turnover another company despite the highest engagement reported in over eight - Bloomberg BNA years, according to Modern Survey’s fall 2014 workforce study. The study also reported the two top drivers of engagement: belief in senior leaders and growth and development opportunities in the organization. Career development is especially important to millennial workers, says an Ed Assist 2015 survey that delves into millennials’ work habits and choices. Bloch Executive Education grasped the opportunity to create customized training strategies to develop managers for leadership roles. Each year, the Bloch School’s Executive Education Center works with more than 250 leaders from across the region. Businesses use customized training or tuition reimbursement for professional training like the Bloch Executive MBA as a way to develop and retain high performing leaders who have many options for where they choose to work. The center trains leaders through seminars and custom education programs in leadership, strategy and financial acumen. These programs last days, weeks or months, depending on the client. Recent clients include Cerner Corp., Commerce Bank and St. Luke’s Health System. And content is tailored to each client’s industry and needs. Kruse-Smith says the training is one way a company can send a signal to employees that the company believes in them, even if



specific promotion steps are not in place. “If you can’t promote them, how do you help them evolve?” Kruse-Smith says. “A lot of it is setting expectations for their people and finding ways to help them engage.” Several companies have agreed with Kruse-Smith’s assessment and invested in leadership and business acumen development for employees. Mike Allison, a senior director within Cerner’s Associate Learning organization, partnered with UMKC five years ago to help oversee development of the Cerner Certificate in Health Care Leadership Program. Since then, Cerner has worked alongside UMKC to run the multi-month program. It is designed to give high-potential Cerner leaders, as well as some client leaders, a solid understanding of the health care landscape. “We wanted to expand the health care acumen of many of our leaders, which allows them to have broader conversations around where health care is going,” Allison says. “The program helps prepare leaders to serve as partners who can address a myriad of health care challenges facing current and future clients.”

<<< >>> Developing the next generation of leaders for management positions is the heart of the Bloch School’s mission. Its extensive connections with the Kansas City business, government and nonprofit communities help the school deliver a relevant, cuttingedge education. “We know our students and the business community count on us to lead the way in management leadership. We are relentless in our pursuit of the newest trends in all the fields our school represents,” Donnelly says. “Every day our faculty apply that knowledge for the benefit of our students and partners.” One way the Bloch School stays connected with the larger world, Donnelly points out, is the more than 140 business leaders who serve advisory roles for different departments. “With so many willing to share their perspective from their industries, it’s a valuable flow of information. It helps us identify how to make our teaching more relevant,” Donnelly says. Today big data, social entrepreneurship and leadership retention drive conversations on new approaches to business. There are countless factors that could unite to form a new imperative in the coming months, and Bloch will be ready to respond. “We understand change is a constant force for today’s leaders,” Young says. “Our close relationships with clients and the entire Kansas City infrastructure positon Bloch to be ready to help others understand and implement new needs as they emerge on the horizon.”


>> Work Rules!, Laszlo Bock

>> — for technology and IT positions

>> 100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold Call and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job!, Laura M. Labovich and Miriam Salpeter

>> — for general business positions in finance, accounting or marketing

>> The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster, Steve Dalton

>> — for nonprofit positions >> — aggregator site linking directly to employer websites >> — for federal government positions


BLOCH  Fall 2015

BOOST YOUR CAREER It’s easy as 1, 2, 3...


s new business trends spring up, so does the need for skilled employees in these areas. In the digital age, the results of a job query are more expansive than ever before. With websites like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and Monster, a simple key word search for “marketing” or “finance” delivers thousands of results for positions across the country. The search process for job applicants is now simpler — leading to an expanded pool for employers to sift through. Tess Surprenant, Bloch School director of Career Services, highlights the three steps that will lead you to your next job.

1 Focus on Innovation

According to Surprenant, organizations focused on tech-based ways to do business are multiplying rapidly. Startups help larger organizations by creating ways to do standard business practices, like online retail or money processing, quicker and easier. “Some applicants are apprehensive to work at these smaller startups because of the risk involved,” Surprenant says. “There’s no guarantee that the company will be around for five, 10 or 20 years.” Yet, Surprenant says the risk can be met with high reward. “Even if the company is acquired or eventually goes out of business, its employees gain valuable skills that prepare them for the next wave of technology iteration.” Traditional, longstanding companies have begun placing a heightened emphasis on innovation as well. “Established organizations aren’t exempt from adapting,” Surprenant explains. “They know they have to keep up with current trends, or they’ll be left behind.” Kansas City giants Hallmark and Sprint are two examples of successful businesses who have adjusted to the changing demands; today they hire for positions such as

mobile app developer and big data developer. “You can’t view yourself as a traditionalist,” Surprenant says. “Even more traditional jobs require innovation.”

