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 umkc.edu/EHOF.