Osage Nation Scholarship Makes Dream Come True

Photo Credit: Janet Rogers, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Photo Credit: Janet Rogers, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Claire Hansel Will Realize Hers

Claire Hansel began her college journey more than a decade ago. She will earn her degree in December and, this month, she received special recognition because of her heritage.

“I started working right out of high school, but my jobs lacked challenge. I knew I wouldn’t find more challenging positions without a college degree,” said Hansel. “However, I married young, and with us both as college students, it was difficult to afford the double tuition.”

Hansel will receive a bachelor of science in accounting degree from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, thanks to help from the scholarship from Osage Nation. She served as the representative of the Osage Nation at the Dreams to Degrees second annual national education dinner in Washington, D.C. on May 25 after winning an essay contest describing what the scholarship meant for her.

Continue reading

Opportunity Knocks

becky-warrenAlways ready for the next experience, Rebecca Warren (BBA ’07, MBA ’09, CCHL’14) rode her Bloch education all the way to San Diego.

Warren never imagined a career working with information technology professionals and health care organizations. However, her previous experiences and Bloch School education showed her the importance of being open to new directions in your career.

Continue reading

Students Take 2nd Place in National Community Bank Case Study Competition

Team of business majors among 23 to compete

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A team of business majors took 2nd place at the in the 2016 Community Bank Case Study Competition. The students are seniors in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Maria Davis (B.B.A.), Jacob Renner (B.B.A.), Dakota Sommerfield (B.B.A.) and Clara Stahl (M.S.F.) made up the UMKC team. Each team produced a 15-20 page paper and a 10-minute video to promote public awareness and an understanding of community banks and to stimulate interest among undergraduates in careers in community banking.

The competition theme was lending to small businesses, where each team evaluated their partner bank’s management of lending, the impact of the bank’s lending on the community and the impact on the bank’s financial performance.

Continue reading

Enactus Advances to National Competition Semifinals

The UMKC Enactus team celebrates at the National Exposition

The UMKC Enactus team celebrates at the National Exposition

The UMKC Enactus team placed in the top 16 at the Enactus National Exposition in St. Louis May 17. They advanced after receiving the top prize at the regional competition in Chicago March 21.

There are over 500 Enactus teams in the United States. 120 of those qualified for the national competition through their success at the 7 regional Enactus competitions. Of the 120 teams at nationals, UMKC was one of only 20 teams to advance to the semi-final round. This success places them in the elite status among universities nationwide and highlights the extremely high quality students that UMKC is producing.

Continue reading

Executive MBA Residency Creates Chinese Collaboration

EMBA China 2016

Bloch Executive MBA students recently completed their one-week international residency in China. During this week, they had the opportunity to spend time at the Tianjin Wuqing Development Zone, a national high-tech industrial park encompassing 93 square kilometers in the northwestern Wuqing District. Since its founding in 1991, the Wuqing Development Zone has attracted a total investment of 70 billion yuan, of which foreign investment has reached 60 billion US dollars. Wuqing has welcomed more than 50 countries and regions and more than 1,000 companies, many of which fall into the Fortune 500 category.

In recent years, economic collaboration and international trade activities have spiked between the United States and China. According to the China Ministry of Commerce website, a quarter of China’s foreign direct investment in the non-financial category grew 55.4 percent in 2016, $5.24 billion of which was invested in the U.S. This indicates that economic and trade cooperation between the countries is growing, creating a huge space for further development.

When selecting their international residency location from a vast list, Bloch EMBA students voted China as their top destination.

Continue reading

Regnier Venture Creation Challenge Finalists Receive Startup Funding


Four Teams Win Top Awards

Sixteen of more than 50 teams advanced to the semifinal round of the 2016 Regnier Venture Creation Challenge May 6. Out of that, four teams walked away as the top winners.

Students presented new concepts to local investors, business leaders and entrepreneurs while competing for up to $40,000 in total awards and seed funding. After hearing from each semifinalist group, four teams were selected to compete for the top prize.

