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NEW & GROWING

TECHNOLOGY


2014 Q4

On The Cover:

Deciphera Cynthia Leary Scientist II & Bryan Smith Senior Director of Biology

C o n t e n t s: Features:

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Non-Profit:

Publisher: Mark Kern Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC

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IdentiGEN:

Editor-in-Chief: Ann Frame Hertzog

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Yarn Barn & Fortuity:

Art Director: Rory Harms

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Silverback:

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BTBC:

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Innovation: Developing New Drugs and

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Simcro:

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Sunlite:

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Baldwin:

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Yantra Services:

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Downtown in Focus

Graphic Designer: Charles Lewer Chief Photographer: Steven Hertzog Featured Writers: Anne Brockhoff Mark Fagan Derek Helms Emily Mulligan Liz Weslander Editorial Support/Ad Coordinator: Katherine Diaz Contributing Writers: Hank Booth Katherine DiazMegan Gillaland Cody Howard Brendan M. Lynch Gene Meyer

Departments:

Contributing Photographer: Patrick Connor

INQUIRIES & ADVERTISING INFORMATION CONTACT: info@LawrenceBusinessMagazine.com www.LawrenceBusinessMagazine.com Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC 730 New Hampshire, suite 110 Lawrence, KS 66044 Lawrence Business Magazine, is published quarterly by Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC and is distributed by direct mail to over 3000 businesses in the Lawrence & Douglas County Community. It is also distributed at key retail locations throughout the area and mailed to individual subscribers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reprinted or reproduced without the publisher’s permission. Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Statements and opinions printed in the Lawrence Business Magazine are the those of the author or advertiser and are not necessarily the opinion of Lawrence Business Magazine.

Mission:

Willow Domestic Violence Center

Identifying Where food Comes From

How Local Businesses Integrate New Tech

Running from Lawrence

Space Designed for Growing Business

New Drug Delivery System in Lawrence

Developing New Systems for Animal Health

Brighter Lights Better Efficiency

At High Speed

Environment for Creativity

Business on the Hill City of Lawrence Professional Spotlight Boomer Perspective Lawrence Memorial Hospital Why Local Newsmakers Local Scene New Business

Lawrence Business Magazine: Telling the stories of people and businesses making a postive impact on Lawrence & Douglas County. @LawrenceBizMag /lawrencebusinessmagazine SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: LawrenceBusinessMagazine.com/SUBSCRIPTIONS


DOWNTOWN IN [FOCUS] by KATHERINE DIAZ

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riving through the rural roads of Kansas, it’s an image one sees repeatedly: an image dull and unappealing. For some, it’s difficult to find beauty and excitement in Kansas’ plains, but for one individual, it’s easy to see it through an artistic lense. Pink and yellow crops, green and blue fields popping out of a plain Kansas landscape. This is what artist, Karen Matheis, envisions when driving through the simple roads of the Sunflower state. These are the illustrations she portrays in her oil paintings. “I used to think the landscape of Kansas was boring,” Matheis said. “But the simplification is very interesting to me now because I’m abstracting it.” Matheis is among several artist participants who take part in the lively event of Lawrence’s Final Fridays. It’s a monthly occasion that incorporates various forms of art, both in the traditional and non-traditional sense. “There’s really every kind of art you can think of,” said Downtown Lawrence, Inc. Executive Director Sally Zogry. “There are performing artists, 2D art, so paintings and drawings. There’s 3D art, so sculptures; there’s jewelry, clothing and music performances.” Final Fridays have sparked the artistic awareness needed for artists to build relationships with potential

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clients, as well as with the community, according to Matheis, who’s showcased her work since the start of this event in the community. “Businesses have been really open to showing art at their venues,” Matheis said. “They have been great about supporting us.” Being in its fourth year, Final Fridays has expanded to other areas outside of downtown Lawrence, and has grown to include a diversity of businesses and restaurants, according to Zogry. “Something that people don’t necessarily know or realize is that any business can participate,” Zogry said. Zogry is responsible for connecting people who are interested in participating with the Final Fridays Coordinator. “There’s this business called Yantra Services that’s on the 800 block and they do Final Fridays, but it’s actually a tech company so they have art installations.” In order for the event to come together, businesses collaborate to bring this artistic experience to life. The previous executive director of DLI, Jane Pennington, had received a grant to launch Final Fridays, according to Zogry. Though DLI wasn’t the sole entity to ensure this project took off, a partnership was established in the first year among DLI, the Lawrence


Arts Center, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lawrence, as stated by the Lawrence Arts Center CEO Susan Tate. Currently, however, the partnership stands between the City of Lawrence, DLI and the arts center. “Final Fridays has come together almost simultaneously with the development of the cultural district concept, with the arts center and the city’s creative place-making initiatives,” Tate said. “Creative placemaking is about how art can celebrate what makes a place distinctive and, well, Lawrence has many distinctive features.” To highlight Final Fridays and promote its awareness, Molly Murphy took on the challenge as coordinator. Among her duties, Murphy works to connect artists to exhibition spaces, as well as inviting artists to participate. She has also received assistance from the collaborating partners. Murphy stated that the arts center helps in producing a map each month, hosts Final Fridays information on its website and essentially acts as the host for the production of public projects. On the other hand, DLI assists with promotion, and also recruiting new businesses to participate. Social media and artists themselves have also played an important role in raising awareness for the event. “Social media and artist partnerships have been our biggest assets in reaching a very wide demographic,” Murphy said. “With every new business or artist who gets involved, we reach a new audience.” The increase in community awareness has helped bring entities together on each Final Friday, and as Murphy stated, inviting everyone to be part of the arts, not just for an “elite few.” “Final Fridays is just one night every month that highlights the amazing resources, talents and economic impact of the arts in Lawrence,” Murphy said. “However, it is essential to have an event of this nature that brings it all to the public in a free and open way.” As coordinator, Murphy became involved with the event as she had been a working artist both in Lawrence and Kansas City. She was also a member of the Lawrence Arts Center Board of Directors and a curator for various spaces in the past years, which led her to take on the role of Final Fridays coordinator. “I know an extraordinary wealth of talent that we have here,” Murphy said. “I was excited to be involved with Final Fridays as a way to let everyone else in on what makes this town such an amazing place to live, and for me, it is the art community and collaboration.” According to Murphy, more than one hundred artists are involved each month, and in the lifetime of the event, there have been thousands of visual and performing artists of local, regional, national and international status who’ve participated. Though these artists have enlightened visitors with their work, what has truly made Final Fridays prosper is the work effort put forth by the community. “The real strength and vitality that has come from Final Fridays is due to the endless hours of work and support from artists, curators, volunteers, local businesses and building owners who work each and every month to make this event a success for the community,” Murphy said. “Without all of them, none of this could be a reality.”

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Final Fridays may emphasize the city’s diversified character, yet it also highlights Lawrence’s local atmosphere. As said by Murphy, the economic impact downtown and the warehouse arts district has been exceeding. “Through an economic impact study a few years ago, we learned that many families, during the event, stay for dinner, shop while they’re downtown, grab a coffee or a cocktail and, better yet, many come back on another trip to see their favorite shows or ones they couldn’t make it too,” Murphy said. For the past four years, Murphy has seen the potential that Final Fridays have to grow and bring more artistic experiences to the public. However, starting this coming year, a new individual will be managing the future coordination of the event, and like Murphy, will help Final Fridays become bigger and reach more audiences. “Right now we’re at a transition period because the city just recently hired Christina McClelland to, in 2015, take over the sole management of Final Fridays,” Tate said. McClelland has filled the new position of Director of Arts & Culture, which was created by the City of Lawrence. Among McClelland’s responsibilities will be examining ways to improve administration and communication concerning Final Fridays. “I’ll be working with Molly through the end of this year to ‘learn the ropes’ in terms of pulling together the marketing and promotion for this monthly event,” McClelland said. “We’ll be examining and improving current methods of getting the word out and increase participation to create an even more successful event in the future.” Final Fridays has been successful thus far, but what it has needed is the attention of a person at city-level to coordinate, as interest in the event is very high, according to Tate. “We have a great deal of anecdotal information from downtown vendors that their sales receipts are much higher on these Fridays, and there’s been a lot of positive response,” Tate said. “But we need the next level of coordination to make sure there are venues for all artists, and to make sure it’s widely publicized.” The opportunity for growth is endless, and Final Fridays have also helped bring history to the public. Participants may showcase an array of new projects and performances to a multitude of locations, but it’s the Carnegie Building that has added the historical element to an artistically-filled event.

“People come in and hear little bits of history and connections,” said Executive Director of the Lawrence Convention and Vistors Bureau, Frederick Conboy. “It’s a fun experience for them.” Final Fridays at the Carnegie Building has been hosted by Freedom’s Frontier, a National Heritage Area, and the visitors bureau since the summer, in which the two entities have been operating under Destination Management, Inc., according to Conboy who is also Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier. The National Heritage Area is an act that was created by Congress in 2006, which strives to preserve and interpret nationally significant stories about the “enduring struggle for freedom.” Conboy recognizes the enthusiasm and positive response from the community in regards to learning the historical connections that exist within the city of Lawrence and across the state.    “History buffs love the floor to ceiling storybook of suffragettes, slaveholders, abolitionists, Buffalo Soldiers, martyrs or madmen; but the Carnegie Building is also a gateway for visitors discovering the quest for ‘freedom’ for the first time,” Conboy said. One example of local history of freedom depicted at the Carnegie is when former chancellor, Franklin Murphy, championed the cause of social justice for the legendary basketball player, Wilt Chamberlin, to enter then-segregated Lawrence restaurants. Conboy also stated that one of the goals of the Final Friday event is to compel guests to visit the partner sites within the 41 counties in Kansas and Missouri that embody the mission of the National Heritage Area, and which are represented by Freedom’s Frontier. “At previous events, guests enjoyed wine harvested from heritage grape vines from Middle Creek Winery in historic New Lancaster, Kan. in Miami County; one of Freedom’s Frontier’s 150 partner sites whose history is tied to the Border War or Western Frontier,” Conboy said. Overall attendance at the Carnegie during Final Fridays has been driven by re-enactors from areas such as Lecompton, Black Jack Battlefield and Mahaffie Stage Coach Stop in Olathe. These reenactors, dressed appropriately for the age period they’re depicting, engage passersby on Massachusetts St. to explore the Carnegie. They also illustrate impromptu impersonations of firebrand characters like John Brown, James Lane or Sheriff Sam Jones from 1850s Bleeding Kansas, according to Conboy. Once inside, individuals may appreciate the history that makes up the Carnegie, and learn more about what makes this building special.

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“Visitors to the Carnegie may simply enjoy their experience by learning about the building’s former life as Lawrence’s public library from 1905 until 1972, when it became the home of the then Lawrence Arts Center,” Conboy said. “The brown tile ‘bars’ on the floor mark where the stacks of books once stood in the original library.” Final Fridays may have presented an opportunity, not only for artists and businesses to grow, but for history to extend its reach to a wider audience. “It’s not about the person who knows history, but the person who isn’t interested in history. When they come into the building and learn about all that we have, and they get excited about it - those are the kind of individuals we want to reach,” Conboy said. Final Fridays has sparked interest in art, and history, in unexpected places, but this event has defined the distinct characteristics that makes Lawrence a memorable city. “Monthly art walks are common in lots of communities,” Tate said. “We feel its time for Lawrence to have a really mature and sophisticated one, and this brings attention to everything that makes this area unique.”

With nearly 250 visitors stopping by the Carnegie Building on Final Fridays Halloween night, the shared stories of the 41 counties in Kansas and Missouri that represent Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area were the main theme of the evening. Yantra Services with Final Fridays artwork on display

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BUSINESS on the [HILL]

New ‘Lab-On-A-Chip’ Could Revolutionize Early Diagnosis of Cancer by BRENDAN M. LYNCH

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cientists have been laboring to detect cancer and a host of other diseases in people using promising new biomarkers called “exosomes.” Indeed, Popular Science magazine named exosome-based cancer diagnostics one of the 20 breakthroughs that will shape the world this year. Exosomes could lead to less invasive, earlier detection of cancer, and sharply boost patients’ odds of survival. “Exosomes are minuscule membrane vesicles — or sacs — released from most, if not all, cell types, including cancer cells,” said Yong Zeng, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas. “First described in the mid-’80s, they were once thought to be ‘cell dust,’ or trash bags containing unwanted cellular contents. However, in the past decade scientists realized that exosomes play important roles in many biological functions through capsuling and delivering molecular messages in the form of nucleic acids and proteins from the donor cells to affect the functions of nearby or distant cells. In other words, this forms a crucial pathway in which cells talk to others.” While the average piece of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick, exosomes run just 30 to 150 nanometers in size. Because of this, exosomes are hard to separate out and test, requiring multiplestep ultracentrifugation — a tedious and inefficient process requires long stretches in the lab, according to scientists. “There aren’t many technologies out there that are suitable for efficient isolation and sensitive molecular profiling of exosomes,” Zeng said. “First, current exosome isolation protocols are time-consuming and difficult to standardize. Second, conventional downstream analyses on collected exosomes are slow and require large samples, which is a key setback in

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clinical development of exosomal biomarkers.” Now, Zeng and colleagues from the KU Medical Center and KU Cancer Center have just published a breakthrough paper in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal describing their invention of a miniaturized biomedical testing device for exosomes. Dubbed the “lab-on-a-chip,” the device promises faster result times, reduced costs, minimal sample demands and better sensitivity of analysis when compared with the conventional bench-top instruments now used to examine the tiny biomarkers. “A lab-on-a-chip shrinks the pipettes, test tubes and analysis instruments of a modern chemistry lab onto a microchip-sized wafer,” Zeng said. “Also referred to as ‘microfluidics’ technology, it was inspired by revolutionary semiconductor electronics and has been under intensive development since the 1990s. Essentially, it allows precise manipulation of minuscule fluid volumes down to one trillionth of a liter or less to carry out multiple laboratory functions, such as sample purification, running of chemical and biological reactions, and analytical measurement.” Zeng and his fellow researchers have developed the lab-on-a-chip for early detection of lung cancer — the number-one cancer killer in the U.S. Today, lung cancer is detected mostly with an invasive biopsy, after tumors are larger than 3 centimeters in diameter and even metastatic, according to the KU researcher. Using the lab-on-a-chip, lung cancer could be detected much earlier, using only a small drop of a patient’s blood. “Most lung cancers are first diagnosed based on symptoms, which indicate that the normal lung functions have been already damaged,” Zeng said.


