Page 1



The University of Kansas: The Economic Engine that Drives Lawrence By Tom Kern Did you ever wonder how much KU actually spends in the Lawrence business community each year on goods and services? We are just talking about the University of Kansas and not its three other subsidiaries (KU-Endowment, KU-Alumni and KU-Athletics). These three organizations inject a great deal of revenue into the local economy, but this article only focuses on the University itself. First and foremost is the $310 million that KU put into the local economy from the payroll of its 9,691 Lawrence campus employees. Many of these employees live in Lawrence. They purchase goods and services here and pay taxes that support our schools, the City and the County. In 2008 the University of Kansas spent over $13,000,000 with Lawrence based businesses. KU purchased a variety of goods and services, everything from flowers to office supplies, to construction materials and professional services. Listed below, by category, is a sampling of the purchases made by KU with Lawrence businesses in 2008: • Construction (includes materials, supplies, labor, etc) • Municipal Services (water, sewer, waste collection, etc) • Professional Services (Legal, Architectural, Engineering, etc) • Child Care

$ $ $ $

2,579,000 2,076,000 1,709,000 970,000

Continued on page 5




In this month’s NEWSletter you will see the first in a series of four articles on the economic impact of the University of Kansas on the Lawrence/Douglas County economy. There is no question that if you ask people about KU they all know that the University is the economic engine that drives Lawrence and Douglas County. But many times people lose sight of this fact because KU is also such an interwoven part of our community’s social, cultural and community character. Over the next four months you will be able to read articles that highlight some economic facts about KU and its impact on Lawrence. The first article, on the University itself, appears this month and will be followed by articles on KU Athletics, KU Alumni and finally on KU Endowment. In each of these articles we will provide you with the economic facts on KU. We will not get into economic models, direct and indirect spending, job creation models, etc. All those mechanisms have a function but my thought in writing these articles is to just provide you with the economic facts and trust you to de-

Tom Kern President& CEO

velop your own assumptions as to what they mean to you as an individual and as a member of the Lawrence business community. KU continues to be the economic cornerstone of Lawrence and the recent announcement from KBA of a $3.2 million grant for the KU/ Lawrence Bioscience Incubator only adds to that opportunity. Investments from the KBA, KU, the city and the county mean that our new $7.2 million incubator project should be under construction sometime this summer. Please feel free to contact me regarding your thoughts on this series of articles and thank you for your continued support of the Chamber.


RIGHT NOW is the TIME to SAVE your All you have to do is to provide us with 1,200 promotional items such as brochures, ads, flyers or coupons by 5 p.m., March 23, and we will take care of everything else. The cost is only $100. If you would like to participate, please contact Christy Bogner at 785-8654490 or email at no later than March 16. The mailing is scheduled to be mailed on Wed., April 1 to all Chamber Members.




y terl l r a u ai ur Q ect M o f ir o age ber D t n a m adv to Me e k er Ta mb ign. e M pa Cam Exclusive offer for Chamber members only!

2 Lawrence Kansas Chamber of Commerce • 734 Vermont, Ste. 101 • Lawrence, KS 66044


March 2009

Absorbent, Ink. by Natasha Buller Whether you are an individual or a big corporation, Absorbent, Ink. is at your disposal. Offering a wide selection of promotional products, the company has been helping customers with their marketing campaigns and events for more than 16 years. From pens to golf products to apparel, Absorbent, Ink. sells about 10,000 products online to clients from around the world. “Because of our excellent partnerships in our industry, we have access to literally half a million products. Anything you can put a logo on, we can do it,” Vice President Kristin Eldridge said. Some of Absorbent, Ink.’s well known clients include ConocoPhillips, Merrill Lynch, Eddie Bauer, Colgate, Palmolive, Nike, Coca-Cola, Countrywide, Budweiser, The Walt Disney Company and Morgan Stanley. “Since we have a big online presence, our clients are from around the world,” Eldridge said. “Now, we are focusing on getting the word out locally.” Absorbent, Ink. began as an advertising agency, called PilgrimPage, Inc. In 1991, two talented musicians, Billy Pilgrim and Lee Eldridge who were former band mates, worked for an entertainment publication where Lee was an editor and Bill was a marketing designer. They worked together so well, they decided to open their own business. Eventually, the company began to specialize in promotional products, and in 2000 Absorbent, Ink. was formed. In 2007, the company was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the top 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the country. Today, with 30 employees, and a gross revenue of 5.4 million, Absor-

