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2014/2015 $4.95

We believe in the power of entrepreneurial dreams at Burns & McDonnell. It’s how we began, in 1898, when two small-town entrepreneurs opened a consulting engineering firm. Today that dream is a 100 percent employee-owned company, more than 4,500 strong and working to make a big impact every day.

We’re looking for the next generation of dreamers. Visit to learn more.

Engineering, Architecture, Construction, Environmental and Consulting Solutions EEO/Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans


Contributors WELCOME TO THE CREATIVE CROSSROADS Greetings from the Executive Director of AIA Kansas City and Center for Architecture and Design

Tidbits People and places in Kansas City gaining recognition the world over

WORKING Professionals from around the world come to Kansas City to live their dreams

living The Kansas City metro is a network of lively, unique neighborhoods

PLAYING From music AND museums TO sports AND spas, Kansas City has plenty to keep you busy

FACES OF AMERICA’S CREATIVE CROSSROADS Up close with some Kansas City creatives

on goal How our cover stars and their sporting kansas city teammates helped make kc the soccer capital of america

endmark Kansas City leaves a lasting impression on visitors and residents alike


4 9 12 27 49 65 81 92 96

WHERE INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP MEET UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management has top programs to take you there. From graduate degrees to executive education, innovation and entrepreneurship are the cornerstones of our school. Come see where we can take you. UMKC — the place for discovery, the place for achievement

AACSB Accredited: Bloch is among only 5 percent of business schools worldwide accredited by AACSB.

UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.


CAMERON GEE Based in the Crossroads Arts District in KC, Gee explores his craft through both commercial and personal work. Holding his

2014/2015 Edition group publisher, anthem publishing, inc., robin atkins

images to a minimal aesthetic in an attempt to slow people down


in our fast-paced digital world, he offers a glimpse of a genuine

SEnior editor, business, kathyrn jones

version of his subjects, as opposed to a constructed persona.

ASSOCIATE editor, lifestyle, KELSEY CIPOLLA web editor, andrew schiller art director, dana allison-hill

PAUL ANDREWS Andrews is a KC-based photographer that runs a creative services company in the River Market District along with his wife, Sonya. He also teaches photography at a local college.

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER, scott oswalt Contributing writers, Lindsey Kennedy, Kate Leibsle, Susan Fotovich McCabe, katie van luchene, Maggie Young contributing Photographers Paul Andrews, Cameron Gee, kim golding, Aaron Lindberg, Todd Zimmer Editorial Interns, Kathryn Greene, Nicolette Martin

SUSAN FOTOVICH MCCABE Fotovich McCabe has contributed to KC Business, KC Magazine, Flourish and Leawood Lifestyle. Her expertise spans a wide array of industries that include agribusiness, aviation, animal health, consumer products, commercial development, biosciences, architecture and children with special needs.

Senior Account Executive, allyson ellis ADVERTISING SALES ASSISTANT, tonya manning Events coordinator, tara mitchell Chief Editor, KC Options KCADC Manager, TeamKC Jessica Nelson KCADC Vice President, Design & Creative Jonathan Knecht KCADC Vice President, Communications, Ashlie Hand KCADC Manager, Creative Services & Digital Content Joey Privitera

HAMPTON STEVENS Stevens is a freelance writer based in Kansas City, Missouri.

KCADC Specialist, Communications, Angela Orr KCADC Coordinator, Marketing & TeamKC Kaitlin Xouris

His work has appeared in The Atlantic, ESPN the Magazine and many other regional and national publications.

chief executive officer, anthem media brian weaver chief financial officer, anthem media, ed place

KATY SCHAMBERGER Schamberger is a downtown KC-dwelling freelance writer and blogger. Her love of the city reached a fever pitch with the publication of her first book, Moon Kansas City. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her exploring all that Kansas City has to offer and discovering new story ideas.

Chief operating Officer, anthem media Don ransdell President of Drive Digital Media and Executive vice president of Anthem, erin calvin vice president, human resources & administration, anthem media, angela weaver vice president, anthem media, andre player division executive, tom pokorny controller, stuart youngs corporate accountant, SHANNON SIMMONS

LINDSEY KENNEDY Kennedy is a freelance writer who recently returned to

ACCOUNTING manager, bob rogers a/p analyst, deana hicks CIRCULATION MANAGER, ANNMARIE WILLS

the Kansas City area after graduating from the University of

executive assistant, Meghan Schlotzhauer

Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in both print and radio,

editorial & sales office: 4303 W. 119th St. Leawood, KS 66209 913.955.2733

and also enjoys photography, fashion, music and yoga.

KIM GOLDING Golding is a KC-based freelance photographer. Prior to working at Hallmark Cards, she had a studio in Los Angeles and shot photos for a variety of publications and personalities. She was educated at Plymouth College of Art and Design in England.

KC OPTIONS MAGAZINE is published yearly at 7101 College Blvd., Ste. 400, Overland Park, KS 66210, 913-894-6923. All contents copyright ©2013 by Anthem Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part of the contents, without the prior written permission of the publisher, is prohibited. KC OPTIONS is a trade name of Anthem Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Unsolicited photographs, illustrations, or articles are submitted at the risk of the photographer/artist/author. Anthem Publishing Inc. assumes no liability for the return of unsolicited materials and may use them at its discretion. Articles contained in the magazine do not constitute tax or legal advice. Consult your tax or legal advisor before making any tax- or legally related investment decisions. Articles are published for general informational purposes only and are not an offer or solicitation to sell or buy any securities or commodities. Any particular investment should be analyzed based on its terms and risks as they relate to your individual circumstances and objectives. All letters, photos and manuscripts submitted to Anthem Publishing Inc, either solicited or unsolicited, become the sole property of Anthem Publishing Inc, and may be used and published in any manner whatsoever without limit and without obligation and liability to the author, photographer, artist or owner thereof.


Fearless is WalKiNG THe WalK Or rUNNiNG THe rUN Take a step toward better health with coverage you can count on. Find out how at

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. SLAR10814


KC Resources Facebook | America’s Creative Crossroads Twitter | @ithinkKC Instagram | ithinkKC Vimeo | KCADC


The creation of something new. For Kansas Citians, innovation is part of our DNA.

We thrive on this idea of creativity, and we live in a community that is constantly pushing the boundaries of intersecting arts and technology. For us, innovation isn’t just something we dream about, it’s something we live every day. In the pages of KC Options, you’ll get to know some of the most innovative people who call KC home. With companies and individuals that design many of the world’s premier state-of-the-art stadiums, create James Beard award-winning culinary dishes, deliver internationally-recognized performances and revolutionize business, Kansas City is a place where professionals from around the world come to accomplish their dreams. KC Options will immerse you in the region’s districts and communities, and familiarize you with our unique arts and culture. You’ll have the opportunity to take a look at Kansas City’s business and tech scenes, and see what it’s like to build a career and life in America’s Creative Crossroads. We hope you fall in love with Kansas City like we have and you’ll join us in calling KC home.

Jessica Nelson Chief Editor KC Options


Stay in place. Or venture out. CityPlace will be a vibrant, mixed-use community located in Overland Park, Kansas, providing residents the opportunity to live, work and play in one energetic and connected neighborhood. The development’s location at College Boulevard and U.S. 69 offers easy access and connectivity to anywhere in the Kansas City metro. CityPlace will feature commercial office buildings, residences, retail shops and landscaped trails for those who enjoy an active lifestyle.

Find out more at WO R K C O N N E CT E D . Kenneth G. Block, SIOR, CCIM 700 W. 47th Street, Suite 200 Kansas City, MO 64112 816.756.1400 |



American Century Investments


Welcome to the Creative Crossroads It’s no accident that Kansas City’s new Center for Architecture & Design is located in the Crossroads Arts District, the urban core of our region. There are dozens of architecture firms, graphic design companies, landscape architecture firms, ad agencies, urban planning firms, startup accelerators, IT firms and our 130-year-old daily newspaper. All are cozied up to art galleries, funky eateries, chic boutiques and a bank that displays commissioned artwork on billboards perched on its roof. Everything is within a stroll, bike ride or streetcar hop from our front door. The Center is just one player in our metro’s staggeringly-rich landscape of designers and innovators who are colliding, collaborating and creating a business environment — not to mention a quality of life — that unabashedly puts America’s Creative Crossroads on the minds and in the hearts of industry leaders in animal health, supply chain and multi-modal transportation. Those forwardthinking CEOs have already located or relocated their businesses to the Kansas City market, and plenty more are in the queue to stake their claim in the Heartland. Make no mistake: Kansas City’s creative economy is neither a blip on the screen nor a precocious kid that you pat on the head and say “run along.” This is Kansas City’s moment, and our elected officials, our business leaders, our entrepreneurs and our educators are designing our future potential right now. Our creativity is fueling a rocket ship whose destination is the galaxy known as “Most Vibrant City Anywhere.” We’ve left room for you to join us on this rocket ride, but don’t expect us to wait too long. We’ve got trails to blaze and plates to spin, diems to carpe and misconceptions to vanquish. Don’t you want to be part of that?

Dawn Taylor Executive Director AIA Kansas City and Center for Architecture & Design



From Paris, With Love French-born soccer professional and fashion designer Aurelien Collin explains how KC won his heart. By KATHRYN JONES | Photo PAUL ANDREWS

Aurelien Collin is best known as a defender for 2013 MLS Cup champions,

This led to another runway show during the Fall 2013 KC Fashion Week at

Sporting Kansas City, but he also scores major points off the field as a forward-

Union Station along with an invitation to showcase pieces from the collection

thinking designer in KC’s fashion scene. “My state of mind is whatever you

at Hallmark’s upscale clothing boutique, Halls Kansas City.

wear and wherever you go, you have to look nice,” he says. An impeccable dresser in his own right, the native Parisian’s personal style

KC offered to sell AC78 logo T-shirts directly out of its apparel shop, which,

tends to turn heads. He describes it as “rock and roll, but in the elegant way.

as Paolini points out, was a significant milestone. “As far as I know, Sporting

Even with a suit, you can still look a little bit rock and roll.”

KC is the only team that carries a player’s fashion line within his home

In fact, it was Collin’s edgy-yet-sophisticated style and appreciation for a

stadium,” he says.

well-cut suit that caught the attention of his AC78 clothing line collaborator

The soccer club sold half of its entire inventory the first game the shirts were

Tom Paolini, a fellow KC transplant (originally from Denver) and the owner

available. “God gave me the gift to become a professional soccer player, and

of Paolini Garment Company.

as a professional soccer player, I have a lot of doors open for me,” Collin says.

Paolini was selected to create custom suits for the Sporting KC players to

“I took advantage of it, and now I’m building my brand.”

wear at special events. Collin’s suits took the longest because “he was very

Collin and Paolini plan to open two stores this year that will carry

particular about the fit,” Paolini recalls. “He had an interest in the design and

a range of AC78 fashions from logo apparel and casual trends to

customizing it to his preference.”

ultra-lux, custom-tailored suits, all of which reflect Collin’s cutting-

When Paolini later discovered Collin was taking remote design courses in

edge aesthetic.

Paris, he approached the soccer star after a game and suggested they team up

“I’ve even gotten more creative with how I dress because of Aurelien,”

for a local charity auction whereby Collin would design a suit to be donated

Paolini says with a chuckle. “We have a large creative class in KC and a

by Paolini. The two “had a blast” creating a custom look for the winner,

younger clientele that is very keen on fashion. We think there’s a demand to

coincidentally a fellow designer – of buildings – at one of KC’s leading

bring KC up to a little more of a current style.”

architecture firms.


Halls wasn’t the only store that wanted to carry Collin’s clothes. Sporting

When it comes to living in KC, Collin is quick to admit he’s a fan.

Next, Collin and Paolini created more than 20 runway looks for a fashion

“Right now, I prefer being in KC,” he says. “The people here are nice and

show at KC’s Power & Light District during MLS All-Star Week. Fans went

easygoing. The soccer scene has become very big. The people who work at

wild over the male models strutting down the catwalk, which happened to be

Sporting KC and the fans all make it feel like family. I can find spots here

Collin’s Sporting KC teammates.

that feel like home.”

TOP 10


Kansas City might have the world’s biggest disparity gap. There’s such a massive difference between what people expect to find here and what the city is actually like that first-time visitors often react with shock at the richness of life here. To keep you from being too surprised, here are the top 10 reasons why KC is the place to be.

10 Because it’s a tech hub. KC is the first city on earth to get Google Fiber, and the super high-speed Internet has already become a catalyst for the city’s burgeoning tech startup culture. The Sprint Accelerator, Spark Lab KC and MindMixer are major players. Cisco Systems is throwing a ton of cash into the city too. The hardware giant recently announced plans to make KC a test lab for its “smart city” concept. Sensors, mobile apps and interactive kiosks will use the “Internet of Things” concept to improve safety, traffic flow, street lighting, infrastructure maintenance and a host of other citizen concerns.

9 Because the arts s cene is on fire. The Nelson-Atkins and Kemper museums are world-class institutions. Suburbanites can enjoy the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and new Museum at Prairiefire, featuring a stunning

3 Because sports. The Royals are resurgent, champions

Verner Johnson façade. But what makes the arts here truly special is downtown’s

for the first time in decades. The Chiefs are also on the rise, and

Crossroads Arts District. Over the past decade, the area has gone from a nearly

tailgating at Arrowhead is one of the best game-day experiences

empty warehouse district to a thriving center for galleries, shops and restaurants.

in the NFL. Kansas Speedway provides mass spectacle for

8 Because being in the middle means you are close to

everything. Don’t underestimate this. You can fly anywhere in the country in less than three hours. It’s a plus.

motorheads, packing 90,000 into the grandstands. The city’s soccer scene is booming too. Sporting Kansas City is the reigning MLS champ, and the atmosphere at cutting-edge Sporting Park is absolutely electric.

7 Because we’re moderately insane. Schlitterbahn, a local 2 Because we have the world’s best cup waterpark, just opened the tallest, fastest waterside on earth. It’s called Verrückt,

of coffee. Seriously. Ask Pete Licata. He’s quality assurance

which means “crazy” – and you have to be a little nuts to take that 168-foot plunge.

manager of Parisi Coffee, one of the city’s great artisan coffee

6 Barbecue is a religion in K C, and classic rib joints abound. But that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of fine dining. Like Justus Drugstore, mentioned by Bon Appetit. Or Port Fonda, recently written up in the New York

makers. At last year’s World Barista Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Pete beat competitors from 52 countries to be named, yes, the best barista on the face of the earth.

Times. Or the American Restaurant, Bluestem, and Michael Smith, all with James

1 Because we’re happy.

Beard Award-winning chefs on staff.

measure, but the sheer pleasure of life here can’t be overlooked.

5 Because this city parties. With bars that stay open until 3 a.m., KC is one of North America’s greatest drinking towns.

4 Because we jam.

Happiness is hard to

First, the place is beautiful. KC was founded by people passionate about public spaces, and the result is a city rich with parks, gardens, boulevards, fountains and gorgeous old neighborhoods. It’s also an easy place to live. Rents are low, and getting around

If you like live music KC will tickle your

is a snap. All that combines to create a vibe that’s, like, chill.

eardrums. The jazz, of course, is legendary. Conductor Michael Stern has led

Nobody here cares where you went to prep school or what kind

the Kansas City Symphony to national prominence. The local indie rock scene is

of car you drive. You don’t have to wend your way through

especially strong with bands like Radkey and Beautiful Bodies winning national

multiple layers of snobbery to be part of the scene. All you have

and international acclaim.

to do is show up, pitch in and enjoy.






News website Vocativ ranked KC among America’s “Most

USA Today ranked KC among the country’s most literate

Livable Cities for People Under 35” based on our affordable

cities based on our number of bookstores, library resources

rental rates and low utility costs. The Huffington Post listed

and education levels. listed KC No. 6 on its

KC among the “20 Cities to Visit in Your 20s,” thanks to our

list of Top 10 Romantic Cities, thanks to our performance

music, art, food and tech scenes, which coincidentally were

venues, museums and eclectic eateries. By the way, KC also

the same “Reasons to move to KC,” according to Wired

ranked third among the nation’s 30 most philanthropic

magazine. We were also dubbed a “Top City for Hipsters”

communities by Charity Navigator, so we’re known for

by Travel + Leisure and a “Top Place to See ” by Refinery29.

having a big heart too.


happiness reigns

Forbes and New Geography both listed Kansas City among

Using facial recognition technology and data collected by

the top 10 cities generating the most high-paying jobs. Business

analyzing millions of Instagram photos, tech startup Jetpac

Insider ranked KC as the No. 7 “Best City for Young Job

ranked the happiest cities in America by adding up the number

Seekers” due to its large Millennial population and higher-

of photos that included people smiling and laughing. Kansas

than-average employment rates. The Show Me State earned the

City claimed the No. 2 spot as the nation’s happiest place to

No. 3 spot on’s list of technology job growth, while

live. This may or may not be attributed to the fact that we’ve

Brookings Institution ranked KC No. 26 out of the top 100

also been ranked among the top cities for ice cream, chocolate,

cities with the greatest number of science and technology jobs.

pizza, beer and, of course, barbecue.

