NOVEMBE R 2019 | TH E N O N PR O F I T I S S U E | FO R M E R LY CO LU M B I A B U S I NE S S T I M E S & COM O LIVING
NIKKI McGRUDER, MOST IMPACTFUL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Page 83 PASTOR JOHN DRAGE LIVES IN THE WAKE Page 47
Uninvited Guests at Thanksgiving? We can’t do anything about Aunt Betty or Uncle Carl, but we CAN keep pests out of your home!
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with special guest, Drew Baldridge.
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THE BLUE NOTE In 2018, The Salvation Army in Boone County
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Have you ever known someone who gets laid off during the winter? Unfortunately, it’s common. We don’t do that, and we never will! We’re having a huge sale this fall to fill up our winter schedule. If you’ll help keep our guys working and allow us to do your project this winter, we’ll discount your project for the inconvenience of a winter installation.
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Call Bill: 573-864-1756 Serving All of Mid-Missouri and Kansas Homeowners | Financing Available Bill Farmer, Regional Manager (Native of Columbia - 32 years) We’re proud to be a homegrown company, built from the ground up, right here in Missouri. I’ve personally been working with Continental Siding for over 17 years and have helped thousands of home owners to receive the improvements needed to love their home again. Right now we’re offering the best off season pricing to make your home improvements a reality. It’s a good time to get a free estimate to see if it makes sense.
Moberly Area Community College student, Joe Machens Drives Education Scholarship Recipient
We’re giving back to our community by investing in continued education. Every month, we award a nominated high school student with a $1,000 scholarship. Deborah Light, a recent graduate from the Faith Walk Academy, was the scholarship’s inaugural recipient. She plans to attend Moberly Area Community College to study business management. Do you know who nominated you? One of my high school teachers, Mrs. Clark, nominated me. She taught a range of subjects because my school had 13 students total when I went there, ranging from pre-K through 12th grade. I found out she nominated me prior to graduation. I thanked her for nominating me and allowing me to be in the running. How did you feel when you found out you’d won? When I got that phone call, I just felt so blessed. I didn’t realize how big it was to me. It was really great because I really needed that scholarship to enroll in college. I wasn’t able to enroll because I had some payments from doing dual credit. The scholarship helped me to get that paid and enroll in the new year. What does continuing your education mean to you and your family? Nowadays, you really need a higher education degree if you want a better paying job or to do something in a higher field. You need a college education. That’s what I needed. This scholarship opened that door for me. What did it feel like to hold that check? When I first found out, it didn’t seem real. We were just on the phone talking. Then, when Machens came and presented the check, it was
“I really appreciate Joe Machens for giving me the award.” really real. I was actually winning the scholarship and taking the photos and everything! It felt like a true blessing. What do you plan to study? I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but my parents and I discussed it. We felt like business management best fit my personality. Usually, when we get in a group or have a church function, I’m the one to take the lead role, get people together, give them direction. Everyone here at Joe Machens Dealerships wishes Deborah a successful first year at Moberly Area Community College.
You can nominate a deserving student just like Deborah!
Visit MachensDrivesEducation.com to apply.
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Letter from the Editor
In the Trenches
n September, I had the opportunity to participate in the Chamber of Commerce’s leadership visit to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, along with 70 other local leaders. As I introduced myself to people whose names and faces I recognized but had never formally met, a common question surfaced: “How long have you been with the magazine?” My answer of three years surprised most everyone. Then came the follow-up question: “What did you do before that?” I was honored to share that I had been on staff for 25 years at one of our local churches, 15 of those years serving as the business administrator. That experience created a soft spot in my heart for all of our local charitable organizations and the work they do for our community, most of it in the trenches. It takes special people with big hearts to lead and serve in organizations that are supported primarily by donations and held together by teams of volunteers. Columbia is a better place not just because of the services these organizations provide, but because of the generosity that is cultivated in the hearts of those who give of their time and resources. For those reasons and more, the COMO magazine team decided to devote an entire issue to the people and organizations that make up our nonprofit sector. Inside, you’ll find the winners and honorable mentions of our 2019 Impact COMO Awards representing more than 15 community organizations (page 83), a spotlight on True North of Columbia (page 118), and a feature highlighting the work of the Job Point board of directors (page 102). You’ll also read the story of a long-time campus pastor living in the wake of a terminal brain cancer diagnosis (page 47). We hope these stories will encourage, educate, and inspire you to be part of the incredible work that is changing the lives of those in our community who need it most.
Why not take advantage of the beautiful change in seasons by making time for these fall activities? Details in our November Datebook (page 124). Fall into Art Explore the studios on the streets of the North Village Arts District or celebrate
“At the end of the day, it’s not about what
tradition and art at an annual festival in the Plaza Event Center at Parkade.
Head to the Theater Treat yourself to a live performance! Choose from MU’s “The Wiz,” Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s “Dialed Out,” or one of the many
you have or even what
concerts at The Blue Note.
Between the King’s Daughters Holiday
It’s about who you’ve
sure to be in the holiday spirit and have all
lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” — Denzel Washington
Shop ’Til You Drop Shopping Event, The District’s Holiday Shop Hop, and Plume’s Holiday Open House, you’re your shopping complete!
ON THE COVER Nikki McGruder, of the Inclusive Impact Institute, is our 2019 Impact COMO award recipient for Most Impactful Executive Director. Read more about her and the other Impact COMO winners on page 83. Photo by Anthony Jinson
N OVE M BE R 201 9 | T H E N ON PROFIT ISSUE | FO R MER LY CO LUMBIA BUSINESS TIMES & CO MO LIVING
NIKKI McGRUDER, MOST IMPACTFUL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Page 83 PASTOR JOHN DRAGE LIVES IN THE WAKE Page 47
BETH BR AMSTEDT EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
President Erica Pefferman
Senior Vice President Fran Patrick Fran@comomag.com
EDITORIAL Publisher Erica Pefferman Erica@comomag.com
Editorial Director Beth Bramstedt Beth@comomag.com
Editor Emma Bentley Emma@comomag.com
Editorial Assistant Tiffany Schmidt Tiffany@comomag.com
DESIGN Lead Graphic Designer Cassidy Shearrer Cassidy@comomag.com
Senior Graphic Designer Jordan Watts Jordan@comomag.com
Graphic Designer Sadie Thibodeaux Sadie@comomag.com
MARKETING REPRESENTATIVES Marketing Consultant Bonnie Hudson Bonnie@comomag.com
Keith Borgmeyer, Anthony Jinson, Antranik Tavitian, Sadie Thibodeaux
Operations Manager Amy Ferrari Amy@comomag.com
To inspire, educate, and entertain the citizens of Columbia with quality, relevant content that reﬂects Columbia’s business environment, lifestyle, and community spirit.
The Business Times Co. 300 St. James St., Suite 103 Columbia, MO 65201 (573-499-1830) • comomag.com @wearecomomag /wearecomomag @wearecomomag
There are far too many stories of unnecessary probate problems, typically due to an unclear estate plan, or even worse, no estate plan at all. This is a recipe for disaster.
Magazines are $5.95 an issue. Subscription rate is $39 for 12 issues for one year or $69 for 24 issues for two years. Subscribe at comomag. com or by phone. COMO is published every month by The Business Times Co., Copyright The Business Times Co., 2008. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any editorial or graphic content without the express written permission of the publisher is prohibited.
Kristin Blake, Therasia Brautigam, Nicole Flood, Marty Glaude, Brandon Hoops, Jessica Vaughn Martin, Kermit Miller, Jordan Milne, Mary Caitlyn Polovich, Jennifer Truesdale
Kelsey Bartlett, Prince Chingarande, Jasmine-Kay Johnson, Quincy Sinek
ON T H EM E
What is your favorite way to volunteer?
Mike Grellner Advisory Board Member
Nicole Morris Advisory Board Member
Nancy Allison Advisory Board Member
Kathy Lou Neale Advisory Board Member
I'm a past board president of Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbia and was honored to serve with a board that is sincerely committed to steering our youth in a positive direction.
I enjoy volunteering through the Donna Crockett Circle of our Columbia King's Daughters organization. We choose to educate and assist a different local charity each month.
The easiest way to volunteer in Columbia is for the Food Bank. Another favorite is to share my creativity with committees in planning fundraisers for nonprofits.
As a member of Northwest Rotary, two of my favorite volunteer opportunities are delivering for Meals on Wheels and ringing bells for the Salvation Army every Christmas.
We make the process as easy and stress free as possible. Call today to begin the conversation. 2412 Forum Blvd, Suite 101 Columbia | 573-874-1122 NathanJonesLaw.com The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
47 LIVING IN THE WAKE
Pastor John Drage relishes each day after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in February.
HOMES The Maplewood House serves as a reminder of the rich history found in Columbia.
51 TO BUILD OR NOT TO BUILD In the fourth of a five-part series, local experts provide insight on building your custom home.
NOVEMBER 2019 | The Nonprofit Issue
ART & CULTURE A Dance for Everyone
PET FRIENDLY Hoot and Holler
NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT True North
66 BRIEFLY IN THE NEWS
69 MOVERS & SHAKERS
LOCAL GOVERNMENT The Elephant in the Room
PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW Aaro Froese
WELLNESS Tapping the Pain Away HOMES A Gorgeous Relic
GOURMET A Connective Energy
CELEBRATIONS CMC Manufacturing Inc.
STYLE Thrift Store Style
BUSINESS UPDATE Socket
Honoring local organizations and individuals who tirelessly give back.
GETTING ON BOARD
Job Point board members, along with Jessica Macy, share how to run nonprofit boards and what qualities make a good board member.
COUPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW Tim and Laura Gerding
130 THIS OR THAT Jessica Macy
121 NOURISHING THE MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT Kate Weir brings wellness professionals and mental health specialists together under one roof.
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The Dance Academy offers an inclusive class for children with disabilities.
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ART & CULTURE
A Dance for Everyone The Dance Academy offers an inclusive class for children with disabilities. BY M ARY CAITLYN P O LOVI CH
he Inclusive dance class was created and designed especially for children with disabilities to feel safe and to participate in a class that promotes their social interaction and development of gross motor, coordination, and balance skills. The class is directed by Olivia Zacharias, a sophomore at Columbia College studying elementary education. Olivia was asked by the original director, Bailey Baucum, to help teach the class in the spring of 2018, the first semester it was offered. “Bailey went to school for occupational therapy and started the program,” Olivia says. “She recruited three dancers that would have the love, passion, and patience to teach the class. Bailey knew I always wanted to be a teacher, and so I was one of the first people to pop into her mind to help out.” The next year Olivia was asked to direct the class when Bailey moved to North Carolina. “I’ve always had a passion for working with children that don’t get the benefit of the doubt or equal opportunities,” Olivia says. “That’s a big part of why I took over; I didn’t want to see this class go away, and I wanted to continue to help kids who don’t have the same opportunities.” The Inclusive class is 30 minutes long, during which each student has the same peer model for the semester to provide a sense of consistency and someone they can bond with. The class always starts and ends in a circle. At the beginning, each student says their name and answers the question of the week. Next they do a few exercises that help them learn balance and coordination. Then, of course, they practice dances! At the end of class, the students circle back up to stretch to the same song every week — consistency is key.
Lydia Vogt has been an Inclusive student since the first semester. Her parents were excited to enroll her in a dance class that would allow her to be with other kids and have fun. In that time Lydia has not only learned to love dance, but she’s also become more social. “In the beginning, Lydia would cry for her mom every week when class started,” Olivia explains. “It was a challenge to get her to do any of the dances. But one day something clicked. She had a huge smile on her face and was excited to learn. She also used to never talk, but now she’s the most talkative one in the class.” The Vogt’s have watched Lydia grow very confident and proud throughout her time at The Dance Academy. “Her smile is a mile wide when we tell her she has dance in the evening,” says Lydia’s mom, Michelle. “We love that she is learning
to follow instructions, and she’s having fun doing it. We want her to continue to grow and become a confident and independent little girl, and this is definitely a great step towards that goal.” Students can join The Dance Academy’s Inclusive class at any point in the semester. Classes are $30 per month or $150 for the semester; however, The Dance Academy partners with Boone County Family Resources, which directly works with families to help pay the cost of tuition for the class, if needed. “The way we teach Inclusive takes a lot of things in perspective, and we have resources in place that help us,” Olivia says. “So, if money is an issue, it really shouldn’t be because Boone County Family Resources supports us and in turn supports our families.”
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Hoot and Holler A nesting pair of barred owls starts their family in the trees above our driveway. BY MARTY GLAUDE
hen we moved into our house in the fall of 2007, we noticed that a pair of owls would come at night and make loud vocalizations in the trees above our driveway. The calls would always begin with the familiar “who,” followed by a succession of cries, screams, and rapid-fi re hooting. Th is clamor helped us to identify the birds as barred owls. The creek-side habitat of our neighborhood happens to be ideal for them. After some research, we found that a nesting pair of these owls will use a tree cavity at nesting time, and might nest in a man-made box if it is the right size and placed in the right spot. So, with the kids’ help, we made a box out of plywood, equipped it with a camera, painted it, and attached it to a tree above our driveway. Over the next few years, the owls came to the box, but never nested in it. Then, on one very cold winter night, we could hear hooting coming from inside the box as well as outside. After connecting the camera to a laptop, we saw that there was indeed an owl in there, sitting in the corner, facing the opening. One night, as we heard the pair vocalizing up in the trees, we checked the camera feed and saw there were three eggs in the corner of the box that looked like chicken eggs. The female would spend most of the time sitting on them, but several times a night she would leave the box in response to the male’s vocalizations, and meet him up in the trees to receive food.
After about a week, this feeding routine changed. Now, when the male would call from the trees, the female would call back from inside the box, and the male would fly to the opening, poke his head in, and give her the food. We were surprised to learn that the delivered food was mostly songbirds, with only an occasional squirrel or small rabbit. All of the prey was decapitated by the male before being delivered. About two weeks after we fi rst observed the eggs, one of them hatched, followed closely by the others. The female would feed them by tearing off a chunk of flesh, feathers, and bone, and waving this chunk back and forth in front of the chicks. The chicks reacted by grabbing the chunk and gobbling it down whole. During these early days of life, the mother would groom the chicks by grasping feathers and gently drawing them through her beak. The male hunted day and night so the chicks ate often and grew rapidly. The feathers, bones, and hair that were a part of their diet were not digested by the birds. These undigested bits were formed into a pellet and spit out. We found many of these
pellets in and around the nest box. After about four weeks of being fed, the chicks began feeding themselves. By now the owlets were very active, stretching and flapping their wings and spending more time perched in the opening of the box. The oldest and largest chick was the fi rst to perch in the opening and the fi rst to leave the box altogether. The other two soon followed. None of them could fly yet, so they climbed up the tree trunk and branches, clutching the bark with their sharp talons. The mother was always close by and continued to feed them up in the trees. The chicks were in different locations above the house and would call out to the adults using a high-pitched whistle, and the adults would reply with loud hooting. After a few weeks in the trees, the immature owls moved on. For a few months after that, we could still hear the whistling/hooting exchange going on in various areas around the neighborhood. We have since built another box and put it in a different tree in our yard. Th is new box soon attracted another nesting pair and the cycle began anew.
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Thank you to all of our patients for the privilege of caring for your health.
personal informed N OVEMBER 2019 | TH E N ON PROFIT ISSUE | FORMERLY COLUMBIA BUSIN ESS TIMES & COMO LIVIN G
NIKKI McGRUDER, MOST IMPACTFUL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Page 81 PASTOR JOHN DRAGE LIVES IN THE WAKE Page 47
Dr. Ashley Emel
DC, CACCP, Webster Certified 2516 Forum Blvd. #102 (573) 445-4444 compass-chiropractic.com
Adjusting Your Health In The Right Direction
Tapping the Pain Away Two Columbia life coaches introduce an alternative mental health solution. BY KELSEY BARTLET T
or Kelly Howe, the issue was professional burnout. After 10 years of nursing, she found herself plagued by anxiety and searching for a solution. Preferring a non-pharmaceutical answer, Kelly dove into self-help books. One book in particular grabbed her attention, “The Tapping Solution,” a 2013 piece by Nick Ortner. Kelly describes the practice of tapping as she fi rst learned it from Ortner’s book. While holding a stressful thought or experience in mind, a patient uses two or three fingers to rhythmically tap on specific points around the body. These spots are the same points stuck full of needles by acupuncturists — the top of the head, in between the eyebrows, under the nose, and on the chin. Tapping, however, is needle-free, utilizing steady pressure instead of puncturing the skin. “When you use tapping, it sends a calming signal through your nervous system and regulates brain waves,” Kelly explains. “It’s a retraining of the nervous system so that you can be in a stressful environment and maintain your composure.” Stimulating the nervous system during an episode of anxiety writes over the physical stress response, she says, resetting the body and mind to a state of calm. For Kelly, her initial exposure to tapping was revolutionary. After learning the basics, she was able to tap on herself and rapidly decrease her work-related anxiety. From there, she decided to get professionally trained in the practice. “It worked so quickly and so well,” she explains. “I couldn’t stop reading about it. I devoured every bit of information that I could about it. The closest training I could find was in Chicago.” Kelly’s training process spanned four two-day weekends. During that time, she had to complete 50 case studies and 20 hours of practice on herself with a certified coach. Since her initial training, she has received a handful of additional certifications, such as a specific traumacoaching certificate. Her local practice, Kelly Howe Coaching, has been providing Columbia with a tapping guide for the past five years. A year ago, Nikki Aleto hit a breaking point after a drawn out fight with her mother. She entered an appointment with Kelly for consulting on her personal training business, but the meeting
eventually drifted into a discussion of Nikki’s family stress. By the end, Kelly had coached Nikki through her fi rst tapping session. “We had such a big breakthrough,” Nikki says about that fi rst appointment. “It seemed like this secret magic trick. But it’s a magic trick with a real, true-life result. I was like, this is it. Th is is what I need to be doing with my clients.” Kelly trained Nikki in the practice, and Nikki quickly integrated tapping into her own business, Nikki Aleto Coaching. For Columbia’s two tapping experts, the possible applications of tapping are endless. They list tapping as a treatment for everything from anxiety and phobias to chronic pain and learning disabilities. They believe that
"It seemed like this secret magic trick. But it’s a magic trick with a real, true-life result." bringing tapping to community spaces such as schools, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies could mitigate stress and trauma on a larger scale, as well. And while both experts advocate for tapping as a do-anywhere selfhelp tool, they also point out that practicing with a trained coach has its unique benefits. Nikki says that tapping with a coach allows a patient to unearth subconscious stress that’s hard to deal with alone. Whether tapping individually or with a professional, Nikki and Kelly agree on the practice’s potential to advance mental and physical health. “Every health professional should know about this,” Kelly says. “The reality is you can’t separate the mind and the body. It’s a mental health treatment, but it’s a beautiful way to integrate the physical body where so much of our culture separates it out.”
