Page 1

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

1


You want the best care for your little one.

You get top pediatric specialists right here. Amazing things happen when doctors, specialists and a hospital work together as one. Like when we created The Birthplace. Then the area’s highest level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). And now – an enhanced pediatrics program with top pediatric specialists. You get a higher level of care for your kids when you choose Stormont-Vail, Cotton-O’Neil and PediatricCare. And it’s all here in Topeka so you don’t have to drive to KC. So you can get back to living. Call or visit us on the web to learn more. 785-354-5225 | stormontvail.org

Get back to living.

2

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


contents

{Summer 2013} Features 8

Fathers & Sons TK showcases father and son businesses in Topeka.

22 Generational Transitions The Center for Organizational Excellence gives tips on how to maintain innovation from one generation to the next. 28 Profits on Paws How Topekans have turned their love for animals into business opportunities. 42 Marketing Success WIBW marketing gurus Dan Lindquist and Tim Kolling comment on promotional efforts of local businesses and organizations.

8

Fathers & Sons

22

profits on paws

46

46 Investing in East Topeka A partnership between business, government and nonprofits works to improve a challenged neighborhood.

6

a guide to style

Investing in East Topeka

In Every Issue

Columns

4 From the Publisher Always watching—A Father’s Day Tribute.

24 Heart of the Entrepreneur Rick LeJuerrne tells the Lonnie Williams story.

6 Tips and Tools Personal stylist Kimberly Marney gives advice on summer office attire.

52 From the Professor An economic and financial outlook for 2103 by Robert Weigand, Ph.D., Professor of Finance and Brenneman Professor of Business Strategy at Washburn University

62 Extra Extra 65 Scene About Town - YP Summit Networking Social - 2013 Small Business Awards Luncheon - IABC Bronze Quill Awards - ABWA Career Chapter Scholarship & Women of Distinction Luncheon

56 Life of a Building Deb Goodrich-Bisel tells the story of the Downtown Ramada. 60 Stepping Up To Leadership Rich Drinon discusses the importance of giving back to the community.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

3


[from the publisher]

Always Watching In honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to give a special tribute to fathers, the businesses they have built and the sons that they have brought into the fold. As we put the “Fathers & Sons in Business” article together, it made me reflect on my own father and the role he played in molding who I am. My dad turned a small business with two employees into a thriving company that never has enough employees to handle all the work. But like many small business owners, my dad wasn’t looking to build the next Fortune 500 Company; he was simply building a life for his family. As a child, I was always watching my dad—paying attention to the words he said, the decisions he made and the actions he took. Whether he was working his business, coaching my team or just being dad, I was watching. Watching my dad, I learned so much more than how to have a successful business: - Work hard and give everything you have to your work. - Be present and give everything you have to your family. - Embrace your own imperfections. - Accept other people’s imperfections. - Have your own opinion, but always listen to the opinion of others with an open mind. - Do business with people who look you in the eye and shake your hand. - Anyone and everyone can be your friend. - Give second chances. - Forgiveness and understanding will reward you many times over. Even today, I find myself watching my dad—the words he says, the decisions he makes and the actions he takes. And I feel blessed to have a dad who fought to give his kids the best life he could. To all fathers…Happy Father’s Day.

4

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK

Topeka’s Business letters to the editorMagazine Summer 2013

Publisher

TARA DIMICK

Editor-in-Chief LISA LOEWEN

Designer JENNI PONTON

Account Executives Tara Dimick - 785.217.4836

Photographer RACHEL LOCK

Contributing Writers Deb Bisel, Melissa Brunner, Rich Drinon, Tim Kolling, Rick LeJerrne, Dan Lindquist, Lisa Loewen, Kim Marney, Karen Ridder, Thomas Underwood, Doug Von Feldt, Robert A. Weigand, Ph.D.

Founder KEVIN DOEL PO Box 67272 | Topeka, Kansas 66667 785-217-4836 | tara@tkmagazine.com www.tkmagazine.com

Comments & Suggestions tara@tkmagazine.com

Publishing Company E2 Communications, Inc. 2013 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.


head & neck surgery

If it’s north of your shoulders, we fix it. Our ENTs are also trained surgeons. at Topeka Ear, Nose & Throat, our seven specialists perform surgery on all structures and soft tissues of the head and neck. We’re also trained facial & neck plastic and reconstructive surgeons, because we want to do everything possible to insure a good cosmetic outcome as well as healthy outcome.Your well-being depends on it. - Dr. robert lane, ENT Topeka Ear, Nose & Throat 785-233-0500

Breathe easy. We’re on the case.

Michael Franklin, MD, FACS

Douglas Barnes, MD, FACS

Matthew Glynn, MD

Tyler Grindal, MD

Scot Hirschi, MD

Robert Lane, MD

Bart Patenaude, MD

920 sW laNE sTrEET | suITE 200 | TOpEka, ks 66606 | 785-233-0500

For more information, visit: www.TopekaENT.com/ent-services.html TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

5


by Kimberly Marney Stacy London-trained style for hire personal stylist Model: Lorraine Mugler

Summertime in Kansas is hot, humid and unpredictable. But skin-baring, colorful summer clothing can often be too casual for the workplace. Here are some helpful hints on how to incorporate a summer look into your office wardrobe:

Color

After a long season of dark colors and gray skies, it’s natural to gravitate to wearing bright colors in the summer. Just be careful not to take it too extreme. Wearing a solid colored jacket can help mute a brilliantly colored dress. Cobalt blue, emerald green and orange are three of the top women’s shades this season. For men, cobalt blue ruled the runway and can be worn conservatively in ties, tailored shirts and even jackets.

jacket with a sleeveless, brightly-colored dress for a more professional look that still captures the essence of summertime.

Lace The office is no place for one of the season’s biggest trends... lace shorts, but lace in the form of a blouse, pencil skirt or dress is an ideal way to express your inner fashionista! For an even more professional look, pair with your favorite blazer.

White suits are chic, professional and a great way to mix & match this season. A slim trouser paired with a lace or peplum top is great for casual Fridays. Pair a white

USE CAUTION!! Depending on your office, a shorted suit can be perfectly acceptable and polished. The length and tailoring of the short is critical. Pair with a blazer and low pumps and you have a sharp look. Check your office guidelines first and NEVER wear cutoffs to work, no matter what your profession!

Summer Dresses Skinny straps and too much skin are a NO-NO at the office. A better choice is a sleeveless, fit-and-flare dress with a summer color palette. A cardigan or blazer will keep you warm enough in airconditioning.

Summer 2013

Play

Shorts

All White

6

Work

Work

Oversized Clutch A large clutch is a versatile accessory that can carry your tablet and office

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Work documents and even transition from day to evening. The structured shape has the same effect as a tailored suit. You can use it to add a pop of color to your basic gray, navy or black suiting.

Footwear While it might be tempting to slip on flip flops, it is never a good idea. Opt for dressy sandals with a little heel or espadrilles in addition to fun colored and nude pumps.


Play Office Don'ts Save the lace shorts for your weekend activities. • It is NEVER OK to wear cutoffs to the office. • Be careful not to show too much skin, even in a loose fitting dress. • Flip flops are a workplace violation. •

Office Do's Wear a blazer to keep a brightly colored garment more conservative. • Wear sandals with a heel and espadrilles for a summertime feel. • Enjoy color in your workplace wardrobe. Just pair it with a conservative item. •

TK

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

7


FATHER & S O N IN BUSINESS Every father dreams about working with his son, having a child follow in his footsteps and handing down a legacy. TK highlights a few of Topeka’s father and son businesses.

8

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Tracy& Juneau 25 year Customer “Capital City Bank has been with me since my college days – loyal all the way. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to move my banking relationship, but I never wanted to because I felt so comfortable.” – TRACY GARdNER

by your side for over 120 years! At Capital City Bank, our experienced team will help you take control of your financial future.

785-274-5600 cAPcITyBANK.cOM

PERSONAL BANKING. BUSINESS BANKING. MORTGAGE LOANS. TRUST AND ASSET MANAGEMENT.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

MEMBER FDIC

Summer 2013

9


DRS. BOB & DEREK DURBIN Durbin Dental General Dentistry Bob began practice in 1978. Derek joined practice in 2004. Bob (father, right): “We look out for each other. I have the time to be there on the weekends to take care of the office. At some point Derek will have to take over the business side of the practice, but right now his family comes first. Business can come later.” Derek (son, left): “I know how to do dentistry, but running a business is a whole other thing. I think I would have failed if I had to do it on my own. Dad has had my back for the past 30 years, and now I will have his back for the rest of his life.”

10

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


e h t h it w ! S S O B Y T PAR

Looking for a fun meal for the office gang? Or a casually elegant buffet for a wedding reception or private party? Boss Hawg’s has the mouth-watering menu your guests will love! Our family-owned barbecue restaurant offers scrumptious meats, made-from-scratch side dishes and fresh salads to fit every taste – and wallet.

Boss Hawg’s also offers budget-friendly catering. Let us help you with event planning, rental equipment or full-service catering. Or reserve Boss Hawg’s private party rooms for your gathering. Call our Catering Concierge today at 785.273.7300, ext. 4, or visit BossHawgs.com. For a great event, PARTY with the BOSS!

2833 S.W. 29th (in the Brookwood Shopping Center)

785•273•7300 • BossHawgs.com

Like Us

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Follow Us

Summer 2013

11


HELPING YOU PUT

YOUR BUSINESS

ST

“The T/SC FOF took a chance on me when other conventional institutions would not. With this loan, I purchased equipment that has nearly doubled my production and sales.” —Topeka Business Owner, TSCFOF loan recipient

The Topeka/Shawnee County First Opportunity Fund is a program that can help you: Qualify for a micro loan up to $10,000 Receive consultation and counseling on your operations Get connected to additional resources to help your business grow and thrive! It’s for any Shawnee County business that meets any one of the following criteria: Business is owned by low-income person Business is located in an economically distressed area Business will employ low-income individuals Services are confidential, professional and you maintain control of all business decisions. READY TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS? TAKE THE FIRST STEP TODAY.

Call Cyndi Hermocillo-Legg at 785.231.6000 Or email clegg@GoTopeka.com

Entrepreneurial & Minority Business Development

12

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


HAYDEN, CHRIS & DAVID ST. JOHN Lawyer's Title of Topeka, Inc. Title Insurance & Real Estate Closing Hayden began company in 1975. Chris joined company in 1985. David joined company in 1999. Chris (son, left): “Dad is one of the most respected title experts in the state. This business is in his blood. Dad may not be here as much, but he will always have an office here. He’s still the boss.”

Hayden (father, center): “It is any father’s dream to be able to work with his two boys on a daily basis. I bring the experience, and my boys bring new ideas and new technology to the business to keep it moving forward.”

