The Legacy of Henry W. Bloch

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

A Kansas City icon repays the community he loves

Every day of the work week, you’ll find Henry Bloch at his office on the Plaza. He’s leading meetings, connecting with local businesses and working with nonprofits — not relaxing at home, even though he’s earned it after decades of hard work. Instead, he is still determined to find ways to help Kansas City — to repay his debt to the community he credits for his success.

On July 30, Henry celebrated his 95th birthday. He has raised a family, navigated bomber planes in World War II, launched H&R Block and given back more to the city than most will ever realize. Some of Henry’s friends and family talked with us about his life and legacy, as well as the work yet to be accomplished in the community.

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Henry W. Bloch School of Management 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Honor Visionary Leaders

UMKC Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Announces Honorees for 32nd Annual Event

The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri-Kansas City, has announced the honorees for its 32nd Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebration.

The event is Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri. A Venture Showcase and Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the awards program following at 7:30 p.m.

Chairs for the 2017 event are Anne St. Peter, Founder of Global Prairie, a global marketing firm; and Bill Gautreaux, co-founder of Inergy LP, now Crestwood, and Partner at MLP Holdings LLC.

The 2017 honorees are:

Moshe Safdie, Henry W. Bloch International Entrepreneur of the Year

Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist and author. After apprenticing with Louis Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montréal to oversee the master plan for the 1967 World Exhibition. In 1964, he established his own firm to realize Habitat ’67. Habitat represented a turning point in housing design, modern architecture and urban planning, and today is a Canadian National Heritage Site and living landmark. Celebrating a 50-year career, Safdie’s projects can be found worldwide, including everything from airports to performing arts to entire cities and more. In addition to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts where the event will be held, several other projects have expanded the idea of how communities come together. Examples include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; the Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, the national museum of the Sikh people in India; and the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Singapore.

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Leaders in Learning

A celebration of faculty achievement

University of Missouri-Kansas City faculty who received endowed professorships, promotions, tenure and other awards of distinction were recognized in 2017 with the Leaders in Learning celebration, an evening of dinner and jazz at Pierson Auditorium.

A video tribute included praise for UMKC faculty from students as well as Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

“I am proud to work among faculty such as yourselves, who have contributed not only to our students’ advancement, but also to Kansas City’s advancement,” said Interim Chancellor and Provost Barbara A. Bichelmeyer. “You’ve sat on boards, served as mentors and given back to our Kansas City community in many ways. UMKC faculty are a key reason why UMKC is the esteemed university it is today.”

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Ross Baird Opens Fall First Wednesdays

Ross Baird, along with his company Village Capital, seeks to level the playing field for any entrepreneur.

Village Capital is one of the most active startup investors in the world, backing nearly 100 companies over the past seven years, and working on 50 communities worldwide, including Kansas City. Baird founded the organization on the notion that no matter who you are, where you’re form or what industry you’re in, if you’ve got a great idea and work hard, you should be able to succeed.

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Bloch School Accreditation Renewed

Recognition conferred by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) has renewed its accreditation for the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The Bloch School’s programs in Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Finance were first accredited by AACSB in 1969.

“I am extremely pleased to see that AACSB has recognized the Bloch School’s continuing commitment to excellence,” said Brian Klaas, Ph.D., dean of the school. “This renewal indicates that we have kept pace with a rapidly changing environment for business education and is a signal for students and employers regarding the quality of our programs, our faculty, and our support services.”

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Meet Dean Klaas

While he’s only been on the Bloch School scene a short time, Brian Klaas, Ph.D., is ready to make his mark on UMKC and Kansas City. Klaas comes to Bloch from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, a school with a number of nationally ranked programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to his duties as dean of the Bloch School, Klaas is also a professor of management. Bloch faculty and staff are excited to have Klaas’ leadership in driving the Bloch School to the next level of success. And when he’s not on campus, you can be sure to catch him around Kansas City — embracing all the community has to offer.

First impression of Kansas City?

It’s a gem flying under the radar. Outstanding community spirit, positive public and private sector engagement, entrepreneurial energy — all combine with an extremely high quality of life. KC also has easy access to world-class museums, farmer’s markets, performing arts venues and professional sports.

Favorite Kansas City barbecue restaurant? Thus far at least?