TOP SPOT FOR FAMILIES According to Family Vacation Critic, KC ranks alongside Orlando, Aruba, Yosemite National Park and NYC as one of the 10 best places in the world to take a family vacation based on the city’s $9 billion renaissance, which includes several family-friendly attractions. Movoto Real Estate listed KC as the No. 6 city to raise a family based on our low cost of living and ample park space.

KC Icons



Homegrown Celebrities IT Opportunities

High Noon Saloon & Brewery

Actors Robert Altman, Ed Asner, Don Cheadle, Chris Cooper, Joan Crawford, Eddie Griffin, Jean Harlow, Denis O’Hare, Craig Kilborn, David Koechner, Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Ginger Rogers, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudekis, Dee Wallace-Stone, Dianne Wiest

Athletes Amy Alcott, Ken Berry, George Brett, Jennifer Jo Cobb, John Coughlin, Len Dawson, Maurice Greene, Opal Hill, John Kander, Sean Malto, Courtney McCool, Tommy David Morrison, Satchel Paige, Albert Pujols, Jackie Robinson, Casey Stengel, Tom Watson

Musicians Burt Bacharach, Count Basie, Big Scoob, Walter Brown, David Cook, Eminem, Melissa Ethridge,


Fort Leavenworth

LIVE IN LEAVENWORTH COUNTY. Being creative means thinking outside the box. Living creatively means thinking outside the city. Whether you’re a young professional, a young family or a new business looking for a place to grow, the diverse communities of Leavenworth County offer an appealing alternative to big city life. • Flexible, affordable living — from downtown lofts to suburban family homes • Strong commitment to culture, education and diversity • Just minutes away from Kansas City sports, food and fun

Jessica Leigh Harp, John Kander, Pat Metheny, Janelle Monáe, Charlie Parker, Tech N9ne

Artists/Designers Thomas Hart Benton, George Caleb Bingham, Ub Iwerks, Kate Spade

LEAVENWORTH History makers

COUNTY Erin Brockovich, Walter Cronkite, Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, Joyce Clyde Hall, Ernest DEVELOPMENT CORP Hemingway, Lamar Hunt, to Jesse dedicated theJames, Ewing

industry of innovation

Kauffman, Tom Pendergast, Calvin Trillin, Harry S. Truman




dedicated to the industry of innovation

dedicated to the industry of innovation


Learn more at



LANDMARKS Located in the heart of downtown KC, the Power & Light District is an entertainment mecca with more than a half-million square feet of fun things to do. More than 50 boutiques, salons, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and venues are packed within an eight-block radius, linking the massive Kansas City Convention Center to the world-class Sprint Center. Acting as the anchor of this vibrant party district is KC Live!, an indoor/outdoor, two-level entertainment plaza that encompasses an entire city block and is home to some of KC’s top concerts, holiday events and fashion shows. A Kansas City tradition since 1899, the American Royal pays homage to our agricultural heritage and “cowtown” roots. It started out as a small gathering in a tent and grew to become one the city’s grandest fall festivals, drawing owners/breeders, future business and agricultural leaders, and animal enthusiasts from across the country to the historic 20-acre Stockyards District. Highlights of the event include livestock exhibitions, horse shows, rodeos, an annual parade, a wine competition and the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, the largest barbecue contest in the world, with more than 500 teams competing in four meat categories. What began as a sketch on a napkin is now lauded as one of the 15 most spectacular concert halls in the world. Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is an iconic addition to the KC skyline and a masterpiece both inside and out. The Muriel Kauffman Theatre, designed with sightlines and acoustics to be one of the most perfect theatres in the world, features performances from the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The Kansas City Symphony, the region’s only full-time professional symphony orchestra, performs a 42-week season showcasing the talents of more than 80 local, classically trained musicians. Celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2014, Union Station was a bustling train station throughout much of the 20th century, accommodating hundreds of thousands of passengers each year. After it closed in the 1980s, the station sat empty until its completed renovation in 1999. Today, you can still catch a train at Union Station’s Amtrak Stop, and it has become a tourist destination featuring a 95-foot ceiling, 3,500-pound chandeliers and a six-foot-wide clock in the Grand Hall; traveling exhibits produced by the Smithsonian, National Geographic and other international organizations; a theatre district; an interactive science center and one of the largest planetariums in the Midwest.




Fully Equipped Fitness Center Outdoor Living Areas Heated Salt Water Pool Outdoor Fire Pit Outdoor TV Google Fiber Club Room with Billiards & Gaming Area Bike Parking & Storage Outdoor Yoga/Zen Meditation Garden Outdoor Kitchen with Grills & Smoker Furnished Guest Suite Pet Wash

Granite Countertops Patio or Balcony Roman Soaking Tubs Full Size Washer & Dryer 9’ Ceilings Stainless Steel Energy Efficient Appliances Ceramic Tile Floors Wood-Style Floors 42” Kitchen Cabinets Private Garages Available Nest Thermostats

601 NE 70th Street Gladstone, MO 64118 816.286.4099


MUSEUMS On Nov. 11, 1926, President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial to a crowd of more than 150,000 people, stating, “The Liberty Memorial has not been raised to commemorate war and victory, but rather the results of war and victory, which are embodied in peace and liberty.” In 2004, it was designated the nation’s official WWI museum. The permanent collection contains original documents and photographs, as well as recreated trenches, a tank and interactive tables. Climb to the top of the 217-foot Liberty Memorial Tower for one of the best views of the Kansas City skyline. The glittering facade of the American History Museum at Prairiefire is almost as impressive as the exhibits inside. A shimmering exterior of rainbow colors houses a variety of collections organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Visitors can expect a cast of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Great Hall, a cafe, museum shop and an interactive Discovery Room that engages children 3 to 12 years old. Once you’re on the Prairiefire grounds, you can experience exclusive restaurants and boutiques, luxury movie theatre Cinetopia, and Pinstripes Bowling, Bocce & Bistro. The vintage-inspired entrance to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum makes you feel as if you’re being transported back to the 1950s, a fitting ambiance that prepares you to be immersed in decades of African-American history and baseball artifacts from the 1860s through the 1960s. Once inside, you hear music and sound effects that usher in a nostalgic consciousness as you view a mock baseball diamond, life-size bronze sculptures of Negro League players, and dozens of primary documents and photographs. With past visitors such as Maya Angelou, Bill Clinton and more, this museum is a must see. If you think only bigger cities like Chicago, NYC or LA have access to great artwork, you’d be wrong. Between the NelsonAtkins Museum of Art, which has exhibits ranging from Ancient Egypt and Rome to French Impressionism, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, with its curated collection of contemporary art and photography, Kansas City has a fine art collection that rivals some of the world’s best. With the two museums just blocks apart, your journey begins at the Nelson’s Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park as you navigate through the glass labyrinth and admire the outdoor exhibits, and ends with a relaxing swing in one of the hammocks on the Kemper’s front lawn. Located on the campus of Johnson County Community College, the 41,000-sq.-ft. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, is the largest of its kind in the region. The sleek, Kansas-limestone-clad museum houses an impressive permanent collection of works by local, national and international artists, and more than a dozen special exhibits each year. 16


SPORTS Out at Truman Sports Complex, you’ll find two of our city’s most beloved professional sports teams – the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals. Local mascots Warpaint (a real horse ridden by a Chiefs cheerleader) and KC Wolf cheer on the Chiefs during football season at Arrowhead, while Slugger cheers on the Royals at Kauffman Stadium (also known as “The K”) during baseball season. Both stadiums, which recently underwent a combined $6 million renovation, are full of loud-and-proud fans, but none louder than those at Arrowhead Stadium, as the Chiefs recently broke the world record for crowd noise during the 2014 season. Kansas City has made a name for itself in the soccer world with two of the city’s most successful teams in recent years. Sporting Kansas City, the defending MLS Cup Champions, and two of its players represented the U.S. in the World Cup in 2014. Attending a game at Sporting Park is an experience all on its own, especially if you sit in the rowdy Cauldron section full of diehard fans. Over at the Stanley H. Durwood Soccer Stadium & Recreation Field is FC Kansas City, the National Women’s Soccer League champs for 2014. About 15 miles west of downtown and located right next to the Legends Outlets is the place to watch NASCAR, Indy Racing, ACRA RE/MAX and USAC races with 75,000 other racing enthusiasts. Built in 1999, the Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile tri-oval with a road course added in the summer of 2012 that winds through the infield. Strategically placed at the intersection of I-435 and I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas, the Speedway’s inaugural NASCAR and Indy Racing League season began in 2001. The speedway features NASCAR events, locally sponsored races and concerts. Kansas City Roller Warriors, Dead Girl Derby, Blacksnake Roller Girls and Cowtown Butchers are battling it out in the skating rink as KC’s top four roller derby leagues. The all-female KC Roller Warriors were the national champs in 2007. Dead Girl Derby boasts Kansas City’s only co-ed derby team, while the Cowtown Butchers competes as an all-male league. The Blacksnake Roller Girls are an all-girl league from St. Joseph, Missouri. Each of the four leagues aim to score the most points by having a member of their team lap members of the opposing team in this fast-paced, crash-and-burn sport.



FESTIVALS Music, film, art, culture and technology all collide at Middle of the Map Fest. The annual Kansas City event features performances from loads of local, national and up-and-coming musical artists (past artists have included Of Montreal, The Get Up Kids, Grizzly Bear and The Joy Formidable, among many, many others) and screenings of independent films as well as a few cult classics. Fans of TED Talks will love Middle of the Map’s forums, featuring local leaders, trendsetters, chefs and entrepreneurs delving into topics like women innovators, locally made goods and digital storytelling that always educate and excite. KC Fringe Festival connects adventurous artists with daring audiences. The 11-day performing and visual arts extravaganza happens every July and traces its roots back to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Designed to empower artists, engage audiences and create a community that supports artists and cultural creatives, Fringe Fest has straddled the thin line between mass appeal and eclectic tastes for a decade. Filled with out-of-the-box theater, comedy, fashion, spoken word, burlesque, dance, music and film, the event also includes the Fringe Art Truck, affectionately known as the “Fruck,” a mobile art gallery, classroom, billboard, canvas and stage outfitted with art supplies, tables, chairs, a generator and lights, as well as FringePrize, an open competition for visual artists of all styles. The 10-year-old Crossroads Music Festival showcases the diversity of KC’s local music scene, which runs the gamut from rock to rap and folk to jazz. One ticket is your pass to see dozens of musical acts performing in a number of venues scattered around the lively Crossroads Arts District. Kansas Citians have discovered an easy way to escape to foreign territory—Boulevardia, the country within our very own city created by Boulevard Brewing Company, the Midwest’s largest specialty brewer. This year’s inaugural festival in the historic West Bottoms featured live music, a convoy of the city’s best restaurants on wheels, a family carnival, and of course, an assortment of beer so wonderful you may want to apply for permanent residency to Boulevardia. Don’t worry if you aren’t a beer fan—the event also features plenty of spirits as well as a craft distiller’s festival. The Midwest’s growing cocktail culture takes center stage at Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, a celebration of beverage excellence complete with educational events, parties, spirits tastings and more. Love a good competition? Imagine a booze-filled “Top Chef” showdown playing out before your eyes at the team-based Midwest Melée bartending competition as well as the Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition, which pits drink-slingers from across the country against each other to see who reigns supreme. 18


FIND yourself

HERE As a leading worldwide provider of navigation devices, our focus is on developing, designing and supporting superior products that go on to become an essential part of our customers’ lives. As a result, we offer opportunities for top performers in engineering and technology, as well as other backgrounds, such as operations, finance, information technology, sales and marketing and communications. At Garmin, we help customers find their way by helping you find yours.




photo by David Allison

FASHION Every spring and fall, the region’s most talented designers show KC what they (and their designs) are made of at Kansas City Fashion Week. The event is a tribute not only to the days when the city’s Garment District became a major clothing hub, but also to the ingenuity of the designers currently making a splash in KC’s style scene. The runway shows are the result of countless hours of work by dedicated designers, boutiques, stylists, models, artists and photographers and are sure to inspire fashionistas with the latest takes on fashion and accessories trends, not to mention artfully crafted, showstopping pieces. Lincoln Center at New York Fashion Week is cool and all, but when it comes to watching a fashion show in KC, we prefer to be in the Crossroads Arts District. The artsy neighborhood is home to the annual, outdoor West 18th Street Fashion Show. Up to 18 garment and 18 accessories designers send their fashions down the runway for a show that lets locals support homegrown talent and peruse the must-have looks of the season. Each year’s event boasts a different theme, so you’re never sure what to expect — other than a super-chic evening of fashion-forward trends, of course. In a fashion scene crowded with talent, Kansas City Art Institute grad Whitney Manney is a stylish standout thanks to her original take on textiles. With help from a grant awarded by local arts organization ArtsKC, Manney developed stunning digitally printed fabrics that debuted at KC Fashion Week. Her eponymous label designs, which include dresses, separates, outerwear and accessories emblazoned with her trademark bold prints, are a play on the aesthetics of street art. Peregrine Honig has made a name for herself in the art world, thanks to projects across the country, including at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of the Art. But around town, she’s also known as one-half of the team behind Birdies, an intimate apparel apothecary and swimwear boutique that’s been featured in Elle, USA Today and Nylon. The Crossroads store sells a carefully curated selection of pretty underpinnings and has helped encourage other fashion-minded locals by co-producing the West 18th Street Fashion Show, where the boutique offers a sneak peak of its upcoming offerings. 20


KIDS If you’ve seen one zoo you’ve seen them all, right? Not quite. The 200-acre Kansas City Zoo has a Kid Zone where parents and kids alike are encouraged to get closer to the animals whether it’s feeding the lorikeets or splashing around with the sea lions. Across the state line, the 12-acre Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park, Kansas, was created in the style a vintage farmhouse. With hundreds of animals, a fishing pond and pony rides, kids not only see the typical sights of a Midwestern farm, they also experience them firsthand by milking a cow or feeding baby goats. Crown Center is a child’s utopia when it comes to exploring new activities. The Legoland Discovery Center features interactive play areas, a 4D cinema and a Lego laser ride. Kaleidoscope utilizes recycled materials from Hallmark and inspires kids’ imagination and creativity by allowing them to create art from the various textures and shapes. Sea Life Aquarium takes visitors on an underwater voyage to marvel at more than 5,000 creatures. The whole family will enjoy the Coterie Theatre, which offers live shows, post-show workshops as well as acting classes. In the winter months, strap on your ice skates and hit the Ice Terrace, KC’s only public, outdoor ice skating rink. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic amusement park or a splashy water park, get the best of both worlds at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun, which you can explore individually or buy one ticket to gain entry into both. At Worlds of Fun, ride the Mamba, one of the fastest and tallest roller coasters in the world. At Oceans of Fun, try out Typhoon, the high-speed straightaway waterslide. The question isn’t whether there’s enough to do at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun, it’s how much can you do and see in one day? The mission of the Wonderscope Children’s Museum is to spark a lifelong love of learning in children through the power of play. Specifically designed for children age 8 and younger, the exhibits teach a variety of subjects through hands-on learning. So don’t expect those hands to stay clean; touching, building and splashing are strongly encouraged. For instance, Splashing through the H20h! exhibit, teaches lessons about sinking and floating. Inside ARTWorks, kids can use paint, chalk or recycled materials to create their own masterpieces. The fun doesn’t have to stay inside, however; the Wonder Why garden helps cultivate a love of nature.