David (son, right): “Growing up, we saw what worked for dad to be successful. We can follow in those footsteps. The integrity he displayed showed us the right way to do business.”

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

13


STU & MIKE ENTZ Entz & Entz PA Workers Compensation Defense & Construction Litigation Stu began practice in 1965. Mike joined practice in 1996. Stu (father, left): “My most memorable moment in over 30 years of practice is standing in an empty courtroom, alone with my son, when Judge Jackson approved a $1.6 billion dollar settlement from the tobacco industry on behalf of our client, the State of Kansas. Sharing that moment with my son was truly incredible.” Mike (son, right): “My dad is a true mentor. It was never the idea of ‘sink or swim’ because he took time to make sure I understood everything. My dad could have retired after that landmark tobacco case, but he chose to stay and help transition the business so the clients would be taken care of, and I could create my own success.”

14

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


get the most out of life! We offer a full continuum of care including:   

Independent living Assisted living Catered living

  

Skilled and dementia care Brewster Rehab Center Brewster at Home

Brewster Health Center — Simply the best!     The Brewster Health Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.

www.brewsterplace.org

1205

SW 29th Street

Topeka, KS

Accreditation from The Joint Commission Zero-deficiency survey 5-Star CMS rating Recognition by US News & World Report as one of the “Best Nursing Homes” in 2011 and 2012

785.274.3350

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

15


TOM, GARY & ERNIE HAAG Haag Oil Company, LLC Retail & Wholesale Fuel Distributor Tom purchased first gas station in 1970. Ernie--farm business since 1983. Gary--oil business since 1995.

Tom (father, center): “Kids need to learn a good work ethic, where money comes from, and that if you want money, you have to work hard for it. I never gave my kids everything they wanted—but I gave them a job and let them earn the money themselves.” Gary (son, left): “It has never been a struggle working with my dad. He has a great entrepreneurial spirit and lets me pursue mine as well. My relationship with dad has always been centered around business because I grew up surrounded by the business.” Ernie (son, right): “Growing up watching dad do business taught me to think for myself and to never be afraid to make my own decisions.”

16

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


SERVING THE TOPEKA COMMUNITY FOR OVER 140 YEARS. BUILDING SMALL BUSINESSES THAT LAST GENERATIONS. DEDICATED AND COMMITTED TO WORKING FOR YOU.

Personal Service. Locally Owned.

KawValleyBank.com TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

17


JERRY & CHRIS ARMSTRONG Capp's Bike Shop Retail Bicycle Store Jerry purchased store in 1986. Chris joined business in 1999. Chris (son, left): “We get along great, but with family there’s always that point where you take it farther than what you would with a different boss. Working together has strengthened our relationship. We hang out like buddies. More or less I steer the ship on the retail side and he runs the engine by handling the books and the numbers.”

18

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Jerry (father, right): “Chris came in and blew me away with his overall awareness. He is extremely knowledgeable about the products, and he can work with any customer who walks in the door. Don’t tell Chris, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He may be steering the ship, but every now and then I have to point out the icebergs.”


From corporate planning to personal finances, KFR provides you with the customized resources selected specifically for your needs. We provide you with a proactive plan to equip you for success. 3311 SW VAN BUREN

CONTACT SCOTT, TODD OR ERIC:

TOPEKA, KANSAS 66611

785.266.1200

www.KansasFinancialResources.com

*Securities offered through Sunset Financial Services, Inc., 3520 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111 , Ph. (816) 753-7000 (Home Office) Member FINRA, SIPC Sunset Financial is not affiliated Kansas Financial Resources.

Let us make your yard the envy of the neighborhood!

    

Full-Service Lawn and Landscaping Services Residential and Commercial Exclusive WeedZero Fertilization Program Lawn Maintenance & Irrigation Services Design and Build

Making Your Life Easier and Your Property More Valuable 785.286.0015

mycreativelawn.com TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

19


TIM & NOEL ETZEL Jetz Service Inc. Commercial & Domestic Laundry Equipment Tim began company after 1966 tornado. Noel joined company in 2002 after receiving his master’s degree in nuclear engineering. Tim (father, right): “Noel is very analytical and exact. Instead of Ready. Aim. Fire. I am more like Fire. Aim. Ready. My standard response is ‘write the business, we’ll figure it out.’ Noel would be more ‘whoa, slow down we have issues with logistics…’ It’s a healthy mix that makes the business better. Noel (son, left): “Dad has always emphasize that because I am the son there is a lot more expected of me than anyone else in the company. Both my parents have put their hearts and souls into this business to get it where it is today. I have big shoes to fill.”

20

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


by providing expert accounting services

services provided by CBIZ

by minimizing your taxes

solutions challenging economy providing

Š Copyright 2012. CBIZ, Inc. NYSE Listed: CBZ. All rights reserved.

in a

ACCOUNTING, TAX & CONSULTING

by identifying tax planning opportunities by improving your profitability

by understanding your goals by developing an effective business plan

AUDIT, ACCOUNTING & ATTEST

services provided by Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. Together, CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. are one of the Top Ten accounting providers in the country.

by providing you with an advantage 785.272.3176 www.cbiz.com/cbizmhm-topeka www.mhm-pc.com Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. is an independent CPA firm providing audit, review and attest services, and works closely with CBIZ, a business consulting, tax and financial services provider.

business

our is growing

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

yours

Summer 2013

21


Generational transitons

by Doug Von Feldt and Thomas Underwood Center for Organizational Excellence \ Washburn University

Regardless of size, businesses are typically started as small operations by a founder with an entrepreneurial spirit, someone with the passion and the drive to realize a dream. But the dream of a business achieving long-term success is often short-lived. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about half of businesses still exist after five years and only about a third after 10 years. So, for a business to survive from one generation to the next is quite an accomplishment—one that requires vision, innovative thinking, and a lot of hard work and sacrifice. The founder or leader of an organization who has realized success may become complacent, creating a culture that does not value innovation. In turn, the new generation may not realize the limiting forces of the organizational culture or, if they do, may not feel empowered to challenge it. The succession of a business or organization from one generation to the next is a process that occurs over a period of time. Ideally these techniques or strategies to enhance innovation should be a joint venture—a collaborative effort of awareness, assessment and action. Taking the time to develop an in-depth understanding of your customers, getting everyone involved and becoming comfortable taking risks puts the business or organization in a better position for continued success. The founders and leaders of successful businesses and organizations have taught us that the journey toward success is fraught with challenges, but the biggest challenge in demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit and having the passion and the drive to realize success is ourselves.

22

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

If you are one of those people who need a boost to energize your innovative passions, we recommend three techniques to jumpstart the process.

Understand your customers and what they really need. The best way to understand customers is to put yourself in their shoes. Instead of asking them what they want, go do their job in their environment to see for yourself what they need. This will not only give you insights; it will also show your employees and customers that you really care and are a leader.

Get everyone involved. We live in a time where it is easy and expected to engage large groups to collect and use ideas to drive value. Use crowdsourcing and social media to share ideas and help others to understand what you are about. A true leader will solicit input and let everyone know that ideas are welcome.

Don’t be afraid to fail. This may be especially difficult for the new generation living in the shadow of the organizational founder and leader; they want to show that they can be successful and contribute to the success of the organization. But if we never take risks or step outside our comfort zone, it is difficult to move to the next level. TK


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

23


e h ft

o t ear

h

eur n re p

tre En

THE LONNIE WILLIAMS STORY

L&J Building Maintenance Services, LLC by Rick LeJuerrne

In 1958, Topeka was hopping. Growing. Efforts 2008, Lonnie was recognized as the U.S. Small Business were being made to revitalize old neighborhoods. For young Administration Minority Small Business Person of the Year, Lonnie Williams, new to Topeka, it was exciting. There was but few know about L&J or the entrepreneur behind its opportunity if you knew where to look and were willing to success. work. Contractors were paving his streets, replacing the old brick-lined lanes. There was no application, no interview, Lonnie’s mom, Rosetta, always told him that someday he just 10 cents for each brick moved and stacked. Lonnie would own his own business. It didn’t happen quickly. For 30 didn’t ask questions. He quietly went to work and one brick years, Lonnie worked for the State of Kansas for the Juvenile at a time finished the job. Justice System. Lonnie was good at his job, mentoring The next day, the construction company owner, troubled youth and honing his management skills, both keys flabbergasted by all the bricks neatly stacked by the side to his eventual success as a business owner. of the road, asked his crew who was responsible. Everyone If Lonnie didn’t think like an entrepreneur, he might pointed to the 12-yearstill be working for “I wanted to start a business that would provide jobs for my old boy. Impressed, the the state. It was over a children and allow me to train and teach them a work ethic.” businessman shook pizza and beer in 1986 Lonnie’s hand and offered to take him and his mom to lunch. with his good friend, local attorney Mike Unrein, that he This made an impression Lonnie would never forget—his seized the opportunity that would eventually change his life. first of many entrepreneurial experiences that would shape Mike shared that he was looking for a janitorial service to his life. clean his building. Lonnie didn’t hesitate, “I will be there Today, Lonnie Williams, along with his family, owns tomorrow.” L&J Building Maintenance Services, LLC, a Topeka-based It would be easier for Lonnie to take another bite of pizza company that provides building maintenance, mechanical and do nothing. He had a good job. He had never cleaned construction and sanitation services across five states. In a commercial building. He had never started a business.

Changing a Life

24

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Lonnie Williams

“By doing the jobs myself, I figured out what it took to do it right.” He knew nothing about the regulations and taxes. But that didn’t stop him. “I wanted to start a business that would provide jobs for my children and allow me to train and teach them a work ethic,” recalled Lonnie. “It was also an opportunity to make more money, but my main motivation was my family.” Lonnie kept his job at the state and for the first two years worked alone cleaning Mike’s building. His kids were too young to help, and he knew that he needed to learn everything he could about the job before he could train others. With the help of his wife, Jill (who graduated with a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Kansas), he slowly began to add jobs, one building at a time, mostly legal and accounting offices. “By doing the jobs myself, I figured out what it took to do it right,” Lonnie says. “When the business took off I was ready to train others and could communicate expectations because I had done the work myself.”