From left: President Lee Eldridge, Vice President Kristin Eldridge and Founder and Creative Director Billy Pilgrim.

bent, Ink. is providing companies with measurable results in brand promotion and helping to steer the industry towards better practices. One of the unique characteristics about Absorbent, Ink. is their incredible dedication to customer service and employee relations. “We treat each other right, and we treat our customers right. It’s the Absorbent Experience,” Founder and Creative Director Billy Pilgrim said. For employees, the “Absorbent Experience” includes programs such as a service award, “Big Deal,” Employee Wellness Program, and the Absorbent, Ink. Dollars (AID) program, which is designed to provide immediate financial support for the employees during times of personal crises. It is funded through voluntary employee contributions, and any employee is eligible to receive AID. “If you’re family, you’re family,” Pilgrim said. “Whether you’ve been with the company one day or three years, you get help.” In addition to the AID program, which has been very rewarding for Absorbent employees, the company also likes to have fun, especially during the holidays. Annual decoration contests are popular among Absorbent employees. During Halloween, the office transforms into a ghost town, and during Christmas and New Year, it becomes a disco dance floor.

Halloween at Absorbent, Ink.

This is the Absorbent Experience in a nutshell. Be sure and check out their website at for more information about their company. Absorbent, Ink.’s headquarters is located in the McGrew Nature Preserve in the Landplan Engineering building at 1310 Wakarusa Dr., Ste. 101. 785.865.4411 •



Enough Talk! Let’s Work! Recently Proposed KU Bioscience Incubator will Have a Major Impact on Business Development

by Natasha Buller If you’ve had enough talk about bioscience this... bioscience that...job creation here...job creation there..., and are ready to see some work, you’re in for a treat. In the last few years, local economic development leaders, including the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence-Douglas County Bioscience Authority, Lawrence Regional Technology Center, University of Kansas, City of Lawrence and Douglas County, have been working together with the Kansas Bioscience Authority in hopes to make Lawrence and Douglas County a major player in the bioscience industry, create more job opportunities and enhance the economic vitality of Lawrence and Douglas County. The Investment Committee of the Kansas Bioscience Authority met Feb. 5 to hear a proposal for a 20,000square-foot bioscience incubator to be built on KU’s west campus near the Multidisciplinary Research Building, the Structural Biology Center and the proposed site for a new pharmacy school building. The Investment Committee approved the KBA staff recommendation to invest $3.25 million into the incubator project. The incubator will provide office and lab space for new companies in the life science fields. The goal is to accommodate and attract companies that come to KU to conduct their research with the hope they stay in Lawrence. “An issue that we discuss often in Lawrence and Douglas County is the need for space for companies. The incubator is one step closer to being able to provide a facility for companies, which would become an important part of the community,” Vice President of Economic Development for the Chamber Beth

Johnson said. “Without a location, they end up in another county, state or region. Providing a home for them here is making progress towards adding jobs and increasing the tax base in Lawrence and Douglas County.” While the Investment Committee’s approval was an indicator of the KBA’s support, it has yet to be approved by the full board of the Kansas Bioscience Authority. Further discussion and hopefully a vote on of this project will likely take place in March. The $3.25 million in funding would be in addition to $4 million in funding that will be provided by local groups over a 10-year period. KU would offer the land for the incubator and $1.5 million in cash during a period of three to five years. A total of $750,000 will be provided by the city and county during the 10-year period. The Lawrence-Douglas County Bioscience Authority would support the project with $500,000. The center would not only accommodate researchers in the life science fields, it will also provide a home for the nonprofit Lawrence Regional Technology Center. Furthermore, the incubator will offer business planning and management services to new technology companies. “When I started my job at the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce in November 2008, I knew we needed to focus on job creation,” President and CEO of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Tom Kern said. “There was no question that the incubator project can do just that. I was very pleased to hear about this $3.2 million grant recommendation. It is great news for Lawrence and Douglas County.” If the KBA board approves the project, construction on the facility will be moving fast and may start as early as this summer with a grand opening in spring 2010.