ART Sculptor Beth Nybeck most frequently works in the medium of metal and has a knack for turning this rugged, masculine material into sensuous, fluidic works of art. Not only are her sculptures stationed in parks and plazas around KC, Nybeck’s masterpieces have been featured across the country in both temporary and permanent installations, including the 2010 National Special Olympic Torch. Nybeck has recently opened her own company, Nybeck Sculpture, in the Crossroads Arts District. “Kansas City has such a deep diversity in artistic talent and expertise,” she says. “You can feel the excitement and energy for the arts everywhere you go.” Asheer Akram refers to himself as an “Oklahoma-born,

Beth Nybeck

Pakistani-blooded, 100 percent American artist,” a befitting selfdescription considering his diverse background and varied cultural influences are omnipresent in his art. A 2007 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, Akram fuses traditional Islamic art with aspects of American pop culture. His Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative is a mobile piece of artwork for the Kansas City landscape, inspired by a visit to his father’s homeland of Lahore, Pakistan. Its intricate metal decoration and hand-painted details make a perfect public accompaniment to his gallery exhibitions, all of which demonstrate his unique cultural perspective. Over the last few years, Kwanza Humphrey has pursued an identity for himself in the Kansas City art scene, inspired by the region’s eclectic vibe. “I’ve been encouraged with the art scene and atmosphere and how conducive it is to emerging artists; the opportunities are vast and varied,” he says. With more than 10 years

Asheer Akram

of experience in the design and art field, Humphrey is employed as a multi-media flash developer at Sprint, but his first love is illustration. His colorful, dynamic work focuses on the human form and face expressions through bold shapes and bright colors. Eugenia Ortiz is a University of Kansas fine arts grad known for bold, colorful sculptures, installations and paintings that she describes as “spiritually based” and derived from independent studies of human behavior, brain function, metaphysics and spirituality. Her work has been displayed across the Kansas City region, the United States and worldwide. Among her many accomplishments, Ortiz received First Place in the Latino Art Bravisimo Art Exhibit, Second Place in the James A. Fletcher Awards, and she was selected as a recipient of a KC Arts Inspiration Grant by ArtsKC.


Kwanza Humphrey


Radkey photo by Todd Zimmer

MUSIC Kansas City has long been known for its historic jazz scene from the hard-swinging, Blues-backed melodies of legendary pianist William James “Count” Basie to the bebop styling of jazz saxophonist and KC native Charlie “The Bird” Parker. When it comes to the modern-day jazz scene, 20-something trumpet player Hermon Mehari is keeping the beat alive with his quartet, Diverse, as well as a solo career that’s earned him national acclaim. Mehari won the 2008 National Trumpet Competition Jazz Division and came in second place at the 2010 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition held in Sydney, Australia. Dee, Isaiah and Solomon Radke make up the trio that is Radkey, a teenage punk rock band from St. Joseph, Missouri. As home-schooled and self-taught musicians, the brothers grew up listening to the Misfits, the Ramones and the Who, all of which influenced their own musical style. Last year, SPIN Magazine named Radkey one of its best new artists for 2013, and the band made waves at SXSW in Austin and New York’s AfroPunk festival. Radkey’s punk rock revival has solidified its presence in KC’s flourishing music scene and secured multiple national gigs, not to mention a trip to the U.K. Built on a heavy foundation of Afro-Latino rhythms and psychedelic roots, Making Movies is a band composed of Juan Carlos Chaurand, Enrique Chi, Diego Chi and Brendan Culp. Their sound is an English-Spanish hybrid influenced by the band members’ Panamian, Mexican and Kansas City upbringings. Their multicultural heritage is reflected in their 2013 EP “A La Deriva,” which tells the story of an immigrant family that tragically falls apart in America. The quartet has opened for a variety of national acts, including Grammy Award winners Los Lobos, which helped produce Making Movies’ latest album. Kansas City is never too proud to show off and claim its most talented citizens. Take Janelle Monáe, for example. The Kansas City, Kansas, native’s career has skyrocketed in the last few years, earning her a record contract with Atlantic Records, six Grammy nominations and a legion of fans. Although her sound is officially classified as a mix between rhythm and blues and psychedelic soul, this CoverGirl spokeswoman has a talent for transcending musical genres almost as effortlessly as she crosses cultural boundaries with her androgynous wardrobe of tuxedo-inspired uniforms and trademark pompadour.



Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott Rye

Natasha Goellner

CULINARY As one of several James Beard Award-winning chefs in Kansas City, Colby Garrelts brings his skill to not one but two local restaurants where he’s accompanied in the kitchen by his wife, pastry chef extraordinaire Megan Garrelts. For crispy and flavorful fried chicken, which was featured on the cover of Saveur magazine, and a slice of mind-blowing pie, head to Rye in Leawood, Kansas. For a four-star dining experience, the couple’s recently renovated Westport restaurant Bluestem is the place to be. Expect delicious progressive American cuisine or an unforgettable brunch. Manhattan, Kansas, native Howard Hanna looms large in the city’s culinary community. After working in some of KC’s best restaurants, Hanna opened The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange in the Crossroads Arts District and has since become one of the city’s most celebrated chefs, a fact cemented by his 2013 James Beard Best Chef Midwest nomination, not to mention a taste of his pork soup. With his latest venture, Ça Va, the chef ventured into the world of beverages, opening a champagne bar that aims to make bubbly from France, Spain, Italy and the U.S. accessible and unintimidating to everyone in Kansas City. Celina Tio’s name will probably ring a bell with fans of TV cooking shows. The James Beard Award-winning chef has been featured on the Food Network, where she competed to become an Iron Chef, and on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” to name a few. When she’s not demonstrating her culinary prowess on TV, Tio is busy running her local food-focused Brookside eatery, Julian, or Crossroads Arts District spot, Collection. Sharing a space with Collection, another of her ventures, The Belfry, showcases the acclaimed chef’s delicious dishes alongside the city’s best selections of bourbon and beer. Sweet treats look as good as they taste at Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott, the Country Club Plaza patisserie run by Natasha Goellner. A graduate of New York City’s French Culinary Institute, Goellner shows of her skill with beautiful creations like macaroons, éclairs, tarts and cookies, as well as a weekly batch of gourmet doughnuts in flavors such as peanut butter chocolate, chai sugared and caramel pretzel. The shop has even put its spin on a campfire classic, making s’mores kits complete with homemade graham crackers and marshmallows.



TECH When Google selected KC to launch its ultra-high-speed Internet service, Google Fiber, in 2012, it not only solidified our prominence in the Silicon Prairie, but also put us on the national map, spurring a modern-day Gold Rush for entrepreneurs and startups to flock to the city. New employment opportunities and innovative collaborations among startups, corporations and nonprofits have renewed our enthusiasm for entrepreneurialism in KC, built a stronger economy and strengthened our community ties. Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) are the three main themes of TEDxKC, the annual expo designed to connect local businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs together in the spirit of sharing ideas. VML Director of Innovation Strategy Mike Lundgren brought TEDx to KC in 2009 and continues to organize the one-day event, which takes place at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts during the summertime and typically sells out within two hours. The Kansas City Symphony made history in 2014 when it teamed up with local tech startup Engage Mobile to perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony wearing Google Glass. Viewers watching the recorded footage saw firsthand how a symphony is played through the eyes of the violinist from navigating the bow to watching the commands of the conductor’s baton to glancing down at the sheet music throughout the performance. Engage Mobile also teamed up with RLL Racing to produce a video that offered a up-close-and-personal glimpse of a world-class Verizon IndyCar racing team and its pit crew testing out a new course. Local nonprofit Minddrive helps students in 15 schools across KC’s urban core unlock new opportunities and pave the way to a brighter future. Last year, it led the hugely-successful Social Fuel Tour, during which social media posts were converted to energy that powered an electric car from Kansas City to Washington, D.C. “These are the kids that will be the innovators of the future,” Minddrive President Linda Buchner says. “We want to show them what’s possible.”



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Work Building America’s Most Entrepreneurial City...........................29 The Ladies of KC’s Tech Scene.......34 HOME SWEET HOME....................................37 Visually Stunning...................................38 healthy career, happy life............40 Capturing creativity...........................43 a mecca for millennials..................45

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Building America’s Most

Entrepreneurial City By LINDSEY KENNEDY

When Google announced Kansas City would be the first to have access to its ultra high-speed Internet service, there was a tangible shift in the local entrepreneurial community. Often cited as a jumping-off point for many business ideas, partnerships and local initiatives, the announcement had a broad and undeniable impact. Since the start of the Google Fiber rollout in 2012, a host of locally awarded federal grants, investment in startups from civic, corporate and nonprofit sectors, as well as an increasingly collaborative and thriving community has helped put Kansas City on the map as a truly entrepreneurial city. Producing an ideal entrepreneurial climate in KC has been a calculated effort. As part of the Big 5 Initiative for a Greater Kansas City, civic leadership outlined a plan to make Kansas City “America’s Most Entrepreneurial City.” The initiative brings together regional assets in industry, philanthropy, government and education with the hope that job creation, economic prosperity and innovation will follow. Here are some of the many influential organizations, incubators and community efforts working to make KC a hotspot for startups:

The Kansas City Startup Village (KCSV)

is a

The Kauffman Foundation

is one of the largest

collaborative community of entrepreneurs in Google’s first-ever “Fiberhood”

philanthropic institutions in the U.S. Based in Kansas City, The Kauffman

in KC’s Hanover Heights neighborhood, an area of residential homes wired

Foundation is a leading partner in many of the city’s most important

with Google Fiber. The KCSV utilizes its neighborly atmosphere to share

civic events and programs, and primarily focuses on advancing education

knowledge and resources amongst fellow “villagers.” Members routinely

and entrepreneurship. FastTrac, a network of educational programs for

act as entrepreneurial ambassadors, hosting foreign delegations, university

entrepreneurs at various levels of expertise, is a prime example of these efforts.

students, politicians and visitors such as Reddit Co-Founder, Alexis

Another is One Million Cups, a weekly event where two entrepreneurs

Ohanian. The KCSV also hosts events, including a recent computer camp

give brief presentations about their businesses, answer questions and

for local students, a collaboration with Workforce Partnership and two area

receive feedback. The nationwide program helps highlighted startups gain

community colleges. Communities like the KCSV provide a unified voice for

unprecedented insight while participants enjoy networking opportunities,

entrepreneurs, advocating for emerging tech companies in the KC area.

giving back to their entrepreneurial community, and of course, cups of coffee.



Created through a $1 million i6 Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce,


Digital Sandbox

provides resources to early-stage technology startups. The grant funding was awarded to a consortium led by

the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with advising sponsors that represent local civic, educational, corporate, philanthropic and entrepreneurial institutions. These partners, and the resources and insights they provide, are a key component to the broad, community-focused approach of Digital Sandbox KC. This program expects to yield at least 10 successful companies in its first two years.

athena league

is a grassroots organization led by a committee of women executives, entrepreneurs and

industry professionals that aims to foster and empower early-stage and established female entrepreneurs by providing them with the community and support necessary to succeed. The organization hosts regular events to enable the women who are helping to build the Silicon Prairie network with, learn from and be inspired by their peers.



KCnext is the Technology Council of Greater Kansas City. As a membership-based organization, KCnext acts as an advocate for those working in the technology industry and connects people and resources through events and educational programs. KCnext aims to facilitate the strategic development of the regional tech industry through three key areas of focus: workforce development and recruitment, promotion and marketing, and networking and education. Acting as a centralized forum, provider of industry expertise and marketing team for KC’s tech sector, KCnext is an important resource for local small- to mid-sized firms in Kansas City’s fast-growing technology sector.


is an accelerator for early-stage startups that is specifically tailored to utilize Kansas City’s

entrepreneurial strengths. Its immersive, three-month accelerator program connects promising new businesses with mentors, advisors and potential investors while providing them seed funding and workspace. With an emphasis on succeeding in Kansas City, SparkLabKC strategically relies on local business partnerships and area colleges and universities, while focusing on industries in which KC excels, including health care and telecommunications. With a vast network of more than 80 mentors and extensive entrepreneurial resources, SparkLabKC connects the dots for 10 budding KC businesses each year.



What the World is Saying About

entrepreneurship in Kansas City

• ranks Kansas City in the “Top 5 Cities for Starting Online Businesses.” • In its “Big Ideas for Small Business” report, The National League of Cities named Kansas City one of the top 12 Cities with the Best Practices to Promote Small Business Development.” • named Kansas City as one of its

The Sprint Accelerator

is a startup incubator and co-working space in Kansas

City’s Crossroads Arts District. Headquartered in KC, Sprint lends its vast mobile communications resources to the accelerator’s events and provides a centralized, open workspace for entrepreneurs.

“Ten Most Promising Tech Hubs to Watch.” • includes Kansas City among the “6 Fastest-Growing Startup Hubs.”

Through a partnership with Techstars, the world’s largest startup accelerator, the Sprint Accelerator houses a three-month Mobile Health Program. Sprint and Techstars provide business resources,

• listed KC as one of “9

mentorship and seed funding to 10 promising health-related tech startups selected for the program.

U.S. Cities You Wouldn’t Think Are Hubs for

In addition, the Sprint Accelerator hosts entrepreneurship events and provides workspaces both

Tech Startups.”

private and public.

• named Kansas City in its list of the “20 Hottest Startup Hubs in America.” • PC Magazine calls Kansas City one of the “10 High-Tech Cities You’ll Want to Call Home.” • A study by named KC in the “Top 20 Best Cities to Launch a Startup.” • named Kansas one of its “7 Best States for Startups.”


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Deeanne King

The Leading Ladies

of KC’s Tech Scene By KATHRYN JONES

Kelly Hancox

When it comes to advancing new technologies, local companies including Sprint, Garmin, Cerner, Google Fiber and Triple-I are raising the bar on the global scale while working side-by-side with area startups to secure our position as the latest hotspot for innovation. Five women employed by KC’s major tech players share insight on their careers and how they spend their downtime.

Heather Carmitchel


vice president, customer care, at Sprint: Just the

fact that it’s always changing. I think we’re at a point now with technology where if you can imagine it, you can make it happen. It’s growing at such an exponential rate. Rachel Hack Merlo

Kelly Hancox,

senior manager, global business development

team, at Garmin: My work experience in the technology arena afforded me the opportunity to work in a wide range of market segments spanning a diverse set of technologies.

Heather Carmitchel, software engineer at Cerner: Being in this field means you must constantly be learning new things and growing your skillset. I have always enjoyed keeping up with the latest technologies and improving myself. Mary Sloss

Rachel Hack Merlo,

community manager at Google: I

appreciate that I get to connect with so many interesting, motivated people in Kansas City. I’m always doing something different, so the variety is appealing as well.

Mary Sloss,

marketing communications manager at Triple-I: It’s

fulfilling to work with like-minded professionals at various organizations to make an impact in our regional tech ecosystem.



HOW DOES YOUR COMPANY STAY ON THE LEADING EDGE? KH: Striving to be the global leader in every market we serve and building the best, most compelling design and highest-quality products is a part of Garmin’s DNA. We have more than 10,000 associates with over 40 offices around the world giving us extensions into the global perspective.

DK: Sprint was granted over 1,200 patents in 2012-2013, and that averages more than two patents per business day. I think our company and our leaders get that if we aren’t innovating, we’re not going to exist in the future.

HC: Cerner stays on the edge of the tech scene by employing people who love tech and are constantly pushing Cerner to get involved in new and exciting things to keep us competitive.

MS: At Triple-I, we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to our growth, our collaborative partnerships and our joint efforts to cultivate the Silicon Prairie. RM: In addition to bringing infrastructure to KC, Google Fiber brought the eyes of the world to this city in a way that hasn’t happened in a long time, if ever.

AS FAR AS TECH INNOVATION IS CONCERNED, WHERE DO YOU THINK KC STANDS ON THE NATIONAL SCALE? KH: I believe Kansas City is definitely a contender in being a top market and breeding ground for new tech innovation. DK: I’d say we have gained a national reputation, but if we don’t continue to stay on the forefront and do great things to attract talent and fuel the entrepreneurial spirit in the area, it’d be easy to lose that innovation and technology.

MS: In Kansas City, we have a unique synthesis of Silicon Valley innovation and Midwest values; this rare blend of humility and confidence, creativity and technology allows us to compete and win in the global economy.

HC: KC has a lot to offer the tech industry, especially in the Midwest, because of reputable tech companies like Cerner, DST Systems, Garmin and Sprint. There are also many small startups here looking for an inexpensive place to grow their business.

RM: I am excited about the forward-thinking activity happening to advance digital inclusion in our city. As technology continues to integrate into essential daily activities, it’s important that everyone has access to devices, connectivity and digital literacy skills.



