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Karen CrabTree

leadInG CenTuRYlInK ToWaRd a PRomIsInG FuTuRe p30

an all-sTar rOUndTable

loCal busIness PRos TaKe THeIR sWInGs aT THe TouGH ToPICs p15

FresH ideas

a CulInaRY enTRePReneuR WITH a neW aPPRoaCH To Food seRVICe p25

Socializing @Work ... Should Your Company Invest Time On Social Media Sites?

summer 2012 www.ColumbiaCeo.com


CONTENTs

Inside Columbia’s CEO • www.ColumbiaCeo.com • Volume 3, Issue 4

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51

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opening Bell: The Buzz on Como Biz

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City stats: How Columbia Compares

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Ceo roundtable: all-star edition

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Fresh Ideas: Putting employees First

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CenturyLink’s Karen Crabtree Has Promises To Keep

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Is social media The right marketing Tool For your Business?

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Buying Into Biomass

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outdoor Living

53

networking

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Publisher’s note

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Closing Quotes summer 2012 I InsIde ColumbIa’s CEO

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INsIdE COLuMBIa’s CEO sTaFF publisher Fred Parry fred@insidecolumbia.net

meeT our edITorIaL adVIsory Board

associate publisher Melody Parry melody@insidecolumbia.net Managing editor Sandy Selby sandy@insidecolumbia.net Copy editor Kathy Casteel kathy@insidecolumbia.net editorial assistant Haley Adams haley@insidecolumbia.net

randY COil President, Coil Construction

TOM aTKins Chairman and CEO, Atkins Companies

GarY dreWinG President, Joe Machens Dealerships

bOb GerdinG Partner, Gerding, Korte & Chitwood CPAs

photo editor L.G. Patterson design Consultant Katie S. Brooks Creative director Carolyn Preul design@insidecolumbia.net Graphic designer Casey Loring casey@insidecolumbia.net

dianne lYnCH President, Stephens College

paUl land Principal/Owner Plaza Commercial Realty

GeOrGe pFenenGer President & CEO, Socket

bOb pUGH CEO, MBS Textbook Exchange

Graphic designer Aaron Channon aaron@insidecolumbia.net director of Marketing & business development Bill Bales bill@insidecolumbia.net director of sales Linda Cleveland linda@insidecolumbia.net

MiKe sTalOCH Vice President of Operations, State Farm Insurance

GreG sTeinHOFF President of Strategic Operations, Veterans United Home Loans

JerrY TaYlOr President, MFA Oil Co.

TiM WOlFe President, University of Missouri System

Marketing representative Ken Brodersen ken@insidecolumbia.net Marketing representative Kyle Gross kyle@insidecolumbia.net Marketing representative Whitney Davis wdavis@insidecolumbia.net

Please Recycle This Magazine.

Inside Columbia’s CEO magazine 47 E. Broadway • Columbia, MO 65203 • Office: 573-442-1430 • Web: www.ColumbiaCEO.com Inside Columbia’s CEO is published quarterly by OutFront Communications LLC, 47 E. Broadway, Columbia, Mo. 65203, 573-442-1430. Copyright OutFront Communications, 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any editorial or graphic content without the express written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Postage paid at Columbia, Mo. The annual subscription rate is $19.95 for four issues. 6

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special projects Coordinator Tiffany Schlarman tiffany@insidecolumbia.net Office Manager June Seboldt june@insidecolumbia.net distribution Manager John Lapsley Contributing photographer Daniel Brenner


OPENING BELL

the buzz on como biz

Feds Call On MU To Train Future Nuclear Experts photo courtesy of AMEREN MISSOURI

T

he National Academies of Science says 10 percent of America’s experts in nuclear science and radiochemistry are at or nearing retirement age, and there aren’t enough students coming up in the field to fill the gap. The U.S. Department of Energy has provided $1.7 million in grant funding to the University of Missouri with a goal of nurturing future nuclear scientists. The funds are earmarked for summer school programs that will encourage undergraduates to enter the nuclear field. Chemistry professor David Robertson, director of research at the MU Research Reactor, will receive $1.5 million to lead the Nuclear Chemistry Summer School for the next five years. Justin 8

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Walensky, assistant professor of chemistry at MU, also received a $170,000 grant to host the Nuclear Forensic Summer School. Summer school participants will be encouraged to join a research project the following summer at a university or federal research institution. Assistance is provided to secure those positions and admission to masters and doctoral programs at universities. “Currently, 104 nuclear plants are providing 20 percent of the electrical power in the United States,” Robertson says. “We need to develop ways to manage the nuclear fuel cycle so we can continue to produce nuclear fission safely and efficiently, and we need to make sure we have the people in the career pipeline that can take the reins as older experts retire and leave the field.”


OPENING BELL

the buzz on como biz

CEO: The next generation

The Year Of The Entrepreneur

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e knew we had something special here in Columbia with entrepreneurs such as Brant and Brock Bukowsky of Veterans United Home Loans, and Larry Potterfield of MidwayUSA. Now those innovative businessmen have added the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award to their collection of honors. They received their awards at a ceremony in Overland Park, Kan., on June 5. The Bukowsky brothers, founders of Veterans United Home Loans, won the award in the financial services category for the central Midwest. Potterfield was named Master Entrepreneur for the region. The Ernst & Young award recognizes entrepreneurs who have demonstrated

Left: Brock and Brant Bukowsky Right: Larry Potterfield

excellence and extraordinary success in a respective field. Winners are selected in a number of industry categories by a panel of independent judges, including previous winners, leading CEOs and private capital investors. The award, now in its 26th year, has expanded to recognize leaders in more than 140 cities and more than 50 countries. “Winning this award is not just for us as individuals; it’s recognition of the work of everyone at Veterans United Home Loans,” Brant Bukowsky says. “Being able to work with such great people who strive to enhance the lives of others on a daily basis is inspiring. We are so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this team and are fortunate to be on this amazing journey.”

Tomorrow’s business leaders are entering the working world, and those who graduated from the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business appear to have an edge on the competition. Businessweek recently conducted a survey of graduating business school students from across the country, and Mizzou graduates gave their school an “A” for excellence in job placement. The college also received an “A+” for its facilities, including a trading room that features Bloomberg terminals the students can use in their Mizzou Investment Fund classrooms and access to the Missouri Innovation Center that supports entrepreneurship. The Businessweek list placed Trulaske College of Business at No. 75 in that ranking of 142 business schools, both public and private. It was No. 33 among public institutions and No. 3 among SEC schools.

Bank Board Adds Three The Callaway Bank has added Kimberly Barnes, Martha Harris and Kenny Twillman to its board of directors. Barnes currently serves as senior executive vice president and chief operating officer with the bank. Harris, currently the bank’s training officer, is an assistant vice president. Twillman is the owner of Twillman Feed Service in Calwood and Twillman Feed & Seed in Mexico, Mo. Share your business news with Inside Columbia’s CEO. Email the editor at sandy@insidecolumbia.net. 10

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OPENING BELL

city stats: here, there & yonder

BraINs!

1. Charlottesville, Va. 58.53%

2. Lafayette, Ind. 58.41%

How Columbia’s Intelligence Compares To other Cities

3. anchorage, alaska 57.83%

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4. madison, Wis.

ou think you’re so smart, don’t you? Well, it turns out you’re right. The Columbia/Jefferson City metropolitan area has been named to a list of America’s 25 smartest cities by Lumosity, a company that specializes in online brain training. The study analyzed anonymized data for more than 1 million users in the United States between the ages of 18 and 75 who had played multiple Lumosity games. The data examined scores from users’ first few sessions playing games across five cognitive areas: memory, processing speed, flexibility, attention and problem-solving. These cognitive performance scores were then ranked by location. “These data are interesting because we are able to directly measure real differences in cognitive performance across geographic areas,” says Daniel Sternberg, data scientist at Lumosity. “Rankings of smartest cities typically rely solely on education

levels as the “We are able to main factor in directly measure determining real differences how smart a in cognitive population is, but with performance across more than 320 geographic areas.” million data — daniel sternberg points, we have the opportunity to use technology to study brain performance directly.” Below are the rankings of metropolitan areas and corresponding median percentiles, which represent the percentage of Americans who scored lower than the median users in that city. For example, the percentile tells us that the median Lumosity user in Columbia/Jefferson City had a higher score than 53.57 percent of Americans. Here’s how Columbia stacked up against the other brainy places on the list:

56.84%

5. san Francisco/ oakland/san Jose, Calif. 55.47% 6. Cedar rapids/

Waterloo/Iowa City/ dubuque, Iowa 55.37%

7. Honolulu, Hawaii 55.29%

8. Johnstown/altoona, Pa. 55.18%

9. Champaign/

springfield/decatur, Ill. 54.75%

10. minneapolis/st. Paul, minn. 54.64% 11. Boston, mass./ manchester, n.H. 54.49% 12. austin, Texas 54.18% 13. rochester, n.y. 53.99% 14. gainesville, Fla. 53.97% 15. Fargo/Valley City, n.d. 53.92%

16. Lansing, mich.

15

53.75% 10 23

13

4

20 18

16

6

19

5 9

2

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17. santa Barbara/santa maria/san Luis obispo, Calif. 53.73% 18. Burlington, Vt./

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8 1

22

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Plattsburgh, n.y. 53.72%

19. Pittsburgh, Pa. 53.71% 20. syracuse, n.y.

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53.68%

21. Baton rouge, La. 53.58%

5

12

3

7

21

22. Columbia/Jefferson City, Mo. 53.57% 14

23. La Crosse/eau

Claire, Wis. 53.57%

24. Harrisburg/ Lancaster /Lebanon/ york, Pa. 53.56% 25. springfield/Holyoke, mass. 53.51%

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CEO ROUNDTABLE

An All-Star Roundtable Columbia Business Leaders Brainstorm On The Big Issues by SANDY SELBY photos by DANIEL BRENNER

Business and government leaders gathered in the Inside Columbia conference room for the quarterly CEO Roundtable, sponsored by The Callaway Bank. Columbia’s expanding air service, the economic recovery and enhanced enterprise zones were among the hot topics of the day.

