Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Spotlight: Ollie Gates

He may not have invented Kansas City barbecue, but Ollie Gates is a major reason why it is renowned across the globe.

Gates’ entrepreneurial journey started humbly, by working in his parents’ Ol’ Kentucky Bar-BQ at 19th and Vine. Following college and a stint in the Army, Gates returned home inspired to make his own mark in the barbecue world. He started off with a single Gates Bar-B-Q, but applied the efficiency of his military training to the business, along with a unique commitment to customer service. Gates Bar-B-Q now has six locations, 200 employees and a state of the art training facility known as Rib Tech.

Continue reading

Brian Klaas, Ph.D., Named Dean of Henry W. Bloch School of Management

Currently Senior Associate Dean for Research and Academics and Professor of Management at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina

Brian Klaas, Ph.D., has been appointed Dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Klaas is currently Senior Associate Dean for Research and Academics and Director of the Riegel & Emory Human Resource Center at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, one of the top 75 graduate business schools in the country as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Klaas is also a Professor of Management and previously served as Chair of the Department of Management and Faculty Director for the Master of Human Resource program. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Klaas’s appointment was announced this week by Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at UMKC. He will begin his duties at the Bloch School on July 1.

Continue reading

Bloch Student Wins Online Portfolio Competition

Pavithra Paravastu (B.B.A.) used her Bloch-acquired skills to win a national portfolio competition. From October 10, 2016 through January 27, 2017, Paravastu participated in the Women’s Investment Competition, an online virtual stock simulation. Throughout the course of the competition, she competed against approximately 100 graduate and undergraduate students nationwide, including students from MIT, University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University.

Upon the assessment’s completion, the results showed Paravastu’s simulation to have both the highest rate of return and highest information ratio, giving her a first place finish in both categories. Furthermore, she beat the overall market by 5% over the course of the competition.

Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Patti McKenna (MBA ’07)

Patti McKenna (MBA ’07), COO, and Executive Director, ChopChopKids inc.

Getting kids into the kitchen

How do you teach kids to eat well? You let them get their hands dirty, says Patti McKenna (MBA ‘07).

McKenna is the executive director and COO of ChopChop Kids Inc., a nonprofit organization in Belmont, Mass., that inspires kids and their families to cook together.

“Our goal is to get kids back into the kitchen,” McKenna says.

McKenna got her start in the nonprofit sector in Kansas City. When she first moved to the area, McKenna volunteered for the Trolley Run. After serving as chair of the event, she decided that the nonprofit sector was where she wanted to be.

Continue reading

High School Students Build Ideas at Camp Enterprise

Camp Enterprise students celebrate their winning idea

On Saturday, March 4, the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management, along with the Rotary Club of Kansas City and the UMKC Office of Financial Literacy, sponsored Camp Enterprise for the second consecutive year. Camp Enterprise is a one-day competition allowing high school students to interact, brainstorm and develop new business ideas in entrepreneurial Kansas City.

Continue reading

Honoring Role Models

2017 honorees include from left: Kate Spade, Tom McDonnell, Annie Hurlbut Zander and Ollie Gates. Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Four new members inducted into Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

Four of Kansas City’s most exemplary entrepreneurs were welcomed into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at a gala celebration March 3 at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

Designer Kate Spade, restaurateur Ollie Gates, clothier Annie Hurlbut Zander and longtime DST Systems CEO Tom McDonnell make up the second class of honorees. They join an illustrious group of Kansas City icons such as Henry W. Bloch, Ewing Kauffman and Lamar Hunt as inspirations whose stories are intended to ignite the passions and imaginations of the next generation of Kansas City entrepreneurs.

David Brain, another of the hall’s inaugural inductees, presided over the induction ceremony.

“It says a lot about this community, that we not only can create a hall of fame like this, but that we continue to produce the kind of outstanding people whose accomplishments earn them a place in it,” said Brain, co-founder of Sustainable Development Partners Kansas City, one of the world’s largest coworking facilities. “This is Kansas City at its best, and Kansas City’s university is the proper home for it.”

Continue reading

Rising Entrepreneurs Provide Key Insights at First Wednesdays

Photo Credit: Brandon Parigo, UMKC Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

On March 1, a panel of Kansas City’s emerging entrepreneurial stars spoke to Bloch students, faculty and community supporters at a special First Wednesdays presentation.

Moderated by Bobby Burch, Editor-in-Chief of Startland News, panelists included:

Kris Adair, Co-founder of Mycroft, the world’s first open source voice assistant

Sanjay Gupta, Chief Operating Officer of C2FO, a financial technology company and the creator of the first market for working capital

Chris Smith, Founder of Athlete Network, the nation’s largest online network for athletes

Below are a few insights these innovators shared about their personal journeys, and advice they have for aspiring entrepreneurs.

What have you learned as your business has evolved?

Chris Smith: “The great thing about being a startup is that you’re able to adapt quickly. Keep your angle, but pivot how you do it.”

Kris Adair: “Beginning a startup is like jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down. Being able to adapt as you go is critical.”

Continue reading

Faculty Member Endows Fourth Scholarship

Fred Hays joined the faculty of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management almost 40 years ago.  He has since dedicated his energy, wisdom and time to students in the finance, risk management and study abroad programs.  Beyond that, he has made four generous scholarship endowments to ensure students have the opportunity to study different facets of business and entrepreneurship.

“The first endowment was for the study abroad program,” says Hays, who has led more than 25 groups of students on trips through Europe during his tenure.  This summer he will be taking a group of students to England to study post-Brexit London.

Continue reading

Entrepreneurship Educator Award to Prof. Tony Luppino

Bob Schwartz, left, and Tony Luppino

Award recognizes faculty who have successfully developed and nurtured entrepreneurs

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri System Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Bob Schwartz awarded the first UM System Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award Feb. 3 on Friday to University of Missouri-Kansas City Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law Anthony Luppino for his distinguished activity in developing and nurturing entrepreneurs.

“As the state’s premier research land-grant institution, we serve as an economic engine for the state,” Schwartz said. “By cultivating entrepreneurs who contribute to this crucial part of our mission, Professor Luppino represents everything an entrepreneurship educator should be and his many contributions illustrate the very reason we created this recognition.”

Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Robert Rinne (MBA ’89)

Robert Rinne (MBA ’89), Director of technical procurement and contracts, Allegiant Air

Pilot turns lifelong passion into career

From engineering to pilot training, Robert Rinne’s (MBA ’89) life revolves around aviation.

Rinne spends his weekdays as a director with Allegiant Air, a Las Vegas airline that operates across the U.S.

On the weekends, he’s flying small planes and gliders. He also gives sightseeing flights and jointly owns a business that buys, restores and leases gliders.

Continue reading