Bloch Student Team Places Second at CSBS Competition

A team of five Bloch School undergraduate students – Alison Irwin, Justin Loerts, Mason Paulus, Tristan Perkins, and Conrad Schrof – took the second-place prize at the 2018 Community Bank Case Study Competition sponsored by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS).

The student team, advised by Finance Faculty Members Bill Keeton and Forest Myers, analyzed how community banks are using technology to streamline processes and better serve their customers. Each team in the competition produced a paper and video based on interviews with management of a partner bank and other experts. The Bloch team advanced to the finals through two rounds of judging, competing against 50 other teams from 44 universities nationwide.

The Bloch team partnered with Citizens Bank & Trust, which provided vital insights and connected the students with the CEO of Jack Henry and Associates and other leadership.

“This year’s competition has been very exciting due to sheer volume and the high quality of case studies,” said CSBS Senior Executive Vice President Michael Stevens. “It is a wonderful way to highlight student work and gain insights to how banks are deploying technology.”

Each student on the Bloch School team will receive a $500 CSBS scholarship. The team’s paper will also appear in the Journal of Community Bank Studies, a journal published by the CSBS to showcase the work of the top three undergraduate teams.

“The CSBS competition has been a great opportunity for Bloch School students to get out of the ivory tower and learn about real-world banking, said faculty adviser,” Bill Keeton.  “It’s just one example of the synergies possible between the Bloch School and the vibrant financial services sector in Kansas City.”

Music, Movement and a Message

H3 Enterprise wins 2018 RVCC

H3 Enterprise is announced as winner of the 2018 Regnier Venture Creation Challenge. Photos by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications.

Educational Hip Hop firm wins Regnier Venture Creation Challenge

Roy Scott was a hard-edged rapper whose music, he freely admits, promoted drugs and violence and disrespected women.

That was until he heard his five-year-old son repeating his lyrics. It was a life-changing moment, and he resolved to take his music in a completely different, socially responsible direction.

The result is H3 Enterprise (Healthy Hip Hop), a program that conveys positive messages about education and health to a powerful hip-hop beat. During a presentation in early May at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, he called it “Sesame Street for the 21st century.”

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Bloch Students Select Faculty Impact Award Winners

Each year, the Bloch School recognizes two faculty members who make lasting impressions on our students’ lives. Each spring, students vote for the faculty members who have had the most positive impact on them throughout their career at the Bloch School.

This year we are honored to award Nathan Mauck, Ph.D. and Doranne Hudson, MBA as Bloch School Graduate and Undergraduate Faculty Impact Award Winners (respectively).

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SeniorVu is the Focus of UMKC’s Annual Case Competition

Undergraduate Bloch School student teams present their case analyses for SeniorVu

SeniorVu was the focus of the Ninth Annual Strategic Management Case Competition, where undergraduate students perform a holistic analysis of a real-life case and provide recommendations to a leadership panel of the case organization’s leadership and Kansas City area executives. Those business leaders then judge the groups on everything from research to communication skills.

“We were honored to have had this group of bright young minds digging into what could be a new business opportunity for SeniorVu,” CEO Tim Donnelly said.  “Their thoughtful research into the senior living industry and into what we do at SeniorVu sparked several great ideas for our company.”

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UMKC Enactus Wins Regional Competition, Advances to Nationals

The UMKC Enactus team continues its tradition of success. The team of first-time presenters took top prize at the regional competition in Chicago, Ill., qualifying them to compete at the United States National Exposition. The national competition is being held locally, taking place at the Kansas City Convention Center May 21-22.

“This UMKC Enactus team has done an incredible job,” said Ben Williams, Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Assistant Director and Enactus Advisor. “It is a testament to the quality of UMKC students that we have so many students from all over campus coming together to solve problems in their communities.”

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UMKC Regnier Venture Creation Challenge Competition Announces New Category

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City Healthcare Innovation Prize supports patient-focused advancements in the healthcare industry

One of the region’s richest entrepreneurship competitions, the Regnier Venture Creation Challenge hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City, returns in May – and for the second year in a row, the pot of prize money has grown significantly.