IS MAINTAINING AN EVEN WORK/LIFE BALANCE ACHIEVABLE FOR KC PROFESSIONALS? MS: To me, yes! Young professionals, specifically Millennials, embody the “work hard, play hard” mindset. We know that, at times, you have to work extra hours in the day or in the week to enjoy an upcoming vacation or time with the family.

HC: I nearly always find that I have enough to do outside of work and enough to do at work without feeling overburdened or rushed. This is not to say it isn’t stressful; many jobs are. But managing the stress—for me, at least—is simple because I take a lot of pride in my work, and the satisfaction I gain from hard work makes it worth it.


I think it comes down to making work/life balance a priority.

Secondly, technology is so imbedded in everything we do in our lives now that you can do what you love and love what you do while still learning and growing as a professional.

RM: Work doesn’t always stay at work, but try to find an employer that values both your personal and professional ambitions and milestones. It’s nice if you can find at least one volunteer or community-oriented commitment that presents an enjoyable social component.

KH: The important piece that I have experienced is to remember that it will come back into balance, and if it does not naturally come back into balance, take the time to reflect on the why and figure out ways to be more efficient or say no to non-critical requests. 36

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN ON THE WEEKENDS? RM: My husband and I just moved into a new house in Brookside, so a lot of time on the weekends goes into settling in and making it feel like our home. I also like food—both dining out and cooking— and live entertainment. I’m lucky to live in a city with so much of my family here, so I try to spend time with them as well.

DK :

Since I have a couple of teenage kids—one is about to

leave for college and the other is closer to college than I’d like to admit—I spend a lot of time with them. I prefer to be outdoors if I can, whether it’s relaxing with a good book or doing something physically fit.


My husband and I really enjoying hitting some of the great

Kansas City restaurants with friends or supporting some of the many great charity events. Most of my time has been focused on my twin 2-year-old daughters, which has opened our eyes to many of the great kid activities that Kansas City has to offer.

MS :

I’m a foodie, and I love Kansas City’s local restaurant scene.

So on the weekends, I enjoy dinner, cocktails and/or brunch at some of KC’s newest restaurants with family and friends.

HC: I like to see my friends, go out to eat or just hang around KC. There are a lot of fun things to do here, and Kansas City has a lot of variety for a relatively small city. We always find something fun to do.


HOME SWEET HOME KC scores big points for three design experts at Populous who make a living designing some of the world’s best sports complexes. By KATE LEE LEIBSLE | Photos CHRISTY RADECIC

When the world tuned in to watch to 2014 FIFA World Cup, members

a “gentler urban experience” than he might have in a bigger city. Unfamiliar

of the U.S. Men’s National Team Matt Besler and Graham Zusi weren’t the

with Kansas City, he learned about Populous at a college career fair. He was

only Kansas Citians whose talent was on display. The stunning Arena das

impressed with the firm and has come to love the area. He sees it as an up-and-

Dunas, with its undulating design inspired by the sand dunes that dominate

coming force in design and innovation.

its surrounding landscape, also had a local connection. The stadium, one of

“While other cities provide different opportunities, being in KC gets you in

only three that host country Brazil built especially for the tournament, and the

closer to the ground floor, in my opinion. When you feel you have a bigger,

site of the American team’s victorious match against Ghana, was designed by

more personal impact on your city, you begin to feed a passion for [this]

KC-based sports venue firm Populous.

place,” says Kolbo, who can count his work on the new Arrowhead Stadium,

The firm’s work has provided the settings for a myriad of other high-

home of the Kansas City Chiefs, as one of the ways he’s made his mark locally.

profile events, including the Sochi 2014 Olympic Stadium and the London

“It’s grown on me. There is so much culture and entertainment here, but it is

2012 Olympic Stadium. Populous also has lent its expertise as event

easy to live here, to get around and have a good balance.”

designers and planners for 12 Olympic Games, 15 MLB All-Star Games,

“It’s a creative workspace,” says Bourne, a St. Louis native and 2007

and four NCAA Mens’ Final Four tournaments. As the coordinating firm

graduate of the University of Kansas. “The environment is very much one

behind the NFL Super Bowl since 1985, Populous has been responsible

of working hard, but you also get recognition, and everyone appreciates the

for the events’ stadium remodeling and additions, temporary facilities, and

work you’re putting in.”

operations management. Although they travel the world for their work as sports venue design experts, Kansas City is the perfect spot to call home for Populous employees

Williams is a Kansas City native and a 2004 University of Kansas graduate. She loves getting to be an adult in the city she grew up loving and being able to work at a premier design firm at the same time.

Bill Bourne, a senior architect technician/senior associate, Phil Kolbo, a senior

“I think growing up here, I took things like the Nelson (Atkins Museum

architect technician, and Whitney Williams, an interior design senior associate.

of Art) for granted,” she says. “I can remember taking art classes there. I’m

The culture of Populous and Kansas City as a whole—combined with the

lucky that I lived in a place where I could do that. I’m lucky that I didn’t have

explosion of the Downtown, Midtown and Crossroads Arts districts into cool, vibrant areas to live, work and play, and the emergence of Kansas City’s arts and culinary scene—makes it inspiring, they say. Kolbo, an Iowa native and 2006 graduate of Iowa State University, calls it

to move to work for an elite architecture firm. It’s really important here for all of us to maintain a balance. Kansas City’s great because it has aspects of a big city, but it’s not. You can leave work and you can decompress.”





Far from the sound stages of Hollywood or the busy streets of New York, innovations in filmmaking and animation are originating in KC.


and I remember looking around thinking, ‘I’ve been on a lot of sound stages in Hollywood, and there was absolutely no difference.’”

Studios such as Branit FX, Hint, MK12 and Bazillion Pictures have among

Basing operations in the Midwest has also been advantageous for KC

them Emmy and Grammy award nominations, film festival prizes and no

filmmaking collective MK12. “Being headquartered in Kansas City has

plans to slow down.

allowed us to thrive in ways that would not be possible in other cities,” says

From digital effects gracing screens across the globe to gasp-inducing

MK12 Founding Partner Ben Radatz. “Because we work in film and TV,

visual innovations appearing at local events and adorning the Kansas City

most of our clients are on the coasts. Being in the middle of the map makes it

landscape, digital pioneers are bringing creative prestige to the Silicon Prairie.

easy to commute either way, so we’re able to keep our feet in both markets.”

Without giving away too many spoilers, fans of AMC’s “Breaking Bad”

Formed by four KC Art Institute graduates, MK12 has created video

will all recall one of the show’s most shocking and visually stunning moments

game promotions and Grammy-nominated music videos, won various

that involves a man, a wheelchair and a bell. The effects team responsible for

international film festival awards and contributed to films like “Quantum

the iconic TV moment was none other than KC-based Branit FX.

of Solace” and “The Kite Runner.”

The high-end digital effects studio is the creation of the Emmy-nominated

“We love being here,” Radatz says. “Our creative professional

Bruce Branit, whose work also appears on shows such as “Fringe” and

community is strong enough to consistently bring in top brands and

“Revolution.” A University of Kansas graduate, Branit began his film

campaigns but small enough that toes aren’t stepped on. Agencies and

career in Los Angeles before returning to the Midwest to run Branit FX.

studios have carved out their own niches and excel within them, but there’s

Although most Branit FX projects still originate in LA or NYC, the

also a lot of cross-dialogue and collaboration. Our creative core is the envy

tools to make A-list visual effects are all right here in KC. “When I moved

of most large cities with a character and rhythm all its own. It’s just good

back here, I shot a short film,” says Branit. “We were on a sound stage,

energy to plug into.”


Also plugged into the creative energy in KC is Hint, a multi-disciplinary, integrated production company based in the Crossroads Arts District. With ventures ranging from digital animation to largescale interactive event production, even the Hint website is a work of conceptual innovation. Dubbed “The New Real,” the Hint homepage is a “physical” website: a fully-functioning site that is digitally laid over a physical outline, mounted on the Hint headquarters rooftop and live-streamed to your computer screen. If that sentence made your head spin, you’re not alone. “It’s always hard for people to grasp, even when they see it they’re not sure what they’re looking at,” says Motion and Animation Creative Director Travis Schlitter. Grounding a digital tool on a physical place is about the experience, which is subtle until the physical world changes, like when a bugs crawl across the live-stream. “When there’s rain or snow, it really pays off,” Schlitter says.

Bazillion Pictures

Another creative team exporting innovation from the Crossroads Arts District is Bazillion Pictures. Bazillion has been advancing animation for 17 years, particularly in the field of 3D digital content. Experts in projection mapping, a 3-D video projection technique capable of wrapping entire buildings in projected animation, Bazillion has teamed up with multi-disciplinary performing arts collective Quixotic Fusion to create pieces adorning the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Art Museum and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. “KC is very friendly to startup businesses and has a great support system for entrepreneurs,” says Bazillion President Jeff Beith. “I think a lot of people

Branit FX

out there are discovering what KC has to offer.” Whether




through conceptual innovation, visual trickery or stunning effects, these Kansas City companies make up a growing creative community. The landscape of animation and filmmaking in KC may be changing, but according to Radatz, it was built on a long creative tradition. “Our studio is on the east end of the Film Row district; in fact our building was originally a film catering business,” he says. “I’m certain that this area’s old connections to the film world have an osmotic effect on us, and our work. We’re humbled to be carrying on in the tradition of great Kansas City animators.”




Healthy Career, Happy Life Cerner’s Maddy Keller demonstrates why KC is the place to be for young professionals. By MAGGIE YOUNG

Picture the ideal post-grad life: sweet job, awesome nightlife,

“My team and I are the ones exposing new associates to our history, culture,

endless social events and, of course, trendy food joints and coffee

industry issues, and the future state of Cerner. We really make sure that they feel

shops. What more could an ambitious young professional want?

prepared to take on the challenges that the healthcare world faces on a day-to-

Kansas City, with its thriving mesh of innovative companies and startups, naturally capitalizes on the entrepreneurial spirit that young

As the seventh most innovative company in the U.S., Cerner is constantly

professionals crave when looking to launch their careers. Companies

growing as a corporation and expanding its work opportunities. One of

such as Cerner not only offer expansive and varied careers, but they

Cerner’s newest endeavors, Healthy Nevada, is a partnership between the

also provide outside-of-work opportunities that keep employees

company and the community of Nevada, Missouri. Cerner is working to make

inspired while forging a path in the working world.

this community one of the healthier towns in the country by implementing

Maddy Keller, a program coordinator on the compass team at

innovative food and health programs.

Cerner, moved to Kansas City to start her new gig after graduating

The health initiative doesn’t stop at the clients and community. The three

from the University of Missouri. “One of the things that really

main Cerner campuses offer state-of-the-art gyms as well as a basketball court,

surprised me was the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive in downtown,”

a racquetball court and a pool at its world headquarters in North Kansas City,

says Keller. “There are some amazing startups and resources for

Missouri. It just goes to show that Cerner truly believes in its health message and

entrepreneurs here.”

will go above and beyond to give employees opportunities to stay fit.

In fact, Keller works on a startup initiative as a part of her coordinator

Keller says that it’s not uncommon to participate in “walking meetings”

position. In addition to overseeing all of the tasks that pertain to new hires

where topics are discussed on the move outside in the fresh air. It all circles back

at Cerner, Keller is involved with a new initiative in town called LiveKC.

to a healthy work and life balance, and Kansas City companies like Cerner offer

Basically, LiveKC is all about improving the city so that young

the best of both.

professionals get the best of the best. As a partner of the organization,

As a young Kansas City professional, Keller says its easy to discover outlets

Cerner helps LiveKC create events and drive young Kansas Citians to

for downtime whether it’s antique shopping in the West Bottoms, enjoying a

shape the city’s culture in a way that inspires them.

coffee at Thou Mayest or Oddly Correct, or checking out the ultimate Kansas

This type of thing is what makes Keller’s job so satisfying. She


day basis,” Keller says.

City view from the Liberty Memorial.

connects new hires from all over the world to not only the corporate

Let’s not forget, there’s also an eclectic nightlife with a mix of bars for dancing,

side of Cerner, but to Kansas City and all of its hidden treasures. Think

patio lounging and beer tasting. Keller prefers to unwind after a day of work

countless coffee shops, live music, free art displays and museums,

with her dog at Geronimo, a pup-friendly patio bar. “No matter your preference

food truck delicacies and patio bars, to name a few.

or things you enjoy, I guarantee you can find it in Kansas City,” she says.

YOUR NEXT BIG IDEA COULD CHANGE THE WORLD Sure, you could just get a job. Or you could have a career at Cerner transforming health care and impacting the lives that matter to you most. We’re developing tools and technologies to make health care safer and more affordable around the world. We’re looking for individuals in system and software engineering, business, health sciences and more. Be part of something that matters. Get started at

© 2014 Cerner Corp.



Creativity Hallmark’s Michael Ong shares his take on why Kansas City is now a creative destination. By KATY SCHAMBERGER

Michael Ong, video team lead at Hallmark Cards, Inc. recently returned

“It’s been a little difficult to attract people to come to the Midwest

from a trip to Europe, and while traveling he met several people interested

unless you have a specific reason to be there, and that’s typically

in learning more about Kansas City’s flourishing creative community.

because of work,” he says. “Throughout the last few years, it’s

“One of the recurring things we kept talking about was that Kansas City is on several shortlists for best places to work, live, etc., and I think one of the major reasons for this is KC’s culture, especially the design and artistic community,” he says. “It’s really strong.” As a creative professional, Ong undoubtedly has a firsthand perspective on

become a more organic growth, which has helped the local creative community snowball into a bigger presence.” Factors such as more creative career opportunities certainly contribute to that growth, as do events that are designed to shine a brighter spotlight on all that the city’s creatives are accomplishing.

this aspect of Kansas City’s growth and recognition. At Hallmark, he leads

Take, for instance, Kansas City Design Week, an annual showcase

a team of video directors, producers and editors as they create consumer-

of creative talent that includes presentations, lectures, workshops,

facing content for various internal departments, including marketing.

competitions and more. Or First Fridays, a monthly gallery crawl

“We create video for in-store promotional use, in-store demonstrations, online and social media—that type of content,” he says. “I oversee the production and post-production of that content generation.”

through the Crossroads Arts District that Ong calls “vibrant.” Outside of structured events, creative inspiration is all around. Ong makes regular trips to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art,

It’s an ideal role for Ong, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in

which he says is, “a wonderful gift for Kansas City. It’s world-class.”

Graphic Design from the Malaysian Institute of Art and a Bachelor

He has also been participating in the local #instameet photography

of Science in Broadcasting of Film from the University of Central

group, which regularly gathers together Instagram users at various

Missouri. After beginning his career as a motion designer, he spent 16

Kansas City destinations for an afternoon of photography and

years at Hint, a local production and post-production enterprise, before


joining Hallmark in 2010.

“I just recently joined them, and it was really fun,” he says. “I

Now, the global brand isn’t just Ong’s workplace—he also credits

got to meet people of all ages and all backgrounds. Not necessarily

the company for playing a critical role in Kansas City’s continuing

everyone has a design background, but you meet other professionals

creative renaissance.

with an interest in photography. It’s fascinating to feel that I can get

“I think the strength of the creative community has a lot to do with Hallmark having its world headquarters here, which a lot of people don’t realize,” he says. “Even within the company, we call ourselves a creative community because our creative staff is so large.”

that sense of community from the group.” Ong’s take on the #instameet group also serves as an ideal analogy for the entire city, a place that he describes as having the perfect balance. “I love how many up-and-coming places are popping up,” he says.

Thanks to a growing recognition, and appreciation, for local arts

“Kansas City isn’t too big or too sleek but has grown so much, even

and culture, Ong says he’s noticed a gradual shift in how people—

from just a few years ago. I truly believe Kansas City has a great creative

especially young professionals—are attracted to the city.

community. It’s just amazing.”


At KCUMB, We’ve Been “Improving the Well-Being of the Communities We Serve” for Nearly a Century Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Since its founding in 1916, the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences has been committed to a primary purpose – the education and training of caring, compassionate osteopathic physicians. During the past decade, KCUMB’s purpose has expanded to include educating graduate-level students in bioethics and biomedical sciences.