2 Showcase Your Skills

The focus on innovation segues into an important skill to display in job applications. “Even if you don’t want to start your own business, an entrepreneurial mindset is key,” Surprenant says. According to Surprenant, job searchers should understand entrepreneurship versus intrapreneurship. “Always be looking forward in a company,” she says. “That’s what intrapreneurship is. Coming up with new ideas or offerings within an existing organization. You can have this attitude without being the company founder.” Surprenant also pegs communication and leadership experience as skills that set an applicant apart from the pack. “It’s nothing new under the sun,” she says. “Regardless of the industry, these are two critical things that all employers look for.” Often, the two go hand in hand. “The qualities of a good communicator are often very similar to those of a strong leader” Surprenant explains. “Both have the ability to articulate new ideas and get people on board.”

desired industry. “If you don’t have someone to refer you, get whatever insider knowledge you can. This awareness gives a sense of confidence that shows in a cover letter or resume.” When completing an online application, it is crucial to tailor a resume or cover letter to the specific position, as opposed to supplying a generic version. Companies often rely on software to pull out specific words or phrases that showcase the skills they’re looking for. This technique narrows down the applicant pool, with the majority of resumes not being reviewed. Surprenant advises job hopefuls to research the company’s website thoroughly. “When words or phrases are used repeatedly, it’s a sign that these are important to the organization,” she says. “Integrate this information into your resume. You’ll greatly increase your chances for an interview.”

3 Stand Out from the Pack

For a candidate to be distinct within a sea of resumes, Surprenant credits one action as key. “Networking, networking, networking,” she says. “Connections within the organization are vital when you’re looking to get your foot in the door.” Surprenant also recommends informational interviews if you’re lacking a current contact in your

Tess Surprenant, director of Career Services, has more than 10 years of professional career services experience. She’s served as a director of career development, assistant director of employer relations and marketing, and instructor in career skills, business communications and leadership development.


Around the BLOCH

Nathan Mauck: An Eye for Investments By Hallie Spencer

In addition to shaping the minds of their students, Bloch professors conduct and publish industry-specific research. In 2015, Nathan Mauck received the Chancellor’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award. Over the last two years, he published six articles, five appearing in top finance journals regarding his research into sovereign wealth funds.


ot many people can say they made their first stock pick at age eight. Nathan Mauck, assistant professor of finance at the Bloch School, can. “My grandpa was an investor and a farmer and he made a deal with me that he’d buy me 50 shares of a stock, I just had to pick it out,” Mauck says. “I was hooked. He had me read the Wall Street Journal and often joked that I could read the stock ticker before I could read a book.” Mauck, who originally wanted to be a banker, was a one-major man, committing to finance at Kansas State University and then earning his Ph.D. at Florida State University in 2011. He became interested in international finance after working with FSU Professors April Knill and the late Bong-Soo Lee, with whom he co-authored papers about sovereign wealth funds. REAL-LIFE SCENARIOS Hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds are similar in that each is a pool of money invested using a variety of techniques, focused on an array of assets. The primary difference is that hedge funds are privately owned, whereas a governmental body owns sovereign wealth funds. “What got us interested is that sovereign wealth funds started taking more interest in U.S. companies, including U.S. banks and real estate, during the recent housing crisis,” Mauck says. “Right now, they’re really involved in the European market.” One of the papers he worked on was published in the Journal of Corporate Finance and shed light on how political relations between two countries affect the likelihood of investments. “One would assume that a country would be more apt to invest in another country it gets along with, but the opposite is true with


