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The Chamber

Honorees Wes Cowan

Chamber Board Member of the Year

Stewardship Capital Business of the Year

Brad Speaks

Community Leader of the Year

February 2017

Charter M embers

A Message from the Board Chair

The Independence Chamber of Commerce is grateful to our Charter members for their ongoing support, which allows us to offer programs and events that help our city and members grow and prosper.

2017 marks my 23rd year as a member of the Independence Chamber of Commerce (ICC). For me Chamber membership was probably the single best decision I made for my brand-new business back in 1994. From the beginning and over the years I have had the opportunity to meet new friends who have become prized customers, gain a better understanding of the fabric of Independence, learn about important resources for my business and utilize the many avenues for professional development for me and my staff. Whether you are a member now or considering membership you should know that the ICC is on a fast track for progress. The past two years have seen steady growth in membership, attendance and effectiveness of programming. The ICC led the effort to introduce The Ford Foundation and their academies concept to the Independence School District (ISD). In a major shift of curriculum, the ISD has become a national leader in this new concept for education. Led by President Hap Graff, the ICC board of directors and with a strong full-time staff the ICC is poised to continue the momentum into 2017 and beyond. Hundreds of Chamber members working through many committees will execute a variety of events providing even more opportunities for success. Late in 2016 the ICC board of directors outlined a strategy for the success of the organization. Here are the major goals for 2017 and beyond: • • • • • •

Increase membership to 550 by the end of 2017. Promote economic growth. Measured by median income, jobs and population. Develop and implement a plan to maximize the usage/value of the Chamber building. Embrace Santa-Cali-Gon. Increase political relevance. Reduce debt to zero by 2019.

It’s possible that this year will be a high-water mark in cooperation and recognition of common goals for the major stakeholders in this community. My hope is that we continue on this track and look beyond our immediate circle. Let’s work hard to include more people in the effort to clean up our city, share in the great things happening here and promote more investment for economic growth.

Save the Date! March 15 Our Business is Business 210 West Truman Road Independence, MO 64050 816-252-4745


The Chamber View

On a personal note, it is an extreme honor to chair the ICC board this year. For the thousands of people that I have come in contact via the Chamber over the past 22+ years I want to say thank you for your encouragement, support, wisdom, business and friendship. The thousands of hours spent with Chamber staff, committee members, board members and Santa-Cali-Gon volunteers has been time well spent. Too many names to mention here except for three special ones. Thank you to my wife Susan and daughters Amy and Stacey for all of their encouragement and unwavering support over the years. Let’s make 2017 the best year yet! Tom Waters, Corporate Copy Print, Inc. 2017 Chairman, Independence Chamber of Commerce

February Calendar of Events 7


Business Before Hours

Ribbon Cutting

Drury Inn February 7, 2017, 7:30 am - 9:00 am 20300 E. 42nd St. South, Blue Springs, MO 64015

Join your Chamber friends for this Business Before Hours at The Drury Inn.

Cricket Wireless Kiosk February 9, 2017, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Independence Center, 18801 E.39th St, Indep., MO 64057 Join us for a ribbon cutting to celebrate new ownership of the Cricket Wireless Kiosk at the Independence Center.



Monthly Membership Luncheon Speaker Series

February 15, 2017 11:30 am - 1:00 pm Hilton Garden Inn 19677 E Jackson Dr, Indep., MO 64057

Ribbon Cutting iMembership 101

Be sure to join us for the Monthly Membership Luncheon with guest speaker County Executive Frank White Jr.

Buddy Young, Office Products Alliance February 21, 2017, 3:30 - 4:30 pm Chamber Boardroom, 210 West Truman Rd., Indep., MO 64050

Medical Imaging Eastland-TMC February 23, 2017, 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm 19000 E. Eastland Center Court, Suite 100, Indep., MO 64055

February 28, 2017 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

iMembership 101 will offer tips for members to get the most out of their memberships.