Did You Know? ... • KCUMB is the second-leading educator of physicians for both Missouri and Kansas • We address physician workforce shortages nationally, with 72 percent of our nearly 8,000 alumni practicing in primary care specialties • KCUMB delivers much-needed medical care in underserved areas, with 33 percent of our alumni practicing in rural areas nationwide • We rank as the largest medical school in Missouri and the 12thlargest in the United States

“Improving the Well-Being of the Communities We Serve.” 1750 Independence Ave. • Kansas City, MO 64106 • 816-654-7000


A Mecca for Millennials A Burns & McDonnell engineer found KC to be the best city for building her career. By SUSAN FOTOVICH MCCABE

Twenty-four-year-old Heidi Turner is the quintessential Kansas City

workforce, says Turner. “I like that I can call or instant message anyone

young professional. The assistant mechanical engineer for engineering firm

at the firm anytime I have a question about a process or something that I

Burns & McDonnell is part of the 80-million strong Millennial

don’t know,” she explains. “Everyone here is helpful.”

generation, whose communication habits and preferences, personal

Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is an employee-owned, full-

interactions and purchasing patterns reflect the unprecedented prosperity

service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and

and rapid technological advancement of the era.

consulting services firm, with 30 regional, national and international

Like her peers, Turner grew up using technology throughout the day—

offices. In her short time there, Turner has gained experience through

and now relies on it to achieve a good work/life balance. For instance,

a number of exciting campus energy and utility projects for the firm’s

her electronic calendar, which she uses not just for scheduling meetings

clients, developing an expertise in district energy plants, energy

but also to set reminders to leave work on time or head to the firm’s on-

conservation, utility planning and utility piping.

site gym when she needs to recharge.

Her first project was to design the HVAC system for a heating and

“I love my work, but I get so wrapped up in it that I lose all track of

cooling facility for Airbus Powerhouse. Turner has subsequently worked

time,” says Turner, who grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated from

with a number of other clients, including the University of Colorado,

Iowa State University in Ames with a degree in mechanical engineering.

where she evaluated its utility facilities master plan for its existing

Turner says she considered a number of employment offers from across the United States before moving to Kansas City and taking a position at Burns & McDonnell. The firm offered a corporate culture in which she felt comfortable, both professionally and personally.

systems, developed its utility modeling and analyzed those systems with recommendations for improvements and expansion options. Outside work, Turner spends her time experiencing all things Kansas City from her home near the Country Club Plaza. Whether she’s meeting

Beyond its scope of work, Turner was attracted to the firm’s

friends for happy hour at Kona Grill on the Plaza or Kelly’s in nearby

commitment to community service. Since joining in January of 2013,

Westport, enjoying the quiet solitude of Loose Park, or cheering on the

she has already participated in two Kansas City charitable efforts—

Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, Turner says it’s easy to find

Christmas in October and Lead to Read.

the things she loves to do in Kansas City. And when her friends come to

The spirit of community permeates Burns &McDonnell’s company culture, which helps employees stay competitive in the marketplace and

town for a visit, their first stop is Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue with a big serving of its famous barbecue beans.


Build a career, a community and a life at HNTB Through iconic projects, such as the Convention Center Grand Ballroom, HNTB’s employees have helped create some of the most memorable infrastructure solutions that become part of the culture of the greater Kansas City area. Whether it’s the roads and bridges we drive on or the buildings we gather in, HNTB has helped create a vibrant and prosperous place for people and businesses to call home. Come join our team at HNTB where we build the community in which we live and work.

Join HNTB where we are delivering the nation’s infrastructure solutions. HNTB is an equal opportunity employer M/F/Veterans/Disabled.

Life is full of new beginnings. There’s no better place to start fresh than somewhere that has a history of great starts. Located just ten minutes from Downtown Kansas City. Shawnee, Kansas - Good Starts Here.

w w w. G o o d S t a r t s H e r e . o r g



Live TOP CITY................................................................51 NO CAR? NO PROBLEM...............................50 SHOW ME MY Missouri............................52 THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE KANSAS.......58 MOVE OVER, SEATTLE.................................63 LIFE WITH THE BALDWINS.......................64



Top City

Hit the road to explore Kansas’ capital city, Topeka By LARA HALE

Just a little more than an hour west of downtown Kansas City, the capital

including the Kansas Silent Film Festival, the Mulvane Mountain/

city of Kansas offers a wealth of history, culture and entertainment. Its

Plains Art Fair and the Sunflower Music Festival. Other festivals in

rolling green hills and position on the Kansas River have made Topeka—

Topeka celebrate some of the diverse cultures in the region, including

or “Top City,” as locals sometimes call it—a draw for visitors and settlers

the Fiesta Mexicana, the traditional Inter-Tribal Pow Wow and the

alike since its early days as a commercial hub in the mid 19th century and

Dia de los Muertos, which fuses some of the customs and traditions of

today it offers even more opportunities to explore.

indigenous Aztec people and Catholic Spaniards. Monthly First Friday

One of Topeka’s greatest landmarks is its capitol building. Long known as one of the most beautiful statehouses in the country, the Kansas State

friends, meet artists and browse and buy their work.

Capitol recently benefitted from an extensive 13-year restoration project to

Family fun abounds year-round in Topeka. During the warmer

preserve some of its distinctive features, including a stunning copper dome,

months, people of all ages flock to Lake Shawnee Recreational Area for

limestone façade and many murals depicting historical and allegorical

a range of activities including fishing, boating, sailing and swimming,

scenes. Climb the 296 steps leading to the top of the building’s dome for

and to Kaw River State Park to hike and bike the trails. Cool off at

views of the 20 acres of park-like grounds that surround it and beyond.

one of the city’s aquatic centers—there’s the Shawnee North Aquatic

History buffs will find many other points of interest in the city too.

Center, which features a lazy river, a kiddy pool and slides, and the

The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site offers insight to

Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center, located on the grounds of Gage Park,

the landmark Supreme Court case that led to the federal desegregation

which also hosts the Topeka Zoo, a vintage carousel, mini train rides

of public schools in 1954. The 6-acre Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade

and a rose garden. In the fall, cheer on the home team—the Washburn

Historic Site gives visitors the chance to step back in time to explore the

University Ichabods—at a basketball or football game. When the

home of one of the area’s first families of settlers along with an 1880s

holidays roll around, head to the Kansas Expocenter for its annual

church, one-room schoolhouse and a train depot that were all moved to

Merry Market of crafts and gifts and the Festival of Trees, or load

the site for preservation.

up the car with blankets and a carafe of hot cocoa to marvel as Lake

Topeka also has a thriving cultural scene, with Washburn University providing the setting for a number of the city’s most popular annual events, 50

ArtWalks attract visitors to galleries across the city to mingle with

Shawnee is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with a million dazzling holiday lights.


No Car? No Problem! Kansas City has a nice array of public and private transportation services at your disposal. Here, you can go to work, come home, change and hit the town for dinner and a movie in record time – with or without a car. In addition to THE METRO, Kansas City, Missouri’s long-time bus system, MAX is a bus rapid transit system that offers free Wi-Fi to those on board. Over on the Kansas side, THE JO transports commuters around Johnson County and to and from downtown KC. BIKEWALK KC is a member-supported nonprofit that hosts events and programs dedicated to making KC and its surrounding suburbs a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community. The organization also partners with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City to power Kansas City B-cycle bike sharing system, which allows members to check out bikes at self-service kiosks for short trips around the city. Contrary to popular belief, taxis aren’t exclusive to urban dwellers. 10/10 TAXI caters to folks living in the surrounding KC suburbs. Currently making waves around the world, UBER and LYFT are inexpensive mobile services that allow you to hail a taxi, private car or rideshare using your cell phone. In 2015, the long-awaited KC STREET CAR will open to the public, making it easier to access downtown hubs like the Power & Light District, Crossroads Arts District and Central Business districts, as well as Union Station, Crown Center, the River Market and other KC hotspots without having to get into your car.



Missouri Show Me My


Dress up for a lavish night out on the town with dinner reservations at a celebrity chef’s restaurant, tickets to the ballet and a nightcap at a swanky cocktail lounge ‌ or keep it low key in jeans and a T-shirt for some live music and brewskis at a dive bar and tacos off a gourmet food truck. Either way, Kansas City, Missouri has something for everybody, which is why so many people are proud to call it home.



Urban Dweller Like any major city, downtown Kansas City is comprised of an eclectic

For the Kings of Kitsch and Queens of Quirk, the 39th Street/Volker

group of neighborhoods that cater to an assortment of personalities and tastes.

district is basically the Austin or Portland of downtown KC. Here, you

Ornately designed to be the “sister city” of Seville, Spain, the Country

can nosh on Chinese comfort food from Blu Koi, hang out at a vegan-

Club Plaza was America’s first upscale, mixed-used development. Built by

friendly coffeehouse, hit up a bicycle repair shop or suffer through a

J.C. Nichols in the Roaring Twenties, it continues to be a main draw for

bikram yoga class all within a two-block radius. Used bookstores and

tourists and residents alike with its historic fountains and statues, posh

record stores like Vinyl Renaissance and Zebedee’s are still going strong,

boutiques, endless fine dining options and annual Plaza Art Festival. In

and fashionistas love browsing through the racks at vintage clothing

1925, a single strand of Christmas lights was hung above a doorway in the

boutiques like Rock Candy, Retro Vixen and Donna’s Dress Shop. When

Plaza to celebrate the holidays. That tradition has grown into a 15-block

night falls and you’re looking for alternative entertainment, Missie B’s has

spectacle of stunning, jewel-colored bulbs that line historic rooftops and

some memorable performances. And akin to its name, the Hi-Dive Lounge

storefronts as locals fill the streets on the night of Thanksgiving for the

is your quintessential Kansas City dive bar. Why? Because it has a mystery

annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony.

beer vending machine.

Charming, historic homes tucked away on tree-lined streets and dozens

Diehard foodies would fall hard for KC’s Westside neighborhood,

of mom-and-pop shops and bistros are what make the family-friendly

which is best known for its farm-to-table fare from gourmet eateries

and pedestrian-centered Brookside so popular among KC urbanites. Art

like Blue Bird Bistro, The Westside Local, Chez Elle Creperie, Füd and

aficionados can visit the home of Thomas Hart Benton as well as the Leopold

Novel. This culturally rich district is also home to some of KC’s most

Gallery, famous for its mesmerizing wind sculptures and multimedia art.

popular Mexican and Latin American restaurants like La Bodega, El

Pet lovers are wild about the Brookside Barkery, an upscale pet store and

Pueblito and Los Tules. Westside Storey proudly displays and sells

grooming salon, and everyone loves Bella Napoli, a locally-owned Italian

local goods and antiques from inside its beautifully restored Victorian

restaurant, deli, coffee shop and grocery store. Waldo is Brookside’s trendy

storefront. Although most of the homes in KC’s “original suburb” have

sister neighborhood with its endless array of hotspots for hipsters who love

been replaced throughout the years, a few gems remain, including the

their craft beer and international cuisine. Don’t miss Hopfest, Waldo’s annual

stately Jefferson House, a European-style B&B that charms guests with

beer extravaganza with its impressive mix of imports and local brews.

its “understated opulence and large dose of quirkiness.”



Suburban Oasis For those who prefer the small town vibe of a leisurely-paced, family-

River. But if having adventures in the great indoors is more your style,

oriented, close-knit community, Kansas City, Missouri’s surrounding

riverside casinos like Harrah’s North, Ameristar, Argosy and Isle of

suburbs are the way to go.

Capri offer gambling and non-gambling options for kids of all ages.

The Northland encompasses all suburbs north of the Missouri River

Heading east into Independence, Missouri is like a whole other

and is home to a handful of glitzy riverside casinos, acres of serene parks

ballpark – literally, as this area of Kansas City is home to two of our

and lakes, and several mixed-use developments that instantly transform

largest sports arenas: Kauffman Stadium (a.k.a. The K), featuring MLB’s

Kansas City’s northern suburbs into miniature cities in and of themselves.

Kansas City Royals, and Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL’s Kansas

Five minutes north of downtown is Briarcliff, the epitome of luxury

City Chiefs. But similar to the Northland, there are plenty of national

living in Kansas City. It offers sweeping views of the downtown skyline,

chain retailers and restaurants, shopping malls, thrift stores, antique

opulent homes and apartments, stylish spas and boutiques, and white

markets, movie theaters, bowling alleys and mini-golf courses to satiate

tablecloth restaurants. Zona Rosa, near Kansas City International

your family’s appetite for hearty food and wholesome entertainment.

Airport, features modern homes and luxury lofts, plus an assortment

For those who want to brush up on their KC history or prefer museums

of local boutiques and national chains. It’s quickly transforming into

and attractions that are a little more on the unique side, Independence

the entertainment mecca for families with its summertime concert series,

has some great ones. The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library &

farmer’s market, food festivals, art fairs, car shows, cancer walks and

Museum has everything you need to know about the 33rd U.S. President,

kid-friendly activities.

and offers tours of his stately mansion, childhood home and family farm.

Although the Northland is bustling with new developments, the area

The Puppetry Arts Institute in the historic Englewood area of

stays true to its historical roots. Cobblestone walkways and colorful, old-

Independence showcases an impressive collection of marionettes, including

timey storefronts line the downtown areas of Parkville, Smithville, Liberty

one of President Truman himself, and quirky puppets from around the

and Kearney, making you feel as if you took a trip back in time. Quite a few

world. Visitors can design their own hand puppets using materials from

of these buildings still remain from the late 1800s and are run in a similar

Hazelle Rollins Puppet Factory, which operated in KC from 1932 to the

fashion as mom and pop businesses from long ago, including the award-

mid-1980s, and learn how to perform a real-life puppet show.

winning, farm-to-table Justus Drugstore in Smithville and the home-style, pan-friend chicken of Stroud’s Restaurant in North Kansas City.


The 5,800-seat Independence Events Center hosts more than 100 events each year, including the home games of the Central Hockey League’s

In Kansas City, the farther north you go, the more rural the scenery

Missouri Mavericks and the Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor

gets, making these small communities ideal for outdoorsy families who

Soccer League. The nearby Independence Center shopping mall is one of

enjoy camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, boating and bird watching,

the largest in the metro area, boasting 150 stores including Forever 21,

especially around Smithville Lake or along the banks of the Missouri

Sephora, Coach, Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s.


Renting & Buying in

Kansas City Source: KC Premier Apartments, Reece & Nichols

Downtown KC MIDTOWN & plaza



Average Rent

$550 for 1 bedroom $665 for 2 bedrooms $950 for 3 bedrooms

$475 for 1 bedroom $530 for 2 bedrooms $745 for 3 bedrooms

$405 for 1 bedroom $555 for 2 bedrooms $650 for 3 bedrooms

Average list price

Single-Family Home $208,650

Single-Family Home $332,000

Single-Family Home $191,000





Locals are used to the bemused looks we receive when explaining to others that the place most think of when they hear “Kansas City” isn’t in Kansas, but in Missouri. Most Kansas Citians cross the state line daily and don’t even notice it. Oh, and did we mention that there’s a Kansas City, Kansas, too? Read on for our west-of-the-border breakdown and soon you’ll be able to give geography lessons like a local.



Why We’re

loco for JoCo

Situated southwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, Johnson

Further south in Leawood lies a cluster of other upscale

County, Kansas, is comprised of several sprawling suburbs, each with

entertainment centers. Town Center Crossing is a major destination

its own history and identity. One of the most affluent counties in the

for KC fashionistas, thanks to independently owned boutiques such as

United States, “JoCo” is home to some of the metro’s largest employers,

Frankly Basic, Feng, Standard Style and Baldwin. When you’re ready

including Sprint Corporation and Garmin International, and offers a

to rest your feet, pop into Glacé Artisan Ice Cream for a scoop of Salted

wide range of residential options, from upscale apartments for young

Pretzel, Vietnamese Cinnamon or one of its other creative flavors. If

professionals to spacious homes perfect for growing families. The county

you’d rather linger a while, go for a round of tapas and sangria at

also boasts some of the best shopping and entertainment districts around,

La Bodega or a taste of Italy at North. Nearby Park Place Leawood

attracting visitors from across the metro.

features more opportunities to indulge, whether you’re craving steak from 801 Chophouse, seafood from its sister restaurant 801 Fish,

Just a few minutes southwest of the Country Club Plaza, the small suburb of Prairie Village features a community of charming ranch homes

Mexican cuisine from celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez’s Mestizo, or one of the healthy fresh-pressed juices at t.Loft.

in the Mid-century Modern style. The Village Shops are not only a great spot for retail therapy, but a fantastic place for a special night out, with

The largest of the JoCo suburbs, Overland Park, recently celebrated

tenants such as the luxe Standees movie theater and Story restaurant,

the grand opening of a remarkable mixed-use development, Prairiefire.

which received Food & Wine magazine’s People’s Choice award for 2014.