Changing Lives As the word got out and he added additional buildings, Lonnie’s passion for mentoring others became a cornerstone of the growing business. Lonnie and Jill’s children— Donovan, Daina, Kesha and Angie—each helped in the

business once they became old enough, learning from their father the right way to do the job. As the business outgrew him and his family, Lonnie encouraged friends to start their own cleaning businesses, and he, in turn, would subcontract the jobs. Through his guidance, he helped create four new businesses, and two lifelong friends have continued to provide the cleaning services that began through Lonnie’s mentorship. “Most of the time that I have been able to grow my business has been a direct result of helping others grow,” Lonnie shares. “I sincerely believe that if you help people get what they want, you will get what you want in return.” And this is where the story would probably end if not for Lonnie’s outlook and willingness to help others. Lonnie had accomplished his original goal, to build something and involve his family. Life was good. Except, if you are an entrepreneur and you work hard, you never know when or where another opportunity is going to pop up. In 2000, Lonnie received a call from a fellow building service contractor, a friend who needed his help. He had the federal contract to maintain the U.S. Courthouse in Omaha, Neb. and was in danger of losing it. The operation was a mess, would Lonnie consider helping turn it around? Was there any question? Lonnie took early retirement

continued on pg. 26 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

25


from the state and headed to Omaha. For six months he remained on-site and supervised the staff until they all knew how to do the work the right way. He helped save the contract and found himself initiated into the world of federal contracting. Shortly thereafter, Lonnie moved on to the U.S. Courthouse in Wichita, another six months on site, another saved federal contract. By this time, Lonnie was on the radar of the U.S. General Service Administration. At a football game, he had a chance meeting with the District Manager for GSA. The man shook his hand, offered his card and asked Lonnie to call him. At that moment, 14 years into his entrepreneurial venture, Lonnie seized opportunity for a third time. He made that call and was asked to bid on the Federal contract to maintain the Charles Evans Whitaker U.S. Courthouse in Kansas City, Mo. Today, with 76 employees providing services across five states, almost everything L&J does is on federal contract. The company provides janitorial and building maintenance services to numerous U.S. Federal Courthouses in the Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri region (except, interestingly enough, not the one here in Topeka). In 2004, Lonnie partnered with another service provider to provide mechanical construction services to Veteran Administration Medical Centers within the region, including the one in Topeka. In 2008, the company expanded into sanitation services at three United States Army Military Bases, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

A Family Business Lonnie readily admits that none of his success would be possible without the help of his wife and children. Jill is the administrative manager, responsible for writing the federal contract bids. Donovan works the jobs. Daina is the general manager and supervises the project managers who provide onsite services. Angie oversees all of the accounting and financials, serving as the business manager. Lonnie admits that one of the key challenges in a familyrun business is communication. “It can be hard at times but try to always remember where you are at. Once you are off the job, leave the work conversations behind and focus on being a family,” recommends Lonnie.

Rick LeJuerrne

Entrepreneur and attorney at law Flow Capital, LLC

26

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

The Heart to Start

Research indicates that 44 percent of adults have thought about owning their own business, a staggering number when considering the estimated 240 million adults living in the United States. However, only one person in seven of those who think about starting a business takes any actions toward starting a business, let alone successfully doing so. Why is that? The challenges in starting a business scare off most people. The concerns are common: • Don’t most small most businesses fail? • Isn’t it impossible to get funding? • I have never done anything like that. • There is nowhere to get help. The truth is that starting and running a business successfully involves an uncomfortable amount of uncertainty, hard work and everyday persistence. It takes heart, not just thinking about a good idea, but to actually do something, anything to move the idea forward. That is what makes entrepreneurs special. They see opportunity where others don’t and are willing to risk both money and time to create something new. They are doers, problem solvers. Starting a business is not easy and it is never perfect, but ask entrepreneurs and they will tell you that they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Entrepreneurial Advice Lonnie believes the key to his entrepreneurial success is his willingness to help and mentor others. The following people skills are secrets to his success: • Always look directly at the person you are talking to. • Always address someone you speak to by his or her first name. • Say “thank you.” • Be sincere. • Learn to listen first. Do you have an idea for a business and are wondering what the next step is? Consider contacting the Washburn University KSBDC for free and confidential consulting.


MOVE UP TO THE MAJORS It’s hard work making great ideas a reality. Staying focused, following the plan, and most importantly, making sure you have the right players on the field—can give your efforts real star power. Flow Capital should be your first round draft choice. We’re recognized experts in planning, business performance and strategies that help companies start, flow and grow. Legal Counsel Forming an LLC • incorporating • trademarks • buying and selling a business • franchising • joint ventures • accessing capital and investors Business Counsel Business plans • financial review • business scorecards • maximizing profits • systems improvement • valuations It’s time to be in a league all your own.

HELPING ENTREPRENEURS EXECUTE great IDEAS

3735 SW Wanamaker, Ste. A Topeka, KS 66610 785.817.3925

Rick LeJuerrne, Esq Rick@StartGrowFlow.com www.StartGrowFlow.com .

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

27


PROFITS ON PAWS by Melissa Brunner

Trendy sweaters and booties, designer tote bags, facials, pedicures, play dates, gourmet entrees and more all add up to a number that might give you "paws." People are expected to spend more than $55.5 billion on their pets this year. This 4.1 percent growth from 2012 is fueled by entrepreneurs and investors introducing innovative products and increased luxuries to the marketplace. Pets are big business and Topekans who make a living off our four-legged friends say the reason is no secret: people consider pets a part of the family. Need proof? APPA's survey found 53 percent of dogs and 38 percent of cats received Christmas gifts, while 12 percent of dog owners and three percent of cat owners show their love with Valentine's gifts for their canine and feline loves. And think of all those Facebook pictures of Fido and Felix decked out for Halloween. With all the attention on health care, pets aren't forgotten. The use of pet medications and supplements continues to rise as people strive to help their pets live longer, healthier lives. What's even more impressive is that these numbers have grown during an economic time when other industries absorbed a downturn, making it clear the pet care industry is here to stay窶馬o bones about it.

28

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


WE’RE BREWIN’ OPPORTUNITIES

At Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair

We Believe.

GRIFFITH & BLAIR AMERICAN HOME

Special Development incentives available in

Topeka We Believe in Home and all the Magical things that come with it. Dunkin’ Donuts Ranked #1 Source: 2011-2013 Entrepreneur Magazine

Dunkin' Donuts Ranked #1 7th year in a row

Source: 2006-2013 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Index

For more information Call Tom Ennis at 847-418-7421 or Email him at Thomas.Ennis@dunkinbrands.com ©2013 DD IP Holder LLC. All rights reserved. Campaign Code: TBM_605_0513

Contact Sara Fox today to

Join our Award-Winning Agents! Sara Fox

2222 SW 29th St Topeka, Kansas 66611 Sara@CBKansas.com

785-267-8322

This Summer, dive into a cool career!

© 2012 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated Except Offices Owned And Operated By NRT Incorporated.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

29


HILL’S PET NUTRITION One veterinarian's quest to help a guide dog overcome kidney failure through nutrition has grown into arguably one of the biggest success stories in the pet industry, and it's based right here in Topeka. HUMBLE BEGINNINGS In 1939, Dr. Mark Morris met a blind man named Morris Frank and his guide dog, Buddy, who was ill. Dr. Morris set to work developing a new dog food to help Buddy's condition. Word of the food’s success spread, and soon, Dr. Morris' wife, Louise, and three other women set up a canning operation in the family's New Jersey basement, packaging what was then known as Raritan Ration B in glass Ball jars. By the 1940s, World War II made glass scarce and the demand was outgrowing the basement business, so Dr. Morris contracted with Burton Hill at Hill Packing Company in Topeka to can the food with a new name. The year was 1948 and Hill's Pet Nutrition was born. In 1951, Dr. Morris established a research laboratory in Topeka to continue developing new pet food formulas. CUTTING EDGE According to information provided by company spokesperson Luce Rubio, Hill's now has a team of more than 150 veterinarians, nutritionists and food scientists working at the Hill's Global Pet Nutrition Center to ensure all products deliver not only balanced nutrition, but also the desired therapeutic benefits with flavor pets will eat up.

30

Summer 2013

“By performing our own research, we develop pet foods that promote pet wellness and reduce the health risks to pets that can occur from excess or deficient nutrient levels.” - Luce Rubio, Hill’s Pet Nutrition company spokesman "Discoveries made in the Nutrigenomics lab enhance our understanding of how nutrients and ingredients in pet foods interact in the body," Rubio said. "Through this cutting-edge research, Hill's has developed an exceptional understanding of the molecular basis of disease and health, the biochemical response to food and the role that nutrients play in the health of dogs and cats. By performing our own research, we develop pet foods that promote pet wellness and reduce the health risks to pets that can occur from excess or deficient nutrient levels." CONTINUED GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT The research has allowed Hill's Prescription Diet and Science Diet lines to regularly add new products for both dogs and cats based on factors like age, size and specific health conditions, from gastrointestinal

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

troubles to urinary ailments to weight control. Just last year, Hill's introduced its first new brand since the 1960s, Ideal Balance, a line of natural pet foods. Rubio says Hill's researchers also are the only researchers in pet food manufacturing applying nutrigenomics to developing feline products, starting with development of the cat genome. It all adds up to a story of growth into the future. From its humble beginnings in Dr. Morris' New Jersey basement, Hill's is now a $2.2 billion global subsidiary of ColgatePalmolive. From the Raritan Ration B that alleviated Buddy's kidney problems, Hill's line now includes more than 80 Prescription Diet and more than 90 Science Diet foods sold in more than 90 countries around the world. Products are made at facilities in Topeka and Emporia, as well as Bowling Green, Kentucky.; Richmond, Indiana; Holland; and the Czech Republic.


UNIVERSITY BIRD AND SMALL ANIMAL CLINIC Dr. Larry Snyder is excited by the possibilities of new legislation creating a stem cell research facility at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He's seen the success of such treatments in his own patients. "Some get back to acting like puppies because they feel so good," he says. Snyder treats patients of the fourlegged variety (feathers and scales, too!) at University Bird and Small Animal Clinic. In November 2010, the clinic became the first veterinary clinic in Kansas to offer in-house Adult Adipose Stem Cell Therapy.

NATURAL FORM OF MEDICINE "When I got out of school, it was medicine and surgery, and you learn

very soon that doesn't always work," Snyder said. "I had been looking for as natural forms of medicine as we can, letting the body heal itself. This fit in very well. We're using cells from the animal to heal himself." The treatment involves collecting fat from behind the shoulder blade or from the body cavity and breaking it down to release stem cells. The cells are then activated with platelet-rich plasma and stimulated with a certain light frequency. Several hours later, some stem cells are injected back into the animal, while the excess are stored for later use. Snyder says the treatment is effective for dogs or cats dealing with arthritis or injuries or damage to muscles, bones, tendons or ligaments. He says drugs do have their uses, but they

“Stem cells actually heal the arthritis. It will actually regenerate normal cartilage.�- Dr. Larry Snyder, veterinarian

Veterinarians Larry Snyder and Travis Gratton harvest stem cells

can cause stomach upset or bleeding or in the stomach lining and, often, are just a band aid for the underlying problem. "Stem cells actually heal the arthritis. It will actually regenerate normal cartilage," he said. Plus, he says, of the more than 100 dogs and cats his practice has treated, they've seen no negative side effects. What they have seen, however, is improved cognitive function and decreased anxiety. The treatment also is now being used in cats with kidney failure, dogs with hip dysplasia and animals with knee injuries, where the stem cells can reduce inflammation and speed healing.