A

few weeks before Major League Baseball’s all-stars converge in Kansas City, Inside Columbia’s CEO fielded its own team of business all-stars for its quarterly CEO Roundtable. The group of heavy hitters, which included Columbia Mayor Robert McDavid, took a swing at topics that included the economic recovery, Mizzou’s move to the Southeastern Conference, the airport, enhanced enterprise zones and the problem of poverty in our growing city. The Callaway Bank sponsors the CEO Roundtable luncheons. The bank’s Boone County Market President Gary Meyerpeter welcomed the guests and turned the discussion over to moderator and Inside Columbia’s CEO Publisher Fred Parry.

Parry began by asking attendees for their assessment of the local economy. Sentiments were decidedly mixed. Boone Hospital Center President Dan Rothery admitted to having a “glass halfempty” view as the hospital struggles with escalating costs and a growing number of Medicare patients. “Every time we take care of a Medicare patient, we’re upside down; we lose money and that portion of our business is growing. The cost escalation is just unsustainable. Probably the next couple of years are going to be OK, but ’14, ’15, ’16 and on, I think it’s going to be challenging. We’ve always been there before and we’ve survived some bad times, but I’m worried about the future.” MBS Textbook Exchange CEO Bob Pugh says his business, which centers on the resale of used textbooks, is

experiencing some dramatic changes. “The prices of textbooks have been pumped up by publishers way beyond the cost of living. People are now renting textbooks and that has changed the dynamics of our business. If a book is rented once and then returned to the bookstore to be rented again, we don’t see that book anymore so we’re going to get pinched.” Pugh went on to say that fears over the e-book trend coming to the textbook market have proved unfounded so far, partially due to the complexity of textbooks versus novels and other books more commonly accessed through a device such as Kindle or Nook. But Pugh knows that if textbooks ever do move to the e-book format, it spells doom for his business. “There’s no such thing as a used e-book,” he said. summer 2012 I Inside Columbia’s CEO

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CEO rOuNdTaBLE Randy Coil, president of Coil Construction, says he’s seen his business grow over the past two years, but the nature of the jobs has changed. “It’s different than it was prior to 2008, 2009, where you saw a lot more green-field type construction,” Coil said.

“Certainly there’s less new construction, but we’re seeing some health increases in terms of businesses that want to expand. The actual number of jobs has gone up; the size of the projects has gone down.” Rusty Strodtman, Columbia Mall’s general manager, said he saw some very

rOuNdTaBLE rOLL CaLL

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DAN ATwILL Presiding Commissioner Boone County

RIck MEANS President-elect shelter Insurance Cos.

chRIS BELchER superintendent Columbia Public schools

BOB pUgh Ceo mBs Textbook exchange Inc.

RANDY cOIL President Coil Construction

DAN ROThERY President Boone Hospital Center

kAREN cRABTREE general manager CenturyLink

gREg STEINhOFF President of strategic operations Veterans united Home Loans

BOB gERDINg President gerding, Korte & Chitwood CPas

RUSTY STRODTMAN senior general manager Columbia mall

DON LAIRD President Columbia Chamber of Commerce

TIM wOLFE President university of missouri

ROBERT McDAVID mayor City of Columbia

gARY MEYERpETER The Callaway Bank Luncheon sponsor

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encouraging economic signs at the beginning of 2012, but momentum has since slowed. “We started off the year very strong. January and February, we were up double digits, but each month we give a little of that back. In April, we were down for the first month of the year.” Strodtman had hoped falling gas prices would translate into increased sales at the mall, but that economic tradeoff has not materialized. “What we are seeing on the positive side is that the higher-end stuff, the jewelry and higher goods, are still doing very well. I think it’s the person who’s kind of in the middle who’s struggling right now with being able to spend money on retail.” “What Rusty said is reflected in the numbers we see,” said Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill. “When the year started off, it looked like about a 6 percent increase in tax revenue and it’s leveled off almost completely. Both the city and the county are in a transitional zone right now. We have 162,000 countywide residents and by 2020, it’s projected that it could easily be 200,000. While all these things are happening that seem to be sort of downers on the economic side, the growth continues. It’s amazing. Overall, I’m extremely optimistic. We’re in as well a situation as anyone could hope to be. We have our problems, but most of the people I see in other parts of the state would love to have the problems we have.” Atwill wasn’t alone in his optimism. Although a spate of storms bit into the bottom line of insurance companies last year, incoming Shelter Insurance President Rick Means says the trend over the past five years has been positive for his company. “We’ve had good steady growth, a good steady increase in our employee count and our policy count has increased. I view Columbia as kind of a golden opportunity from an insurance perspective.” Means pointed out that Columbia already is home to several large insurance operations, and “I think there’s an opportunity to market Columbia as an insurance hub that we haven’t pushed as much over the last few years. I think there’s some opportunity here.”


Columbia Chamber President Don Laird is concerned about the recent movement to recall elected officials in Columbia and elsewhere, but says “It’s a great opportunity to defeat that [movement]. If they’re defeated, it will hurt their credibility.” University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe is pleased by the robust numbers of applications and new enrollees. “And obviously we’re optimistic about what this fall football season will bring to the city of Columbia. We think it’s going to be huge.” But Wolfe went on to point out some “dark clouds” on the horizon — the soaring costs associated with running a hospital and dwindling federal and state funding. “We have to be more reliant on tuition to fund our growth,” he said, “as well as private donations.”

Eyes On The Tigers Wolfe himself was once a student at Mizzou, and he is impressed by how the campus has evolved since his undergraduate days. “The biggest difference is the size and beauty of the campus. It’s dramatically different from when I was here in the late ’70s. But inside the walls, much of summer 2012 I Inside Columbia’s CEO

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CEO ROUNDTABLE

Mayor Bob McDavid (on right, seated next to University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe) said Columbia’s success is closely tied to the university. “We are a company town,” he said. it is the same — great professors, great students.” Wolfe pointed out that while applications from Missouri residents have actually fallen off a bit, there’s been an increase in applications from out-of-state students. “They’re looking at the University of Missouri because of the quality and the value. It’s grown exponentially in all aspects: academic, research, athletics.” Wolfe has seen applications increasing on all four campuses in the UM system. “The good thing is, there is not a lot of overlap between the four campuses so they market in unique ways and they’ve done a nice job of identifying the demographic they want to serve. They all have the common challenge relative to infrastructure that needs to be addressed. Hopefully, the state will come up with some bonding that would be a boon for the economy, put a lot of people to work, allow us to fix some existing buildings and build some new buildings to support the potential growth we’re seeing.” In the meantime, Wolfe is doing what he can to cut costs. One recent decision, the shuttering of University of Missouri Press, has met with some criticism. 18

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“That decision was not made in a vacuum,” he said. “We vetted that with the chancellors as well as the system vice presidents.” Businesses throughout Columbia have been anticipating Mizzou’s move to the SEC as a potential windfall. One project designed to capitalize on fan enthusiasm is Tiger Town, a planned venue for tailgating and pregame celebrations in downtown Columbia. Parry asked Bob Gerding, one of the Tiger Town planners, how Tiger Town will affect the local business community. “We thought it was an opportunity to move forward with promoting Columbia in general and the university in particular, as well as our downtown business community,” Gerding said. “I think there’s a lot of excitement. We’ve seen it. We think it’s going to be a great success.”

Ready For Takeoff The CEO Roundtable took place just a few days before the first regular flight from Atlanta arrived at Columbia Regional Airport. Mayor McDavid took the opportunity to reflect on the journey that began just a year ago with the looming prospect of no air service at all

for Columbia by 2020. Now there are regular daily flights to and from Memphis and Atlanta, with a second daily flight to Atlanta set to begin in September. “It’s possible we may be opening up two major hubs within the next year,” McDavid said. “The demand we thought was there is there. We are collectively demonstrating by our use of Delta into Memphis and Atlanta that there is, in fact, the huge market we expected and it’s a market that is still untapped internationally and domestically west. I think we’re going to continue to get more suitors.” Greg Steinhoff, president of strategic operations for Veterans United Home Loans and former Missouri director of economic development, praised the mayor’s efforts toward generating a revenue guarantee for airlines. “The way the world of the airline industry is working today, markets of our size are a risk point and they need a little help,” Steinhoff said. “That comes in the form of a revenue guarantee and we’ve asked many public and private entities to help with that $3 million guarantee.” Plus, he noted, “The mayor has become quite an airline exec in his presentations when he starts talking square root algorithms.”


For a business such as CenturyLink, reliable air service is essential, and Karen Crabtree, general manager of Columbia’s CenturyLink, is pleased to see the city’s air service offerings expanding. “Although we’re locally owned and operated, we have different locations in Louisiana, Colorado, Florida … and just being able to have easy access into Columbia is going to give us better potential of having more people coming into Columbia, and better economic development opportunities. CenturyLink looks forward to being a part of that.”

“The problems we’re talking about today are the same problems we had in the ‘70s and ‘80s relative to a vocal minority that’s resistant to change and puts up barriers sometimes that aren’t really logical.” — University of Missouri’s Tim Wolfe “Always in the past, the cost was a factor,” Atwill said. “You would drive to St. Louis if you could save $200 or $300, but from what I understand, the mayor is working toward avoiding that and I think that’s a key element in the whole process.” For Rothery, air service is the key to physician recruiting. “I don’t need to tell anyone here what a wonderful community this is, but when you recruit physicians from across the country, they’re a little more hesitant.” The hospital administrator added that by showing physician recruits that they can easily maintain their family ties to other regions of the country through easily accessible air service, it’s easier to sell them on Columbia. “One way to grow is to recruit physicians,” Rothery said.

School Report Card There’s no such thing as a summer vacation for Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher, who is leading the district as it tackles funding shortfalls and major construction projects.