Residents of the upscale villas have easy access to a wide array of exciting dining and entertainment options that draw visitors from all

With a population of around 30,000, Leawood, which stretches along

over. Dining options include the retro-inspired Paradise Diner, fresh

the state line, is one of the smaller Kansas suburbs—but there’s a lot

and fabulous Wasabi Sushi Bar, and CocoBolo’s, a Latin American

packed into it. The mixed-use Mission Farms development features

concept with a menu featuring dishes from James Beard award-

high-end condos and apartments situated above and around a bevy of

winning chef Michael Smith. If you’re looking for more than a meal,

retail shops and popular restaurants. You’ll find trendy, casual dining

head to Pinstripes Bowling-Bocce-Bistro, where you can work up an

options, including gourmet pub grub at Blanc Burgers + Bottles, wood-

appetite before sitting down for savory Italian fare, or catch the latest

fired pies with imaginative toppings at PizzaBella, and flavorful house-

blockbuster in one of Cinetopia’s 18 state-of-the-art movie theaters

made noodles and dumplings at Blue Koi. Fine dining options include the

with luxurious seating options. The jewel in the development’s crown

southern outpost of the popular Room 39 and Rye, where James Beard

is the Museum at Prairiefire with its stunning façade by architect

award-winning chef-owner Colby Garrelts and his wife, pastry chef

Verner Johnson. The equally impressive collection of exhibitions and

Megan Garrelts, serve up classic American dishes such as fried chicken

artifacts inside bring the best of New York City’s American Museum

and lemon meringue pie.

of Natural History to the Midwest.



8 reasons to Do the ’Dotte You’ll find plenty to see and do in Wyandotte County, which incorporates Kansas City, Kansas, as well as the cities of Bonner Springs, Edwardsville and Lake Quivira.

1. KANSAS SPEEDWAY For the most part, life in the KC metro moves along at a comfortable

glamour of Tinsel Town. The casino’s Final Cut Steakhouse and Epic Buffet are some of your best bets for dining in the area too.

pace. Not so during the twice-yearly NASCAR race weekends, when some of the country’s top speed demons whip around the 1.5-mile, tri-oval track at Kansas Speedway. The facility, built in 2001, boasts enough seats for nearly 74,000 fans to watch the adrenaline-boosting excitement, which makes it the sixth-largest “city” in the state of Kansas on race weekends.



Offering everything from slow-going lazy river tube rides to whiteknuckle, white water rafting-style thrills, Schlitterbahn is a great place to keep your cool on hot summer days. The park’s newest


attraction, Verrückt, has made a splash in the media as the world’s

If you’re a fan of professional soccer, there’s no better place to kick it than

tallest waterslide, boasting a drop of more than 170 feet. For year-

Kansas City. As the host city of the 2013 Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star

round water adventures, check out nearby Great Wolf Lodge. The

Game, the home of 2013 MLS Cup Champions, Sporting Kansas City, and

family-focused resort features a variety of fun entertainment options,

the future site of the sport’s National Training and Coaching Development

including an indoor waterpark with rides that range from mild to wild.

Center, it’s no wonder KC is called the “Soccer Capital of America.” If you aren’t already a fan, going to a game at Sporting KC’s home stadium, Sporting Park, will undoubtedly change that. The most passionate supporters in the league pack Sporting Park on game day, with full-capacity crowds of more than 21,000 when SKC’s greatest rivals come to play.

7. JOE’S KANSAS CITY BAR-B-QUE AND TACO REPUBLIC Every day, BBQ lovers from all over the world queue up at a gas station in Kansas City, Kansas that Anthony Bourdain proclaimed “One of Thirteen Places to Eat Before You Die.” Amongst Joe’s


Kansas City’s legendary offerings, is the Z Man sandwich—slowsmoked beef brisket, smoked provolone and onion rings piled high

The 1,500-acre Village West development is comprised of some of

on a Kaiser roll. Across the street, Taco Republic offers a laidback

the most popular attractions in Kansas City, Kansas, including major

atmosphere to gather with friends for scrumptious street-style tacos,

shopping destinations. Avid shoppers flock to the Legends Outlets to find

wood-fired chicken, ice cold cerveza and margaritas.

the latest looks at wallet-friendly prices from retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Banana Republic Factory Store and J. Crew Factory.


One of the first shopping expeditions for many transplants, the sprawling

Get away from it all without going too far away at this 1,500-acre

80-acre Nebraska Furniture Mart offers anything you could need to

park on the northwestern edge of Kansas City, Kansas. Set among

furnish your new home. Nearby, Cabela’s 180,000-sq.-ft. showroom is a

acres of woodlands and gentle hills, the park offers picnic shelters,

draw for sporting and outdoor enthusiasts.

playgrounds and an archery range in addition to opportunities for boating and fishing in the 456-acre man-made lake.

4. RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL Lords, ladies and little ones seeking good-olde family fun can travel back in time to experience the sights and sounds of the Middle Ages during this annual festival in Bonner Springs, Kansas. On weekends from late summer to early fall, visitors head to the fairgrounds to be entertained by plays, live music and jousting. Guests can stroll through the marketplace browsing the handmade wares of artisans and craftsmen and feast like kings and queens on hearty turkey legs and ale.

5. HOLLYWOOD CASINO Feeling lucky? The casino overlooking Kansas Speedway boasts more than 2,000 slots, 12 dedicated poker tables and 52 table games, including blackjack, craps and roulette, in an atmosphere with all the glitz and 60


Renting & Buying in

Kansas City Source: Zillow

Average Rent

Average list price



$700 for 1 bedroom $890 for 2 bedrooms $1,120 for 3 bedrooms

$500 for 1 bedroom $615 for 2 bedrooms $830 for 3 bedrooms

Single-Family Home $377,350

Single-Family Home $128,000


The Builders’ Association Advancing commercial construction means advancing your business. • Onsite Plan Room • Construction Documents Marketing Services • Modern Builder Magazine Labor Relations & Employee Benefits Government Relations • Education & Training Safety, Health & Environmental Services • Insurance 720 Oak Street • Downtown Kansas City, Missouri


Move Over,


Places to get a great cup of coffee 1. PT ’s at the Crossroads Topeka,





Company brings its direct trade java to KC along with a tasty list of food and specialty drinks, including espresso milkshakes and spiced cocoa. No wonder the company landed a top 10 spot on The Daily Meal’s list of the country’s best coffee shops.

2. The Roasterie One of the oldest roasters in town is also still one

Go (do) nuts What is coffee without a donut? OK, still delicious, but much less satisfying. In Shawnee Mission, Kansas, gobble up sweet treats at Mr. D’s Donut Shop, or check out Lamar’s Donuts, which has locations in Overland Park and Mission as well as on the Missouri side of the KC metro. Even the healthiest eater will find something to challenge their willpower, be it a classic, like the Ray’s Original Glazed, or something a little less conventional, such as a Red Velvet Cake donut. For a sugary start to a day on the north side of the metro, Donut King reigns supreme, boasting a 24-hour drive thru on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Chocolate lovers are sure to be drooling over the chocolate twists at John’s Space Age Donuts in downtown Overland Park, Kansas.

Tea Time If you’re not a coffee drinker or simply appreciate beverages beyond java, there are plenty of places to

of the best. The Roasterie has multiple locations on both sides of the state line and offers an impressive variety of blends along with sweet snacks.

3. Oddly Correct Those who take their coffee with sugar and cream might want to skip this Westport caffeine destination. If you’re content with sipping on a cup of extraordinary black coffee, you’d be hard-pressed to find better. The rotating lineup of creative blends is sure to keep you on your toes, and not just from the caffeine.

grab a pick-me-up. T.Loft is a popular destination for, you guessed it, tea. The chic shop serves a long list of

4. Thou Mayest Coffee Roasters

options, include matcha, wellness blends, tea and fresh juice fusions and tea lattes, as well as pressed juices

After winning fans with their beans, the team at

and clean eats. Tea Drops offers a delicious assortment of bubble drinks and loose-leaf teas. Tea, cold pressed

Thou Mayest opened a stylish shop in the Crossroads

juices, smoothies and shakes are on the menu at organic eatery Café Gratitude. You’ll also find local Hugo Tea

perfect for wiling away a few hours with friends or

Company’s loose-leaf brews at restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores throughout the metro.

working on your laptop using the Google Fiber Internet connection. And there isn’t just great coffee on the menu. In addition to locally made goodies,

Average Joe Costs

you can enjoy a cocktail at this coffee bar.

• Kansas City: $4.31 • Seattle: $5.73

5. Take Five Coffee Bar

• Dallas: $5.28

• Denver: $5.99

Take Five in Leawood, Kansas, carries on the

• New York: $5.75

• Los Angeles: $6.04

coffeehouse tradition of bringing coffee and music


together under the same roof. Expect quality coffee without a trace of cooler-than-thou attitude.



Life with the Baldwins Style icons Matt and Emily Baldwin travel the world for their fashion-focused businesses, but still find inspiration and good times at home in Kansas City. By KATIE VAN LUCHENE | Photos CAMERON GEE and RYAN STRONG

Step into Baldwin Denim on the Country Club Plaza to check out the

Over the next years, Matt began putting his Fashion Institute of

Henley jeans everyone is talking about, and you can’t help but notice the

Design and Merchandising degree to use to create his own garments.

gorgeous couple standing near a display. He’s tall and lanky; she has long

Last year, the media took notice of Matt’s American-manufactured

blond waves, bright-red lipstick and a petite frame that fits neatly under

denim; GQ called him the “high priest of low-key gear” and named him

his arm as she grins up at him. You look around for cameras; is this a

one of the year’s Best New Menswear Designers. Vanity Fair included

casting call for the retailer’s latest ad? Or friends of Jason Sudeikis—one

Baldwin Denim in its “jeans you’ll want for fall 2014” list.

of the many celebrity Baldwin fans—in town for the weekend?


Fashion royalty? Polish the crowns. Matt and Emily own four

Turns out this “could-be-movie-stars” pair owns Baldwin Denim

boutiques in Kansas City and Baldwin Denim merchandise appears in

and its sister retailer, Standard Style. Since opening Standard Style in

high-end stores around the country, including Barneys. Last year Matt

Leawood, Kansas, in 2003, Matt and Emily Baldwin have been putting

was chosen to design a collection for Gap. Yet with all this adulation,

Kansas City on the map with their eye for modern fashions that were

Matt’s head still fits comfortably in the “KC” caps seen sported by Olivia

hard to find in the Midwest. They soon learned it was hard to keep Marc

Wilde and other stars. Friends agree that this success couldn’t happen to

Jacobs handbags in stock; a testament to Kansas City’s sense of style.

a nicer couple.

And while it often surprises fashion insiders, the Baldwins continue to call Kansas City home. Matt grew up near Wichita, Kansas, and Emily is a Missouri girl. They live in a mid-century home in Old Leawood where they raise three darling and – no surprise here –very stylish kids: Henley, who just turned 9; Rogan, 6; and Rivington, 4, who inherited her mom’s dazzling smile. They don’t have to look far for reasons to adore their adopted hometown. Matt says, “The Nelson-Atkins (Museum of Art) has proven to be a great place of inspiration for me. Kansas City has fantastic architectural and design elements. And what’s not to love about Sporting KC? Having a world-class, winning soccer team is an amazing addition to our city. Both of our sons have caught the soccer wave.” Along with a fashion imprint, this high-profile twosome often lends their names to events supporting causes that resonate with them. Matt’s on the board of Children’s Mercy Hospital, where one of their children once received top-notch care; Emily chaired ArtBra KC, an event to raise money for local breast cancer patients; and the couple co-chaired the Bloom Party in 2012 to help fund KC CARE Health Clinic. With a lifestyle that includes frequent trips to both coasts and long days making fashion history, Matt and Emily would rather hang out with friends at their renovated home, children happily splashing in the pool or belting Disney tunes into the karaoke microphone. When the very-much-in-love couple (Matt still refers to his wife as “the coolest chick I know”) does get that rare date night out, they’ll usually head to Westport, one of Kansas City’s neighborhoods undergoing a renaissance thanks to an influx of new, locally-owned establishments, including upscale bars such as Julep and Ça Va. A favorite hangout is Port Fonda, which appeals to Matt for reasons beyond its tasty Mexican food. “I love cohesive design and branding, and Port Fonda pushes the status quo. Everything [owner] Patrick Ryan has done –from the menu, the interior, the music and the identity package – is authentic and very much reflective of great Kansas City culture. When he asked me to design the uniforms, I quickly knew this guy was thinking about every last detail.” According to Emily, Sunday is family day. “After church, we take the kids to brunch at Westport Café. The kids love a round robin of French toast and cheeseburgers with a side of mussels. Matt and I usually enjoy the beet salad and eggs Norwegian with a Bloody Mary.” She continues with the answer to “why Kansas City?” “It would be easy to list all the benefits of living here,” she says. “The great schools, the fact that we can be on either coast in a few hours. But we love the cosmopolitan lifestyle here that’s still relaxed and friendly. We travel a lot for business and family vacations and can’t wait to get back. This is where our hearts are. Kansas City is home.”




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Play EXPLORING KANSAS CITY..........................68 GET CREATIVE IN THE CROSSROADS....72 LET’S GET PHYSICAL......................................75 PAMPER YOURSELF........................................76 24 HOURS IN LAWRENCE............................77 STRICTLY FOR FOODIES.............................80



Exploring Kansas City There is no shortage of fun things to do in KC. Adventures await you on both sides of the state line. By KATHRYN JONES

Full Steam Ahead At River Market Century-old buildings and decorative street lamps adorn the brick streets of the River Market, Kansas City’s oldest neighborhood and one of the most culturally rich, thanks to its leading attraction, the City Market, the largest farmer’s market in the region. Browse through the market’s bountiful display of fresh produce, exotic spices and international cuisine from falafels to escargot. Farm-totable fanatics will fall in love with The Farmhouse, which serves traditional Midwest comfort food with a modern twist using seasonal ingredients sourced from Kansas and Missouri farmers. Fans of yesteryear can peruse the aisles of the massive River Market Antique Mall for retro furnishings and quality knick-knacks. Also anchored at River Market is the Arabia Steamboat Museum, which holds the largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world. One of the most popular Happy Hours in the city is at Harry’s Country Club, a convivial bar inspired by a 1940s honky-tonk roadhouse featuring high-end bar food, a well-loved jukebox and rousing performances

Branit FX

from local bands on the weekends.

Jazz It Up At 18th & Vine The spirit of KC’s jazz and blues scene is alive and well at the historic 18th & Vine district east of downtown. It’s internationally known as one of the cradles of blues/jazz right alongside New Orleans’ Basin Street and Beale Street in Memphis. Jazz legends, including KC-born Charlie “The Bird” Parker and Count Basie, are honored at the American Jazz Museum through interactive exhibits and films, not to mention stellar live musical performances at the annual 18th & Vine Blues & Jazz Festival and the five-concert Jammin’ at the Gem performance series. Hungry for some hearty Cajun cooking? Head to Danny’s Big Easy, known for its Southern comfort food and live entertainment from jazz, blues and salsa to reggae, funk and zydeco. 18th & Vine is also home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the memory of baseball’s segregated past by honoring legendary athletes like former Kansas City Monarchs player Jackie Robinson. And if you’re a fan of street art, the work of local muralist Alexander Austin peppered throughout the 18th & Vine district is a must-see, as is the larger-than-life sculpture of The Bird himself at the Charlie Parker Memorial Plaza. 68


From The Bottoms Of Our Heart The historical Bottoms District, situated on the banks of the Missouri River, was once home to the Kansas City Stockyards, the Pendergast political machine and Electric Park, the inspiration behind (former KC Art Institute student) Walt Disney’s Disneyland. After serving as a thriving industrial hub for decades, locals found creative, new uses for old factories and warehouses by transforming them into art galleries, antique boutiques, gourmet restaurants and haunted houses. In the East Bottoms is Knuckleheads Saloon, a multi-stage music venue that serves as a haven for bikers, blues enthusiasts and anyone craving Southern staples like cheese grits and fried pickles. Foodies adore The Local Pig, a gourmet butcher shop and charcuterie committed to using locally sourced, humanely raised meats and educating locals on the fine art of butchering through hands-on classes. In the West Bottoms, we have arguably the world’s best manmade haunted houses attracting thousands of thrill seekers each fall, and whimsical antique stores that will draw customers in for hours on end. Old-school Kansas Citians still order their KC strips at the longstanding Golden Ox steakhouse, while the younger generations nosh on gourmet bites and old-fashioned libations at Voltaire and 1930s-inspired jazz club The Ship.