INVESTING IN THE LIFE OF YOUR PET The vast improvement in the number of cells becomes important when considering cost. Snyder says the initial extraction, processing and treatment is about $2,000, more for a larger animal. Treatments may need to be repeated in six months to a year, especially if an animal is more active or damage is more extensive. Once an animal has cells banked, followup treatment is $300 to $400. Snyder says not all animals will return to the puppy and kitten level of activity, but most do see mild relief. He believes humans are seeing a glimpse of the future in the relief stem cells are bringing their furry friends. "It's not the cure for everything, but it's another tool in our toolkit," he said.

continued on pg. 32 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

31


TOM SCHMAR MOBILE VET There's no dragging your dog or coaxing your cat through the doors of Dr. Tom Schmar's veterinary clinic. In fact, you don't bring them through the doors at all. That's because Schmar comes to you. His veterinary practice is based on house calls. "When I went to vet school, I thought I'd be a large animal doctor and work the farm - and that's what house calls are," Schmar said. "Being stuck in one place all the time doesn't make me happy, so this is perfect for me."

Schmar graduated in 1989 and went to work for a traditional vet clinic in Topeka. Two years later, they parted ways; with the agreement Schmar wouldn't open a competing clinic. He made a living doing relief work, including a regular gig in Omaha, where he came to know a couple house call vets. Schmar observed them, asked questions and decided he could make the approach work in Topeka.

PERSONALIZED SERVICE “I cater to a clientele that loves the convenience and they like the way I do veterinary medicine.” Schmar said. "I'm not a white shirt, white coat, bowtie vet." While Schmar is proud of his personalized service, the disadvantage is he can't do everything at a house call.

For surgery, dentistry or radiological tests, he has a network of colleagues who allow him privileges at their hospitals or to whom he will refer a client. Even then, he will pick up the animal from the client’s home or meet the client at the facility. Thanks to technology, Schmar business functions much like a regular clinic. Medical records are computerized, with the pet's photograph on invoices and documents; smart phones allow him to text orders; he's able to print out certificates and labels on site; and he's able to accept credit and debit card payments. “The love that pets give you— that’s what I’m trying to give back to people and trying to make a living while doing that,” he said.

“I cater to a clientele that loves the convenience and they like the way I do veterinary medicine.” - Dr. Tom Schmar, veterinarian

continued on pg. 34 32

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


I am ... … a big and little sister. … one year cancer free. … competitive dancer. … a sixth-grader. … a best friend. … a blood recipient. … a Mizzou fan. … an artist. … a smiler. … active. … brave. Gabi is an amazing competition dancer with the medals to prove it. She is also a kind and caring best friend with Sydney, Maggie, Leah, Caroline and Paris. She is also a blood recipient who battled bone cancer for two years and continues to win that battle today. She is thankful for blood donors who took just 60 minutes of their time to help save her life.

Who are you?

savealifenow.org

thedaltonburnerfoundation.org

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

33


DOG DAY AFTERNOON It's Layla's first day and she's getting to know everyone. She gives a tentative nudge of the hand to say hello, while Dallas seems glued to a visitor's feet and Wrigley wiggles into the visitor's bag, trying to smuggle away the car keys. Inside, Jovie has commandeered a suitcase as her resting spot while Moose peaks out from a playhouse. Yes, life is "ruff " for the guests at Dog Day Afternoon, a doggie dude ranch off SW 10th and Auburn Road. "I feel like an imposter," says owner Julie Castaneda about her success as a businesswoman, "like someday

someone will come and say, 'Enough of this fun!'" Julie and her husband, Phil, started the businesses in March 1999 in an old warehouse-type building at SE 2nd and Monroe, near downtown. Back then, they would welcome maybe a couple dozen dogs a day for daycare, grooming and training. Within a year, they outgrew the space and moved to the property off Auburn Road, with five acres of outdoor space.

DOGGIE DUDE RANCH "We changed the concept from dog daycare to doggie dude ranch so as to capitalize on the country setting and vast property for dogs to run," Julie said. "Year after year, the business grew and word spread about our unique business."

“Gone are the days of dogs being left in the backyard to find for themselves.” - Julie Castaneda, owner

The ranch setting is complete with an old west theme. Smaller dogs have "Dodge City" indoors all to themselves. Other animals are separated based on factors such as breed, size and temperament into fenced play areas such as the OK Corral and Little Big Horn. The groups take turns running the Open Range, where humans can expect to get a little muddy as the fourlegged guests jump into the pond, chase sticks and chase each other along a trail through the woods, only to splash down into the water again. "Gone are the days of dogs being left in the back yard to fend for themselves while busy owners conduct their own lives," Julie said. "Today's responsible dog owner is looking for more. They want a safe, stimulating, social interaction for their dog. They love our atmosphere and the positive energy that is felt as soon as you walk in the door."

LABOR OF LOVE Dog Day Afternoon now averages 80 dogs a day and will regularly see numbers topping 120 when weekend boarders arrive. Originally staffed by herself and her husband with afterschool assistance from their nine children, Dog Day Afternoon now has 17 staff members—a few of them their now-grown children. Julie admits it is labor intensive to juggle dozens of dogs at a time, ensuring everyone is getting along and making sure any evidence of a muddy romp through the Open Range is erased by the time doggie parents arrive, but she thinks it’s the best job in the world. "When you do something you really love, it doesn't feel like work," she says.

Julie Castaneda, owner of Dog Day Afternoon 34

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

continued on pg. 36


ANNA | COOK FLYNT | SERVER

Here's the story...

JAMIE | BARTENDER

AUSTIN | COOK GREG | BOSSMAN

RUSTY | SERVER

AMANDA | COOK

KAYCEE | HOSTESS JESSE | SERVER

Masonic_TK1.23.13_Layout 1 1/30/13 12:16 PM Page 1

785.235.1700 515 VAN BUREN TOPEKA RowHouseRestaurant.net

Talk Business think

Topeka Masonic Center

You Can Have It ALL!

Meetings n Seminars n Conferences Banquets n Special Events n Ceremonies Training Sessions n Retreats

INSPIRED new VandM.com dealer 414 se second street | topeka 66607 232.8008 | www.warehouse414.com

T, TR, F, SAT: 11a - 5:30 p by chance or by appointment

785-783-7720 2300 SW 30th, Topeka, KS kellyl@topekamasoniccenter.com www.topekamasoniccenter.com www.facebook.com/TopekaMasonicCenter TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

35


TOPEKA AREA GROOMING SHUTTLE Jennifer Walker's office is on wheels. And if she leaves visitors feeling washed up, that's a good thing. Walker owns and operates Topeka Area Grooming Shuttle, a mobile grooming service. No loading up a dirty dog and driving to a salon—this salon comes to you. "They get in, they get bathed, they get groomed, and they're back in the house," Walker says.

SALON ON WHEELS Unlike a traditional house-call groomer who will use the owner's home bathing facilities, Walker’s van is actually a mini salon. "Everything in the van is made so it's ideal working conditions," she says. Walker prides herself on pampering pooches to the max. Each bath begins with a blueberry or plum facial, making sure the areas around the eyes and mouth get extra-clean. Nails are filed smooth and nail "pawlish" is optional. Shampoos are allnatural and no visit is complete without a dab of canine cologne. Walker will do creative cuts or even coloring, if requested. "I think people are getting more and more inclined to treat pets as family members," she said. "In the economy of the past couple years, the

grooming industry has not suffered because pets are a priority and people are making that part of their expenses."

ONE-ON-ONE ATTENTION Walker began working in a traditional pet salon setting in the late 90s and launched her mobile service in July 2011. She traded building lease payments for a vehicle payment—a fully outfitted new mobile unit can cost $75,000 or more. But she wouldn’t trade the atmosphere it’s allowed her to achieve.

“It’s calmer,” she said. “It’s more serene because it’s just you and the dog, and that dog has your undivided attention. I like the oneon-one attention with the dogs. The distractions are so minimal.” Walker says the mobile service is ideal for puppies going through training or older dogs, for whom a trip to a salon is too stressful, but she takes anything in between—and they all become like part of the family.

“They get in, they get bathed, they get groomed, and they’re back in the house.” - Jennifer Walker, owner

Jennifer Walker, owner of Topeka Area Grooming Shuttle 36

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Patti Wilson and Vicki Williams, owners of Pet-Delights

PET-DELIGHTS Dixie's eyes peer over the edge of the table, licking her lips in anticipation as white icing is piped over the peanut butter coating of the last tray of cookies. In the center of the table, an array of finished cookies in brightly-colored holiday and sports themes sits safely out of reach. It's "paws off " until the wagging tail is rewarded with a taste. You might call Dixie, along with her pal Shadow, the "quality control officers" for PetDelights, a gourmet pet treat and accessory business run by sisters Vicki Williams and Patti Wilson. "We always thought would be fun to do," Vicki said. The business officially began in April 2007. Vicki and Patti both worked for AT&T. Vicki, facing retirement, decided she needed something to do, so the sisters got busy in the kitchen, throwing together whole grains, dehydrated carrots or pumpkin, peanut butter or molasses, seeing what ratio of water or eggs was needed, then testing the results. They

don't claim to be all-natural, but they do strive to be as natural as possible.

decorated with paw prints and people didn't realize what we did."

FINDING THE NICHE

EXPANDING PRODUCT LINE

"We didn't really have a business plan," Vicki said "It was more like, 'Let's see what happens.' We started doing farmers market and thought we'd test the market. Then we started doing craft shows." Within a couple of months, they started to find their niche, tapping into a target market of pet spoilers. "The people that are going to buy the upper-end products are the ones that consider them a part of the family," Patti said. The feedback from those first weekends at farmers markets and craft shows provided some lessons. They needed to expand their product line and be more visible with their displays. "You had to have a storefront look," Patti said. "We had a banner

Since Vicki liked to sew, they developed their own patterns for collars and leashes. A customer's request led to development of a cotton-fabric comfort harness. They've added toys, too. The treat line also has expanded to include cake and muffin mixes—perfect for doggie birthdays or for older animals that have a hard time chewing. Cat owners felt left out, so they came up with recipes for smaller "nibblers" in chicken, liver and peanut butter flavors. They boil and grind their own meat to avoid any additional sodium. They also grind their own grains and dehydrate their own vegetables for the cake and muffin mixes. It's been a recipe for steady growth, still rooted in their yards, kitchens, craft rooms and garages.