CEO ROUNDTABLE “We’ve had a real aggressive plan to try to modernize our facilities,” Belcher said. “Between 2010 and 2016 or 2017, we’ll spend about $180 million in construction. We’re building a new high school that is about 80 percent complete, on time and under budget. The construction industry has been very competitive; the bids are coming in low and the interest rates are unbelievably low, so we’re going to get about $12 million more in construction projects than we anticipated when we floated that first $120 million bond. Belcher ticked off a list of projects under way. “The latest $50 million bond will add an elementary school on the south side of town to take the pressure off Mill Creek. We have gyms going in at

“Columbia has become a hub for services. We’re a great place and people leave the rural environments that have no jobs and come to Columbia, but that does create a unique set of problems for us in the public schools.” — Columbia Public Schools’ Chris Belcher Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools so that when the third high school opens, they’ll have equal facilities. We’re building a new central office so we can get out of subquality rental space that we’ve been spending half a million dollars a year on. Our mortgage payments will be less than that and the efficiency will save $6 to $8 million annually.” Belcher says he plans to introduce another bond issue in 2014 for an additional $50 million, and “$50 million every two years after that until we get rid of the trailers and get our facilities up to standard.” But amid all that progress on facilities, Belcher seems most pleased by the passage of the tax increase proposal on last April’s ballot that helps fund operational expenses. “When we went 20

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Bob Gerding, one of the driving forces behind Tiger Town, hopes the new attraction will draw Mizzou fans from throughout the region to come to Columbia and spend time and money downtown before football games. “The athletic department tells us that 60 percent of the fans who show up for a football game live within a 60-mile radius,” he said. “We need to engage them.” to voters for a bailout — which is what I call it because we’ll see $12 million less in state funding than what was anticipated — to get a 57 percent vote to support that tax increase in this type of recessionary economy is just amazing. We have hired 50 additional staff members this year, but we’ve lost 250 over the last four. We’re finally going back in the right direction.” Since the beginning of his tenure as superintendent in 2009, Belcher has been trying to break through the community’s denial of its poverty problem. He offered as an example the statistic that 91 percent of students at Benton Elementary School and 75 percent of students at the new Alpha Hart Elementary School qualify for free or reduced lunches. “We have a tale of two cities in Columbia,” he said. “The highly educated group tends to have one or two children and provide those children with access to higher education. The lower-end population tends to still have larger families, so the growth in all communities

anymore is becoming more impoverished in the public schools because the family size demographic is changing from what it was in the ’70s and ’80s when lots of people had large families.” Pugh admits he was surprised by the poverty numbers, but he’s seen firsthand that many young people who come to his business to apply for entry-level jobs are ill-prepared for the workforce. “I don’t know how you break that,” he says. “Kids have got to be prepared to enter the workplace. It’s too much for the school district to take on by itself.”

No Easy EEZ Answers Roundtable participants were universally dismayed by the opposition to an enhanced enterprise zone in Columbia that would attract manufacturing jobs to the area. When Parry asked McDavid what he would have done differently when introducing the concept to the public, McDavid said, “I’m not sure it could have been handled differently. There


CEO ROUNDTABLE are a lot of factions that don’t want to see this happen. The word ‘blight’ is promiscuously used in a lot of state legislation and it’s in there.” McDavid explained that EEZs give governments the ability to forgive an increment in tax if they form a manufacturing business. “We want to limit it to manufacturing,” he said. “We want to find jobs for people who will not be teaching history at the university, not going to the med school. Forty-eight percent of our population doesn’t have a college degree. We’ve got free and reduced lunch issues. We’ve got foreclosures and there are those in Columbia whose needs are not being met. The EEZ is designed to bring in manufacturing jobs. OK, that’s $35,000 a year, but they have benefits, they have a pathway out of poverty, and yet there’s a lot of resistance to bringing this to town.”

you have to think there’s something larger at play here. It looks to me like there’s a real political motive to this and this is designed to cast the business community in a negative light and gain future political position.” “One thing that concerns me as a Columbian — not in my role as the University of Missouri president — is the diversity of our businesses,” Wolfe said. “I think we’re too concentrated and we need to figure out how to get manufacturing and some other industries here in Columbia that give the job base that allows those parents and families that don’t have a college education to be employed and get above the poverty line. Then they can instill in their kids the right discipline, morals and ethics so we can have successful kids in K through 12 and going to college.” “I think the long and short of it,” Gerding said, “is that we’re missing an

“The business community needs to reset the perception and help people understand that we produce the jobs that give them the opportunities to work and provide for their families.” — Veterans United’s Greg Steinhoff McDavid worries Columbia’s loss could be a gain for other towns who offer the EEZ benefit. “The irony is that a company could locate to Centralia’s EEZ,” he said. “The workers will still live in Columbia. They’ll drive to Centralia and Centralia’s public schools will get the tax revenue from the company. The workers will send their kids to our schools. That’s the paradox that we’re facing. We’re forging ahead on this and we’re going to put it up for a council vote. I’m committed to getting this passed.” Steinhoff says there are 140 EEZs in the state of Missouri. “This is the only one I’m aware of that raised some sort of public outcry, particularly about the word ‘blight.’ To me, this is indicative of a larger problem we have in Columbia. The EEZ as a program is designed to attract jobs to help the very people who are complaining about the issue itself. If you see something like that, that makes absolutely no sense, 22

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opportunity here to get engaged. What does the engagement look like? How do we get engaged in the EEZ process? The business community here is strong and viable. We just need to get engaged.” Strodtman echoed Gerding’s sentiment about engagement. “I’m on the Planning and Zoning Commission and we’ve been working on the comprehensive plan for the city of Columbia. It’s a very important part of our toolbox. Sad to say, we’ve had many, many public meetings but to date we’ve only had 300 citizens engaged in what we see as the comprehensive plan for their city. It just shows that we really have to continue to get people engaged and talk about the EEZs and airports and other things.” “Obviously we have challenges,” McDavid said, “but I think Columbia is on a roll. I think Columbia is doing fabulously. I see things moving forward in a very exciting way right now.”


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entrepreneurial spirit

A Fresh Idea

Entrepreneurs Cook Up A Business Model That Puts Employees First by KATHY CASTEEL portrait by L.G. PATTERSON event photos courtesy of fresh ideas

G

ood soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living,” wrote master chef Louis De Gouy. The students at Central Methodist University might agree with the prolific cookbook author, if they weren’t too busy scarfing down some of those prime ingredients in the campus dining hall. The living is good at CMU these days, something students and staff discovered about a dozen years ago when entrepreneur Fresh Ideas took over the food service on the Fayette campus. CMU President Marianne Inman is Fresh Ideas’ No. 1 fan. “A couple of years ago I was eating lunch with a number of students, and the special soup that day was out of this

Matt Clervi and John Orscheln of Fresh Ideas world,” she recalls. “I asked the young man next to me if he had taken it, since it was so good … and I added that ‘Big Daddy made it!’ “ ‘Oh,’ he replied, “Anything Big Daddy makes is good!’ ” Big Daddy is head cook Dale Wayland, whose culinary skills and big heart have brightened the day of many a CMU student. For the founders of Fresh Ideas, a Columbia-based company providing food service and catering to clients throughout the Midwest and Florida, Wayland is proof that the business model they follow — stressing employee satisfaction above all else — is key to the enormous success the company has enjoyed in its 12-year history.

“Our employees are us,” says Matt Clervi, co-owner and executive vice president of Fresh Ideas. “We’re depending on them to take care of our clients.” Taking care of clients means taking care of business. Founded in 2000 with one customer — Central Methodist University — Fresh Ideas has grown to a $20 million company that is leveraging partnerships to give it a national reach. “We bring a new approach to food service,” says Chief Operating Officer Dennis Owens.

The seeds of this “new approach” took root in the late ’90s at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington. Fresh Ideas summer 2012 I Inside Columbia’s CEO

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entrepreneurial spirit College, Father Tolton Catholic High School, William Woods University and Westminster College. Growth has been steady. With a client list increasing by 10 percent each year, Fresh Ideas has averaged 17 percent annual revenue growth over the past seven years; this year’s revenue increased 35 percent over last year. Supply-chain integration and a joint partnership with catering giant Puff ’n Stuff in Florida has positioned the company for further expansion.

The Fresh Ideas recipe for success has

Fresh Ideas used a construction theme to transform the lobby of The Crossing for a fundraiser to benefit the church’s building fund. founders John Orscheln and Matt Clervi both worked at the school — Orscheln was director of admissions and Clervi ran the food service. The two Columbia College grads often talked of going into business together and how they would do things differently. “There’s nothing wrong with old school,” says Clervi. “Our plan was: let’s just reinvent it.” Deciding to partner in the food service business, they brainstormed on what to call their venture, writing down names on a napkin. “Fresh Ideas” was the first name that came to mind, Clervi says. “It said everything that we wanted to do. We took the standard business model and turned it upside down.” 26

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In the beginning, the partners concentrated on institutional food service, building on their success with early clients Central Methodist University and the 3M plant in Columbia. The company reached a turning point in 2005; with a burgeoning client base and expanding catering services, Orscheln and Clervi took on a third owner, Dennis Owens. As chief operating officer, Owens organized the company’s corporate structure with Orscheln as CEO and Clervi as executive vice president. Fresh Ideas currently has nearly 500 direct employees on the payroll — about 50 in Columbia and 200 within a 30-mile radius of the city. Several local businesses and schools are on the company’s client list, including Stephens

three ingredients: employee satisfaction, resource management and customer service. Mix well to yield financial success. Quality employees are key, says Chief Financial Officer Kate Grant. “Great people attract great people,” she says. “But not everyone fits at Fresh Ideas.” The company’s stringent hiring process is consistent across all units, “so we get consistent quality,” Grant says. All Fresh Ideas employees must pass a background check and a drug test. Smokers need not apply. In addition, the company runs credit reports on all unit managers. “If you can’t manage your own finances, we don’t want you handling ours,” Grant says. The hiring process takes about 45 days, “but once you’re in, you’re family,” she adds. “We treat you right.” The employee mix is diverse, and 75 percent of unit managers are women, a number in which Women’s Network President Grant takes great pride. Employees developed the company values they live by: pride, safety, quality, respect, integrity, community service, diversity, creativity, education, enthusiasm, dependability and responsiveness. Fresh Ideas enjoys a relatively low annual turnover rate averaging 35 to 40 percent in an industry where more than 100 percent turnover is the norm. “That says a lot about our values and where they come from,” Grant says. Employee stability allows the company to focus on managing its resources to meet customer satisfaction, Clervi says.