Buy A Round At Martini Corner Would you like that shaken or stirred? Show off your best James Bond impersonation as you place your order with one of many bartenders working at the Martini Corner entertainment district. Barrel 31 offers one of the city’s most extensive selections of bourbons and whiskeys from around the world as well as KC’s own Dark Horse Distillery. Adventurists should order the “Paper Bag Special,” a random beer selection grabbed by the bartender and placed in a paper bag. Happy hour runs weekdays from 3 to 6:47 p.m., a homage to the famous Tennessee whiskey distiller Jack Daniel who died at 6:47, according to legend. If you love dining al fresco, check out Sol Cantina’s massive outdoor patio with its tiki bar and Baja-inspired cuisine. It’s the place locals want to be on Taco Tuesdays. Beer enthusiasts should check out Haus, which has one of the best beer gardens in the city. Don’t miss its annual Octobierfest, where you can gain all-you-can-drink access to more than 30 brews. While you’re at Martini Corner, be sure to drop by The Drop, an upscale neighborhood bistro known for its tapas-style offerings, including some very creative Bruschetta plates, a broad wine selection and (you guessed it) signature house-made martinis.



The Stuff Legends Are Made Of Legends Outlets Kansas City is a super-sized, 1.2 million-sq.-ft., outdoor shopping complex and lifestyle center in Kansas City, Kansas, that’s based in the heart of the sprawling Village West development near Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino, Great Wolf Lodge and Sporting Park. Some of the nation’s most beloved retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, J. Crew, Nike, Adidas, Gap and Banana Republic are located here, not to mention countless entertainment options like Dave & Busters, The Legends 14 Theatre, Yard House and T-Rex Café, where dinosaurs and wooly mammoths come to life amidst waterfalls, geysers and ice caves. Nearly half the stores and restaurants have their only location in KC, and new retail options are introduced every month. Although there is no shortage of things to do at Legends Outlets, it’s the things to see that really sets it apart. The 150-foot-tall Smokestack Tower and two-tiered fountain open year-round are architectural showstoppers of the development, plus more than 80 visual tributes to Kansas legends from athletes and scientists to artists and musicians by way of statues, portraits and medallions. Visitors can take an audio walking tour to explore every nook and cranny of its Kansas-themed corridors, one of which features a replica of the Yellow Brick Road from “The Wizard of Oz.”

picture-perfect prairie village There’s always plenty to do in Prairie Village, Kansas. Developed by famed real estate mogul J.C. Nichols, it was named the Best Planned Community in America by the National Association of Homebuilders in 1949 and continues to live up to the title. Not only is it home to 12 picturesque parks for family picnics and various leisure and athletic activities, it also features some of the best stores and restaurants in the Kansas City area. The Village shopping center offers retail therapy by way of the high-end fashion boutique, Clique, and stationers R.S.V.P. in the Village; gourmet specialty food stores such as French Market, The Better Cheddar and Dolce Bakery; an upmarket eatery and movie theater called Standees; and the award-winning restaurant Story, owned by Carl ThorneThompson, a 2013 James Beard semifinalist nominee for Best Chef Midwest and Food & Wine magazine’s 2013 winner for Best New Chef: Midwest. The Prairie Village Jazz Festival is a popular event that features national acts, with proceeds going to a Brush with Kindness, a philanthropic partnership between the City of Prairie Village and Heartland Habitat for Humanity.



what’s shaking In shawnee With thousands of acres of picturesque parks and family-centered historic attractions, Shawnee, Kansas, is the perfect location for families looking to explore the great outdoors and learn more about Kansas heritage. The 1,250acre Shawnee Mission Park (pictured right) has endless opportunities for hiking, picnicking and sports. Its massive outdoor Theatre in the Park hosts outdoor musicals, performances by the Kansas City Symphony and annual events like Shawnee Old Days Festival featuring old-timey carnival rides and classic rock cover bands. The smaller Pioneer Crossing Park commemorates moments in history that occurred on the Santa Fe, Oregon, California and other frontier trails that wind through the area with monuments and sculptures. Other great moments in Kansas history can be found at the Johnson County Historical Museum, the Shawnee Veteran’s Memorial Park and through murals at the Shawnee City Hall. Shawnee’s oldest building on Nieman Road—built in 1824, which is unusually old for this section of the Midwest—is also worth a gander.

wonderful News for wine lovers Most people assume they have to venture all the way out to the Sonoma and Napa valleys of California to access some of the nation’s best wines, but there happens to be more than two dozen wineries within a 45-minute drive of the KC region. Surprised? Don’t be. Although Kansas City has quickly become a thriving cultural hotspot, it’s still the pulse of America’s Heartland where crops are bountiful, especially vineyards. Take, for instance, the NightHawk, Middle Creek and Somerset Ridge wineries tucked away in the rolling plains of Kansas or the Riverwood, Belvoir and Arcadian Moon wineries firmly planted in the rich soils of the Missouri farmland. These close-but-not-too-far rural getaways offer rich reds, full-bodied whites and decadent dessert wines in a serene setting. If you don’t feel like leaving the city, the Amigoni Urban Winery based out of the historic Daily Drover Telegram Newspaper Building in the West Bottoms district of downtown KC is the place urban wine enthusiasts go for a glass of Pinot. Guests can enjoy wine tastings, take tours of its barrel room where all of its wines are aged on-site, or sit outside on the patio with a glass of Chardonnay as they take in the sights and sounds of a bustling cityscape.





Home to some of the city’s leading tech startups, art galleries and design

I wander into Hammerpress, a letterpress and design studio that offers

firms, the Crossroads Arts District is teeming with the finer things, but is

locally made paper goods, all affordable and all delightfully sweet. I

still a fabulous place to visit on a budget. With $100 in my pocket, I spent

eye the selection of posters and prints with said future decorating in

a recent afternoon perusing my favorite section of KC.

mind but decide to purchase a limited-edition Kansas City postcard.

I start with lunch at the modern, elegant and distinctly German Affäre. The gourmet seafood restaurant offers $10 lunches from July to September,

For dinner, I am drawn to a KC staple: The Rieger Hotel Grill &

my favorite of which is the Quark and pea ravioli with carrot puree and

Exchange. Walking into this historic building once frequented by Tom

balsamic foam. Cost with tip: $12.50

Pendergast and Al Capone, I order a Horsefeather in honor of the

Asking Kansas Citians to name their favorite flavor of Christopher

whiskey distribution fortune The Rieger Hotel was built upon. I also

Elbow Chocolate is like asking them to select a favorite parent. It’s an unfair

order a KC Strip with smoked marrow butter, Montasio fried potatoes

question. Ornate, delicate and expertly flavored, these candies are to be

and creamed kale, in honor of … well ... my own refined culinary tastes.

savored with respect to the craft. I choose Lavender, Strawberry Balsamic,

Cost with tip: $50

Tequila Lime and Rosemary because I love unconventional combinations of flavor, and because I know them all to be divine. Cost: $10

My final stop is The Green Lady Lounge, which serves up a mean cocktail and carries on a great KC tradition with free live jazz seven

Next, I’m off to window-shop at Retro Inferno, the aptly named

days a week. While the band plays, I sip on the “B-SideCar” made with

purveyor of artful, vintage-inspired furnishings. I peruse the 10,000 sq. ft.

bourbon, Cointreau and lemon juice because I love a good music pun.

of midcentury modern designs. Steeped in the aesthetic energy that is the

Then, in honor of the bar itself, I order “The Green Lady,” a deliciously

fuel of the Crossroads, Retro Inferno is one of the district’s most plentiful

tart concoction made of apple jack brandy, lemon juice, grenadine and

sources of style. Current cost: Free. Future cost: Undisclosed. (All I know is

served with a slice of green apple. Cost with tip: $25

I’d like to buy all the furnishings at Retro Inferno for my minimalist-inspired dream home.)


Cost: $2.50

When all is said and done, I am satiated, creatively invigorated and with my inhibitions tossed to the wind. What better way to end a day?


What to do if it’s your first “First Fridays” As you zigzag through eager crowds at First Fridays, waves of enticing scents drift from food trucks and musical performances grace every corner. Although this monthly event in the Crossroads is ideal for the aimless wanderer, there are a few stops that – newcomer or not – can’t be missed. • The Kultured Chameleon Street Art Gallery is not just a go-to for eclectic and locally made gifts, toys, art prints and clothing, it also sells spray paint and other tools of the trade. Regularly hosting national and internationally known graffiti artists, the Kultured Chameleon holds must-see First Friday events including live art and music performances on its outdoor stage. •

Founded in 1985, the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center helped shape

the Crossroads as a center for arts and culture. Featuring artists from across the globe, Leedy-Voulkos is committed to celebrating local talent through exhibition, outreach and education. • Few First Fridays performances are as memorable as the gravity-defying, fire-breathing, musical and magical Moondrop Circus. The local performance troop brings circus arts to the streets of the Crossroads in all their thrilling and awe-inspiring glory. • For the tragically unfamiliar, Grinders is a Crossroads institution.






restaurants of Grinders and next-door neighbor Grinder’s West for pizza, burgers and sandwiches galore. Hosting music acts from all over the world, Grinders is home to one of First Fridays best entertainment offerings. • No First Fridays is complete without a visit to the Todd Weiner Gallery. With captivating displays in every medium from large-scale sculpture to photography, the images greeting visitors are often fantastical, grotesque, provocative, pleasing or all of the above. If you want to gasp, gawk, blush or grin, make sure this gallery is on your list.


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Physical LOOKING FOR ideas to stay active around KC? We’ll walk you through some of the options. By KATHRYN GREENE

Run a Marathon Whether it’s running in your underwear, being doused with colored

Arts in Leawood offers a variety of classes, such as aerial yoga, silks and

powder or roaming the streets like a zombie, there are a ton of exciting

trapeze. Channel your inner ballerina with classes at The Bar Method,

marathons taking place in KC year-round that support great causes. Your

also in Leawood, that use a ballet bar to build long, lean, muscles. If you

classic marathon experience, Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure, is a

like to have everything in one place, consider Woodside Health & Tennis

5K course that raises money for breast cancer research. The Kansas City

Club—your all-inclusive luxury fitness complex in Westwood—where you

Triathlon includes a 500-meter swim in Longview Lake, 20K bike course

can swim, get a massage in the luxurious spa or grab a smoothie at the

and a 5K trail run. Complete the trio of events and enjoy the beautiful

in-house EarthBar. Run by a fitness model and former star of the U.K.

views along the way. Known as the “World’s Happiest 5K,” start out at

TV series “Gladiator,” JQ’s BFit2 in Overland Park, offers cross training,

The Color Run wearing all-white and get sprinkled with colors throughout

yoga, Pilates and a cycle studio in a small group class environment. On the

the race, becoming a work of art as you run. Put on your best skivvies (and

Missouri side, Health House in KC offers contract-free classes that target

nothing else) Valentine’s Day Weekend to take part in Cupid’s Undie Run.

a variety of different muscles. Choose from offerings such as the “Six Pack

The Tour de Cure is a one-day cycling event with an 11-mile family route

Circuit” and “Get Up and Row.” For those who need to stay motivated,

and 48- and 63-mile routes for serious athletes. Run for your life in the

City Gym in Brookside/Waldo offers group workouts from cycling to TRX

Running Dead 5K, where humans and zombies battle it out and fight for

to bootcamps to help you reach your fitness goals.

survival all the way to the finish line. For a frosty experience, dip into freezing waters of Kansas as part of the KC Polar Plunge.

BONUS To really get a full workout KC style, take part in free weekly yoga

Hit the Gym

classes on the tranquil grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Everyone has a preference for how they like to get their exercise.

Flecked with sculptures and beautiful views, there’s no better setting for

Whether you want the classic gym experience of treadmills and barbells

some inner reflection. If you’re looking for a more intense workout, The

or something more exotic like aerial fitness classes, there’s a workout

Kansas City Ballet offers Pilates workouts in its own studio, including

atmosphere for everyone. On the Kansas side, Lucia Aerial Performing

private classes and group courses.



Pamper Yourself 10 Must-See Salons and Spas in KC By NICOLETTE MARTIN

Skyline Downtown Salon

1 The Flatiron District: This blow-dry-only salon in

6 Belle Epoque: Making the list of Salon Today’s Top 200

Overland Park treats clients to a wash, blowout and style named after

Salons in America, Belle Epoque, located on Walnut Street downtown,

NYC neighborhoods like the Upper East Side (a sleek pony tail) and

knows how to help clients look and feel their best.

Greenwich Village (bohemian loose waves). And there’s a twist: Flatiron

7 Milagro: This Overland Park-based spa is equipped with lockers,

also sells furniture, home décor and more.

2 Skyline Downtown Salon: Named by Elle magazine as one the top salons in the country, those in need of a cut, color, style, skin

changing rooms, showers and comfy lounging spots in the relaxation room, which are all part of its mission to pamper Kansas Citians with the full spa and salon experience.

care, waxing or lash application can relax while getting pampered at this

8 Bijin: With more than 80 talented beauty experts pampering

posh, Crossroads-based salon overlooking downtown KC.

3 Chop Tops:

clients with numerous spa offerings and special services, Bijin Salon Offering both women’s and men’s salon and

& Spa was first established in Westport in 1988 and has since moved

grooming services, this edgy hair salon has two locations—Westport and

to Prairie Village, a neighborhood known as a top place in KC for

Waldo/Brookside—serving up one-of-a-kind dye jobs in brilliant rainbow

young families..

hues, Bettie Page bangs, pompadours and other retro looks.

4 The Calico Beard & Mercantile:

9 Purple Label:

Purple Label, a luxury salon for men in

The hipster-

Overland Park, offers services from basic grooming to hot-towel

friendly Calico Beard & Mercantile serves as a dual stop in the Westside

shaves, sport manicures and pedicures, and shoeshines in a modern-

neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, that’s half hair salon using exclusively

yet-classic barbershop environment.

eco-conscious styling products and half vintage clothing and accessories boutique.

5 Polished Nail Salon: Polished’s hand and foot therapists

and located within minutes of Overland Park, Mission and Prairie

help people relax and rejuvenate at this spa-inspired nail salon in the heart

Village, Salone19 & Spa offers hair care, skin care, hand and foot

of Kansas City’s Power & Light District. It also hosts private nail parties

care, and numerous professional hair, nail and esthetic products.

for birthdays, weddings, bachelorette parties and corporate events.


10 Salone19 & Spa: Featuring Inoa oil-based hair color


12 Hours in


8 a.m., ThE Java Break

2:30 p.m., Mass Street

Bleary-eyed Lawrencians stumble in and out of the heavily graffitied Java

Free State’s prime spot on Massachusetts Street—downtown Lawrence’s

Break 24 hours a day, and this morning, I am one of them. Clearly in

main drag where you can find a ‘70s record or hiking gear as easily as a KU

need of caffeine, I order an Irish Nut latte and place an order at the cereal

T-shirt—makes afternoon shopping ideal. My friend grabs a witty print

bar after facing a brief dilemma about which of the 30 cereals and more

from handmade items store Made before I add to my reading list with a

than 20 toppings to incorporate into my breakfast. Special K and Kix with

few picks from The Dusty Bookshelf, a second-hand bookstore filled from

strawberries and bananas it is.

floor to ceiling.

9 a.m., Clinton Lake

5 p.m., The Eldridge Hotel

I hit the trails at Clinton Lake, drinking in the sight of wildflowers and

Since getting burned down twice by pro-slavery forces leading up to the

prairie grass with only slightly less enthusiasm than my coffee. After

Civil War and being rebuilt and renamed by Colonel Shalor Eldridge

breaking a sweat on a trek through a mere fraction of the lake’s 25 miles

(whose ghost is said to haunt the hotel), the Eldridge Hotel has become

of trails, I head to the waterfront to cool off and watch passing boats. The

a local landmark for its impressive history, luxurious rooms and delicious

lake also features campgrounds, cabins, a sand volleyball court, a nine-

martinis. It’s the latter that brings us to happy hour tonight at the hotel’s

hole disc golf course and plenty of fishing spots for more ambitious fans

Jayhawker Bar, and I can officially verify that the gin martini is just as

of the outdoors.

classic as the hotel itself.