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NOVEMBER OCTOBER 2019 2019
G orgeous Living
The Maplewood House serves as a reminder of the rich history found in Columbia. BY QUINCY SINEK | PHOTOS BY KEITH BORGMEYER
idden in the trees and located just behind the Boone County History & Culture Center, you can find quite possibly the most historic house in the city of Columbia. The Maplewood House was built in 1877 by Slater and Margaret Lenoir and was home to just four people — the couple, their daughter, Lavinia, and her husband, Dr. Frank Nifong. Lavinia met Dr. Nifong in St. Louis later in life and brought him back to live in the house with her parents five years after they married in 1900. Lavinia, the longest living member of the four, lived in the home until her death in 1959. Chris Campbell, executive director for the Boone County Historical Society, says this house was once considered the most luxurious home between St. Louis and Kansas City. The house stands in the middle of what is now Nifong Park and is owned by the Boone County Historical Society. It is available for tours between April and October and can also be rented out. Chris says they get a few rentals each year. “We rent this house out to groups of 15 or smaller either for teas or for bridal showers,” Chris says. He shares that one woman got married in the Maplewood Barn in October and rented out the fi rst floor of the house as a place to get ready for the wedding. The fi rst floor of the two-story home features a kitchen, dining room, sitting room, music room, and a formal living room. Three bedrooms, an office, and a sewing room make up the second floor.
When you walk in the front door, the fi rst room on the right is the formal parlor, or living room. Adorned with colorful patterned wallpaper, large paintings, and a piano, this room was for entertaining guests. The square piano is an original that belonged to Lavinia, as well as some of her signed sheet music that sits atop the piano. Hanging on the walls of the parlor are paintings of family members and relatives that are original to the home. One large painting hanging above the piano is not from the house; it was donated later. “We believe it is a
painting of a young girl who would grow up to become one of Lavinia’s friends,” Chris says, “which is why the donor thought it would be appropriate in the house.” Along with the ornate wallpaper found in the parlor, a few other wallpapers featured in the home are replicas of the original paper. Chris says it likely wasn’t there when the house was fi rst built because wallpaper wasn’t used in the 1880s, but they can assume it was put in later by the family because scraps were found in the closet upstairs during a 1976 refurbishment by the Boone County Historical Society, who took over the home after Lavinia passed. “I’m told that using those scraps, they were able to reproduce the wallpaper by sending it off to a wallpaper manufacturer in England,” Chris says.
The sitting room
The Sitting Room On the left side of the home’s fi rst floor is the sitting room, used mainly by Slater and Margaret. The most interesting aspect of the room is the speaking tube, a small metal pipe coming out from the wall next to the fireplace. Chris says this tube goes upstairs to Lavinia’s childhood bedroom and it allowed Slater to talk to her or tell her a bedtime story while he sat in his chair by the fi re. On the other side of the room is a rainbowcolored painting of a home. The painting, done by Birger Sandzén in 1929, is of a home in Columbia, built around 1839, that still stands today. Chris says the reason the painting is in the Maplewood House is because Slater grew up in the home featured in the painting. The painting is owned by the City of Columbia, but is on indefinite loan to the Boone County Historical Society.
The Bedrooms Upstairs, you can find the master bedroom. The clothing, on display on racks and in the wardrobe, is believed to be original items owned by Slater and Margaret. It was their bedroom until they grew older and, due to mobility issues, lived in a converted room
on the fi rst floor. It likely later became the bedroom for Dr. Nifong and Lavinia. There are two beds in the master bedroom, which seems atypical, but really is not. “Most couples on a regular basis slept in separate beds until the middle of the 20th century,” Chris says. “It was considered highly inappropriate for an aﬄuent couple to only have one bed.” Across the hall from the master bedroom is Lavinia’s room. The highlight of the room is the spectacular headboard on the bed, purchased by Slater for his daughter when she was just 8 years old. The detailed carvings and gorgeous wood show just how much money the family had. The bedroom, like all other rooms in the house, has a fi replace. Chris says they were all originally in the home, but are no longer operable. The decor throughout the home is not all original, though it may appear that way. In fact, Chris says about 60% of the decor has been donated. “The Historical Society has tried to accept and insert into the house things that are appropriate of the era, that make sense, and fit.” He says they are constantly making repairs to the house and do walk-throughs to make sure every item seems fitting to the style of the home.
“Two years ago, a committee of us went through the house and pulled things that we did not feel were appropriate to the home or especially weren’t appropriate to that period between 1890 and 1920, which is the era we’re trying to depict here,” Chris says. While on a tour of the home, you feel you’ve jumped back to a time where gas lights and large portraits were the norm. You can feel every bit of the home’s history pulling you in, leaving you with a sense of appreciation and awe. The Maplewood House serves as a reminder of the beginnings of Columbia and those who lived there, and what was just a family home to the Lenoir’s and Nifongs is now a gorgeous relic for current-day Columbia residents to visit.
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The Heart of a Home At Kliethermes, home is much more than a place where you live. Home is a state of being; it is a sense of security and contentment. The Kliethermes family strives to bring this sense of comfort into the entirety of our remodel process. Whether youâ€™re looking to remodel or build a new home, our team makes the process comfortable. We get to know you and your family, so we can help you realistically create your dream homeâ€“without any surprises at the end. Give Cale a call today to see how our design team can best serve you in the coming year!
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The Mortgage Nitty-Gritty By David Kling Find more at tlclender.com
MORTGAGE PROGRAMS EXPLAINED Your situation is unique. Maybe you are buying your first home, your second home, or your dream home. Your credit score might be 780. Or maybe 715. Or maybe 680. Your annual income might be $300k+. Maybe it’s $180k. Maybe it’s a little less than that. You get the idea — no two potential mortgage situations are the same. And it’s important for you to know the various types of loan programs that we at Total Lending Concepts (and most mortgage companies for that matter) offer. FIRST TIME HOME BUYER LOAN First time home buyer programs are for individuals who have not purchased their first home. And surprisingly enough, if you haven’t owned a home in the last three years, you’re considered a first-time buyer too! Depending on what state, city, or the county you live in, there may be additional down payment assistance available. CONVENTIONAL LOAN This type of loan, has appealing rates with loan terms range from 10 years to 30 years. Conventional loans are available in both fixed rates and adjustable rates with down payment options ranging from as low as 3%
which is less than FHA. Unlike FHA, VA and USDA, these are not government loans and are purchased by private investors. USDA LOAN The most appealing thing about this loan is you don’t have to put any money down. These loans apply to properties in approved rural areas and a credit score above 640 is typically needed to qualify. FHA LOAN FHA loans are mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration and are considered an excellent choice for many homebuyers whether it’s their first home or fifth. The top two advantages of FHA loans are: 1. Low down payment – since you only need 3.5% down as compared to other programs that require 5% to 20% down, it’s much easier to get into a home. 2. Lower credit score – can be as low
as 580, so even if your credit isn’t the best, you may still be able to qualify right now. VA LOANS VA loans for homes are the number one choice for veterans when they’re ready to buy. This type of mortgage typically has lower interest rates than other programs and is partially backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You will need proof of service and a credit score typically above 620 to qualify. Total Lending Concepts also offers refinancing opportunities, jumbo loans and reverse mortgages. THE BOTTOM LINE Know your options and put in the work with the help of your local mortgage provider to make sure the mortgage you get is the perfect one for your situation. The extra work will pay off (literally) in the end!
TOTAL LENDING CONCEPTS Matt grew up in Saint Charles Missouri, but has called Columbia my home for the past 6 years. He attended the University of Missouri — graduating with a degree in Personal Financial Planning. Matt is driven to help individuals and families find their first home or their dream home. Go Tigers!! TLCLENDER.COM
W H AT T H E
Home P R O S
The Art of Blending Modern with Traditional
By Cale Kliethermes Find more at kliethermes.com
BRINGING A MODERN TWIST INTO YOUR TRADITIONAL HOME Most kitchen remodels seem to now lean toward more modern, clean, sleek lines. Homeowners faced with a major remodel like this are often tasked with blending the new with the old and that’s where they often start feeling stuck. Our team is adept at reading your home’s “current situation” and determining the best way to get you the modern lines you want for
your kitchen while maintaining the integrity of your traditional home. When modernizing what some consider to be the most important room in the house, it’s not uncommon to get overwhelmed. The options are many and chances are, your current layout has some constraints that make it hard for you to envision a viable solution. We suggest you save examples of kitchens that appeal to you as your starting point. Making a list of your current kitchen’s negatives and positives is always helpful, too. Then the fun begins! We’ll walk you through options that make the most sense for your
household, your personal tastes and your budget. You’ll soon lose the anxiety of “how on earth will this come together” and replace it with “I can hardly wait!” excitement. Any remodeling job is an art of making the new work well with the existing. So whether it’s a total “knock down the walls”, shake things up kind of a project or simply a gentle update, let us provide a no charge, no obligation consultation. We’ve remodeled hundreds of kitchens over the years and we can make yours amazing, too. Then you’ll call us to take a look at a bathroom or two!
KLIETHERMES HOMES & REMODELING Cale Kliethermes has learned the construction business from the ground up, working with his father to uphold the 40-year legacy that is Kliethermes Homes & Remodeling. Having been immersed in the industry since his teenage years, Cale possesses decades’ worth of expert knowledge and experience regarding new construction and remodels. Cale studied business administration and finance at Regis University, in Denver, Colorado, and earned his CGR (Certified Graduate Remodeler) designation from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). He also served in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps, where he built secure housing and observation posts. Cale specializes in leading homeowners through the creative process of designing their ideal home, and he is skilled in determining unique solutions that result in life-changing differences.
W H AT T H E
Home P R O S
Furniture as a Gift? By Jake Baumgartner Find more at baumgartners.com
here are some who don’t think of buying furniture as a gift, yet a home furnishing item can often be the BEST gift of all! Whether it’s a gift for the new home owner or for someone who really needs an improvement of their seating options (think new, updated recliner). And there’s really no more practical, enjoyable gift you can give … or receive. We help a lot of gift givers this time of year. Some are adding to a collection we’ve helped them start. Others we are assisting with a much needed upgrade for a loved one. Either way, we’ve had many years of experience helping shoppers select just the right gift at the right price and we can help you, as well.
OPTIONS TO CONSIDER:
RECLINERS These really are still at the top of this list. And if you haven’t looked closely at this furniture category in a while, you’ll be more than a little pleasantly surprised. This staple takes on a large variety of shapes, styles, features and sizes. And no one does them better than La-Z-Boy. They truly have one for every room and every style. MATTRESSES This is often the time of year couples decide on a “joint” gift and upgrade their quality of sleep. And this is truly the gift that keeps on giving. And this is another category we have tons of experience in. Talk about options
… mattresses have moved way beyond levels of firmness and evolved into levels of adjustability, various internal material options and much more. OTTOMANS These have become very popular as not only can you add a punch of new style to your room, but frequently it comes with storage (like pockets in dress, everyone loves this
feature!). Again, lots of options, features and prices points along with great function always a win. The list can go on and on as far as giftworthy options. Wanting to give gifts that are useful seems to always be a common intent. And we’re here to help. Why not think a little outside the box and more inside the house this year? And just as importantly, think about spending your holiday dollars locally.
BAUMGARTNER’S FURNITURE Jake essentially grew up in the furniture industry as he is the fourth generation involved in Baumgartner’s Furniture. Working very closely with his father, Alan, Jake has been devoted to the stores full-time since 2004. His greatest enjoyment, however, still comes from working closely with the customers. He is married to Sarah and they have two active boys, Noah and Laine. Jake received his degree in finance from Saint Louis University. 573-256-6288 BAUMGARTNERS.COM
W H AT T H E
Home P R O S
National Service, Local Impact By Rachael Jones Find more at IGREALESTATE.COM
t’s no secret that hiring a real estate professional is key to navigating the purchase or sale of real estate. Our licensed experts are trained and educated to smoothly get all parties through the process with a delightful outcome. What is often overlooked is that your agent is only as strong as their personal team of experts working alongside them. Every transaction is different and with each, a unique set of skills are needed. Perhaps it’s legal, negotiations, marketing or sales. It’s crucial that you hire an agent whose brokerage has experts in all facets. WHERE NATIONAL + LOCAL MEET There are two things to look for when hiring a real estate agent. One, of course—is to hire a brokerage that can truly provide the best service. Someone who has the brand, the tools, the marketing, and the national reach you need to find or sell your next home. The other big thing to consider, especially as a buyer, is what the agent and the brokerage do to impact its local community. HOW IGRE IMPACTS LOCALLY It’s bigger than putting on some volunteer t-shirts and getting out in the community. While yes, that work is important—and a big part of who we are, there is so much more. We know what it is like to send profits outside of our community. For years, as a non-local franchise, we took a portion of our companies’
growth and sent it out of our market to be spent. We took a leap in re-branding as independent, but this goal to impact mid Missouri was one of the largest driving forces. Now, Iron Gate Real Estate is able to put company growth and profits back into our agent’s pockets and into our local economy. We strive to keep as many of our expenses as we can within our local community. (But yes) We do also believe in volunteering, teaching, training, and being all around good people to the town we call home. WHY NATIONAL SERVICE IS KEY It’s vital to make sure all your listings are promoted nationally. Syndicated to websites that buyers may be accessing from anywhere. Available to search, tour, and fall in love with anywhere in the nation. But again, there is so much more that goes into offering “National Service.” Learning and growing happens when you leave your backyard and study other experts. Tools and systems are introduced and perfected when you look at a global arena and bring the latest technology home. Innovation and growth can be accessed anywhere in the nation, and our team will bring ideas back—thus adding to our local skill set. THERE IS MORE THAN WHAT MEETS THE EYE Iron Gate Real Estate, and all of our agents dedicate themselves everyday to exceeding expectations as a brokerage. But, we understand the impact we have in so many other areas. Our Realtors lives, our clients
dreams, and our communities growth. It is our mission to continue to thrive and delight in as many ways we can. HOW TO KNOW YOU’RE GETTING THE BEST Ask! When interviewing your agents, ask about their brokerages national accessibility and local dedication. How broad is their reach, and how impactful is their team? Can they provide not only the best service, but the most well rounded service? A professional agent and professional brokerage are always happy to answer these questions in depth.
IRON GATE REAL ESTATE Rachael is a Mid-Missouri native who fell in love with the real estate industry while selling TV advertising over a decade ago. The most rewarding part of her role within Iron Gate is the direct impact she has on so many peoples career growth. As a driving force in bringing Iron Gate Real Estate to Columbia, she loves seeing the brokerage impact her community. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three young sons.
Some believe: If it’s not
black put it back!
We couldn’t agree more with these gorgeous pieces.
MY SISTER’S CIRCUS 573-443-5618 • 1110 E. Broadway, Columbia Independent Distributor of LipSense
I don’t just see a customer.