The Chamber View

The third annual Chamber of Commerce First Responders breakfast was held in March, recognizing Police, Fire and Ambulance (AMR) responders.

We held our 95th Annual Banquet in January with 350 people attending and Captain Richard Phillips speaking, from the movie, Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks.


Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival had 4 days of beautiful weather for a fun and happy weekend for 300,000 attendees. Many of the 258 vendors enjoyed their most profitable festival anywhere in the USA over this weekend.

We have revitalized the LEAD Independence program, the program that develops Independence community leaders and volunteers. In 2015, we had 12 graduates, in 2016, we had 16 graduates. For LEAD 2017, we have 24 candidates.

The Academies of ISD has their first sophomores in high school. And, will graduate their first Academies trained and prepared classes from Truman, Van Horn and William Chrisman in 2019.


The Independence Civic Council (ICC) funded an economic development request that provides cash for startup companies, they also sponsored the 2016 Halloween Parade and supported the Police Sales Tax.

The Chamber Board established Public Policy initiatives for 2016 and 2017 which include transportation and the improvement of our state highways and bridges. Locally, the Board supports the improvement and beautification of our gateways into Independence.

The Chamber increased membership to 510 in 2016.

The Chamber Board supported the Independence Police Sales Tax and it passed in April. The Board also supported Prop L, the library improvement tax, which passed in November.

The Chamber sponsored the 68th Halloween parade. With 80 entries, tractors, Shriners, 5 bands and over 1,000 attendees, many of which were under 12 years old, the parade was a great experience for all those who joined.

The Independence Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a not for profit 501.3.c was established in 2016.

Calling all New and Long time members of the Chamber! • Are you a new member of the Chamber and don’t know where to start? • You will learn ways to market and promote your business through the Chamber.


We started 5 new programs in 2016: Chamber 101, Speed Leads, Networking Coffees, Past Chairs Lunch and Truman at Truman Cocktail Party.


Come see why 3D Mammography makes a difference and help TMC celebrate their commitment to the health of Independence.


Accomplishments in 2016

David Williams, CEO of Centerpoint Medical Center and our 2016 Chairman of the Board of Directors, helped lead the Board and the Chamber Staff to the following accomplishments:

The Business Expo was held in April, with 7 Chamber of Commerce’s participating, 65 booth holders exhibiting, and over 1,000 people attending the event at the Silverstein Event Center.

This will be a great opportunity to hear fro a successful sales professional and get an edge in your industry!


Independence Chamber of Commerce

The June Monthly Membership lunch was held at the KC Zoo and we were joined by two friendly penguins for lunch. 125 folks joined us on this day.

The Chamber hosted their annual “There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch” for members on the lawn in June and 172 members joined us.

Chamber Staff: We welcomed Amy Knipp and Mikealene Evans to the Chamber staff in 2016. The eSummit (Economic Summit) was established in 2015 and continued in 2016.

February 2017


The 96th Annual Indepen-

dence Chamber of Commerce Banquet, held Saturday,

January 28th, at Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center, was attended by nearly 450 guests. The room was filled

with great energy and familiar faces. Dave Williams, CEO of Centerpoint Medical Center, entertained the crowd with

fun and humor before formally passing the gavel to incoming

Presenting Sponsor

Chairman of the Board, Tom Waters of Corporate Copy

Print. Wes Cowan of Space Center was selected as the Chamber Board Member

of the Year for meritorious

service and outstanding effort. Stewardship Capital was

Elite Sponsor

recognized as the Business of the Year for the Finke family’s ongoing dedication to civic involvement. Brad Speaks

of Speaks Legacy Chapels, emcee of the event, was


surprised at winning the award for Community Leader of the

Year. Marcus Allen, former KC Chief and NFL Hall of Famer,

engaged dinner attendees with

Stewardship Capital Business of Year

stories of his career highlights.