“At the end of the day, you’ve got to be profitable,” he says. “Our retention rate is also proof of our success.”

Vertical integration has expanded the company’s reach and kept Fresh Ideas competitive, Clervi says. The family of companies includes Fresh Ideas Management LLC, providing contracted food-service management; NCT, a $100 million group purchasing organization that supplies food-service customers in 44 states; and partial ownership of Dubtizzle, a social media marketing company in Columbia. Academic food service is the bread and butter of Fresh Ideas. “It is our core,” Clervi says. “And students are more demanding these days.” Fresh Ideas offers a variety of food services in the K–12, college and industry dining markets, designed around a destination concept — an upscale food court, if you will. The concept features stations where diners may order from a watch-them-build-your-meal Savory Grill, Westside Deli, Little Italy pizzeria, World Beat international fare, the Home Zone for homestyle cuisine, Greens

Employees developed the company values they live by: pride, safety, quality, respect, integrity, community service, diversity, creativity, education, enthusiasm, dependability and responsiveness. & Things salad bar and Temptations dessert bar. Mongolian Grill recently joined the lineup at two locations. Other offerings include cafés, coffeehouses and a new restaurant-style service for evening dining. The company partners with Pierpont Farms, south of Columbia, to acquire farm-fresh local food for Stephens. “Fresh Ideas brought a genuine commitment to quality and partnership when they arrived at Stephens,” says college President Dianne Lynch. “They have listened, adapted and embraced our culture — resulting in all kinds of summer 2012 I Inside Columbia’s CEO

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entrepreneurial spirit innovations and great programs, from Sushi Friday to the food service in our new Student Union. It’s such a pleasure to work with them.” Architectural expertise is another bonus for Fresh Ideas clients. The team worked with architects in redesigning the kitchen and dining spaces at Central Methodist and Westminster. At Stephens College, a switch to an online bookstore through MBS Textbook Exchange has freed up retail space on campus. Fresh Ideas is working with Stephens on ideas for the new space, scheduled to open in the fall. “It is a great example of how entrepreneurial and innovative our partnership is,” says Lynch. “We are creating a new retail space that will sell everything from cosmetics and candy to Stephens T-shirts and student-designed jewelry — allowing students to use their ‘meal plan’ flex dollars for their purchases. Fresh Ideas hadn’t been active in the retail space, but they responded with a resounding ‘Yes!’ when we asked if they might be open to working on it with us; they’re as interested as we are in new approaches, new opportunities and new ways to serve Stephens students.” Fresh Ideas also offers community catering through the campus units. Clervi boasts they can transform a venue to create an entirely new ambience for an event — from weddings to fundraisers. (Fresh Ideas’ Westminster College unit scored a mention in a 2011 “Real Weddings” feature in The Knot magazine.) The new joint partnership with innovative caterer Puff ’n Stuff promises to increase the Columbia company’s national exposure as early as August, when Fresh Ideas works alongside Puff ’n Stuff to cater the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

The company’s success is deeply rooted in the Fresh Ideas business model, where well-chosen, happy employees serve happy customers. “Fresh Ideas has a strong focus on customer service, which we deeply appreciate,” says Westminster College President Barney Forsythe. “The team at Westminster lives our college’s 28

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brand and pays close attention to the needs of the entire community, with special emphasis on our students. We have a large international community representing almost 70 countries, so providing for the dietary needs of this diverse group has been a focus for the Fresh Ideas management. The staff helps the students feel like they are at home in the dining hall — they know the names of many students and care deeply about their welfare.” The company has impressed new customer William Woods University with its mission statement and values. “They are very student-  and employeefocused,” says WWU vice president Scott Gallagher. “When our students are here, this is their home and they should have well-rounded options, excellent food and

“Fresh Ideas has a strong focus on customer service.” ­ — Westminster College President Barney Forsythe outstanding dining hall service. That is exactly what Fresh Ideas has provided. They are active listeners; they have embraced social media and encourage our students to let them know what they think. They not only listen, but they respond to our student’s requests. It is clear that they really do live by their values, and without question, it is one of the keys to their success.”

The self-determining nature of the company name keeps the Fresh Ideas management team hopping in a quest for innovation, from “virtual bands” and over-the-top ambience to cooking school internships, social media marketing and technological advances such as iPads in the kitchen and smartphone scan codes to display nutritional content in the dining hall. The company is building a culinary team to enter competitions and plans to open a tasting room for prospective catering clients. “We have a name that reminds us to stay fresh,” says Grant. “We’re always going to be innovative.” summer 2012 I Inside Columbia’s CEO

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clear si gnal CenturyLink’s Karen Crabtree Brings Promising Leadership To Columbia’s Telecommunications Market

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by KATHY CASTEEL

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p h otos by L . G . P A T T E R S O N

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Sometimes it’s the simple things that matter most. Just ask Horton the elephant. The faithful hero of Dr. Seuss lore was a stickler for commitment; he always kept his word because, you know, a promise is a promise … It took business gurus Don Sull and Charles Spinosa to turn Horton’s simple creed into a management tool for executives. Their 2007 argument for promise-based management in the Harvard Business Review called on executives to cultivate a system of commitment as a way to get things done. CenturyLink is heeding that call. The telecommunications company rolled out promisebased management last year to its executive team and now is spreading the concept through the rank-and-file.

“We have to have happy customers, shareholders and employees. Without those three, you have a company that has challenges.” — Karen Crabtree

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The idea has found an eager advocate in Karen Crabtree, CenturyLink vice president and general manager for northern Missouri. “It’s a simple concept,” she says, “but often overlooked. It focuses on commitment, responsibility and accountability … making promises and keeping your word.” This Hortonesque commitment to accountability extends from the top down throughout the company and out to CenturyLink customers, Crabtree says, adding that the practice opens communication and brings clarity to service commitments. “When we promise service in an area on a certain date, we’ve been able to meet those dates,” she says. “Promise-based management allows us to execute on our community commitments. And we’re all about community at CenturyLink. We pride ourselves on our local model.”

Ever since Crabtree arrived in Columbia last year, she has immersed herself in the local community, actively involving herself and CenturyLink in the things that matter


to employees and customers throughout her northern Missouri territory. Her hands-on style gives evidence of her extensive background in telecommunications, a field that has shaped her entire professional career path. “I have more than 25 years in telecommunication,” Crabtree says. “I’ve spent the majority of my career in providing service to customers as well as several roles in provisioning/ engineering.” Crabtree’s expertise comes from on-thejob training in a rapidly changing industry. The Texas native grew up in Levelland, on the western plains of the Lone Star State. The daughter of an oil-field worker and a school cafeteria director, Crabtree graduated from high school with plans to teach and coach tennis, but her first job with Levelland’s telephone company — NTS Communications — left her smitten with telecommunications. She changed her career focus and spent two years studying business at South Plains College and continued her courtship with the industry. In 1998, she moved from customer service at NTS in Lubbock to leading a large service delivery

team for Broadwing Communications in Austin, eventually becoming vice president of provisioning. A move to Xspedius Communications in 2003 brought Crabtree to Missouri, where she served as vice president for service delivery at the company’s O’Fallon headquarters. “When you work for a small company, you wear a lot of hats,” she says. “I did a little bit of everything.” She joined CenturyTel in 2006 as vice president for service delivery in Wentzville, moving to Columbia and CenturyLink’s northern Missouri managership in April 2011. Her position here includes end-to-end responsibility for developing a localized approach to the market with product offerings and promotions. She oversees revenue; the customer experience; local installation and repair technicians; customer metrics; area retail stores and door-to-door sales; community and public relations; and CenturyLink’s brand representation. Crabtree spent her first few months here in the field with technicians, accompanying them on service calls for repair and installation of CenturyLink products. The view from the other end of the service order was eye-opening. “It gave me the chance to see what I’ve done in the past and how it impacts technicians and customers,” she says. That in-the-trenches tour gave Crabtree a deeper understanding of her employees against the backdrop of her technical experience, says CenturyLink marketing director Greg Gaffke. “She really has a handle on what needs to be done,” Gaffke says. “She delegates well and everyone is working off the same page.” Crabtree bases her leadership style on characteristics she has come to respect in others. “I most respect the leader who understands what I am doing, who is someone I can count on,” she says. “I use that in leading — how can I make the job better? I want my people to be successful; if they’re not, then I’m not successful.” She stresses values of respect, accountability and practicing what she preaches. “As a new manager, I had a fear of failure that was difficult to overcome,” she concedes. “I’m a very competitive person. I wanted to be the perfect manager and have all the answers. But things are going to happen, maybe go wrong. A key leadership test is accountability — taking the initiative to resolve the problem.” Overcoming fear of failure was a big step in Crabtree’s personal career journey. “I learned from my mistakes, and more importantly, learned how to deal with failure as well as success. Building relationships is key, knowing who helps and who can help.”

centurylink Products & Services Web and audio conferencing Local voice services provider Integrated services digital network Centrex Long-distance voice service Voice over Internet protocol Business-class high-speed Internet Ethernet Multiprotocol label switching Frame relay Asynchronous transfer mode Private Port virtual private network Hosting services CenturyLink Prism TV DirecTV satellite television Cloud computing services Managed security services Managed IP telephony Anti-virus/antispam security Distributed denial of service mitigation service Managed security Payment card industry compliance Professional security services Secure IP Web Defense

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The 46-year-old general manager is grateful for the mentoring she’s received from other women she’s worked with, especially Maxine Moreau, CenturyLink executive vice president for network services. “I was a single mom, raising two children and working,” she says. “Maxine always had good advice about working through the demands of career and family.” Moreau, who has watched Crabtree develop on and off the job over the past decade, is impressed with the way she has raised her children, “inspiring them to build a foundation of strong ethics and family values,” she says.

CenturyLink General Manager Karen Crabtree’s northern Missouri territory runs from Jefferson City to the Iowa border, in a wide swath between Warrensburg and Wentzville. “I get a lot of windshield time,” she says. “Karen is a passionate leader that always puts 100 percent behind everything she does,” Moreau adds. “Detailed and service-oriented, she is willing to roll up her sleeves and get personally involved in difficult challenges. She makes doing the ‘right thing’ by her customers and employees her top priority.”