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Phyllis Nichols, Agent
573-443-8727 | firstname.lastname@example.org 1006 West Boulevard North | Columbia
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Columbia refugees share their stories and their fare at Café Berlin’s pop-up event. BY JESSICA VAUGHN MARTIN | PHOTOS BY ANTRANIK TAVITIAN
e all have a food story. Each tale weaves a unique fabric of culture and of place, no matter if the narrative spans oceans or a single city block. These are the stories of us: our histories, our journeys, and our destinations. And somehow, our stories all include this Midwestern town we call COMO. Some of us were born here, some have chosen to make their home here, and some have arrived by chance. That’s the case for many refugees who have been resettled in Columbia, most of whom had never even seen the Midwest on the map ahead of their arrival. In late August, a group of refugees introduced their new home to foods from their homeland at the Multicultural Food Pop-up hosted by Refugee and Immigration Services at Café Berlin. A small set of women refugees staffed the kitchen, preparing a variety of traditional dishes. On the hundreds of plates that left the kitchen, a collection of countries was represented: Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Sudan. From the time the doors opened at 5:30 until the moment the last mandazi, a sweet East African beignet, left the kitchen at 7 p.m., a line of customers weaved from the register, out the door, and to the sidewalk. They were hungry — so much so that the kitchen sold out an hour earlier than planned. But they weren’t just craving food; they were eager to support this part of their community. The line was a mix of community members: some volunteers who help refugees with English tutoring or transportation and some who were curious about this new cuisine. All left with full bellies, a stronger connection to Columbia’s refugees, and a sense of philanthropy. Half of the proceeds earned went to the resettlement agency, and half was split among the stars of the show, the chefs themselves. One encounter from that night at Café Berlin will stand out for me. In Eritrea, coffee ceremonies are a daily ritual. Through turmoil and unrest in the country, this tradition has remained, carried across oceans by Eritreans looking for safety in a foreign land. It is not just the act of drinking coffee that’s important (as it is to many Americans who consume it only for its caffeine content). What’s vital is the sense of community shared over rounds of steaming hot brew.
The stories of food transcended borders and broke language barriers. It also reminded me that wherever our destination may be, we can remember our journey through a taste of home. Inside Café Berlin during the pop-up event, on the landing where the collection of misfit “honor system” coffee mugs live, two Eritrean refugee women rested on low stools, pouring coffee out of a jebena, a spouted ceramic jug used to brew coffee during traditional Eritrean and Ethiopian coffee ceremonies. At home, they would pour the coffee into tiny espresso size cups called finjal, but today, they’re quenching the thirst of a crowd — small plastic Dixie cups take their place. Many patrons paid and took their cup to go, but as the evening wrapped up, the cooks came out of the kitchen to rest and
chat about the busy evening. More chairs were pulled up, more coffee was poured. A basket of popcorn, a treat typically served during coffee ceremonies, was passed around the group. There was a mix of languages spoken here. Next to me, Abdu, an Eritrean refugee who was resettled in Columbia years ago, told me that when he drives other Eritreans to appointments, they thank him by inviting him in for coffee. Sometimes he’s there for an hour or more, he says. It’s a display of gratitude, an act of community. As we sipped our small cups of strong, spiced brew, Abdu told me about his journey to Columbia from Eritrea. He was forced to leave his family, carrying with him nothing but the clothes on his back. Today, he’s well settled into Columbia, and he now helps newly arrived refugees find the same peace and sense of community here. By the second cup of coffee, we had talked about our shared love for travel, and by the third, we made plans to meet again after he returned home from visiting family overseas. By the end of the night, I felt energized. It’s certainly due to the threeplus cups of coffee I threw back, yes, but it’s more about a connective energy that arose from the sense of community and understanding I felt by sharing coffee with Abdu and his friends. The stories of food transcended borders and broke language barriers. It also reminded me that wherever our destination may be, we can remember our journey through a taste of home.
Multicultural Pop-Up Menu
A diverse set of cooks came together to prepare the multicultural menu. At least six countries were represented on the plate. Refugee and Immigration Services hopes this is the first of many chances that refugees will have to share their fare.
Eritrean coffee Coffee with ginger. Kapsa Traditional Saudi Arabian rice with tomatoes, onions, and many spices. Mandazi Barely sweet East African beignets. Sambusa Seasoned beef, chicken, or vegetables wrapped in a thin dough and fried. Popular across Africa and the Middle East. These were prepared by Iraqi, Somali, and Syrian cooks. Akup Traditional South Sudanese red rice (similar to couscous) served with stewed spinach. Kisra with minced molokhia and beef Traditional South Sudanese soft bread with spiced southeast African and Middle Eastern greens and beef.
Style Cassi Cody assembles a stunning fall outf it featuring pieces f rom Upscale Resale and Goodwill. BY BETH BRAMSTEDT | PHOTO BY KEITH BORGMEYER
Cassi Cody, office manager for Kiefer Law Office, buys a lot of secondhand clothes. In fact, she estimates that 40% of her closet is filled with finds from secondhand, vintage, or thrift stores. “One thing I always do when I go to a secondhand store is to get a label I recognize because they last longer,” Cassi says. “So, these jeans are from the Loft and my jacket is Tahari, which is a really good brand.” Cassi finishes off the look with a gold necklace she found at Goodwill. “It was half price, so it only cost $3,” she adds. Cassi then paired the ensemble with a black turtleneck, black booties, and gold earrings she already owned. Total cost for the three pieces? $24. “I’m lucky because I can wear this outfit to work, or wear it out. It’s really versatile,” Cassi says.
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Pastor John Drage relishes each day after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in February. BY BRANDON HOOPS | PHOTOS PROVIDED BY JOSH DRAGE
ooking out the south facing windows of his East Campus bungalow, you can’t see the white limestone buildings that are a little more than a block away. But as John Drage leans forward in his blue recliner, a view of a different sort quickly becomes clear. In his intense eyes and animated speech, you encounter the passion of this pastor for MU. He is locked in on the fall semester. It is the time of the year that has been the energizing force in his life for the past 20 years as he has led The Rock, a church that meets on campus and consists primarily of college students. There are services to plan, a pig roast to host in his backyard, and countless other activities to coordinate. But what cements his vision are the people, the more than 20,000 students who call MU home. He knows the worn paths they travel, the fears that weigh them down, the dreams they aspire to live out. That’s why he is not stingy with his heart. He desires to come alongside them with the love of God, with the guiding hope he believes can change the contours of human existence. Those of us who know John best marvel at this resolve to live out his calling. There is a light in his mind that is undiminished, even while that same organ tries its damndest to make the fall of 2019 his last.
THE STORM The news came on February 20 of this year. A “category five landfall” is how he classified it. In one word: glioblastoma. In layman’s terms: terminal brain cancer. Estimated life expectancy: 18 months. The symptoms had started the previous fall with rainbow-colored images in his vision, headaches, and a little nausea. An early diagnosis was migraines and medication eased the problem. But in early February, a weeklong headache led to an MRI and the identification of a brain tumor. More tests followed, and surgery was scheduled to remove the fist-sized tumor. “That was a highly emotional time for me, my wife, Amy, and our family,” says
John, the 52-year-old father of four. “We cried until we had nothing left and then sobbed some more.” The surgery lasted five hours, but the hope for a benign tumor and a quick return to normal life was dashed on a dark February night when Dr. Charles Bondurant entered John’s hospital room and described the devastation glioblastoma leaves in its wake. “I like to think I am tough and strong,” John says. “As I listened to his words I thought, ‘What are we going to do?’” The days that followed, while John was still saturated in grief and uncertainty, also required mapping a path forward. The family selected MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for his treatment headquarters. It checked the three main criteria on their list: innovative, integrative, and teamwork-oriented. Amy and John arrived in Houston in early March for a seven-week stay that involved radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. During this time, he also launched a website, johndrage.com, to share medical updates and provide authentic insights on how his faith in God carries him forward. “In a strange way, we were thankful for so many things,” John says. “We were thankful to be at the best cancer hospital in the world. We were thankful that the treatments had minimal side effects on me. We were thankful that Amy and I got some time away together.” Amy affectionately labeled it their second honeymoon, and she took special delight in their escapades around the city on a tandem bicycle they bought used on Craigslist. The couple also celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in May. “Very often my thoughts drift to what life will look like after John is gone, but I try not to get too stressed out by overthinking it,” Amy says. “I do really want to be wise about how we spend the time we have left. I want to be present each day. I want to be alive.”
“IF I’M GOING TO MY DEATH IN THE NEXT TWO OR THREE MONTHS, I’M GOING ENCOURAGED. BECAUSE OF MY CAREER, I’VE GOT A WAKE BEHIND ME. I GAVE A LOT OF ENERGY AND LOVE AWAY.”
THE FRIEND Sit down with John for a cup of coffee in Memorial Union or lunch at China Chef and his immediate draw is his enthusiastic spirit. He interweaves
John and Amy Drage
passion with accessibility, and he loves turning the conversation to the more substantial qualities of life. Don’t be surprised if you walk away with a new friend and a napkin or two full of ideas he jots down with a pen he pulls out of his wallet. My friendship with John dates back to my freshman year at MU in 2001, a year after The Rock got started on campus. I was an 18-year-old living away from home for the fi rst time, wrestling with the realities of a world rocked by the events of 9/11. He encouraged me by being overly generous with his time and instilling in me a sense that faith can be more than a hand-me-down from my parents. In the close to two decades since, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside John at The Rock and live with him and his family. He has been a mentor and a father figure, friend and family. When I look back on my wedding photos from 2015, I always find my attention going to John’s face, particularly the image of him announcing my new union with my bride, Ashley. There is such joy in his smile and an almost glistening affection in his eyes. That warmth and love is a torch I hope our second-born son, Grady John, who entered the world on the fi rst day of classes at MU, will take from his namesake and carry on with the same fervor.
But after high school he needed a new athletic pursuit. He turned to triathlons. He’s competed regularly in the TriZou race, and in 2017, he completed his fi rst full Ironman. To honor that accomplishment, he got the Ironman logo tattooed on his right calf. “I’m fully alive when I’m racing,” John says. Although he doesn’t plan to slow down his athletic pursuits, John’s biggest race is against time. That’s why he is cherishing every minute with his family. In June, he officiated his son’s wedding in Calgary, Canada, with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. The family
THE RACE “We love John! Good job, babe,” says his biggest cheerleader just moments after turning her Facebook Live video away from the finish line. There’s no mistaking Amy’s emotion. Her voice cracks. Her eyes well with tears. The love of her life has just pushed his body through another grueling challenge — Ironman Ohio. The race was the capstone of a summer of training. He completed the 70.3-mile race alongside his 25-year-old son, Josh, in a little over seven hours. Close to 50 family and friends joined John and Amy in their home state to provide support and encouragement during the race. “For him, it was a really great way to stay focused and stay active and set his eyes on something ahead of him,” Josh says. John’s first love was wrestling. In fact, it was his high school wrestling coach who asked him a question that sparked his faith journey.
also rented an Airbnb and spent several days cooking meals, playing games, and staying up late talking. “I really love weddings, and it was so awesome to be right in the center of [his son and daughter-in-law] Caleb and Renee’s,” John says. “It was an emotional few days for me knowing that I got to be there and participate when that wasn’t guaranteed.” Now Amy is trying to help John to plan special adventures with each of the kids. “My job with the kids is to bless them,” John says. “I look forward to making special memories in the days ahead.”
THE FUTURE Sometimes in life, like in sports, you just don’t have it. You’re tired. You’re worn down. In those moments, it helps to have someone you can turn toward to borrow their courage. For Scott Ashton, the Mid-Missouri director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, that person is John. On a wall in his office, Scott has a picture that says, “Let’s do something that matters.” Scott was in the middle of a difficult season of life and ministry when John spoke those words. “He is the well I go to for energy when I need it,” Scott says. “He picks me up when I’m down.” Every Thursday morning you can find Scott, John, and two other local pastors, Rod Casey and John Gillman, sitting over coffee and breakfast at Lucky’s Market. It’s been a weekly routine for over 10 years. There is no agenda when they gather. They might deal in the everyday or work through a pastoral challenge or discuss some theology. “When you find true community, you run to it,” Scott says. ”We’re sharpening each other and trying to spur each other on in ministry.” Th is fall, John’s role at The Rock primarily consists of service planning and teaching. He misses the day-to-day burden of leading the church that carries much of his DNA, but he has not deviated from his life’s mission: sharing the love of God. Scott says the only noticeable difference he sees is that John gets tired easier. “His passion hasn’t diminished,” Scott says. “He is steadfast about living out his vision. He is unashamedly living out his faith in a way that is endearing and attractive.” Although there are still unanswered questions, unending treatments, relentless tears and restless nights, John is walking into the unknown with an abundant supply of support. Every day his phone is flooded with texts and emails and voicemails. It’s the consequence of 30 years of love and care to thousands of students on a campus that has been a temporary, yet meaningful, stop on his journey to his true home. “How much longer do I get? We just don’t know,” John says. “If I’m going to my death in the next two or three months, I’m going encouraged. I’m getting to experience my legacy. Most people don’t get that gift. Because of my career, I’ve got a wake behind me. I gave a lot of energy and love away.”
D L I U B TO T O N R O D L I U B TO Local experts provide insight on building your custom home. BY NICOLE FLOOD
BUILDING A HOME IN COMO
n our homebuilding series, we’ve covered the decision to build, how to obtain fi nancing, and designing your custom home. Th is month, we focus on the actual building process. “From start to fi nish, the process will take six or seven months,” says Bennett Arey about the custom home he and his wife, Alexis, are building. “Construction started at the beginning of June, and in July they were working on pouring the foundation and starting framing. In September, the windows and exterior doors went in, shingles went on, and work started on HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. During October, we hoped to see insulation, drywall, and some flooring.” Bennett and Alexis are working with Russ Anderson, of Anderson Homes, on their build. “We had heard good things about Anderson Homes from friends and co-workers, but when we participated in Parade of Homes, we fell in love with the overall aesthetic and feel of one house in particular that he had done,” says Bennett. “We did still receive quotes from multiple builders to make sure pricing aligned with our expectations, and in the end Anderson Homes was a good fit.” Russ says his building process starts with plan design. “In the case of the Areys, they had their plan mostly done when they came to me for a bid,” he says. After the plans were nearly complete, Russ met with the Areys to discuss their desired fi nishes. They then prepared a comprehensive bid based on their plan and fi nishes. “Once the Areys received all their bids, they selected Anderson Homes as their builder of choice,” says Russ. “We then worked directly with the Areys and our design staff to make fi nal selections on their home.” In terms of considerations during the build, Russ says the Areys’ project has been pretty normal. “Their goal was to get a home that met their personal needs while also making their new house payment something they were comfortable with,” says Russ. “Their lot section was the part of their project that took the most time and effort. I personally met with them to shoot grade
and discuss pros and cons of the individual lots they considered.” The Areys then used the guidance to select a lot that most aligned with their wants and needs. Russ says that timelines are dependent on project size, homeowner selections, change orders, and the weather. “We give our clients a general time frame when we sign our contract and then, after framing, we give a specific schedule through completion of the project.” The Areys are enjoying the build process so far. “Seeing the house start to take shape and look like a real house has us super excited to call this place home,” Bennett says. “We’re thrilled with the overall layout of the house and excited with a lot of the choices we made while working on our custom floor plan.” When asked about the biggest surprise that’s come up while building, Bennett says: “I think there’s just a general sense of nervousness during the process — making sure you’re going to love every choice you make and still stay within the budget and timeline
set. So far, our only surprise was our completion date being pushed back to January, which logistically provides some challenges for moving out of our current home.”
The Building Process Tori Messenger, executive director for the Home Builders Association of Columbia and real estate agent for House of Brokers, says clients tend to choose their builder based on things such as style, price range, time frame, compatibility, and personality. “Your local real estate agents that know builders and have worked in new construction can be a great resource,” she says. Jeff Hemme, founder and managing member of Hemme Construction, says it typically takes them four to 10 months to build a home, depending on the size. “From our fi rst consultation to contract signing day can take as long as a month,” he says. “Between the fi rst meeting and signing the contract, we have our clients work with our designer to make decisions as to what’s going in the
Five Tips on Building Your Home 1. Go with your gut and hire a builder you have good chemistry with. 2. Don’t just trust your gut, though — get references. Ask to walk through their home. They should be excited to show off their work. 3. Ask for insurance certifications. You’re risking it all if they aren’t covering any potential liabilities with insurance. At minimum, builders should have workers’ compensation, $1 million in general liability insurance, and a builder’s risk policy on the structure being built.