BLOCH  Fall 2015

sovereign wealth funds,” Mauck says. “That was a surprise. Without data directly explaining why, we can only guess. Two current theories: A country may invest in order to appear more charitable and improve political relations, or they might use finance as an alternative to conflict and try to control enough of a stake in key assets that they can influence the other country’s actions. But these both represent the extreme possibilities.” He says the investment events of 2006 sparked his initial interest in sovereign wealth funds. At the time, Dubai Ports World, a publically owned multinational company based in the Emirates, acquired six major U.S. seaports, including Miami and Newark. “There was a real uproar because U.S. seaports were going to be foreign-owned,” Mauck says. “There was a fair amount of political backlash. The year 2006 wasn’t that far removed from the fallout of 9/11 and one thing we knew from homeland security was that ports were not well-secured.” The issue didn’t divide squarely down party lines. Some looked at security and said the U.S. couldn’t allow foreign ownership of U.S. ports, and others didn’t want to block deals arbitrarily or develop a spiteful trade posture. Ultimately, Dubai Ports liquidated the ports to a U.S. firm. “It was interesting that two groups agreed to a deal but then couldn’t get it done because of cross-border political relations,” Mauck says. “The irony was that the ports were foreign-owned to begin with — they were British-owned. So to me the issue wasn’t that they were foreign-owned but the matter of which country was involved that seemed to raise some eyebrows. When the companies doing the deals are directly owned by a government, like Dubai Ports was, it really muddies the waters.” While this is only one example, Mauck has found that the differences far outweigh the similarities between private and government acquisitions. Compared to private investors, governments have a limited amount of opportunities for investment. In fact, governments are more likely to invest in fewer target nations and industries, settle for smaller stakes, and invest in countries with lower quality legal institutions and in nations with less positive political relations. His research shows that countries with positive relations tend to have a 50 percent higher deal failure rate. “Part of reason I picked it was because I thought it would increase in importance,” he says. “Others jumped at the idea as interest picked up. Cross-border mergers and acquisitions are now a pretty common topic, and it wasn’t 10 years ago. International investments are different, and most of the differences haven’t been documented in research. Others are now asking the same questions that we’ve been asking.”


“My grandpa was an investor and a farmer and he made a deal with me that he’d buy me 50 shares of a stock, I just had to pick it out. I was hooked.”

Nathan Mauck, assistant professor of finance at the Bloch School, specializes his research in sovereign wealth funds.


Around the BLOCH

Bloch Students are


John Brooks Jr.

JoAnna Muenks

Business Administration, 2016

Accounting and Business Administration, 2017 Trustee’s Scholar

Where is UMKC taking you? UMKC is taking me to new beginnings. Everything I wanted to do in college, I did in the first semester at UMKC (after transferring from MU): acting, campus ambassador tours, leadership positions. I love giving tours; the best part is seeing younger students smile. They also have the best questions.

What led you to UMKC? I started as a pre-med student majoring in biology because I love health and fitness. But I’ve already changed majors. In biology, I missed the creativity of business and people. Now I am a dual major in business administration and accounting. I feel like I belong at the Bloch School.

How has college inspired you? It’s inspired me to be the best person that I can be. It’s challenged me to prepare for the real world.

Where is UMKC taking you? UMKC is providing the real business world experience and Kansas City connections that will take me where I want to go. I want to get a master’s degree in public relations, then work in creative marketing or have my own CPA firm. As an urban university, UMKC has a huge advantage.

What are your lifelong goals? I have options. I think I’d like to own my own production company. My friends are filmmakers. I could use my business and acting skills in a production company. It would be cool to get my M.F.A. on the West Coast, but I’d want to do it smart, not just go out to L.A. on a trip and stay.

What the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor? The best advice I have ever received from a professor is to continually go out and meet people. Tell everyone your goals and dreams, and you never know who could be willing to help you accomplish them.



BLOCH  Fall 2015

At UMKC, the students are our story. Over the past year Bloch School students shared their experiences, their plans and why they picked UMKC. The #UMKCGoingPlaces campaign gives students the power to tell their story in their own words. These impressive stories remind everyone why education is vital.

Jake Newstrom

Samyra Wade

Honors Business Administration, Innovation Management, 2015

Business Administration, 2017

Where is UMKC taking you? I hope to get a fellowship — I’m applying for a Fulbright. I’d like to work as an international social entrepreneur developing new programs for nonprofits and helping them innovate. I’m particularly interested in diplomatic work, utilizing one of the languages I speak. (He speaks English, French and Spanish, and is learning Chinese).

Where is UMKC taking you? I want to own a successful business. UMKC has all the knowledge I need to start a business successfully. They have great connections. A great network can take you far in what you want to do.

Since entering UMKC, what have you learned about yourself? I really did not know what I wanted to do before I started at UMKC. Over the years, I found my passion for international nonprofit work through my contact with international students and my involvement in organizations both on and off campus. What motto do you live by? Be prepared but don’t plan too far ahead. I’m an Eagle Scout, so of course I live by their motto of “Be prepared,” but I also had a professor once tell me that I shouldn’t plan too far ahead because you never know how much life might change the direction of my path.