It’s all a part of Crabtree’s plan for local market success. “Local market success is knowing the needs of the customers in our market and offering services our customers are interested in, as well as helping them be successful with their business,” she says. “Winning in the market is understanding our 34

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competition and being ahead of them as it relates to the needs of our customers. A local presence gives us the benefit of understanding the day-today activity in the market and keeps us grounded with the needs of customers.” CenturyLink is poised for growth in the local market, Crabtree says. “My goal is to grow CenturyLink’s services and products. Everyone is evolving. That’s the big focus. We’re looking at changes in broadband offerings, rolling out Prism TV further in the community, Ethernet, voice over Internet protocol and Internet TV. We’re focusing growth on strategic products — partnering with Verizon for cellular service and bundling with DirecTV where Prism is not available. CenturyLink’s recent acquisition of Savvis gives us entry into cloud computing. These are all services we’re bringing to Columbia, and that’s important for bringing new business here. We want to be a part of attracting companies to Columbia.” That means partnering with other utilities to determine what companies need here, she says. “The airport is a big driver,” she adds. “We just need to be able to get somewhere.” Crabtree has plunged into Columbia’s business and community service organizations, active in the Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Network, Regional Economic Development Inc. and the United Way. She recently joined the chamber’s Board of Directors. The appointment was a nobrainer, says chamber President Don Laird. “CenturyLink is a major player in this state,” Laird says. “It has changed so much in such a short time and Karen brings expertise with all the technological changes she’s seen in other places.


Promises, Promises The most powerful act in business is a promise to make something happen. The proponents of “promisebased management” contend that the way a business manages its promises determines the quality of its results. The brainchild of management consultants Don Sull and Charles Spinosa, the idea behind promise-based management is that work moves through organizations based on a network of promises. The better the promises, the faster the work moves. The entire business operates on the exchange of “if you can do this, then I can do this” promises. By improving the reliability of promises made within the organization, businesses can improve performance and create value for the customer. Sull, a London Business School professor, and Spinosa, director of marketing practices for

Irish consulting firm Vision, put forth their idea in the April 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review. Promises — employees’ personal pledges to satisfy concerns of stakeholders within and outside an organization — drive successful execution, they say. When strategy implementation falters, poorly crafted promises are usually the culprits. To execute well, Sull and Spinosa advise, leaders must manage promises as carefully as other organizational resources. Well-made promises share five characteristics, the two contend. They are publicly made, actively negotiated, offered voluntarily, explicitly worded and clearly based on the underlying mission. Effective promises move through three phases: a meeting of the minds, making it happen, and closing the loop. Communication is key

The Lowdown On CenturyLink throughout the process, as parties exchange feedback and follow through on commitments. Promises are the fundamental units of interaction in businesses, the authors say, coordinating organizational activity and stoking the passions of employees, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. Yet they can be as fragile as they are crucial, Sull and Spinosa warn. “Leaders must weave and manage their webs of promises with great care,” they write, “encouraging iterative conversation to make sure commitments are fulfilled reliably. If they do, they can enhance coordination and cooperation among colleagues, build the agility required to seize new business opportunities, and tap employees’ entrepreneurial energies. If they don’t, they will lose out to rivals who do.”

CenturyLink is the third-largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides broadband, voice, wireless and cloud computing services to consumers and businesses across the country. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink operates in 37 states and some international markets. The northern Missouri region is a mix of “Tier 2” communities such as Columbia/ Jefferson City, Wentzville and Warrensburg, and rural areas.

Source: “Promise-Based Management: The Essence of Execution” by Donald N. Sull and Charles Spinosa, Harvard Business Review, April 2007

She’s had to manage that technology and has obviously been successful. She can bring to our attention the innovative technology we need to think about in Columbia.” And, Laird adds, “She really does love it here.” Crabtree’s love affair with CoMo began almost as soon as she arrived. “Columbia is such a welcoming, friendly town,” she says. “Not long after I moved here, I spoke at a REDI breakfast. By the time I got back to my office, there was Mizzou gear piled up on my desk.” Her adult children have also relocated to Columbia — son Kody works at University Hospital; daughter April is a CenturyLink dispatcher; and son-in-law Thomas Buenrostro works for Coca-Cola. Crabtree’s 2½-year-old granddaughter, Sienna Buenrostro, “is the queen of our family,” she says. “Columbia is a great place to raise children, friendly and safe. There’s something for everybody — arts, music, sports, recreation — plus other cities and the Lake are

close by. I really like the Dolly Parton library for my granddaughter.” County Commissioner Karen Miller, Boone County’s unofficial Welcome Wagon, reached out to Crabtree when she first arrived, offering recommendations to the newcomer for everything from dentists to mechanics. The two became fast friends. “She was looking for fun things to experience the whole of Columbia,” Miller says. “She can be a better advocate for the area if she understands the whole community. And that is what I value in her—she reaches out to the entire community. It’s not just about business.” Family and community mean a great deal to Crabtree. “Doing things together with my family is very important,” she says. Engaged to her high school sweetheart Jerry O’Briant, she says they are looking to settle in Columbia — a place of promise. “I understand now why Mizzou students don’t leave when they graduate,” she says. “It’s home.”

346 employees in the northern Missouri territory Strategic revenues accounted for 45 percent of total revenue in the first quarter of 2012 Added more than 89,000 broadband accounts in the first quarter of 2012 Added nearly 15,000 Prism TV accounts in the first quarter of 2012 (55 percent new CenturyLink customers)

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socializing @Work W H i C H sO C i a l n e T WO r Ks a r e TH e r i G H T M aTC H FO r YO U r b U s i n e ss? by saNdy sELBy

Facebook and Twitter are more than just distractions for your employees. They, along with other social media sites, could be an effective tool for communicating with your customers. // As social networking platforms have grown, they have become an integral part of many companies’ overall marketing plans. In some cases, teams of employees are charged with pinning, tweeting and updating their company’s Facebook status on a frequent basis. For most businesses, though, that level of commitment is impractical. They must put their efforts toward one or two social media networks and charge a single employee with posting daily updates. In some cases, companies are turning this marketing duty over to experts at social media management firms who are more familiar with all the benefits and pitfalls that lie in the new social media frontier. // we take a closer look at the social media sites most frequently used by businesses to help you decide how social you want your business to be.


a Columbia success story

>>> Facebook.com was established in 2004. Its stated mission is “to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.” By march 2012, the company employed more than 3,500, and served more than 901 million active users worldwide. Facebook’s much-publicized initial public offering took place on may 23, 2012. portrait Of a Facebook User Facebook attracts more women than men; 57 percent of its users are female. A very slight majority of users are in the 25–34 age range, but the age demographics of Facebook users closely match the demographic figures for all online users. Income statistics also align with the overall online demographic, with the largest percentage (32 percent) earning between $30,000 and $59,999 annually. What Type Of business Can benefit From a Facebook presence? Facebook’s flexibility makes it appealing to businesses ranging from the smallest of small businesses to giant corporations, but a dedicated Facebook marketing effort requires staff time, which may represent a relatively larger commitment of resources

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for a small business than for a larger company with a marketing department. The biggest Mistake businesses Make When Using Facebook is … Assigning young people to manage their Facebook pages. According to Brian Carter of AllFacebook.com, “Young people are familiar with Facebook but most haven’t done marketing, don’t have experience with analytics and insights, have never gotten business results for a company. That would be like having your teenager fix your car because ‘those young people drive a lot.’ ” Carter says age should not be a factor when selecting a social media manager. Instead, companies should look for someone who “has marketing experience, customer service experience ... and can write well.”

Columbia’s Orange Leaf frozen yogurt shop has been cultivating a Facebook following since a week before it opened last August. Manager Lance McCarter leads the store’s social media efforts and although he has dabbled in Twitter, he has found Facebook to be the most effective social networking medium for his business. McCarter makes it a point to post at least once a day and often offers exclusive specials to Orange Leaf ’s Facebook followers. His most effective promotion to date has been to offer free extra ounces of yogurt to those who mention a specific Facebook post. “A buy-one-get-one-free offer didn’t go over well,” McCarter says, and he assumes that’s because many of the customers who come to his shop during the day, when most of his Facebook promotions run, are business people who come in alone. They prefer the “ounces-off ” offers. Although McCarter typically times his Facebook offers to draw traffic during slower periods of the day, he has been known to roll out a special Facebook deal on a random Friday night, just to show appreciation to his loyal customers. You can follow Orange Leaf Columbia at www.facebook.com/ OrangeLeafColumbia.

Facebook Facts • 1 of every 5 page views in the United States is a Facebook page. • An average Facebook visit lasts 20 minutes. • Facebook ranks first among all social networking sites in both the U.S. and canada.


portrait Of a Twitter User Twitter users skew younger than Facebook users; 30 percent of Twitter users are in the 18–24 age range. The income statistics for users on Twitter are nearly identical to that of Facebook users, but a slightly higher percentage (9 percent versus 6 percent) of Twitter users make more than $150,000 a year. The biggest Mistakes business Tweeters Make The mistakes are plentiful and the experts can’t seem to agree on what constitutes the worst of the worst, but the most common errors are: the tendency for business representatives to share too much of their own personal information and preferences; tweeting too frequently (more than five or six times a day); and failing to provide a business description or a unique image (as opposed to the default “egg” image) for their profiles.

>>> Twitter.com was born in July 2006. originally named Twitr, the social networking site changed its name to Twitter within a few months. The site, which allows people to communicate through 140-character “tweets,” has experienced exponential growth and now boasts more than half a billion registered profiles, with more than 100 million users residing in the united states. on an average day, 175 million new tweets are unleashed on the world through Twitter.

don’t ignore Friday at 4 It’s a phenomenon social media scientist Dan Zarrella has termed “contracompetitive timing”: While fewer people are tweeting on Fridays, more tweets get retweeted that day than any other, and 4 p.m. is the most retweetable time of all. advice From a Twitter pro Danene Beedle, marketing director for the Missouri Wine & Grape Board, (@MoWineGirl) offers this tweet-sized advice for novice business Twitter users: “Be AUTHENTIC, be AUTHENTIC, be AUTHENTIC :)”

To retweet Or Not To retweet? In his book Zarrella’s Hirearchy of Contagiousness, Dan Zarrella, who studies the science behind social media trends, identified the most and least retweeted words. The lesson here? Keep it positive, don’t be afraid to ask for a retweet, and don’t expect people to share news about your boredom or bedtime.