4. Ask how their payment structures work. Any financially sound builder should not need a lot of money upfront for uncompleted work, outside of a down payment. If they do, that could be a sign that they’re not in a good situation. 5. Make sure the contract is like a story that explains every item that will go into your home and the process of how it will get there. The contract should be able to tell you everything from the timeline to type of water heater and siding. - Jeremy Spillman, owner of Spillman Homes
PART 4: To Build or Not to Build
You get to build one of your greatest investments one time. So invest the time and understand that there likely will be some bumps in the road. But a builder with a proven track record is a proven problem solver and will get you to the ﬁnish line with an awesome house.” – Jeremy Spillman
home. Th is helps us guarantee the price and closing date and helps the client feel comfortable knowing they won’t be rushed to make any decisions under pressure as we’re building their home.” Jeremy Spillman, owner of Spillman Homes, adds that the process of creating their plan can sometimes take 30 to 90 days depending on how many revisions are needed. “We strongly recommend clients take their time at this stage, no matter how many revisions it takes,” Jeremy says. He believes the cheapest time to make changes is before the build process actually begins; once the plan is in place, they move on to the specifications stage, where they pick hardwood, appliances, etc. “It’s all about aligning the allowances with their expectations,” he adds. Jeremy says builds can vary from three to four months for smaller homes to well over a year for a larger, estate-style home. “Make sure your builder provides a schedule so you can at least see that there is a game plan, even though we all know delays can easily happen,” he says. “We plan for delays and go through that with our clients to create realistic expectations.”
you’re getting quotes so there aren’t any surprises at the end. Also be sure that the contract is very detailed so you’re protected.” Jeff says another misconception is that you have to have 20% or more of the home’s value as a down payment to build a home. “There are programs out there for end loans that are no money down,” Jeff says. “I would encourage anyone thinking about building to talk to a lender fi rst. Learn your options for loans and discuss these with your builder.” Jeremy also cautions on chasing trends. “Be careful with trends, as they’re just that — trends,” he says. “They will come and go and could leave your home looking outdated as soon as the next trend comes in.” Jeff adds that homebuilding can be a daunting task for many people. “Again, this all ties back to getting educated,” he says. “Find a builder who is willing to spend the time educating you and helping you get through the process of building a home.”
Tips and Trends
Tori says there are many resources available to clients through the Home Builders Association’s website. “The members are at the top in their field and are subscribed to a high code of ethics and high business practices overall,” she says. “They all are also bonded, insured, and licensed.” Tori also believes one of the best free resources for people who are considering building or even remodeling a home is the Columbia Parade of Homes events. “There are two events each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Th is year’s fall event takes place November 2 and 3 from 1 to 5 p.m.” she says. “It’s a great way for people to get ideas about top homes by top builders in town. It gives clients an idea of current trends and price ranges, and they can meet the builders.”
“Select your builder before you start the design or lot selection process,” says Russ. “A quality builder is best equipped to guide you through the building process and assist in achieving your cost and design goals.” Russ also suggests requesting at least three references — one from a previous customer that has lived in their home for at least five years, one from a customer that has lived in their home for at least two years, and one they are currently working with. Jeff says getting educated on the process is key. “Buying a home is a big decision, but building one is an even bigger decision. Be sure that whoever you choose to work with factors everything into the price of the home when
Other Resources for the Building Process
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PERSON YOU SHOULD KNOW
BUILDING UP, BUILDING OUT
FINDING THEIR NICHE
Aaro Froese recruits, trains, and inspires community leaders to get involved in youth programs through Boy Scouts of America.
Socket keeps businesses and families connected for 25 years and counting.
CMC Manufacturing Inc. pushes the boundaries on rock countertops and celebrates 20 years in business.
manufacturer staff their new state-of-the-art facility. It was a decision that made sense given The Job Center’s expertise. “What we really focus on is light industrial work, so manufacturing and distribution,” Kyle says. As The Job Center looks to fi ll open positions, you will see their yard signs across the city and announcements online about job fairs, and you may even see their 40-foot mobile recruiting center rolling through town. Stop by their office and you will find free coffee, water, and Wi-Fi. Kyle emphasizes that they want to treat people the right way. 303 N. STADIUM BLVD., SECOND FLOOR 573-979-9858 THEJOBCENTERSTAFFING.COM
Dance2Fit with Tia
A birthday party, a cardboard letter ‘A’ painted with a giraffe, and an LLC-gifting father are the perfect recipe for an origin story. Th is is Emily Housey’s origin story to be exact. CEO of Housey Designs and a junior at MU, Emily started her business, which sells hand-crafted art, in 2017 after her handmade present became a hit among her friends. The response to the gift not only inspired the birth of a business, but became the foundation of it. “What I founded my values on was creating things that are personable, that say ‘I know who you are, I listen to you, and I care about you,’” Emily says. Be it jackets or tattoo designs, Housey Designs’ philosophy of service is “your vision created.” Th rough the Unions Entrepreneurial Program, a program aimed to kickstart students’ entrepreneurial endeavors, Emily
and nine other students will work out of a retail space on MU’s campus for one year. 901 ROLLINS AVE. #1212B 248-762-8099 HOUSEYDESIGNS.CO
The Job Center
Headquartered in Ohio, the staffing agency The Job Center just opened their fi rst Missouri office here in Columbia in August. Th is is their 20th location. CEO Kyle Decker says, “It (Columbia) reminds me a lot of Ohio and feels like home.” The Job Center’s expansion came on the heels of a new partnership with American Outdoor Brands. The exclusive staffing agency for AOB, The Job Center will be helping the
Weight loss journeys can be difficult, and Tia Tucker, owner of Dance2Fit with Tia, understands that. She aimed to make changes in her life and lost 100 pounds in the process. She was inspired to lose weight because of her granddaughter. “I looked at her and couldn’t imagine someone telling her that her grandma couldn’t be here because of bad choices I made,” Tia says. That’s when Tia took action and started to help others. She began offering dance fitness classes in 2018 for others in the community working to lose weight, signaling the rise of Dance2Fit with Tia. Tia didn’t think she was much of a dancer in the beginning stages, but that no longer matters as she fosters a judgement-free environment where everyone is welcome no matter their skill level. In fact, one of the rules of participating in Tia’s classes is “no judging”— yourself or others. To keep the energy level of the classes up, Tia plays hip hop and other popular contemporary hits. 903 N. OLD 63 #5 573-881-7974 FACEBOOK .COM/DANCE2FIT WITHTIACOMO
Briefly in the News N OVE MB ER 201 9
First Adult Certified Duchenne Care Center MU Health Care has been named the fi rst Adult Certified Duchenne Care Center by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy; a nonprofit organization dedicated to leading the fi ght to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The new adult certification means MU Health Care maintains the highest standards in clinical and sub-specialty services for Duchenne patients, rapidly implements new evidencebased knowledge, and complies with standards and care established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Business AWARD S
Compassus Awarded Hospice Accreditation
Job Point & Missouri River Relief Team Up
The Compassus hospice program, which has a location in Columbia, has been awarded Community Health Accreditation Partner accreditation under the Hospice Standards of Excellence. The accreditation demonstrates that Compassus meets the industry’s highest nationally recognized standards for quality and compliance. The mission of Compassus is to provide high-quality, compassionate hospice care to improve quality of life for patients and their families.
In October, Job Point and Missouri River Relief hosted the second annual Stewardship on the Missouri River, an education program with the goal of taking YouthBuild AmeriCorps students on the Missouri River for hands-on learning about the Big Muddy. Coming from St. Louis, Columbia, and the Kansas City area, students spent half their time learning about wildlife and careers on the Missouri River and half their time working together in service to the Missouri River.
N ON PR O F IT
AWAR D S
Global First Responder Partners with U.S. Navy A Columbia-based nonprofit humanitarian relief organization, Global First Responder, is deploying a team of medical personnel to join the U.S. Navy ship USNS Comfort for the ongoing operation "Enduring Promise." Led by Dr. Adam Beckett, an emergency room physician at MU Health Care and founder of GFR, the team will consist of eight volunteers. They will work alongside USNS Comfort’s crew to provide medical, dental, and surgical services to those in need. EVEN TS
10th Annual Harvest Hootenanny The Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture hosted their 10th annual Harvest Hootenanny in early October. The event celebrated local agriculture and the completion of another successful growing season. CCUA closed down Smith Street, in front of the Urban Farm, to serve a large Missouri-grown meal with local beer and wine in the Biergarten. Attendees also listened to live music, played games, entered into a raﬄe, and hung out in the garden.
“We have one of the best gaming rooms in the country, and are a nationwide leader in providing esports opportunities for students.” TONY GRAGNANI, HICKMAN HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
Shelter Insurance Wins Award J.D. Power presented Shelter Insurance an award for being "Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Auto Insurers in the Central Region" in the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Th is is the third time Shelter has received this honor. The study asked customers to provide feedback about their overall satisfaction with their auto insurance company in the following study factors: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, and claims. The study, which was fielded from February to April, is based on evaluations from 3,447 customers.
Hickman Students Compete in Esports Competition Students at Hickman High School recently competed against CPS Superintendent Dr. Peter Stiepleman and Abe Bahadori, president-elect of the Columbia Public Schools Foundation, in an esports competition. The students are part of Hickman’s fi rst esports club. Hickman currently has two clubs, with two teams for each game, League of Legends and Overwatch. Andrew Bechtel, learning specialist for math at Hickman, serves as the clubs’ sponsor and coach.
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KAY L A M c D OWE L L
Robin Wenneker has been appointed president-elect of the Mizzou Alumni Association’s governing board. Robin graduated from MU in 1991 and now works as the managing partner of CPW Partnership and serves on boards for the Columbia Housing Authority and Children’s Grove, among others.
Kayla McDowell joins Socket as a content and digital marketing specialist. She will focus on coordinating, planning, and creating content as well as social media and digital advertising strategies. Kayla began working at Socket as a marketing intern.
JEANELLE AUGUSTIN THE DISTRICT
The District is proud to announce Nickie Davis as the new executive director for the Downtown Community Improvement District, or CID, and a new hire, Kathy Becker, as director of operations. Nickie will oversee the CID while focusing on marketing, community relations, and larger projects for downtown. Kathy will focus on internal programs, fi nancial and tax management, and organizational operations.
Daniel M. Peery, MAI, ARA, Agriculture & Industry LLC, Appraisers and Advisors, has been awarded the Accredited Rural Appraiser designation from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Daniel becomes only the second active Missouri appraiser to achieve dual designation at the highest level agriculturally from ASFMRA and commercially from the Appraisal Institute.
True/False Film Fest welcomes Jeanelle Augustin as its new festival programmer. Jeanelle is a Haitian-American arts critic and fi lm programmer. Her interest in storytelling, arts education, and aesthetics have taken her from StoryCorps to Sundance Institute, where she served as the coordinator for the Documentary Film Program and New Frontier Lab Programs.
in arts organizations. She is involved in the Columbia art scene, organizing Social Sketch CoMo and the 8th Street Makers Collective pop-up craft sales, as well as teaching art classes and marketing workshops. Kelsey and her husband own Yellow Dog Bookshop just up the street from CAL.
DR. SHANNON SITZMANN
Evexias welcomes new team member Dr. Shannon Sitzmann, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC. Shannon earned her bachelor’s in nursing from St. Louis University and her doctorate of nursing practice as a family nurse practitioner from Maryville University. Shannon is an EvexiPEL Certified Provider and has quickly become an expert in the world of Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Treatment.
Ragtag Film Society has announced Ted Rogers as the new film programmer for Ragtag Cinema. Ted is responsible for programming the film slate for the cinema, conceiving and coordinating related programming, cultivating relationships in the film industry, and engaging local communities. He will also curate and promote specialty programming.
Columbia Art League welcomes Kelsey Hammond as executive director. Kelsey brings over 15 years of experience working
Columbia College faculty member Dr. Tina Olson was recognized by the Missouri State Society for Human Resources Management Council with the LEAD (Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Dedication) Award. The prestigious honor is presented to a professional in the human resources field who is as an innovator, advocate, and/or thought leader. The award also recognizes a member of the Society who holds an outstanding record of volunteer service to the profession through leadership positions with the organization.
The Elephant in the Room The first extra session of the Missouri General Assembly skirts around the topic of lethal violence. BY KRCG 13’S KERMIT MILLER
t was the elephant in the room during the first extra session of the Missouri General Assembly in September. While Governor Mike Parson had summoned lawmakers back to the state capitol to deal with an automobile sales tax issue, the not-so-out-of-mind subject on the minds of many was the explosion of lethal violence, most of it involving guns and with a sadly large number of incidents involving children in the state’s urban centers. “We’ve had way too many kids that hadn’t even made it to their 10th birthdays getting shot on the streets for just playing on the sidewalk,” Parson told reporters following a meeting with federal law enforcement officials in late August. Parson had resisted demands that the issue be included in the call for the special session. Lawmakers from St. Louis and Kansas City argued the deadly violence — some 240 cases between those two cities at the time of the session — was much more of an emergency than the sales tax matter and needed to be addressed immediately. But with per diem expenses running in the thousands of dollars, special sessions can be costly if the outcome is not worked out ahead of time. Parson countered that there was no way to resolve the violence issue within the few days it took to change the tax law. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t feel the heat. In the senate, where members can be recognized at almost any time to speak about almost anything, St. Louis Democrat Jamilah Nasheed took advantage of a midweek lull to express her emotion and frustration over the situation back home. “I speak for those who don’t have a voice,” Nasheed began. “They have been silenced by gun violence, silenced by crime. Make no mistake about it: the gun violence in Missouri, and especially in St. Louis, is a public health crisis.” Nasheed cited statistics that seemed to put St. Louis and Kansas City in a frightening race for record levels of deadly violence this year. And lest her rural colleagues be inclined to tune her out, she pointed to the rising number of firearm suicides in their home areas, episodes in which the victims overwhelmingly are young adult white males. For those still not moved by the human cost, Nasheed emphasized the economic impact of gun violence in Missouri
— $98 million in annual health care costs, $159 million in law enforcement and criminal justice expenses, $12 million in losses to employers, and $1.7 billion in lost income to workers, according to the Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which ranks Missouri seventh among all states for gun deaths. “People are afraid to come downtown to the city of St. Louis to watch a ballgame,” Nasheed asserted. “They are afraid to hang out at the Ballpark Village [in downtown St. Louis] because they fear for their lives.” By the time the special legislative session ended September 13, the 2019 death toll for children under 17 in the metro St. Louis area had reached 23 and topped a dozen within the city itself. By then, Parson had met with members of the Missouri’s Legislative Black Caucus once and local officials in the Gateway City twice.
The Parson plan does not target violence problems in Kansas City. Gun control advocates were less than impressed. “A major factor in Missouri’s gun violence crisis is that too many guns are in the hands of too many people who shouldn’t have them,” observed Springfield Democrat Crystal Quade, the minority party floor leader in the Missouri House of Representatives. “I fear it will end up being little more than a public relations campaign that produces few, if any, tangible results.” In general terms, Parson has maintained that education and jobs are the ultimate cure for gun violence, and that’s where his priorities still lie. He has promised to protect Second Amendment rights and said any gun control initiatives must originate with the legislature. And while that does not sound very likely, the growing number of gun violence
"They have been silenced by gun violence, silenced by crime." “Today, we talked about a number of things,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson told reporters following one closed-door meeting. “We talked about them in three categories: in manpower, in equipment, and in technology. And it takes all of those things today to have an effective policing strategy.” By late September, the governor was ready with a plan. The state would pump $4 million into a program that supplemented the staffs of various federal task forces on crime with members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Parson said $2 million was committed to crime victims. “We know we have a serious problem with violent crime that must be addressed,” the governor told reporters in announcing the plan. “We have spent the past months meeting with leaders and organizations at all levels to better understand the issues and discuss possible solutions.”
victims in Missouri has even the most conservative lawmakers in Jefferson City exhibiting a “we probably need to do something” posture. As a result, one might expect a big push next year from gun control advocates for major reforms, such as a ban on high-powered firearms and ammunition, an expansion of background checks to include all gun sales, and so-called “red flag” laws to identify people with a disqualifying marker that would require them to surrender their guns and/or their right to have firearms.
Kermit Miller anchors the 6 and 10 p.m. news for KRCG 13. You can reach Kermit at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Aaro Froese District Executive, Boy Scouts of America, Great Rivers Council HOMETOWN
Columbia, Missouri YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA
All my life except for studying abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. JOB DESCRIPTION
I work with a volunteer board of directors and other community and business leaders to identify, recruit, train, guide, and inspire them to become involved in youth programs. I recruit leadership for finance campaign efforts to meet the financial needs of the organization.Â I ensure that all program sites are served through volunteers, regular leader meetings, training events, and activities. And, last but not least, I collaborate with adult volunteers and oversee achievement of training for their respective roles. EDUCATION
BA in communication from MU.