“We didn’t really have a business plan. It was more like, ‘Let’s see what happens.’” - Vicki Williams, co-owner continued on pg. 40 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

37


HELPING HANDS HUMANE SOCIETY SHELTER Perhaps no place serves as a testament to how people in the Topeka area feel about pets quite like the new Helping Hands Humane Society Shelter at SW 21st and Belle. The inscription above the reception desk reads, "The second-best home your pet will ever have." Area donors stepped up with $7.2 million to make it that way. The organization relocated from its long-time home in North Topeka in January with no debt or mortgage on the new location.

While Acree is excited to see more pets finding forever homes, he's even more excited about the potential to address the homeless pet problem at its core. "We still have a lot of strays coming into us—way more than a community of this size should have," Acree said.

"But I believe, through education efforts and what we can do in this facility, we can change that. We can make a difference beyond just talking about it. We can get that conversation going for the next generation of pet owners."

“We have become the animal resource center for northeast Kansas.” - Bill Acree, HHHS executive director

EXPANDING RESOURCES Expanding from 13,000 square feet to 52,000 square feet has allowed the organization to expand kennel space and get-acquainted rooms. Plus, it now has rooms for seminars and meetings, individual offices for staff, and a large, open area known as the "engagement center," suitable for training sessions or other interaction opportunities with pets. Additional fundraising is running ahead of schedule to make an on-site veterinary clinic, in collaboration with Kansas State University, a reality. "We are not the city's dog pound anymore," Acree said. "We have become the animal resource center for northeast Kansas.” MAKING A DIFFERENCE Already, the increased traffic at the new facility appears to be making a difference. Between January 8 and April 17 of 2012, HHHS adopted out 549 animals. During that same timeframe this year, 863 animals were adopted.

Bill Acree, HHHS executive director 38

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

continued on pg. 40


Experience • Reliability

ality Band Instruments • Rental • Repair • Music • Accessories Weekly School Service

Inc. Look for us at our new home - coming soon! 3400 SW 6th Street • Topeka, KS 66606

785.272.1740 or Toll Free 1.888.284.0704 Visit our New Web Site: www.manningmusic.net

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

39


HEAVENLY PET MEMORIALS "Faithful friend." "He asked so little yet gave so much." "Jump the clouds and run thru the stars." These tributes are all memorials for four-legged family members offered at Heavenly Pet Memorials. "I know exactly the compassion that's felt for your four-legged children," says owner Jeannene Freeman. "They look up at your eyes and how can you not love them? Losing one is a very devastating time."

IDENTIFYING THE NEED Freeman says the need to help families through that loss is born from a 37-year career as a nurse. She says she loves the profession, but the 12hour shifts were starting to take a toll. Her husband, Bobby, already owned a pet crematory that provided services for area veterinarians. They spotted an ad in a pet magazine for a business in Indiana dealing in pet memorials and paid a visit. "I thought Topeka needed something like that," Freeman said. She opened her business in March 2007. On the practical side, it offers pet cremation services, including picking up the animal from the home. Beyond that, they sell a selection of urns in which to hold the remains. Customers also can find personalized memorial stones, clay paw impressions, ink stamping of paws (or hooves) made into jewelry—they even arrange memorial services.

40

Summer 2013

“You want to memorialize the closeness you have with your pet.” – Jeannene Freeman, owner of Heavenly Pet Memorials “You want to memorialize the closeness you have with your pet,” Freeman said.

HELPING IN TIMES OF LOSS Business has been strong enough for Freeman to scale back her nursing hours to part time. She says the clientele she's developed crosses all demographics, and families with children find it especially helpful. Many will hold memorial services—the business has its own area for such gatherings or they'll arrange a service at a local cemetery, all of which have pet areas. "The transition is just a lot easier," Freeman said. "We have information

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

we can share with the families so they can share what happens. When kids get older, they have a lot of questions." Much like similar businesses for humans, Freeman is available 24 hours, seven days a week, including holidays. She also encourages preplanning, selecting memorials and making arrangements ahead of time, when you're better able to focus on the decisions. Whether it's paw prints, hoof prints or webbed-footed prints, our animal friends leave an impression on our hearts. Providing an outlet to memorialize that, Freeman says, is the least she can do.

TK


I am ...

Mary Ann does it all! She volunteers her time with many organizations; she dances, plays tennis, skis and spends time with her best friend, her husband. Her busy and active lifestyle doesn’t get in the way of giving back in the most basic of ways. Mary Ann is also a loyal and dedicated blood donor who takes 60 minutes of her time every 56 days to help save a life in her community.

Who are you?

savealifenow.org TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

41


Marketing Success Stories Commentary provided by Marketing Superheroes Tim Kolling and Dan Lindquist

Marketing Tool: FACEBOOK State Library of Kansas

4. Weekly posts updated followers about current top-10 best sellers and their eBook availability for libraries. 5. Librarians and library advocates across the nation became active members of the page, sharing with patrons, commenting and liking posts. Tim: Good use of social media to target their community, knowing this audience will be passionate about the issue and would spread the word to the end user. Making timely and meaningful posts keeps their audience engaged in the objective of the campaign.

The State Library of Kansas implemented the “Big 6 - eBooks in Libraries” Facebook awareness campaign to inform eBook borrowers about restrictions on eBook bestsellers in libraries imposed by the “Big 6” publishers. The goals of the campaign were to: • Acquire a sizeable Facebook audience. • Maintain an engaged, aware and influential community. • Leverage Kansas as the “trailblazer” in the eBook lending landscape. • Reach library users beyond the state of Kansas. • Increase awareness of eBook lending in libraries. This campaign, which required no paid advertising, unfolded as follows: 1. Informational posters directed library users to the Facebook page. 2. An e-mail campaign followed to generate “likes.” 3. A news release resulted in news articles and radio interviews as well publicity from the American Library Association.

42

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Dan: Social Media is a low-cost or no-cost way to create awareness, exchange information, and elicit opinions and support. Be sure to go beyond the awareness stage. Let those who LIKE, read and post on your page know what they can do next to help make a difference.

Marketing Tool: PHONE RW Evenson, Inc. “What I use is not unique, just not practiced very much anymore. You see, the only thing I know how to do well is to talk on the telephone. I have never had call reluctance so I prefer to just pick up the telephone. To me facebook, twitter, email etc. does not reflect emotion. It is the art of verbal communication that connects you to your customer.” - Bob Evenson, President


Dan: The good ol’ phone conversation seems to have gone the way of the hand written note or letter. In what has become a black and white world, these old school communication methods are rare enough to stand out as a surprising and welcome splash of color. Tim: I agree with Robert. And in addition to the phone, nothing beats talking to a customer face to face. If you have a product or service that is not easy to understand, it is hard to communicate through a medium where you can not engage them on a LIVE face to face opportunity. While this is may not be considered a novel idea, the fact that it is used less and less makes it unique.

Marketing Tool: REFFERALS American Tax Service American Tax Service asks its current clients for referrals. The company offers a spiff* for both the referring client and the referred client. Over the two years since implementing this program, American Tax Service has gained about 500 clients. The total cost has been about $500 on the front end for new business cards and almost $35,000 in referral discounts paid out to clients, which in turn has brought in roughly $100,000 in revenue. American Tax Service views their clients as paid salespeople and ambassadors for the business. Tim: This is a great strategy to build your customer base in a cost-effective way, especially in a service-based industry where you have to develop trust to get and keep a customer. Dan: We let very few business people into our tight little circle of trust. There’s nothing like a referral from someone already in our circle to lower any perceived risk. Spiffing both sides assures that the referral system gets the action you want. * A spiff is an immediate bonus for a sale.

Marketing Tool: GROUP PROMOTIONS Coldwell Banker: JetStreamers The JetStreamers REALTOR® group of competing real estate agents has given up the standard self-employed business model of competition for team effort and synergy. Each week the team of agents discusses opportunities, progressive behaviors and ways to improving their own business. These competitors share their secrets with one another in an effort to make each other better, thereby increasing the strength of the group. The group has created multiple promotions throughout the year: • A big screen movie event • Flowers at Mother’s Day • Free games of Putt Putt on Father’s Day • Santa photos for Christmas. Dan: There is definitely strength in numbers, and this group is deepening client relationships while quietly laying groundwork now for a flurry of positive testimonials and referrals later. Zany is memorable and for most business categories why not make it fun, right? Connecting with customers with a pattern of unique touches, events and rewards will pay off with top-of-mind awareness so they’ll think of you first when it’s time to make a choice. Make sure any bounce-back opportunities involve high visibility for you and another opportunity for face-to-face contact whenever possible. Tim: A happy customer is a great ambassador for your business. Doing something to let them know they are appreciated is a given; asking them to spread the word is the key. The events are great due to the fact that your customers come to you and interact with you as part of the fun.

continued on pg. 44 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

43


Marketing Tool: TRAVELING EXHIBIT Community Action Poverty: A-Z, a large, traveling exhibit that showcases original artwork inspired by and including 26 essays (one for each letter of the alphabet), was created to be an artistic display that, through word and picture, provokes empathy with those in need and support for those who serve them under the banner of Community Action. Since its debut in September 2010, Poverty: A-Z has been exhibited in more than 20 different venues, including the 2011 National Community Action Partnership Convention, the 2011 National Head Start Association Conference and the 2012 WIPFLI Conference. Its audience exposure has been estimated at more than 6,000 people. Tim: Impressive thought and planning went into this project—from who it needs to communicate to, to how it should communicate to them. They have done a great job in getting exposure within their own action groups at conventions and conferences. The display is eye-opening, and should be shared with the general public who might not be aware of the severity of this problem. Dan: Nothing is bought or sold or acted upon without some degree of emotion involved. This is a highly effective poverty awareness campaign that tugs on the heartstrings of everyone exposed to it. People want to buy products and services, and help where help is needed. Give them the talking points to help them justify the action they want to take. But don’t stop there. Make it easy for them by telling them exactly what to do once they’re convinced they want to act.

44

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Marketing Tool: BE THE EXPERT Jackson’s Greenhouse “Partnering with Drew’s Garden on WIBW Channel 13 as an expert has leveraged ad dollars that we had committed to TV.” - Dave Jackson, Owner Dan: Establishing yourself as an expert in your field creates consumer confidence in choosing your business. It is impossible to win a price war with big box stores and Internet sellers that target the transactional buyer looking for a bargain. Fortunately for local merchants, the relational consumer makes up the majority of potential customers, and they’d rather pay more to get more value with expert guidance and high quality merchandise. Tim: Getting personal is a great way to stand out. Sponsoring a segment, speaking as a local expert, and working with a local media personality can be effective because it gives you credibility in the consumer’s mind. Expand your outreach to other media as your budget grows. Find other local opportunities to tie your business to. Take the route of being the local business expert to another level.