“Unlike some cancer types such as breast or colon cancer, no widely accepted screening tool has been available for detecting early-stage lung cancers. Diagnosis of lung cancer requires removing a piece of tissue from the lung for molecular examination. Tumor biopsy is often impossible for early cancer diagnosis as the developing tumor is too small to see by the current imaging tools. In contrast, our blood-based test is minimally invasive, inexpensive, and more sensitive, thus suitable for large population screening to detect early-stage tumors.” Zeng said the prototype lab-on-a-chip is made of a widely used silicone rubber called polydimethylsiloxane and uses a technique called “on-chip immunoisolation.” “We used magnetic beads of 3 micrometers in diameter to pull down the exosomes in plasma samples,” Zeng said. “In order to avoid other interfering species present in plasma, the bead surface was chemically modified with an antibody that recognizes and binds with a specific target protein — for example, a protein receptor — present on the exosome membrane. The plasma containing magnetic beads then flows through the microchannels on the diagnostic chip in which the beads can be readily collected using a magnet to extract circulating exosomes from the plasma.” Beyond lung cancer, Zeng said the lab-on-a-chip could be used to detect a range of potentially deadly forms of cancer. “Our technique provides a general platform to detecting tumor-derived exosomes for cancer diagnosis,” he said. “In addition to lung cancer, we’ve also tested for ovarian cancer in this work. In theory, it should be applicable to other types of cancer. Our long-term goal is to translate this technology into clinical investigation of the pathological implication of exosomes in tumor development. Such knowledge would help develop better predictive biomarkers and more efficient targeted therapy to improve the clinical outcome.” Zeng’s collaborators on the investigation were Mei He, Jennifer Crow, Marc Roth and Andrew K. Godwin of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the KU Medical Center. The research by Zeng and his KU colleagues recently merited a $640,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, intended to further develop the lab-on-a-chip technology.

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Engineers Work on Better Real-Time Wireless Data Transmission by CODY HOWARD

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litches, delays or crashes on mobile devices can thwart attempts to watch the latest viral video, catch a big game or conduct a video chat. Not only are attempts to wirelessly access real-time events frequently plagued with problems, viewing such events seem to rapidly drain an inordinate amount of battery life from a smartphone or tablet. Researchers at the University of Kansas School of Engineering are working to solve both issues in hopes of enabling more seamless video and data usage on a wireless device. Lingjia Liu, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, is leading the effort and has secured a one-year, $122,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to begin work on the project. NSF will evaluate the progress on the research after the first year, then will determine whether to fund an additional two years of work. “Through our research, we hope to discover how much of a power boost is actually needed for instantaneous data transmission, and we hope to find the optimum power level to ensure maximum energy efficiency that sends data without any delay,” Liu said. The project centers on a level of data transmissions known as “delay-sensitive.” Those are the snippets of communication that consumers expect to receive instantaneously, such as phone calls, video chats and live sporting events. Delay sensitive transmissions typically send data in the 20- to 50-millisecond range. Anything longer than that and users notice they’re not receiving information in real time. For communications that are delay-insensitive – such as web browsing or email – users typically accept a delay of a few seconds. Information is not expected instantaneously. Liu said that improving energy efficiency for data transmission has been studied for years, but typically on delay-insensitive communications. “We’re attacking an area where not much research has been done. There’s really no clear methodology to analyze this. That’s what we’re trying to develop,” Liu said. “It’s not an easy task, because power consumption on a smart phone is multifaceted. We’re focusing on one critical area that’s received little attention to this point.”


The project involves graduate students conducting research on a theoretical level and undergraduates working on the potential for implementing the technology. “There’s a fundamental limit on energy efficiency – you can’t improve beyond a certain level. But we want to find algorithms that pinpoint the limit with the hope that eventually we can apply it on practical wireless devices,” Liu said. Erik Perrins, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and a collaborator on the project, said smartphone users should be excited by the potential of the research, since it deals with two key issues: maximizing battery life and maximizing data rates. “We are paying special attention to a certain kind of wireless traffic, two-way video, because right now wireless system designers are making educated guesses about how to allocate resources to deal with this traffic,” Perrins said. “As this kind of delay-sensitive traffic becomes more and more prevalent, solid design rules are needed, which is exactly what our research aims to deliver.” n


City Opens Two Major Projects for the Community by MEGAN GILLILAND, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, CITY OF LAWRENCE

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n October 5, the City of Lawrence officially opened the community’s newest recreation center, Sports Pavilion Lawrence. More than 1,200 community members visited the facility’s grand opening for a first look at the 181,000 square-foot complex. Sports Pavilion Lawrence is located in the northwest section of the city, in the newly created Rock Chalk Park. Rock Chalk Park is a partnership between the City of Lawrence, Kansas Athletics, KU Endowment and Bliss Sports. Kansas Athletics recently constructed new soccer, softball and track-and-field stadiums at Rock Chalk Park.

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conduit for fiber technology and signalized the intersection of 23rd and O’Connell.

Sports Pavilion Lawrence has eight full-size gymnasiums available for numerous sports and activities including volleyball, futsal, pickleball and basketball. Sports Pavilion Lawrence is the first facility to include an indoor turf area for practices, games and tournaments. The facility offers a room dedicated to gymnastics and includes beams, uneven bars, spring floor and tumble track.

Find out more online at www.lawrenceks.org/LawrenceVenturePark.

For those looking for personal health and wellness, the new eight-mile indoor walking/jogging track, or weights and cardio areas, are available to the public during regular operating hours. Healthy menu items are available at Crimson Corner Market by Clinton Parkway Hy-Vee, which uses the healthier nutrition standards developed by Lawrence Parks and Recreation earlier in the year.

Lawrence VenturePark has industrial-zoned lots from 2.5 acres to 75 acres. The new business park is centrally located in the region and has excellent transportation access to K-10, I-70, 1-35 and 435 corridor, and has access to adjacent rail. The park has been designed for mixed-use development including advanced manufacturing, logistics, back office and animal and life sciences. n

Below: With more than 200 acres of developable land, Lawrence VenturePark is the region’s premier business park. Amenities include excellent transportation access, adjacent rail, full utilities and developed infrastructure.

Below: With an indoor arena perfect for soccer and field sports, Sports Pavilion Lawrence is a great place to practice and work on competition skills.

Outside the facility, eight lighted tennis courts and more than five miles of outdoor nature trails are available for the community to explore. Sports Pavilion Lawrence will host tournaments throughout the year bringing many visitors to the Lawrence community, but the bigger impact will be on the citizens as the city continues to thrive to be the most healthy, active community in Kansas. For more information on Sports Pavilion Lawrence, visit www. sportspavilionlawrenceks.org or follow the center on Facebook or Twitter. On October 21, economic development leaders officially opened the city’s newest business park for development opportunities. Lawrence VenturePark, was developed by the city on acreage previously utilized as the former Farmland Industries fertilizer plant. The site has been transformed from heavy industrial use to a business park featuring more than 200 acres of prime, ready-to-develop land. Since 2010, the City of Lawrence, has worked to physically clean-up the site, demolish unneeded structures, and perform site remediation which primarily involves pumping of nitrogen-impacted groundwater. The city has installed more than $9 million worth of infrastructure at the site including roads, sanitary sewers, water and wastewater infrastructure,

Top Left: Supporters cut the ribbon to Sports Pavilion Lawrence on October 5, 2014. Middle Left: Sports Pavilion Lawrence is a great place to bring friends to enjoy a pick-up basketball game or two. Middle Right: Kansas Athletics Head Basketball Coach Bill Self, and founder of the Assists Foundation, speaks during the grand opening of Sports Pavilion Lawrence on Sunday, October 5, 2014. Bottom Left: The Lawrence City Commission and youngsters from the Boys and Girls Club cut the ribbon to officially open Lawrence VenturePark on October 21, 2014. The new business park is prime development land for industries, including manufacturing, light industrial, animal sciences and biosciences.

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PROFESSIONAL [ SPOTLIGHT ]

fellowship backed by the Kauffman Foundation. So, despite being known within entrepreneurial circles in Kansas City, we’ve been quietly working like crazy in Lawrence to figure out Bixy’s technology, messaging and growth strategy. Without the backing of local investors, there’s no way we could have developed the necessary components of Bixy that we believe will significantly disrupt the digital advertising world. How many people do you employ? Serve? Interact with on a daily basis? We have 10 employees and contractors and we’re looking to hire additional employees in Lawrence immediately across sales, marketing, product development and operations. As of the end of November, we have about 50 Lawrence businesses on board and we’re now focused on growing our consumer audience.

Kyle Johnson Founder/CEO of BIXY How do you describe BIXY? We make online ads valuable to consumers and businesses. What is BIXY’s most important commodity or service? Bixy is sort of like Facebook, but instead of connecting people, we connect businesses and consumers. However, we’re not at all like Facebook, or other technology giants like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo etc., with respect to their use of our personal information for advertising. They use our emails, web searches, click and social data for ad targeting. This practice is obnoxious and creepy and it still doesn’t get us to click on ads. We believe it is wrong for web services to misuse the data we’ve entrusted to them. As Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, said recently, “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” We wholeheartedly agree. Instead, we believe consumers should directly control the information collected and used for ad targeting. In other words, we turn advertising into a service for consumers and that makes advertising very effective for businesses. What is BIXY’s most important priority? Our most important priority right now is to grow the number of consumers and businesses using Bixy in Lawrence. Lawrence is our first beta market and a case study to demonstrate that Bixy has figured out how to “fix” online advertising. With Lawrence as a benchmark, we will be able to explain to investors how we will quickly scale Bixy across the U.S. and abroad. What has been some of the most important aspects of your success? We’re fiercely determined to succeed and we’ve been fortunate to attract capital from investors in Lawrence, Wichita and Kansas City. We’ve been building Bixy for several years and we won the Innovator of the Year Award in January 2012 from Pipeline, an entrepreneurial

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How do you see, you and BIXY making a positive impact on the Lawrence community? Of course, I think Bixy will help local businesses advertise more effectively and affordably. However, my plans in Lawrence are much larger than improved advertising. I love Lawrence and I’m dedicated to maintaining our headquarters in Lawrence even though we aim to scale nationally and internationally. I’d like to prove that Lawrence and other small and/or Midwestern communities can become hubs for high-growth technology companies. Of course, this will require effort by many people and leaders within Lawrence since all startups have needs like seed capital, founder education and a talented work force to name a few. I would really love Bixy to be viewed as a win for Lawrence. What do you see as your personal responsibility and BIXY’s responsibility to the community? As a startup, our future success is uncertain, but we’ll continue to work like crazy to bring our vision to life. If we succeed, we will create many high-paying technology jobs right here in Lawrence and of course, we’ll give back in ways that benefit the community. I’m passionate about both Bixy and Lawrence and I want them to succeed together. What would you change about doing business in Lawrence? Startup technology companies have very different needs from traditional companies and it’s difficult to understand those needs unless you’ve founded a startup. I sure didn’t know what I was getting into when I started Bixy and I learn new things every single day. So, it’s very important for startups and local community leaders to work hand-inhand to build an environment with the capital, talent and infrastructure required to help startups sprout and thrive. Startups have tremendous potential to create high-paying jobs and building a startup-friendly community costs a lot less than traditional economic development. I know the Lawrence Chamber and others have plans underway to cultivate a startup mentality in Lawrence. In my view, sustaining these kinds of initiatives are essential to the development of Lawrence and every other community in America. What is the biggest challenge you feel your company faces? Our biggest challenges: people and capital. These are the life blood of startups, and probably any company. Startups are so fragile in the


beginning that these two things can easily make or break a company. We’re getting ready to begin raising our next round of capital to fund growth and product enhancements and we’re looking for smart, driven people in Lawrence right now. We’d love to get in touch with anyone interested in Bixy. What do you foresee as being the biggest challenge for the future of BIXY? And how are you addressing or preparing for it? With startups, every month brings a completely new challenge. Our biggest challenge will always be overcoming unforeseen roadblocks. We do our best to plan for new hurdles but since we can’t plan for everything, we do what every startup must: adapt. n