The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management will host the 7th annual Regnier Venture Creation Challenge Competition May 3-4, 2018. Eligible teams will compete for $75,000 in total awards and seed scholarships, made possible by generous support from the Regnier Family Foundations and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City. Students will compete in the Challenge by creating a business plan and pitching new student ventures. Applications are open to university students in Missouri and Kansas and current Bloch School Entrepreneurship Scholars.

In 2017, the prize for the overall first-place team doubled from $10,000 to $20,000. This year, the Challenge is adding a totally new category with $25,000 in additional awards. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) is sponsoring The Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize.

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UMKC Alumni Association Names 2018 Campus-Wide Alumni Awardees

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association and the campus celebrate the outstanding achievements of UMKC graduates through the Alumni Awards Gala. This year’s program honoring the class of 2018 recipients will be held on June 15.  For tickets or to become an event sponsor, click here.

The following Bloch alumni were named as awardees for the class of 2018:

Kay Barnes (M.A. ’71, M.P.A. ’78)

Downtown Kansas City, Missouri’s current prosperity and growth is a result of the blueprint created by former mayor, the Honorable Kay Barnes. The city’s downtown residents surged from 4,000 in 2002 to 26,000 in 2017, just one piece of the transformation at the city’s center. Barnes’ tenacity and leadership as mayor from 1999–2007 inspired a multi-billion dollar campaign for the revitalization of downtown Kansas City — including construction of the Power & Light District and the Sprint Center. In addition to her role as a national political figure and the first (and only) female mayor of Kansas City, Barnes has been a tireless champion for women. She helped establish the Central Exchange, a local organization committed to helping women achieve their greatest potential, as well as the UMKC Women’s Center, providing programming and support for women on campus. In 2015, Barnes was inducted into the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame. She now serves as Senior Academic Liaison and Ambassador for Park University and has been as frequent guest lecturer at UMKC’s Bloch School of Management.

Dr. Fredrick N. Manasseh (Pharm.D. ’07, EMBA ’12)

Fredrick N. Manasseh arrived in Wichita, Kansas, from Nairobi, Kenya, with nothing more than a suitcase of clothes and enough money to pay for two months of room and board. As an undergraduate, he worked three jobs to pay for his education and support his family in Kenya. Despite losing everything he owned in an apartment fire within three months of arriving, Manasseh graduated with honors from Butler Community College and Wichita State University. While earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UMKC (and later, his EMBA), he established a student chapter for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). He also went on to earn a Certificate of Health Information and Management Exchange Specialist from Columbia University, a Graduate Certificate of Finance from UMKC and a Strategic Management Certificate from Harvard University. In 2011, Manasseh founded The Monica E. Manasseh Scholarship, named for his mother, at UMKC to aid minority students who encounter financial barriers to higher education. Now, principal and managing consultant at Rx Prowess LLC, he serves as board chair and president for Riverview Health Services, an organization that connects indigent, uninsured and underinsured adults and children with health care services, education and medical supplies in Wyandotte County the Kansas City metropolitan area. He is also an executive board member for Child with No Father, an organization that provides educational support and resources to orphan children raised in developing countries. Additionally, Manasseh is a practicing pharmacist, adjunct professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and serves on the board of Community Development Financial Resources, an organization that aims to teach financial literacy and money management in communities that are financially underserved.

The Eisler-Ferguson Family (Patrick Eisler, M.P.A. ’98, Heather R. Beaird-Eisler, B.B.A. ’90, Haley Ferguson-Eisler, B.B.A.)

Within the Eisler-Ferguson family, there are more than a dozen Roos spanning two generations. William O’Neill Eisler graduated from the University of Kansas City (now UMKC) in 1958 and went on to receive his law degree. Bill practiced law for 45 years, with 20 years spent as a partner at the Whipple, Eisler & Kraft Law Firm and another 25 years in independent labor arbitration. Bill’s sons, Patrick and Sean, both attended UMKC and graduated with degrees in History and Mechanical Engineering, respectively. Patrick went on to earn his M.P.A. and worked for Apria Healthcare for 20 years before moving to his current position at Netsmart Technologies. His wife, Heather R. Beaird-Eisler, received her B.B.A. from UMKC. Sean began his career at Henderson Engineers, where his is currently a vice president. Sean often promotes School of Computing and Engineering events within his company and was instrumental in securing a multi-year scholarship from Henderson Engineers for SCE students. Although they attended high school together, Sean met his wife Haley Ferguson-Eisler at UMKC, where she earned her B.B.A. Haley’s parents, Marvin and Sandra Lynn Ferguson, attended the School of Law and have practiced together in North Kansas City for more than 50 years. Haley’s brother, Mark, and his wife, Margaret Costanzo-Ferguson, also both attended the UMKC School of Law. Mark has his own practice and has worked in the same building as his parents for over 25 years.