I was a business owner for more than 20 years. I graduated from MU and began working in customer relations for a local company. I liked the customer part. but hated the corporate part. I’ve always been a passionate sales person — to be great at it, you have to be able to sell vampire fangs and rubber dog poop! I also have experience in marketing, event coordination, and athletic announcing, and I’ve gained experience working with diverse audiences through volunteer and paid positions in USA Cycling and the U. S. Census Bureau. FAVORITE MEMORY FROM OWNING GOTCHA
There are so many! I really should write a book. I learned so much from my clients and co-workers. We had plenty of famous musicians open their wallets. My motto was, “Treat the rock stars like regular clients and treat regular clients like rock stars.” A couple of memories stand out. When my oldest daughter was born, I took her to the shop with me quite a bit. The Misfits were playing the Blue Note and stopped in. If you’re not familiar with the band, they’re a pretty hardcore “horror” punk group. One of the musicians saw my infant daughter and begged to hold her because he missed his own kids. Hank Williams III stopping in for tips about making fire shoot out of his fiddle was also a good time! BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED AS A BUSINESS OWNER
Owners get paid last! WHY YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA’S PROGRAMS
As an Eagle Scout, I’m living proof that scouting works. Scouting kept me focused and motivated as a young person, and so many of the skills that I use today stem from my progression through scouting. This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the 24th World Scout Jamboree. Over 45,000 scouts and scouting leaders from 150 countries came together for 12 days at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. I met scouts from Africa, South America, Sweden, Russia — the list goes on. Despite language, cultural, and religious differences, we came together as brothers and sisters with a common goal: to become helpful, active, and positive global citizens. It’s hard to not be optimistic about
"Being a Boy Scout changed my life in so many ways. It’s wonderful to work for a program that I really believe in." the future in the presence of such amazing young people and volunteers. WHY YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS DISTRICT EXECUTIVE FOR THE BSA
Being a Boy Scout changed my life in so many ways. It’s wonderful to work for a program that I really believe in. I am humbled by the volunteers who give their time and energy to support scouting. It never gets old to see the spark of excitement in a young person’s face when they accomplish a task or a goal in scouting. WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE SCOUTING PROGRAMS TODAY
Scouting is fun — and it’s not just for boys! Our programs are open to young men and young women who want to have fun, make friends, and learn leadership and selfreliance through service, outdoor adventure, and ongoing education. THE NEXT CHALLENGE FACING THE NONPROFIT SECTOR
Financial support is always going to be a challenge because there are so many competing interests. However, a donation to scouting gives a young person the chance to test themselves, to gain confidence, and to
learn what it takes to be a leader. An equally important challenge is motivating a large group of volunteers; they make such a huge impact, but it’s easy for them to get burned out. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, YOU WOULD
Travel and announce for regional bicycle races. FAVORITE VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY
Judging barbecue cook-offs or cookie baking competitions. HOW YOU WANT TO IMPACT THE COLUMBIA COMMUNITY
Both of my parents were teachers, so there wasn’t much in the way of extra money. I benefited from people who believed in and were willing to take a chance on me. I hope that through my work with the Great Rivers Council, we can expand and strengthen opportunities for young people to participate and to find their path. FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA
I’m happy mountain biking on any of the trails! YOUR GO-TO RESTAURANT IN COLUMBIA
I have too many friends who own restaurants! Let’s just say that there are lots of great places to eat in Columbia. I’m not going to lie — I enjoy a good, strong cup of coffee, so Rocket Fuel at Coffee Zone is one of my favorites. MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT YOU . . .
I’m kind of boring. I like to hang out at home with my family, watch old Westerns, and collect bicycle parts and Cadillac parts. FAMILY
Wife, Michelle, and two daughters, Skyler and Sophie. My mother, Sally; sister, Sarah; and brother, Ethan, also live in Columbia. WHAT YOU DO FOR FUN
Riding any of my bicycles, telling dad jokes, and spending time in remote locations. ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF
This is a hard question to answer. Most all my successes have been accomplished through teamwork and collaboration. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU PROFESSIONALLY OR PERSONALLY?
I want to visit Philmont Scout Reservation, Sea Base Scout Reservation, and Northern Tier Scout Reservation.
Finding Their Niche CMC Manufacturing Inc. pushes the boundaries on rock countertops and celebrates 20 years in business. BY EMMA BENTLEY | PHOTO COURTESY OF CMC MANUFACTURING INC.
n the outskirts of east Columbia sits an unassuming countertop manufacturer that is pushing the boundaries of their craft and sending their work all over the country. Once focused only on residential laminate countertops, CMC Manufacturing Inc. has made a name for themselves — in both the residential and commercial worlds — for natural stone, quartz, and solid surface countertops. Look over their impressive resume on their website listing some of their largest commercial projects and you might see a few names you recognize: Arrowhead Stadium, Jimmy John’s, MU, and many more. But it’s not just the quality of what they sell that earns them business; they regularly take on projects their competitors won’t because of the complexity, says CMC’s founder Mike Wilson. Take the reception desk pictured to the right, for example. CMC used thermoformed quartz panels to form the reception desk of a high school near St. Louis. Essentially, they bent the quartz to form it into the shape they wanted. Th is type of project takes high-performing machinery and highly-skilled employees.
1999 CMC starts with three employees as a residential laminate countertop shop.
2001 The company expands into solid surface countertops.
2003 CMC takes on their biggest commercial project, the Sprint World Headquarters Campus in Overland Park, Kansas.
It’s their employees, in fact, that Mike and Operations Manager David Rapoff are most proud of as they reflect on the company’s 20-year history. “We’ve done a lot of really neat things, a lot of projects. Those are rewarding when you complete them, everyone’s happy, and it turned out the way the architect or the homeowner wanted it. But I agree with David,” says Mike. “I think the biggest accomplishment is continuing to grow and employ as many people as we employ and create a good place to work, a good environment. You can validate that by the people who’ve worked here for 13, 14, 15 years.” Starting with only three employees, CMC now employs around 80 people between staffers in their solid surface and stone shops (where the counters are fabricated), installers, and office personnel. David also adds that, during the recession, not only did all of their 52 employees keep their jobs, but they also hired people and raised wages when many in their industry were forced to let people go. How were they able to do this? David credits the diversity of their projects in both the residential and commercial sectors.
2004 The company moves to their current location and starts the stone shop with 30 employees.
2015 CMC expands their stone shop’s footprint and buys new equipment.
2019 The company celebrates 20 years in business and employs around 80 people.
cost has come down significantly because of the machinery.” Because of the demand for rock surfaces, CMC expanded their rock shop by 10,000 square feet on two different occasions, with the most recent expansion being completed last year.
Putting It Into Perspective To understand the scope of business that CMC runs, let’s look at the numbers. On average, they install countertops in six to seven kitchens a day, with the average kitchen being 60 square feet. When Jimmy John’s was going through a growth spurt a few years ago, CMC completed countertop orders for 10 to 15 individual stores per week. “The franchise stores and restaurants are nice, because they tend to be repeat top sizes and shapes, so when we’re doing 10 to 15 orders a week, we gain efficiencies. We don’t have to reprogram [the machines] every time,” says David. On a daily basis, they have the capability of processing 20,000 pounds of stone or quartz. An average slab weighs 800 pounds, Mike says. On a yearly basis, 3 million pounds of granite and quartz get delivered to them.
Pondering the Future
Thermoformed granite reception desk.
Diversifying Projects In 1999, CMC only offered laminate countertops, but two years later, they expanded into solid surfaces. That change opened a door to the commercial countertop sector. Their fi rst large commercial project — Sprint World Headquarters Campus in Overland Park, Kansas — came in 2003. From there, their work in the commercial sector has only grown. It now makes up 60% of their business. But they haven’t left the residential sector behind. They still work with general contractors in the Columbia, Jefferson City, and the Lake of the Ozarks area to cut and install residential countertops, but you won’t fi nd any laminate in their showroom. David estimates that 98% of their residential countertop work is with rock (natural stone or quartz) and the other 2% is solid surface. David and Mike attribute these numbers to the lower cost of rock surfaces, which are now cheaper than solid surfaces because the cost of the machinery has become cheaper. “We’re putting granite in houses under $200,000,” Mike says. “It’s just what the builders have to do to compete, and the
When thinking about CMC’s future, Mike and David want to continue investing in machinery, employees, and their customers. “We want to continue to update our technology. We need to continue to move digitally with some things that we’re doing because you’re always going to be pinched in the industry. There’s always going to be somebody trying to do something cheaper than you,” says David. In order for CMC to be able to pay competitive wages and benefits, along with having top fl ight machinery, they have to continue in their efforts to be more efficient and effective with what they’re doing, he adds. Mike agrees. He says they want to increase their customer satisfaction by improving their lead time and speed, and he wants to focus on trying to be a better manufacturer overall.
CMC MANUFACTURING INC. 270 N. RANGELINE RD. 573-443-8677 CMCMFG.COM
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Building Up, Building Out Socket keeps businesses and families connected for 25 years and counting. BY KRISTIN BLAKE | PHOTOS BY KEITH BORGMEYER
Socket president and co-founder Carson Coffman
n the fi rst weekend of April, thousands of people gathered for the Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo held at Columbia College, where $25,000 worth of prizes were on the line. The event included a 120-player Fortnite tournament, a League of Legends tournament, and a mobile arcade. But none of it would have been possible without a reliable internet provider, and this year, Socket took that job. Gary Stanowski, Columbia College’s chief information officer, says that for this multiple-player gaming event to work, a certain reliable bandwidth is necessary. “If there’s any hiccup, it could cause a team to lose,” he says. “If you’re in the middle of a battle with another player and your keyboard isn’t working, the other team’s might be working. You can’t have any latency or slowness when you’re playing.” Whether it’s being used for a thousands-large gaming event or a video chat with a medical specialist across the country, the internet has wiggled its way into most areas of our life. Socket not only understands this, but they’ve also adapted to changes in the technology world over the past 25 years. Since 1994, Socket’s existence has been anything but staid. They started out as a dial-up internet company, and in 2002, they added telephone services. The company continued expanding their DSL presence and even added an office in St. Peters, Missouri, along the way. Around 2011, Socket started building their own fiber-optic network. Unlike existing copper networks, which aren’t able to accommodate the growing need for bandwidth, fiber-optic networks are made of glass and transmit information via laser. Previously, Socket had relied on pre-existing copper networks, and while they still use some of these lines, they now build exclusively fiber-optic networks, which President and Chief Operations Officer Carson Coff man deems the next evolution of business internet. As for the future of Socket, goals for the next five years focus mainly on developing and expanding its fiber-optic network. Carson hopes to triple the number of fiber-optic network markets and offer speeds of 100 gig to all of its customer base.
GETTING WITH THE TIMES When reflecting on his journey from back when he started, in the early 2000s, to now, Carson says the ride has been phenomenal. Now, much of his life has gone online — from his daughter’s soccer team info to school lunch orders. He says he likes the growth because it brings innovation. But more digital life means more bandwidth. About eight years ago, Carson realized the old copper networks just couldn’t keep up with the demand for data, so Socket bought
their own construction equipment and started building new networks with fiber-optic cables. They’re now actively building the fiber-optic cable networks in about 20 different Missouri markets. “People are using so much more internet,” he says. “The majority of people we see are switching over from regular TV service to streaming. [The fiber-optic network] future-proofs the home.” Zeke Long has worked at Socket in a variety of roles, but he now serves as the director of customer care and fulfi llment. He says building out on their own has given Socket more control of their networks. “We now provide a better customer experience and also a better offering,” he says. “We’re not relying on a third party to provide the underlying services.”
GROWTH IN COLUMBIA AND BEYOND Gary had heard of Socket over the years, but it was only about a year ago that Columbia College started using their services. Business with Socket is more than a commodity; it’s a partnership, he says. “Because of their service and competitive pricing, it was an easy choice,” he says. “In my meetings with other individuals throughout Columbia, Socket’s name kept being mentioned.” Columbia College has around 500 students living on campus. “If we have a hiccup in our internet, our help desk is getting calls
"The biggest impact we’ve had is to bring a competitive offering to business and residential customers. ” — Zeke Long
Janet Moss, director of human resources
from students,” Gary says. “Our students are here 24/7 and expect internet all the time. Connectivity is everything to our younger generation.” Before Socket, customers didn’t have many options to choose from, Zeke says. “The biggest impact we’ve had is to bring a competitive offering to business and residential customers,” he says. Larger companies often see building in rural markets as an afterthought and focus on bigger cities, but that’s not the case with Socket. “We’re focusing on the smaller towns that bigger companies have overlooked,” Carson says. “Th is is our local community, and we want to hit those towns that are right in our backyard.” And local is the name of Socket’s game for Janet Moss, director of human resources. She says it’s important that people know Socket is a local company. “We feel like we’re able to provide a customer experience that is hometown, that’s local,” she says. “We know what’s going on in our community, and we want to be a part of it.”
FROM THE INSIDE Starting as a temp, Janet has been with Socket for 15 years and has seen the evolution of the company up close. When Janet joined the company, there were around 40 employees. “Of course, with that small of a number, you feel like a family,” she says. "It’s been amazing to me how, over the years, we still feel like a family even with 150-plus employees.” For Janet, business is personal, whether it’s with a co-worker or customer. “We have been intentional about creating an environment where employees feel like they fit in and grow professionally,” she says. “We don’t see employees or customers as a number; we see them as people.” Zeke was one of these people. Previously, he worked for a software company that was one of Socket’s fi rst business customers, and in 2000, he started working evenings in Socket’s tech support department while keeping his day job, which made for 60-hour work weeks. Later, he took a full-time position at Socket and worked up to his current role as a
Zeke Long, director of customer care and fulfillment
director. “The residential support and services have always been where our key personnel have come from,” he says. But even beyond professional development, Janet understands the far-reaching effects of the basic service that Socket offers, such as grandparents being able to communicate with their grandchildren in another city. “You realize this is something people rely on daily, and we provide that,” she says. “It’s pretty special.”
SOCKET 2703 CL ARK LN. 573-817-0000 SOCKET.NET
Honoring local organizations and individuals who tirelessly give back. BY BETH BRAMSTEDT PHOTOS BY ANTHONY JINSON
Not a week goes by where we aren’t in some way influenced or inspired by one of our local nonprofits. The men and women leading and serving in this sector are courageous, tenacious, and passionate. They accomplish so much with so little. It is our heart at COMO magazine to honor their generosity by doing what we do best — telling their stories. Join us in celebrating our 2019 Impact COMO winners and honorable mentions.
EXECUTIVE DI RECTO R
Nikki McGruder Inclusive Impact Institute The Inclusive Impact Institute began in March of 2015 as a region of the Diversity Awareness Partnership out of St. Louis, but in the spring of 2018, it became its own entity. As director of the institute, Nikki is able to do work that means the world to her. “It’s work that does not feel like work at all,” she says. “As cliché as it sounds, it is so true. I can be my authentic self in the work that I do, and I encourage others to be a part of communities that allow them to be their authentic selves as well.” Nikki’s goals for 2020 and beyond are to continue providing programming and opportunities to educate and bring awareness to the community as it relates to diversity and inclusion. Her team is committed to a community where each and every human being feels that they have a place and that they belong. Nikki credits her motivation to her children. She wants for them to inherit a society that is better than the one she had, or her mother or grandmother had. “I look at them as they look at me with the full expectation that I am going to take care of them to the best of my ability,” she says. “They’re relying on me, and I do not want to disappoint them.” The work gets done thanks to the countless volunteers helping to provide programming and give of their time and expertise. The institute collaborates across city and county government, with for-profit and nonprofit organizations, with public and higher education, and beyond. “The Journey Toward Inclusive Excellence Committee, in particular, has worked alongside us for two years now in a pure volunteer capacity, and we work together to make our community one committed to inclusive excellence,” Nikki shares. Nikki is proud of any recognition that honors the work being done, and she was excited to recently receive the Statewide Collaborative Diversity Champion award from Missouri State University.
Dr. Stephanie Logan DeafLEAD Dr. Stephanie Logan has been the executive director of DeafLEAD since its inception 24 years ago. She was hired to develop a nonprofit that would fill the gaps in services for the deaf and hard of hearing community in Missouri. “Unfortunately, there were no services for the deaf in Missouri,” says Stephanie, “So the gap was huge!” Over time, Stephanie was able to determine the primary needs and focus on providing culturally and linguistically accessible crisis intervention and mental health services for deaf victims of crime. “Stephanie’s tireless commitment to educating Columbians about the deaf community is stunning,” says Cassidy Shearrer. “She is an exemplary advocate.”
Nanette Ward Stop Human Traff icking Coalition of Central Missouri Nanette is a co-founder of the Stop Human Trafficking Coalition and has been the director for more than 10 years. Her role is to rescue victims of human trafficking and exploitation and advocate for them. She has built a network of shelters, resources, and connections throughout Central Missouri so survivors have immediate help and long-term support. “She is nothing short of amazing,” says Loretta Schouten, “but she won’t tell you herself because she is incredibly humble. She has positively impacted not only the 600-plus survivors that have sought services from the coalition, but everyone she comes in contact with — they’re all made better for it.”
F UN D RA I SI N G EVEN T
Founder Chuck Crews and Artist Emmett Russell
Tigers on the Prowl
Over the Edge Love INC Over the Edge is a street carnival featuring participants who rappel from the top of the
Tigers on the Prowl is a volunteer-run organization that showcases the work of artists and provides a platform for local charities to raise awareness and funds. They have raised over $600,000 for local charities to date. Chuck Crews, founder and board member, has worked with the organization for seven years. He and the other board members recruit and select artists and charities to participate. They also help organize all aspects of auctioning the art and planning the fall banquet. “We assist the charities in fi nding sponsors and selling tickets,” Chuck says. “And we work with local media to promote the project and raise awareness of the charities.” The actual event now includes 500 attendees, a live auction of each piece of art that highlights the artist and their process in developing the piece, a dinner, and a silent auction, which is new. “Chuck oversees all aspects of the evening with a host of helpers who help the evening go off without a hitch,” says Grace Elder. “My nonprofit child care agency has been involved for three years and has benefited greatly from this gentleman’s generosity and heart.” The organization’s goals are to continue to improve their event, fi nd new charities to help each year, and to engage a wider group of local artists. “Seeing the artwork that our artists have produced displayed around town makes me proud,” Chuck says, “as does seeing the money that we’ve raised help the participating charities.” Chuck says they couldn’t make it all happen without The Crossing and Mpix, their presenting sponsors, as well as their board members and many other local artists and sponsors. Th is year’s auction and dinner event was held on October 1 at the Holiday Inn Executive Center and benefited Rainbow House, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, Lizzy’s Walk of Faith, City of Refuge, and the Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center. The evening featured art created by 17 local artists including Jenny McGee, Kate Gray, Clayton Hicklin, Emmett Russell, and Lonnie Carlos Tapia.