NON- [PROFIT ]

Willow Domestic Violence Center by KATHERINE DIAZ photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

Executive Director of Willow Joan Shultz with the Director of Survivor Services Anna Van Schoelandt

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anet Dehnert is as busy today as she was when she retired, if not more. As head of the fundraising committee board member and a volunteer advocate, Dehnert strives each day to improve the lives of women and children who fall victims to domestic violence. “Whether you know it or not, everyone knows someone who has been in an abusive situation,” Dehnert said. “It’s one in every three women, and one in every seven men. So, chances are you’ve known someone.” The Willow Domestic Violence Center provides safety and shelter to those seeking refuge from a violent experience. It was established in 1976, and was the first domestic violence

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shelter created in Kansas. Willow was formed from a grassroots movement of students and community members from the feminist movement of the 1960s, according to Executive Director of Willow, Joan Shultz. Domestic violence is often a topic that is overlooked and kept hidden. However, through community education, Shultz is determined to bring to light this neglected issue and make it a topic for discussion. “Historically, domestic violence is hidden and in the shadows because that’s where abusers work best,” Shultz said. “We’re trying to get the community to talk about it, and that will give victims of domestic violence the awareness to

come forward when this [violence] is happening.” In order to assist these individuals who do seek help, Willow has formed a solid volunteer program of approximately 70 people, according to Shultz. This number also includes Dehnert, and as an active volunteer for the past two years, assists with a variety of tasks both at the shelter and outside services. Some of her responsibilities at the confidential location include ensuring supplies are in stock, women at the shelter are fulfilling their assigned chores and overall making sure tasks are in good order. On the other hand, Dehnert’s non-shelter duties consist of providing information to the public and increasing advocacy for domestic violence in the community. Dehnert’s commitments have been rewarding as she sees the impact she’s made in the lives of survivors, which continues to be her motivation to help those in need of shelter and guidance. “One of the most touching experiences was [when] a woman in the shelter recognized all the work that was done in that shelter on behalf of the women [survivors],” Dehnert said. “She made a handmade thank you card, out of construction paper and art materials we have at the shelter, for every single volunteer and staff member.” For Dehnert, stories like this, in which people arrive at the shelter scared and devastated, leave more confident and are able to take on the challenges they’re facing, inspire her to continue her advocacy work at Willow. “Willow is just a great organization,” Dehnert said, summing up her overall thoughts about the non-profit entity.


Willow offers a variety of programs, which includes educational and informational services. One being the S.A.F.E. teen dating violence program that aims at educating adolescents, parents and faculty members about healthy relationships. The program emphasizes ways of detecting the red flags in a violent, abusive relationship that can harm a victim physically and emotionally. “The most dangerous time for a woman in her lifetime [occurs] three times: between the age of 16 and 24, when she is pregnant and when they leave an abusive relationship,” Shultz said. “Those are the most lethal times.” The S.A.F.E. program’s goal is to teach teens the importance of healthy dating relationships, so they will be able to recognize and combat potential harm early on. This program also reflects Shultz’s goal to bring into discussion the sensitive topic of domestic violence in the community. Another service provided by Willow is the Court Advocacy program that assists individuals with the protection from abuse order process. Though Willow is not an organization that staffs attorneys, volunteers serve as peer councilors and help victims fill out the order form, according to Shultz. Another aspect of the program is to provide support to survivors during court proceedings. “When you have to stand up in court and your abuser is six or seven feet away from you, you need some support, and that is what we provide through our court advocacy,” Shultz said. For women and children who suffer from domestic violence and seek asylum at Willow, Shultz is quick to acknowledge that these families are not yet out of harms way. “Are you safe?” survivors are asked when seeking aid from Willow, followed by the question, “What do you want to do?” According to Shultz, many times victims of domestic violence are told what to do, what to wear and how to talk. At The Willow, Shultz and volunteers attempt to empower these individuals to think about they want to do. “We want all our survivors to take away from Willow, a renewed sense of hope and a sense of self,” Shultz said. For Shultz, one unintended consequence that occurred from providing valuable support and resources is the renewed sense of community that survivors gain from Willow. “They see that their community has cared and once they get back on their feet, and they’re healthy again, they’re able to engage more by giving back or just by being within the community,” Shultz said, also adding that domestic violence is very isolating and through Willow’s programs and assistance, victims gain a larger sense of belonging. Women are often the subjects in domestic violence cases, but children are also victims and can suffer psychologically and, at times, physically. What Willow has done to aid these young survivors is provide them with various child services, such as art programs and music therapy. “Children experiencing domestic violence need to be able to have a safe place to talk about it. Sometimes they need a place to talk about it


amongst themselves, and that happens in the children’s program and it also happens in the art program,” Shultz said. “When you’re working with your hands, children tend to talk amongst themselves, and some of those conversations are absolutely heart-wrenching.” Although more women and children experience domestic violence, men also fall victims to this abuse. Willow more than recognizes this fact, as its services are also available to men. Dehnert stated that she has met with men who’ve been victims of abuse, and listened to their stories. Currently, Willow provides non-shelter services to men; however, there is a need in the community to accommodate men seeking refuge, according to Dehnert. For now, male victims are provided information and are able to meet with an advocate in the community to talk about their experiences. One way to address the limited shelter assistance for men is with the recently launched capital campaign started by Dehnert. The campaign is to initially pay off the mortgage on the Willow shelter, which will then allow for future financial flexibility. Therefore, Willow will be able to expand its direct services, which, according to Dehnert, are greatly needed. “Court advocacy is in great demand, and we do want to expand our services [further] to men in the community,” Dehnert said. This campaign is an opportunity for Willow to grow its advocacy, but it has been a gradual process. Dehnert and the board have been contacting only a certain number of people to start, but Dehnert plans to increase the awareness about the campaign and take one step closer to reaching the ultimate goal. “We can offer shelter and we can offer help for people who are in the current situation, but our goal is to not be needed,” Dehnert said. “That’s probably never going to happen, but maybe not to be needed so much.”

Being a volunteer advocate, Dehnert strives to see more healthy and happy relationships in the community. The S.A.F.E. program is one approach to address the issue of potentially harmful relationships, as it has the potential to combat future domestic violence. According to Dehnert after the mortgage has been paid, Willow will expand the S.A.F.E. program and it will be presented to every eighth grader in the Lawrence public schools. Domestic violence will be a topic of discussion for those entering the high school dating age, and, for Shultz, this subject is one that should not be neglected. “I think one thing that’s happened under Joan’s leadership is [that] the word about Willow and the information about Willow has really [become accessible],” Dehnert said, also stating that in the early years, Willow was more confidential. “What comes with that [more accessibility] is more people know about it, but we’ve also seen the number in the shelter and demands for services grow exponentially.” Dehnert believes this rise is due to the increase in awareness about Willow, as people now know where to call. Also, she says that the culture about domestic violence is opening up in the population and its more willing to talk about the issue. Domestic violence is a topic in which innocent lives are constantly at risk, and not only must victims find the courage to stand up and save themselves and their families, communities also have the responsibility to provide safety for all residents. Willow continues to persevere to fulfill this responsibility, but it also acknowledges the fact that many victims still hide in fear, and that there are just as many individuals that have lost their lives to this violence. “One murder occurs every 14 days,” Shultz said. “That’s quite a statistic.” In order to combat this factor, Willow is prepared to provide aid to anyone seeking it, and continues to fulfill its mission to “restore the health and safety of survivors of domestic violence by providing safety, education, and advocacy in Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties.” n

Capital Campaign Contact or for more information about contributing contact: Janet Dehnert at jdehnert@willowdvcenter.org For information about becoming a volunteer visit: willowdvcenter.org

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Identifying Where Food Comes From by ANNE BROCKHOFF

“DNA is the barcode that never goes away.” -Greg Peters

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Stacie Eliades-Becker oversees highthroughput genotyping operations at IdentiGEN’s North American headquarters in Lawrence. IdentiGEN’s customers use its DNA tracking technology to sample meat products—even cooked meat—at any point in the supply chain in order to confirm authenticity.

oday’s supermarket meat case is filled with promises. From organic, hormone-free and Kosher to branded and breed-specific, there’s a product for every market niche. While consumers appear willing to pay extra for these, they also want something in return—a guarantee that they’re getting what’s touted on the label. Stores often emphasize selection criteria and relationships with farmers in attempt to provide that. However, proving the meat in the package came from animals produced on a specific farm or in a particular way can be challenging. That’s where IdentiGEN comes in. The Dublin-based company, which houses its North American headquarters in Lawrence, uses DNA technology to trace meat through the supply chain. That enables its customers, mostly food retailers and processors, to ensure authenticity.

“We provide a way of assuring the product you purchase is the product you intended to purchase,” said Greg Peters, IdentiGEN’s North American Director of Technical Accounts. “DNA is the barcode that never goes away.” University researchers have long studied how DNA technology can benefit the food industry. IdentiGEN itself was founded in 1996 by scientists at Dublin’s Trinity College, who were exploring ways to use genetic technology to improve meat safety. While IdentiGEN’s main product, called DNA TraceBack®, undoubtedly plays a food safety role, it does much more than that, Peters said. The system can be used with beef, pork, poultry, lamb, goat, fish and other protein-based foods. It allows IdentiGEN’s clients to trace individuals throughout the entire processing, packaging and sales process. Clients can then

compile information on any trait they care to track, from breed and production method to commercial traits, such as tenderness and flavor. That’s because DNA TraceBack® uses an animal’s own DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, to create what IdentiGEN calls an accurate, permanent and tamper-proof identification tool. Animals are raised just as they otherwise would have been, and then trained workers collect samples from each at the point of harvest, a point at which all identity is typically lost when ear tags and other markers are separated from the carcass. Samples are sent to IdentiGEN’s Lawrence laboratory, where DNA profiles are created. The company also has labs in Dublin, Calgary and the U.K. Peters declined to provide details about IdentiGEN’s proprietary process, but the company’s website


describes it as assessing a panel of genetic markers, technically known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, using what’s called high-throughput DNA analysis. Genetic profiles of each animal are then created and linked to its production and processing history. Samples are stored for comparison in future testing, which can take place at any point in the supply chain. This means whole cuts of meat, as well as ground meat and even cooked steaks, can be tested and compared to the original sample to verify the meat’s origin. Should the samples reveal a problem in the system, IdentiGEN’s clients then have specific information to use in correcting it. More typically, Peters said, clients use the data to improve product quality while reassuring consumers the products they’re buying are what they expect. “Consumers want to know their suppliers,” Peters said. “We’re one of the few companies out there that can complete the chain.” Growth has been steady for IdentiGEN, which is funded by a combination of retained earnings and venture capital. U.S. clients include FPL Food, the Southeast’s biggest privately held vertically integrated beef processor, Illinois-based Aurora Angus Beef; and Braveheart Black Angus Beef, a division of Performance Food Group Company. IdentiGEN has just under 100 employees worldwide, Peters said, including 15 to 20 in Lawrence. The total count varies seasonally, depending on clients’ production schedules. Local lab employees typically hold four-year degrees in biology, biochemistry or related sciences. Many of those are recruited from the University of Kansas, although Lawrence has proven to be a good fit in other ways too, Peters said. When IdentiGEN decided to open a North American office, it had several criteria: the location needed to be in the agricultural heartland, close to a major airport and near a large university. “We looked in Lincoln, Manhattan, Dallas and all around the area. Lawrence was the best fit,” said Peters, who grew up on a Nebraska cattle ranch and worked for a biotech start-up, as well as for National Beef Packing Company before joining IdentiGEN earlier this year. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science with a minor in genetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a master’s degree in animal genetics, as well as an M.B.A. in finance from Texas A&M University.

based Kansas Bioscience Authority, a venture capital organization dedicated to accelerating growth in the state’s bioscience sector. “The people here are obviously tech savvy and are very comfortable with advancing technology,” Peters said. IdentiGEN’s Lawrence operation is housed in a low, red brick building on Quail Crest Drive and includes 6,000 square-feet of office and lab space. The company also has off-site storage for both frozen and dry samples. The lab received the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Process Verified Program (PVP) approval in 2007 in recognition of its lab practices. In 2012, it achieved ISO/ IEC 17025:2005 accreditations. “We are a high-throughput genotyping lab primarily involved in testing for DNA TraceBack®, breed and parentage,” said Stacie Eliades-Becker, Manager of Genotyping Operations for IdentiGEN’s Lawrence facility. “This involves the use of a variety of molecular biology-based techniques and instrumentation.” The lab operates a single shift, which so far meets the needs of its current client base, Peters said. Should IdentiGEN need to expand in the future, it would do so by adding additional shifts, he said. IdentiGEN also continues to develop new technologies, including IdentiSNP (patent pending). The product uses the same SNP technology as DNA TraceBack®, but requires significantly less labor. It’s resulted in what IdentiGEN calls transformational improvements in its process, and reduced the cost of data interpretation by more than 60 percent, according to a company press release. While that’s clearly a boon for IdentiGEN’s own operations, it’s also yielded a DNA tracking product other labs can now purchase and apply to its own platforms. That’s especially appealing to those in the biotechnology and life sciences industries, IdentiGEN founder and managing director Ciaran Meghen said in a press release. “While this technology has transformed our internal cost base and will support our continued growth and development in the area of animal and meat product identification in particular, the opportunity to promote our new formulation to a wider user base is an exciting development for our business,” Meghen said. And that’s good news for Lawrence. “We’re not just a lab in Lawrence,” Peters said. “We’re a growing lab in Lawrence.” n

The region also has a robust technology climate, thanks to the presence of entities like KU and the Olathe-

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How Local Businesses Integrate New Tech by EMILY MULLIGAN photos by STEVEN HERTZOG


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assachusetts Street shops have been a retail cornerstone of Lawrence for more than 150 years. When the Internet and the idea of e-commerce first came to bear, some feared that could spell the end of mom-and-pop stores and personal service. To the contrary, two Mass. St. retail outlets, one a long-term presence and the other a relative newcomer, have managed to grow and sustain foot traffic while quietly building a regional and national clientele online: keeping a firm hold on the value of customer service. Both have used new technologies, including social media, in ways that allow their online offerings to complement their brick-and-mortar stores and vice versa. Here are the stories of Yarn Barn and Fortuity and how the stores and their customers have found each other. Yarn Barn Yarn Barn’s unassuming storefront along Mass St. is merely the tip of the knitting and weaving iceberg when it comes to the expertise and inventory available. A lower level that is the entire footprint of the store, which is not open to the public except one room used as a classroom, houses meticulously ordered stock of knitting yarns, weaving yarns and other materials, like mop cotton.

