Three Bloch Alumni Receive Alumni Achievement Awards

Each year, UMKC recognizes outstanding alumni. The university is celebrating the alumni achievements at a luncheon event on April 23. The annual luncheon is the university’s largest event, with proceeds supporting student scholarships. The 2014 luncheon attracted more than 600 attendees and brought in $117,000 in student scholarship support.

“The UMKC Alumni Awards Celebration is one of our proudest moments,” said Curt Crespino, vice chancellor for Advancement at UMKC. “It’s a chance to let the world see the kind of graduates this institution sends out its doors at each Commencement ceremony.”

This year three Henry W. Bloch School of Management alumni will be honored at the ceremony. In addition to the luncheon, Bloch will recognize alumni award winners at special events this month, including the Accounting Alumni Reunion on April 23 at Boulevard Brewery and the Bloch School Alumni Awards Celebration on April 30 at Rye.

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Bloch Student Receives Award from Financial Executives International

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Yuliana Onopriyenko, B.S.A., poses at the Financial Executives International awards ceremony on April 13.

Yuliana Onopriyenko, B.S.A., was presented the 2015 Academic Award by the Kansas City chapter of Financial Executives International on April 13. This award is presented annually to outstanding students in the areas of finance or accounting. Onopriyenko was one of four students selected for the prestigious award from universities in Kansas and Missouri.

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Inspiration was the Theme of the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Week

The Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Open House Week, April 6-10, celebrated Kansas Citians who have propelled entrepreneurship forward. The week included open houses and two lectures by Hall of Fame figures.

Jerry Kelly, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Silpada and member of the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, returned to the Henry W. Bloch School of Management for the week’s first presentation. Kelly, an MBA alumnus, told the story of Silpada to a crowd of approximately 100 on Tuesday morning. From the company’s “basement-born” beginnings to its current position as the largest direct seller of .925 Sterling Silver Jewelry in North America, Kelly explained how an organization can grow while still holding true to the original business model.

“Silpada has never been about making the most money. Jerry’s always been focused on making a company that does good, and is sustainable for the long term,” said Ryane Delka, Kelly’s daughter and Silpada Co-Chief Executive Officer. She closed the presentation by emphasizing the importance of the founder’s vision in Silpada’s success .

The week’s second presentation highlighted Joe and Judy Roetheli, founders of Greenies and Hall of Fame benefactors. The Roetheli’s, long-time friends of the Bloch School, spoke to students, community and UMKC staff as part of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s First Wednesday series.

From years of work in the government sector, to becoming entrepreneurs by developing a cure for their pet’s bad breath, to now heading the Lil’ Red Foundation, the Roetheli’s story encompasses both pillars the Bloch School hopes to instill in their students – finding success in business, and using that success for philanthropic initiatives. Sharing their experiences, the Roetheli’s gave advice to those in attendance – persistence, hard work and dedication should occur daily.

For more information on the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, visit

Village Square to Host Events on American Justice


April 6, 2015

Contact: Kim Jacobs


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chapter of the Village Square will host a series of events on April 29: a luncheon, breakout session and dinner. Tickets for the events can be purchased online here through April 22. UMKC students may register and attend at no cost. Continue reading

Bloch Faculty, Staff Recognized for Excellence

Bloch faculty and staff members were honored for their outstanding contributions to students and the community at the 2015 UMKC Celebration of Excellence Faculty & Staff Awards on Thursday, March 19 in Pierson Auditorium.

Larry Garrison, Ph.D., Professor of Accounting, receives 2015 Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented to an outstanding faculty member from each higher education institution in the state, and is based on effective teaching, advising, service to the university community, commitment to high standards of excellence and success in nurturing student achievement. Dr. Larry Garrison has been a member of the Bloch School Faculty for more than 28 years and exemplifies the very best of UMKC’s values. Garrison teaches five taxation courses each year at the graduate and undergraduate level and his students are always his top priority. Additionally, Garrison has received the Missouri Society of CPAs Outstanding Educator Award, UMKC Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and has twice received the Elmer F. Pierson Teaching Award.270D4601

Nathan Mauck, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Finance, receives Chancellor’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award in Business

The Chancellor’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching is UMKC’s highest honor for excellence in teaching for an assistant professor, and the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award is awarded annually to an outstanding teacher. Over the last two years, Dr. Nathan Mauck has published six articles, five of which were published in top finance journals. Mauck creates an exciting learning environment, extending from his teaching philosophy of engaging students in order to inspire a lifelong interest in learning. Mauck is well liked by students and last spring, he was voted the Bloch School Favorite Faculty Member of the Year.mauck_PREF