Veterinary Research Company moving to Lawrence from New York A startup veterinary research company, ANOxA announced Tuesday morning that it would relocate its headquarters and research and development operations to Lawrence from West Seneca, N.Y. “Considering the Kansas City area’s concentration of animal health companies, universities excelling in veterinary research and potential animal health collaborators, we find this environment very appealing,” ANOxA President Herman Haenert said. “We know this is where we need to be.”

The company plans to begin operating at the North Lawrence location on 619 N. Second St. in spring 2009. Haenert and a management team will be based in Lawrence. The management team consists of research experts from the New Bolton Center, the world’s premier equine research facility at the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the former director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. The company plans to hire additional

4 Lawrence Kansas Chamber of Commerce • 734 Vermont, Ste. 101 • Lawrence, KS 66044

Continued on page 10


March 2009

Business After Hours

It is important to stay on top of the business of our state legislature


for the 2nd session of “Eggs & Issues” register online



8-9:30 a.m. Historic Eldridge Hotel

This month’s Business After Hours will be hosted by Massage Therapy Training Institute (MTTI) ~ WellSpring at 947 New Hampshire Street, Suite 100, from 5–7 p.m. on Friday, March 25. MTTI is celebrating 20 years in the Natural Health and Wellness industry, providing the finest and fully accredited holistic and fitness oriented curriculum in the region. They are very proud of what they have accomplished and would like to share their enthusiasm with their fellow members of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. At the event, attendees will have an opportunity to meet the new Admissions Director Christopher Gower. Food and entertainment will be provided. In addition, the MTTI~Wellspring students will be providing chair massages. The event is free of charge and no reservations are needed to attend the mixer. For more information, please contact Cathy Lewis at 785-865-4406 or email at

The University of Kansas: The Economic Engine that Drives Lawrence Continued from page 1 • Printing/Publishing • Computer/Internet Services • Building/Grounds Maintenance • Advertising/Marketing/Media Services • Hotels/Housing • Travel Services • Catering/Food Services • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance • Local Community support (Boys & Girls Club, Arts Center, etc.) • Medical Care/Health Services

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

904,100 643,000 612,000 557,000 509,000 487,000 271,000 200,000 155,000 112,000

“Purchases made by KU have a huge impact on the local economy,” said Beth Johnson, the Chamber Vice President of Economic Development. “It is interesting to note that KU purchases goods and services from literally hundreds of local vendors from small caterers to large architectural and engineering firms. There is no question that a large number of Lawrence businesses directly benefit from doing business with KU, and that many others indirectly benefit from the millions of dollars that KU inserts into the local Lawrence economy.”


785.865.4411 •

Leadership Lawrence Sue Hack, Executive Director of Leadership Lawrence Leadership Lawrence has had a couple of terrific curriculum days. The Health Care and Social Services day caused the class to visit a variety of social service agencies in Lawrence and Douglas County and learn from a number of health care providers. Sponsors for that day were Bartlett and West Engineers and Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Government Day was equally interesting for the class, which started with a fantastic breakfast prepared by Fire and Medical personnel from Lawrence/Douglas County. During breakfast, the class learned from a panel of judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys from Lawrence and Kansas City. That was followed by a trip to City Hall to learn from former City and County Commissioners and then to see how difficult city and county budgeting can be by working through a budget simulation. Lunch was at the Douglas County Jail and was provided by the County. A trip to the County Court House allowed the class to have a tour of the County Dispatch facility and the Court House itself. Government Day was sponsored by Landmark Bank and Moore Valuations. The program sponsor for Leadership Lawrence is Capitol Federal Savings. News • Leadership Lawrence alumni are now on Facebook. Just click on the “request to join group” button to stay connected with your class. • Members of the Class of 2009 are working with individuals from social service agencies to establish a sustainable source of food for food pantries as well as the possibility of a Food Bank for Lawrence and Douglas County. Recognition of Volunteer Efforts • Rachel Rademacher, Class of 2009, was presented the Wally Galluzzi Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award at the Chamber Annual Meeting in January. • The following members of the Class of 2009 were recognized for their work with the Salvation Army: Jandi Smith, Megan Poindexter, Rachel Rademacher, Kristi Wempe, Sally Brandt