Ravelry boasts more than four million members, allowing knitters to network with “friends” about their knitting projects, posting progress reports and photos, sharing patterns and even troubleshooting. The network generates information to its members, including what particular yarns are being used by most knitters in their projects. Here is where being one of the biggest yarn retailers in the country comes into play on Ravelry for Yarn Barn. “We see what people are talking about and insert ourselves gently,” Bateman said. Yarn Barn also encourages its customers to mention the store on Ravelry when posting about their projects. And, with that, the instant gratification model of Internet shopping comes full circle – even in an activity as slow and deliberate as knitting. Shopping for yarn, knitting and weaving hardware is not the only purpose of the Yarn Barn website. It is also where both beginning and experienced crafters sign up for classes in their chosen handicraft. Bateman says that any place within a four-hour drive of Lawrence is within the recruitment area for Yarn Barn’s classes. This includes western Kansas to St. Louis, Mo. and Omaha, Neb. to northern Oklahoma - all fall within the range. People interested in weaving, in particular, will make the drive for the weekend classes because weaving requires more expensive equipment and expertise than knitting.

Owner Jim Bateman says that the store has approximately 7,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) for its inventory, which “People stay overnight when includes yarns of every type Susan Bateman with Therese England of Plymouth Yarn Company they come for our classes. We and so many colors it is mindprobably book 100 hotel nights per year,” Bateman said. boggling. For decades, Yarn Barn has had a large catalog following, Class attendees also post and promote the classes on Ravelry, which which has been maintained alongside online ordering. In early 2015, drives foot traffic for locals and online traffic for those farther away. the store plans to launch a new website that both navigates more easily and offers interactive tools for customers to better envision their Bateman said that the recession did not affect sales a great deal, potential projects. instead sales remained flat, which was good compared to most retail categories. “We had a website as good as our competitors, but at this point we’ve been leap-frogged by our competitors. Ours will be the best, we think, “Historically, economic downturns will not drag down a hobby and we back it up with good service,” Bateman said. business like this; if anything it will give it a boost. People, when they are stressed financially, want to have a greater sense of community. The web and catalog business account for nearly 50 percent of Yarn Part of that process involves hands-on handicraft social activity,” Barn’s sales. Bateman says that Yarn Barn ships to at least 45 states Bateman said. each month and average approximately two international packages per week, as well. That makes it all the more important that the website It just goes to show that even in this digital age, the most old-fashioned should be able to connect with back-end inventory and allow the 10 or of activities work hand-in-hand with the latest technology. so employees, who fulfill the orders to track sales of particular items. The current website also does not interface well with social media, which isn’t critical for Facebook and Twitter at Yarn Barn, but it is for the knitting world’s social media platform, Ravelry.

Fortuity Fortuity, a women’s clothing boutique, opened on Mass. St. in 2011. For its first two years, it relied mostly on window displays and wordof-mouth to attract customers, who are mostly, but not exclusively, in

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the college-student range. As its clientele continued to expand, so did the need for a more robust online and social media presence. In October 2013, Fortuity launched its new website and online store, to what has become a rousing success. The store, which also has a location in Manhattan and the Country Club Plaza, put a high priority on building a social media presence. As with Yarn Barn, Facebook and Twitter are OK for Fortuity. It’s real success on social media has come through utilizing Instagram and Pinterest. “A lot of people like Instagram because we do whole looks. A lot of time when they’re shopping online, they don’t really have help to coordinate the outfit and accessories like they do in the store, but the Instagram pictures give them that,” said Ellie Ruby, Fortuity Vice President. If there was any doubt whether college students use social media to help them make purchasing decisions, at least for Fortuity, there no longer is. “Anything we post on Instagram, give it a couple days, and it will be gone, we’ll be sold out of it. The students know that as soon as they see it, they need to get in and get it,” Ruby said. Sales, both in the store and online, are important for Fortuity. Social media offers another opportunity that is good for the store: trend-setting, according to Ruby. “The younger generation really uses social media to see what the trends are. I think they look to stores sometimes as much as they look to celebrities. We’re saying what’s cute or ‘in’ for the season. I think it makes it easy for them too, because if we post it then they know we have it,” she said.

Shipments ready to be go to customers across the country. Yarn Barn Owners Jim & Susan Bateman


Ruby and Fortuity have had some fun with social media, as well as, encompassing both the brick-and-mortar and online stores. They have staged contests for customers to win “Fortuity dollars,” which is free money in their online shopping cart. Customers an also get free punches on their loyalty punch cards, for resharing photos or tagging the store with online photos of themselves wearing Fortuity looks. Ruby said she continues to hone the website to fit the needs of customers. She has planned further ahead this year for the holidays than she was able to last year, for example. Ruby plans to build in features like “order by” dates for holiday purchases. Crossover Yarn Barn and Fortuity are different retail businesses with different core customers, and yet both operate successful storefronts in two places: Mass St. and online. The stores also do more than just sell things; both make use of unique electronic and social media to connect with and even inspire their customers. n

Founder Carolyn Richmond & daughter Ellie Ruby of Fortuity


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SILVERBACK by DEREK HELMS photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

Kansas Ironman 70.3 finish The new Silverback location previously Zimmer Steel building.

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he question is so common that, Ryan Robinson and Kyle Meyers, owners of Lawrence-based Silverback Enterprises, laugh every time someone asks it. “Yeah, we get that a lot,” Meyers said while sitting on one of two big leather couches in Silverback’s lobby. “Almost everyday someone will walk in and ask us just what the hell we do here.” The answer, relatively speaking, is simple. Silverback Enterprises is an event production company. “Sounds simple, right?” Meyers asks with a laugh. “To be honest it is kind of hard to really describe what we do to someone who isn’t involved in or familiar with the industry.” In layman’s terms, if you are putting on an athletic race, Silverback can help. In fact, they can do it just for you. Robinson, Meyers and their team can do everything from meet with government officials to secure proper permits to clean up the mess made from racers after completion. From full-scale Ironman races to local 5k fundraisers, Silverback has become one of the most prominent event production companies in the country.

Robinson is a Lawrence kid. He was born and raised in town and after college he started working for the Douglas County Sheriff ’s department. He satisfied his life-long love of sports by spending his weekends traveling to participate in various endurance races. It didn’t take long before his natural entrepreneurial spirit pushed him into hosting his own races. “I started very, very small,” Robinson said as he leans back in his chair. “I put on some pretty small races, like 5ks, 10ks and a few kids races. But I had enough experience with the Ironman teams from working with them and participating in the events that I had real good grasp on what it took to host a successful race.” By 2008, Robinson was ready to make the leap and host his own major event by licensing the Ironman name. The 2008 Kansas Ironman was, by most accounts, a smashing success. “We had great attendance and I think almost everyone involved was pleased with the course and overall atmosphere of that first race,” Robinson says. “It was a great event. I mean, if you forget that we took it on the chin and lost almost $40,000.”

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Kansas Ironman 70.3 Owners Kyle Meyers & Ryan Robinson

Robinson is, by all accounts, a very relaxed guy. He operates in a casual manner and doesn’t seem to let much rattle him. So when his first major event lost $40,000, he didn’t let it bother him much. “Well, I knew I couldn’t do that again,” he said with a laugh. “But I knew I could be successful at hosting these races.” Robinson quickly figured out how to turn a profit on hosting events and his business began to steadily grow. His relationship with Ironman events helped him land hosting jobs, not only across the country, but also in multiple international locations. “For a number of years I was traveling all the time,” Robinson said. “When we started this I was as handson as possible. That meant living on airplanes and in other cities a lot. We took on almost every race or event we could get and built a solid reputation in the industry.” As business grew, so did the emergence of niche races – races that embraced less traditional race formats to entice more participants. Due to Silverback’s established reputation within the industry, race directors began to call and Robinson needed help. He called his old race friend Meyers.

Meyers, a cross country standout at Loyala Univeristy in Chicago, Ill., is an accomplished endurance athlete and veteran of the race production world. After college, he began working for the esteemed Lakeshore Athletic Services, one of the most established race production companies in the world. The work was solid and Meyers was busy traveling the country opening offices for the company. Then Robinson called. “I was in Florida opening an office for Lakeshore,” Meyers said. “I had known Ryan for years from races and just working in the same industry. He told me about what he was doing in Kansas right at the time I was looking to start something of my own. I figured if I was going to be putting in so many hours and working so hard, I should have some skin in the game.” Meyers signed on as Chief Operating Officer in 2012, just as The Color Run was beginning to explode. The Color Run, dubbed “The Happiest 5k in the World,” is the most successful niche race in the country. Runners, many of whom have never ran a 5k previously, run through city streets and are sprayed with color. Music plays, folks dance and thousands of people have a good time. As the event began to grow, John Connors, Color Run Vice President of Events and National Director,


Kansas Ironman 70.3 biking competition Tour of Lawrence on KU campus

knew he needed a crew to handle the immense amount of prep work. “These races are very labor intensive,” Connors said from his office in Utah. “Because we are a national company, we needed someone we knew would deliver. When I started asking people who they would recommend, almost everyone said Silverback.” In 2012, Connors invited Robinson to one of the first races they held. He knew what he needed, and wanted to know if Silverback could handle it. “I think it was in Seattle,” Connors said. “It was maybe our fourth or fifth race. We were just looking for supplemental event support. Ryan signed on for that. At this point they essentially conduct the majority of our races.”

Since that first meeting, Silverback has managed and produced “well more” than 200 Color Runs. Connors credits much of the event’s success to Meyers, Robinson and their crew. “The way they conduct themselves and handle business coincides so well with our business model,” Connors said. “Those guys care so much about the participants and they are so dependable. It’s more than doing what they are paid to do. The Silverback crew does whatever needs to be done. No questions asked. They get the job done and we are so happy to work with them. They are the best in the business.” The steady business of working with The Color Run, Ironman and various other races has kept the Silverback crew busy. A full-time staff between 15-20 employees

spend most of the year on the road. Whether it’s driving a truck full of race barriers or flying to meet with city officials, the company is always on the road. “Yeah, we have an employee that sits at a desk all day and make travel arrangements,” Robinson said with a laugh. “I’ve tried to cut back a bit on my travel, but being on the go is part of the deal.” Earlier this year, the company purchased the old Zimmerman Steel building in East Lawrence and has refurbished it into a warm, modern space. Offices are in the front of the building and a large warehouse occupies the back. Robinson and Meyers have big plans for the warehouse and the acreage behind the building, but they’re not quite ready to reveal.