Jacqueline Hawkins, Office Support Assistant in the Department of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation, named  2015 recipient of the Staff Council Dedication Award

The Staff Council Dedication Award is presented to a UMKC Staff Council Committee member who consistently participates in Staff Council activities above and beyond the call of duty and exceptionally demonstrates dedication to making UMKC the workplace of choice for all staff. Jacqueline Hawkins currently serves as Secretary on the Staff Council Executive Board and the Staff Council Representative for the Faculty Senate and Facilities Advisory Committee. In addition, Hawkins is co-chair the Staff Conference for Professional Development for the second consecutive year.hawkins-jacqueline

Digital Sandbox KC Wins Second i6 Challenge Grant

$500,000 grant provides much needed early-stage funding for Kansas City region

KANSAS CITY, MO (MARCH 30, 2015) — Digital Sandbox KC was awarded an unprecedented second i6 Challenge Grant from the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The three-year, $500,000 grant is being matched by the Kauffman Foundation, Missouri Technology Corporation, the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management and Cobalt Ventures for a total of $1,150,000. Additional corporate support provides key resources and connections for the young companies in the Sandbox.

Digital Sandbox KC’s mission is to help launch new businesses and assist them in securing add-on funding.  Launched in February 2013, the highly successful proof-of-concept program has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area.  To date, Digital Sandbox companies have raised almost $18M in follow-on investment.

“Our success so far is a direct result of the quality entrepreneurs in Kansas City and the overwhelming corporate and community support we’ve received,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC. “We’ve found that the Sandbox fills a critical gap for early-stage companies in the funding landscape for Kansas City.”

The new funding will continue support for early-stage proof-of-concept projects and expand to create a community-wide network of product development and testing resources. This clearinghouse will encompass prototype equipment and resources available through higher education, corporate, government and nonprofit channels.

Results so far:

  • 46 proof-of-concept projects funded for area startups
  • 23 new KC-based companies created
  • 33 companies have secured follow-on investment
  • $17.7M million in follow-on funding
  • 181 new jobs created, nearly $5.5 million in total salaries
  • Just under $7 million in total sales
  • 18 patent applications
  • 4 successful exits

Another key outcome of the Digital Sandbox project was to encourage large corporations to participate in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Support from Hallmark, VML, UMB, Sprint, Cerner, RareWire, University of Kansas, Burke Payne Law and Union Station provided access to funding, mentors, product development support and marketing to which young companies would not traditionally have access. Several additional Kansas City organizations have committed to participate in the Digital Sandbox moving forward, including R2fact and Garmin.

Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis. The Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs. For more information about Digital Sandbox KC, go to

Love of Math Leads to Role of CFO

daniel_karenKaren Daniel serves company and community

Karen Daniel is passionate about numbers, and mentoring. With a lengthy list of accomplishments to her credit, Daniel uses both to serve her employer and her community.

The two passions have led to her current position as chief financial officer at the multinational engineering firm Black and Veatch, and to recognition as a mentor both to co-workers and to women in the community.

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Ina Garten Talks Business Success

Ina-Garten_550x310Aka “Barefoot Contessa” urges: ‘pick what you love’

In an informal, conversational-style setting, Ina Garten shared her remarkable entrepreneurship story with a large gathering of her fans.

More than 500 people turned out at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to hear what tips the self-created entrepreneur, “The Barefoot Contessa,” would share with those who wish to follow in her footsteps or just learn a bit more about her.

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Prof. John Norton Resigns from UMKC

Former associate director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation resigns

Prof. John Norton, a faculty member of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has resigned from the university, effective March 15.

Norton served as associate director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMKC.

“I am as passionate as ever about teaching entrepreneurship and innovation to our excellent Bloch School students, but I have reached the conclusion that my role in events of recent weeks may distract from that mission,” Norton said. “It’s critical to students and the community that this excellent program be able to move forward and continue fostering the growth of entrepreneurship education.”

UMKC Dean David Donnelly accepted Norton’s resignation and thanked him for his contributions to the university. He agreed that the step was in the best interest of the Bloch School and the university, and expressed appreciation that Norton put the educational needs of students first.

“John has always worked hard on behalf of our students and was dedicated to their success and to the success of our program,” said David Donnelly, Dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.