Marketing Tool: ONLINE ADVERTISING Kansas Tourism jones huyett Partners and the Tourism Division of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism partnered to create a compelling digital marketing campaign, including fun “pencil pushdown” ads. The ad began as a wide (pencilsized) rectangle, and then the words “There’s No Place Like…” rolled onto the ad as a teaser, followed by “Kansas.” Users could then click to expand the ad to a large 970 X 478 pixel palette with five “slices” of photos, each representing the Tourism Division’s primary messaging areas:


Marketing Tool: BRANDING City of Topeka Parking Department

History – Dwight Eisenhower statue (Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene) i Discovery – astronaut suit (Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson) i Nature – Monument Rocks (Gove County) i Western History – the “Marshal” (Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City) i Arts & Culture – glass artist (Moon Marble Company, Bonner Springs) i

When viewers moved their cursor over each image, they saw a larger piece of the photo and a short message. Result: New travelers spent $73.5 million in Kansas— and the state saw an $80 return on its advertising investment for every $1 spent. Dan: It isn’t Reach if it isn’t Read. This digital campaign for Kansas Tourism makes people look, attracting attention with strategically created outstanding images and concise, punchy copy. Then its audience is engaged in uniquely fun and interactive ways to gather information about Kansas tourism hot spots. One of the keys to the success of the campaign is driving people to it through the use of mass media advertising. Many businesses create stellar websites and amazing digital ads but just putting them online doesn’t mean people will see them. It’s like a guy winking at a girl in the dark. Lots of time and money can be spent and you’re still invisible without reaching people and driving them to see you online. Tim: This campaign looks to have broken through by focusing on its key targets. Ad placement is key in an online campaign, as it is in any media campaign. This is a great example of using a good creative piece to drive people back to the website for more information.

The City of Topeka’s Parking Department saw a need to develop a new and positive brand image that tells people that parking in downtown Topeka is easy to find. A new logo and slogan “PARK IT” are visual tools that help visitors to easily find parking. Visitors can download a parking map and the new visitor brochure by clicking the Park It button on the city’s web page. The new visitor brochure was designed to provide information on location of lots and public parking garages, hours of operation, cost of parking, parking violations and permits, and also invites people to visit downtown. Tim: This campaign is “Small but Mighty.” Sometimes people don’t realize what seems like a simple campaign can make such a big impact. On the surface it may sound like a creative way to tell people where to park, but in reality it is showing people how easy it is to patronize downtown. They developed a unique, creative and fun way to let people know exactly how to find downtown parking options and take away any reluctance they might have. Not only is this great information for visitors to Topeka, but also current residents who just don’t know how easy it is to find a place to park. This is a good marketing example of researching a problem and finding a way to fix it! Dan: Unique colors and images make this a logo that will stand out and help people find parking in Downtown Topeka. Current parking signs apparently go unnoticed; I’ve lived here over 30 years and I don’t remember any. So seeing them without mental registration is like not seeing them at all. Consistent use of the unique new logo across other platforms could include the same image dotting on every single map of our city’s downtown area to indicate our convenient parking spots. TK

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

45


Investing in

East Topeka by Karen Ridder

When Kurt Guth consolidated American Tax Service resources into one office, he had a decision to make. He could keep a west-side office with fewer, but higher income clients, or maintain the presence his company had developed at 420 SE 29th Street closer to the majority of his customer base. On the surface, that may seem like an easy decision, land where your customers are. But the area was one that Guth knew some clients normally avoided. However, Guth decided that offering a professional product at a competitive price in a nice environment would draw the

46

Summer 2013

customers regardless of location. He was right. “It is challenging to get people to come over here, but once they are here they feel safe,” Guth said. “When they see that we’ve committed to and fixed up the place they feel comfortable.” Guth is one of a growing number of business owners and other Topeka leaders who see the value of staying and growing in an area of town others have left behind. The area is known as Highland-Crest Neighborhood or HiCrest.

NEIGHBORHOOD INSTABILITY

The residents in the neighborhood recently faced what seemed like dire circumstances. USD 501 put Avondale East on a list of elementary schools slated to close. The challenged neighborhood and businesses in the area begged for it to stay open, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, the school district promised to repurpose the building into something that would remain a positive site in the community.

“It is challenging to get people to come over here, but once they are here they feel safe.” - Kurt Guth, American Tax Service

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


“We didn’t have a definite plan for Avondale East,” explained Larry Robbins, USD 501 deputy superintendent of operations. “We just wanted to make sure that we repurposed the building, and we wanted to make sure we had programs that would benefit the neighborhood.” While the district is committed to repurposing all closed school buildings, it seemed more important than ever at Avondale East, where the neighborhood had already been struggling with instability. Deemed an “intensive care” area on City of Topeka’s neighborhood health map for more than a decade, statistics for residents in the Hi-Crest Neighborhood are staggering: i 25% unemployment rate i 50% of adults live in poverty i 92% of children live in poverty i highest percentage of police calls for children in need i highest percentage of families with children served in foster care in Shawnee County

OPPORTUNITY TO TRANSFORM

The neighborhood had been of interest to Topeka Rescue Mission Executive Director Barry Feaker for a number of years. With the Mission over capacity and the growing number of families in need, Feaker started looking for ways to keep people from needing their services. The Rescue Mission created a new ministry call NET “Neighborhood Empowerment and Transformation”

Reach to help people reintegrate into the community maintain life off the streets. Its goal is to help transform neighborhoods into safe places with resources to help people live successful lives. The Community Resources Council (CRC), which is committed to bringing community resources to people, proposed to USD 501 leaders a partnership with the Topeka Rescue Mission that would be located in the Avondale East building. CRC Executive Director Nancy Johnson

“We just wanted to make sure that we repurposed the building, and we wanted to make sure we had programs that would benefit the neighborhood.” - Larry Robbins, USD 501

continued on pg. 48 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

47


says the idea is to use the school as a satellite center for a variety of non-profit and government services in order to make them directly available to residents of the area, putting the resources where people need them. The school district agreed that the Avondale East Community Empowerment and Transformation Center would be a good use of the space. “We’re just thrilled to death that we were able to accomplish our goal, because our goal was certainly parallel with what CRC wants to accomplish and with what Barry Feaker and the Rescue Mission has implemented,” Robbins said.

Avondale East Community Empowerment and Transformation Center Partners: Barry Feaker, Topeka Rescue Mission Executive Director; Nancy Johnson, Community Resources Council Executive Director; and Larry Robbins, USD 501 Deputy Superintendent of Operations

BRINGING RESOURCES INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD

This project corrects the disconnect between the location of resources and the location of people who need them by not only bringing the resources into the neighborhood, but also addressing what kind of resources are needed most. “So instead of hit or miss, we all of a sudden have a focused program that would take into account the needs of the neighborhood,” Johnson said. Sally Zellers is heading up the HiCrest NET pilot project, which will be one of the biggest tenants at the old school. She believes that as the neighborhood center helps people, it will also help local businesses. “There is a stabilizing influence for businesses when neighborhoods get stabilized,” Zellers said. “The goal is to create neighborhood attachment and make Hi-Crest a place people want to stay.”

WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT

The center continues what many business owners in the area believe— that Hi-Crest it is a worthwhile investment.

better chance for success. “I think it’s so much more expensive to lease space on the west side of town. It makes more sense, if you are starting out to find a place that’s conveniently located and reasonably priced,” Bearden said.

“The goal is to create neighborhood attachment and make Hi-Crest a place people want to stay.” - Sally Zellers, NET Reach Dean’s Books owner LeAnn Bearden says she would never consider leaving behind the area and moving her store. The used book store at has been at 420 SE Massachusetts Avenue for many years, but Bearden has only owned it three years. Like others in the area, she has recently made improvements to the exterior look of the store with updated signage. Her customers come from all parts of Topeka and even out of town to trade and buy at her store. Bearden believes setting up shop in a neighborhood like Hi-Crest gives business owners a

ABK Insurance owner Terri Boyd also draws clients from a wide region. It was the area and size of the property at 3339 SE Adams St. that drew her in. “The parking lot was big and open. I fell in love with the location of the building,” Boyd said. She also has spent considerable time renovating her building. Neighbors have been supportive and watch out for her business at night. While some people have told her she was “brave” to invest in the Hi-Crest location, Boyd is quick to set the record straight, “I take offense

continued on pg. 50 48

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Is Your Business Protected?

Total Quality Assured Lower Your Risk. Lower Your Total Cost. Improve Your Peace of Mind.

Guaranteed! 1.800.591.7378

schendelpest.com No matter what’s bugging you... Schendelize ‘em

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

49


Before

“We’ve never had problems there. The neighbors have treated us like family.” -Terri Boyd, ABK Insurance to that because we’ve never had problems there. The neighbors have treated us like family. If I thought the neighborhood wasn’t good, I wouldn’t have bought the building.” The businesses Boyd, Bearden and Guth operate in Hi-Crest all bring in customers and clients from a wide area. Those are the kinds of businesses that can expose other Topekans to the positive things going on in Hi-Crest.

ECONOMIC IMPACT Johnson believes social services are a thread that weaves with economic development to build the vibrant fabric of the city. A stronger Hi-Crest builds economic strength for Topeka over the long-haul. “Economically the community is only as strong as its weakest neighborhood,” Johnson said. “If we don’t have strong neighborhoods, we don’t have a strong community. Are we going to change it over night? No, but we will over time.”

TK

50

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

After


Julie C. Swift, DDS, MS Offering a full range of periodontal services, including maintenance, surgical, esthetic and implant procedures. www.topekaperio.com

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

51


[from the professor]

Economic & Financial Outlook 2013: Gaining Traction, But Concerns Remain

Two years have passed since I wrote the inaugural "From the Professor's Desk" article for TK Magazine. In that article I discussed several aspects of the US economy and financial markets, including: • Why the 2008-2009 recession was so deep (the US Federal Reserve Bank helped fuel credit and real estate bubbles by keeping interest rates unnaturally low for too long); • Why conventional indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) and corporate profits were not telling the full story regarding the economic recovery (these aggregate measures of wealth do not fully reflect the sluggish rate at which laid off workers were being rehired and new jobs were being created); • How excessive debt would continue to hamper global economic expansion (over the past 2 years the European debt crisis has worsened further and the US has added $3 trillion to the national debt); and • Why delaying action regarding longer-term structural problems such as underfunded pension plans and entitlement programs (Social Security and Medicare) would only make these problems worse, and thus more difficult to eventually solve. In this article I'll provide you with updated perspectives on those issues, and discuss where I think things are heading from here. Let's start by taking a long-term view of US GDP and after-tax corporate profits. GDP is a measure of the total amount of national wealth produced in one year. It's usually calculated as total spending by businesses, individuals and governments, plus or minus the net balance of international trade. The graph below shows the annualized percentage growth rate of real GDP (above the rate of inflation) since

52

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

1992 (shaded areas indicate recessions). Capitalism finds its "sweet spot" when real GDP grows at a rate of about 3.5%4.0% — national wealth increases, employment expands vigorously, and inflation remains moderate. The graph shows that the growth rate of US GDP began to slow in 2004. There have been no 12-month periods since 2004 where real GDP growth has averaged more than 3.0%. In the years following the most recent recession, the average rate of GDP growth has been closer to 2.0%, and growth for the fourth quarter of 2012 was a scarily-sluggish +0.1%. This protracted growth slowdown is a symptom of the "New Normal" that you may have read about in the financial media.