Tim Herndon (right) presents some project information to Larry Chance (left) during the Economic Development Day on Thursday, Feb. 19.

6 Lawrence Kansas Chamber of Commerce • 734 Vermont, Ste. 101 • Lawrence, KS 66044

March 2009

PIECE Project Sue Hack Executive Director of Leadership Lawrence

The PIECE Class has had several great experiences. It participated in Health Care and Social Services Day with several scenarios and subject matter experts who let them discover the many social services agencies that serve the people of Lawrence and Douglas County. Lunch on that day was provided by Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Civic Responsibility Day was spent at Van Go where the class learned about the skills taught to the artists. They also began work on their service project. Lunch was provided by 23rd Street Brewery.

Jim Lewis “Mr. Jim” (back row, left) from Van Go Mobile Arts, presents information to Taylor Augustine (left), Hannah Fowler and Adelle Loney.

History Day for the PIECE Class focused on the difficult times here in Lawrence during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The class had the amazing opportunity to hear from Dolph Simons, Jr., Police Chief Ron Olin, and former Sheriff Loren Anderson. They described to the class the events of that time from their perspective. Lunch was provided by Headquarters Counseling Services. The program sponsor for PIECE is Sunflower Bank.

Adelle Loney (left), Taylor Augustine, and Maria Watson learn how media relations are handled in Allen Fieldhouse.

The PIECE class members try to figure out how to arrange all their classmates in a square while wearing a blindfold.

7 785.865.4411 •

MEMBERSHIP Ribbon Cuttings Congratulations & Welcome

Affordable Tree Service ~ 1512 Willow Cove ~ Jan. 27

Lawrence Home Builders Association Home Show ~ PO Box 3490 ~ Feb. 6


Rejuvené Salon & Day Spa ~ 4500 Bob Billings Pkwy. ~ Feb. 10 Lawrence Kansas Chamber of Commerce • 734 Vermont, Ste. 101 • Lawrence, KS 66044


March 2009

The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce advocates for business and community prosperity as it creates diverse jobs; cultivates a successful business environment; develops active community leaders; and promotes the assets of Lawrence and Douglas County.



Cal Downs Retired 1515 W. 21st St. Phone: 785-843-1949 Lawrence, KS 66046 Dr. Kent Dobbins & Dr. Jacob Letourneau Optometrists 831 Vermont St. Lawrence, KS 66044 Phone: 785-843-5665 Fax: 785-841-3153 Dr. Jacob Letourneau Heartland Payment Systems Payroll Processing 2129 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 66044 Phone: 785-760-3560 Fax: 785-856-4378 Michael Levy Jonathan Thomas Farm Bureau Financial Services Financial Services & Insurance 1217 Biltmore Dr., Ste. 200 Lawrence, KS 66049 Phone: 785-843-2395 Fax: 785-843-5165 Jonathan Thomas

Lawrence Originals Restaurants 1000 Ohio St. Lawrence, KS 66044 Phone: 785-423-0669 Fax: 785-856-2658 Doug Holiday Mark Bradford Individual Members 1509 Brink Court Lawrence, KS 66047 Phone: 785-843-8656 Nancy Thellman Individual Members 1547 N. 2000 Rd. Lawrence, KS 66044 Phone: 785-832-0031 Nathan Harrison – Aflac Insurance 740 New Hampshire Lawrence, KS 66044 Phone: 785-856-3200 Fax: 785-856-3204 Nathan Harrison Paul Werner Architects, L.L.C. Architects 545 Columbia Dr., Ste. 1002 Lawrence, KS 66049 Phone: 785-832-0804 Fax: 785-832-0890 Paul Werner

