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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


stormont-vail & cotton-o’neil

three levels of care Stormont-Vail HealthCare provides a variety of levels of care. If a medical need occurs when your primary care physician is not available, you have three options: Mild

The ClinicModerate at Walmart by Stormont-Vail Severe 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays Located inside the north Topeka Walmart and providing minor health services without an appointment for patients ages 18 months and older. Staffed by advanced practice nurses and a physician assistant.



Cotton-O’Neil ExpressCare Severe With three locations in Topeka and one in Osage City, these urgent care clinics, complete with lab and X-ray services, are available to patients of all ages who need treatment for a minor illness or injury. You do not have to be a Cotton-O’Neil patient to be cared for at ExpressCare. ExpressCare – Croco: 2909 S.E. Walnut Dr. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends ExpressCare – Urish: 6725 S.W. 29th St. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends ExpressCare – North: 1130 N. Kansas Ave. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays ExpressCare – Osage City: 131 W. Market 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends




Stormont-Vail Emergency and Trauma Center Open 24 hours a day, every day, and designed for sudden, serious injury or illness. Located one block west of Eighth and Washburn.

Call Health Connections’ Ask-A-Nurse at (785) 354-5225 evenings and weekends for help finding the most appropriate level of care.


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Topeka’s Business letters to the editor Magazine

Summer 2012



Editor-in-Chief LISA LOEWEN

Creative Director JENNI PONTON

Photographer RACHEL LOCK

Account Executives Tara Dimick - 785.217.4836


Founder KEVIN DOEL PO Box 67272 Topeka, Kansas 66667 785-217-4836

Comments & Suggestions

Publishing Company E2 Communications, Inc. 2012 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine is published by E2 Communications, Inc.Reproduction or use of this publication in any manner without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication as of press time. The publisher assumes no responsibility of any part for the content of any advertisement in this publication, including any errors and omissions there in. E2 Communications, Inc. makes no endorsement, representation or warranty regarding any goods or services advertised or listed in this publication. Listings and advertisements are provided by the subject companies, E2 Communications, Inc. shall not be responsible or liable for any inaccuracy, omission or infringement of any third party’s right therein, or for personal injury or any other damage or injury whatsoever. By placing an order for an advertisement, the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher against any claims relating to the advertisement.




64 73

Extra, Extra Local business news and happenings.

Formula For Success

16 78 20 A healthy culture equals healthy business at Advisors Excel.

5 Ways to Build Employee Morale

Build employee morale without leaving the office.

Experiential Learning

Learn better communication through teambuilding exercises.

24 30 Unique Retreats

Looking for a place to hold a company retreat? Topeka offers many choices right here in town.

Scene About Town American Business Women’s Association Career Chapter

Sales & Marketing Executives of Topeka Topeka Independent Business Association Last Word: Staci Williams TK speaks to Staci Williams, owner of Petland Topeka.


By the Numbers Local business statistics.

4 28 42 44 60

Book Review The Advantage: Why Organization Health Trumps Everything Else in Business.


Shades of Green

46 54

Discover how and why local companies are going green.

Priority Health

Creating a healthier Topeka.

Life of a Building

Deb Goodrich-Bisel tells the story of the Topeka Harley-Davidson building.

In Every Issue

6 8 40

Expert Financial Advice Why you should separate your personal and business finances.

A Note from TK Taking off the gloves.

Tips and Tools Advertising Intervention: Uncovery Session. Winning Rules Four ways to ruin your website. Heart of the Entrepreneur GreatLife Golf and Fitness owners Rick & Linda Farrant.

From the Professor Norma Juma, Ph.D., associate professor business at Washburn University, discusses wealth creation in the information age. Stepping Up To Leadership Rich Drinon teaches you how to manage your image.

TK Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


[a note from tk]

TAKING OFF THE GLOVES This issue looks at how we can build a healthier world, a healthier community, a healthier business and a healthier individual. As we were looking at all of the different components that create health, one common theme kept popping up—trust. That may seem like an odd equation: Trust = Health. But think about it. If you don’t trust your doctor, you won’t take your medicine. If you don’t trust your banker, you won’t invest your money. If you don’t trust your employees, you won’t give them the autonomy to grow your business. If you don’t trust your community’s leadership, you won’t work with them to make the community a better place to live and work. We love Topeka. We are raising our families here for a reason. But if you stop and take a hard look at what is going on around you, you have to admit we don’t display much trust. How can you trust someone who is forcing you to pick a side but won’t


Summer 2012

listen to your point of view? How can you trust someone who will badmouth you or your business if they don’t agree with you on an issue? How can you trust someone who is not willing to put his or her name behind their words? When we put together an issue of TK, we don’t all agree on what should be included. We certainly don’t always agree on the design of each page. But, you know what we are good at? Listening to each other’s point of view and making the decision that is best for the magazine. We can do that because we trust each other. We trust that we can bring our ideas forward without fear of being ridiculed or bullied. We trust that our opinions matter and will not be dismissed because they don’t fit into a narrow framework. And, because of that trust, TK is growing and getting better each issue. Why can’t we operate that way as a community? Instead of picking sides and putting on the boxing gloves, or

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

worse, making anonymous posts and comments on local media websites, let’s start listening to each other in a respectful and thoughtful manner. We are never going to all agree, but that’s the point, when we all share, good ideas become great ideas. So take off the gloves, sign your name and realize that there is only one side—Topeka’s side.

Tara & Lisa

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


***Responses taken from the 2012 Topeka Independent Business Association Annual Small Business Climate Survey. Developed in conjunction with the Washburn University School of Business.

[by the numbers]



vs .


In 2010, there were

52,000 self-employeed females vs. 88,000 self-employed males.*

*Source:, Kansas Small Business Profile, Published in January 2012.

38% Large employers in K ansas in 2 0 0 9 **

57,697 small employers in K ansas in 2 0 0 9


173,946 non - em p lo y e r s in K ansas in 2 0 0 9


**Latest available data. Source:, Kansas Small Business Profile, Published in January 2012.

Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Expected revenue *** Increases for 2011

have an optomistic outlook for their business in 2012***


Reported Actual revenue Increases in 2011***


expecting revenue increases in 2012***

haD an optomistic outlook for their business in 2011***


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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


[book review]

the advantage TK Recommended Reading

Pat Lencioni's book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business, served as the inspiration for the summer issue of TK. Lencioni makes the case that organizational health is the greatest opportunity for creating a meaningful competitive advantage. He reveals the four actionable steps to achieving longterm, sustainable success:

step 1: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team The first step is all about getting the leaders of the organization to

behave in a functional, cohesive way. If the people responsible for running an organization, whether that organization is a corporation, a department within that corporation, a start-up company, a restaurant, a school or a church, are behaving in dysfunctional ways, then that dysfunction will spill into the rest of the organization and prevent organizational health. And yes, there are concrete steps a leadership team can take to prevent this.

step 2: Create Clarity The second step for building a healthy organization is ensuring that the members of that leadership team are intellectually aligned around six simple but critical questions. Leaders need to be clear on topics such as why the organization exists to what its most important priority is for the next few months. Leaders must eliminate any gaps that may exist between them, so that people at all levels have complete clarity about what they should do to make the organization successful.

step 3: Over-Communicate Clarity Only after these first two steps are in process (behavioral and intellectual alignment), can an


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

organization undertake the third step: over-communicating the answers to the six questions. Leaders of a healthy organization constantly – and I mean constantly – repeat themselves and reinforce what is true and important. They always err on the side of saying too much, rather than too little. This quality alone sets leaders of healthy organizations apart from others.

step 4: Reinforce Clarity Finally, in addition to overcommunicating, leaders must ensure that the answers to the six critical questions are reinforced repeatedly using simple human systems. That means any process that involves people, from hiring and firing to performance management and decision-making, is designed in a custom way to intentionally support and emphasize the uniqueness of the organization. An organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified. Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave.


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785.232.2044 The community not-for-profit hospice that families have turned to for more than 30 years.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


Formula fo


usiness owners spend countless hours searching for that elusive formula for success. They bring in consultants to crunch numbers, hire marketing experts to increase sales and enlist the help of human resources gurus to attract and keep good employees. They leap from one big idea to the next in an effort to be ahead of the game, but often find themselves simply chasing an illusion.


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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

or Success

Turning a dream of success into a reality didn’t take a magic formula for the founders of Advisors Excel—it actually just took some good, old-fashioned common sense, and three basic fundamental concepts:

1) Take care of your employees. 2) Take care of your clients. 3) Make sure your business is making money. TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


It sounds simple. However, putting that formula into practice took planning, know-how and even a little luck.

Doing Business Better

Seven years ago, Cody Foster, David Callahan and Derek Thompson took a water cooler conversation about a better way to do business and turned it into a success story. As coworkers at an investment securities/ insurance brokerage company, they worked with clients on a daily basis. They noticed that they spent a significant amount of time talking to unhappy clients and putting out fires. They were good at making money, but because the emphasis was focused on quantity over quality, they didn't have meaningful relationships with any of their clients. Cody and David decided to open their own business as independent financial advisors. Unfortunately, their search for a good field marketing organization (FMO) came up short. That began a conversation that pulled Derek into the picture about what a good FMO should look like. “I think actually being advisors at that point made us realize that there wasn’t a great option available at the time for a group to join,” David said. “We saw the opportunity to make something really special happen.” Taking advantage of that opportunity, in 2005, the three guys pooled every penny they had and went “all in” to start Advisors Excel as a full-service FMO. The idea was simple: create a performance-based culture and reward people for their accomplishments. In order to create that culture, the partners knew they had to lead by example. “I don’t think anyone outworked the three of us,” David said. It also meant making great hires.

“We were lucky in that some of our first hires were incredible people who also lead by example,” Derek said. With an unusually low turnover, 95 percent of Advisors Excel employees have been referred by someone who already works at the organization.

Take Care of Your Employees

Part of what keeps employees at Advisors Excel motivated are clearly defined goals, the resources to meet those goals and incentives that reward performance. “When people know what you expect, you pay them to do what you expect, and then show them that you appreciate them, they want to work even harder for you,” David said. And, with an incentive like a four-day trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun for employees and their spouses, who wouldn’t want to work hard? For the second year now, Advisors Excel has whisked their employees off to an exotic getaway as a reward for hitting a desired company target. The fun isn’t limited to that oncea-year incentive trip. Part of the vision of the founders was to have a place where people enjoy working. The company actually has a sevenmember “fun” committee in place that plans activities, such as: • Office Olympics where employees compete in events ranging from chair races to obstacle courses. • Tailgate Party to usher in college football. • Easter Egg Hunt at Kansas Children’s Discovery Center (rented by Advisors Excel) for employees’ families with 2,000 hidden eggs. • Family Feud Friday where teams competed for Royals opening day tickets. All of this fun doesn’t mean

continued on pg. 14 12

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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Advisors Excel's World Series of Sales 2012 "Anything is Possible" Kick Off Event in Hollywood, CA.