Why business? I started as a pre-health major because I wanted to be a veterinarian, but it’s too much right now. I’d like to own my own clothing line (on the side) and be a pharmaceutical rep. How has college inspired you? Mentally it has prepared me for the real world and has inspired me to believe more in myself and what I can become. What motto do you live by? Work hard now. Have fun later. I do like to have fun now, but if I’m doing a paper I know I need to do it now and then have fun afterward. It will pay off later.

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Around the BLOCH

CLASS NOTES Several Bloch alumni were named to the 2015 Kansas City Business Journal Power 100: Terrence Dunn (MBA ’73) Esther George (EMBA ’00) Nathaniel Hagedorn (B.B.A.’02, MBA ’04) Patrick McCown (MBA ’83) Robert Regnier (MBA ’78) Richard Wetzel (MBA ’01) Kay Barnes (M.A. ’71, M.P.A. ’78), was inducted into the inaugural class of the UMKC Starr Women’s Hall of Fame. Laura Boswell (B.B.A. ’08, MBA ’13), Jordan Brunk (EMBA ’13) and Ben Pepper (M.E.R.E. ’14) were named to Ingram’s list of 20 in their Twenties. Jason Carter-Solomon (M.E.R.E. ’13), was appointed to vice president and relationship manager at Enterprise Bank and Trust. James Eldridge (M.P.A. ’84), city administrator and city clerk for the City of Kearney, received the 2015 Jay T. Bell Professional Management Award from the Missouri City/County Management Association. Lisa Freidel (EMBA ’01), was named chief operating officer of Weather Metrics Inc.

Steven Norris (M.P.A. ’99) was named president of the UMKC Foundation. Scott Sollars (M.S.A. ’10), senior portfolio manager and vice president at U.S. Bank, was named one of the 2015 Rising Stars of Kansas City.

Julie Welch (M.S.A. ’87), CPA, is the recipient of the American Institute of CPAs 2015 Sidney Kess Award for Excellence in Continuing Education. Welch was presented the award at the AICPA Conference on Tax Strategies in Las Vegas.

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association hosts a luncheon to acknowledge the university’s remarkable alumni. In 2015, three Bloch graduates were recognized.

Eugene Agee (MBA ’98) Defying the Odds Award

Carla Wilson (B.S.A. ’88) was named to Diverse Education’s Top 25 Women in Higher Education. Wilson currently serves as the UMKC director of athletics. Susan Wilson (EMBA ’05), UMKC vice chancellor of the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, was named to the 2015 list of Influential Women in Kansas City Business. Hallee Winnie (M.P.A. ’09) was named executive director of the Pi Beta Phi Foundation.

Douglas McClain (EMBA ’11) was announced as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Newport Beach & Company.

Aubrey Churchman Jr. (B.B.A. ’62) Bruce Davis (MBA ’75) W. Wesley Emerson (B.B.A. ’66) Steve Hyatt (B.B.A. ’75) Ivan Kramer (MBA ’68) Steve Metzler (MBA ’76) Stephen Miller (B.B.A. ’78, MBA ’84) Linus Orth (M.P.A. ’66) Teng-Kee Tan, former Dean

BLOCH  Fall 2015

2015 UMKC Alumni Achievement Award Recipients

Kerrie Tyndall (M.P.A. ’96), was named director of economic development for the City of Kansas City, Mo. Tyndall will run the Office of Economic Development.

Clifford Jarvis (EMBA ’13) was appointed to executive director of plants and facilities at Columbia College. Jarvis will oversee all custodial, maintenance, campus safety and operational functions.

Pat Murfey (EMBA ’98), vice president of Evergreen Real Estate Services, was selected as president of the Kansas City chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members.


Chiluba Musonda (B.B.A. ’09, M.P.A. ’12) published his memoir Home Away From Home about his time as an international student.

Annie Presley (M.P.A. ’95) Bill French Alumni Service Award


Karen Daniel (M.S. ’81) Henry W. Bloch School of Management Alumni Achievement Award



Opportunity Knocks WALLY NELL


Rebecca Warren (B.B.A. ’07, MBA ’09), rode her Bloch education all the way to San Diego. Warren’s career path veered from finance to information technology, and she’s enjoyed the journey. She credits her previous experiences and her Bloch School education for showing her the importance of being open to new career directions. “I thought I would end up in global finance because that’s what I studied at UMKC,” Warren says. “But once I started, I found other areas interesting, and I’ve been able to take several pivots in my Cerner career.” Warren’s path to Cerner began in 2002 when she decided to pursue her undergraduate degree at UMKC. As an undergrad, Warren didn’t take the normal path; she worked full time as an accounting manager while attending school at night. Used to juggling school and work, she decided to jump right into obtaining her MBA with an emphasis in international business and finance.