11 a.m., KU’s Natural History Museum

6 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse

My morning rituals out of the way, I head to the University of Kansas’

Lawrence is known for one thing throughout most of the country:

picturesque campus to meet a friend who’s visiting from out of town. Here

basketball. Although it’s small compared to more recently built athletic

we tour the KU Natural History Museum, which offers a crash-course in the

facilities, it’s easy to see why Allen Fieldhouse is considered one of

plants and animals of the plains as well as the modern science of evolution

America’s best places to watch a game when the Kansas Jayhawks take

and microbes. We immediately seek out the collection of fossils from the

the court and the crowd of 16,300 roars. If you can take your eyes off the

cretaceous period before getting schooled about wildlife past and present.

game, you’ll often spot famous faces like Kansas natives Jason Sudeikis

Those dire wolves on “Game of Thrones?” Real (once upon a time).

and Rob Riggle, as well as celebs like Olivia Wilde and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

1 p.m., Free State Brewing Co. Free State holds its own in Kansas as the state’s first legal brewery to open

8 p.m., The Wagon Wheel

post prohibition. After ordering a full-bodied Ad Astra Ale and a hop-

The city offers no better way to celebrate a victory or mourn a defeat than

forward Copperhead Pale Ale, we study the bustling restaurant’s menu, a

a slice of greasy pepperoni pizza and a cold beer at The Wheel, an only-

mix of different cuisines and dishes, such as steak, chicken and crawfish

slightly off campus bar and restaurant. It’s a bit of dive, painted bright red

gumbo and gorgonzola mushroom gnocchi. Fish and chips are a natural

and blue and crammed with KU memorabilia, students and character—the

pairing with our beers.

perfect spot to end a day in Lawrence.


make a cutting-edge career move Work at our state-of-the-art Theatre Support Center and enjoy collaborative teamwork, opportunities for advancement and FREE movies!

find jobs & apply at Š2014 AMC



Photo by ROY INMAN


Foodies Check out what’s on the menu for those who like to make mealtimes an adventure. By LARA HALE

Around the World at the River Market As a former “cow town,” KC has a long and delicious tradition of

Kabobs, falafel and tabouli are among the Mediterranean specialties

Heartland cuisine, from the tender Kansas City Strip steak to melt-

available at Habashi House, where you can also shop for imported

in-your-mouth barbecued brisket. While sampling these all-American

groceries or buy spices and herbs by the scoopful. On the market’s north

dishes is a big part of experiencing the best of KC, our cuisine scene has

side, Taste of Brazil offers exactly that—snack on empadinhas (small

much more to offer. You can go on a tasting tour that takes you around

pies stuffed with seasoned chicken or hearts of palm), beans and rice,

the world in a single day with a trip to the River Market neighborhood,

and churros washed down with fresh coconut water straight from the

which lies just a few minutes north of downtown.

source. Continue your journey to another delicious destination on south

Listed on the National Register of Historical Places, the River Market

side of the market, the Blue Nile Café. Its menu offers a wide range of

is a vibrant neighborhood at the nexus of Kansas City’s past and future.

traditional Ethiopian vegetarian and meat stews best eaten with pieces

The large warehouses that once stored goods brought in by boats on the

of inerja, a spongy flatbread.

nearby Missouri River have been renovated and now serve as modern

A few blocks east of the City Market, is one of KC’s best-loved French

loft-style residences, creative studios and offices for a number of local

restaurants, Le Fou Frog. Sophisticated offerings such as Coquilles St.

tech companies. And soon, residents and visitors will be able to access

Jacques, foie gras and steak au poivré are served in an unpretentious and

the northern terminus of our innovative new streetcar with just a short

lively atmosphere typical of the River Market.

stroll down River Market’s brick-paved sidewalks.


A little further to the east, the community of Columbus Park was

At the center of the neighborhood is the City Market, where people

once a predominately Italian neighborhood and now is home to many

from all over the city converge on Saturdays and Sundays to shop for

of Kansas City’s Vietnamese-born residents. It’s a natural go-to for food

fresh produce, flowers and more. Surrounding the market stalls are a

from both cultures, including favorite dining spots Garozzo’s Ristorante

plethora of small restaurants and cafes bursting with exotic flavors.

and Vietnam Café.


Meals on Wheels Over the past few years, Kansas City has seen a boom of food trucks dishing up street eats that run the gamut from simple fairground-style snacks to gourmet grub. Unlike some cities where food trucks park up in all-but-permanent locations, KC’s trucks offer truly moveable feasts, turning up almost anywhere you’ll find hungry hordes, including public events such as First Fridays, private fundraisers and some regular downtown spots during lunch hours. A few to look out for are:

Beauty of the Bistro

– Crawfish mac ‘n’

cheese, chicken banh mi sandwiches and the half-pound Aubry Roadhouse burger smothered in Muenster cheese

griddled hotdogs topped with pinto beans, jalapeños and cotija cheese; and steak nachos.

and bacon jam, are just a few of the reasons this truck

Prairie Fire Oven – Chow down on “Prairie-

has such a devoted following.

politan” pizzas—Neapolitan-style artisan pies with

Cajun Cabin

toppings that showcase the best of Midwestern – Get a taste of the Bayou with

Louisiana-style favorites such as gumbo, jambalaya and shrimp étouffée.

The Funnel Cake Truck – The powdered

ingredients, cooked in minutes in an oven fired by local oak and cherry wood.

Wilma’s Real Good Food – Passion and creativity go into everything on Wilma’s menu. Try the

sugar-sprinkled confections are just the start for this truck,

Notorious P.I.G. sandwich, which boasts a smoked

which also offers deep-fried Snickers, Twinkies and Oreos.

pulled-pork patty dressed with spicy remoulade and

Indios Carbonistos

red cabbage, the frog-leg soft tacos topped with – Fusing Mexican and

chipotle crème fraîche, candied bacon, and chard,

barbecue, this truck satisfies even the heartiest of

or the Barnyard Bliss, a hoagie bun piled high with

appetites with dishes such as tacos stuffed with short

seared flank steak, farmer’s cheese, deep-fried soft-

ribs braised overnight in Mexican beer; plancha-

boiled eggs and a habanero aioli.



Possibilities A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. ~ Joyce Meyer, Author

Lee’s Summit is the place where anything is possible. Our collaborative culture provides an enviroment where ideas not only take root, but are nurtured so that they can flourish. See the possibilities online at or call 816.525.6617 to find out what we can do for you.

Yours Truly,

Faces of America’s Creative Crossroads portraits by CAMERON GEE

Cameron Gee is a photographer based in the Crossroads Arts District. He’s best known for his black and white portraits of modern-day Kansas City creative personalities displayed on the following pages.




Ryan Maybee is a bartender-turned-restaurateur with

Shane Evans

an expertise in wine, spirits and mixology. Beginning his career

to almost 30 children’s books. Winner of the 2012 Coretta

at Pierpont’s at Union Station in 1999, Maybee opened the

Scott King Award and a 2011 NAACP Image Award, Evans

small, speakeasy-like bar Manifesto in downtown KC in 2009,

has received recognition from the White House, The Oprah

which has received overwhelming local and national attention.

Winfrey Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Chef Patrick

Alicia Solombrino is

Ryan is the founder of Port Fonda, an

is an artist who has lent his talents

the lead singer for the

airstream trailer food truck turned iconic Westport restaurant

Kansas City-based alternative rock band, Beautiful Bodies,

known for its unique Mexican food. Both Ryan and his

which is signed with major Hollywood independent label,

restaurant have been profiled in GQ and The New York Times.

Epitaph Records.


Chase McAnulty is the founder and CEO of Charlie Hustle, a vintage inspired T-shirt brand that incorporates past motifs with a modern twist. His top-seller, a shirt with a heart and the letters ‘KC’ can be spotted on the streets daily, favored by many Kansas Citians.



Laura Jones wallner started dancing when she was 6. Her classical ballet training landed her a job with the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and later the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. She has been in Kansas City since 2008 and is a principal dancer with international performing arts company, Quixotic Fusion. 86


Tyrone Aiken is executive director of Kansas City

Brooke Salvaggio is an organic farmer and

Friends of Alvin Ailey, the second home of the NYC-based Alvin

founder of BADSEED, a community market, as well as

Ailey American Dance Theatre. Starting out as an instructor in

URBAVORE, an organic farmstead that produces gourmet

1991, he became artistic coordinator in 1995 and received the

vegetables, fruits and free-range eggs. Salvaggio promotes

Coming Up Taller Award from First Lady Laura Bush in 2003.

local, sustainable farming amidst the city’s landscape.

Mike Farmer,

Jeff Freling and Erin McGrane are the duo behind Victor

co-founder and CEO of, is

revolutionizing the search engine. A graduate from Kansas

and Penny,

State University, he launched four new ventures supporting

modern pop. The ukulele, jazz guitar and vocals that comprise

Kansas City’s emerging reputation as a marketplace of ideas

their sound are unforgettable.

a musical mélange of 1940s jazz and

and launchpad for entrepreneurs.



Bob Berkebile, architect and principal with BNIM,

Neal Sharma

is regarded for his commitment to restoring social, economic

one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most insightful digital

and environmental vitality to America’s communities. Berkebile

consultancies. The company was recently named one of Inc.

was a 2009 Heinz Award winner and No. 3 Top U.S. Individual

Magazine’s “25 companies that are changing the world.”

is co-founder and CEO of DEG,

Role Model for green and sustainable design in the 2009 Design Intelligence Sustainable Design Survey.


Jim Leedy, a former Kansas City Arts Institute professor, has

Davyeon Ross

spent more than 40 years encouraging students to push boundaries.

an interactive technology company, which was acquired by

Working with tapestry, paint, sculpture, installations and public art,

Digital Broadcasting Group, a top-five video ad network.

Leedy is considered the “Godfather of the Crossroads” and was a

Recently Ross launched ShotTracker, an affordable, wearable

catalyst for the development of the downtown art district.

tech device for basketball players.

founded Digital Sports Ventures,


Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Sean Malto is a professional skateboarder who won the 2011 Street League Skateboarding championship. Since the start of his career, he has been supported by the Escapist Skate Shop in Kansas City, one of his sponsors.



Graham Zusi, Aurelien Collin and Matt Besler are some of the brightest stars of Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City, winners of the 2013 MLS Cup. KC native Besler currently serves as Sporting’s team captain. 90


Ian Byrne was born in County Wicklow, Ireland and is

A life-long Kansas Citian,

Paula Bowers

the lead singer of The Elders, an Irish folk band that originated

former dancer, a community volunteer, a nominee for Best

in KC and has achieved international success. A resident of

Teacher of the Year in Kansas, and most recently, a published

Kansas City for more than 20 years, Byrne is inspired by the

author with her first novel, Accessible.

is a

region’s appreciation for the artistic community.

Howard Hanna

began his restaurant career in

Manhattan, Kansas, and went on to help open CoCo Bolos in 1998. After attending the Culinary Institute of America, Hanna opened his own restaurant, The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange, and later the Westport champagne bar, Ça Va.

Danny O’Neill is “Bean Baron” of the Roasterie, a specialty coffee roaster founded in 1993 that services espresso bars and coffee houses, fine restaurants, high-end grocers and coffee-lovers all over the country.


Don’t just think like a leaDer. Be one.

“My experience with Olin was a fabulous jewel. During program sessions, the professors stayed in Kansas City and were completely accessible beyond class hours. They provided invaluable feedback on my experiences, goals and business opportunities.” Cindy Dillard Parres, MBA ’14 General Counsel, Vice President, and Secretary Houlihan’s Restaurants

The top-ranked local Executive MBA. • Ranked #12 by U.S. News & World Report • Rigorous curriculum, once-a-month classes • 10-day residency at Olin’s Shanghai-based Executive MBA program • Top faculty in business innovation and research

See Cindy’s story on our website. Defining Leaders. Redefining Leadership. Attend an event or meet with a member of our admissions team. • 816-832-4025

• Mumbai


With its great mix of professional opportunities, economic growth and entertainment options, find out why

Olathe is a great place to LIVE, WORK and PLAY!

OLATHE KANSAS Contact the Olathe Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Department (913) 764-1050





On Goal KC’s Major League Soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and its home stadium are shooting stars.

“Welcome to the Blue Hell” reads a huge banner that hangs above Sporting Park’s northern end, where Sporting Kansas City’s largest official supporters group, the Cauldron, stand and cheer on their home team. It’s an apt warning for visiting teams, who find themselves surrounded by some of the most passionate and vociferous fans in Major League Soccer on game days, with full-capacity crowds of more than 21,000 when SKC’s greatest rivals come to play. While Sporting Park may be hell for opponents, it’s soccer heaven for KC’s MLS team, which didn’t even have its own home stadium until a few years ago. Although the club was founded in 1996 as The Wizards, its current popularity is due in large part to the opening of its state-of-the-art stadium in 2011. It turns out that old line “If you build it, they will come,” is true after all. Called “the most technologically advanced soccer stadium in the country,” by MLS commissioner Don Garber, Sporting Park was the first in the league to be fully equipped for HDTV broadcasting and boasts numerous technologies designed to enhance the spectator experience, including a 2,016-sq.-ft., high-definition video screen at the south end, more than 150 Wi-Fi spots, and almost 330 high-definition screens dotted throughout the concourses that stream interactive digital content as well as the game, ensuring fans never have to miss a second of the action. In 2013, the team’s tech division, Sporting Innovations, released the Sporting Club Uphoria smartphone app, which offers real-time stats, multiangle replays and other event information so fans can stay on top of the game, even if they can’t see it in person. The shiny, new facility undoubtedly stirred interest amongst Kansas Citians, but it wasn’t that alone that earned Kansas City the title of “America’s Soccer Capital” or the privilege of hosting the 2013 MLS All-Star Game. It’s the talented team itself that keeps fans coming back. Since its rebranding, the team has racked up a number of titles and honors, including setting an MLS record for minutes played without allowing a goal in 2012 (that’s 335 minutes over the course of seven games, for those keeping score at home) and winning the U.S. Open Cup in the same year. The team’s popularity reached fever pitch when Sporting defeated Salt Lake City 2-1 to clinch the 2013 MLS Cup after 10 rounds of penalty kicks, the longest shootout in the championship’s history. On this team of stars, there’s a special place in Kansas Citians’ hearts for Matt Besler, the Overland Park, Kansas, native who was named Sporting’s captain ahead of the 2014 season. Besler’s sure-footed skill has made him a hero not just in his hometown, but on a national level too. Since first being called up in 2013, the defender has made more than 20 appearances on the United States Men’s National Soccer Team. After strong performances in the starting lineup for all four of the U.S.’s games in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Besler received offers from several European teams, but delighted fans by accepting a multiyear designated player contract with Sporting instead. “This is a dream come to true to know that I’ll be playing my whole career in Kansas City,” Besler said at a press conference following the signing. Besler isn’t the only Sporting player whose name will ring a bell with U.S.M.N.T. soccer fans; midfielder Graham Zusi also represented both club and country in 2014. The fast-on-his-feet player— known as “Zeus” to his fans—provided the assist for two crucial assists in the most recent FIFA World Cup, aiding the winning goal in United States’ first game (against Ghana) and the equalizer in the team’s second game, a draw with Portugal. Like Besler, Zusi signed a Designated Player contract with Sporting this season, guaranteeing both will play for the team through the 2018 season.



Each person is different and so is each career opportunity. That is why at Aerotek Inc, we find out what’s important to each individual and each company to find the perfect fit. Serving Kansas City for the last 20 years and looking forward to many more together.

7900 College Boulevard, Suite 200 | Overland Park, Kansas | (913)905-3000 | Aerotek is an equal opportunity employer. An Allegis Group Company. Š2014




The right team doesn’t focus on challenges, but anticipates them. The right team is right here. Constructing dreams daily.

Dream to Build. Build to Dream. It’s what makes us McCownGordon.

KC Options | 2014-2015  

This issue of KC Options will captivate you by showcasing Kansas City’s innovation. Explore the area’s dynamic cuisine, art and technology t...

KC Options | 2014-2015  

This issue of KC Options will captivate you by showcasing Kansas City’s innovation. Explore the area’s dynamic cuisine, art and technology t...