Tiger Hotel. “Edgers” engage their social media networks to raise $1,000 in order to qualify. “This event is a great fit for Love INC in that it encourages folks to face their fears and overcome them,” says Executive Director Pat McMurry. “It illustrates the challenges and thrill for both the helpers and helped as they work together.” “Over the Edge not only brings awareness to the issues of Columbia’s impoverished, but it also brings help,” says Tara Freeman. “It’s an innovative idea to assist Love INC in sharing resources with our neighbors.”
Casino Night Welcome Home Inc. Welcome Home’s Casino Night is the biggest single-night fundraiser Welcome Home has ever produced. James Chapman, from Veterans United Home Loans, introduced the concept four years ago and he continues to help the event grow. According to Development Director Megan Sievers, 100 guests attended the first year and raised around $25,000. In 2018, Welcome Home packed the Kimball Ballroom at Stephens College with more than 300 guests and raised $124,000. “There are more than 20 casino tables, other fun games and prizes, a silent and live auction, a professional photographer, and so much more,” Megan says. “100% of the proceeds benefit Welcome Home.”
B OA R D MEMBE R
Ann Merrifield Columbia Art League People often tease Ann Merrifield about being the “girl who can’t say no.” But if it’s an organization or initiative she can get behind and support, why shouldn’t she say yes? “I think one of the reasons that Columbia is such a thriving community is that there are a lot of individuals just like me that appreciate the opportunity to give back,” Ann says. Ann has served on the board for the Columbia Art League for two years, but it was a bit of a bumpy path getting there. She claimed she wasn’t an artist and therefore wasn’t qualified, and it took being asked three times before she agreed. “I fi nally realized that I am an excellent art appreciator, and appreciators are needed on boards as well,” she says. Ann also sees herself as a strategic thinker and believes that skill is needed on boards, too. “I’m someone who is able to rise above the passion of what we do and provide input into what makes the most sense for us to do,” she says. CAL supports the arts in the community in many ways — gallery exhibitions, pop-up shows, art classes — but the event they are the most known for is Art in the Park. Each year, during the fi rst weekend of June, Stephens Lake Park comes alive with art, sculptures, jewelry, ceramics, music, and food. “In my role as parking lot administrator — a self-given title — I have met people from all over the country that look forward to attending this event every year. I’m extremely proud of the art league for their tireless work in putting this event on and also proud of our community for supporting it,” Ann says. CAL’s goals for 2020 include expanding program and educational offerings, increasing access for a more diverse range of community members, developing CAL into a “board of choice,” assuring fi nancial growth and stability, identifying locations and facilities that can enhance the organizational and operational growth, and building brand awareness. And Ann can’t wait to be part of all of it.
Harriet Yelon Ronald McDonald House Charities When her son, Sasha Yelon, was sick, Harriet Yelon didn’t have a have a home away from home. The realization of that need has driven Harriet to volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House in many ways, including serving six years on the board. “Harriet has found a little bit of peace at the Ronald McDonald House,” says Executive Director Terri Gray. “She is always willing to help the house and our guest families in any way, with a smile and without hesitation.” “I’ve been in their shoes,” Harriet says. “So I have unlimited energy for the things I like to do.”
Joe Miller Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia As a board member, Joe Miller has helped set the direction of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia and provide financial, program, and safety oversight for the past nine years. ”This is a very ‘hands-on’ board,” Joe says. “We are highly engaged with the staff and leadership.” Matt Moore serves alongside Joe and admires his passion. “Joe has a huge heart for kids and the community in general,” he says. Joe is proud of the organization’s latest capital campaign, which added a gym, gourmet kitchen, recording studio, and additional kid space. “We raised $2,500,000 in less than one year,” he says.
STA F F MEMBE R
Sherry Major Missouri Women’s Business Center
Tricia Woolbright Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture Tricia Woolbright runs the Opportunity Gardens program at the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture. This program works with low-income Columbians, many of
Sherry Major’s most rewarding moments are having what she calls “business babies.” And so far, she’s had 25. “Seeing others learn and grow is motivating, especially in the moment that their dream becomes a reality,” she says. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Central Missouri Community Action was able to start the Missouri Women’s Business Center in 2016. Sherry has served as a business coach and training coordinator for the past two years. In her role, Sherry meets with people who want to open or grow their business. She determines where they are in the process, where they want to be, and what they need. She also coordinates various training workshops and teaches a 36-hour business planning class called LaunchU. “I help them get it out of their head, prioritize the next three most important things, and then encourage them to meet with me again for accountability and to keep the process going,” Sherry explains. And her work has not gone unnoticed. “She puts people at ease all while challenging them to thoroughly examine their business plan for marketability and profitability,” says Jennifer Schenck. “Every day she performs her job with a smile, energetic attitude, and caring heart.” Sherry credits Darin Preis, the executive director for CMCA, for his foresight in writing their initial grant and for hiring great leadership. She also appreciates the talents of her teammates Jessie Yankee and Sarah Fuller, and she’s looking forward to the future of the organization. “In 2020, we want to collaborate on a resource center space in the Parkade Center to provide entrepreneurial support to the communities on and surrounding the Business Loop,” Sherry says. “Secondly, we plan to expand our LaunchU course offerings to some rural communities surrounding Columbia.” Sherry gets excited about helping people and watching how the Columbia business community supports the nonprofit community. “Being part of a nonprofit here is wonderful because we have such engaged supporters,” she says.
whom are immigrants or have a disability, to grow their own gardens. “Trish takes people from not knowing what basil is to making pesto in the kitchen,” says Cassidy Shearrer. “In 2017, she had more than 350 mentoring experiences. Her one-on-one relationships with people are genuinely kind, respectful, patient, and life-changing.” “If you can do something, you must,” Tricia says. “We’re all in this together. I particularly love when I can help facilitate people helping each other.”
Megan Sievers Welcome Home Inc. Megan Sievers works to inspire the community to embrace Welcome Home as part of their philanthropic efforts. She is responsible for fundraising, marketing and awareness, and as a director, she oversees all administrative aspects of the organization. “No matter how stressful the situation, Megan stays calm and has a positive attitude,” says Rebecca Knipp. “She is an excellent communicator and puts her heart and soul into Welcome Home.” “We can’t sit back and wait for anyone else to lead the way toward change,” Megan says. “Even if we help just one veteran out of homelessness, that makes all of it worth it.”
General Manager Curtis Varns
PH I L A N THRO PI C CO MPA NY
The Networks of Mid-Missouri
Shelter Insurance Companies Shelter Insurance provides support to its communities in reaction to their core business mission of being a good corporate citizen. “It is something Shelter has been doing for more than 20 years since, in the spring of 1998, 10 steering members introduced
The Networks of Mid-Missouri — KMIZ-TV and KQFX-TV — is home to ABC 17 News, which airs nearly 40 hours of local news programming each week and offers a comprehensive news website. They also support local nonprofits through creative ads, community announcements, and innovative marketing techniques. “The Networks of Mid-Missouri and its staff has been instrumental to the Salvation Army, ensuring we have successful campaigns and events,” says Lori Benson, of Columbia’s chapter of the Salvation Army. “They encourage their staff to volunteer in nonprofit events and activities, to be involved in civic groups, and to serve on boards in our community.” Every December, the company spends an entire day ringing the bell for the Red Kettle Campaign, and their sales director, Trent Poindexter, sits on the advisory board for the Salvation Army and serves as chair of the Community Relations and Development Committee. “We’re all familiar with the idea of giving more than we take,” says Curtis Varns, general manager of The Networks of MidMissouri. “An extension of that lifestyle comes in the form of volunteering, community service, and charity. It just fits with what we do.” Lori believes The Networks of Mid-Missouri goes above and beyond to create an impactful partnership. “The Networks of MidMissouri has not only helped us form successful campaigns, but they have truly made a difference in countless lives of those we serve,” she says. “They look at all aspects of generating a positive message that engages our community, and they make sure the Salvation Army shines.” “I’ve gotten to know a lot of leaders of various nonprofits here in Columbia, and most everyone I’ve dealt with is outstanding,” says Curtis. “They are all smart, well intentioned, and capable people. I feel like our community is in great shape when the organizations charged with taking care of people are well run.” What about the future? “Our goals are to keep growing and to better serve Mid-Missouri by providing reliable news and weather, top-notch entertainment, local programming, and community service,” Curtis says.
United Way at work,” says Paul LaRose, vice president of human resources. “Volunteerism has continued to ﬂourish and grow, but it has also been in the heart of our employees.” “Shelter truly sets the bar for a locally headquartered company that believes in investing in and supporting its nonprofit community,” says Jolyn Sattizahn. “Their employees and leadership are very visible.”
Senior Marketing Specialists Senior Marketing Specialists has a committed group of 50 employees that participate in fundraising activities for 10 to 15 different fundraisers each year and raise more than $10,000 for various nonprofits. The company often matches the fundraising efforts to double the contribution. From the American Red Cross to Alzheimer’s research and everything inbetween, they go beyond raising money and spend time volunteering with their organizations. “We pick up trash, volunteer at the senior center, the [Central Missouri] Humane Society, buy holiday gifts for adopt-a-families,” says Amanda Griffin, executive director of marketing. “It truly is a passion of our entire team to help so many great causes.”
VO LUNTE ER
Anna Marie Knipp Boone Hospital Foundation
Anne Deaton Children’s Grove Anne Deaton’s role in Children’s Grove began with conceiving the idea six years ago and then serving as co-founder and board president. “Anne Deaton has a kind heart, and
While Anna Marie Knipp claims to be a “below the radar” volunteer who enjoys fi nding organizations she believes in and working on a project to help them fi nancially, her results are anything but ordinary. “Anna Marie approached Boone Hospital Foundation indicating that she would like to host a fundraising event at her barn, High Spirits Farm, as a way to say thank you for the care that she and her mother received at Boone Hospital Center,” says Barb Danuser. “She was moved and felt compelled to give back.” Anna Marie asked that the funds raised be designated to purchase a new ambulance. “Anna Marie led this fundraiser with enthusiasm and passion,” says Barb. “Not only did she host and organize this event, but she also led the fundraising efforts. She tirelessly called, texted, visited, and hand-delivered to businesses and community members to join her in supporting this endeavor.” According to Barb, Anna Marie not only asked for fi nancial gifts, but she also led the charge of securing 16 live auction items and 23 silent auction items. She succeeded in getting more than 250 community members to attend or support the event, which netted more than $90,000. “Each event makes me very proud, as they’ve done very well for the nonprofit selected,” Anna Marie says. “The most recent one for the Boone Hospital Foundation was by far the largest and most successful. We attracted a wide variety of guests with the addition of showcasing classic cars owned by local collectors. It was a huge hit and lots of fun.” Anna Marie went to college in Columbia and grew up in Jefferson City, thus giving her the opportunity to watch Central Missouri grow and prosper throughout her life. “Th is community has such a philanthropic mentality,” she says. “I like to see organizations work together to address the local needs.” She believes that giving back comes in many forms, and all are good. “We make our community strong and it makes us strong as well,” she shares.
she generously shares it with every person she meets,” says Susan Currier. “Children’s Grove exists to inspire a culture of kindness and to support the mental and emotional well-being of youth. Anne always searches for ways to get our message out there.” “If you work to promote good for all people, are thankful, and have the courage to seek truth and freedom,” Anne says, “your life will be meaningful, whatever path you take.”
Michael Garver Columbia College, Relay for Life Michael Garver serves as team captain and as a member of the event leadership team for Columbia College’s chapter of Relay for Life. “I am amazed how many thousands of dollars we raise with very little resources,” Michael says. “Our team is consistently the number one fundraising team. Winning a regional award one year was the best moment.” “Michael has a passion for Relay for Life like I have never seen,” says Tina McNeil. “He is passionate, has fun, and lets the mission of Relay for Life continuously give him energy to show up for each event, fundraiser, and meeting.”
National Trends Shape the Future of Nonprofits in Columbia
ANDREW GRABAU AND GREG DELINE meet for coffee regularly to discuss how Boone County can be a better community for families. Their personal and professional missions align, in that they want to leave the world a better place than they found it. The key for them is to how to support and empower a broader network of collaborators to successfully address the systemic root causes and obstacles facing those struggling to meet life’s basic needs. That’s where nonprofit resources and expertise come in. But nonprofits can’t go it alone. The support of individuals and businesses is greatly needed for this ecosystem to work. Grabau and DeLine recently compared national challenges to what’s happening locally and how nonprofit organizations, donors and volunteers are responding in Boone County.
A Q&A with Andrew Grabau, executive director of Heart of Missouri United Way, Inc., and Greg DeLine, president and CEO of DeLine Holdings and area philanthropist.
Due to the changes in the standard deduction with personal taxes, there is emerging evidence that fewer individuals are donating to organizations. However, research shows that the value of the average gift by individuals is rising. Peer-to-peer fundraising has also increased considerably.
Focus area: Regulatory and Personal Shifts in Charitable Giving
Andrew: Nonprofits must continue to share their vision and communicate the importance of financial support in
achieving their vision. Supporting a nonprofit is more than just a tax deduction. For the United Way, it’s about making an investment in our community and neighbors to lift up everyone living in poverty. The uptick in the average gift maybe a sign that nonprofits are having success in sharing their vision with larger donors, but that needs to be with every group. Peer-to-peer fundraising is usually vision-based too, driven by passion. This is just one more proof point about the importance of sharing the vision. Greg: Businesses have a real opportunity to use their resources to fund or donate in-kind services matching the needs of a specific program. As a board president for local nonprofits in Columbia, I see businesses stepping up to meet these needs. I anticipate this will continue to increase as nonprofits improve the way they ask for support. Businesses or individuals should also be aware of state tax credits such as the Affordable Housing Assistance Program Tax Credit (AHAP) offered by the Missouri Housing Development Commission. This one-time credit for qualifying Missouri businesses and individuals is an incentive to participate in affordable housing production and operations. If these types of credits fall within someone’s areas of expertise and it’s for the good of the community, why not participate?
Remember local charities on #GivingTuesday 2019 #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving founded on social media to encourage more philanthropy. The next Giving Tuesday is December 3, 2019. Giving Tuesday raised $380 million online in 2018, up 38% or $106 million from 2017. The online average gift amounts exceeded $134. Top five issues discussed in 2018: public & societal benefit, human services, education, health, environment & animals. Source: Nonprofits Source https:// nonprofitssource.com/online-givingstatistics/giving-tuesday/
Focus area: Fighting Poverty through Better Data
Every organization devoting resources to addressing poverty must use data to measure their program’s effectiveness and reach their neighbors in need. Data should enable organizations to better frame the need when making funding decisions as well as debriefing their effectiveness. Andrew: Community resources are too precious, and time is too short to not measure the impact of our work; data allows us to do that. Nonprofits owe it to our donors and neighbors in need to ensure community investments are helping those who need it most. For example, looking at low unemployment data may suggest that our local economy is strong. However, unemployment among African Americans is still double-digits — same with individuals with disabilities. Many have low wages. Forty percent of households reporting income in Boone County earn under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (around $24,000 for an individual, $40,000 for one adult with two kids). Data helps nonprofits make smarter decisions and have greater impact. Greg: Fighting poverty is an area where I see Columbia businesses, volunteers and donors coming together to make a real difference. Poverty tends to be the root cause of so many other challenges, such as alcohol or drugs, homelessness, job loss and hunger. If we break it down into root causes, there are very different needs that must be addressed, and community support is what’s needed to make an impact. Everybody deserves a hand up. It’s good for society and greatly needed in this area. A great example of fighting poverty is a joint effort by Phoenix Programs and Welcome Home. These local nonprofits combined resources through the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant program. The organizations identify and secure permanent housing for more than 100 homeless veterans in Columbia and the 18-county area. Focus area: Community Engagement Expectation Differences
Time, talent, treasure still rings true. We need a community that does more than just donate money (although that’s incredibly important). With generational differences, volunteers have different expectations in what they want to get out of engagement and how deep they go with one organization, compared to supporting several nonprofits. Not only do volunteers offset some costs to provide services that an otherwise
paid staff member would provide, but it also brings them closer to their neighbors to better understand and see the challenges firsthand. Andrew: United Way had more than 300 volunteers at our Day of Caring, which served many of our nonprofit partner agencies with mission-based projects. The day created exposure and awareness of community issues, and we all have a role in strengthening it. Greg: Business principles such as empowering people through tools and resources works well for community engagement. A great example is through the number of individuals impacted by Love INC, Columbia’s Bike to the Future program. I’m incredibly proud to support this program. To date, more than 424 bikes have been provided for those who need transportation. But it’s not just about the number of bikes. It’s about the network of people who dedicate their time and offer their skills in different ways to donate bikes, repair them, clean them up and deliver them to individuals in need who now have easier access to work, shopping and so much more. Focus area: Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Essential for Multicultural Society
This is an area that needs to be handled with intentionality and purpose. This is about making sure nonprofits advance inclusion and equity in the delivery of services. Nonprofits should also be intentional about inviting diverse members of our community to their boards, volunteer ranks and staff — and making that a priority.