“Well, we do have some pretty big ideas,” Robinson said with a big smile and a laugh. “You know, Free State bottles their beer right behind us and we have this great open space between our buildings and we all love music and getting people together for a good time.” One thing is for sure: Silverback will continue to operate out of Lawrence. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some of the coolest places in the world,” Robinson said. “And I know it sounds cliché to say, but there really isn’t anywhere like Lawrence, Kansas. We couldn’t have a better set up to run our business.” n

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SPACE DESIGNED FOR

G R O W I N G BUSINESS

by ANNE BROCKHOFF photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

W h e n t h o s e stu dents leave KU, we want them to stay here at the BTBC or in Lawrence, rather than moving to Denver, Austin or somewhere else.” -LaVerne Epp

Director of Operations Michael Smithyman & President G.R. Underwood II

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he Bioscience & Technology Business Center at first glance looks much like a typical incubator. Look closer, though, and you’ll see the BTBC’s reach goes far beyond fostering private sector start-ups to embrace everything from University of Kansas spinouts, student-run enterprises, small- and mid-size businesses, Fortune 500 types and international companies. That’s because the BTBC is a unique partnership, one that leverages the assets of KU, the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce with a single goal in mind—grow the region’s bioscience and technology industries. “We want technology and life science-oriented innovators, wherever they’re from,” BTBC President G.R. Underwood said. Since the BTBC’s founding in 2010, it’s collaborated with countless business, university

and government professionals, and is now one of the Midwest’s biggest economic development engines. It now has more than 27 tenant companies that together have 130 employees and an aggregate payroll of more than $6 million. However, the BTBC is about more than current numbers. It’s about potential. The center provides entrepreneurs with resources while forging bonds between them and the community with the hope that they will become a permanent part of the Lawrence and Douglas County landscape. The BTBC, which earlier this year won a $50,000 federal grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, has three locations. Its main facility is on KU’s West Campus and includes customizable office and lab space for tenants that range from medical and life science companies to software, energy and consumer goods enterprises. Three tenants have recently graduated, or grown large and financially stable enough to leave the

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BTBC: Sunlite Science & Technology, which manufactures and markets LED lighting fixtures; drug development company, CritiTech; and 360 Engineers, an energy solutions provider. The BTBC recently completed its $10 million Phase II expansion, adding 30,000 square feet to the main site. The new space includes both wet labs and office space for tenant companies, as well as an office suite for developing companies that need access to amenities, such as a mailing address and conference rooms, but aren’t yet ready to lease a dedicated office. “It’s designed to be a ‘virtual’ suite for entrepreneurs – people working on ideas that could develop into a commercial venture,” said LaVerne Epp, the BTBC’s Executive Chairman. Those entrepreneurs can also then tap into other BTBC resources, such as getting help writing business plans and grant proposals. The expansion will also house KU’s Innovation & Collaboration, which oversees developing and licensing of KU technologies and private industry relationships with KU researchers. There’s also the Catalyst Program, a partnership between the BTBC and KU’s School of Business that aids students in developing their own ideas.

Bioscience & Technology Business Center 2029 Becker Drive Lawrence, KS 66047 (785) 832-2110 www.btbcku.com

“When those students leave KU, we want them to stay here at the BTBC or in Lawrence, rather than moving to Denver, Austin or somewhere else,” Epp said. The BTBC’s Expansion Facility sits a few blocks from the KU campus and includes 17,500 square feet of labs and offices, including highly specialized Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) ready laboratory space for small-scale pharmaceutical concerns. The center also has 20,000 square feet of lab and office space at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. The next goal: add an innovation and research park on KU’s West Campus. KU is supportive of the park, Epp said, and he praises the university’s administration for fostering an entrepreneurial atmosphere on campus. “That really does help us in building an asset that can attract companies to Lawrence in key industry areas,” Epp said. Other initiatives have helped, too. Epp credits the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor,the region between Columbia, Mo. and Manhattan, Kan., which contains what the organization

BTBC interior


claims is the single largest concentration of animal health interests in the world—with helping draw businesses like Simcro. Simcro is the New Zealand-based animal drug delivery device maker, which earlier this year picked Lawrence for its North American headquarters. The Kansas Research and Education Network, a non-profit consortium of educational institutions, allows for other amenities, such as the highest speed Internet connectivity available. Then there are the City of Lawrence, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and Douglas County. Epp and Underwood applaud the efforts of all three to draw new businesses to the region, improve infrastructure and otherwise boost the area’s quality of life. “I think Lawrence is in the early phase of a fairly substantial uptick,” Underwood said. “The timing is right, the community is prepared and the infrastructure is in place, and you’re seeing the fruits of that.” n


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idden in plain sight among unassuming buildings in downtown and north Lawrence are two high-tech biotechnology companies that are working on innovative cancer treatments that could be available on the market in the future. CritiTech, a Lawrence born-and-bred drug development company, operates both its labs and business offices in a space along E. 1450 Rd just north of downtown. Deciphera, with its business headquarters in Boston, Mass. has biology and chemistry labs located on the 600 block of Massachusetts Street- right across from the Free State Brewery. Daniel Flynn, the CSO and Founder of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, received his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry at the University of Kansas. Flynn said that when he established Deciphera in 2003, he could have located the company’s research labs anywhere in the country. He chose Lawrence. “I wasn’t wooed here, I came voluntarily.” Flynn said. “Even back 10 years ago there was a beginning of a desire from the thought leaders of the city wanting to bring Lawrence forward as a regional biotech hub. I wanted to be a part of that. “

Innovation: Developing New Drugs and Deciphera Cynthia Leary Scientist II & Senior Director of Biology Bryan Smith Crititech lab equipment.

New Drug Delivery Systems in Lawrence by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG


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“Our design is to finish Phase I clinical trials in-house, It is all about risk and reward. If we have internal phase-one data that looks good, that leads to more favorable partnerships in the future.” -CSO & Founder of Deciphera Daniel Flynn

President of CritiTech Matthew McClorey with U.S. patents

Deciphera’s labs were originally located at KU’s Life Science Research Laboratories, at 1501 Wakarusa. In 2011, they moved to their downtown location. “It’s surprising that we would have a research lab above Chico’s and the Gap, but we worked with city commission to make them comfortable with being us downtown,” Flynn said. “Lawrence is a wonderful town to work in. At least a third of our hires have been KU graduates or KUaffiliated. We have had no problem tapping into the human resources that have been available here.” Deciphera specializes in developing cancer-fighting pharmaceuticals that use a technology called kinase inhibitors. Kinases are enzymes that transmit signals within cells to help the cells function. Kinase have “switch” mechanisms that allow the enzymes to “turn on” to perform its function, and “turn off ” when not needed. Mutations in a kinase switch can cause a kinase to remain on continually, which can cause a cell to become cancerous. Kinase inhibitors work by targeting the faulty kinase switch, which cuts off the ability of tumor cells to thrive and spread. “Our approach to cancer is not the standard chemotherapy, which is designed to kill any cell whether it is cancer or not,” Flynn said. “Kinase inhibiters are targeted therapeutics – they go into a cell and target the runaway kinase. The side-effect profile is much more favorable this way.”

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Flynn said that Deciphera has spent the past five to six years focusing on researching and developing its specialized kinase inhibitor technology platform to produce drug candidates. It now has five drug candidates at various stages development that utilize the company’s technology. The


Dechipera, front row left to right: Cynthia Leary, Anjanette Wilhelm & Daniel Flynn Back row: Mike Kauffman, Bryan Smith, Linda Martin, Susan McElwain & John Lord

ultimate goal is to advance these candidates into human clinical trials so that they may ultimately be available on the market to treat cancer patients. Clinical trials measure outcomes and assess the safety and effectiveness of a new drug or combination of drugs. New pharmaceuticals undergo three phases of clinical trials before being approved for marketing. Deciphera currently has three drug candidates in Phase I clinical trials, including one that is being developed in partnership with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily.

Flynn said that partnering with Eli Lily in the early stages of clinical trials was in Deciphera’s best interest for this particular drug. However, the company plans to conduct Phase I trials for its other drug platforms in its Lawrence labs when possible. It will then seek strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies once the drugs have advanced to later phases. “Our design is to finish Phase I clinical trials in-house,” Flynn said. “It is all about risk and reward. If we have internal phase-one data that looks good, that leads to more

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Matthew McClorey & Joe Farthing (right) with Jacob Sittenauer

favorable partnerships in the future.” Deciphera recently hired Mike Taylor, a veteran of the bioscience deal-making industry, to serve as its new president and CEO. Taylor communes between Lawrence and Boston offices. “It’s great to have him on board,” Flynn said. “He brings a good business acumen to the company.” Deciphera currently has 16 total employees between the Lawrence and Boston offices. Although the company is currently focusing its attention on a few of its drug platforms, Flynn said that Deciphera has no shortage of other drugs with the potential to advance into clinical trials. “We have a backlog of assets,” Flynn said. “Most companies our size have one or two assets, and they live or die based on those. We have a wealth of riches in our war chest.” Where Deciphera uses its technology to create new drug formulations to fight cancer, CritiTech specializes in reformulating and improving pharmaceuticals that are already on the market. CritiTech is currently working on a reformulated version of the widely administered chemotherapy drug, Paclitaxel. The reformulated drug, which CritiTech has named Nanotax, performed favorably in a recent Phase I clinical trial focusing on ovarian cancer patients at the KU Medical Center. CritiTech reformulates existing drugs using proprietary technology that transforms existing drug formulations into very fine particles. The core base of CritiTech’s technology was developed at KU by researcher, Bala Subramaniam, and CritiTech has continued to evolve and expand this technology, according to CritiTech President Matthew McClorey. Reformulating existing drugs into smaller particles can have a number of benefits, including making drugs less toxic, more effective and easier to administer. McClorey said that CritiTech’s reformulation of Paclitaxel into Nanotax is an ideal example of what can be done with CritiTech’s technology. Paclitaxel is currently administered to ovarian cancer patients intravenously using a toxic delivery agent called

Cremaphor. By reformulating Paclitaxel into smaller particles using its technology, CritiTech’s reformulated version, Nanotax, can be administered straight into the abdomen using water or saline. “This is important because the Cremaphor creates significant toxicity for the patients. And because the Paclitaxel is administered into the vein, those toxic effects are systemic,” McClorey said. “The results of Nanotax Phase I trial indicated that it can be delivered at the site of the tumor, in a higher concentration, for a longer period of time, and without the typical side effects and toxicity that is associated with the drug that is currently on the market.” McClorey said that CritiTech plans to move Nanotax forward in advanced clinical trials, and hopes the drug will be on the market in a few years. He also said that there is a good possibility that Nanotax will be applicable to other cancers including breast, liver and colorectal.


“We think we can improve the lives of ovarian cancer patients with this drug,” McClorey said. “We need to do expanded trials to prove that out, but that is why we are doing what we are doing - to improve the quality of life for these women and hopefully help them to live longer.” With a solid example of what CritiTech’s technology can do well under way, the company is now starting to offer the technology’s service to other drug companies. Just as CritiTech developed a new and improved version of Paclitaxel, it wants to help other pharmaceutical companies. “We have started providing this third-party drug development in this past year,” McClorey said. “We have had some contracts coming in from companies that are exploring the use of our technology as applied to the compounds that they are developing. Just like we developed a new and improved version of Paclitaxel, we want to help other pharmaceutical companies develop a new and improved version of their products.”n


Developing New Systems for Animal Health by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

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t’s a long way from New Zealand to Lawrence, but Andrew Shepherd, President for Simcro North America, says that the New Zealandbased company’s recent decision to set up shop at the Bioscience Technology and Business Center (BTBC) at the University of Kansas was an easy one to make. Founded in 1993, Simcro is a company that manufactures and assembles injection-molded plastic devices that assist in the delivery of pharmaceuticals to livestock. Simcro signed a three-year lease in August for office space in the BTBC, which is located on KU’s West Campus. A U.S. private equity firm, The Riverside Company, acquired controlling stake of Simcro in 2013, which helped springboard Simcro’s expansion into the U.S. “With the high concentration of animal health companies in the Kansas City area, moving to this region was a no-brainer,” Shepherd said. “When we dove down further, we found that the BTBC resonated with what are trying to do. From the networking, to the day to day integration - everything felt right about moving to the BTBC.” Simcro’s pharmaceutical delivery systems, which include highly specialized syringes and nozzles, are designed to help increase efficiency when administering drugs to large groups of animals, and to minimize safety risks for the people administering the drugs. Simcro’s primary reason for expanding into the U.S. was to further develop its relationships with the animal-health companies that use its products. “A pharmaceutical company will typically spend thousands, even millions of dollars developing a drug to put in a bottle,” Shepherd said. “Our business is developing the best way to get that drug out of the bottle and into the animal. We want to work alongside the drug companies to help them provide a point of differentiation in the way their product is delivered -so that the customer can actually enjoy using it.” A high concentration of animal health companies located between Manhattan, Kan. and Columbia, Mo. prompted the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) to brand this region the Animal Health Corridor in 2006. According to KCADC, more than 300 animal health companies located within the Animal Health Corridor make for the largest concentration of animal-health companies in the world, and account for more than half of the sales generated by the global animalhealth industry. The Animal Health Corridor concept has steadily gained traction since 2006, and is now embraced by many local and regional entities. Shepherd said that the KCADC’s Vice President of Bioscience Development, Kimberly Young was instrumental to introducing Simcro to the BTBC, and to facilitating the move to Lawrence. “We are so proud of the regional partnership that exists among the economic development, civic, corporate, academic and governmental leadership in the KC Animal Health Corridor,” Young said, in a recent statement in a KC Animal Health Corridor news release. In addition to being a welcoming place for business, Shepherd noted that Lawrence has a lot to offer relocating families. He said this asset is something that should not be overlooked. “The personal side is as important as the business side of things,” Shepherd said. “When I looked at moving my family around the world, this community ticked all the boxes. Lawrence has come up tops for us.”