To this point, I have been to Gates, Joe’s Kansas City, Jack Stack and Q39. There is no way to identify a favorite among that group — all were amazing. I loved the ribs at Gates and Joe’s, the Crown Rib and beans at Jack Stack and the brisket and burnt ends at Q39. Recently, Henry Bloch suggested a few that were on his list of favorites. I can’t wait to make my way through the rest of the list.

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Entrepreneurship Scholars Deadline Approaching

In just nine months, you can learn how to take your big idea from concept to launch! By applying today, you can join the ranks of 60+ plus alumni ventures who have successful launched and are generating revenue. As part of the E-Scholars program, you’ll be in and out of the classroom, learning from exceptional faculty and accomplished entrepreneurs how to develop a scalable and sustainable venture.

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KCSourceLink Sheds New Light on Startup Job Creation

Kansas City’s entrepreneurs  are a job-creating powerhouse

By Maria Meyers

As a community, we celebrate when an existing large enterprise moves to our area, bringing the promise of several hundred jobs. And well we should. But Kansas City’s entrepreneurs, working outside the spotlight, are a job-creating powerhouse, bringing an average of 16,376 new jobs to Kansas City every single year.

Our team at KCSourceLink, a program of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center, has developed an important new statistical analysis that sheds unprecedented light on the importance of Kansas City startups by providing precise statistics on job creation. It reveals that entrepreneurial venture creation is an extremely powerful economic development engine.

First-time employers who employed fewer than 20 employees created 16,325 new jobs in 2016. Looking at cumulative job creation year to year, startups launched between 2012 and 2016 generated 84,011 jobs in 2016. This accounts for 65 percent of jobs added, and 7.7 percent of all jobs, in Kansas City in 2016.  (For this report, the Kansas City region includes Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas; and Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.)

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Riddhiman Das: Childhood passion becomes career

Bachelor of Science with emphasis in Computer Science, 2012 | Entrepreneurship Scholars
Title: Product Architect, EyeVerify
Hometown: Guwahati, India

Riddhiman Das, alumnus of the School of Computing and Engineering

Why did you choose UMKC?

I think UMKC has one of the most underrated computer science programs. You cover the same material – if not more – from really knowledgeable professors as you would at any top-five university in computer science. But the class sizes are a lot smaller, so you have more chances to interact with faculty.

The Kansas City community was just blossoming at that point. We weren’t where we are today, but we had just enough to make things interesting.

Being in Kansas City and being at an urban university allowed me to play a part, not just in academic circles, but also in the startup and business world. It helped me develop a network that, upon graduation, served me very well.

How does your UMKC education help you in your day-to-day work?

At UMKC, I studied computer science, mathematics, entrepreneurship and innovation. So that gave me broad exposure to not just the technical work, but also questions like “How do we identify market need? How do we build a product customers love? How do we understand customer needs?”

“I came to school very introverted and very reserved. It was the UMKC experience that helped me get out of that shell.”


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Klassie Alcine: Putting political experience to work

Bachelor of Arts: Political Science and Criminal Justice and Criminology, 2009; Master of Public Administration, 2011 | College of Arts & Sciences; Henry W. Bloch School of Management
Title: Director of community engagement, Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas
Hometown: Blue Springs, MO

Klassie Alcine portrait

Why did you choose UMKC?

During high school, I visited 10 colleges, both in-state and out-of-state. I was looking for a college with small class sizes and world-class professors. I wanted to have a full-circle experience in education, culture, diversity and internship opportunities.

Were you the first person in your family to attend college?

No, however, I am a second-generation Haitian-American, and I am so honored to be an Afro-Latina. UMKC welcomes diversity and provides a fantastic multicultural office to help students feel accepted and supported. UMKC is here to help you through your life journey. Whatever fear you have – know that you are good enough.


How did you choose your field of study?

When I came to UMKC, I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney. While interning for the city of Kansas City, MO, my supervisor told me, “Your personality is way too big to be an attorney. You need to work in politics.”

After my internship, I was managing and directing city, county, state, and national political campaigns. My job is figuring out what voters are passionate about and listening. It’s all about encouraging the heart and uplifting other people. Politics achieved that for me. I wanted to represent candidates who aligned with my values.

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