Frank Wewers (MBA ’69)

Frank Wewers founded Manning Systems, Inc., a leader in the gas detection industry. After selling Manning Systems to Honeywell, Wewers went on to found FLI-TEK Consulting, LLC, which provides strategic and tactical advice in the gas sensing and analyzer industry. In 2010, Wewers joined the UMKC Bloch Advisory Council and in 2013, a $1 million bequest established the Frank J. and Helen L. Wewers Scholarship Fund to provide financial support for Bloch School students. He presently serves on the board of the Kansas City Art Institute and the UMKC Foundation. He and his wife Helen are supporters of arts and public education, including organizations such as the University of Kansas School of Engineering, the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas Families for Education, the Alliance for Epilepsy Research and Children’s Mercy.

The Bloch School extends congratulations to the other campus-wide award winners:

Carla Conway Wilson (B.S. ’88)

UMKC’s Director of Athletics, Carla Conway Wilson has a vision and focus on service to athletics and student-athletes that has put her, and UMKC, in the national spotlight. In 2017, Wilson was elected as the third Vice President of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association and appointed to the NCAA Division I Council. She was also chosen to serve on the Executive Committee for the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association. The first female and minority leader of athletics at UMKC — and one of only a few female athletic directors among the NCAA’s 351 Division I institutions — Wilson was named Division I Administrator of the Year in 2012 by the Women Leaders in College Sports and one of the “Top 25 Women in Higher Education” in 2015 by Diverse magazine. In 2016-17, Wilson led the Roos to five Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championships, five second place finishes and two third place finishes. UMKC student-athletes also excelled in the classroom, earning a program-record cumulative grade point average of 3.34, with 122 student-athletes earning All-WAC academic honors. Wilson is active on a number of community boards including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City Sports Lab Advisory Board, Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City (WIN for KC) and the Chancellor’s Advisory Board for the UMKC’s Women’s Center.

Hannah Lofthus (B.A. ’07)

Hannah Lofthus is the founder and chief executive officer of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School and a committed member of the UMKC and Kansas City community. Her service to her alma mater began while she was an undergraduate student and member of the Honors College; she co-founded the service-learning program and founded a partnership with a local charter school to provide opportunities for Honors students to serve their community. This community partnership still exists today at the Kauffman School where 180 UMKC students have volunteered since the program’s inception. In 2010, Lofthus founded the Kauffman School with the mission of “creating college graduates.” The founding class of fifth graders entered the school in the bottom third of the state on fourth grade math and reading state exams. Four years later, their results ranked number one in the state of Missouri. Lofthus led the Kauffman School to state recognition: It was named the 2015 Missouri Charter School of the Year and earned a 100 percent Annual Performance Rating from the state the past two years, as well as national acclaim, achieving the Platinum Rating from the Leverage Leadership Institute and RELAY Graduate School of Education. The school was also named a 2017 “School to Learn From” by Teach for America. Lofthus was inducted into the Mid-America Education Hall of Fame in 2015 and received the Accelerate Institute’s Ryan Award for transformational school leadership in 2016.


Kansas City REALTORS® Complete UMKC REALTOR® Leadership Academy

The Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City celebrated the 22 Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® members who completed the inaugural class of the UMKC REALTOR® Leadership Academy.

The Academy is a 10-month leadership development program designed to support REALTORS® who are committed to advancing their careers through professional education and civic engagement. The Regional Association partnered with Bloch Executive Education and the Lewis White Real Estate Center at the UMKC’s Bloch School of Management for the creation and development of the Academy. UMKC Bloch School Dean Brian Klaas congratulated the students for their dedication to professional development and lifelong learning at the completion ceremony on Jan 10.

“Welcome to the Bloch School Roo family,” Klaas said. “You took the initiative. It will serve you well over time.”