The graph also compares the trend in US GDP growth with the trend in total after-tax corporate profits. We can see that profits plunged during the last recession, but have subsequently achieved record highs in both 2011 and 2012. If the corporate sector is more profitable during a period when growth in national wealth is slowing, another component of our economy must be doing worse. Examining the next graph, which depicts total nonfarm payrolls and hiring in the US, will help us further understand this issue.


the need to scale back entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare are finally being heard in Washington. We know these cuts are coming, it's just a matter of when. At the same time, many of the new jobs that are being created no longer include retirement or health care benefits. Workers therefore realize that they have to do more for themselves both today and tomorrow, and the depressed consumer sentiment numbers reflect their concerns. The graph shows that total nonfarm payrolls are growing, but only back to the same level as 2008 — a recessionary period when employment was contracting. Additionally, the pace of new job creation (total nonfarm hires) has been trending sideways for the past 2 years. The following graph, which depicts corporate profits and wages relative to total national wealth (GDP), sheds further light on this issue.

Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP now equals 11% — an all-time high. But wages and salaries relative to GDP has plunged from 49% to 44% over the past decade, which is an all-time low. I identified this problem in my article two years ago, and we see from the graph that the situation continues deteriorating. Higher corporate profits benefit the shareholder class — those who own substantial investments. Wages and salaries are the main form of income for the middle and working classes —their situation has gotten relatively worse. The current economic recovery is not "spreading the wealth" evenly, resulting in nervous consumers who don't spend freely. This can be seen in the next graph, which depicts the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. Average sentiment in this recovery remains at a level usually associated with recessions. At every point during the 2001 recession — which included the September 11 attacks on the US — consumer sentiment was higher than it is today. Additionally, consumers are not only increasingly-worried about their current situation, but about their futures as well. The first rumblings regarding

Next we'll revisit the debt issue. The following graph shows the total level of debt in the US (over $16 trillion) and total debt relative to GDP (greater than 100%). The trends speak for themselves. As national wealth grows more slowly, the only way to finance the gap between the lifestyle we desire and the lifestyle we can afford is to borrow ever-larger amounts. Moreover, any significant increase in market interest rates back to more natural levels — which will occur as soon as the Federal Reserve signals the end of its quantitative easing (QE) program (exchanging banks' bad assets for reserves that banks can use for new lending or investment) — will make it more expensive to service this massive debt load. The Federal Reserve has created a situation where scaling back or terminating QE will further unnerve consumers and financial markets. Buckle up — there's bumpy terrain ahead, possibly as soon as this summer.

continued on pg. 54 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

53


I'll finish up this article with a perspective on the stock market. Financial media outlets such as CNBC have recently trumpeted recent record levels of the major US stock indexes. Let's look behind the headlines and think about what's driving these increases. Many years ago a veteran stockbroker taught me that a good way to cut through the market's "noise" was to watch certain companies that were leaders in their sectors, known as "bellwethers." The graph below shows the recent behavior of three key bellwethers: Caterpillar (global construction), FedEx (global shipping), and Oracle (database and business intelligence software). All of these companies missed their earnings targets recently, and their stock prices have been punished. The key question to ask is: how can the US stock market continue achieving all-time highs when leading firms in these key sectors have seen their profits grow more slowly than even they were able to predict? The graph that follows will help us answer that question.

The market's advance is being led by stocks like Amazon and NetFlix. This is not necessarily a bad thing by itself, except both these companies' financial results have been in long-term downtrends. Amazon's operating profit margin has been declining for 4 years, all the way down to 1.1% for fiscal year 2012. Their most recent net profit margin over the same period was negative, indicating that the company couldn't figure out how to earn a profit despite sales of $61 billion. NetFlix's operating profit margin actually

rebounded recently — to 2.2%. Their net profit margin for 2012 was a vapor-thin 0.6%. A company cannot create genuine shareholder value with margins that low, which is why NetFlix's stock trades at a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 491. If it walks like a bubble and talks like a bubble . . . please stop me if you've heard this story before. I have broader concerns about the relative valuation of all US equities as well. The final chart in this article tells a story that you'll want to follow closely. It shows the 1-year return to the S&P 500 (up 15%) and the change in the prices of commodities such as oil, gold, copper, aluminum and

coffee, all down between 13% and 25% over the same period. When commodities' prices signal deflation, the implication is that broader economic weakness will follow. And when equity returns decouple from the long-term trend in commodities, there is almost always a re-coupling that's driven by precipitous declines in stock valuations. I strongly doubt this time will be any different. My forecast is for a volatile summer season for stocks and a continuation of the below-average rate of economic growth over the longer term. My friend (and distinguished Washburn alumnus) Bill Greiner, CFO at Mariner Investments, has been touting an investment thesis that he calls "The Long Hard Slog" for several years now. I think Bill's got it exactly right — we've got a bit more slogging to do. TK

Robert A. Weigand, Ph.D. Professor of Finance and Brenneman Professor of Business Strategy, Washburn University School of Business

54

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


no Job too Big or too sMall

take a look at our website and find us on facebook!

landscape design / installation Retaining Walls laWn and Bed Maintenance iRRigation systeMs paveR/stone Walks patios and dRives seed and sod Fire Pits • Lighting OutdOOr Kitchens WateR FeatuRes pool design

TopekaLandscape_TM12wi.indd 1

10/29/12 7:50 AM

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

55


Life of a

building Downtown Ramada

by DEB BISEL

When Jim Parrish and his partners purchased the Ramada Inn in 2003, people wanted to believe it could be restored to its former glory. The site of so many significant events—as public as the kick-off of Bob Dole’s presidential campaign or as private as an intimate wedding—nearly everyone in Topeka and thousands across the state had a good memory associated

56

Summer 2013

with this landmark. As it began to decline, however, hope that it would rebound became dim. People wanted to believe, but they were doubtful. The Capital Journal’s Pete Goering reported, “The first thing Jim Parrish noticed was the smell, the reek of neglect.” As soon as the papers were signed, Parrish went to work. The priorities

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

were clear—repair the roof, redo the rooms, restore the reputation. The public was encouraged but skeptical, waiting for the follow-through on promises to bring back this historic hotel. It was a daunting task. Age and competition had taken a toll, somewhat reminiscent of the Urban Renewal in which the Ramada’s construction played such a significant role.


Urban Renewal Older neighborhoods with modest homes in the Keyway Area, the four blocks between Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue, Kansas Avenue to Monroe Street, many of which lacked basic services such as indoor plumbing, were razed to make way for modern improvements in 1962 with the Urban Renewal Area Plan. The home of Topeka founder and visionary Cyrus K. Holliday would have been located about where I-70 passes the Ramada. The hotel itself was the result of a later visionary developer Sam Cohen. Cohen was a difficult man. Shrewd, energetic, direct—he obviously spent more time pouring over the accounts than on Dale Carnegie classes. His vision, however, was grand, as evidenced by plans for the Ramada. When proposed in 1963, he noted it would be the first major addition to Topeka hotels in 35 years. In the financing documents submitted to the First National Bank, Cohen described the project as the “. . . newest downtown, luxurious, Motor Motel—a fabulous resort atmosphere with all the series of a Cosmopolitan Hotel—at Motor Motel prices.” Cohen wanted the business to be welcoming even if he was not.

Architectural Character Cohen incorporated architectural features from the old Governor’s Mansion at Eighth and Buchanan, a landmark he controversially purchased and tore down. Those items continue to be a part of the Ramada— an elaborate staircase, mantels, windows—lending character to what could be innocuous meeting rooms. It is an element Parrish especially valued and sought to preserve when the partners purchased the property.

continued on pg. 58 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

57


Chef Mark of Ramada and Le Flambeau

Cohen remade the Ramada a couple of times, expanding, adding rooms and adding the tower. Parrish felt the hotel might have over-expanded, and one of his first decisions as owner was to reduce the number of guest rooms.

Uncle Bo's

Return to Glory Another popular feature of the Ramada through the years has been the Le Flambeau Club. When it opened in 1966, Topekans heralded the eatery as an upscale restaurant and an exception to hotel chains with a captive audience shunned by locals because of high prices and poor quality. Over the years, that too declined and former food critic Dena Wallace Anson reported in 1991, “While the vestiges of the original grandeur are still evident, the brilliance has faded at Le Flambeau.” Thankfully, Le Flambeau is once again shining as the hotel management has focused on bringing back the attributes that made the restaurant itself a destination.

Still Evolving Another popular addition to the Ramada has been Uncle Bo’s. The blues club located on the lower level is operated by Topeka entrepreneur and music promoter, Suki Wilson. Since opening in 2005, it has hosted some of the biggest names in blues music and attracts music lovers from miles around.

58

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

With a commitment to keeping the Ramada as a viable and vibrant cornerstone of Topeka’s business and social life, the new owners have kept their promise and the work continues. The most obvious sign of success is the parking lot, full of cars, the lobby filled with patrons, and the new energy that is palpable on these premises. The results might even bring a smile to Sam Cohen’s face.

Deb Bisel

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


Kansas People

– Kansas Values

“It’s a benefit our staff appreciates.” “From award-winning architectural design, to restoration and preservation of historic buildings … our great staff at Treanor Architects make the difference. “That’s why we’re glad to provide Michael Treanor Principal Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas health Treanor Architects insurance for our employees. It’s a terrific, affordable benefit the Treanor team really values. Blue Cross coverage helps us recruit – and keep – the best in the business.”

An Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association ® Registered mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association N.1309

Filename:113BCBS001_TreanorArchitects_7.875x4.875_N.1309_1_0_jg Client: Blue Cross Blue Shield Paper: TK Magazine Dimensions: 7.875”x 4.875” Output Time: 05/02/2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

59


[stepping up to leadership]

giving back by Rich Drinon, M.A.

The idea of “giving back" to one’s profession, community or world is popular among successful leaders in our culture. It is also a worthwhile practice that benefits others. Here are some ways readers might choose to make a difference by giving back.