Continue reading

UMKC Bloch Team Takes 2nd at UMSL Case Competition

UMSL 2016 IB Case - Team AA team of four Bloch School undergraduate students took second place at The University of Missouri – Saint Louis (UMSL) International Business Case Competition in April. Each year’s case is developed by a different multinational company exploring solutions to an existing international business challenge. The competition is judged by executives from company that wrote the case, along with other business executives in the community.

The Bloch team, comprised of Amanda Cook (B.S.A.), Thomas Flanagan (B.B.A., B.S.A.), Claire Hansel (B.S.A.) and JoAnna Muenks (B.B.A., B.S.A.), accompanied by faculty team advisor Michael Wizniak (MBA ’14),  was assigned case that required researching and developing an entry strategy into Cuba for Enterprise Holdings Inc. Having no prior knowledge of the case details, teams were given 20 hours to develop a strategy, without assistance from their advisor, before presenting their recommendations to a panel of executives.

Continue reading

Sixteen Semifinalists Move to Final Round of Venture Creation Challenge

Centered Spirit was one of 16 semi-finalists who will move to the final round of competition Friday, May 6.

Centered Spirit was one of 16 semi-finalists who will move to the final round of competition Friday, May 6.

The Regnier Venture Creation Challenge kicked off its annual two-part event Friday, April 29. Each spring, the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management hosts a business plan competition in which students can present new concepts to local investors, business leaders and entrepreneurs. A total of $40,000 will be awarded with the first place team receiving $10,000.

Continue reading

Four Awards Honored Bloch School Alumni


Julie Wilson won the Bill French Service Award at the Alumni Award Luncheon April 21

Alex Garza started with a laugh and ended in tears.

Garza, a physician and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Professor of Epidemiology at Saint Louis University, was standing on stage at Swinney Recreation Center, accepting the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

“UMKC holds a special place in my heart,” said Garza, a 1990 graduate of the UMKC School of Biological Sciences. “It’s not just the place where I received a great education, but also the place where I matured as a person and set me on course for everything that followed.”

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association Governing Board and the campus recognize outstanding alumni at a luncheon event that also serves to raise funds for student scholarships.

Garza was one of 16 individuals and one family honored at the event, one of the university’s largest. In the last eight years, the Alumni Awards event has garnered more than $900,000 for student scholarships and immediate aid. This year’s luncheon attracted more than 500 attendees and brought in more than $120,000 in student scholarship support.

UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton and Raymond Cattaneo, president of the UMKC Alumni Association Governing Board, alluded to the importance of student aid during their opening remarks.

“Imagine having to choose among paying for school, utilities or food,” Morton said, citing the story of one student who could not have remained in school without aid funded by the program.

Urging the guests to donate, Cattaneo added, “Let’s make sure that our students get the opportunities they deserve.”

Following are the 2016 UMKC Alumni Awardees with a degree from the Bloch School:

Bill French Alumni Service Award: Julia M. Wilson (’84 Management)
Teamwork is a value Julie Wilson wields daily in her role as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Cerner Corp. That central focus characterized her time as a UMKC athlete and describes the volunteerism and dedication Wilson has shown to UMKC and, specifically, to UMKC athletics. Following an exciting basketball career including two NAIA Honorable Mention All-American selections and three NAIA All-District 16 selections and the NAIA Frank L. Hesselroth Award, Wilson became a central supporter of the UMKC Athletics program.

Defying the Odds Award: Judy G. Jacobs (’77 Management, ‘86 Education)
After Germany occupied Hungary in 1944, Judy Jacobs and her family were placed in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp when she was 7 years old. She lost many loved ones in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When she and her parents were freed, she was sent off – young, alone and scared – to boarding school while her parents attempted to rebuild their lives. In 1946, Jacobs and her family moved to the United States. Despite everything they had experienced, her parents passed on their belief in the importance of education and Jacobs went on to college. Jacobs came to UMKC to earn her MBA and a Ph.D. in higher education administration and finance, and completed her degrees while working and raising a family. Today, Jacobs utilizes her education and her experiences during World War II to teach others about the Holocaust and makes every possible effort to accept all the speaking engagements she can.