Most Retweeted words/Terms • you • twitter • please • retweet • post • blog • social • free • media • help

• please retweet • great • social media • 10 • follow • how to • top • blog post • check out • new blog post

Least Retweeted words/Terms • game • going • haha • lol • but • watching • work • home • night • bed

• well • sleep • gonna • hey • tomorrow • tired • some • back • bored • listening

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a Columbia success story

>>> Between december 2009 and december 2010, Pinterest.com went from initial development to one of the 10 largest social networking services with more than 11 million visits per week. users of this fast-growing site use its pinboard technology to post pictures of things that tickle their fancy from anywhere across the vast Internet. Popular categories among pinners include wedding ideas, recipes, home décor and fashion. portrait Of a pinterest User The majority (68.2 percent) of Pinterest users are women and 28.1 percent of users have annual household incomes exceeding $100,000. What Type Of business Can benefit From a pinterest presence For marketers going after affluent women, Pinterest can be a gold mine. Businesses that can visually represent

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themselves through photographs — salons, interior designers, event planners, etc. — are making a splash on Pinterest. For example, referral traffic for apparel retailers on Pinterest grew by 289 percent between July and December last year. Sources: Facebook.com, Mediabistro.com, Tech Crunch, RJMetrics, BlogHer, LinkedIn.com, Google Inc., Foursquare.com, YouTube.com

Anne Churchill, owner of AnnaBelle Events & Rentals, quickly discovered the power of Pinterest. “Pinterest is a great tool for AnnaBelle Events to streamline the inspiration and design process with our brides and grooms,” she says. “I tell each of my clients: my style really isn’t important; what’s important is your style and that I can translate it. Many times, it is hard for them to tell us in words what they want, but they can always find pictures. With Pinterest, they no longer have to give up those pictures and we can check in on their boards to stay up-to-date as they find new inspirations and ‘must-dos’ at their wedding. We also use it to build our own design ideas and promotion, with pins from our events and things we ‘repin.’ This shows potential clients our taste and what we love about events. On more than one occasion, I’ve had clients say, ‘We knew we had to have you plan our wedding when we fell in love with your website and Pinterest.’ ” You can find Churchill on pinterest under annabelle events.

Top 10 The 10 Most Common pinboard names 1) For The Home 2) my style 3) Products I love 4) books Worth Reading 5) Food 6) Favorite Places & spaces 7) Recipes 8) Craft Ideas 9) Christmas 10) Crafts


But Wait … There’s More! The world of social media is constantly evolving; what’s hot this year may be yesterday’s news by 2013, and the next Pinterestlike phenomenon could arrive on the scene any day now. Here are a few other social networking sites that are thriving right now and may make sense as part of your business’s marketing plan.

LinkedIn According to LinkedIn.com, “LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.” Businesses often use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool and as a way to contact other professionals to seek advice. LinkedIn’s user statistics from January 2012 indicate that 57.9 percent of users are male, and 67.7 percent are between the ages of 25 and 54. Fourteen percent of users earn more than $150,000 per year.

Foursquare Foursquare.com launched in 2008 and serves as a location service that allows individuals to “check in” at a business or attraction and thereby let others know where they are. Business owners can claim their venue on Foursquare and set up specials that will help attract customers to their location. The site currently boasts 20 million users and has recorded more than 2 billion check-ins from users.

Google+ Despite Pinterest’s impressive growth in a single year, it is not the fastest-growing social network of all time. That distinction belongs to Google+, which launched publicly in July 2011 and by January 2012 had tallied more than 90 million users worldwide, making it the fourth-largest social network. Google+ is designed to be a head-to-head competitor for Facebook and offers many similar features. One unique feature is the Google Hangout, which gives users an opportunity to interact face-to-face through real-time video chat.

YouTube Chances are, you’ve visited www.YouTube.com to watch videos of talking dogs or laughing babies, but businesses find it useful, too, as a platform for training videos, promotional materials or educational presentations that can help establish them as experts in their field. YouTube claims 800 million users worldwide and 4 billion page views daily. Fans of the talking dog will be disappointed to learn it was not the most-watched video on YouTube last year. That honor went to pop princess Rebecca Black’s music video “Friday.”

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Buying Into Biomass by KATHY CASTEEL photos by L.G. PATTERSON

For most Americans, “homegrown energy” has a nice ring to it. A shrinking supply of fossil fuels, rising prices and wariness of foreign supplies has spurred the hunt for new energy sources. Scientists, farmers and entrepreneurs have spent the past decade beating the bushes in search of renewable alternative fuels. Turns out, for MFA Oil Co. the answer isn’t in the bushes; it’s in the grasslands. A little-known plant more commonly used as an ornamental landscaping accent has become the next hope of the Columbia-based farmers’ cooperative. As the company expands into the emerging biomass renewable energy market, it is creating a vertically integrated supply chain to strengthen its market position and change the face of the U.S. energy supply.

A Q&A With MFA Oil CEO Jerry Taylor

M

FA Oil Co. last year announced a partnership with Aloterra Energy LLC, a solid biofuels producer in Ohio, to begin growing and processing the perennial grass Miscanthus giganteus for use as a cellulosic energy stock. The partnership, MFA Oil Biomass LLC, secured federal funding through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which pays farmers to plant the crop. Funding for subsequent years of the program depends on the 2012 farm bill Congress is writing this summer. MFA Oil CEO Jerry Taylor was honored at the White House in April as one of nine Champions of Change for advancing new ideas leading the way to a clean energy future. In May, Taylor returned to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress in support of continued BCAP funding for the biomass projects. On June 13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted MFA Oil Biomass an additional $1.2 million to expand its project in northeast Arkansas. Taylor recently shared with Inside Columbia’s CEO some of his insights into renewable energy options and their significance in the local economy.

Give us an update on MFA Oil’s biomass project. In 2008, MFA Oil began laying the groundwork to expand our energy services and take on America’s most important and most difficult renewable energy sector — biomass. Our pursuit of this expansion was triggered when one of our members in southwest Missouri informed me he was switching from propane to solid fuel pellets because of significant operational cost savings and elimination of big price swings in the oil markets. That conversation spurred our dive into using Miscanthus giganteus as a new energy source for rural America. 42

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We saw an opportunity in the state’s high rate of underutilized, marginal farmland combined with a concentration of poultry farmers who are vulnerable to increasing energy costs to heat poultry barns. In addition, Missouri’s mandated renewable electricity standard of 15 percent by 2021 has triggered significant activity among electricity providers, including coal plants exploring co-firing coal with biomass products. MFA Oil Company’s biomass initiative took a major step in 2011 when we partnered with Aloterra Energy LLC to form MFA Oil Biomass LLC, a separate small business with the mission of leading the cooperative into the renewable energy field. MFAB is utilizing our existing knowledge of farming and the energy markets to form a vertically integrated renewable energy supply chain. This vertical integration system provides farmers an energy crop source, unique harvesting and planting equipment for the crop’s rhizomes, specialty harvesting services for the mature crop, processing technology and marketing services to get the best return for the farmer and the cooperative. Currently, we have almost finished planting 13,000 acres in our three project areas of Columbia and Aurora, Mo., and Paragould, Ark.

Why use Miscanthus giganteus? How does the energy production ratio compare to other renewable fuels? MFA Biomass recognized early on that having a versatile feedstock — something we could use in multiple products — was critical to success. Extensive research confirmed the potential of Miscanthus giganteus as not just a viable feedstock but one with incredible potential. Miscanthus giganteus is a warm-season perennial grass, a noninvasive, sterile hybrid that moves slowly by rhizome expansion. Rated for hardy zones 4–9, it can grow in temperatures as


low as 43 degrees. A Miscanthus giganteus stand is estimated to last 15 to 20 years or more after the initial planting. The plant is drought- and pest-resistant, and needs less fertilizer than food crops, which translates into less runoff into the region’s water systems. In fact, a Biomass Crop Options and Supply Chain Feasibility study performed by Missouri Biomass Farmer Supply Chain Consortium and funded by the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority found that Miscanthus can filter runoff, reduce the use of fertilizers, act as a disposal option for animal waste, and improve water quality and soil health. Third-party studies (and we are confirming with our own teams) establish Miscanthus as having a 36:1 energy-in to energy-out ratio, making it very efficient. At 10 to 15 tons per acre, Miscanthus doubles its nearest competitor in tonnage and increases the farmer’s return. It is also projected to produce three times more gallons of ethanol per acre than corn. Almost immediately following the funding of our biomass project areas, we witnessed a flurry of activity from national and international entities to introduce dozens of cutting-edge technologies and manufacturing projects to convert our crops into “green” fuels, “green” chemicals, solid fuel pellets and consumer products ranging from car parts to construction materials.

static and MFA Oil is a retailer of renewable fuels so changes have not affected us. On the biomass side, there is not a commercial-scale ethanol plant in operation in Missouri but our hope is that there would be opportunities to turn our biomass into a liquid fuel.

How will the biomass project impact the local economy? MFA Oil Biomass is already creating jobs as we have hired a management team to oversee the project areas and we have hired employees to plant the rhizomes in the farmer’s fields. It is still early in the process to fully project the jobs that will be created from the biomass company. There are several opportunities that look very promising for local job creation.

What is the effect of the biomass project on the local business community? Why should Columbia businesses care?