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Shepherd is currently the lone member of Simcro’s Lawrence staff, but is in the process of hiring support staff. The company plans to spend the next 12 months researching the market and establishing relationships. After that, Shepherd said that Simcro has ambitious longterm aspirations for its Lawrence operations that could include both the production and manufacturing side of the business. “We’re not just setting up an office and then walking into the sunset. We are here for the Iong-term,” Shepherd said. “We have no intention of shutting it down. We would like to replicate everything that we are doing in New Zealand here.” Simcro’s decision to base itself in Lawrence is one that has local leaders feeling very optimistic as well. “This is a tremendous win not only for the BTBC and the Animal Health Corridor, but for the Lawrence community,” said Lawrence Chamber CEO and EDC President, Larry McElwain. “We are extraordinarily pleased that Simcro chose Lawrence, Kansas to be the base for their North American Operations and we look forward to their continued success.” n

Bottom left: Office Manager Meghan Miller & President Andrew Shepard Above: Andrew Shepard Simcro manufactures and assembles injection-molded plastic devices that assist in the delivery of pharmaceuticals to livestock.


Lights, Better Efficiency

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igh efficiency, bright light and energy savings, what more could you want from an LED (lightemitting diode) light? If you’re Jeff Chen, Founder and Chief Technical Officer of Sunlite Science & Technology, the answer is even greater efficiency, better quality light and more savings. Chen’s spent almost two decades in the industry, and his company is now marketing an ever-growing range of proprietary LED lighting fixtures for residential, commercial and institutional applications. “Our biggest challenge is letting people know that our product has better performance than other LED lights,” Chen said, who launched Sunlite in San Jose, Calif. in 1996 and moved to Lawrence a year later. “It should not cost extra money.” Certainly Chen’s timing is good. The first visible spectrum LEDs were developed in the early 1960s, and scientists worked their way through red, yellow and green light-emitting diodes before eventually developing blue, which was needed to create white light. It led to the commercialization of white LEDs in the 1990s and earned three scientists, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California-Santa Barbara, the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics.

LED lights are now six to seven times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and can cut energy use by more than 80 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Although LED lights still cost more than their conventional counterparts, prices have fallen more than 85 percent since 2008, the DOE stated At the same time, demand’s up, thanks in part to government programs to spur research, minimum energy standards that curtailed U.S. production and importation of incandescent bulbs and consumer hunger for greener products. Sunlite is well-positioned to capture a slice of the LED lighting market, which the DOE projects will account for three-quarters of the total lighting market by 2030. The company’s sales are already growing 10 percent annually, Chen said, and total revenue hit $1.77 million in 2013.

Interior of Bishop Seabury Academy gym lighting by Sunlite Science & Technology Founder Jeff Chen in workshop

That’s a far cry from Sunlite’s early days, when it focused on making LED wafers and chips, the basic LED building blocks responsible for converting electricity into light. Silicon Valley seemed the obvious place to start such a business, but Chen quickly decided Lawrence was a better location.

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For one thing, it was closer to the Denver-based semiconductor equipment maker Sunlite worked with. For another, Chen believed that Lawrence’s tech-friendly climate, along with experienced friends at KU, could help him more quickly establish his LED wafer manufacturing process. Sunlite relocated and continued refining its process. By 2002, it was mass-producing LED wafers, each of which was then cut into tens of thousands of LED chips. However, Chen soon saw the industry’s complexity—many different companies controlling various stages of production throughout the supply chainmade it inherently inefficient. Those inefficiencies prevented LEDs from reaching their full potential, something Chen decided he could realize by vertically integrating his company. “We believe we know more about this technology, and have a deeper understanding of its potential than other LED manufacturers,” Chen said, whose company was named one of Kansas Small Business Development Center’s Existing Businesses of the Year in 2014. Sunlite already had LED wafer and chip manufacturing expertise, so it began turning it into LED modules. It’s a painstaking process in which each miniscule chip is placed on a base and attached to electrical contacts and a fine wire. Manufacturers usually place a protective plastic cover over the LEDs before packaging and shipping, but because Sunlite makes LEDs for its own use, no cover is required. Neither does it mount its LEDs onto circuit boards, as is typical among other companies. Instead, Sunlite mounts bare LEDs directly onto an all-aluminum housing. Not only does eliminating a step reduce labor, it also allows for better heat dissipation. Less heat means less chance of damage to the LED chip or driver, an electrical device that regulates incoming power. “If you can run the LED chip with a lower temperature, you always get better efficiency and longer lifetime,” Chen said.

The LED modules can then easily be combined with various housing fixtures and covered with a glass lens. Using a single lens means light travels through fewer layers of material. The result? Brighter light. Sunlite’s ceiling-mount can-type LED fixtures generate approximately 90 lumens per watt. LPW is a measure of efficiency calculated by dividing total lumens generated by the incoming wattage of electricity. This drops to 80 LPW when taking into account the fixtures run on direct current (DC). On average, other can-type LED lights produce 65 LPW, while incandescent bulbs come at just 10 LPW, Chen said. The company’s modular design means fixtures can be quickly and easily assembled. It’s then hardwired into place, improving durability and eliminating the need for an Edison, or screw-in base. A simple transformer in the electrical system is necessary to convert incoming alternating current (AC) power to DC, but it is otherwise simple to install. Because the LED lights are part of the fixture, there are no additional materials to purchase. When looked at as an entire system, it’s more economical than retrofitting conventional fixtures with LED bulbs, Chen said. “It saves on installation, and it saves on materials,” he said. “For the whole cost, it’s almost the same as the traditional (lighting system).” Sunlite’s sleek, compact fixtures can be fully integrated into a space, making them what Chen calls an embedded component in a room or building. Point source lights, including recessed ceiling mount a cantype light, minus the bulky can, pendant, eyeball or other styles that range from one to two inches in diameter and can be evenly spread throughout a ceiling for even lighting or clustered chandelier-style. Linear fixtures range from four inches to six feet and can be adapted for everything from

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home and office lighting to parking garages and ceiling bay lighting in warehouses. Customers choose their fixture, and then specify the brightness required and whether the lights need to be dimmable. Color, too, can be tailored, since Sunlite’s LED fixtures range from 2,300 Kelvin (K) to 6,000K. Lighting at 2,700K is warmer and well-suited to home interiors, while 3,500K to 4,100K is often found in offices and retail stores and 5,500K is normally used in warehouses. And if they want something not already in Sunlite’s catalog? “We are good at customizing,” Chen said. “We also do our own design here, so for us, it’s easy.” Chen began selling high-powered LED flashlights in 2005 and followed with general LED lighting products in 2008. But as confident as he was in his technology, Chen knew he and his staff needed help taking Sunlite to the next level. Sunlite connected with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) at KU, and it became a Bioscience & Technology Business Center tenant in 2010. The BTBC fosters the region’s bioscience and technology industries through a partnership between KU, the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. It offered exactly the business expertise Sunlite needed. “We’re engineers. We’re good at technology,” Chen said. “We were not good at marketing or running the company, so we thought it best to get some help from the BTBC.” During its tenure at the BTBC, Sunlite updated its business plan, management systems and marketing strategy, while still filling orders from a warehouse on North Iowa Street. By 2013, it was ready to consolidate operations into a single facility.

Residential interior lighting by Sunlite Science & Technology

Sunlite purchased a 21,000 square-foot building on Quail Crest Place with the support of a 50 percent, 10-year tax abatement from the city. Offices account for 5,000 square feet and the remainder is warehouse space. The company now buys top-quality LED chips and other supplies, which are shipped to its 57,000 square-foot, wholly owned factory outside of Shanghai, China. There, LED chips are packaged into LED modules and most lighting fixture components are manufactured before being returned to Lawrence for assembly. The system has so far worked well, product engineer Fong Suo said, but rising fuel and transportation costs have prompted Sunlite to begin making some of its biggest lighting fixtures in Lawrence. She expects additional manufacturing to shift here in coming years. “It’s going to be the trend. We will gradually have a lot of production here,” Suo said, a KU grad who joined Sunlite as an intern in 2002 and came on full-time one year later. She is now one of the company’s five shareholders. Sunlite currently has seven employees, including Chen and Suo; one

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Above left to right: Jay Moser, Fong Suo, Jeff Chen &Nathan Weipert Jeff Chen & Nathan Weipert Interior lighting at Center for Design Reasearch on KU’s west campus

student intern from KU and 30 employees in China. The company will likely add another 40 jobs locally over the next decade in engineering, sales and marketing. Sunlite may also begin searching for a chief executive officer, Chen said. Although Chen doesn’t rule out the possibility of seeking venture capital in the future, the company so far has been financed privately and through earnings reinvestment. “It’s safer for us,” Chen said. “Every year we can grow and make a profit, but the pace is slower.” The company’s client list includes the Stowers Institute, Hallmark, Bishop Seabury Academy, KU’s Studio 804, the City of Lawrence, Natural Breeze Remodeling, Superior Electric Co., Rensenhouse Electric Supply, CWC Electric, Electric Del Sol and others. New clients are continually courted at trade shows, such as the American Institute of Architects Kansas Convention and the Greenbuild Expo in New Orleans, La. Sunlite continues to develop new lighting applications, such as the foodsafe lights now being tested in the meat department at Checker’s in Lawrence. The company is also working on smart lighting that can be controlled remotely from an iPhone or iPad and integrated into other home systems, like security. Such imagination and creativity are what make Chen and Sunlite successful, said LaVerne Epp, the BTBC’s Executive Chairman. “[Chen’s] always looking at new opportunities, and he sees things that probably others don’t,” Epp said. “He’s very entrepreneurial that way.” Sunlite is increasingly active in the Lawrence community as well. It’s supported events such as the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment’s 2014 Hearts of Gold Ball, introduced seventh graders at Southwest Middle School to LED technology and spoken to groups, including the Lawrence chapter of 1 Million Cups and the local AIA chapter. It all feeds into Chen’s and Suo’s continued fascination with LEDs. “We’re still finding our way, so we’re going in all directions and seeing where it will go,” Suo said. n

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Baldwin @ High Speed by SCOTT SHULTZ

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aunching a gigabit Internet service was not part of the original plan for Baldwin City-based software engineering firm, Reflective Group. Founded in 2011, the primary reason behind the startup was the founders’ love for the “moral competitive advantage” of small town America, combined with the lack of jobs for “geeks like them.” This startup quickly made headlines. In more than two years, their story went viral, appearing on the front page of Yahoo! News for reversing the trend of young people leaving small towns. “It was an awesome feeling, until we outgrew the Internet. Then, it became a very real nightmare. Simple website updates took hours to complete instead of a few minutes,” said Mike Bosch, co-founder and CEO.

Mike Bosch, co-founder and CEO.

The company immediately sent requests to the incumbent providers desperate for additional capacity. One provider proposed a two-year contract to simply research options, while another provider didn’t respond for 15 months. The late proposal offered the same capacity as the other provider for nine times the current cost. At that point, Reflective Group’s choices were clear: stay a small company, re-locate to another town with better Internet, or build the 21st century communications infrastructure. Bosch began talking to others throughout the community to better understand what impact the quality of Internet has on the various segments in the community. One of the hallmarks of the digital age is the increasing number of ways to find, organize and share data. These new methods seem to take fast, reliable Internet for granted. Unfortunately, the existing communications

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infrastructure throughout much of America was engineered for something other than moving massive amounts of data. Therein lies the challenge for Lawrence and many other smaller communities. The incumbent service providers must upgrade their legacy infrastructure to keep up the demand for data before someone else comes along and installs today’s gold standard of communication: 100 percent fiber optic network. Incumbents have often been slow to respond to the needs of their consumers, mostly because the threat of new competition is so unlikely. Infrastructure projects require massive amounts of public-private collaboration, engineering and financial resources to be successful. Communications infrastructure adds the complexity of implementing and maintaining technology. According to the American Planning Association, 70 million Millennials, the generation of young people ages 16 to 36, make up one-third of the workforce. As such, the choices these Millennials make will greatly shape our communities for the next 50 years. Also, Millennials rate quality of life as more important than job prospects when choosing a community to call home. RG Fiber has stepped up to answer the speed of light demand in Baldwin City, bringing gigabit Internet to small town America. The official launch of RG Fiber happened on the lawn of Mabee Memorial Hall at Baker University on October 8, with an impressive turnout of support. Local dignitaries spoke about the positive impact RG Fiber will have on Baldwin City. “It means that not only the people who live here now, but people in the future will have the opportunity to live in this great city and work wherever they want because of Gigabit Fiber,” said Mayor Marilyn Pearse. Superintendent, Paul Dorathy, added that digital learning is critical in preparation for children’s success in the 21st century. He mentioned such benefits as digital textbooks, online libraries, 3D printing & modeling, virtual labs and video conferencing to connect students with guest speakers along with other students from around the world. “[RG Fiber] bringing healthcare to you wherever you are on any device you currently have in your purse, pocket or backpack. With high speed gigabit networks we will be able to remotely connect ourselves and loved ones to the desired healthcare providers without leaving work, school or home. This improves attendance records and standard of living for everybody in a family,” said Telemedicine Manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Lisa Large. RG Fiber is advancing Baldwin City into the future. It’s making Baker University, the local school district and the community a more attractive place for Millennials to plant their roots, raise their families and care for their baby boomer parents. RG Fiber is creating a more reliable economic future in Baldwin City and any community utilizing the most advanced communications technology available in the market today. n

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Environment for Creativity

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t a time when banks only seem to make the news for credit-card security breaches and bailouts, Yantra Services hopes to make news for something different: speed. However, not just any kind of speed – the safest kind of speed. Yantra and its banking partner, CDW Financial Services, are creating a platform that will allow users to transfer money between any two bank accounts in the world, instantly and securely through the Web. “If I increase the speed of banking transactions, what’s the point if it’s not secure? If you build a car that can go really fast, you need to have a brake that can stop it really fast too,” said Yantra Services President and CEO Suresh Ramamurthi, who is also the vice chairman of CDW Bank. Yantra is beta-testing Global Remit, its international money remittance product that allows for transferring money worldwide to any bank account. Think Western Union, but electronically and instantly through banks. Pending regulatory hurdles, and there are many, Ramamurthi hopes to have Global Remit fully operational by the end of 2014. If things go for Yantra as Ramamurthi envisions, Global Remit will be the beginning of many

innovative banking technologies that Yantra Services will create, including virtual currency, card processing and healthcare payments. The word “yantra” is an ancient Sanskrit word that means “machine” or “device.” Ramamurthi said that the idea of there being a word for “machine” thousands of years before the Industrial Revolution is exactly how Yantra’s services are, far ahead of the banking industry. “The bank account as we know it today is a 300-yearold institution,” he said. “Our mission is redefining the bank account; we expect banking to be much smarter. Today, can you send money to any bank account instantly on a Sunday? Can you send money instantly to any country? Can you pay your bills with the bank already knowing the amount? It should know the amount.”