Opting to study abroad in London and China, Warren left her accounting job. A few months before she left the country, opportunity knocked in the form of oncampus interviews with Cerner. Warren received an offer to join Cerner’s Velocity consultant program after completing her studies, giving her a start date of July 2008. “I’m a big fan of the program because it really hones in on what a person’s strengths are and gives great insight on where the person should be placed,” Warren says. “Later as a hiring manager myself, I almost always hired people from that program — occasionally finding that they were UMKC or Bloch graduates.” After spending five years working in the Kansas City offices, Warren indicated her desire to relocate. When the company created a strategic partnership with a health system in San Diego to oversee the IT department and focus on the population health programs, it was a natural fit for Warren. “I already had friends in the area and

an interest in population health, so it was a great move for me,” Warren says. As part of the training for her new role, Warren returned to UMKC’s Bloch School to complete the Cerner Executive Education Certificate in Healthcare Leadership. She traveled back to Kansas City once a month to attend classes for the program during the first year in San Diego. Despite her distance from Kansas City, Warren maintains her connection to her alma mater. She serves as a member of the Bloch Alumni Association Board, which helps her stay abreast of new programs and meet current students. “I always tell current Bloch students that they need to keep themselves open to opportunities,” Warren says. “My experiences at Bloch, especially the opportunity study abroad and focus on global market development and entrepreneurship, definitely prepared me for growing my career.” — Liz Murray



Around the BLOCH

During the Free Enterprise Center kickoff Oct. 2, Audrey Condon drops a coin into a “piggy bank” to invest in future entrepreneurs.

Bloch Students to Mentor Local Schools $14.8 million prototyping and learning center to be used by students, community In May 2015, UMKC had a special visit from Gov. Jay Nixon. The purpose of Nixon’s Kansas City stop? The announcement of $7.4 million in state funding to launch the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at UMKC. Bloch School students will be active participants in working with middle school students about entrepreneurship and business aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) applications. UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton says the project is emblematic of “the partnership between Kansas City, and Kansas City’s university, UMKC.” “This facility will support education and economic development across the board. It will help entrepreneurs, inventors and small business be more successful in their ventures,” Morton adds. “And students from middle school to graduate school will be get a first-hand taste of entrepreneurship and become grounded in the discipline of innovation. We’ll be building a better Kansas City and a better Missouri for the long term, one generation after another.” The KC STEM Alliance within the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering is reaching more than 13,000 middle and high school students in the Kansas City region. This center would provide the KC STEM Alliance space to work with high school students on projects that involve robotics, manufacturing, material science


BLOCH  Fall 2015

and engineering design. Bloch Enactus students, who compete in entrepreneurial challenges, will work with these students on the entrepreneurial and business aspects of technology and manufactured products and projects. The facility also will be used as a laboratory, incubator and prototyping center for all students within the School of Computing and Engineering and all entrepreneurship students within the Bloch School of Management — UMKC’s fastest growing academic units. The center will be housed in a new building to be constructed at the site of a vacant structure at 215 Volker Boulevard. The state funds represent the public half of funding for the $14.8 million building, funded under a 50-50 matching program for public-private partnerships to finance capital projects at public colleges and universities in Missouri. Multi-million dollar grants from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation of Lebanon, Mo., and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are providing the private half of the match. JPMorgan Chase & Co. allocated an additional $50,000 grant that will furnish technology such as 3-D printers. “The Free Enterprise Center at UMKC will provide greater opportunities for creativity and collaboration among students, faculty and businesses, and strengthen the Kansas City region’s position as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Nixon says.

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Thinking about furthering your education? The Bloch School has a graduate program to fit every background. And with full- and part-time offerings, you can get your degree on your schedule.

Check out our full listing of graduate programs:  Master of Business Administration (MBA)  Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)  Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)  Executive Master of Public Administration (E.M.P.A.)  Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.)  Master of Science in Finance (M.S.F.)  Master of Entrepreneurial Real Estate (M.E.R.E.)

Ready to enroll? Visit

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

Intensive full-time MBA students participate in Harvesters Lunch Challenge, a team building activity to raise awareness about hunger issues.


UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Fall 2015 Bloch Magazine  

The Henry W. Bloch School of Management and Kansas City work together to create a thriving business community.

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