Regnier Announces Line Up for First Wednesdays

The Regnier Institute is excited to announce the line-up for the spring First Wednesday events.  The speaker’s series takes place on the first Wednesday of the month to provide a forum for entrepreneurs to tell their stories of struggle and success to inspire Bloch students to start their own new ventures.

This spring’s series includes:

February 1st – Bill and Steve Dunn

Since joining the organization in 1946, Bill Dunn was the leader of JE Dunn Construction, growing the company his father founded into Kansas’s City’s largest construction firm. Based on his father’s philosophy of hiring the best, treating employees and partners as you’d want to be treated and sharing benefits with the company and the community, Dunn and his family have created a legacy of success and philanthropy in our community. Dunn will be in conversation with his son and former J.E. Dunn C.E.O, Steve Dunn.

March 1 – Panel of KC’s Start Ups to Watch in 2017

Bobby Burch, Editor-in-Chief of Startland News, will moderate a panel discussion of some of Kansas City’s rising entrepreneurial stars.

April 5th – Annie Hurlbut Zander

Annie Hurlbut Zander was an anthropology student at Yale 36 years ago when she fell in love with vintage textiles and the feel and durability of alpaca while visiting Peru. Her passion for these textiles led to relationships with upscale retailers and blossomed into the launch of Peruvian Connection, a line of clothing with five internationally renowned collections a year that are sold through catalogs, online and in the brand’s retail stores across the United States and in London.  Zander is a 2017 inductee into the Bloch School Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

May 3rd – Roo Idea Jump

The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will announce the winners of the fourth annual Roo Idea Jump, an annual competition open to all for-credit undergraduate and graduate UMKC students. To be eligible, students must present an idea for a new, independent venture currently in the concept or seed stage. Students submit a report covering their venture’s value proposition, customer segments, revenues, costs and partnerships, as well as a business model canvas.


Salzsieder Named BKD Faculty Fellow

Assistant Professor Leigh Salzsieder was recently awarded the BKD Faculty Fellowship in Accounting at the Bloch School of Management.  Salzsieder, a former BKD accountant, teaches various courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

“Receiving this recognition from my former firm is especially meaningful to me.  Hardly a day goes by in class when I don’t discuss the real world experiences I had while working at BKD.”

Salzsieder, who is recognized for his talent in both teaching and mentoring, received the UMKC Chancellor’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014.

“I am still passing down wisdom I gleaned from my mentors at BKD.  There’s no doubt that my experience there shaped not only what I teach, but how I teach.  There is no replacement for real world experience, and I know that a career in accounting is very rewarding and opens an incredible set of opportunities.”

BKD made this commitment to acknowledge the success of the accounting program and Salzsieder.   BKD Kansas City Managing Partner, Abe Cole, says BKD has always had tremendous success recruiting talent from UMKC.

“It was important to us to give back to the school.  We’re pleased that Leigh received the fellowship.  He was an absolute superstar at our firm.  We couldn’t be more proud of his success at UMKC.”

Salzsieder recognizes the significance of the firm’s commitment.

“Given the ever decreasing level of funding in higher education, it is a priority for our department and the Bloch School to find identify more fellowships and named faculty positions.  Support like that provided by BKD is necessary for us to realize our vision of developing talent to lead businesses and not-for-profit enterprises in Kansas City and beyond.”

BKD Kansas City has committed $50,000 to the Bloch School to support the fellowship over the next 10 years.  For information establishing fellowships or other giving opportunities, please contact Jeffrey Chapman at (816) 235-5554 or

Firebrand Ventures Partners with the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Firebrand will provide investment capital to E-­Scholars Startups

Firebrand Ventures, Kansas City’s premier early‐stage venture capital fund, and the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (RIEI) of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri­‐Kansas City (UMKC) are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership to benefit early­‐stage entrepreneurs in the Kansas City region. The RIEI’s Entrepreneurship Scholars (E-­Scholars) program, which graduated its first cohort in 2011 and since that time has worked with more than 200 individual graduates of the program, assists local students – community and university – in taking their entrepreneurial ideas from concept to launch. E­‐Scholars does this through a structured, two‐semester long program of Saturday workshops focusing on key areas of entrepreneurial marketing, finance, operations, legal, and more. These workshops are complemented by the most extensive network of entrepreneurial mentors in Kansas City – more than 150 of them, and growing.

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5 Questions with Chad Feather

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

Why did you choose the Bloch School?

Three main things led me to the Bloch School: the faculty, the focus on innovation and the fact that it is an urban institution.  I believe that all three of these things will be extremely helpful moving forward in my career.  The faculty is tremendous in helping in the classroom and out.  The innovation the school provides both with coursework and entrepreneurship is working to become a leader in the industry.  Lastly, the fact that UMKC is an urban institution is beneficial when creating connections with those leaders in the business world.

How did you get involved in Enactus, and what are some of the rewards?

I became involved with Enactus because I wanted the opportunity to utilize entrepreneurial skills to help my community – and it has been more than I could have ever imagined.  Not only am I making an impact on my community, but I am growing professionally and personally.  I have had the opportunity to network more than ever before, my public speaking skills have grown, and I am implementing what I learned in the classroom into real life applications.

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Alumni Spotlight: Kenji Takada (B.B.A. ’87)

Kenji Takada (B.B.A. ’87), President and CEO, TBK America

Finding a new home at UMKC

Kenji Takada (B.B.A. ’87) is originally from Japan, but he considers himself an all-American businessman.

“I always tell my kids how lucky they are to be born as Americans and to be able to live here,” Takada says. “I am Japanese by birth, but an American by choice.”

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Bloch School Celebrates New Inductees into Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

Four of Kansas City’s most celebrated innovators make up the 2017 class

The Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management welcomes some of Kansas City’s most exemplary entrepreneurs as its second class of honorees.

The hall is a vision and a gift from Joe and Judy Roetheli, founders of the Lil’ Red Foundation. Their vision was to have a permanent, immersive and interactive hall of fame, designed to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. The hall is located on the main level of the Bloch Executive Hall, 5108 Cherry St.

“The goal of the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame is to celebrate the stories of Kansas City’s most iconic entrepreneurs – those who built businesses from the ground up,” said Beverly Stewart, director, Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. “I can’t think of a better representation than these four individuals.”

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