Marcus Allen’s gracious nature and appreciation for local

Wes Cowan

Hunt Jr.’s approachability

Board Member of Year

Chiefs fans as well as Lamar impressed those present

at the VIP reception prior to the event.

Brad Speaks Community Leader of the Year


The Chamber View

February 2017


January Luncheon

Sponsored by the Charter Members

The Ambassador of the Year was awarded by Bob Glaser to Laurie Dean Wiley.

“The journey to knowledge starts with the first question” – Dave Elyachar

Dave Elyachar, Big Bob’s Flooring Luncheon Speaker

“The three most important things in business are: customers, customers, customers.” – Dave Elyachar


The Chamber View

February 2017


Independence’s Signature Event! Take advantage of the opportunity to advertise your business at the region’s oldest and largest festival.

Sponsorship of the 2017 Santa Cali Gon Festival is a great way to promote your products and services! Your business can benefit from strategic marketing efforts and exposure to more than 300,000 festival attendees. Chamber staff will assist you in engaging festival-goers directly through on-site exhibitor space or with logo placement throughout the festival. Thanks to our partnerships with M.U. and Rockhurst University, we can offer demographic information and help you reach your target audience.

Social Media Day

The LEAD 2017 Class met in January to learn about social media. Each classmate was asked to take pictures and post them with #LEADInd2017. At the end of the day, Jeff Carpenter had the most collective “likes”!

For more information contact Lois at

Presenting Sponsor

For booth space and sponsor opportunities contact:

Thursday, May 11 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center Featuring

Mikealene Evans 816.252.4745 - Ext. 4 Jodi Krantz 816.463.3512

Speaker Sessions and Taste of Independence Business After Hours from 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


The Chamber View

February 2017


Independence Civic Council The Chamber brought together six State Legislators to meet with Chamber members and chat about the Chamber’s 2017 legislative priorities plus hear each Legislators hope for 2017 Missouri Legislative Session.

Following a request and presentation by the Fort Osage Educational Foundation, the Independence Civic Council voted to approve a $2500 grant to support the April 4th Bond and Levy ballot initiative. A successful campaign will bring much-needed improvement to buildings, grounds and services. Approximately three quarters of the student population are Independence residents.

Brad Speaks was re-elected Chairman of the ICC for 2017 and Wes Cowan was re-elected as Treasurer by the group during the January 19th meeting. The ICC is comprised of community leaders, who are interested in supporting projects that benefit Independence businesses and residents. Members of the ICC include Independence Chamber members who contribute $500 annually for the purpose of promoting important projects meeting the criteria of that group.

Ready to Get Involved?

For more information about becoming a member of the Independence Civic Council contact:

Member News: Peace Pavilion A fixture at the Community of Christ Auditorium has plans to move and expand its programming for the Peace Pavilion. The organization has acquired the old Sunshine Center building on Lexington Avenue a few blocks west of The Square. The pavilion will continue to be affiliated with the church, but won’t be at the church site. They intend on broadening its appeal to more groups and schools along with expanding the hours and deepening the ties to Independence. A popular draw, the metal display (where people can make rubbings of the word “peace” in 50 languages), will be kept for the new location.


The Chamber View

A funding site has been set up for people to help the effort of moving the site. The goal is to raise $10,000. If you would like to contribute to the fund, please visit the website –

February 2017


New Anniversaries Members 1-4 Years

Sonshine Sports Apparel, LLC 816-461-1198

101 S Main St. Independence, MO 64050

ARC Physical Therapy+

Health Care Foundation of Greater

Jim Blau Insurance Agency Inc.