Above: Yantra Services Interior CEO Suresh Ramamurthi

Yantra Services plans to provide its services both as its own entities and as a backbone for existing banks to offer its customers. With all of the innovation and excitement about the potential features, Ramamurthi emphasizes that he is very serious about security.

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He said that Yantra’s engineers are developing a real-time risk management system that is unlike what other online banking operations have. For example, Yantra will offer automatic cross-referencing with the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s blacklisted individuals and will tag them as high-risk customers so that banks are aware and can screen for identity thieves and financial terrorists. Yantra will also create its own technologies for fraud management, allowing banks that use Yantra’s service to customize authorization rules and use its specialized reporting techniques for when there is an anomaly in an account’s use. As it approaches the Global Remit launch, the company is growing. This fall, it has hired Java engineers and marketing interns. After the first of the year, Yantra will likely create a customerservice staff and hire more employees to assist with both user issues and technology questions for the service. “They are very much the definition of a primary employer, and those are valuable to have in a community,” said Will Katz, Regional Director of University of Kansas’ Small Business Development Center. “We should all be excited to have them as part of the community, both as corporate citizens and from an economic development standpoint.” The company began in Topeka, and still has an office there. The Lawrence office opened this summer and is located in a storefront on Mass St. that previously housed a retail antiques business and other retail outlets. Jason Peters is Yantra Services’ operations manager and oversees the employees who choose to work in Lawrence, all employees can work at whichever office they prefer on any given day, as well as the office renovations. “Most of us prefer our Lawrence office. A 12- to 14-hour day here feels like less than an 8-hour day in our Topeka office,” Peters said. Yantra flexible office space.

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Yantra recently made news in Lawrence for both its choice of office location inside a former retail space, and its request to the Lawrence City Commission for sidewalk space for its employees to work. The city commission voted 3-2 to grant the request. Soon, Yantra employees will be able to take their laptops and electronic devices outside and take in the Mass St. atmosphere while they work.


“When you work all day on a computer, you need to step out once in a while. We appreciate the city letting us do it,” Ramamurthi said. “Sitting out there, I’m sure our people will be tempted to buy some ice cream. They’ll see people walk by with a drink in their hand, and they will want it. It will be good for retail.” Katz said that he understood why Yantra Services would want to be downtown, like other banks and law firms. “If you’re tethered to a screen, it must be refreshing to be able to open the door and go out to the fresh air and an active environment,” Katz said. Peters and Ramamurthi said that Yantra Services will be part of Lawrence’s monthly Final Fridays art walk, featuring works by local artists. Already, the office is decorated with art from SeedCo co-operative, including the storefront window, which Peters said, the company plans to continue to use as an art display. “We could have easily come in and put blinds up and been offices. But it’s all part of the experience of Lawrence. Why not share artists with the community? It helps us blend in,” Peters said. The tri-level interior has required some renovations to make it a functional office space. Peters said that they installed new flooring throughout, cleaned and sealed the original rock walls, and enclosed the loft area in glass to make it a private conference room. As they add furniture and expand the number of employees, it will be difficult to remember that it once was a store. And, it will set up Yantra Services to accomplish its goals. “It’s always a lot of fun when you’ve done something innovative and you’re actually building something new. It’s a good time to be that company,” Ramamurthi said. n


BOOTH’S BOOMER [PERSPECTIVE] by HANK BOOTH photos by STEVEN HERTZOG

Internet….What Me Worry??? F

ew people who know “good ole Hank” pretty well would describe me as a man of few words. Most, even good friends and certainly my family, would put me in the opposite category – often with far too many words and lots of opinions on any topic you choose. Just try me out someday. So why the heck did it take me nearly a month to write this confounded article about the Internet, and the high tech world it has placed at the fingertips of us all. The bottom line, when it comes to this computer I’m writing on, I’m still in the first grade and that wonderful teacher, Mrs. Ryther, who helped me learn to read back in my days at Pinckney School, is nowhere around to help me out. I’ve started it five times, this is the sixth, and now my already extended deadline is way overdue. Time to produce Booth... Those of us serving on the Board of Directors of DCSS have taken on the task of promoting our town and county as a great place to retire. I like the task because it’s right at the heart of my favorite thing to do, and that’s to promote Lawrence, the University of Kansas, and all of Douglas County. I grew up here, went to KU and returned with our young family in 1973 after a stint in the army. This has been a great place to raise that family, be in business, work as a volunteer and, for the most part, enjoy life.

I don’t have to go into the high tech arena of the Internet to show you how important this technology will be in getting the word out worldwide on why this area is a great place to live. They are talking about us in magazine articles, news stories, retirement research and editorial commentary, and it is very positive information. Let’s start with a basic fact for me and for most of my Baby Boomer crowd. We don’t have any intention of “retiring!” The thought is almost repulsive. Cut back on 60-70 hour work weeks, choose only fun jobs to do, spend more time helping others find happiness and success in life, travel - the list of new jobs to do is endless; but it sure isn’t “retirement” the way we grew up thinking it was. Bottom line, there’s sure a great deal to do right here in my hometown. So, that leads us to the title that the DCSS Board and our project partners have selected for our economic development initiative - “ReInvent Retirement, Live the Lawrence Life.” We will officially kick off the first marketing efforts in January, but you are getting a sneak preview. Every day in the U.S. there are 10,000 of us post-World War II babies hitting age 65, and that will be going on until the year 2030. There are lots of us, and many are looking for that perfect place to settle in (notice I didn’t say settle down). Lawrence and Douglas County are already getting national attention as a good location to consider. We will use that buildup of positive reports about


Lawrence and Douglas County to help tell the story about why this is a great place to live. Right at the top of the list is that we are a college town with a wonderful university and thousands of graduates who scattered around the world to do their life’s work. Heading back to old KU sounds downright pleasant. Rock Chalk, let’s go to the game, the Lied, the University Theater or back to class. Our location in the center of the country and not in a big city, but near one, also is getting high marks. Our great downtown, with Massachusetts St. named the top attraction in the state of Kansas and one of the best downtown’s in the nation. Travel and Leisure even named Lawrence one of the “quirkiest towns” in the country. I kind of like that. AARP tells us Kansas is one of the healthiest states for people over the age of 65. We have a top rated community hospital, the Arbor Day Foundation has named Lawrence “Tree City, USA” several times. We know how to celebrate with the Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin, the CPA events in Eudora, Lecompton Territorial Days and the best Old Fashioned Christmas Parade in the nation here in Lawrence. Every month there is a list of fun and neat things to do. The arts scene in Lawrence is rapidly gaining a national reputation and people travel for miles every Final Friday to see the displays. All of this and much more is told in story after story that we can use to promote Lawrence and Douglas County to potential future residents. Thank you Internet. After looking at all those sites about my favorite place to live, I think we’ll get along much better in the future. n


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Lawrence Memorial Hospital Continues Quality Journey by GENE MEYER, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF LAWRENCE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

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awrence Memorial Hospital strives to be the best community hospital in the country. As we continue our journey for excellence we have launched an initiative, known at LMH as “Operational Excellence,” based on the principles of Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a structured program of quality and process improvement that stresses customer focus and fact-based decision making. What started as a statistical tool to measure performance in manufacturing, has evolved to the healthcare field. Lean Six Sigma has shown amazing results in improving the operational and financial health of many organizations, and enhancing the outcomes of care for the people it serves. I’m sure most would probably agree with the following statements as they relate to healthcare today: We can be sure that we will be expected to do more with less. Payments for our programs and services, whether in the form of Medicare or Medicaid, insurance contracts, or from individuals we serve, are far more likely to shrink rather than to grow in the future. We must find ways to take cost out of the system while not compromising our ability to provide the very best in care for our patients. We can be sure that our organization and each and every employee will be held to higher standards of accountability. As a community hospital we have made a “social contract” with the public that essentially says in return for the privilege of serving our community’s healthcare needs we will be thoughtful stewards of their trust and our resources. We can be sure that market forces will continue to create higher demands on those providing care. It is expected that we will continuously and intentionally get better every day. We need to continue our efforts to streamline processes, reduce variation and improve outcomes if we want to remain viable players in the modern healthcare marketplace.

greatly on how well work processes are designed and what level of resources are committed to them. Lean Six Sigma focuses on improving processes to meet customer needs and eliminate waste. We can’t lose sight of the fact that our patients’ experiences with LMH are shaped by people and the processes through which they work. All the jargon and tools of the system notwithstanding, the fundamental key to Lean Six Sigma is engagement with people who believe in the mission, vision and values of an organization and are committed to serving their customers efficiently, effectively and with respect. At LMH, we already have a strong culture grounded in this very philosophy. From earning the Kansas Award of Excellence 10 years ago to achieving recognition as a Truven Analytics 100 Top Hospital today, LMH has been committed to continuous quality improvement.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Lawrence Memorial Hospital Gene Meyer

Operational Excellence holds the promise of positioning LMH to continue to succeed and serve its mission well into the future. We are embracing this opportunity to add some new tools and learn new methods to help us continue to be the best community hospital. I welcome your input and feedback at any time. Please contact me directly at (785) 505-6130 or email me at gene.meyer@lmh.org. n

About Lawrence Memorial Hospital Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH) is a 173-bed not-for-profit health care provider serving a regional market in northeast Kansas. Supported by 1,300 associates and 250 physicians, LMH is regularly recognized nationally for quality and service, including being named as one of the 100 Top Hospitals® in the country by Truven Health Analytics in 2013 and 2014. LMH was the only hospital from Kansas to earn this honor. Becker’s Hospital Review also named LMH to its 100 Great Community Hospitals list for the past two years. For the past four years, LMH has been named one of the nation’s “Most Wired” Hospitals. Most recently, for the third consecutive year, LMH has been named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission. n

Lean Six Sigma is partly about employing techniques of data analysis and process improvement and partly about changing people’s mindsets and organizational cultures. The people factor is very closely related to the process factor, because performance depends

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WHY [LOCAL] by MARK FAGAN photos by STEVEN HERZOG

[Challenging Young Minds] Entrepreneurial pathway to offer students opportunities to ‘make a difference’

Engineering Design Class Marble Challenge

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omeday, Price Morgan wants to build a concussion-proof helmet to protect his football teammates from head injuries. Nia Rutledge aspires to develop a revolutionary personal health device, one that can scan the human body for anything from a cold to cancer.

assigned tasks, relying on nothing more than the collective ingenuity of students in Room 141.

But today, these classmates at Lawrence High School are staring at a more immediate problem: a brown paper sack filled with tape, twine, paper clips and other stuff you might find in the bottom of desk drawer – materials they must use to steer, stop and move a pushed marble through a series of

“I have high hopes for myself,” Rutledge said, her 16-year-old mind turning. “And if you can’t work with the basics, how can you be expected to work well with more elaborate substances?”

Rutledge doesn’t blink. Designing and assembling a contraption in the classroom just could be the next step to one day changing the world.

Just wait till next year. Rutledge and Morgan, now busy in their Engineering Design class at LHS, will be among other juniors and seniors able to enroll in decidedly more high-tech coursework in August, as several new career-readiness programs begin at the Lawrence school district’s new College & Career Center in southeast Lawrence. Among the pathways will be an entrepreneurial track, an outlet for students looking for hands-on experience designing, building, creating and otherwise preparing for a real world where innovation increasingly is in demand.

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Junior Riley Costlow problem solving


Engineering Design Class teacher Charlie Lauts working with junior Price Morgan as Chase Odgers looks on.

Students will identify problems, brainstorm solutions and, eventually, build prototypes. “It may be a product,” said Patrick Kelly, the district’s Director of Career and Technical Education. “It may be a service. Who knows? It’ll be letting them set their own course. It’s for them to figure out.”

“I know that I want to have an impact on the world, no matter what I do, but I have so much to learn,” she said. “I think that given the right materials, and the right instruction, I could definitely create an idea for something new that could make a difference.”

Already envisioning concepts is Rutledge, a junior who will have enough credits to graduate this spring but plans to stick around LHS for a chance to flex her creativity. She likes the idea of advancing the smartwatches of today into the most ubiquitous of wellness devices for tomorrow.