Advisors Excel’s “Day at the K” for all employees and their spouses on the Bud Light Party Deck at Royals’ Kaufman Stadium.

Secretly arranged transportation on floats in their own Mardi Gras parade that shut down the French Quarter at the Advisors Excel World Series of Sales 2011 event in New Orleans.

March 2012 all-employee and spouse reward trip to the all-inclusive Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla to celebrate hitting the production goal of $2.5 billion in premium.

Like Us

1995 VEGETARIANS ---since



2833 S.W. 29th | Next to Dillon’s, 29th & Oakley | 785.273.7300 | w w w . b o s s h a w g . c o m TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


anyone gets to goof off however. “When people are here, they work really hard—but they go home at 5:00 so they can play hard as well,” Derek said. “The rule of thumb is: show up on time, work really hard and don’t talk about other people.”

Take Care of Your Clients

Having a close relationship with the end client is an integral part of the success of Advisors Excel. “We try to instill in every employee that this is ‘your’ company, not ours, so treat it as your own business when you make decisions,” David said. That philosophy has translated into the way employees develop relationships with their clients. Employees understand how hard their clients work to build successful independent businesses. They also realize that those clients rely heavily on the marketing managers to help them, and if they don’t do their job well, it costs the client money. “Many of our clients have become our good friends,” Cody said. “If we lost them, it would be like losing part of our family.” Taking care of clients means not only providing them the support and training to grow their businesses, but also showing appreciation for their hard work. This can be as simple as wishing clients a happy birthday with a video showing Advisors Excel employees in the kitchen baking them a birthday cake—and then actually having a cake delivered to them. Or, as spectacular as taking clients on a trip to New Orleans complete with closing down Canal Street and riding on actual Mardi Gras floats. Top producers attend four to five big events a year, all expenses paid, as part of a special thank you from Advisors Excel.


Summer 2012

Make Sure Your Business is Making Money

Building a performance-based culture, with the primary focus centered on client satisfaction, has resulted in unbelievable success. In just seven years, Advisors Excel has taken production from $45 million (64 advisors) to more than $2.65 billion (1,649 advisors). Individual advisors are capitalizing off of that success as well. In 2010, the top 100 agents averaged individual production of $9.6 million, and the top agent produced more than $43 million. Advisors Excel marketers work with 50 – 60 independent advisors and are paid only on the business their advisors write. They don’t get a salary. If the advisors don’t make money, neither do the marketers. Cody attributes their ability to make money for everyone involved as a direct result of transparency in the business, setting goals and keeping the focus on growth. “We are brutally honest with our employees about what is going on in the business,” Cody said. “If we have a good client experience, we share that. If we have a bad client experience, we share that as well.” That honesty builds a level of trust between the owners and the staff, creating

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

a sense of partnership and motivating them to work even harder to make the business a success for everyone. Building on the simple formula that combines happy employees with satisfied clients to make money for everyone, Advisors Excel is a truly healthy business. What does Advisors Excel do? Advisors Excel is not a financial advisor. It is a field marketing organization (FMO) that distributes financial and insurance packages to independent financial advisors. They provide their advisors with marketing, training and product support.


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• Light Industrial • Customer Service • Engineering

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Franchise Owner Topeka, KS

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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


5 ways to build

employee morale without leaving the office by Karen Ridder

Meet Joe. Joe works for a mid-sized company and earns a decent salary. He has spent the last five years proving his worth to his boss and to the company, but instead of feeling proud of his work and eager to do more, he is frustrated. It seems no matter how much effort he puts into daily tasks, no one seems to notice or care. His boss is quick to point out when he drops the ball, but a job done well goes unrecognized. His co-workers never bother leaving their own walled-in cubicles so he rarely interacts with anyone in the office. He feels like a man stranded on a deserted island, struggling for survival. Maybe Joe is in your office. Maybe you have a whole room full of Joes. Employees trudging away at their jobs, but not really engaged in their work or in your business.


Summer 2012

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continued on pg. 17

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Summer 2012


Positive employee morale is critical to the business bottom line. When an employee leaves, the cost of re-hiring can be 30 to 40 percent of the annual salary for that position. A lot of the work of creating good morale is done on a daily basis by astute managers and business owners, but many feel like they do not have the time, knowledge or resources to do it well. Topeka Chapter Society for Human Resource Management President Sherri Workman advises to focus on a simple goal, “Create a cohesive and engaged workplace and make people want to come to work.” Here are five ways that managers can build employee morale:

1. Communication

Open and honest communication with your workforce is key. While an employer cannot explain all the details involved in business decisions, it is important to keep employees as informed as possible. Aside from Intranet and newsletter communications, Workman suggests two ways her organization, FHLBank Topeka, builds intentional top-down communication. • Anniversary breakfasts: Employees are invited in their anniversary of hire month to have breakfast with the top individuals at the organization. This gives them the opportunity to meet face to face with decision makers in an informal setting. • Town hall meetings: Senior managers host town hall style meetings with employees to talk about what’s going on within the organization, particularly when changes are coming, so employees are not surprised.

2. Contribution

Give employees a chance to feel like they are contributing to the whole; that they are making a difference with the work they do. • Give ownership: A good manager will provide parameters for the work and let the employee figure out how to get the work done. • Build teams: Members of a project team should be allowed to become the expert in their area of a project, and take ownership in their part of the work’s success.

3. Creative resources

In tough economic times, training budgets are often the first to go. Managers can get creative with in-house resources to help employees stay up-to-date with their professional colleagues. • Use technology: A lot of Internet resources can be used to stay current with the latest professional information. Encouraging employees to use groups, blogs and sites like Linked-In can bring some of those resources into your workplace at no extra cost.


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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

• In-house interest groups: Give employees with similar interests or professional skills places to meet and time to network within the organization.

4. Celebrations

Always celebrate and recognize your employees. This is not as easy as it sounds for many managers. “Managers often don’t know how to recognize their individuals to create that morale,” Workman says. “They sometimes think that if they don’t hear anything, people must be happy.” • Remember the small things: Remembering birthdays and family events can make a big difference to an employee. Small rewards and recognition programs can also be effective. A note or card or short public recognition for personal achievements like passing certification exams or earning a degree will make an employee feel valued. • Know your employee: Managers have to know the people working for them enough to know what’s going to motivate them. Know what kind of recognition is important to them. Some people like gift cards or movie tickets. Some want a donation in their name to their favorite organization. “Just the fact that you’ve taken the time to get to know them enough to know what they are going to appreciate helps to build that employee morale,” Workman says.

5. Community Involvement

Give back to the area where you do business and your employees live. “Employees want to know that you are not just here to make the money, but that you are involved in the community,” Workman says. • Time off: Provide time off for employees to do community service. • Matching gift programs: Companies can show they appreciate employee involvement in the community by agreeing to match monetary gifts.


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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


l a i g t n g n n i i d e n l i i r bu r a m e a e e p t s l x s e E n by Karen Ridder



Summer 2012

i s u


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Your boss is standing on the edge of a rope line, yelling at you to toss him a carpet square. Your secretary leads you blind-folded toward a water cooler. You grasp two ropes attached to wooden “skis” while trying to walk down a path behind someone from accounting. No, these are not scenes from a strange dream. They are part of an experiential learning event designed to build team cohesiveness and good morale among staff. While experiential learning is often used by school, youth and scouting groups, it is not just for camp. Andrea Velez, Director of Training for Beyond Ropes, a group that trains, builds and tests challenge courses throughout Kansas, says the point of these experiences is to help people find out new things about themselves and their abilities. “Team building puts people in a safe environment where they are allowed to take risks in a fun manner that is not threatening. So, they are allowed to see what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are,” Velez says.

continued on pg. 22


“I’m Louie Smith, marketing communications for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas – encouraging you to enjoy Healthy Kansas Recreation!”

Flint Hills Discovery Center

Recreation in Kansas can make you happier.

Physical activity relieves tension, anxiety, depression and anger. So get out and enjoy the fun and entertainment here in Kansas. Explore a museum, relive our “Wild West” history, or savor the grandeur of the Flint Hills! Visit to request your free Kansas Visitors Guide for information on lodging, restaurants, attractions and more. An Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association ® Registered mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association


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TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


An experience outside the office allows co-workers to get a broader perspective of the people they work with. The goal is to change employee thinking and give them an opportunity to see each other in a different environment.


Here in Topeka, The Villages, Inc., a place primarily known for its work with youth and nature, has a challenge course some local businesses are turning to for this kind of unique team building experience.


Westar Energy has used the Villages' course for several years on the first day of their Leadership Westar training class. Westar has about 2,500 employees. Leadership Westar brings 20 of them from across the company together for specialized training. It is an overall employee morale strategy. “The idea is to identify leaders with high potential, to give them a better understanding of the company as a whole, and also to get them exposed individually to the company,” says Westar Senior Trainer Larry Kelly. The Villages' course is a good way to start off this “out of the office” training series because the group is coming from across many areas of the company. Many have never met their other Leadership Westar classmates.


Summer 2012

Westar employees participate in a team-building exercise on the The Villages's challenge course.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Velez says this kind of experiential training works well for the start of new projects in a company, or when a company is pulling together a new work group. “It opens doors for community. It’s a great time to learn about yourself and the people around you,” Velez says.


The Villages Executive Director Sylvia Crawford says the goal of their challenge course is to get people out of their comfort zones. The activities break down employees preconceived notions about communication and working together. “It’s about getting them to see, even though we are each in our own space, we could do a whole lot more sharing of resources,” she says.

"You are only as good as your team."

- Dr. Justin Anderson, Wilkerson, Saunders & Anderson

The dental office of Wilkerson, Saunders & Anderson in Lawrence, is currently planning their second trip to the course. Managers there work hard to build communication and trust within the staff. After trying other types of training to get to know each other better, Dr. Justin Anderson says they decided to give the challenge course a try. “Everybody felt like they did something they didn’t think they could do. Any time you as a person come to the understanding that you are capable of more than you think you are, I think that’s great. There’s no question in my mind that everyone got to experience that,” Anderson says. The challenge course was a good change of pace and an opportunity to

"It opens doors for community. It's a great time to learn about yourself and the people around you."

- Andrea Velez, Director of Training for Beyond Ropes

These activities provide the opportunity to learn in a way you just can’t get sitting at a table or in a room with four walls. Experiential learning is tailored to a group’s particular goals. Those often include things like team building, communication and problem solving. Activities during an experience have the goal of exposing people to the different stages of group dynamics.