Andrew: There is a compelling position paper released called “The Groundwater Approach.” It uses a metaphor regarding the challenges around equity. If the groundwater is polluted with racial inequity, then we will never solve the issues we face unless we address the source. The nonprofit sector cannot be the only one that works to resolve this; however, we must be community leaders and seek change based at the root cause (or groundwater). That means exploring how we leverage our work to bring greater awareness and incorporate a holistic 360 approach, similar to the Inclusive Excellence Framework that is being championed by the University of Missouri. Greg: Nonprofit boards are missing an opportunity to grow and enrich the lives of others if they are not assessing who is serving on the board and leading special task forces. Diversity and inclusion help shape how the nonprofit’s mission is advanced, along with expanding connections with collaborative partners, potential donors and policy makers.
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BOARD OPTIONS Job Point board members, along with nonprofit executive director Jessica Macy, share the scoop on strategically running nonprofit boards and what qualities make a good board member. BY J O R DA N M I L NE
Since 1965, Job Point has prided itself as “Missouri’s premier employment center and community development corporation.” Through their training services, Job Point stresses work habits such as punctuality, showing initiative, getting along with coworkers, and having appropriate interactions with supervisors. They also help individuals create resumes, search for job leads, complete online job applications, practice interviewing, and make connections with employers. However, back in 2014, the organization was going through a trying time. “Job Point had suffered significant funding cuts, had reduced programming dramatically, and was in severe financial distress,” says current Job Point President and CEO Steve Smith, who had only been on the board of directors for a mere two months at the time. “Several very difficult choices had to be considered in order to see Job Point survive.” In response to the organization’s hardships, the previous president and CEO elected to resign, and Steve stepped up to lead the organization. As of October 22, Steve has served as president for five years. “Personally, all things work out for the best, and the board hiring Steve Smith was a blessing that turned things around for a great organization,” says former board chair Chuck Bowman. “Steve came in with a vision for the future. He knew how to manage a budget and demonstrated the ability to lead the organization in the direction it needed to go. This required him to make some tough decisions in order to get the organization on the right path, but Steve came in with a passion for the organization and immediately had an impact.”
Also a seasoned board member, Chuck started with Job Point in 2014 and moved up the executive board ranks as secretary, treasurer, and vice president before becoming board chair. He will term out in 2019 after six years of service. Through their trying time, these two Job Point board members learned what character traits it takes to restructure a board and build a thriving nonprofit. Here lies their sound advice in building and maintaining a strong, healthy nonprofit board from personal experience.
PICKING THE RIGHT PIECES When discussing the characteristics of a good board member, Steve says a willingness to be involved comes first. Regular attendance to board meetings, committee meetings, and events sponsored by the nonprofit makes a statement to the community. “[Having] a willingness to share their talents and abilities to further the goals and mission of the entity in both large and small ways can provide a huge synergy,” says Steve. “Financial support at a level that fits each individual’s ability is also vital, as many grant providers look at the level of support from board members.” Chuck agrees that a board member should be “a good steward from a budget and fiduciary standpoint” and possess the “ability to give financially on a personal level and the ability to use their sphere of influence to raise funds.” A good board must also be highly respected in the community, Chuck says. “Hold yourself accountable and hold staff and fellow board members accountable in ensuring goals are met,” says Chuck. “Come prepared each time to provide feedback and give valuable input. Learn from others, teach others, and always be willing to give an opinion on how to improve the operations, policies, and finances of the nonprofit.” Jessica Macy, executive director for the Services for Independent Living and board member at the Family Health Center, has also cultivated a strong perspective on what makes good board members. Jessica has 24 years of experience working with nonprofits, including partnering with Job Point’s YouthBuild program to provide home repairs for seniors and people with disabilities. “A good board member is passionate about your cause, which enables them to tell the story of the need in the community authentically,”
she says. “They push themselves outside of their comfort zone and dedicate time to get things done like fundraising, which is very few members’ favorite thing!”
FINDING THE KINGS AND QUEENS Jessica believes that when it comes to recruiting good board members, “It is all about building relationships.” “The executive director and board should always be cultivating relationships to grow the organization’s capacity,” advises Jessica. “Something that sounds simple but isn’t is to keep a running list of skills you need and people you would love to have on your board — and ask those people! Look at your volunteer base, move people onto committees, and then move them onto the board.” At Job Point, the staff and the board work together to seek out good candidates for future board openings. “We look at areas of expertise we lack, or where we have gaps, so as to have a very diverse board,” says Steve. Erica Pefferman, former Job Point chair in 2018 and 2019, agrees with Steve’s statement. “When Job Point went through their trying time in 2014, we intentionally looked for board members with skill sets that the board was lacking, and then we created a succession plan. The board planned out who would serve in which key positions for the next six years so that the president and key board members would carry forward the lessons from the past,” Erica explains. When Job Point finds a potential board member, they turn to the existing board first. “We ask all those involved to determine who we wish to contact, then we have someone with a relationship with the prospect make the first contact,” says Steve. From there, Steve notes, Job Point offers a tour of the facility and overview of their mission and outcomes so that the prospect has a relatively good feel for what they do. “We offer expectations of board members prior to their acceptance of nomination to reduce the chance of surprises,” says Steve. According to Chuck, the voids, or “areas of expertise,” needing to be filled may include finances, marketing, fundraising, leadership skills, etc. In seeking out such folks, he looks at past donors, people who have served on other boards, and people who have a passion for helping others succeed.
“By providing an open environment where giveand-take is encouraged on a professional basis, board development can take place rather seamlessly.” HANDLING NON-TEAM PLAYERS Jessica advises that the best way to handle a toxic board member is proactively — by being thoughtful and deliberative in member recruitment. She is a firm believer in setting expectations, giving solid onboarding and training, and providing meaningful work from the beginning to help to avoid toxicity. “However, [toxicity] does happen, and when it does, the situation is usually handled by the board’s president,” says Jessica. “Anytime we experience toxicity, the situation needs to be handled quickly, directly, and with respect. There is no one-size-fitsall, silver bullet solution — every situation and every person is different.” And when it comes to these board members who may be muddying the waters, Steve recommends that the board discuss their concerns with the individual and determine if they can continue to serve. “In my past experience on several not-for-profit boards and at a corporate level, it seems best to meet with the individual and address where they’re coming from,” explains Steve. “If the individual is unwilling to continue on terms that will work for the good of the board, it’s usually best for them to step aside.” Chuck agrees with Jessica and Steve, saying that, in these instances, the issue must be confronted head-on. “Focus on the problem and don’t make it personal,” says Chuck. “Use specific examples and be objective, and always listen and get and give feedback in case it can be salvaged.”
DEVELOPING A STRATEGY When it comes to developing a board, Steve says that communication, education, and transparency are key components in the process. “It may take most of the first term on the board for a member to have a good feel for operations, finances, and the details that make each entity unique,” says Steve. “By providing an open environment where give-and-take is encouraged on a professional basis, the development can take place rather seamlessly.” Steve also notes that offering opportunities for advancement with committee responsibilities can also help in the building process. And Chuck adds that it’s crucial to have clear and concise board objectives. “Have board orientation,” says Chuck. “Work on open communication and have an environment that allows for holding differing opinions while respecting others opinions.” So where exactly does one find resources for training a board?
TRAINING FOR THE GAME “There are many outlets for training a board,” says Steve. “Heart of Missouri United Way provides numerous resources, and the City of Columbia offers access as well.” Krista Myer, director of continuous improvement for Heart of Missouri United Way, says that a quick Google search can provide nonprofit leaders with a multitude of tools for board training. The Heart of
What makes an effective board member? CON T RIBUTED BY K R I STA MYER , DI R ECTO R O F CO NT I NU O U S I M PR OVE M E NT FO R HEART OF MISS O UR I UN I TED WAY
• • • •
Good attendance and follow-through. Provision of fiduciary oversight. Holding organizational leaders accountable for progress towards achieving the mission. Conducting outreach to garner resources and connect people with the organization’s mission.
Missouri United Way offers a tool called the CCAT, which provides a data-driven baseline for a board’s health. It’s easy for boards to feel that they’re doing well, but the CCAT will actually give them data to measure their board’s health. “But beyond that, I recommend investing in board onboarding, including board orientations, educational sessions, and other innovative processes of integrating new board members into the organization so they can learn how to be effective in their roles,” says Krista. Chuck agrees that boards should utilize a board orientation led by executive staff and executive board members.
“Put together a board retreat and teambuilding exercises,” recommends Chuck. “Have a third-party consultant come in and cover the responsibilities and expectations of the board.” Now that we’re all “on board,” let’s elaborate on some of these particular expectations.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOVERNING BOARD AND AN ADVISORY BOARD When it comes to distinguishing between a governing board and an advisory board, Chuck says that the difference between the two is authority.
“An advisory board typically functions like a committee formed to give advice to the governing board,” says Chuck. Steve explains further that a governing board has more involvement in setting policy for the staff to follow, whereas an advisory board offers suggestions, but doesn’t normally have as much authority. “It can be difficult for some boards to know where the line is between setting policy and micromanaging the entity,” says Steve. “This normally leads to conflict between the staff and the board.” For example, Steve says that Job Point’s board of directors was very influential during their time of extreme financial difficulties, but they never crossed the line into micromanagement. “There were many very tense meetings because of the severity of the issues involved, but there were no cross words while very direct discussions were held,” says Steve. “Trust and respect drove those discussions, with no personal issues coming into the discussions. Because of the involvement of the board and the strong support of staff, Job Point was able to overcome those issues and dramatically improve its situation.”
WHY JOIN THE GAME? By now we should all be getting board, but hopefully not getting bored. Let’s wrap this up and note why you and/or your fellow influential community members, should hop on board(s). “There are many rewards folks can reap by serving others on a board of a nonprofit,” says Steve. “There are many entities in Columbia that are well run and provide a great deal of support to our community and need solid contributions from board members. Many who have served note that they receive more benefit than the entity they serve receives from them.” Chuck believes that it is also the responsibility of any leader to give back to the community by sharing their “expertise, time, and treasure.” “Individually, you will improve your communication skills, strategic planning skills, budgeting skills, and goal setting,” says Chuck. “And it provides you the opportunity to be a good steward in helping others find success.”
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There is always something and someone to be
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your success. The following pages are a testimony to what makes up a successful company. And as you can see, these teams are very appreciated!
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Our Fresh Ideas team rocks!
Thank you to the corporate team for the impact they make across Fresh Ideas each day. Your dedication to our clients, collaborative spirit, and passion for our business is appreciated.
Dennis, John, Matt, Fresh Ideas Owners
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Shelby Anderson, Sales & Event Coordinator
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Brent Beamer, Unit Analyst
Jodie Brill, Staff Accountant
Sarah Carnes, Director of Marketing
Nathan Fleischmann, Digital Community Manager
Paden Gentry, Senior IT Specialist
Haythan Husseini, VP of Finance & Accounting
Samantha Jedlow, HR Generalist
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WEâ€™RE ALL ABOUT... People We have a passionate, talented team who come to work each day ready to provide a meaningful experience for all. We invest in our teams and at Fresh Ideas people matter.
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We collaborate, learn, and succeed together. Every team member has the opportunity to learn and grow their future as well as help shape, impact, and evolve the company.
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Thank You As Joe Machens celebrates 50 years of serving Missouri, we would like to thank our dedicated employees who have made it all possible.
Whether you sold a spacious minivan to a growing family, serviced a car to help a customer get back on the road, or processed paper work behind the scenes – you’ve played an important role in our story and have helped generations of Missourians find the vehicles that are right for them.
We couldn’t do it without you.
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K1 Head Teacher
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Mary Skyvalidas 7th Grade Homeroom and Middle School Math Teacher
Melea Shimkus 8th Grade Homeroom and Middle School Language Arts Teacher
Shannon Merriman Library and Media Specialist
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Live the Best Version
OF YOUR LIFE!
etirement should be enjoyed on your terms with all the pleasures of home along with the luxury of a much-deserved, carefree lifestyle. At The Village of Bedford Walk, Rachel Grant, our Resident Life Coordinator, mixes social, educational and physical activities into everyday life. “My role is to assist our residents in living the best version of their life!” And with more than 100 activities each month, there is always something to do for mind, body, and soul! Breaking these three down, here’s Rachel’s focus.
Healthy relationships are important at any age. When we age, it is easy to become isolated or to feel alone. Studies show seniors who socialize have reduced stress, longer life span, greater self-esteem, and more. At The Village of Bedford Walk, we pride ourselves on being one of the most social communities in the area, with weekly social hours, holiday parties, a weekly Coffee Catch Up, card games, as well as various events throughout the Columbia community and beyond. Our famous Cruise Ship Week is one for the books. It incorporates five different “ports of call” where meals, activities, and decorations all work together to represent the country within our community. Check out our Facebook page to share in the fun.
We all need to continually learn and grow. The Village of Bedford Walk partners with the University of Missouri to offer classes through Osher, on-site MU Health Seminars, and technology workshops. Programming focusing on scam prevention, finances, legal assistance, and fire/police partnerships enable our residents to stay up-to-date on issues that matter most.
Studies show that an active lifestyle helps maintain independence, prevents disease, and improves mental health. Residents enjoy a variety of fitness classes five days per week in our state-of-the-art fitness facility - including
yoga, tai chi, and water aerobics in our indoor heated pool. Functional training is included with certified personal trainers on and off-site. Additionally, physical and occupational therapy is offered in-house for the convenience and wellbeing of our residents. Keep your eye out for our residents enjoying farm-to-table wine tasting dinners, the Clydesdales at Warm Springs, theatres in Kansas City, baseball games in St. Louis and many other adventures, Rachel will be right in the thick of things having as much fun as her partners in crime. Join us at The Village of Bedford Walk, where folks come to stay young!
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EMPOWERMENT FOR SURVIVORS
NOURISHING THE MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT
COUPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW
True North works to support victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Kate Weir brings wellness professionals and mental health specialists together under one roof.
Tim and Laura Gerding talk about their family, their free time, and their favorite fall activities.
Empowerment for Survivors
True North of Columbia
True North of Columbia works to support victims of domestic and sexual violence.
BY THERASIA BRAUTIGAM | PHOTO COURTESY OF TRUE NORTH
lizabeth Herrera Eichenberger first began her role as True North’s executive director three years ago after working for an organization that helped young, at-risk girls between the ages of 11 and 17. “My passion has always lied within the empowerment of women and girls. That’s been the core of my professional career,” says Elizabeth. Her previous experience working with at-risk girls made the transition to True North a natural one. True North provides services to victims of domestic and sexual violence through a 24/7 crisis hotline, an emergency shelter, and a plethora of nonresidential services. These services include support groups, counseling, domestic and sexual violence education programs, and help fi ling orders of protection.
Following the Process Last year, 3,274 calls were made to True North’s crisis hotline, which is managed by 10 paid staff members and local volunteers that have completed 48 hours of training. Hotline workers are trained to provide crisis intervention and emotional support to callers, as well as determine if the caller is an appropriate fit for True North’s residential or nonresidential services. After a hotline worker makes a referral to either residential or nonresidential services, the nonresidential coordinator determines if the individual is in a situation of domestic or sexual violence. Once that’s determined, the caller is matched with a caseworker who guides them through True North’s services. Elizabeth stresses that the decision to obtain services through the organization, especially residential services, is made only by the individual. “The choice to leave a violent relationship is up to the person. We are very sensitive to that. Only you know what is best for you, and I’m not here to tell you how to live your life,” she says.
Providing the Resources In 2018, 278 individuals were provided residential services and 642 individuals took part in nonresidential services. Residential services are given to
To provide safety, shelter, education, and transitional support for those who have been
those staying at True North’s emergency shelter. The shelter houses 25 to 30 women and children, and residents can stay anywhere from one week to several months, though the average stay is 30 days. All residents go through the process of creating a safety plan with staff and they have a housing advocate who assists them in finding a home after leaving the shelter. “The sole purpose of this role is to find women stable housing,” says Elizabeth. Residents also have the opportunity to use other services, like the skills development center, which offers workshops in everything from resume writing to how to change a tire. They also have access to a serenity room, support groups, counseling, and children’s programs. Nonresidents have access to counseling sessions, support groups, court advocacy with order of protections and other legal issues, and hospital advocacy. Hospital advocacy is a partnership with local hospitals that allows sexual violence victims to request an advocate to stay with them while they are in the hospital. The advocacy is mainly managed by trained volunteers that undergo special training for emotional resilience and self-awareness.
affected by domestic
Men as Allies
Preston Battles is currently a counseling psychology doctoral student at MU and completing an internship at True North. Being a male worker at the organization has given him an opportunity to help women in a way that other women can’t. “When a client comes in having experienced potential trauma from a man or maybe has never had a respectful relationship with a man in their life, being able to challenge that assumption can be really valuable for women,” he says. Being able to provide women with an example of a healthy male relationship is a goal of True North’s. They host a Men as Allies fundraiser every year that raises money for the organization and raises awareness about domestic and sexual violence. The men-only event consists of a short breakfast and guest speakers. Elizabeth explains that men can have
and sexual violence and to empower all to create a safer community.
