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  • 14 Mar 2011 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    Avila University’s Advantage Program recently announced it is now approved by Project Management Institute to become a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) effective Jan. 1, 2011.


    PMI R.E.P.s are educational organizations that have demonstrated that they are capable of providing world-class effective project management training.  Through PMI’s rigorous quality criteria for course content, instructor qualification, and instructional design, R.E.P.s provide the project management training necessary to earn and to maintain Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Program Management Professional (PgMP)® and other PMI professional credentials.


    Avila University’s Advantage program is a unique and innovative approach to adult education in Kansas City that recognizes the working student’s need for value, professional assistance, convenience and timely results. The Project Management Certificate (PMC) program is 13 credit hours and five classes, all online. It is an elective component of the Master of Arts in Management and specifically created to prepare students to successfully pass the PMI exam for PM certification.


    “We are pleased that Avila University’s Advantage program is now recognized as a PMI Registered Education Provider,” said Steve Iliff, dean, School of Professional Studies, Avila University.  “This designation is one more way the university continues to set itself apart from the competition and advance the expertise of our students by providing high quality educational opportunities.”


    “PMI’s recent survey of training providers shows that 80 percent of organizations seeking suppliers of project management training strongly prefer to work with PMI R.E.P.s. They view their affiliation with PMI, as the leading standard-setting professional association for project management, as a stamp of quality on the training services they purchase,” said Edwin Andrews, Ph.D., director of academic and educational programs and services at PMI. “Organizations want to protect their investment in project management training, and they know that a PMI R.E.P. delivers such training in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”


    Currently, there are more than 1,400 R.E.P.s in more than 70 countries. These organizations include commercial training providers that design complete educational systems, academic institutions, internal training offices at corporations and government agencies.

  • 11 Feb 2011 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    Marriott International, Inc. is proud to announce that the 149-room Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City South, located at 500 East 105th Street, has completed a major renovation of its lobby. The hotel will now feature the brand’s new Refreshing Business lobby concept, designed to give travelers the flexibility to work and socialize however they choose while on the road.

    “From day one, Courtyard has prided itself as a brand that listens to what travelers want from a hotel,” said Janis Milham, vice president, Global Brand Manager, Courtyard by Marriott.   “Guests want more control and choice with services and amenities that create a healthy balance between working and relaxing. We redefined the Courtyard lobby so it invites guests to get out of their rooms to work, socialize or for entertainment, whether traveling alone or with colleagues.” 


    The open, bright and contemporary new Courtyard hotel lobby welcomes guests with vivid contrasting colors, including blue, green, orange and red.  The traditional front desk has been replaced with separate welcome pedestals to create more personal and private interactions when guests check in.  This will allow staff to move about to show guests the lobby features and provide assistance.  Flexible seating options range from a communal table in the middle of the action, to more private media booths with high-definition televisions, to a more intimate, semi-enclosed lounge area.


    A signature element of the new lobby is the exclusive GoBoard® technology, a 52-inch LCD touch screen packed with local information, maps, weather, and news, business and sports headlines.  Guests can navigate using the touch screen to find restaurants, local attractions and directions.


    Guests can connect to free WiFi and there will be ample electrical outlets throughout the lobby to power digital devices.  The enlarged business library will feature several complimentary computer terminals along with a free printer and separate computer stations dedicated to printing airline boarding passes and checking flight status.


    Dining has been completely redesigned with The Bistro – Eat. Drink. Connect.; offering casual, flexible seating; easier access to food and higher quality, healthier menu options for breakfast; and light evening fare, including snacks, wine and beer so guests can unwind.  The MarketTM, a 24/7 shop for snacks, beverages and sundries, is always open for late-night cravings or the toothpaste you forgot to pack.


    Green has been Courtyard’s signature color since Marriott launched the brand 25 years ago.  Now it is even greener with the introduction of a guest recycling program for the environment. Receptacles for paper, glass, plastic and metal are conveniently located by side exits.


  • 08 Feb 2011 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    Mazuma Credit Union announces its first Small Business Administration Patriot Express Loan with HW Foods, LLC, an area business that used the loan to buy a Quizno’s franchise located in Merriam, Kansas.

    Mazuma is only one of a few financial institutions that can offer a SBA Patriot Express Loan. Originating and servicing SBA Express Loans since 2005, Mazuma decided to apply for approval to offer SBA Community Express and SBA Patriot Express Loans. Mazuma enjoys a strong re-payment history among current SBA recipients, one of the determining factors the SBA looks at when selecting financial institutions to offer their loans, such as the Patriot Express and Community Express loans.

    The loan is the first SBA Express Patriot Loan secured by Mazuma Credit Union. “This is a milestone in Mazuma’s business lending portfolio,” said Rob Givens, President/CEO of Mazuma. “Our Business Resources team is very knowledgeable about what types of loans are available for our business members, and it takes the extra steps needed to make sure the business can secure the type of loan that fits best in the business member’s philosophy.”