While it works for new teams, like Leadership Westar, this type of corporate training is also good for staffs that have spent a lot of time working together already.

try something different. In their profession, a lot of the staff is required to spend extra continuing education training time in a traditional classroom setting. Anderson says he believes this kind of training helped build communication and trust. In the dental field, the team often has to explain procedures and processes that are unfamiliar to patients, but necessary. Good teamwork and communication helps make the patient’s experience and understanding better. “You are only as good as your team. For us, to be able to do things together that make us more comfortable together and communicate better

and that make us like each other more, those things can only be good,” Anderson says.


One of the most important parts of the experiential learning is the processing groups do after taking part in an event to find meaning in the activity. The Villages Adventure Challenge Course Manager Trent Martin says, “You do an activity. Then you talk about it and try to bridge what their struggles are in the workplace and mirror that with an activity.” This processing exposes the activities for what they are—metaphors for what happen in the workplace. So, when your boss tries to pass you a carpet square, you are learning about decision making. When your secretary leads you, it is about trust, and when the guy from accounting tells you to move your left foot in order to get the skis moving in the right direction, you are learning about working together as a team. The goal is to build trust, change perspective and take those new ideas back to the workplace to make it better.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Summer 2012


UNIQUE RETREATS Places to train with a unique twist

by Karen Ridder While the Topeka area has many places to go to for corporate retreats and training, some offer a unique setting and activities to go along with the meeting space. Several of these places have seen an up-tick in bookings over the last few years as economic concerns find business owners seeking less expensive venues for corporate retreats closer to home.

The Woodward Inns on Fillmore

An entire block of bed and breakfast-type homes featuring 25 to 50 rooms in a residential downtown neighborhood, The Woodward offers unique accommodations. But unlike other bed and breakfasts, it can handle large groups. Owner Elizabeth Taylor says, “We have so much variety that you can plan a whole weekend.� There are eight rooms for breakout sessions at the site which can accommodate from 8 to 65 people. They also have outside areas for dinners and dancing as well as a pool area that can be used year-round.


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

spirit lake Spirit Lake offers a unique get-away with an 11-acre private lake. A large lodge that sleeps up to 46 and two smaller houses can be rented. The venue is popular for corporate retreats because it provides a secluded feeling and it is not far from Topeka. Lake activities are included with rentals including canoes, paddleboats, fishing, hiking and horseshoes. Owner Steve Knoll says they have been busy in recent years with businesses that want to get away for meetings and retreats, but stay close to home to keep costs down.

900 SW Tyler Street | Topeka, Kansas 66612

Flexible Food & Beverage Rules. Newly Remodeled Sleeping Rooms. Special Group Rates. Now taking reservations for 2011 holiday parties 1-800-488-3188 | 785-233-5050 |

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


Ravenwood Lodge

The sporting clays shooting course at Ravenwood Lodge is like “golf with a shotgun” according to owner Ken Corbet. “But it doesn’t take as long as golf,” he explains. The facility, which has been in business for 27 years, often hosts corporate events with a shoot tied into the day's events. They have a lodge that can accommodate 10 for sleeping and 100 for a meal/meeting. They also have a Bed & Breakfast in Dover that sits on 160 acres. Corbet believes his facility is appealing because it offers catering, lodging and outdoor sporting activity all in one site.

Brickyard Barn Inn

Brickyard Barn Inn has an intimate country setting just five minutes from downtown. It can accommodate up to about 50 people for a training session. Three overnight rooms are available. Event coordinator Sherri Pike says customers like their welcoming and accommodating feel. Catering and space is included in the cost. “They get more bang for their buck here,” explains Pike.


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

A Taste of Parrish Hotels Parrish Hotels has a wide variety of dining and entertainment options in the Topeka area. Enjoy a relaxing evening at The Landmark Grill, located inside the Holiday Inn Holidome, an after work coctain at Maddie’s Lounge, or great American fare for lunch and dinner at the Madison Street Diner, both located inside the Ramada Hotel & Convention Center. On Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy some of the best blues music in the nation at Uncle Bo’s LIVE blues bar.

Whatever your need, we’ve got you covered.

Maddie’s Lounge 420 SE 6th Ave

Landmark Grill 605 SW Fairlawn Road

Madison Street Diner 420 SE 6th Ave

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


[advertising intervention]

Uncovery Session by Tim Kolling, WIBW Marketing Consultant

With so many day-to-day business obligations, periodically you need to take a step back to really see how others view your business. Gather your staff and leave the day-to-day world behind so you can focus, think and listen in an "Uncovery Session."

i Listen to your staff members--find out how they perceive your business. i Discuss how your current and potential customers might perceive

your business.

i Dig deep to find out what your company’s “Story” really is. i Brainstorm ways to tell consumers that “Story.” Remember, if

everyone knew what YOU know about your business, they would already be your customer!

i Create an advertising message that conveys your “Story”

clearly and concisely.

Once you are back in the office, put your "Story" and the advertising message into action. Then be sure to…Lather, Rinse, and Repeat. Message development is a constant part of business to ensure that your company is top of mind.



Summer 2012

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785- 749- 2258 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012



GREEN by Melissa Brunner

The extent to which one chooses to live green is as individual as the color of shirt he or she might wear. While one person might prefer the subtle pale mint of carrying a metal water bottle, another might be comfortable in the screaming neon-lime of the bike-everywhere, totally-solarpowered lifestyle. No matter the shade, a growing number of companies and organizations are noting that “green,� as one Westar Energy executive put it, is "the right thing to do."


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine



star would have been don't fight the EPA, which is a good thing for shareholders but not a good thing for customers," Greenwood said.

birdhouses and other items for the community; • "Green Team" volunteers to assist organizations with beautification projects; • Conversion of its fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles; and • Installation of a charging station outside their downtown Topeka headquarters.

Regulation was the impetus beInnovative Solutions hind Westar’s recent $936.6 million That's not to say Westar's only eninvestments in environmental upvironmental concerns are those that grades to its plants. Because of an Enare mandated. The SO2 at Jeffrey that's vironmental Protection Agency (EPA) now not going into the air had to go requirement that utilities must use the somewhere, so Westar created a wetEnergy Efficiency Education "best available control technology" lands area, which naturally processes With customers in mind, Westar to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) emisthe emissions. The innovative solution launched its energy efficiency educasions, in 2005 the company began nehas garnered international attention. tion programs. Westar has programs gotiations with the EPA to determine "It's a scientifically engineered for homeowners, as well as its Buildwhat would meet the requirement. wetland," said William Eastman, Weing Operator Certification classes for "The EPA can make us do things star’s director of environmental serbusinesses. Helping customers use in a timeframe that either isn't feasible vices. "We know what's going in. We less energy keeps the customers’ costs or they can ask us to put on controls had to engineer it and design it from down. It also can delay Westar having that are 12 times more expensive than the soils up to the plants." to make major capital investments in the next best thing,” said Greg Greenbuilding new generating stations to wood, Westar's senior vice president Green Culture meet increased demand - an expensive of strategy. Westar also implemented: proposition because new equipment The resulting agreement allowed • Recycling; with new environmental controls is Westar to rebuild its existing "scrub• Installation of motion-sensor more expensive to operate and mainber" units at Jeffrey Energy Center lights at its headquarters building; tain, increasing the costs of each kilonear St. Marys, rather than build new • Conversion of old utility poles to watt hour you use. units. Building new units would have increased costs 40 percent. Now, instead of removing 60 percent of the SO2 that would otherwise be released into the air, the rebuilt units remove 95 percent. A similar agreement was continued on pg. 32 reached regarding nitrogen oxide emissions. Westar electric fleet vehicle powers up at the downtown Topeka charging station. Those negotiations matter to customers because it impacts their bottom line. The Environmental Cost Recovery Rider (ECRR) allows utilities to recoup the costs of required environmental upgrades from their customers. Westar says the ECRR currently comprises about 5.5 percent of a residential bill, an average $5 a month. But it could be worse. "The easy answer for We-

"The easy answer for Westar would have been don't fight the EPA, which is a good thing for shareholders but not a good thing for customers," Greenwood said.

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Summer 2012


THE CITY OF TOPEKA THE MONEY MOTIVATION Affecting the Bottom Line While going green ultimately means an expense for Westar, for other organizations, it can improve the bottom line. It’s an especially appealing prospect when the taxpayers are footing the bills. “In government, especially, you have to be able to justify a return on your investment and a payback,” said Scott Alisoglu, a funding analyst with Topeka Public Works and the city’s Sustainability Coordinator. “What it comes down to is conservation of resources and trying to get the same benefit of activities and pay less for them. There has to be a dollars and cents component to all of these decisions.”

“What it comes down to is conservation of resources and trying to get the same benefit of activities and pay less for them." - Scott Alisoglu, Topeka Public Works buildings are also saving dollars. Motion sensors control the lights in conference rooms and restrooms and hundreds of light fixtures designed

Recycling Convenience

Conservation of Resources The city got a kick start from a $1.2 million federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant that has been invested in ways that already create substantial savings. In November 2010, for example, the city upgraded more than 400 decorative streetlights along the Washburn/ Lane corridor to high-efficiency LED fixtures, cutting electricity costs by nearly $28,000. Plus, the new lights won’t need replacing for an estimated 15 years, which means reduced labor and equipment costs. Simple lighting changes in city

“It reduces delays, which means you’re reducing idling, which means you’re reducing gas consumption, which means you’re reducing CO2 (carbon dioxide),” Alisoglu said. “There are many ways it makes economic sense and is good for the environment.” How much economic sense? The city estimates that from October to December 2011, when the first 22 signals were online, drivers used $153,513 less in gasoline.

for multiple bulbs now have only enough for the light that’s needed. Those measures will put another $7,500 in the city’s bank account each year.

Reducing Gas Consumption

The city also implemented an adaptive traffic signal system. Thirty intersections around town are outfitted with cameras that actually look at traffic flow and trigger the signals accordingly.

Most recently, the city took recycling to a new level of convenience, putting a recycling bin alongside the trash can at every employee’s desk. “We can’t keep sending waste to the landfill because it’s expensive. We have to find a way to divert some of that stream,” Alisoglu said. Even with the grant, Alisoglu says, the city cannot take every green approach possible. He doesn’t believe going to a fleet of electric and hybrid cars would be cost-effective in the current market. Similarly, many renewable energy technologies are too expensive to justify. “There has to be some economic sense to all of this,” he said.

continued on pg. 34 32

Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012



THE EDUCATION MOTIVATION Long-Term Vision Building from the ground-up can give you a new appreciation for the costs of greener technologies and materials. But the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center had added incentive to see if they could fit “green” into the budget. “It was really about the long-term vision of the Discovery Center and not sacrificing anything that was really good for kids and represents what we were really about,” said executive director Joanne Morrell. “Doing the right thing, being environmentally conscious, was important.” Still, it couldn’t come at any price. The Center was built with private donations. The higher the construction cost, the longer it would take to raise the dollars and get the doors open. What sold the Board, Morrell said, was the end result. “Low operating budget was definitely a driving factor,” she said. Morrell says the Discovery Center worked with architects Jane Huesemann and Steve Clark to work as many environmentally-conscious features into the building as possible. A bank of windows lining the top of the north


Summer 2012

wall provides natural lighting. As a result, you won’t notice many lights on in the facility’s main activity area during the day. They also paid a premium for high-performance window glazing and insulation and opted to extend an exterior overhang for a passive solar effect. Perhaps the biggest investment was in a high-efficiency HVAC system.