Make it Work At LHS, Rutledge and her classmates in Engineering Design are already learning how to put ideas to work and finding that it’s not always easy. Take their assignment for manipulating the marble using only the materials given to them:

Remember those hand-held body scanners in Star Trek? Now imagine something smaller, sleeker and available for use by more than a starship’s doctor – think everyone, everywhere and as often as anyone would like a checkup.

12 inches of ½-inch-wide masking tape 6 inches of twine Four sewing pins Three straws (the kind used to stir coffee)

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Two paper clips A 6-by-9-inch piece of paper A one-egg section cut from an egg carton A 5-inch-long strip of ½-inch-thick Styrofoam Teacher Charlie Lauts ramps up the pressure even more by asking students, after having worked on their contraptions for 30 minutes, to trade places with someone else. Thirty minutes later everyone switches yet again – picking up where someone else had left off, working from a different set of plans and, in all likelihood, moving in an entirely different direction. Think. Adjust. Attempt. Repeat. “You’ve got to make it work,” Lauts said, who has been teaching engineering classes at LHS for more than two decades. “It’s about adversity. You’ve got to be innovative through adversity.” The creative process promises to be even more challenging for budding entrepreneurs at the College & Career Center, but they’ll be advancing their efforts by identifying real-world problems to solve, not just trying to keep a marble on track. Morgan, a Lions linebacker and tight end who wants to develop a safer football helmet, already knows one problem he’ll need to solve: finding time for the class. Enrollment at the center likely will require a three-hour window, and he’ll need to work around weightlifting and other classes. He wants to line up a concept, perhaps using titanium, that could improve safety on the field. “You hear that line all the time: Find a way to make the world a better place,” Morgan said. “I want to come up with a cool innovation that can make a difference.” Resources Abound Students bringing their ideas to the center will find plenty of support. More than 100 engineers, designers, managers and others are volunteering as mentors as students develop business plans, devise marketing strategies and even create prototypes using 3-D printers, laser cutters and other equipment. The raw materials are available, Kelly said. The students’ energy will make all the difference. “I hope they come up with great, innovative solutions,” he said. Rutledge is expecting nothing less. She’s confident that the students of today will be making the major discoveries of tomorrow. She figures that the history books one day will refer to these times as the “Technological Enlightenment,” judging by the speed and breadth of recent advancements and the promise of what’s to come. “I definitely want to do things that are useful,” she said. “Whatever I create will be around a lot longer than I will.” Kelly has good news for Rutledge, Price and any other student who put their ideas to work next year at the College & Career Center - there won’t be any need to call an attorney. “The students will own their intellectual property,” Kelly said. “But when they get rich, I just hope they give the district a nice gift.” n

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Seniors Zak McAlister & Nate Hulse working on assignment Junior Nia Rutledge taking up the Marble Challenge


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NEWS [MAKERS] PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Mock named Business Development Officer at Truity Credit Union Truity Credit Union is proud to announce that Tim Mock has been promoted to Business Development Officer. In this position, Mock will facilitate the credit union’s support of and contributions to Lawrence businesses, as well as civic, charitable, local and state organizations. “We are so pleased that Tim is our new Business Development Officer,” said Vice President Ginger Wehner. “During his time as Branch Manager at our South branch, he has developed many working relationships with community leaders and organizations. His years of experience and knowledge of the community make him an invaluable asset to the credit union and a great fit for this position.” Mock is a graduate of the University of Kansas and has eight years of retail banking management in the Lawrence area. He is active with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Business Networks International and Junior Achievement of Douglas County. “I’m eager to work with local businesses and organizations to find ways that Truity Credit Union can partner with them to contribute to the growth of our community,” said Mock.

Johnston named Branch Manager at Truity Credit Union Truity Credit Union, formerly KU Credit Union, is proud to announce that Kaylee Johnston is now the Branch Manager at their Campus location at the corner of 23rd and Naismith. “We are so pleased that Kaylee is the new branch manager at our Campus location,” said Vice President, Regional Manager Ginger Wehner. “She’s one of our success stories. We hired her as a part-time teller when she was a student at Lawrence High School, and she’s been an invaluable asset to us since then. Now that she’s graduated from KU, we’re happy that she’s chosen to launch her professional career with us, and proud to be doing our part to keep talented KU alumni here in Lawrence.” Johnston graduated from KU School of Business in May with a degree in Management & Leadership with a concentration in Human Resources. She has been with Truity Credit Union for eight years, previously serving as teller, member consultant, lead member consultant and senior member consultant. She volunteers with Junior Achievement and Douglas County Toys 4 Tots. “’I am so excited to continue my career with Truity,” said Johnston. “I love this company and look forward to being a leader here and continuing to provide unsurpassed experiences to members here in the branch as well as out in the community.”

Craig Lane joins Sunflower Bank as Mortgage Lender Craig Lane has joined Sunflower Bank as a mortgage loan originator. In this capacity, Lane will continue to expand Sunflower Bank’s residential lending relationships in the Lawrence and Topeka area and making certain area residents enjoy a convenient, high-quality mortgage experience. Lane has 31 years of experience in the financial industry including 17 years of commercial and consumer lending coupled with 14 years of mortgage lending. Most recently, he served as branch manager for Gateway Funding. “Craig is a great addition to the Sunflower Bank team,” said Glynn Sheridan, regional president for Sunflower Bank. “He has a knack for really understanding the customer and their goals. His energy and charisma pair well with the bank and we’re excited to see how he will Create Possibility for our customers.” He is involved with Junior Achievement, United Way, Lawrence Free State High School Forensics, Lawrence Board of Realtors and Topeka Area Association of Realtors.

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Mize Houser & Company P.A. Named One of INSIDE Public Accounting’s Top 200 Firms of 2014 Mize Houser & Company P.A., a regional certified public accounting and information technology firm, with offices in Topeka, Lawrence and Overland Park, Kansas has been named one of INSIDE Public Accounting’s Top 200 firms of 2014. “With more than 540 firms participating in the IPA annual Survey and Analysis of Firms this year, along with many CPA firm associations contributing to the search to identify the IPA 200, this prestigious group joins the IPA 100 as the definitive ranking of the nation’s largest public accounting firms,”  says Kelly Platt, principal of The Platt Group, the publisher of IPA. Mize Houser first debuted on the list at #157 in 2011, which was only the second year the list was published. The firm has risen to rank at #139 in 2014.

Keeping your school photography local.

SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHY

Your LOCAL source for QUALITYschool photography with OPTIONS. Creative Road Studio Lawrence Kansas www.CreativeRoadStudio.com


THE LOCAL

[SCENE] Maple Leaf Festival


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Lawrence Habitat for Humanity Happy Homes Happy Hour

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NEW DOUGLAS COUNTY BUSINESSES [ OCT to DEC 2014 ] ACUMEN CONSULTING, LLC 983 N 300th Road Baldwin City 66006 AMW LLC 901 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044

DNA LOGISTICS LLC 507 Oak Leaf Court Baldwin City 66006

AMY’S ATTIC LLC 700 Locust Lawrence 66044

DWB ACCOUNTING CONSULTANTS LLC 3213 Creekwood Drive Lawrence 66049

ANTE RENTALS LLC 3017 Wellington Court Lawrence 66049

ELI KABIR LLC 1335 Connecticut Lawrence 66044

ARLINGTON4313 LLC 4520 Cedar Ridge Ct. Lawrence 66049

EPIC FUN LLC 1115 E 1400 rd Lawrence 66046

ASSOCIATION OF KOREAN SOCIOLOGIST IN AMERICA 4604 Wimbledon Drive Lawrence 66047

EVOKE MEDICAL, LLC 624 Locust St Lawrence 66044

BLUE OASIS TACOS, LLC 1339 Engel Rd Lawrence 66044 BOARDWALK LAWRENCE HOLDINGS, LLC 643 Massachusetts Street Lawrence 66044 BUETTSCAPING, LLC 2312 Hawthorn Drive Lawrence 66047 BUILDAPRESENCE. COM LLC 3100 W 22nd St Lawrence 66047 BUILDING SPECIALTIES AND SOLUTIONS, LLC 25761 Loring Road Lawrence 66044 CCLH, LLC 1547 Legend Trail Drive Lawrence 66047 CMN COLLECTION, LC 1501 Kasold Dr Lawrence 66047 COMPANYBUZZ LLC 730 New Hampshire Street Lawrence 66044 CONSOLIDATED SKYBOUND LLC 901 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044

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COOPER D LLC 1313 Connecticut St. Lawrence 66044

HARPER FINANCIAL STRATEGIES, LLC 1120 Summerfield Way Lawrence 66049

MYRIAD CAPITAL OF KANSAS LLC 645 W Vermont St Lawrence 66044

SCHNAER FAMILY WINES, LLC 3311 Clinton Parkway Court Lawrence 66047

HB VETERINARY COMMUNICATIONS, LLC 414 E 13th Street Lawrence 66044

NATIVE AMERICAN RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT INC 16 E 13th Lawrence 66044

SOMETHING BLUE SALON, LLC 3505 Firefly Lawrence 66049

HOOPLA ENTERPRISES, LLC 1200 Oak Tree Drive Lawrence 66049

NORTH JETTY LLC 516 Ames St Baldwin City 66006

HTW, LLC 1783 E 1500 Lawrence 66044

O-ZONE LLC 1120 Pennsylvania Street Lawrence 66044

HUXBOT, LTD 4000 6th Street Lawrence 66049

OMNI UNIVERSAL TRAINING LLC 1908 19th Street Lawrence 66046

EXCEL PAINTING LLC 2726 Bonanza Street Lawrence 66046

JAYHAWK LIQUOR AND SPIRITS LLC 701 W 9th Street Lawrence 66044

ON CUE FITNESS LLC 3700 Clinton Pkwy Lawrence 66047

EZ EYE FLY LLC 2420 Orchard Lane Lawrence 66049

K3RS LLC 734 Walnut St Lawrence 66044

OWH CONSTRUCTION, LLC 436 Eldridge Lawrence 66049

FOX CHASE PROPERTIES LLC 5216 Fox Chase Drive Lawrence 66049

KAW SAND COMPANY, INC. 643 Tennessee Lawrence 66044

RADICAL TEAMWEAR INC. 2200 E 23rd Street Lawrence 66046

FREE STATE LABS LLC 1717 Bob White Drive Lawrence 66047

KEEZ LANDSCAPE AND HOME SERVICES LC 3719 Tucker Trail Lawrence 66049

RALEY COMPANY LLC 3424 W 19th Ct Lawrence 66049

FREESTATE TRANSPORATION, LLC 2244 Barker Street Lawrence 66046 FRONTIER INVESTIGATIONS LLC 1023 N 1116 Road Lawrence 66047

LAWRENCE HELPERS, LLC PO BOX 3135 Lawrence 66046 MAAKALI LLC 3025 W 6th Street Lawrence 66049

RESET LLC 1611 W 8th Terrace Lawrence 66044 RESTAURANT EQUITY MANAGEMENT, LLC 900 Massachusetts Street Lawrence 66044 ROCK CHALK COUNTRY CLUB, LLC 643 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044

FUNK PET VENTURES, L.L.L. 5111 Eagle Ridge Court Lawrence 66047

MARIN IMMIGRATION LAW, LLC 805 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044

GASTON’S QUALITY LAWN CARE, L.L.C. 1185 N 900 Rd Lawrence 66047

MLFCREATIONS LLC 515 Nigel Drive Lawrence 66049

ROGER FINCHER, ATTORNEY AT LAW, INC. 1700 Inverness Drive Lawrence 66047

MUSICK INVESTMENTS LLC 4600 Wimbledon Drive Lawrence 66047

SAMIR ARIF LLC 3501 Sweetgrass Court Lawrence 66047

GOT SOLITAIRE LLC 3709 Brush Creek Dr Lawrence 66047

SANTEE CONSTRUCTION, LLC 3101 Creekwood Dr Lawrence 66049

SOOTS ME CHIMNEY SWEEP LLC 730 E 1452 Road Baldwin City 66006 STREAMLINE RESTORATION LLC 2116 Delaware Street Lawrence 66046 SUMMER TREE OFFICE, LLC 708 Fox Chase Ct. Lawrence 66049 SUN CEDAR INC. 414 Minnesota Street Lawrence 66044 TIPPMANN PARTS, LLC 413 Pasadena Dr Lawrence 66049 UNITED ENTERPRISES, LLC 300 Flame Way Baldwin City 66006 VASANTHAM LLC 3115 W 6th Street Lawrence 66049 VIKINGS PROPERTIES LLC 5904 Drum Ct Lawrence 66049 VINTAGE GREENMARK CONSTRUCTION, INC. 790 N 2nd St Lawrence 66044 WAYWARDS, LLC 1114 Parkside Road Lawrence 66046 WESTERN BUILDING, LLC 832 Pennsylvania Street Lawrence 66044 WITT PROPERTIES LLC 4120 Trail Road Lawrence 66049


WH OSE DESK? Be the first to correctly guess which local business figure works behind this desk. Winner receives a $50 gift card to 23rd Street Brewery. facebook.com/lawrencebusinessmagazine



Lawrence Business Magazine 2014 Q4