    The SBA Patriot Express Loan is a business loan that can be used to start or expand a small, veteran-owned business. “We develop a deep understanding of who our member is and what they offer to their customers. Once we know that, we can help the member secure the type of loan the business member needs,” said William Maher, Business Advocacy Officer at Mazuma.

    Woody Morris, proprietor of HW Foods, LLC, served in the National Guard for 12 years, which enabled him to qualify for the loan. “I started serving in the National Guard while I was a junior in high school, so that the National Guard would help pay for my college education. Now, I can still reap the benefits of serving our country through this SBA Patriot Express Loan Program,”

    said Morris.

    “Helping Members achieve their dreams of business ownership is a great benefit of my job,” said Maher. “I look forward to helping each business grow and prosper.”

    Morris said he plans on expanding his business. “I would like to open a second store by the end of 2011. I know Mazuma will help me find the right loan that allows me to continue to grow

    my business.”

  • 12 Jan 2011 11:29 AM | Anonymous

    Affordable Elegance Catering has been selected by KC Small Business Magazine, from over 1,000 nominations, as part of the 2011 class of 25 Under 25.  Each year the magazine honors twenty-five businesses with this award which recognizes companies with under twenty-five employees who have demonstrated a pattern of success as well as corporate, social and civic responsibility.  To be considered for the award companies must meet three basic requirements: 1) Have 25 or fewer full-time employees, 2) Operate a for-profit business for three or more years and 3) Be located in the Greater Kansas City area.  Companies are also judged on their financial stability, ability to overcome adversity and challenges, community involvement, distinguishing or defining characteristics and company vision. 

    This year's celebration marks the 10-year anniversary of the event and a black-tie gala celebration, "A Decade of Thinking Bigger", will be held on February 26, 2011 at the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center to honor the companies.

    Affordable Elegance is located in Raymore, Missouri and is owned by Dee-Dee and Greg Stokes.  They have been active members of the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce for over ten years and Dee-Dee currently serves on the Board of Directors and was the Chairman of the Board in 2010.

  • 04 Jan 2011 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    Mazuma Credit Union teamed with NewsRadio 980 KMBZ to sponsor the Eighth Annual Coats for Kids campaign. The campaign raised more than $49,000 and collected more than 9,300 coats to children in need in area school districts.

    Donations of new or gently-used coats for the Coats for Kids campaign were accepted at all Mazuma Credit Union branches from November 8 through December 10, 2010. The Coats for Kids campaign then distributed the donated coats to the Hickman Mills, Independence, Kansas City Kansas, and Kansas City Missouri school districts, just in time for winter, and most of them, in time for Christmas. In addition, another 2,712 will be distributed in January for a total of 12,012 donated coats.

    Mazuma members contributed cash and more than 1,000 coats to the cause. “Mazuma takes pride in serving the children of Kansas City,” said Rob Givens, President of Mazuma Credit Union. “This year, our combined efforts surpassed last year’s contributions by 422 coats and nearly $17,000. It’s been a wonderful way to share in the holiday spirit by giving to those who need it most.”
    John Scholtes, President of the Sertoma Club of Kansas City, a major sponsor of the campaign, said, “The KMBZ Coats for Kids program is a great program that benefits so many children in the metro area in need. This year was great to see how many people believe in the cause and opened up their closets for coats and wallets to assist.”
    The cash donations were used to purchase new coats and were distributed with the used coats.

    Prior to distribution, the gently-used coats were dry cleaned by area cleaners who donated their services. Pride Cleaners, Arrow Fabricare Services and Excel Linen Supply worked around-the-clock to get the coats cleaned in time for distribution to the kids.

    Many people were on-hand to help with the final collection day of coats and cash on December 10. The finale was held at an area Harley-Davidson store, Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview, Missouri. All of KMBZ local radio programs broadcasted live from Gail’s from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Gail Worth, owner of the store, has donated her space for the collected coats for several years. One corner of her store fills up with coats each year and this year it saw one of the largest piles of donated coats to date.

  • 19 Nov 2010 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    St. Joseph Medical Center has been named a top performer by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Premier health care alliance that rewards hospitals for delivering high quality care in five clinical areas: acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), pneumonia and hip and knee replacement.

    Based on the fifth-year results from the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (HQID) project, St. Joseph received awards recognizing sustained levels of performance or improvement in caring for patients with AMI (heart attack) heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. It was also named a top performer in hip and knee replacement. St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs, Mo., the sister organization of St. Joseph, also earned the awards in the same categories.