The four-year goal of MFAB is to establish approximately 50,000 acres of Miscanthus giganteus in each of its three project areas. The 50,000-acre goal will enable each area to process approximately 600,000 tons of biomass per year. Each ton contains about 15.5 million BTUs, which means at full maturity each project area can produce enough energy to power 65,000 homes or produce “Our target farm is comprised of marginal 1.6 million barrels of renewable liquid fuels each year. or underproductive land. The entire biomass For all three project areas, third-party industry is based on the premise that it will feasibility studies prepared by Environ not take land from food acres.” International Corp. anticipate a $150 million annual economic impact from growing this new energy crop while creating 2,700 new jobs. You recently testified before a congressional subcommittee Additionally, we have seen our potential fuel pellet markets to urge continued funding of the Biomass Crop Assistance serving agricultural heating needs explode. To keep up with Program, asking for a three-year guarantee of federal funds. demand, MFAB has purchased a pellet stove company and is How do you counter critics of industry subsidies who may ask, rapidly developing this market. Displacing only 35 percent “If it’s such a good idea, why is taxpayer funding necessary? of the propane market in southwest Missouri and northwest Can’t the concept take off on its own through private Arkansas would create an annual pellet market of 600,000 tons. commerce channels?” MFAB has also completed extensive side-by-side comparisons Because most of the entities in the renewable energy industry to propane with Tyson growers with outstanding results for the are focused on one technology — liquid fuel — the biomass to Miscanthus pellets. feed that technology is an afterthought. In contrast, we and other The existence of MFAB backed by our committed farmers similar companies are using BCAP to accomplish the following: has led to dozens of meetings with technology providers from n Educate farmers about this new cash crop and industry. around the United States as well as international companies, n Develop all of the custom farming equipment necessary to all seeking to leverage our existing acres and assess establishing make this possible. liquid fuel plants in our project areas. This has triggered several n Develop thousands of acres of energy crops and prepare our interactions with our state economic development agencies and farmers for that breakthrough technology when it does occur. we are currently assessing the use of several funding sources to n Simultaneously develop multiple biomass markets in solid accelerate our manufacturing projects. fuel pellets, bio-based products and bio-based chemicals. Beyond the quickly developing liquid fuel and bio-based n Make solid advancements in fiber-based processes to replace chemicals markets, MFAB is implementing a model to assist a host of petroleum products ranging from fiberglass to car parts. small towns across the United States in complying with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wastewater discharge What is the status of the renewable fuels industry in requirements. Rather than requiring small towns to build Missouri? Is production growing or static, and how have multimillion-dollar water-treatment facilities, MFAB is working changes affected MFA Oil’s share of the energy pie? with state-level environmental agencies to help municipalities Missouri’s ethanol and biodiesel plants continue to perform comply with regulations by using Miscanthus giganteus to filter through the volatile market conditions. Production is mostly 44

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›› MFA Oil Co. Established 1929 in Columbia 40,000 co-op members 1,600 total employees 250 Columbia employees Operations in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma Last year’s sales: $1.2 billion Sales growth: 5% annually over the last 3 years the water in conjunction with drip-line technologies. This has enormous implications for America’s small towns to save money in a tough economic period and to properly clean water to the standards of the EPA without massive capital expenditures. Another benefit is the reclamation of mine land. Mining companies across the Midwest are working with MFAB to plant Miscanthus to increase organic matter, sequester carbon, improve soil drainage and water retention, reduce soil erosion, reduce nutrient leaching, increase wildlife habitat and reduce water runoff. Hundreds of thousands of acres of mine land are currently sitting idle, but continue to contaminate nearby communities; planting Miscanthus is critical to stabilizing soil and creating a new source of biomass for regional “green” projects. To meet power needs, the city of Columbia has instituted a self-mandated 15 percent renewable energy requirement and the University of Missouri is putting in place a biomass boiler. MFAB also is working with the Missouri-based USDA — Agricultural Research Service, the University of Missouri and Arkansas State University on several research projects, bringing industry to the table as advisers and assessing new projects and opportunities for the region’s businesses and farmers. This includes potential joint projects with corn growers’ associations using corn stover, retrofitting underutilized regional power plants to burn biomass, and assessing technologies of Missouribased companies to commercialize liquid fuel projects. We are also exploring joint projects with Missouri equipment dealers to assess harvesting and storage techniques and to spur local equipment sales, as well as a 200-ton Miscanthus pellet test burn with the city of Columbia to test equipment.

MFA Oil’s customer needs have changed drastically since the company’s beginnings in 1929. How has the company directed its strategy over the years to adapt to changes in the energy industry? In order to survive for more than 80 years in the energy market, you have to evolve. Our story is one of

entrepreneurial spirit inherent in American agriculture — we see a need, assess our options, and apply know-how, skill and hard work to develop a solution. It is also a story of the role that cooperatives play in bringing individual farmers and ranchers together to seize new opportunities in the marketplace that they would never be able to take advantage of as individuals. MFA Oil has faced many challenges over the years and that is why we have vertically integrated and diversified our business into Break Time convenience stores, Jiffy Lube and Big O Tire franchises, and now MFA Oil Biomass LLC. As a co-op, we are able to work hand-in-hand with producers as business partners, allowing farmers to boost their earnings from the marketplace and diversify their income streams.

MFA Oil has put together a vertical integration model for the biomass project. Why? What are the benefits — and the caveats — of such a model in the energy industry? Is vertical integration the business model of the future for MFA Oil? We use the phrase “vertical integration” frequently in our daily work. This model grew out of two years of research and frustration in trying to understand the best way to enter the biomass industry. Growing, harvesting and processing crops whose sole use is an energy source is something that is in its infancy. MFAB’s owners realized that to develop farmer support we had to understand each aspect of our supply chain and be able to answer every question to ease farmer concerns and gain commitment. After extensive research, we came to the conclusion that the only way to control our destiny in this nascent industry was to rely on ourselves and become experts in each area of our own supply chain that we controlled. The economics of biomass, much like gas and diesel — high volume and low margins — dictates this model for survival. MFA Oil has for the most part always been a vertically integrated oil company for our refined fuel products.

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Made To Order

Columbia Startup Offers Customized Biomass Fuel

Heimann says Enginuity’s patent-pending process expands biomass supply options. “We can take any energy feedstock — corn stover, tree waste, grasses, agricultural waste, grape and wine offal, animal waste, energy crops — whatever’s available in the area, and turn it into solid fuel.” The process involves combining biomass materials, grinding them, and mixing in a starch and hydroxide adhesive along with other additives. The mixture is formed into a shape and further processed into individual pieces. “It’s an engineered approach to fuel production,” says Heimann, a chemical engineer. Heimann and fellow entrepreneur Susan McNay, the company’s director of public policy and government affairs, spent two years developing the product. They recently began the commercialization phase, negotiating with several power plants in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. Enginuity will license the eCARB process to manufacturers who will produce the fuel to order.

“There is a not another process in the marketplace that allows the cost-effective use of annually renewable biomass in the marketplace.”

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olumbia’s latest entry in the biomass energy market offers a customized approach — tailor-made fuel to fit the customer. The eCARB biomass fuel produced by Enginuity Worldwide LLC comes in a multitude of shapes and sizes — from pellets to briquettes to logs — to accommodate current equipment in power plants. Power producers who add biomass to their fuel mix may do so without retooling or purchasing new equipment. “eCARB is designed to fit the needs of the customer’s equipment,” says company CEO Nancy Heimann. “It minimizes impact and costs in the switch to biomass.”

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“We’re lining up suppliers and manufacturers now,” says McNay. “It’s all coming together. We expect to begin shipments in the next six months.” The pair is starting out small, carefully choosing their customer targets. “We’re introducing new technology,” Heimann says. “It must be done deliberately.” Heimann concedes that biomass fuel is currently more expensive than traditional solid fuel such as coal or wood, and tests show the energy output is not quite up to minimal levels of coal. “New technology always has higher costs initially,” she says. “We keep improving the process and the output of the final product. The eCARB fuel reduces emissions from a power plant. And this fuel comes with carbon credits that can be sold or traded on the global market.” Carbon credits could be especially valuable to companies with a global portfolio, McNay adds. “Many global companies that are high energy users are being forced to go to ‘green’ energy,” she says. Decreasing supply and increasing costs of traditional fuels make biomass more attractive, Heimann says. “We need to broaden the options of the fuel mix.”


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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

BUCKET MEDIA Keri Tipton, President Jocelyn Tipton, Vice President 1123 Wilkes Blvd., Suite 420 Columbia, MO 65201 www.bucketmediaco.com 573-817-2825

SERVICES Online Media Planning & Placement Traditional Media Planning & Placement Media & Market Research Industry Research Demographic & Psychographic Research Media Budgeting & ROI Invoice Auditing & Posting

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hen most people think about advertising, they think about the ads. But how and why do those ads end up on a favorite newscast or a computer screen? If Bucket Media had anything to do with it, there was definitely a science behind it. “We are not what most people think of when they think advertising agency,” says Keri Tipton, president of Bucket Media. “Bucket Media is a media-buying Agency. We specialize in media research, planning and placement services rather than creative services.” When Bucket Media was founded in 2006, Keri Tipton and Jocelyn Tipton recognized an opportunity to provide local and regional businesses with a service that had not been readily available to them. “We had both worked in local media sales and saw

the larger, national companies buying media differently than local businesses,” says Jocelyn, vice president of Bucket Media. “They had agencies working for them that were armed with data, research and software they used to determine where they placed their ads and to negotiate better rates for their clients.” Bucket Media has brought this national buying sophistication to the local and regional level by providing media-buying services to clients across the Midwest, placing all forms of media including online search and display, television, radio, print and outdoor. “We help our clients make media placement decisions on how to most efficiently and effectively reach consumers,” Keri says. “We lend accountability and measurement to advertising, an industry that for so long has been guesswork.”