Special Interests, Causes or Concerns Some leaders are driven by the desire to address a special cause. Some are concerned for the needs of those who live in dire situations throughout the world, or for those who are afflicted with a particular disease or condition. Others want to make a difference in the world by changing laws or influencing the functioning of government. Still others step up to raise awareness of social causes or to represent a special interest of the business world. What are your special interests, causes or concerns? Is there a need you can’t get off your mind? Is there an issue that makes you mad or gets you excited? Is there a higher calling for which you would sacrifice? Sometimes your chief concerns lead you down the path of leadership and contribution.

60

Summer 2013

Things You Build

Things You Change

Some builders create on a large scale—nations, communities, industries, scientific theory and space exploration. Some build concrete inventions such as homes, cars, facilities and equipment. Others have a focus on hardware and software development. The HBO series John Adams gives viewers incredible insight into the bravery, creativity and vulnerability of our nation’s founding fathers. From establishing the Continental Congress to issuing the Declaration of Independence to framing the Constitution these builders were responsible for the formation of a new nation. Perhaps you have a picture in your head or a dream in your heart, of something you would like to ultimately build.

The spectrum of actions and ideas that have changed the world is broad—from the accidental invention of the sticky note, to finding the cure for polio, to putting a person on the moon. The range of people involved in changing the world is also. The range of people involved in changing the world is also widespread. Change is inevitable. Some change serves a higher good or purpose. Some change impacts the word in profound ways. Someone once said, “We change the world by changing our self.” We make a contribution to a better world by being better individuals. You change the world by your purposeful contribution.

People You Touch Putting others first is a religious and philosophical principle followed by many. Modern ideas of leadership, such as Transformational Theories or Servant Leadership, focus on the development of the follower’s potential. Some people grace others through their practical skills, talents and abilities. Some impact others through their emotional intelligence or capacity for connection, caring and love. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, it helps to recognize that your community, industry or place of work constitute the playing field on which the real stuff of life—touching people—takes place.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Thing You Don’t Know About In the classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, an angel shows a compassionate but despairing businessman what life would have been like for his loved ones, business and community if he had never existed, reminding viewers that their life counts. You may never know the countless ways you’ve touched the lives of others, influenced people, added ideas or made a contribution to humanity— just by showing up each day and doing your best.

TK

Rich Drinon, M.A. Drinon & Associates, President


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

61


[extra, extra!] $4 mil

Investment pledges from more than 120 companies and individuals will go toward economic development initiatives over the next five years.

102 4

6,500

The room in the hot classes at the new Lava Yoga studio are set at 102 degrees. The studio is operated by Leigh Granada and Beth Gartner. Three local businesses and one nonprofit were recognized at the 2013 Small Businesses Awards, presented by GO Topeka Economic Partnership’s Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development (EMBD) and by the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce. Winners included: Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction: Carnival Guy Party Rentals Non-profit Award of Distinction: Midland Care Connection Minority and Women Business of Distinction: Jones Advisory Group Capital City Business of Distinction: Midwest Coating Inc. Bryan University in Topeka completed construction of new 6500-square-foot HVAC training facility at 5907 SW 21st Street.

KSBDC Names 2013 Existing Business of the Year The regional Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) named Pat the Plumber as its 2013 Existing Businesses of the Year.

WU to offer Master of Accountancy Washburn University’s School of Business will offer the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree in two flexible, education paths, including the region’s only evening program. Applications are being accepted now for enrollment in the 2013 fall semester.

New store opens in downtown Topeka Oddfellow’s Fine Books & Collectables opened its doors in downtown Topeka in May. The store offers collectable books, maps, coins, ephemera and various collectables pertaining to Kansas history.

Kurt E. Kuta Appointed as the New CoreFirst Bank & Trust President & CEO Kuta began his career by working for five years as a National Bank Examiner with the Office of the Comptroller in Des Moines, IA. After his tenure with the Comptroller, Kuta served in various capacities as a financial consultant. Most recently, Kuta was President and CEO of Vision Bank, Ames, IA.

Also available at 900 N. Ks Ave

62

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Sometimes hospice patients and their families need a home away from home. By lifting the burden of care, we give families time with each other to share treasured stories. The House at Midland Care: • Registered nursing care 24/7 • Physicians certified in pain and symptom management • Personal care attendants, social worker and ecumenical chaplain • CHAP accredited

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

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

63


[extra, extra!] Midwest Coating Inc hires sales manager Midwest Coating Inc, a commercial roofing company, has named Brandon Aldridge as the newest member of its team. Aldridge is a Knowledge Operations Manager for the Kansas Air National Guard’s 190th Air Refueling Wing and has a BS in Organizational Management from Friends University.

Mize Houser admits three as shareholders Mize Houser & Company P.A., Certified Public Accountants, is pleased to announce that Susan T. Hammons, PMP, Lori L. Pittman, CPA and Steven A. Talken, CPA have been admitted as shareholders in the firm.

Nadia Cabrilo, M.D., FAAP, Pediatrician, Joins PediatricCare – Mission Woods Stormont-Vail HealthCare announces that pediatrician Nadia Cabrilo, M.D., has joined PediatricCare – Mission Woods. Dr. Cabrilo received her medical degree from the University of Kansas in 2006. She completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Florida State University and Sacred Heart Health System, Pensacola, Fla., in 2009. She is board certified in pediatrics and is a fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Westar Promotes Martin to Vice President Westar has named Jeff Martin vice president of regulatory affairs. Martin has served as executive director of regulatory affairs since March 2012.

New director named at Mulvane Art Museum Connie Gibbons has been named as director of the Mulvane Art Museum. Gibbons has served since 2011 as executive director of the Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center in Casper, Wyoming. Her previous appointments include executive director posts at the BB King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, Indianola, Miss., and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, Ill.

64

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TPAC names Executive Director VenuWorks has announced the hiring of Jan Allan Zarr as the Executive Director of the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Zarr comes to the VenuWorks team after stints in Boise, Idaho at the Morrison Center and in Rocky Mount, North Carolina at the Dunn Center. He most recently was serving as Director of Programming Operations for SKyPAC in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


[scene about town]

YP Summit Networking Social - Top of the Tower - April 3, 2013

[Nathan Morris, Midwest Coating; Erin Mohwinkle, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce; and Grant Sourk, Kirk & Cobb]

[Madi Thimmesch, Express Employment Professionals; Mikki Burcher, GO Topeka; and Megan Skaggs, Friends University]

[Jenny Torrance, Serendipity; Kerrice Mapes, 785 Magazine; Andrea Engstrom, Breakthrough Revenue; Ashley Bahm, Bahm Companies; and Angel Romero, Washburn University]

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

65


66

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


[scene about town] GO Topeka’s EMBD and Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce 2013 Small Business Awards Washburn University - May 12, 2013

[Kathy Clark and Frank Kerr; Capital City Bank]

[Back row: Cara Pederson, Becky Arensdorf, Jeff Peterson, Gayla Peterson, and Eric Carter; Front Row: Jen Clark, Cindi Stocker and Brenda Schell of Peterson Publication]

[Back row: Randy Morris, Brandon Aldridge, Adam Schultz, Corey Moore; Front row: Dan Morris, Molly Morris and Jeanette Cockerham of Midwest Coating]

[Braden Dimick, AutoTrader.com; Tara Dimick, E2 Communications, Lisa Loewen, TK Topeka's Business Magazine; Jennifer Kirmse and Dan Wiggs, Educational Credit Union; David Vincent, MVP Sports Magazine] TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

67


68

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


[scene about town] IABC Bronze Quill Awards Overland Station April 3, 2013

[Keith Mazachek, Washburn University; and Julie Mazachek, Washburn University Foundation]

[Sarah Van Dalsem, Washburn University Foundation; Janie Rutherford, Kansas Healthcare Collaborative; and Lisa Taylor]

[Sharon Boranyak, Sharon Writes for You; and Laura Lutz, Westar Energy]

[Tracey Stratton, Teresa Jenkins, Jake Huyett, Robin Jacobson Lampe, and Kurt Eskilson: jones huyett Partners]

[Kathy Menzie, Washburn University; Renee Varella and Gary Jones, jones huyett Partners]

[Amanda Howard, Susan Beam and Lori Hogle, FHLBank] TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

69


[scene about town] Women Making Headlines

AWC

2013 Headliner Awards

March 7, 2013 For a list of the finalists, visit www.topekaawc.org.

ABWA Career Chapter Scholarship & Woman of Distinction Luncheon Maner Conference Center March 12, 2013

[Linda Erod, Nancy Perry, Marge Heeney, and Susan Garlinghouse]

Congratulations to our 2013 Headliner Award Winners! Dana Weaver, LeadingAge Kansas Lauren Tice, Jayhawk Pharmacy Carolyn Lang, Ogden Publications

[Eugene Williams, KTWU & Glenda DuBoise, Antioch Family Center]

[Carole Rost, Stormont-Vail; Char Taggart, Washburn University; Lynette Hunter, NOTO; Bev Morris, Stormont-Vail]

Thank you to Our 2013 Headliner Sponsors! Presenting Sponsor

Headliners’ Round Table Sponsors

[Judge Evelyn Wilson; Bill Shafer, KTWU; Eileen Caspers, USD 501; Betty Barker, Jayhawk File Express; June Windsheffel, ABWA Woman of Distinction; Lawrence “Buzz” Hill; Anita Wolgast, NOTO; Janel Warmington, US Bank] Editors’ Round Table Sponsors

Ogden Publications LeadingAge Kansas Byliners’ Round Table Sponsors seveneightfive & XYZ Magazine Kansas Association of Counties 8th Annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair 2013

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

70

Summer 2013

[Betty Martin, Nationwide Learning; Rise Quinn, Topeka Home Builders Association; Madi Thimmesch and Char Kimball, Express Employment Professionals] TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

[Jakica Tancabelic, Stormont-Vail HealthCare; and Helen Crow, Kirk & Cobb]


#7

EASY TIP One of the easiest ways to reduce sodium in cooking is with ingredients like spices, dried and fresh herbs, roots (such as garlic and ginger), citrus, vinegars and wine. From black pepper, cinnamon and turmeric to fresh basil, chile peppers and lemon juice, these flavor enhancers spice up the palate with less sodium.

SPOT THE SALT SPOTTHESALT.COM

SIMPLE WAYS TO REDUCE SODIUM

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Summer 2013

71


Leave with a scar that will impress absolutely no one.

Minimally Invasive Surgery. Get back to life faster. Robotic Radical Prostatectomy. It sounds big. But performed by St. Francis surgeons using the da Vinci robotic surgical system, it’s far less invasive than the alternatives. Patients typically experience less pain, get out of the hospital and back to their routine faster. And while it leads to great outcomes, it doesn’t make for much of a story. Ask your doctor if you’re a candidate.

72

Summer 2013

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Profile for TK Business

TK Summer 2013  

TK Topeka's Business Magazine Summer 2013 Issue

TK Summer 2013  

TK Topeka's Business Magazine Summer 2013 Issue