Recycling Recyclables The green attitude didn’t end with construction, though. Rain water cisterns capture water for the gardens and recycled materials are everywhere you look. It’s not just reusing office paper for scrap; the Center encourages people to bring in old cardboard and plastic containers and pop bottles, which are used for camp and activity programs. The organization also has a partnership with the Topeka Hom e bu i l d e r s Association to bring leftover lumber and other supplies for the “Real Tools Workshop.” “It saves money in supplies and it’s stuff that would get thrown away anyway,” Morrell said. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t use something along those lines.”

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Morrell says it makes sense to consider the environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient options when you’re building new or remodeling. Certainly, several businesses are taking that to heart. Capitol Federal is remodeling its downtown Topeka headquarters with green technology top of mind. Frito Lay recently upgraded its South Topeka production facility to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Standards. In any business or organization, employees must buy in. At city offices, Alisoglu says, the biggest challenge was changing the culture. “There has to be a lot of communication and a lot of it has to be one-on-one. You can’t just send an email and be done with it,” he said. “It is a steep hill to climb.” The hill can be even steeper in a time when finances are tight. “What’s the cost? Can I get to zero emissions?” asks Westar’s Eastman. “Yes, but it’s going to be very expensive.” In the end, each organization must decide which shade of green fits best.


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Summer 2012


TIPS FOR A GREEN OFFICE 1. Purchase office equipment bearing the "Energy Star" label. 2. Change lighting to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). 3. Turn off computers and other office equipment when you leave the office. 4. Take advantage of telecommuting tools rather than traveling for meetings and conferences. 5. Make your office bike-friendly by arranging for bicycle storage and an on-site shower. 6. Buy recycled paper products, reuse toner cartridges. 7. Reduce paper consumption by using electronic documents and/or printing with wider margins, smaller fonts and on both sides of the page. 8. Install motion sensor lighting in areas like hallways, restrooms and conference rooms. 9. Reduce waste by recycling paper, cardboard, plastics and other items. from


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

How Topeka Companies Are Going Green TK asked companies to tell us how they're being environmentally conscious. Here are a few of the responses.

Brewster Place Motivations: Environmental concern and company culture Actions: Recycling receptacles throughout the facility

Frito-Lay, Inc. Motivations: Environmental concern, financial savings, marketing value and company culture Actions: LEED certification, recycle to reduce landfill waste, and installed biomass boiler and energy efficient lighting

Jackson's Greenhouse Motivations: Financial savings and company culture Actions: Installed triple glazing on greenhouse and 93% efficient furnace, customers return plastic containers for reuse and compost any throwaway plant material

Kennedy and Coe, LLC Motivations: Marketing value and company culture Actions: Recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, toner cartridges and office equipment; use real glasses and dishes versus disposable; paperless work environment; and email and video conference versus driving

Lamar Outdoor Advertising Motivations: Environmental concerns, government regulations and company culture Actions: Recycle vinyl billboard materials

Rebound Physical Therapy Motivations: Environmental concern, financial savings and company culture Actions: Recycle cans, paper, glass, plastics, cardboard, batteries and copy toner cartridges

Visit Topeka, Inc. Motivations: Environmental concern and company culture Actions: Staff takes turns sorting and dropping off recyclables

WIBW Radio Motivations: Environmental concern and company culture Actions: Use less paper, recycle and turning off lights

Appelhanz Roofing Motivations: Environmental concern and company culture Actions: Recycle asphalt shingles, plastic, metal, steel, wooden pallets, aluminum gutters and cardboard boxes

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


carb n what's your


Complex online calculators give the most accurate picture of your carbon footprint, but this simple manual calculator developed by Alexandra Shimo-Barry in her book The Environment Equation can give you a basic idea of how big your footprint is.

A.) Multiply your monthly electricity bill by 105

x 105 =

B.) Multiply your monthly natural gas bill by 105

x 105 =

C.) Multiply your monthly monthly heating oil bill by 113

x 113 =

D.) Multiply total yearly mileage by .79

x .79 =

E.) Multiply the number of flights <4 hours by 1,100

x 1,110 =

F.) Multiply the number of flights >4 hours by 4,400

x 4,400 =

G.) If you receive the newspaper and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recycle it, add 184


H.) If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recycle aluminum and tin, add 166


Total of A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H


A number below 6,000 (reflected in pounds per year) is excellent. Good is anywhere from 6,000 to 15,999, while 16,000 to 22,000 is average. Over 22,000? Not so great.


Summer 2012

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2009 Kansas Chamber of Commerce Business of Excellence Award

2010 Topeka Chamber of Commerce Member Firm of the Year

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[expert financial advice]

Blake Meyer

Assistant Vice President/Loan Officer - Denison State Bank

inject personal funds into the business, this provides a transaction history that can be easily researched. Separate accounts also help clarify information for tax preparation. We recommend that small business owners understand the distinction of personal and business debt. Many small business loans are written in the names of the individual borrower, but banks are required to designate whether a loan is for personal or business use. In other situations, business debt is loaned directly to the business entity but may be secured by a personal guarantee. Bankers can be flexible in how this is done.

Having proper debt structure is vital to the financial health of a small business.


Small to mid size business owners often blur and mingle their personal finances with their business finances--Blake Meyer from Denison State Bank gives advice to get your business financially healthy. We encourage small business owners to separate their business and personal finances. We recommend this for all business entities including DBA (doing business as). It's best to have separate checking accounts for business and personal banking. This allows for easier tracking of income and expenses. If an owner needs to


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Long-term, intermediate and short-term debt needs to be amortized appropriately. If a small business tries to finance a long-term asset with short-term debt, they put a strain on their cash flow and may have difficulty keeping up with payments. On mortgages, many banks use the conventional market to access long-term fixed rate financing for primary residence home loans. Over the last few years there has been an increase in the level of requirements for self-employed borrowers, who are defined as anyone who has at least 25 percent ownership in the company they work for. In some situations small business owners who are carrying all of their business debt under their personal names may have difficulty financing their primary residences. Having a clear distinction between business funds and personal funds can help resolve this issue. This practice can possibly allow the business debt to not affect their personal debt ratios and make it easier to qualify for a home loan. Every small business owner will face unique challenges. As a banker, it is our job to help the small business owner be in the best financial position to overcome challenges.


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


[winning rules]

4 ways to ruin your website

During the few years my family lived in Dallas, my favorite restaurant was Babe’s in the small town of Roanoke. When you sit down at a table, you face two choices: country fried steak or country fried chicken, and you couldn’t go wrong either way. Once that choice was made, the servers kept your table supplied with rolls, creamed corn and mashed potatoes and gravy – all served family style. Babe’s offered me a simple, uncluttered and ultimately delicious experience. Does your website offer me such a simple experience? If your site’s home page leaves your visitors confused about where to go or what to do, the purpose for your website – whatever that may be – will be unfulfilled.

Columns of clutter

4 1 2


No contact information

It’s frustrating to go to a website and not be able to find the primary thing I went there for – namely how to get in touch with the business. Don’t hide your phone number—put it in the footer of each page, as well as on your Contact page.

Big blobs of text

photo by Rachel Lock

Kevin Doel is president of Talon Communications Group, a Topekabased company specializing in public relations, social media and marketing communications.


Summer 2012

How do you read a website? If you’re like most people, you don’t. People have conditioned themselves to scan websites for headlines and keywords that match the content they seek. Use headlines to divide sections of copy and keep each paragraph to a sentence or two.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Unless you are running the Drudge Report website or, your website shouldn’t be designed with narrow columns of cluttered content and links. Multi-columned websites can be quite confusing and hard to scan – and visitors won’t know for sure what you want them to do.

A “More is More” Attitude

Sometimes a “More is More” attitude with your website doesn’t provide the best user experience. Though people want to research and find the information they need to make a smart purchase, loading your website with every conceivable thing you can think to say about your services or products and spreading them over a dozen pages can get overwhelming. Sometimes, less is more. If your website offers that simple, uncluttered and ultimately delicious experience, your visitors will keep coming back for more.


Don’t wonder about which vision plan is right for your company...

Ask your eye doctor!

Eye doctors created Vision Care Direct. We are private practice optometrists who formed a statewide association to deliver affordable, high-quality eye care directly to our community. When your company offers a plan from us, you can be sure that their doctor will give them more than just a simple refractive exam and bare bones materials. Our plans give patients access to high quality eye-health care and allow us to do what we’ve been trained to for our patients. We offer the most flexible vision plans on the market, including: Comprehensive exams Large network of highly trained eye doctors and labs Multiple plan options Voluntary plans with group rates Pre-tax contributions To learn more, contact:

Michael G. Eichten, CLU, ChFC

Peoples Benefit Group

The vision plan your eye doctor recommends


Phone - 785-271-8097





TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


t r a e h

r u ene

e h t of


r er p

by Melissa Brunner photos by RACHEL LOCK

Growing a business is much like raising a child. Both

present challenges, require a bit of tough love and force you take a leap of faith – and maybe even a few risks – along the way. Perhaps, then, it makes sense that, as Linda and Rick Farrant fostered GreatLife Golf and Fitness through a decade of continued expansion, they also opened their home to nearly 100 foster children. "Those kids keep life in perspective," Linda says. "They're people, not a job or money."

The Early Years

Rick was 17 years old when he got his first job at a golf course. By age 19, he landed a gig with the city of Hutchinson as superintendent of its three courses, including the renowned Prairie Dunes. At the same time, he was commuting to classes at Wichita State University, where he earned a finance degree. Rick became intrigued by another struggling course that launched what turned out to be a successful membership recruitment plan - $100 to join, $25 a month. He set his sights on a golf course where he could do the same and, in 1985, landed at Lake Ridge Estates, now known as Lake Perry Country Club. They "spent three years starving" before Rick decided, if they were going to make it work, they needed to improve the golf course. They sold memberships to finance the work and saw an immediate response from members. "We decided a long time ago that the only way, long term, to hit your goals and do the revenues is the facilities need to be in great shape," he said. "There are no shortcuts or bandaids. You just need to do the work.”

Expanding the Family

Rick & Linda Farrant, owners of GreatLife Golf & Fitness

In 1990, Rick's company acquired Prairie View Country Club and, in 1995, added Berkshire, both in southwest Topeka. Along the way, his first marriage ended and his three children continued to grow. In 1998, he and Linda married, adding her two children to the bunch as well.

