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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Millennial Mindset


Understanding the next generation of managers in the workplace

There is no doubt the millennial generation is changing the shape and feel of the workplace The millennial population is larger than the baby boomers and almost twice the size of Generation X.   A generation who has never known a world without Apple, they work – and define success – differently than the generations before them.

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Finding a Champion: Kimberly Young and Barney Hill

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

Meeting Kimberly Young has proven to be a life changing experience for Barney Hill (EMBA ’15).

After more than 20 years of service in the U.S. Army, Hill was considering what to do next. As part of his personal development plan, he selected the UMKC EMBA program due to its broad-ranging networking opportunities.

During his application process, Hill met Young, executive director of Executive Education and Executive MBA programs. Little did Hill know, this initial meeting would set him on a path to a new career in information technology with UMB.

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5 Questions with Stephanie Bedard (MBA ’16)

In our 5 Questions series, we will hear from those at the heart of the Bloch School – our faculty, staff, students and friends.

Photo Credit: Janet Rogers

Photo Credit: Janet Rogers


You’re originally from South Carolina. How did you end up choosing the Bloch School for your MBA?
Having an opportunity to be a part of the first class of the Full-Time MBA stuck out to me. I love learning, and I’m a student at heart, so a full-time program was the only option in my mind. I like to think out loud and discuss how things can change in the future, so the Bloch program appealed to me over more buttoned-up programs.

Being new to the area, what was your first impression of Kansas City?
I arrived in Kansas City on July 31, so my initial thought was that it was hot as blazes! Kansas City has grown on me over the past year. I love the Midwestern hospitality, and that when people are nice to you, they really mean it. And obviously, I arrived at the perfect time to experience the World Series and the excitement surrounding it.

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Brent Never: Breaking Community Boundaries

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

As a political scientist at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, Brent Never, Ph.D. focuses on the equity of economic policies and solutions.

“My research is in the geography of services for disadvantaged individuals,” says Never, associate professor in the Department of Public Affairs. “Since Ronald Reagan was president, more services in the United States have been moved from government-provided services to private service or nonprofit.

“A political scientist is concerned with power: who has it and what do they do with it. I am most concerned with the incentives that public leaders have in privatizing public services,” he adds.

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Building Confidence: Leigh Salzsieder and Alejandra Rodriguez


Photo Credit: Dan Videtich Photography

Leigh Salzsieder’s teaching philosophy is twofold: meet students where they’re at and help them get where they want to go. In Alejandra Rodriguez’s (B.S.A. ’16) case, meeting Salzsieder in her introductory accounting class connected her to a mentor who would instill in her the confidence to land a job with one of the world’s largest accounting firms.

Originally an architecture major, Rodriguez decided to pursue a business degree her sophomore year. She signed up for a mandatory accounting course, worried about having no prior knowledge of the concepts.

“I initially connected with Dr. Salzsieder because I would regularly attend his office hours for help with classwork,” Rodriguez says. “I was struggling at first, but he explained the material in a way that was much easier for me to understand.”

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Young Entrepreneurs Provide Real-World Advice at First Wednesdays


Photo credit: Ben Gruber

On October 5, three young innovators spoke to students in a special First Wednesdays entrepreneurship panel.

Moderated by Zach Pettet (B.B.A. ’15) and Regnier Institute Advisory Council member, panelists included:

Katie Boody, CEO and Founder of the Lean Lab, an innovation laboratory to help educators, entrepreneurs, and community leaders develop early-stage solutions for challenges in K-12 public education focused in Kansas City.

Chris Costello, CEO and Founder, Blooom, a registered investment advisory firm co-founded by three financial services professionals with over 30 years of experience.

John Fein, Managing Director, Firebrand Ventures, a venture fund that combines a strong brand, vast network and deep experiences to invest in exceptional early stage software startups.

Below are a few pieces of advice these leaders offered UMKC students looking to launch their own entrepreneurial careers.

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Bloch Alumni and Entrepreneur of the Year Honoree Named to List of 31 Entrepreneurs to Watch in Kansas City

Two Bloch alumni and a Regional Entrepreneur of the Year were named to Compute Midwest’s list of 31 Entrepreneurs to Watch in Kansas City.

Michael Wilson (MBA ’06)


Michael Wilson is the founder of Niall, a luxury watch company which prides itself on making their timepieces right here in America.

Bill Self, Paul Rudd, John Elway and many more notables wear their watches.

The Shawnee Mission South graduate manufactures most of the parts here in Kansas City, and Niall was recently named the best watch brand in the country.


Gary Fish (2016 Regional Entrepreneur of the Year)


Gary Fish is a serial entrepreneur and investor with many business interests. Mr. Fish currently serves as CEO of Fishtech Labs, a company he founded in 2015.

Since 1996, he has founded, acquired, and sold more than a dozen technology companies. Throughout his career, he has been recognized many times for his achievements; he was named a technology entrepreneur of the year by Ernst and Young, a Security Super Star by CRN magazine, a Kansas City Top 100 Business Leader, a Distinguished Alumni by DeVry University, and was inducted into the Kansas City Business Hall of Fame.


Tim Sylvester (E-Scholar ’11)


Tim is the president, Founder, & CEO of Integrated Roadways

Tim has won numerous awards for his groundbreaking “Smart Pavement” work. He’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kansas City Star, Kansas City Business Journal, and numerous local, regional and online publications.

Tim has more than a decade of experience in construction, including residential, commercial and infrastructure, spanning labor, design, engineering and management, and has performed multiple research projects for the National Science Foundation.

Compute Midwest will host their conference Nov. 2 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.