Pendleton & Sutton Attorneys at Law, L.L.C. Attorneys 1031 Vermont St., Ste. B Lawrence, KS 66044 Phone: 785-843-3536 Fax: 785-843-2151 Brandy L. Sutton Rejuvene’ Salon & Day Spa Day Spas 4500 Bob Billings Parkway Lawrence, KS 66047 Phone: 785-865-4372 Marcia Butell Siebar Service Air Duct Cleaning 154 E. 1287 Rd. Baldwin City, KS 66006 Phone: 785-594-6510 Rob Pringle TMI Weekly Publishers 4100 SW Southgate Dr. Topeka, KS 66609 Phone: 785-267-6100 Dave Waters Wood Renew Wood Preserving 401 N. 2100 Rd. Lecompton, KS 66050 Phone: 785-887-6100 Bret Sanford

9 785.865.4411 •

Brown Bag Series on Employment Law Begins March 19 Session !: Family Medical Leave Act, Thursday, March 19, 11:30 a.m. at the Chamber office The first session will feature the Assistant District Director of the Kansas City District Office Patricia L. Preston who will speak about a Summary of Changes to the FMLA Regulations effective January 16,2009. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division published a Final Rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The final rule became effective on January 16, 2009, and updates the FMLA regulations to implement two important new military family leave entitlements for eligible specified family members: (1) Up to 12 weeks of leave for certain qualifying exigencies arising out of a covered military member’s active duty status, or notification of an impending call or order to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation, and (2) Up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember recovering from a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty. Eligible employees are entitled to a combined total of up to 26 weeks of all types of FMLA leave during the single 12-month period. In addition, it also includes revisions to the original regulations due to several U.S. Supreme Court and lower court cases invalidating portions of the current regulations, the passage of amendments to the FMLA included as Section 585(a) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 <http://www.> (Public Law

110-181), and a comprehensive review of the Department’s fifteen years of experience administering the FMLA, including two previous Department of Labor studies of the FMLA (in 1996 and 2001) and over 15,000 public comments received in response to a Request for Information (RFI) < whd/06-9489.pdf> published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2006. Patricia L. Preston is currently the Assistant District Director of the Kansas City District Office of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Patricia began her government career in April of 1997 as a Wage Hour Investigator in Norfolk, Virginia where she served as team leader on several initiative teams. In January of 2002, she was promoted to the position of Assistant District Director for the Jackson, Mississippi office of the Gulf Coast District Office. In February of 2005, Ms. Preston worked as a Senior Analyst in Wage and Hour’s National Office on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Team. Patricia earned her Bachelor’s Degree with summa cum laude honors from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with majors in History and Modern Foreign Languages. Two years later she graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies. The event is open to the public and free of charge. For reservations, call the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce at 785-865-4411.

Veterinary Research Company moving to Lawrence from New York Continued from page 4 staff over time. Beth Johnson, vice president for economic development at the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, together with the bioscience authority, the state’s commerce department, the Kansas City Area Development Council and Kansas State University worked as a team in helping recruit ANOxA to Lawrence. “ANOxA increases Lawrence’s footprint in the Animal Health Corridor, thus making our community a stronger and more marketable location for that industry,” Johnson said. ANOxA Corp. develops nitric oxide based technologies for the treatment of a range of veterinary medical disorders, specializes in pulmonary products for the equine industry. One of its newly patented technologies is in consideration for the treatment to control Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrahage (EIPH), a condition commonly found in performance horses.