Jandi Terrell and Carrie Dinwiddie


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

GreatLife Golf & Fitness at Western Hills "He married me and maxed out all my credit cards," she laughs. While that may not be entirely true, it wasn't long before the business would take a new direction and hit a growth spurt. Linda and Rick wondered if fitness centers would work at their golf locations. They decided to target Berkshire, but had to wait for land to become available for the expansion. In the meantime, a golf center in Kansas City, Mo. hit the market. It included an 8,000 square foot banquet room where previous tenants had failed at restaurants, video arcades and other ventures. The Farrants leased it in 2003 with an option to buy and got to work. "We had no idea what we were doing," Linda said. With $60,000 in used equipment and a friend doing renovations, the gamble paid off. Within five months, Maple Creek Athletic and Golf Club had 500 members and it topped the 1000 member mark within a year. They exercised the option to buy. High on the success of Maple Creek, they acquired the land and financing for the Berkshire expansion. "Then we got poor again," Linda said. "We ended up with more money in a golf course than ever before and still didn't know for sure if it was going to work," Rick said. It did, and the company has seen steady growth ever since. In fall 2003, Rick joined with Bob Shirley Farms in Grantville to establish Topeka Sod Farm. You might say he keeps himself in business. The operation has grown from those first three locations to 17, with golf courses stretching west to Junction City, Abilene and Salina and east into

Lebanon and Springfield, Mo. This year, GreatLife Golf and Fitness took over Shawnee Country Club and the fitness center at the YWCA of Topeka. It only works, they say, because they put in the time. "If you're not willing to wear the hats and do the jobs it's not going to work,” Linda said. “You can't ask employees to do the job you haven't done yourself." But she's also quick to share the credit. "A lot of the success is the employees we hire and what we expect of them," she said. "They know what they need to do and figure out a way to get it done. It's solution, solution." At the same time the company was growing, the Farrants decided to open their home to children in state care. They recently marked their nine-year anniversary as foster parents.

Beyond the Bottom Line

Soon, four of the children they’ve fostered will become a permanent part of the family. Rick and Linda are adopting siblings, ages 4, 5, 6 and 9. "That's stress!" Rick jokes. "I have to go to work to relax." But it also fits their personalities. Linda and Rick both say they're at their best when they're working toward a goal. They say being your own boss does bring freedoms, but also stresses. Families rely on you for a paycheck and, instead of a friendly lunch with coworkers, you must set boundaries as the boss. Still, neither would go back to the pressures of their prior jobs. The company is poised for future expansion in places like De Soto and Parsons, launching a franchise model as it grows. As with the decisions that got him to this point, Rick says, he's doing his homework and trusting his gut. "You don't have to have great ideas," he says. "You have to have great faith and great work ethic." TK

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012







Congratulations Topeka. We made another Kiplinger Top Ten List! Oh, wait. This list isn’t so great.

In fact, it is a little embarrassing. On a register of America’s most obese cities, the capital city ranks No. 8. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which uses Americans’ self-reported height and weight to calculate Body Mass Index scores, 33 percent of Topekans are considered obese, compared with 26 percent nationwide. And it isn’t only our waistlines that are growing, so are the costs associated with obesity. According to the report, the total obesity cost in Topeka is $109,839,216. That figure may be hard to wrap your head around, but if we don’t do something to reverse this trend, that number will continue to rise; everyone in this community will be affected through increased health care rates and a poorer quality of life. So how do we get ourselves off of that list and onto the Top 10 most healthy cities list? That is the same question community groups all over the city have been asking themselves.

continued on pg. 48


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012



Healthy Community


Most people in the community agree that we can make a concentrated effort to make Topeka a healthier community. Complete Streets, Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods, Topeka Bikeways Plan and Shawnee County Parks and Recreation all have ideas about how improve community wellbeing. WIBW Station Manager Jim Ogle is involved in all of these efforts and sees first-hand how hard it is to get everyone to agree on a course of action, but he doesn’t feel everyone has to be in agreement to move things in the right direction. “I am one giant overlap for people,” he said. “We don’t necessarily all sit down at the same table to move projects forward. If we waited for everyone to be on the same page, nothing would get done.” Ogle says one of the most defining moments for him was when he attended a conference on healthy communities in Washington D.C. One of the presenters asked the audience, ”What has a bigger effect on community health—a health fair or a zoning meeting about accessible sidewalks?” At that moment, Ogle says, the light bulb came on about the importance of community planning. “Every time we make an infrastructure decision, we have to live with it for the next 40 years,” Ogle said. “We have whole communities that are designed in a way that discourages walking or riding bicycles.” Ogle says we need to link the pieces together in a way that makes sense moving forward. This means making sure neighborhoods have sidewalks that allow for pedestrian traffic. It means connecting bicycle trails with designated bicycle lanes so people can ride to work. It means creating safe

neighborhoods where people want to get out of their houses. And it means educating people on why this issue is so important. “At the end of the day, we got here [on the most obese cities list] through a series of unintended choices,” Ogle said. “Now we have to make intended choices to start to correct the problem.”

Healthy Workplace

To create a healthier community, it takes more than planning and infrastructure. It takes a collaborative effort. Businesses are realizing the need to take a proactive approach to employee wellbeing. With health care costs rising, employers face the daunting task of keeping insurance premiums low, and they understand that healthy employees are more productive employees.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

As a health care insurer in Kansas for the past 70 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBS) understands the need to lower health care costs by having a healthier society. Mary Beth Chambers, corporate communications manager, says that the company knew it had to have the con-

versation about preventive health with its clients, but first, things had change within its own walls. “We had to walk the walk ourselves,” Chambers said. Walking the walk meant controlling the costs for premiums for its own employees. The first change came in the form of a no-smoking on campus or on company time policy. The second was the formation of a wellness team made up of employees representing every group within the corporation. The third was implementation of a “Know Your Numbers” campaign that asked employees to receive health screenings—with higher insurance premiums for those who did not comply. The company also invested in the design of a larger exercise facility (Club Blue) with more equipment, aerobics classes including Zumba and spinning, and a personal trainer on staff. Every year the wellness committee plans initiatives to improve employee health. In last year’s weight loss challenge, BCBS employees lost a combined 1,510 pounds. For the 14-minute mile challenge, employees who could run/walk a mile in under 14 minutes received $50. The wellness team also works with the cafeteria to offer “Blue Ribbon Meals” that use the Weight Watchers point system. And 30 percent of snacks offered in vending machines

Mary Beth Chambers and Michelle Shima in Club Blue.

continued on pg. 48 Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


N are Fit Pick items, meaning they meet the nutritional recommendations of the American Heart Association and the USDA. Michelle Shima, one of two fulltime registered nurses on staff, provides biometrics, blood tests, flu shots, skin checks, blood pressure checks and ergonomic evaluations. They also work with employees on weight loss programs.

On-site massage therapists come in for a nominal fee, to aid with stress reduction and relaxation. The company also offers educational tips and workshops on managing finances. Kauffman says everything the committee brings forward is at the request of employees. And, because they can see the company working to meet their needs, employees understand

family doctor,” O’Bryan says. When O’Bryan began offering health screenings and wellness programs in 1996, she found that companies wanted to offer these services because it seemed “a good thing to do.” Today, businesses realize that it is something they “must do” to control skyrocketing health premiums. On-site screenings offer a quick


Cox Communications


In 2008, at the request of its employees, Cox Communications started a corporate wellness program, forming a wellness committee consisting of representatives from each division. This committee asked employees what they thought about wellness in general, and what they wanted from a wellness program. Sarah Kauffman, public affairs director, said the answer was a little surprising. “Not only did employees want some education and assistance with their physical health, but they also wanted assistance with mental wellbeing and financial health,” Kauffman said. This finding spurred Cox Communications to institute a holistic approach to wellness. To address the physical health issues, Cox added on-site exercise facilities and ramped up education on making healthy food choices. The committee members began working with vending companies to offer healthier snack items and color coded the vending selections so employees could readily see the healthy choices in the machine. They also started incentive programs for weight loss, offering contests and prizes. The most popular contest is “The Biggest Winner” where employees compete for weight loss in the first three months of each year. Cox employees lost a total of 2,216 pounds this year.

Summer 2012

Cox Communications exercise facility

that Cox cares about them. “We are a family,” Kauffman said. “We want employees to be successful in all aspects of their lives.”


For corporations that don’t have internal wellness programs in place, private wellness coordinators such as HealthWorks can provide onsite wellness services. HealthWorks brings health screenings, weight management and wellness education into the workplace for all sizes of businesses. Owner Ann O’Bryan says that healthier employees create a more productive environment and help keep health care costs down for both employers and employees. “Corporate wellness is so important because many people don’t have a

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

way to look for possible health concerns and encourage preventive care. These benefit employers and employees money because instead of taking two hours off for the same service at a doctor’s office, employees spend only a few minutes right there at the office.

Healthy Individual

Ultimately, improving wellness falls on the shoulders of the individual. We can find support in our community and in the workplace, but that isn’t enough. We have to consciously choose to improve our own wellbeing.

Eat Better

One of the first steps to living a healthier lifestyle is to make better decisions about the food we eat. We

NUTRITION all know that eating too much fast food is not good, but we also make poor decisions when we walk up and down the aisles at the grocery store. For many people, it isn’t a conscious decision to eat unhealthy foods, but a result of not really understanding the nutritional value of the food we see on the shelves, or lack of meal planning. Hy-Vee hopes to remedy that. Amber Groeling, a registered dietician at Hy-Vee, consults with shoppers to educate them about healthier food choices. “We make over 200 food decisions a day,” Groeling said. “Making the right decision each time can seem impossible.” She works with individuals who have special dietary concerns, who need low-sodium or gluten free diets, or people who simply want to lose weight. She even takes on the role of a shopping assistant, walking individuals up and down the aisles and helping them understand their food options. While Groeling teaches people about healthy food choices, Chef Alli shows them how to make that healthy food taste good. Alli Winter has been Chef Alli for the past 12 years, and has worked with Hy-Vee teaching culinary classes since 2008. Her goal is to add more flavor to people’s lives. “Teaching people the importance of something as simple as adding fresh lemon zest to a recipe can make all the difference in how the food tastes,” Chef Alli said. Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up everything you love. Groeling says becoming healthy doesn’t happen overnight; it is a gradual process. “It isn’t realistic to make drastic changes in your diet or quit cold turkey,” she said. “That is a

Alli Winter and Amber Groeling in the Hy-Vee kitchen

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FITNESS recipe for failure.” Simple baby steps to eating right: • Make sure you’re really hungry before you eat anything. • Increase the fruits and vegetables you eat (1/2 your plate should be vegetables). • Learn healthy ingredients and healthy techniques for preparing food. • Plan out your meals in advance so you aren’t grabbing the first thing you find. “Eating healthy is harder than eating unhealthy,” Chef Alli said. “You have to want it and you have to own it.”