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Global Value of Investing in Relationships

Newspapers and websites are filled with headlines of immigration bans, reconsideration of trade agreements and stories of global interest in economic and political isolation. Despite this trend, faculty, alumni and students of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management see global partnerships as essential to personal and business growth and success.

The Bloch School is continuing to enhance its curriculum, broaden an already diverse population and develop new opportunities for students to explore studying and working abroad as a way to enhance both business and life experience.

This commitment to interconnectedness and the value of developing and nurturing global relationships not only mirrors Henry Bloch’s personal philosophies of recognizing opportunities and making a personal investment in building relationships, it’s a reflection of the growing significance in the global marketplace.

Below are a few ways the Bloch School enhances students’ global mindsets.

Developing a Global View

“The simple fact the term ‘global marketplace’ is commonly used is a signpost itself,” says Michael Wizniak (MBA ’14), Bloch instructor of international business and management systems. “In a relatively short period of time, due to technological advancements and reduced barriers, the world has integrated to a level that is virtually irreversible.”

The Bloch School, like other business schools nationwide, is expanding its international course base. Classes in international management, international business environment and global management consultancy are a few offerings that give students a taste of the new business community.

Wizniak teaches Global Mindset for Managers, which focuses on a variety of topics that business professionals need in today’s global marketplace.

Laying the Groundwork

Keith Small (MBA ’00), Black & Veatch associate vice president of Sub-Saharan Africa, appreciates that the school has expanded its international curriculum and solidified global partnerships with Asia Pacific organizations and universities. He sees this as a reflection of UMKC’s goal to embrace diversity.

“Participating on the Marketing Advisory Council with other local industry leaders allows me to peek under the hood periodically,” Small notes. “The Bloch School faculty engage various companies in two-way exchanges to ensure curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the business community, while also ensuring students remain current and attractive to recruiters.”

Gathering experience and knowledge and leveraging opportunity while in the Bloch School are a good spring boards for students and professionals who are intrigued by living and working abroad.

Get Up and Go

Beyond the current class offerings, the Bloch School also offers study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Current study abroad options have included London, Portugal and South Africa.

Wizniak has also taken both undergraduate and graduate students abroad to five different countries in Europe and Asia since last year, and he sees the value in the investment.

“We spend time with local institutions and businesses experientially learning about international business,” he says. “Some of the classes are consulting for companies in foreign markets like South Korea or conducting competitive industry research and forecasting in the EU with the coming Brexit implications.”

But studying abroad often offers more than practical experience and an understanding of other people and cultures.

“When students study abroad I can see them change,” Sidne Ward, chair, Department of Management and director of Bloch Global Management Education Initiatives, says.

“Sometimes I recognize the exact moment when a student opens up to the possibility of living abroad. They begin to see a different possible future.”

Global Views Close to Home

For those students who might not be able to study abroad, the Bloch faculty and staff have structured their programs in Kansas City to help provide that worldview perspective.

Jill C. Anderson (MBA ’12), revenue cycle executive, Cerner Middle East, experienced firsthand the advantages of having a diverse cohort at Bloch.

“We had representation from Cameroon, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam,” says Anderson. “Many times we would get into in-depth conversations about how economies are run in those countries.”

Wizniak goes on to emphasize the universal appreciation of Henry Bloch’s model in business and in life.

“Being humble goes a long way in building relationships and trust. It would be a fool’s errand to try and find a more humble man than Henry Bloch.”

No one knows this better than Tom Bloch. “It was never about making the most money. He’s always wanted to help people. The most people. He thinks it’s important to make a difference.”

This article is an excerpt from the 2017 Bloch Magazine. To read the full article, click here.

Laura Boswell (B.B.A. ’08, MBA ’13): Experiencing Her Dream

Photo Credit: Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

Laura Boswell had a dream to work in the health care field, and by leveraging her Bloch education, she’s now a leader in a budding nonprofit sector.

“I spent several days a week volunteering in hospitals through middle and high school,” she explains. “I have had many experiences that allowed me to explore the health care field, including participating in the Edward A. Smith Urban Leadership internship with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.”

Doranne Hudson, Associate Teaching Professor in Management and Executive-in-Residence, served as Boswell’s mentor through that program, and her direction was paramount to Boswell’s experience.

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