“ANOxA is a cutting-edge bioscience company that will undoubtedly benefit from our business climate, strong workforce and location within the renowned Animal Health Corridor,” Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Kerr said. “We thank the company for choosing Kansas, and we look forward to working with them for years to come. Lawrence Kansas Chamber of Commerce • 734 Vermont, Ste. 101 • Lawrence, KS 66044

March 2009

The Chamber Young Professionals Network Announces Program Changes Adam Handshy, Program and Project Coordinator For the last several months the Chamber has been working on the redevelopment of the Chamber Young Professionals Network (CYPN) program. After much discussion and deliberation, the Chamber have come up with some changes that will benefit the program and provide greater professional development and networking opportunities for CYPN members. The primary changes of the program are as follows: CYPN Program The Chamber Young Professionals Networking program is a networking group for area young professionals (ages ranging from approximately 23 to 40). The group will meet monthly to network, socialize and learn. The group will also hold the annual Pub-Crawl, sponsor educational seminars and volunteer for philanthropic initiatives. In addition, impromptu social events will be held at the discretion of our membership. These events are typically organized and hosted by a CYPN member organization and are free of charge to all CYPN members. CYPN MEMBERSHIP

If your company is not already a member, we would love the opportunity to discuss the benefits of joining the Chamber. Chamber memberships begin as low as $350! If your company or employer is already a Chamber member but you are not a serving representative, your company or employer may contact us to designate you as such. Additional representatives can be added to any membership level for $100. EVENT PARTICIPATION CYPN membership is required to attend CYPN events. There are exceptions to this rule for new Chamber members or those individuals who are exploring CYPN membership. Such individuals are welcome to attend one CYPN event prior to joining. Likewise, if a CYPN group member would like to bring a guest, the charge will be $5 over the event charge. CYPN membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; significant others are also welcome and encouraged to attend. These changes were made to improve our CYPN program, lend it greater direction and increase the benefits to its members. Please feel free to contact Adam Handshy with any questions, comments or concerns at or 785-865-4427.

Chamber membership is now a requirement for CYPN program participation. Specifically, the participant can either be a Chamber member or a representative of a Chamber member company.

w w w . c e k i n s u r a n c e . c o m

11 785.865.4411 â&#x20AC;˘

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS Chair Bonnie Lowe Past-Chair Jim Otten, DDS Incoming Chair Matt Hoy, Stevens & Brand Treasurer Cindy Yulich, Emprise Bank Secretary & President/CEO Tom Kern PERMANENT POSITIONS Robert Hemenway, KU Chancellor Dr. Linda Sue Warner, Haskell Indian Nations University President Randy Weseman, USD 497 Superintendent BOARD MEMBERS Allison Vance Moore, Grubb & Ellis| The Winbury Group, Vice Chair of Chamber Member Services Bill Fuerst, KU School of Business Bobbie Flory, Lawrence Home Builders Association Bradley Burnside, U.S Bank David Johnson, Bert Nash, Co-Vice Chair of Government & Community Affairs David Livingood, Treanor Architects Debra Vignatelli Konzem, AT&T

734 Vermont, Suite 101 Lawrence, KS 66044

STAFF Doug Gaumer, INTRUST Bank, Vice Chair of Chamber Operations Gary Bennett, Laird Noller Automotive, Inc. Jane Bateman, Jane Bateman, The Interiors Store, Co-Vice Chair of Government & Community Affairs John Ross, Laser Logic, Inc. Kathy Pryor, KU Theatre & Film, Vice Chair of Leadership Lawrence & Strategic Planning Larissa Long, Black Hills Energy, Co-Vice Chair of Communications Linda Robinson, KU Center for Research on Learning Mike McGrew, McGrew Real Estate, Vice Chair of Economic Development Rodger Henry, Lawrence Medical Plaza Shannon Frost, Hallmark Cards, Inc. Steve Brown, Berry Plastics Steve Schwada, Meadowbrook Apartments, Venture Properties Terry Campbell, Barber Emerson, L.C., Co-Vice Chair of Communications Todd Thompson, Thompson, Ramsdell & Qualseth, P.A. Trudy Rice, Ronald Rice Mowing

Tom Kern, President & CEO Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Membership, IOM Beth Johnson, Vice President of Economic Development Sue Hack, Executive Director Leadership Lawrence Christy Bogner, Accountant/ Office Operations Hank Booth, Government & Community Affairs Director Adam Handshy, Project & Program Coordinator Natasha Buller, Marketing & Communications Manager Jessica James, Membership Coordinator

March 2009 NEWSletter  

The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you