Get Up and Exercise

Eating better is only one piece of the wellness puzzle. Getting more physical exercise is another. Joe Hodgson, health and wellness director for YMCA of Topeka, says finding a place where people can exercise, in a non-threatening environment that offers a choice of programs and activities is the key to sticking with a fitness program. The YMCA offers an affordable fitness solution. Members can work out in the fitness room, run on the indoor track, take a Zumba or other aerobics class, play basketball or swim in the pool. They also have access to a wellness coach who will help

them customize a workout plan to meet their individual goals. A new service the YMCA has just brought online is the new ActivTrax system. This computer-based service designs a custom workout based on a person’s individual goals and results of a strength test administered by a wellness coach. Each time a person enters the YMCA, the system will design a new workout. It will also track caloric intake and provide nutritional suggestions to help people reach their goals. For some people, joining a gym isn’t appealing. They can take yoga classes at a community center or simply go outside and walk.

Take Care of the Mind

A stressed mind can wreak havoc on the body. It is harder to make good eating choices and find the time to ex-

ercise if you feel stressed out. Carol Jolly, MSW, LSCSW, an independent therapist with Shadow Wood Clinical Associates, says that in her 40+ years of experience helping people cope, workplace stress is more prevalent now than ever. “Downsizing by companies to become leaner and meaner means fewer employees doing more work,” Jolly said. “There is a price to pay for that.” She says that the pressure to work harder makes it difficult for people to take vacation time, so they don’t take time to get away from the workplace. Add managing a household, juggling kids’ activities and the financial pressure of a down economy, and it makes for an unbelievable amount of stress. “People’s lives and daily worries are so much more complicated and complex than in years’ past,” Jolly said.

Joe Hodgson provides instruction on the ActivTrax

Southwest YMCA of Topeka swimming pool


Summer 2012

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Steps to alleviate stress: • Admit you are stressed out. • Sit down and take stock of how you and your family are managing busy schedules. • Prioritize the pieces in your life. • Be willing to let some things go. • Take your vacation time—even if it is in your own backyard. • Take time to quiet your mind and help your kids practice the same. A little boredom can be healthy. Most importantly, Jolly says, when you are stressed out ask yourself this question, “In the grand scheme of life, how important is this?” Things are not always as important as we think.

Healthy Topeka

While getting the community and local businesses actively involved in promoting wellness is a big step in the right direction for making Topeka a healthier city, it isn’t enough. We, as individuals, have to be accountable for our own lifestyle choices. We can have the best bike trails in the nation, but if we don’t get on the bicycle, it doesn’t matter. We can have workout facilities in our offices and join a gym, but if we don’t strap on our walking shoes, that equipment means nothing. We can attend classes on healthy eating, but if we don’t make those good food choices, we will have to keep loosening our belts. Let’s work together to help Topeka get off of that big fat list.


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Summer 2012


Life of a

building Topeka Harley-Davidson Dealership


If a structure could have a gender, this one is an alpha male â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a muscle-flexing, barrel-chested, big-hearted, hard-working, middle-aged guy. Maybe a guy with a beard. Maybe a guy who rides a Harley. 54

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HISTORY AT 21ST & TOPEKA BOULEVARD Built for Functionality When Shawnee County built its new maintenance building in 1935, it was part of a grand complex that included the Kansas Free Fair grounds (where the Kansas Expocentre is located now). It cost $30,000, part of which came from county funds and part from Federal Emergency Relief

Administration labor. President Herbert Hoover created the Emergency Relief Administration in 1932 to address the job crisis of the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt renamed it F. E. R. A. and in 1935 it was replaced by the Works Progress Administration or WPA. This federal aid was well used in Topeka and Shawnee County, and many of those buildings and projects are still in use today. According to the Topeka Daily State Journal, “the coun-

ty FERA office show county-sponsored projects for a total of $837,608.14 have been approved and are or soon will be under construction.” More than half a million dollars of that total was work relief labor. For the maintenance building, 165 men were employed about six months and the stone came from local quarries. The steel and cement were purchased locally as well. The architect was Topekan W. E. Glover.

Full of Character In the 1990s, county officials decided this big-hearted guy of a building was showing his age and perhaps they should look to a younger substitute. His character, however, was intact and that attracted Wichita investors who wanted a unique location for their restaurant, Willie C's. According to the Topeka Capital Journal's Jim Baker, they chose the building for its “aged, industrial appearance. The architecture sets the mood. . . . .” For five years, bright neon illuminated the corner of 21st and Topeka Boulevard beckoning passers-by in for unforgettable potato soup and a fun, nostalgic atmosphere. Lunch crowds were strong, drawing from downtown and nearby businesses. The company could not match the evening supper crowds of Wanamaker, however, and eventually closed. Even before they locked the door, Harley engines were rumbling over the prospect of occupying the limestone landmark.

Harley Style “We dreamed about this building,” said Bruce Zimmerman, president of Topeka Harley-Davidson, with a smile. “We were looking at it while it was Willie C's.” Again, the building's architectural character was the draw, as well as the

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location. Its corner site, at the intersection of two busy Topeka streets, makes it easy to find. All of these factors also make it more of a destination, added Bruce. “Harley riders come from a long way to see the building.” This is not just a place you go to buy a motorcycle. Those steel-rein-

Topeka Harley-Davidson moved around a bit before finally settling down at 21st and Topeka Boulevard.

associated with the name. Through it all, Pat kept rolling along and by the 1970s, his son Dennis joined him. In the 1980s, the dealership made the move to an expanded location on Highway 24 and grandson Mike joined the business. Harley-Davidson began producing higher quality bikes

forced concrete floors built for heavyduty equipment now support some heavily tripped-out bikes, a shop filled with Harley-Davidson's line of clothing and accessories, a state-of-the art service department, Henry's Grill, and a museum. The company's goal of being a destination has been met 10 times over. The sheds on the lower level in back of the building were converted to shops with the attitude, “build it and they will come.” The result is a picturesque “Harley Village” with a coffee shop, hair salon, insurance agency and more tenants to come.

When Henry 'Pat” Patterson came from Colorado and bought the Topeka Harley dealership in 1949, it was at 305 Kansas Ave. As luck would have it, the Throop Hotel next door caught fire and collapsed on the Harley shop. Pat moved across the street temporarily and then to 2410 SW 6th St., to what he hoped would be a permanent location. The 1951 flood waters left them in a mess, but Pat motored on. Those days were difficult for Harley dealers. The competition coming from Japan was pretty stiff, and the bikes Harley produced back then weren't the quality that has come to be

and increased accessories. Times were good. The pride of ownership and camaraderie of Harley riders developed into an extended family. When the Topeka franchise celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1999, more than 700 people descended on the Kansas Expocentre for the gala. For six months, Pat had been battling cancer and his goal was to live to see that celebration. “He worked and willed his way to do it,” Bruce said. Pat had monitored the times of day he was most energetic and even though he was brought in on a gurney, he was animated, involved and thrilled to see


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Mike Patterson, owner of Topeka Harley Davidson the old customers who had become old friends. “I would have to compare the atmosphere to a tribute for a celebrity, a movie star or something,” Bruce said. “To have that kind of tribute at the end of his career was emotional for everyone.” Four days later, Pat died. The man's whose vision and commitment built a legacy had lived long enough to see his efforts rewarded and his family carrying on a tradition that had become far more than just a business. Pat's presence is felt everywhere at Topeka Harley-Davidson, even though the family moved into the 21st and Topeka location after his death. A mural of Pat and the first storefront forms one of the walls and the restaurant located inside the building is called Henry's Grill in his honor.

“HOG” Heaven Bruce Zimmerman is the man who kids want to be when they grow up. The view from his office is the stuff dreams are made of; it's not a panoramic landscape with mountains or lakes; it's not even a city skyline. It is one row of Harley-Davidson motorcycles after another. It is a view he has enjoyed since he was a boy, only from a different perspective. Bruce went with his dad, Zeke, to the Harley-Davidson shop on Saturdays, when Harley lovers and owners would commune with one another and their machines. His constant presence turned into a paying proposition when he was hired as the “clean-up kid,” literally sweeping up around the bikes. He worked his way up to service manager and eventually president.


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Rumbling On On Saturday mornings, Zeke Zimmerman still comes to the Harley shop to hang out with his buds as he has done for decades. They have coffee and biscuits and gravy in Henry's Grill, swap stories – some true, some not so much. Zeke's son still hangs out, too, except now he is hanging out in the president's office. Mike Patterson, Pat's grandson, is indistinguishable from the other staff. He is hard-working, happy to be there, eager to serve. Only when told his name do you realize he is the owner. One of the most unique characteristics of this business is that everyone appears happy to be here, eager to serve. They all love the building, the business and, of course, the HOGs. This muscle-flexing, big-hearted guy of a building wraps them all in a strong, affectionate bear hug. I may ask if they need someone to sweep the floor.


Deb Goodrich-Bisel

Deb Goodrich-Bisel is the author of The Civil War in Kansas: Ten Years of Turmoil published by the History Press.

The Topeka Professional Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications established the Headliner Awards to recognize women communications professionals. Headliner Award winners were recognized at the Headliner Awards luncheon on March 7, 2012. Proceeds from the luncheon are used for college scholarships for students in the communications field, professional development, and community investment projects. For a list of the Top Ten nominees, visit

Congratulations to our 2012 Headliner Award Winners! Morgan Schaeffer, Kansas Family Partnership Kelly Pierce, Advisors Excel Jessica Kellner, Ogden Publications

Thank you to Our 2012 Headliner Sponsors! Presenting Sponsor

Headliners’ Round Table Sponsors

Editors’ Round Table Sponsor

Ogden Publications

Byliners’ Round Table Sponsor Valeo Behavioral Health Care


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[from the professor]

wealth creation in the info r mation age CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION TK Visiting Professor

Norma Juma, Ph.D. Associate Professor Washburn University School of Business


Summer 2012

‘…in the information age, things are ancillary, knowledge is central. A company’s value is derived not from things, but from knowledge, know-how, intellectual assets, competencies-all embedded in people.’ - Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad What is wealth? How do nations, corporations and individuals within the nation and the wider global economy create wealth today? It may be necessary to get on the same page on what wealth is because different people have defined the term differently. For instance, a number of people in finance argue that the wealth of a corporation is greatly captured by its market capitalization. Likewise, a number of economists have argued that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) largely encapsulates the wealth of a nation. I argue that these matrixes are a just glimpse of what wealth is all about. Michael Milken once lamented that corporate balance sheets do not feature the most important assets that draw a clear demarcation between the rich corporation and the poor corporation. After all what are we really investing in when we buy Nike’s stocks...its shoes factories? Well, Nike does not own any shoe factory. Nike is in the business of designing and marketing shoes and not manufacturing them.

