Alumni Spotlight: Becky Robinson (M.P.A. ’85)

 

Becky Robinson (M.P.A. ’85), President and founder, Alley Cat Allies

Becky Robinson (M.P.A. ’85), President and founder,
Alley Cat Allies

Graduate’s cat rescue program protects animals around the world

Becky Robinson (M.P.A. ’85) is a true friend to felines. In 1990, she founded Alley Cat Allies, an organization that advocates for the humane treatment of cats. It’s the only one of its kind, nationwide.

Protecting cats is a calling that goes back to Robinson’s childhood, when her family launched the humane society in her hometown of McPherson, Kan.

“My childhood was spent with animals of all kinds,” she says. “I was raised to be deeply concerned with the well-being of companion animals and wildlife.”

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Alumni Spotlight: Heather Brosz White (M.P.A. ’95)

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Heather Brosz White (M.P.A. ’95), Director of Government and Foundation Relations, North Carolina Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs

Passion for volunteering leads to career helping kids

Heather Brosz White’s (M.P.A. ’95) commitment to service didn’t begin when she started working with the Boys & Girls Club. She’s been volunteering since she was a child.

“Helping a company make money doesn’t interest me,” she says. “The nonprofit sector offers something that I am motivated by: helping others have a better life and making a difference.”

While at UMKC, White volunteered with the Housing Authority of Kansas City, where she helped develop a mentoring program for girls. She says her time in Kansas City helped shape not just her career, but her life.

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Meeting the Challenge: Doranne Hudson and Preston Coughlin

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

If Doranne Hudson could impart one piece of advice to her students, it would be to cultivate mentors and to develop those relationships to the fullest extent. After connecting with Hudson, that’s exactly what Preston Coughlin (B.B.A. ’12, J.D./MBA ’15) did.

In his junior year, Coughlin received a coveted spot in the Edward A. Smith Urban Leadership program, a summer internship that combines classroom study, mentoring and a full-time position at an area nonprofit organization. Within minutes of sitting down with Coughlin at their first one-on-one meeting, Hudson was impressed.

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Fearless Creativity

Judy Roetheli and her husband, Dr. Joseph Roetheli, were cited for social entrepreneurship. Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Judy Roetheli and her husband, Dr. Joseph Roetheli, were cited for social entrepreneurship. Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebrate those who care enough to dare

It’s all about the love.

People often talk about entrepreneurship in terms of risk and effort. Those who succeed – and many of those who don’t – extend themselves and their resources beyond normal limits.

But those honored for their entrepreneurial success often talk about something else entirely. They flat-out love what they do, and that, more than fame or money, is what makes the risk and effort worthwhile.

Take Dave Kiersznowski, who founded the firms DEMDACO and Red Rock Traditions with his wife, Demi.

“Do what you love.  An entrepreneur who loves their work creates a really fun work environment, and their excitement is contagious,” he said, as the couple was honored as Kansas City’s International Entrepreneurs of the Year.

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‘Serial Entrepreneur’ Shares His Secrets

Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Gary Fish does what he loves: unlocking potential

Gary Fish never used to be a morning person. Now, he can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and start another day.

Fish also used to be a B-C student – closer to C, he admits. Then he went to college and earned straight As. What changed? Something simple but fundamental: he took charge of his own life and became his own boss.

“Life is too short to do things you don’t want to do,” he likes to say. That is the motivation that has made him a “serial entrepreneur,” a multi-millionaire, a computer security pioneer and the 2016 Regional Entrepreneur of the Year recognized by the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Honoring an “Uncommon” Hero

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UMKC Celebrating Ewing Kauffman as Honorary International Entrepreneur of the Year

Kansas City native Ewing Marion Kauffman was known for his successful businesses and his philanthropy. During 2016, the Kauffman Foundation is commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth on Sept. 21, 1921 – EMK 100 – by celebrating his legacy that guides the foundation and inspires others to ‘Be Uncommon.’

The University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management are joining in the commemoration by recognizing Kauffman as its Honorary International Entrepreneur of the Yearat the UMKC Entrepreneur of the Year Banquet on Nov. 10. The theme of this year’s banquet is “Fearless City: Celebrating Those Who Fearlessly Create.”

According to the Foundation, “Ewing Kauffman’s life took him on an unconventional path that allowed him to enrich the lives of others along the way. He saw himself as a common man who did uncommon things, and he challenged everyone he knew to be uncommon.”

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Lewis White Real Estate Center Names New Director

Charles Connely, IV will focus on growing enrollment and enhancing Center’s name recognition

The Lewis White Real Estate Center has appointed Charles C. Connely, IV as its new director, with goals to grow programs and enrollment, and become an even more significant resource to the real estate industry. The Center is part of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Connely, CCIM, CFP®, CPM®, also is an associate teaching professor in the Department of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

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Barnett Helzberg Shares Secrets for Success at First Wednesdays

Photo Credit: Ben Gruber

Photo Credit: Ben Gruber

What is Barnett Helzberg’s secret to success? That there is no secret.

Helzberg, the former Chairman of Helzberg Diamonds, spoke to approximately 200 students, faculty, staff and mentors at First Wednesdays Nov. 2 in Bloch Executive Hall. During his presentation, “How Barnett Helzberg Turned his Small Diamond Business into an Empire,” Helzberg discussed his successes, failures and lessons learned throughout his career.

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Creating a Partnership: Dave Renz and Tim Sweeny

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

The relationship built between Dave Renz, Ph.D. and Tim Sweeny (M.P.A. ’06) has turned out to be a mutually beneficial partnership.

Renz was the instructor in Sweeny’s first graduate course, and he knew from the get-go that he wanted to connect with Renz further.

“From that initial class, I knew Dr. Renz was an outstanding and unique professor,” Sweeny says. “From then on, I sought his classes out. Even if they didn’t directly correlate to my curriculum plan, I knew it would be worth it if he was teaching.”

Renz felt an instant kinship with Sweeny as well.

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A Celebration of Ideas

Bloch School Honors 2016 Entrepreneurs of the Year

It starts as a tiny idea, then becomes a plan and then hopefully morphs into a lucrative business. The 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year awardees took their seeds and created successful businesses, and they are fitting examples for any entrepreneur hopefuls.

The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri-Kansas City, will honor the recipients of its 31st Annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebration, “Fearless City: Celebrating Those Who Fearlessly Create” on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Kansas City Convention Center, Great Hall, 301 W. 13th St., Suite 100, Kansas City, Mo. A Student Venture Showcase and Reception begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner immediately following at 7 p.m.

“The Bloch School of Management and the Regnier Institute are always pleased to honor deserving and praiseworthy entrepreneurs, and this year is no exception,” said Jeff Hornsby, professor and director, Regnier Institute. “We look forward to an evening celebrating their accomplishments.”

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