Kansas City

All Copy Products

TIREY J FORD POST 21 Morgan Miller Plumbing

Victorian Society of the Vaile

Mansion and Dewitt Museum

Sibley Orchards Revive Church

The Trevor Tilton Farmers Agency 816-463-2335 800 W Maple Ave. Independence, MO 64050

Englewood Properties, LLC 816-373-1919 10922 E Winner Rd. Independence, MO 64052

Red Robin

Bella’s Laundry Room Buffalo Wild Wings

The Springs at Independence Villages of Jackson Creek Villages of Jackson Creek Memory Care

University of Central Missouri

Midwest Foster Care & Adoption

5-14 Years Stephen and Kathy King, Independent Associates with LegalShield

Mallinson Vineyard and Hall

816-448-8338 18101 East Bass Pro Drive Independence, MO 64055

Blue Springs Ford

Family Wrench LLC

WIC Independence (Women,

Infants and Children Nutrition)

Jackson County Health Department Medical Imaging Eastland

Swope Health Independence Nativity of Mary School

Bob Glaser Summit Bank of Kansas City

Dr. Michael Banks Metropolitan Community College–Blue River

NorthWest Communities Develop-

Wes Cowan Space Center

ment Corporation

Julie Moreno The Examiner

Mike Sanders Humphrey, Farrington, & McClain, PC

Residence Inn by Marriott

Kim Deveney American Funding Solutions, LLC

Consultants in Gastroenterology

Mary McNamara Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal Co.

Cindy McClain McClain Enterprises, Inc.

Matt Ford Sales Inc.

Steve Graffeo Community of Christ

Jon Ellis Paradise Park Dr. Karen Cox

Doug Williams Morgan Stanley

Sonci Bleckinger Central Bank of the Midwest

Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics

Beth Franklin Keller Williams Real Estate

Kent Holiday Alliant Techsystems, Inc.

Terri Steele Evans & Steele Financial, LLC

Lynette Wheeler Truman Medical Center Lakewood

Ron Finke Stewardship Capital

City of Sugar Creek

Specialty Landscape Services LLC Stewardship Capital

CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services of K.C.

Truman Heartland Community Foundation

25+ Years Drumm Farm Center for Children Kapke & Willerth LLC Tim’s Pizza

TMC Lakewood

The Laclede Group

Ex Officio Members: Tom Lesnak Independence Council for Economic Development Zach Walker City of Independence

The Chamber View

Dr. Jason Snodgrass Fort Osage School District

Dr. Dale Herl Independence School District

Dr. Jim Finley Blue Springs School District

Hap Graff Independence Chamber of Commerce


Carpenter and Company, Inc. AT&T

Howe & Company CPA PC Jeannie Colvin CPA PC

Comprehensive Mental Health Services

Independence School District

Edward Jones, Jon Klassen

Speaks Family Legacy Chapels

Centerpoint Medical Center

Chamber Team: Hap Graff, President & CEO, ext. 5 Trina Anderson, Director of Membership Services, ext. 1 Amy Knipp, Director of Membership Events, ext. 8


Tom Weir Treasurer Blue Ridge Bank & Trust Co.

Summit Computer Solutions

Office Products Alliance

Sonic Drive In - Jackson Drive

Jonathan Zerr Chair Elect Kapke & Willerth, LLC.

Board of Directors:

Hy-Vee Food & Drug Store 40 Hwy


Wyatt Violin Shop LLC

Village Heights Community of Christ

Duluth Trading Company

Lakewood Chiropractic P.C

Tom Waters Chair of the Board Corporate CopyPrint Dave Williams Past Chair of the Board Centerpoint Medical Center

15-24 Years

Modern-Woodmen Fraternal Financial Three Trails Cottages, LLC


Lois McDonald, Vice President of Community Development, ext. 2

Mikealene Evans, Director of Marketing & Communications, ext. 4

Steve Patton, Business Liaison to the Chamber, ext. 7

Kelsey Edwards Academies of ISD Liaison

Kris Zerr, Vice President & Director of Finance, ext. 3

February 2017


210 West Truman Road Independence, MO 64050


Quote of the Month

Be proud of who you are… Be proud of what you do… Be proud of who you work for… and be sure to tell everyone. David Elyachar,

Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet

A Moment with Marcus

Independence Chamber - Feb Newsletter 2017  
Independence Chamber - Feb Newsletter 2017