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Likewise, when we invest in Microsoft we are not investing in its physical assets;, it does not own any of the software factories. Rather, we are investing in its ability to set standard for personal-computing software and exploit the value of its name while forging and leveraging strategic alliance with other companies. Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, former CEO of Merck & Co. once said, “We guard our research even more carefully than our financial assets.''1 It is therefore erroneous to limit wealth to quantifiable aspects.

The wealth of human capital. Indisputably, wealth today resides in individuals in the form of human capital and other forms of capital borne out of interaction with human capital. That is not to say that financial resources as well as physical resources are irrelevant, but rather that they are ancillary, and knowledge and owners of that knowledge (human capital) are central to wealth creation. It is imperative to note that

knowledge (and by implication, human capital) is developed and it is not innate. It is therefore important to have the conversation as to how to develop a superior quality of this essential ingredient of wealth creation, first at the individual level, then at regional, national and international levels.

Can wealth truly be measured? Intellectual capital helps capture those things that are not reflected in the traditional financial statements. This broad definition includes things such as the experiences and skills of employees, customer relationships, brand names, employee loyalty and commitment, reputation, etc.2 However, wealth in its totality is almost impossible to capture with statistics. Almost 44 years ago Robert F. Kennedy made a much cited criticism of the Gross National Product (GNP): “Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them…. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”3 Robert F. Kennedy also pointed out that, even though

America by the count of its GNP was a wealthy nation, there were American children dying of starvation. In other word, GNP tells so much and yet so little of a nation’s moral fabric. Mark Anielski proposed the concept of Genuine Wealth Assessment (GWA) as a measure of true wealth. GWA is a values-based, well-being analysis of management process. Anielski argued that a truly flourishing and sustainable enterprise is one which integrates, balances and optimizes its core assets: people (human capital), relationships (social capital), the environment (natural capital), built capital (infrastructure) and financial capital4. GWA attempts to capture the things that intuitively make life worthwhile and which are either ignored or improperly counted in conventional statistics of progress, like GNP, market capitalizations, etc. In a nutshell, we must not surrender community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Moreover, material things are a trivial portion of how we create, measure or utilize wealth.


1 Stewart, T. A. ‘Brainpower Intellectual capital is becoming corporate America's most valuable asset and can be its sharpest competitive weapon. The challenge is to find what you have -- and use it.’ Fortune Magazine, June, 3rd/1991. 1 Uwe E. Reinhardt, What is the "wealth" of a nation? Some parting thoughts, A lecture for EC 100 1 Melvin Aron Eisenberg, The Structure of Corporation Law 2 Robert, P. W. & Dowling, G. R. 2002. Corporate reputation and sustained superior financial performance. Strategic Management Journal, 23(12): 10771095. 3 Remarks of Robert F. Kennedy at the University of Kansas, March 18, 1968 4 “What is Genuine Wealth Assessment (GWA)?

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Summer 2012


[stepping up to leadership] Managing Image:

Perceptions & Misperceptions

Examining First Impression Basics

Rich Drinon, M.A.

Drinon & Associates, President

He has 25 years experience as an executive communication speaker, trainer, coach and facilitator. For more information


Summer 2012

It only takes a few moments for a person to form a first impression of you. Within a few seconds, someone will read and screen you, in accordance with his or her world view, and then decide how to proceed. You are either “in” or “out” right from the start of a “relationship.” People form opinions about you; then those opinions dictate their continued behavior – for better or worse. On a basic level, people judge you according to non-verbal (body language), vocal (voice) and verbal (words) communication. Non-verbal communication makes up about 50 percent of the first impression; vocal communication represents 40 percent of the pie; and verbal communication the remaining 10 percent. To make a favorable first impression, it’s essential to dress appropriately and to project a fitting attitude for any given situation or audience. You also must display physical poise, manage tone of voice and be selective with your choice of words. When you make a favorable first

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impression, others will readily attribute positive qualities to you. When you are misperceived, people will naturally assign undesirable characteristics to you. With this in mind, managing image, perceptions and misperceptions is a full time job for leaders, followers and other organizational stakeholders.

Dealing with Harmful Misperceptions In The Projection Principle, Dr. George Weinberg and Dianne Rowe suggest that how people see others usually determines how they will treat them. The opposite is also true; how people treat others will determine how they see them. This is called The Law of Consonance. When dealing with someone’s misperception, the trick, according to Weinberg & Rowe, is to change the other person’s behavior in order to correct their view or misperception. Certain techniques can help repaint someone’s inaccurate mental picture of you. First, however, you must determine if it really is a misperception or if their view is justified.

Here’s a rule of thumb: • If just one person, as compared to most, sees and treats a person unfavorably it’s possibly caused by a misperception. • If most people see or treat an individual a certain way it’s likely a response to the “real” person, including a poor attitude, questionable practices or tendency to mistreat others. For example, does just one person interpret an employee as difficult, or does everyone seem to hold that same opinion? Does just one person view the boss as inept? Or do most employees or stakeholders hold this view? When dealing with a misperception, one can correct the other person’s view. When dealing with reality (one’s own issues) individuals must amend their ways (Weinberg & Rowe, 1988).

Repainting Someone’s Inaccurate Mental Picture of You Step 1: Identify the Unwanted Behavior When they have harmful misperceptions of someone, leaders, managers, followers or colleagues may do the following: • Avoid the person • Act unfriendly towards them • Exclude the individual from important conversations, meetings or activities • Misconstrue or struggle with the other person’s words • Treat the person stereotypically • Challenge one’s authority or openly criticize in front of others • Go behind their back or show non- compliance to rules • Disregard assignments or requests. Step 2: Determine the Preferred Treatment You Want What do you want to experience, or not experience, with the other person? What does your preferred behavior look, sound and feel like? Step 3: Engage the Individual Regarding the Behavior Assertively approach the individual, specifically about his or her behavior. Stay cool, calm and collected since getting emotional may thwart the use of this approach. If we approach with anger, blame or resentment, the person may become defensive. If we take a “poor me” approach they might not take us seriously. This situation calls for a logical, step by step, assertive approach.

Step 4: Ask the Person to Stop One Behavior and Replace It with Another • Be specific. Ask the person to stop the undesirable behavior. • Be firm. Ask them to replace it with the desired behavior. • Stay your course. Don’t back down when you get resistance, insist on the new behavior. • Raise the stakes. If you don’t get compliance, call in a higher authority as a third party. • Make a case of it. If you don’t get the response you want, take the request to a higher level until you get the treatment you want (Weinberg & Rowe, 1988). In addition, there are laws against discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Take it to the limit if you must. Stop when you get the desired treatment.


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[extra, extra!] Six Receive Preservation Awards

The Shawnee County Historical Society honored six in its Sixth Annual Historic Preservation Awards. John and Julie Lyle “Historic Preservation & Neighborhood Revitalization" Jayhawk Theater “Historic Persistence in Preservation Efforts” Constitution Hall “Historic Perseverance in Historic Rehabilitation” The Schultz Family “Maintenance & Production Excellence in Historic Building” Fraternity House on W.U. Campus “Preservation of Historic Property” 917 & 921 SW Topeka Blvd. “Adaptive Reuse of Historic Property”

New Topeka Business: Forever NR Heart Memorial Urns When Jack Freeman’s brother passed away three years ago, the family spent countless hours looking for a memorial urn to hold his ashes. What Jack really wanted was an urn with the Jayhawk logo on it because his brother was an avid KU fan. To his disappointment, he soon discovered that such a thing didn’t exist. Jack knew he probably wasn’t the only person who would be interested in collegiate memorial urns, so he decided to make his own. Today, he offers beautiful handcrafted wooden memorial urns made from oak, cherry, mahogany or purple wood engraved with K-State, KU and Washburn logos. Soon he


Summer 2012

United Way names campaign leaders

Carol Wheeler, Stormont VailHealthCare, has been named volunteer Campaign Chair for the United Way of Greater Topeka's 2012 workplace campaign. The Campaign Chair-Elect is Larry McCoig, Equity Bank, N.A. The 2012 Campaign Leadership Committee (CLC) members are: Wayne Basso, UMB Bank Jeff Beasley, Westar Energy Don Beatty, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Brent Boles, Schendel Pest Services, Inc. Julie Ford, Topeka Public Schools Jim Grunewald, Topeka Federation of Labor Jim Hanni, AAA Allied Group, Inc.

hopes to have military urns available as well. Customers can find these urns in participating funeral homes in Topeka, Manhattan and Lawrence. Jack also offers custom pet urns to memorialize those furry family members as well. For more information visit

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Jared Holroyd, Atria Hearthstone Mike Kiley, Security Benefit Kim Konecny, Premier Employment Solutions Mark Kossler, Fidelity State Bank & Trust, Co. Mary Jo Waugh, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (Retired)



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You want an advisor who can help you realize your goals. Someone with a firm grasp of the financial landscape and a deep understanding of you. Brian can help you develop a customized strategy that considers where you want to be.

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[extra, extra!] R avenw o o d L o d g e H o sts W o men ’ s C har i ty S h o o t

Local women will shoot it out for charity on Saturday, July 7 from 9-11 a.m., while couples will be taking shots on Sunday, July 8 from 9-11 a.m. Proceeds from the 20th Annual Kansas Women’s Charity Shoot and Couple’s Fun Shoot will support education and mentoring for women in recreational shooting and hunting sports while benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. For more information, visit

Westar Energy Receives “Emergency Assistance Award”

The Edison Electric Institute honored Westar Energy with the association’s “Emergency Assistance Award” for the utility’s outstanding efforts in restoring electricity following severe weather events occurring throughout 2011.
 The award recognizes an outstanding response in restoring electric service to a neighboring or nearby utility company that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. On April 27, 2011 Westar dispatched 41 people, including line personnel, management, safety personnel, material handlers, and fleet personnel to Alabama Power service territory after deadly tornadoes hit the area, cutting power to thousands of customers. Following Hurricane Irene in late August, Westar sent 80 linemen, supervisors, safety and support personnel and contract workers to New York. And, on October 31, 2011, Westar Energy received a call for assistance from utilities throughout the Northeast due to a rare autumn snowstorm that dumped two feet of snow in some areas.

Aldersgate Unveils its Recovery Center

The physical rehabilitation center at Aldersgate Village is unlike anything in the region. The $2.5 million renovation has high-tech equipment developed and used by NASA, professional sports teams and nationally recognized healthcare organizations such as the Mayo Clinic. A wireless infrastructure dedicated to computerized tracking and faster patient recovery will help medical and rehabilitation professionals provide customized, results-oriented treatment programs.