Legacy Award: The Armacost Family
The Armacost family’s Kangaroo tradition began with the University of Kansas City (UKC), the predecessor to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Lucille Cahill Armacost graduated from UKC in 1938 and her husband, the late Don R. Armacost, Sr., former owner of Peterson Manufacturing Company, graduated in 1940. Their son, Don R. Armacost, Jr., CEO of Peterson Manufacturing Co., graduated from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management in 1968 and received that school’s 1990 Alumni Achievement Award. Other graduates from the Armacost family include Jarrett Bertoncin (B.A. ’94, M.F.A. ’96, Arts & Sciences), who is an active member of the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Board and current board president. In 2010, Lucille Armacost created the Don & Lucille Armacost Scholarship, one of the largest and most prestigious scholarships at UMKC.


Bloch School of Management Award
Doug Baker (M.B.A. ’95)
Doug Baker is Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Discovery Networks International, the world’s no. 1 nonfiction media company reaching 2 billion subscribers in 220 nations.



KCSourceLink Report Describes State of Entrepreneurship in Kansas City

KC SourcelinkPublished on April 25, 2016
‘We Create KC’ report cites progress in several areas
KCSourceLink today released its third We Create KC report, which looks at progress in key areas central to supporting entrepreneurs and business growth in the region. Last year, KCSourceLink, a network of 240+ business-building resources, made more than 155,000 connections to help entrepreneurs and small business owners find the help they need to start and grow.

“At KCSourceLink we are committed to supporting the entrepreneurial community—the pioneers, champions and heroes who’ve gotten us to this point. And we’re also committed to tracking the numbers to measure our progress,” said Maria Meyers, founder of KCSourceLink and head of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center, of which KCSourceLink is a part.

The good news: Kansas City is making progress in terms of access to capital for entrepreneurs, the idea pipeline and resources to support startup growth.

The full report can be downloaded at www.wecreatekc.com.

Access to Capital

Capital for early-stage entrepreneurs and education for both investors and entrepreneurs has been a focus for development. In the past year:

OneKC for Women launched a new WE-Lend microloan program.
AltCap announced new funds available for contractors and artists.
The Microloan Coalition was formed to bring additional dollars to Kansas City area microenterprises.
LaunchKC and Digital Sandbox KC provided grants for early-stage businesses.
Mid-America Angels and Women’s Capital Connection had their largest year ever in investments.
Northland Angel Investor Network got off the ground and iiM focused its funding on human and animal health and agriculture.
The Collective and a re-formed Angel Capital Group are providing more options on the local investment scene.
KC Rise has announced a new fund that will invest side-by-side with other VCs.
Flyover Capital made its first investments.
Out of town funds like Royal Street Ventures, Lewis and Clark Ventures and Dundee Capital have set up shop and invested in regional businesses.
The Idea Pipeline

Moving innovations from universities and research labs into the marketplace is a difficult process. The Whiteboard2Boardroom program has been working hard to improve the innovation pipeline. Launched in 2009 with four partners, that number has expanded to 22. Whiteboard2Boardroom has identified more than 40 projects in the innovation pipeline, from biodiesel to drug development. This is the first time there’s been a clear snapshot of what Kansas City’s innovation pipeline looks like.

Resources to Support Startup and Growth

Kansas City has a strong, interconnected web of resources that support entrepreneurial ventures at all stages and in all industries. During the past year, resource organizations came together to form the Multicultural Business Coalition, designed to better engage diverse business owners with programs and services.

We Create KC

The We Create KC report, produced under an award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, covers six imperatives that were identified as key areas of development in the region’s quest to nurture entrepreneurship and economic growth. These six imperatives came out of research conducted by several local organizations, and helped focus this particular Big 5 initiative defined by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

The six areas are:

Maximize entrepreneurial support resources
Tell the story
Create a strong entrepreneurial pipeline of ideas
Build entrepreneurial talent
Dramatically increase available startup and growth capital
Engage the broader corporate community
Stories that typify the success being driven by area entrepreneurs are highlighted, including:

17°73°, a solar-powered solution to charge cellphones in developing countries
blooom, an online platform that helps average Americans manage their 401(k)s
Jazzy B’s, a BBQ fusion food truck that recently opened a restaurant in Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Weave Gotcha Covered, custom drapery and furnishings business with a social entrepreneurship angle