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

CALEDON VIRTUAL 3201 S. Providence Road, Suite 201, Columbia, MO 65203 www.caledonvirtual.com SERVICES OFFERED Social Networking Online Marketing Corporate Branding •

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aledon Virtual Executive Director Nelly Roach has built her whole career around building relationships. When her husband, J. Michael Roach, decided to close his communications and development firm in 2008, Nelly decided to stay with several clients and work with them to meet their marketing needs. Since then, Nelly has developed her business into Caledon Virtual. The firm has grown from a small design and development firm to a fullservice agency that offers a wide range of services including web development, advertising, event planning, fundraising, corporate branding, marketing strategy and startup consulting. Even though Nelly was originally drawn to marketing in support of her husband’s venture, she

573-446-7777

has become a business leader in Columbia. She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and the Columbia Daily Tribune named her a finalist for Business Woman of the Year in both 2010 and 2011. She is also a founding board member of Voices and is on the board of the Phoenix Programs. Nelly believes her success stems from her ability to build relationships and help others succeed. Her guiding philosophy is tied to Caledon Virtual’s tagline “Experience Your Potential.” She knows there are no cookie-cutter solutions, so she evaluates every situation on its own merits. Giving her best effort to every client is a belief she chooses to live by. Nelly adds, “I believe anything worth doing is worth doing right and worth doing well.”


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DIVIDENDS

ceo at play

Accessories For The Yard Spruce Up Your After-Hours Hangout With Easy Additions by haley adams photos by daniel brenner

After a hard day at work, all you want to do is sit on your back patio with a glass of wine. But just before nirvana sets in, you notice that ugly pink flamingo in your garden. If you think that’s the only thing you can place among the flowers, think again. Accessorize your backyard garden to match your afterwork élan with birdbaths, solar-powered lanterns and colorful accents. You’ll be relaxing in your little oasis in no time. 1

2 1. Ace 8-quart sprinkling can, available at Westlake Hardware ($25.99)

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2. Pineapple hummingbird feeder, available at Songbird Station ($44.99)

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3. Woodstock Chimes craftsman chime, available at Songbird Station ($39.99) 4. Assorted garden stakes by Glassworks Northwest, available at Poppy ($22 each)

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5. Birdbath, available at Songbird Station ($74.99) 6. Garden Meadow Solar Lantern, available at Westlake Hardware ($24.99) 7. Flower doormat, available at Songbird Station ($19.99) summer 2012 I Inside Columbia’s CEO

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DIVIDENDS

networking

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fiesta de guatemala Nearly 200 guests were present at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School on May 4 for the 5th annual Fiesta de Guatemala benefiting the Guatemala Milk Program. The Foundation for the Higher Good hosted the event to raise funds to provide powdered milk to malnourished infants in Guatemala. State Rep. Chris Kelly emceed the event, which featured authentic Guatemalan food sponsored by Room 38 Restaurant & Lounge. Entertainment was provided by musician Caleb Rowden and salsa dancing lessons by the MU Latin Dance Club. (Photos By Art Smith Photography) 1. Radio personality Cosmo and Kurt Schaefer 2. Jonathan and Nicole Shelby with J. Michael and Nelly Roach 3. Columbia Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting 4. Ron Widbin 5. Chris Kelly 6. Caleb Rowden

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DIVIDENDS

networking

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mizzou’s unsung heroes The Columbia Chamber of Commerce held a reception at the Walton Building on May 21 to thank the unsung heroes of our community, the handful of University of Missouri graduates who serve as student recruiters across our state, nation and world. Several times a year they return to Columbia for training and the chamber saw an opportunity to thank them for the work they do to bring thousands of students to our state’s flagship university. (Photos by Wally Pfeffer, mizzouwally@compuserve.com)

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1. Ashley Mitchell, Bob Wagner, Alli Bailes and Katharine Whitener 2. Heather Henning, Ann Korschgen, Brady Deaton and Jennifer McClendon 3. Dusty Barker and Dan Scotten 4. Brian Hamilton and Kee Groshong 5. Pat Elmore, Jawann Pollard and Brandon Mills 6. Tim Rich, Diane Lynch and B.J. Hunter 7. Paul Land, Lauren Hays and Lauren Breen

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ADVERTISING INDEX Beckett & Taylor Insurance..............................17 Boone County National Bank............................2 Bucket Media......................................................48 Caledon Virtual...........................................49, 59 Cancer Research Center..................................28 Central Trust & Investment Company.........50 Coil Construction..............................................47 Columbia Country Club................................... 22 Columbia Strength & Conditioning............... 27 Columbia Landcare............................................19 Creative Surroundings.......................................14 D&M Sound...........................................................3 Gary B. Robinson Jewelers..............................56 Hawthorn Bank..................................................60 Image Technologies.............................................7 KT Diamond Jewelers...................................... 22 Landmark Bank.................................................... 4 Les Bourgeois Vineyards..................................14 Manor Metal Roofing.......................................50 MayeCreate........................................................54 MU Health Care................................................... 9 Phat Guys Open................................................. 52 Providence Bank................................................47 Schuster Financial Services.............................28 Smart Business Products.................................54 Steve Twitchell Productions............................ 24 Stifel Nicholaus..................................................56 The Callaway Bank......................................13, 24 The Upper Crust................................................ 22 UMB Bank.............................................................11 University Club...................................................29 Veterans United Home Loans.........................21 Waddell & Reed.................................................29 Wilkerson & Reynolds......................................54 Williams Keepers.............................................. 23

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE

EEZ Fears Are Much Ado About Nothing

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assive observers of local news surrounding the use of EEZ is tied to headlines might be under the a modern-day version of class warfare. impression that the entire The most vocal opponents are a brood of community is engaged in frequent dissenters best described as antia ferocious debate over the merits of establishment and anti-business. While they using enhanced enterprise zones as personally enjoy all the perks and benefits an economic development tool. As is that come with a healthy, financially stable typically the case, the EEZ hullabaloo community, they are perpetually concerned that has captured the attention of local that someone is going to get more than their reporters and a handful of the civically fair share of the pie. challenged is a classic case of much ado These opponents are hopelessly about nothing. The fact is, most people preoccupied with the notion that someone in Columbia couldn’t care less about this behind the scenes is raking in millions of contentious issue. Perhaps dollars in corporate welfare they should. that is somehow disguised The irony of the EEZ as economic development. debate is that its most Many of these same people vigorous opponents are live in an insulated world those who claim to be funded by university or champions for the very other publicly funded things this incentive stands salaries that have been to create. Upon closer relatively secure. Their examination, you have to livelihoods aren’t reliant ask why anyone would on a healthy local economy argue against creating fueled by job creation and a level playing field for business growth. Other than “Who could Columbia as it competes a temporary salary freeze, against more powerful they haven’t experienced possibly be interests around the state. against creating the brunt of the recent Who could possibly be recession. new jobs?” against creating new jobs – Fred Parry that are particularly wellDiversifying suited for the majority of Columbia’s Columbia citizens who Workforce don’t have the benefit of a college degree? The bottom-line benefit of enhanced The answer to these questions may be enterprise zones is job creation. Columbia more revealing than opponents would needs jobs to replace the manufacturing like. When you fully consider the merits of and construction jobs lost during the most this controversial economic development recent economic downturn. The types of tool — even taking into consideration new jobs targeted by the proposed EEZ the accompanying blight decree — the are exactly the types of jobs that we need motives of the opposition become most. Still, opponents scoff at the bluesuddenly suspicious. collar jobs that are most likely to come to Columbia as a result of an EEZ. Most people are surprised to learn that Class Warfare only 48 percent of Columbia’s citizens Close observers of this debate speculate have college degrees. Creating jobs that much of the angst and anxiety

that don’t require degrees but generate average incomes of $35,000 or more (plus benefits) will dramatically improve the lives of those who are underemployed, working hourly jobs that pay barely enough to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.

Confronting Poverty A handful of local social service agencies —including the United Way and the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri — have come forward to support the use of EEZ. Although these agencies almost always steer clear of controversial community issues, they have expressed their support in this case because they know that enterprise zones could be one small part of the solution in confronting poverty in our community. They know that gainful employment helps people break the cycle of poverty unlike anything else. I recently had lunch with the food bank’s Peggy Kirkpatrick. She told me that the food bank has seen literally thousands of new clients in 2012. Only 200 of these recipients were from outside of Boone County. It may be unimaginable to most of us that poverty exists at such a high rate in our own backyard, but the numbers don’t lie. Creating new jobs in Columbia would make a significant difference. Here’s the bottom line: An enhanced enterprise zone in Columbia would level the playing field with more than 140 other Missouri communities who already employ EEZ. My civic pride may be slightly bruised when I hear the word “blight,” but I know it’s just semantics. Ask any downtown merchant, plant supervisor or social worker in Columbia if our local economy needs a kick-start and you’ll get a resounding “Yes!” By my way of thinking, Columbia has little to lose and a whole lot to gain with enhanced enterprise zones. summer 2012 I Inside Columbia’s CEO

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CLOSING QUOTES

What Columbia’s Business People And Community Leaders Are Saying “We seemingly attract a better student now than previously. Obviously, I got in so that’s an example.” — University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe at the CEO Roundtable on the caliber of students the university is currently attracting

“The emphasis needs to be on seeing projects through to maturity so the money doesn’t fall down a rat hole.” — MFA Oil President and CEO Jerry Taylor in testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry when asked about his recommendation for setting priorities in federal funding of biomass projects

“There’s a metric called PRASM — passenger revenue for available seat miles …”

— Veterans United’s President of Strategic Operations Greg Steinhoff at the CEO Roundtable, praising Mayor Bob McDavid’s prowess with the terminology of airline executives

“…which sounds like something you’d see in a urologist’s office.” — Mayor Bob McDavid

“When a wealthy company like IBM gets a subsidy, it ain’t free-market capitalism. It’s subsidized capitalism.” — MBS Textbook Exchange CEO Bob Pugh at the CEO Roundtable

“We want Missouri to be the leader in renewable biomass energy, and we want to produce this homegrown fuel right here in Columbia. We don’t want to go to Lawrence.”

— Nancy Heimann, president and CEO of Enginuity Worldwide LLC, on the efforts to market her company’s biomass fuel process

“I wish I had a really good game, but work gets in the way.” — Avid golfer and CenturyLink General Manager Karen Crabtree 58

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Inside Columbia’s ceo OutFront Communications, LLC 47 E. Broadway Columbia, MO 65203

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Inside Columbia's CEO Summer 2012  

Socializing @ Work: Should your company invest time on social media sites? Also in this issue, Karen Crabtree leads CenturyLink toward a pro...

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