Summer 2012

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Kansas Hall of Fame Inducts News Members

The 2012 laureates will be inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame at the Annual Ceremonial Induction Gala on Friday, June 15, 2012, at the Great Overland Station Museum, 701 N. Kansas Avenue, Topeka. Master of Ceremonies for the event will be Jim Lehrer. The Kansas Hall of Fame recognizes great leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, innovators and historical giants who have a direct connection to Kansas while making significant contributions to our state, the nation, or the world. Laureates embody the qualities of perseverance, courage, and vision that have distinguished Kansans for more than 150 years. The 2012 Laureates: - Governor Alfred M. Landon,

Presidential Nominee and Statesman

- Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker,

US Senator and Stateswoman

- Cyrus K. Holliday, Entrepreneur

- The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, Business and Industry

- Edward Asner, Actor

- George Washington Carver, Botanist and Inventor

- William Allen White, Publisher

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Summer 2012


[extra, extra!] Advant Resume Services Opens

Talon Communications Group, a Topeka-based communications, public relations and business writing company, has opened Advant Resume Services. Advant will work with clients to learn about their professional histories and career goals, then create resumes designed to best showcase experience and talents. The company will also help clients create online profiles on the LinkedIn social networking site and show them how to use LinkedIn to advance their careers.

Extreme Recycling, Inc. Boasts e-Stewards Certification

Extreme Recycling, Inc. has received the Basel Action Network’s e-Stewards® Certified Recycler designation, placing the company among an elite group of the most responsible e-waste recyclers across the globe. The e-Stewards certification is awarded only to companies that meet the most stringent health and safety, data security, environmental, and socially responsible standards in the electronics recycling industry and is the most comprehensive certification available.


Summer 2012

Mize Houser & Company Admit Shareholders

Mize Houser & Company P.A., Certified Public Accountants, is pleased to announce that Audrey M. Odermann, CPA and Jerry J. Robke, CPA have been admitted as shareholders in the practice of public accounting. Audrey is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She has focused her career on providing consulting and auditing services to cities, school districts and various other municipalities in both Kansas and Missouri. She serves as a special review committee member for the Government Finance Officers Association and is on the board of editors for the Kansas Municipal Audit Guide. Jerry is a graduate of Emporia State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Administration. He joined Mize Houser in 1992 and has focused his efforts on serving McDonald’s owner/operators across the country. His areas of expertise include consulting and tax planning.


Baker University will be holding a Career Expo and Networking Event on Friday, June 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2641 SW Wanamaker Road, Suite 102 in Topeka. The expo includes workshops and opportunities to meet area businesses to seek employment opportunities.

Alex Reilly Receives Annual Communicator of the Year Award

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The local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators has awarded the annual Communicator of the Year Distinction to Alex Reilly, vice president and principal of MB Piland Advertising + Marketing. Nominees for this award must demonstrate vision, leadership, creativity and commitment to their profession, their organization and the communications industry.

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Summer 2012


[extra, extra!] Artists Take Over Topeka to Paint the Town

More than 50 artists converged on Topeka in April to paint the town. The rules for Paint Topeka, a juried art contest organized by SouthWind Gallery, were simple: The artwork had to be limited to one subject—the city of Topeka. First, second and third place winners will receive cash prizes. SouthWind Gallery will exhibit the artwork submitted to the competition from Sept. 7 through Oct. 27. SouthWind Gallery will also publish an art book featuring the artwork from the competition.

NOTO Recognized as a Midwest Best

Best of the Midwest TRAVEL Magazine recognized the North Topeka Arts District, NOTO, in it's latest issue. The article showcased the project, giving some background information and describing the renovations.

ECU Appoints Junior Advisory Board President

Educational Credit Union’s Junior Advisory Board’s president for the 2012-13 school year will be Garrett Mazachek. Mazachek, a sophomore at Washburn University, is majoring in Accounting and Pure Math. He is in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and currently holds the position of Vice President of Finance. Mazachek is part of the Washburn Leadership Institute and has been inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta, Kappa Mu Epsilon the and Sagamore Honor Societies. Educational Credit Union’s Junior Advisory Board (JAB) is in their second year. In addition to the board president, JAB consists of six to eight local high school juniors and seniors. Last year, JAB taught a financial literacy course to nine high school classes. JAB’s curriculum was developed with the help of ECU and Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc. and is geared towards young adults.

Topeka Painter Lisa Adame named Aaron Douglas Featured Artist

Topeka resident Lisa Adame has been named the 2012 Aaron Douglas Art Fair’s Featured Artist. Adame, a painter and mixed media artist, is a resident artist at Rusty Haggles Antique Shop and Artist Lofts in the NOTO arts district. Her work has been displayed throughout the Midwest, including the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair Adds to Management Team

Gary Nantz has joined the Management Team of Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair American Home and will also serve as the Supervising Broker of the Fairlawn Office. Following military service in Korea, Nantz earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Emporia State University while teaching English as a second language to international students. He also earned his BS in Business Administration from ESU with a minor in economics. Gary was an accountant for the Santa Fe Railway Company (now BNSF) in Topeka until he earned his real estate license. He became an immediate multi-million dollar producer and was elected to the Board of Directors of the Topeka Area Association of REALTORS®. Nantz has served in every office of the association, including President, and was awarded REALTOR® of the Year honors by TAAR and Salesperson of the Year by both TAAR and the Kansas Association of REALTORS®. Gary has been associated with Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair American Home since 2000.

Top Duck Wins a 2002 Ford Thunderbird

Adopters of ducks in the 2012 Sertoma Great Topeka Duck Race will have the opportunity to win a 2002 Ford Thunderbird of donated by Laird Noller Ford, Topeka.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


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PAYMENT: Send your check or money order to MVP Magazine | Attn: Subscriptions | PO Box 67272 | Topeka, KS 66667 Is your organization interested in selling MVP Magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser? Please contact Tara at or 785.217.4836


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

[scene about town] American Business Women's Association Career Chapter 30th Annual Scholarship Luncheon March 27, 2012 Maner Conference Center

[Susan Koch, Kaw Valley Bank; Judy Thomas, Wells Fargo; and Shawn Maisberger, City Manager's Office]

[Janel Warmington, US Bank; Mandi Walter, Porterfields; and Rebecca Stowe, Callahan Creek]

[Shannon McMahon, Community Action Headstart; Linda Farrant and Linda Deines, GreatLife Golf & Fitness; and Diana Friend, Topeka Shawnee County Public Library]

[Marilyn Ervin, US Bank retired; Phyllis Peterson, BNSF retired; Donna Freel, Linda Hayes and Colleen Dickes, Mayor's Office]

[JoAnne Daffron and Heidi Mark, Wells Fargo; Nancy Johnson, Community Resources Council; and Ralph Krumins, Krumins McGee Financial Group]

[Martha Piland, MB Piland Advertising & Marketing; Nancy Perry; Connie Hubbell, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved; Susan Garlinghouse and Marge Heeney]

[ Gay Crawford, Collective Brands; Bridget Aeschliman and Joanna Becker, Terracon; Tiffany Beyer, StormontVail HealthCare; and Marcia Durkes, Simply Solutions] TK...Topeka's TK...Topeka'sBusiness BusinessMagazine Magazine Summer Summer2012 2012


[scene about town] Sales & Marketing Executives of Topeka 2012 Summit | April 25, 2012 Sunflower Ballroom, Maner Conference Center

[Randall Scott, Washburn University Foundation; Nick Neukirch and Mike Eichten, Peoples Benefit Group] [Bob Gunther, MRH Insurance and WIlliam Betetta, Heartland Visioning]

[ Bruce Steinbrock, Washburn University and Jay T Ladenburger, Curtis 1000]

[Jeff Martin, Robert Cillessen and Ehren Feldmeyer, Waddell and Reed]

[Brenda Smith, Quik Print; Tracy Green, Jayhawk File Express; Mike Schmidt and Teresa Kuszak, Gardner's Flooring America; and Sherri Pike, Brickyard Barn Inn] 74

Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012



Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

[scene about town] Topeka Independent Business Association May 8, 2012 Topeka Country Club

[Webb Garlinghouse; Tim Royer, Fidelity Bank & Trust; and Tim Harrington, Cartridge King of Kansas]

[Rebecca Miller, Space for Life and Ken Daniel, Midway Wholesale]

[Lisa Hood and Megan Harrod, Baker University and Tara Dimick, E2 Communications]

[ Keith Smith, College Hill Plumbing & Heating; Brenda Smith, Quik Print; and Dan Ramlow, Kansas Contractors Association]

[Kyle Smith, KBI; Patti Bossert, Key Staffing; Stephen Iliff, CPA; and Bob Stoller, Washburn University]

[Scott Griffith, Intrust Bank; Gary Starr, Edward Jones; and Gary Dick, Topeka Today] TK...Topeka's TK...Topeka'sBusiness BusinessMagazine Magazine Summer Summer2012 2012

77 77

[the last word]

owner petland topeka I am life-long Topekan. I graduated from Washburn Rural and attended K-State and Washburn University with a major in criminal justice and a minor in broadcasting journalism. As a wife of 20 years, and mother of two, I am forever thankful to my husband and boys for their unconditional love and patience. They have been amazingly supportive throughout the process of growing this business.

Staci WILLIAMS What inspired you to purchase Petland?

What do you have planned for the future?

I have worked in the animal industry in one form or another for my entire life. When I was 18, I started working at Petland in Topeka and immediately fell in love with all aspects of the industry. Since then I have raised puppies, rescued both Native and exotic wildlife and been proactive in raising funds for numerous non-profit animal organizations. When I heard about the opportunity to purchase this Petland, I was concerned about owning a pet store, but once I found out about the franchiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ethics and values, I jumped at the chance to be a facilitator of sending home animals to their forever loving homes. The store has a retail pet store license and a shelter rescue license which allows us to take in animals in need at no cost to the owner and adopt them out to their forever families.

Expansion! Expansion! Expansion! I would like to expand the community adopt-a-pet program, activate our doggy day care, have a full time veterinarian on staff and offer grooming and boarding kennels to the community.

Favorite quote? Isaiah 40-31: â&#x20AC;&#x153;those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.â&#x20AC;?

What is something about you that would surprise most people? Most people do not realize how active in the community I am. In addition to owning Petland, I am a consultant to four other businesses as well. These avenues allow me to be proactive in non-profit organizations and local development groups in our community.

What is your pet peeve? A long time battle of mine has been with organizations that are willing to attempt to destroy a business based on social rumors and false accusations. My pet peeve is when a radical group is unwilling to do the research or communicate with the business itself to get the facts and therefore socially destroys an honest and ethical business in the process.



Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine




























of the sodium you eat is hiding in processed and restaurant foods. Learn where sodium hides, and make healthier choices.


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2012


St. Francis Health Center Presents


t. Francis Health Center in Topeka has joined with a national network of more than 100 hospitals to present Spirit of Women, a program dedicated

to helping women make positive changes for improving the health and wellness of themselves and their families. St. Francis Health Center is proud to be one of only three hospitals in Kansas providing this innovative and enjoyable health program.

Spirit of Women includes free health screenings, fun special events, good-health information, expanded services and exclusive offerings tailored for local women and their families.

To learn more, visit


Summer 2012

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine Summer 2012  

Summer 2012 Issue of TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

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