2018 Numbers • 3,274 hotline calls • 278 individuals received residential services • 642 individuals received nonresidential services
Ofﬁcers Kate Boatright President
Jon Class Treasurer
Directors: • Amy Greenwood • Ashley Emel • Kelly Poor • Jack McManus • Shatenita Horton • Tina Dalrymple • Lee Russell
Attendees at this year's women-only Little Black Dress event benef itting True North.
a huge impact on the awareness of domestic and sexual violence since approximately 90% of their victims are women and most abusers are men. “The idea behind involving men is that, for millennia, women have taken a stand and women are the ones that have an invested interest in stopping the violence. Sometimes we are powerless because of the power differential between men and women. The power that men have to influence other men as their mentors, as fathers, as community leaders — it is so powerful and has ripple effects in our community,” Elizabeth says. Preston encourages men to speak out against domestic and sexual violence. “Your voice is needed. Because your silence is implicitly agreeing with the status quo,” he says.
Finding Sisterhood Aside from the Men as Allies fundraiser, True North also hosts a women-only Little Black Dress Gala in May. Around 750 women gather to celebrate survivorship. Th is coming year’s fundraiser will be special, as its Roaring ’20s theme celebrates 100 years of the ratification for women’s right to vote.
The gala includes a meal, guest speaker, unlimited wine, and dancing. Elizabeth explains that the event gives women the opportunity to gain sisterhood with other women and to feel empowered about being a survivor. Through her time at True North, Elizabeth has learned that helping survivors isn’t just providing them with tangible resources; it’s also helping them gain back a sense of life. “We’re setting up the stage for an empowered woman to have empowered children. And to teach a new generation that a life without violence is possible. We all deserve that,” Elizabeth says.
TRUE NORTH OF COLUMBIA CRISIS LINE: 1-800-548-2480 TRUENORTHOFCOLUMBIA .ORG
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Nourishment for the Mind, Body, and Spirit Kate Weir brings wellness professionals and mental health specialists together under one roof. BY JENNIFER TRUESDALE | PHOTOS BY SADIE THIBODEAUX
ental illness continues to be misunderstood and highly stigmatized in the U.S., though a more holistic awareness of mental health issues is on the rise — perhaps because suicide is the second leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 34. But the stigma might explain in part why, despite the fact that as many as one in five American adults experienced a mental illness in 2018, only 43.3% received treatment, according to data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Despite, or perhaps because of, this stigma, some half a million Americans like Kate Weir are licensed professional counselors. “I’ve always been interested in humans and how we work,” Kate explains about her decision to become a professional therapist. “I also feel things very deeply, which is a blessing but also something I’ve had to learn how to navigate. And I like helping others learn to navigate that, too. I’m a helper.” When you fi rst meet Kate, it’s not hard to see that she chose the profession for which she is most suited. The Columbia native, Hickman High School alum, and MU grad is a licensed professional counselor supervisor, registered play therapist supervisor, mom, wife, and business owner who effortlessly exudes warmth and empathy. With a generous spirit and bright smile that could put anyone at ease, it’s no wonder that she’s a natural at working with children. Kate is the founder and owner of a unique business called the Kindred Collective, a healing, wellness, and expressive arts collective that “offers nourishment for the mind, body, and spirit.” The collective, which is housed in two floors of an office building in Victoria Park on Forum Boulevard, opened in February of 2018.
A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Each room reflects Kate’s unpretentious, playful vibrancy, with comfortable furnishings, fun art, and framed inspirational quotes hung all around. A wooden sign in the second floor waiting room succinctly captures her approach to mental health with an inscription that says, “Together is a wonderful place to be.” The collective has 20 wellness professionals and mental health workers
specializing in different areas of healing, such as play, movement, and music therapies; massage; Pilates; Emotional Freedom Technique; psychiatry; and group, family, and couples counseling. (She has plans for bringing on a registered yoga instructor, too.) Kate’s vision for the collective was to “shepherd them all together.” “I’m a huge believer in the power of community,” Kate says. She was an elementary school counselor for many years, where she got used to being surrounded by colleagues and co-workers who worked collaboratively to solve problems or teamed up in supporting a student. After leaving, she went into private practice because she wanted to do play therapy all of the time. “In play therapy, a child works through their emotions and learns new skills and processes their feelings and events primarily through play, the same way that an adult would process through language,” Kate explains. “Play is their natural language because they can’t yet process verbally like we do [as adults].” But she quickly learned that being a private practitioner can be isolating. She missed the collaboration and pooling of talents to support a child. And so her idea for Kindred Collective was born. “We are a wellness collective, so we’re made up of practitioners that represent all different aspects of the wellness field,” she says. “We have several different types of counselors and wellness professionals — several of us are registered play therapists, so many of us specialize in working with kids and families, while others specialize in adults and adolescents. We cover all ages.”
A VARIED MEMBERSHIP
Each member of the collective owns their own business or practice, which allows each the freedom to set their own pricing and payment options, as well as hours and caseload, while benefiting from the collaboration of collective members. Giving Song LLC, for example, is a collective member comprised of several certified music therapists. The company’s website describes music therapy as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to improve communication, enhance memory, promote physical rehabilitation, alleviate pain, and manage stress” and says it can benefit those with
learning disabilities, autism, Alzheimer’s and dementia, and traumatic brain injuries, as well as expectant mothers. Dedicated play therapy rooms are stocked with toys, sand trays, and artwork depicting various emotions. There aren’t any art therapists in the collective currently, but art rooms stocked with paint and all manner of crafting supplies are actively integrated into the work of the various members. The second-floor art room has been splashed in many layers of paint from floor to ceiling. Kate jokes that she’s in denial about getting the deposit back on the rented space as she eyes paint that was flung onto windows, blinds, and trim. Corri Flaker, licensed massage therapist, practices craniosacral therapy, or CST, at the collective. CST is an alternative therapy; practitioners claim that CST’s light-touch technique improves the functioning of the central nervous system to alleviate stress and pain. Corri offers CST to expectant mothers, new mothers and their babies, and anyone else who could benefit from the therapy. Even the second floor waiting room was designed with the intention of providing activities and refreshments that waiting parents and siblings can enjoy together.
AN INTEGRATED APPROACH
“We have some clients who might come to see one of us,” says Kate, “and then we have some clients who might work with a few of us, and that’s really cool because then we have a wellness team that works together to support an individual or family. It’s this whole idea that, as humans, we’re multifaceted and we have all these different aspects to our being and to our wellness, and it’s really cool to be able to offer an environment where all different components of our wellness can be supported.” Kate says that this kind of integrated approach is gaining more and more attention in the mental health field. She adds that it’s awesome to be able to help multiple members of the same family, because “if a kiddo is struggling, a lot of times a parent is also struggling because of their child’s struggle.” “It’s a privilege and an honor, but very challenging,” Kate says of the work the collective does. “It’s beautiful people doing beautiful work.”
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NOVEMBE R 1-3
Woodhaven’s Zombie Pub Crawl
Shryock’s Corn Maze
The District 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
First Friday North Village Arts District 5 to 8 p.m.
Carly Pearce The Blue Note 7:30 p.m., $15-18
Callaway Farms NOVEMBE R 1-3 , 7-10
“The Wiz” Rhynsburger Theatre 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. Sundays NOVEMBE R 2
Holiday Shop Hop and Magic Tree Lighting The District All day
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Tree lighting at 7 p.m. NOVEMBE R 3
Comedian Samuel Comroe The Blue Note 8:30 p.m., $20-25
2019 N OVEM B E R 6
NOVEMB ER 14
Climate Change Book Club
Josh Abbott Band
Skylark Bookshop 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The Blue Note 8 p.m., $16.50
N OVEM B E R 7
NOVEMB ER 15
Small Business Expo
Mid Mo Whiskey Fest
Parkade Center 4 to 7 p.m.
The Atrium 7 to 9:30 p.m.
N OVEM B E R 7- 9
NOVEMB ER 16-1 7
Holiday Open House
Fall into Art
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The Plaza Event Center at Parkade 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
N OVEM B E R 8-1 0
Weavers & Spinners’ Guild Holiday Exhibition and Sale Boone County History & Culture Center Times vary
NOVEMB ER 22
Missouri Contemporary Ballet: Choreographic Installation MCB Studio, Balsamo Warehouse 6 and 7:30 p.m., $10
N OVEM B E R 8- 9
Missouri Contemporary Ballet: Dialed Out Missouri Theatre 7 p.m.
NOVEMB ER 29
An Evening with Author Allen Eskers Skylark Bookshop 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jenny Hayes
N OVEM B E R 9
Rock the Red Kettle COMO featuring LOCASH
NOVEMB ER 30
Small Business Saturday
The Blue Note 9 p.m.
The District 9 a.m.
N OVEM B E R 1 3
Jason Boland and the Stragglers
Dr. Carlos PerezMesa Memorial Concert Missouri Theatre 7 p.m.
The Blue Note 8 p.m., $15
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COUPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW
Tim & Laura Gerding WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? T: I do whatever I want and my wife watches the kids! Ha. Kidding.
We both go to MET-Fitness regularly. I play golf and enjoy time with friends. Also, being a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes takes a commitment. L: Apple picking and pumpkins are big on my list right now. Besides
that, we like to give each other time on the weekend to workout, free of the kiddos. It makes us both nicer! We are close to our families, so we travel to see them pretty often. And sometimes we even sneak in a date or two. I also love to cook. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY IN COLUMBIA? T: My brother’s company owns The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall operations, and I love live music. We love to take the kids to Rose Park when the weather is nice, share a blanket, and eat some Pepe’s. L: Watching Marching Mizzou at least once a season and tearing up just
a bit when they sing “Old Missouri.” Tom Andes any night at Murry’s. WHAT IS THE KEY TO A LASTING AND HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP?
Tim and Laura Gerding talk about their family, their free time, and their favorite fall activities. HOW DID YOU MEET? Tim: We met through mutual friends who were dating at the
University of Iowa. We went to St. Louis to meet up with them the night before a wedding and ended up dancing. We didn’t go on an actual date until four years later. Laura: Then Tim looked me up on Myspace. We reconnected and the rest is history!
T: We are still figuring that one out! Marriage is always a work in
progress. L: My dad has always told me that “love is a decision,” and I think he’s
right. Also communication, a sense of humor, and God. WHAT IS THE BEST QUALITY OF YOUR PARTNER? T: She is kindhearted as well as a strong career-oriented woman. She calls me out on my “stuff.” L: He’s a fiercely loyal friend, he works his tail off, and he’s a fantastic
dad to our kids. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DATE? T: I asked Laura, who was living in Arkansas at the time, to meet me on the Plaza in Kansas City for dinner and drinks – and more dancing. WHAT BROUGHT YOU BOTH TO COLUMBIA? T: I was born here. My dad, Bob Gerding, has always lived here, so I
lived here every summer growing up. I came back home for law school in 2000 and have been back ever since. L: I got my journalism degree at MU, moved to Fayetteville for five
years after college, then met Tim. He convinced me to come back to Columbia and marry him.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE TWO OF YOU? T: A man cave for me at some point! L: Man, that’s a big question! My mom was my age when she passed
away after battling cancer, and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I hope we are blessed with a future and a life that is full of laughter, watching our children grow, time with our beloved family members, and growing old together. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES? T: Besides golf and tailgating, not mowing the yard!
WHAT KEEPS YOU BUSY DURING THE WEEK?
L: There were a few glorious days I pulled our daughter on a trailer
T: Our kids (6-year-old daughter, Eloise, and 8-month-old son, Nile),
in my bike on the Katy Trail. But these days, a walk around our neighborhood is my favorite.
our careers, and various volunteer activities in the community.
ADV ERTISER INDEX A-1 RENTAL........................................................................................................................................114
ACCOUNTING PLUS.................................................................................................................... 131
MERCEDES OF COLUMBIA....................................................................................................... 4
ALL SURFACES CARPET CLEANING................................................................................ 116
MERRILL LYNCH GLOBAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT.............................................62
ALLEN’S FLOWERS....................................................................................................................... 55
MISSOURI EMPLOYERS MUTUAL.......................................................................................82
ANTHONY JINSON PHOTOGRAPHY....................................................................................9
MY SISTER’S CIRCUS................................................................................................................... 40
ATKINS, INC............................................................................................................................. 7 & 107
NATHAN JONES LAW...................................................................................................................17
BAUMGARTNER’S FURNITURE & CARPET...................................................................38
NAUGHT NAUGHT INSURANCE AGENCY................................................................... 126
NEW CHAPTER COACHING................................................................................................. 100
BMW OF COLUMBIA...................................................................................................................70
NIKKI ALETO COACHING........................................................................................................106
BROCKMEIER FINANCIAL SERVICES...............................................................................68 BURGERS’ SMOKEHOUSE....................................................................................................... 55 BUSENBARK FLOORING AND GRANITE.......................................................................28 CARSON & COIL............................................................................................................................. 126 CENTRAL MISSOURI AUTO BODY......................................................................................68 CHRISTIAN CHAPEL ACADEMY.......................................................................................... 113 COLUMBIA ART LEAGUE...........................................................................................................61 COLUMBIA BOONE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT.......................................120 COLUMBIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE..........................................................................12 COLUMBIA MARKETING GROUP........................................................................................57 COMPASS CHIROPRACTIC......................................................................................................26 CONTINENTAL SIDING.................................................................................................................11 CONVERGENCE FINANCIAL......................................................................................................2 CUSTOM COMPLETE AUTOMOTIVE.................................................................................. 33 DDS DENTURES AND IMPLANT......................................................................................... 116 DELINE HOLDINGS........................................................................................................... 96 & 97 DOGWOOD CANYON NATURE PARK..............................................................................58 DOWNTOWN APPLIANCE.......................................................................................................22 EDWARD JONES............................................................................................................................78 EVEXIAS................................................................................................................................................20 FRESH IDEAS FOOD.................................................................................................... 108 & 109 GFI DIGITAL...........................................................................................................................................3 GRAVITY................................................................................................................................................24
ODYSSEY CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES................................................................................78 PROVIDENCE BANK.......................................................................................................................6 SECURE DATA TECHNOLOGIES............................................................................... 98 & 99 SELECT REALTY GROUP - ALISSA GERKE...................................................................120 SHELTER INSURANCE AGENTS-MIKE MESSER.........................................................10 SHELTER INSURANCE COMPANIES.................................................................................110 SIMON OSWALD ASSOCIATES............................................................................................. 111 SKYLARK BOOKSHOP.................................................................................................................59 SOCKET................................................................................................................................................ 64 SPA SHIKI.............................................................................................................................................59 STANGE LAW FIRM.....................................................................................................................105 STATE FARM - PHYLLIS NICHOLS...................................................................................... 40 STUDIO HOME.......................................................................................................................14 & 55 SUPERIOR GARDEN CENTER/ROST LANDSCAPE..................................................57 SYDENSTRICKERS..........................................................................................................................10 THE BANK OF MISSOURI..........................................................................................................75 THE BROADWAY HOTEL.........................................................................................................105 THE KLEMPKES- IRON GATE REAL ESTATE................................................................26 THE LASER CLINIC........................................................................................................................56 THE SALVATION ARMY COLUMBIA CORPS................................................................... 8 THE SOUTHERN ROSE...............................................................................................................59 THE TIN ROOF..................................................................................................................................54
GREAT CIRCLE.................................................................................................................................. 33
THE TRUST COMPANY................................................................................................. 124 & 125
HAWTHORN BANK..................................................................................................................... 132
THE VILLAGE OF BEDFORD WALK.................................................................................. 115
INSIDE THE LINES..........................................................................................................................72
TRUE FALSE FILM FEST........................................................................................................... 129
IRON GATE REAL ESTATE.........................................................................................................39
TRUMAN VA HOSPITAL...............................................................................................................18
JENNING’S PREMIUM MEATS.............................................................................................. 60
WILLIAMS & ASSOCIATES EYECARE.................................................................................50
JOE MACHENS DEALERSHIPS.................................................................................. 13 & 112
KLIETHERMES HOMES AND REMODELING....................................................34 & 37
WONDERS OF WILDLIFE..........................................................................................................16
LINKSIDE AT OLD HAWTHORNE....................................................................................... 46
YELLOW DOG BOOKSHOP.....................................................................................................57
A four-day celebration of art, music, and film, transforming downtown Columbia into a one-of-a-kind creative wonderland.
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300 St. James St., Suite 103 Columbia, MO 65201
Columbia, Missouri, Business, Lifestyle, Nonprofit, Nikki McGruder, John Drage, inclusive dance, owls, tapping, Maplewood House, historic ho...
Published on Oct 30, 2019
Columbia, Missouri, Business, Lifestyle, Nonprofit, Nikki McGruder, John Drage, inclusive dance, owls, tapping, Maplewood House, historic ho...