Photo credit: Keith Gard for Cristo Rey
The UMKC Foundation is presented its 2016 Award of Distinction to Marny and John Sherman September 22. In 2009, the Bloch School of Management and the Council for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, now the Regnier Institute Advisory Council, named John its Entrepreneur of the Year in recognition of his leadership in the growth of Inergy, an industry leader in natural gas storage and transportation. John was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2014. He continues to be a leader in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
The Shermans are cornerstones of the UMKC Foundation. Since the beginning of the Campaign for UMKC in 2009, Marny and John have lent their energy through both personal involvement and financial investment. Their gift to the School of Education is not only one of the largest gifts of the campaign, but one that will have a deep impact on the university for years to come.
The Shermans’ community giving is focused primarily on urban issues. Making their decisions together, they partner with organizations that have defined their missions and have the ability to achieve their goals. Marny and John are committed to UMKC because of their belief that Kansas City needs a strong urban, public, comprehensive research university to call its own.
Photo credit: Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications
Bloch Scholarships Expand Student Possibilities
In these times of higher tuition, many students seek ways to fund their college education. The scholarships awarded to some Bloch students made a big difference in their college careers, allowing them to focus on their studies.
At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, approximately 94 percent of first-time freshmen receive one or more forms of financial assistance according to Kami Thomas, assistant dean for Student Services at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.
“Thanks to the generous contributions of donors, more than 160 students were awarded scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year,” Thomas said.
The students gathered at a recent luncheon to thank the donors for their gifts, show their appreciation and share their stories.
New leader will succeed David Donnelly
The search for a new dean for the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management is now underway, and is set to meet the goal of selecting a new leader to begin work prior to the 2017-18 academic year.
The full search committee met for the first time Friday, Sept. 9, to receive its charge from Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer, and to begin organizing its work. The search will be supported by Witt/Kieffer, a nationally known higher education search firm. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Wayne Vaught and Deputy Provost Cynthia Pemberton will co-chair the search. The full list of committee members is below.
Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications
Special evening celebrates faculty achievement
Recognition of faculty accomplishment at the University of Missouri-Kansas City entered a new phase in 2016 with the debut of the Leaders in Learning celebration, a gala dinner event at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The event represented an upgrade and expansion of what had previously been an annual daytime, on-campus recognition of faculty who had received promotions or earned tenure. The new format is an evening of dinner and jazz, and recognition was expanded to include new and existing endowed faculty, Curators’ Professors, and other awards of distinction.
Reza Derakhshani, Ph.D., with a student in a UMKC lab.
Ant Financial acquires startup using UMKC research to capitalize on smartphone security
EyeVerify, Inc., a Kansas City startup based on technology developed by UMKC School of Computing and Engineering Associate Professor Reza Derakhshani, Ph.D., has been acquired by Ant Financial Services Group, the world’s leading online and mobile financial services provider and operator of Alipay. The announcement was made on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Dr. Brian Anderson as the Ph.D. Program Director in the Department of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation
In our 5 Questions series, we will hear from those at the heart of the Bloch School – our faculty, staff students and friends.
5 Questions with Dr. Brian Anderson
- What brought you to the Bloch School? The chance to serve as Director of the Ph.D. program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. You can be a professor almost anywhere, but you don’t get the opportunity to lead a program very often. In this role, I get to help shape and influence the next generation of entrepreneurship professors, and I hope I can make a big impact.
- How did you get involved in academia? This is my ninth career, but I think I finally hit on it. I’ve been an entrepreneur, served in the military, worked in government and politics – all of which prepared me in some small way to be a professor. I really didn’t decide on academia until I was working on my Masters at the University of Denver, which is when I became interested in research and teaching. It really was something that emerged over time. As soon as I started my Ph.D. program, I knew that this is what I really loved to do.
- What’s your favorite spot in Kansas City? I’ve only been in Kansas City about a month, but so far my favorite spots are everywhere I can get barbecue. Barbecue makes me happy.
- What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Be humble. I’ve had three terrific mentors, two professional and one personal, who really changed my life. All three gave me that same advice.
- What has been the proudest moment in your career? Any time a student returns after four or five years and says “I’m better at what I’m doing because I had your course.” I don’t think there’s any better validation that you’re making an impact as a teacher than hearing someone say “I can do what I’m doing better because of you,” or even better, “I’m a better person because of your class.” That’s what gives me the most satisfaction.
“Tonight, you are in for a treat.” This introduction by UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton could not have rung truer.
Father and son duo Henry and Tom Bloch were welcomed to Bloch Executive Hall Sept. 7 with a standing ovation from a packed house.
“Do you think we can live up to it, dad?” Tom asked.
“Oh, I doubt it,” Henry laughed.
The Bloch’s presentation, “The Making of a Legend: A Conversation with Henry and Tom Bloch,” focused on Henry’s journey from student to struggling businessman to world-renowned entrepreneur.
Max Younger presenting a prototype of the M+D Crutch at the 2015 Regnier Venture Creation Challenge.
Entrepreneurship Scholar graduates Enduralock and Mobility Designed have advanced to the final round of the LaunchKC Startup Grants Competition.
LaunchKC is designed to attract technology entrepreneurs locally, regionally and nationally to apply and compete for 10 $50,000 non-dilutive grants, mentorship, transitional work space and other incentives. LaunchKC selects the top-scoring entrepreneurs and then supports and assists them with coaching, mentoring and funding to develop high-growth, successful businesses in Kansas City.
International Social Media Platform Allows Sharing of Cultures
For an immigrant, adjusting to life in America can be challenging, and Tomveyi Bidamon had some negative encounters. Fortunately, he was able to use those experiences to create a business venture that may benefit people in different cultures around the globe.
Bidamon came to the United States in 2007 from Togo, West Africa to attend Iowa Western Community College. He identified a problem and a solution based on his personal experiences and set out to make his idea a reality.
In January, Bidamon enrolled in the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation E-Scholars program at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Having earlier accepted a position at Russell Stover in Kansas City, Bidamon knew the Bloch School was the direction for his venture.
Clara Maingi’s (Executive MBA ’12) approach to people and learning has helped her craft a successful career, maintain a strong network and build a lasting legacy.
“I cannot stop learning,” said Maingi. “I always say, ‘Throw me something complex where I will learn.’ ”
Successfully navigating a variety of learning opportunities has earned her the position of Vice President at Swiss Re, a leading provider of reinsurance. In this role, Maingi is the program and operations manager for a new initiative in the Life & Health division in the company.