    “It is exciting to see our associates’ and physicians’ hard work being recognized by these national organizations,” says Scott Kashman, CEO, St. Joseph Medical Center. “These awards are a reflection of the commitment to delivering the best care to our patients every day.”

    HQID is the first national project of its kind, designed to determine if economic incentives to hospitals are effective at improving the quality of inpatient care. Through the project, (which has been extended by CMS for an additional three years) Premier collects a set of more than 30 evidence-based clinical quality measures from about 225 hospitals across the country.

    Improvements in quality of care saved an estimated 6,500 acute myocardial infarction (AMI/heart attack) patients nationwide over five years, according to a Premier analysis of mortality rates at participating hospitals.

  • 17 Nov 2010 3:13 PM | Anonymous

    The corporate offices of H.W. Lochner, Inc. (Lochner) and Bucher, Willis and Ratliff Corp. (BWR) announced this week the merger of the two firms to operate as one entity under the Lochner name. Lochner will remain headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with the BWR offices now functioning as Lochner regional offices.

    “It’s a win-win for both firms,” commented Hal Lochner, Chairman at Lochner. “BWR gains entry into the national transportation market and mega projects, including alternative delivery projects involving public-private partnerships (P3s) and design-build, while Lochner gains both geographic and technical growth.”

    “Lochner’s strategic plan calls for growth, including diversification into new states and new market sectors. By adding Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas to our office network, our geographic reach has significantly expanded. BWR specialists in aviation, architecture, municipal engineering and urban planning similarly expand the technical skills we can offer to our clients,” stated Jim Bishop, Lochner President and CEO, who will continue to serve in that role after the merger.

    Collectively, the firm now employs over 560 civil and structural engineers, urban planners, environmental scientists, architects, design technicians and support specialists. Lochner now operates in 31 offices located in 18 states.

    “Both firms share the same goal of providing value and innovative solutions to our clients’ problems. With a comparable culture and commitment, it’s a good fit for both firms,” added Larry White, former CEO of BWR, who will now serve as Senior Vice President and Regional Team Leader for National Practices for Lochner. Mr. White also joins the Lochner Board of Directors.

  • 12 Nov 2010 11:35 AM | Anonymous

    St. Joseph Medical Center and its sister organization, St. Mary’s Medical Center, are among seven hospitals in the Kansas City Metro area selected to participate in a national program designed to focus on improved models of care for national reform in health care. 

    The program, Aligning Forces for Quality Hospital Quality Network, is a quality improvement network of over 130 hospitals aimed to address the need to improve the quality, efficiency and equity of care delivered not only in Kansas City, but also in hospitals across the country. St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Medical Centers are participating with the Kansas City Quality Improvement Collaborative and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated to improving the health and health care of all Americans, to support efforts to improve health care quality.

    The program includes three separate quality improvement initiatives aimed at helping hospitals tackle key issues like racial and ethnic disparities, time spent in Emergency Departments (EDs) or readmissions of patients recently discharged. The Carondelet Health facilities have teams participating in all three areas.

    “Our nation is always seeking ways to improve patient care,” says Scott Kashman, CEO, St. Joseph Medical Center. “Our selection into this program is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our staff and physicians, and our continued focus on efficiency, effectiveness, and quality outcomes.”

    Hospital teams in the program will pilot and test quality improvement strategies over an 18-month period. In all, 17 regions of the country have been designated as part of Aligning Forces. In each region, a range of efforts to help doctors, nurses and hospitals improve quality – as well as engage consumers to be better patients – is being tested.

  • 03 Nov 2010 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    This year marks the 65th year of business for Peterson Manufacturing Company. Known locally as the "Quiet Giant" in the Kansas City suburb of Grandview, Peterson has evolved with little fanfare from a tiny, retail-oriented manufacturer to a quarter-billion-dollar, multi-faceted corporation whose safety lighting products and other services reach millions of customers worldwide. Today the family-owned company headquarters on a 44-acre corporate campus in a state-of-the-art, 670,000-square-foot facility housing all departments of Peterson's vertically integrated operations.

    Tobe Tennyson, longtime Peterson Associate and Archivist, recently compiled a timeline marking significant milestones in the history of the company. "I've been fortunate to be in the middle of so much change and growth at Peterson," he said. "And this is just the beginning -- we will continue to grow."

    Among the many milestones that mark Peterson history are the following:

    1945 - Company is founded in downtown Kansas City by Wilbur "Pete" Peterson; manufactures taillights for the automotive aftermarket.

    1956 - Kansas City businessman Don Armacost Sr. buys the company from Peterson.

    1960 - Peterson moves to a 35,000-square-foot facility in Kansas City.

    1961 - Peterson makes industry news with its innovative VIBAR® socket.

    1968 - FMVSS 108 sets new industry standards for safety lighting; Peterson commits to exceeding those standards by 25% or more. Peterson also introduces the popular 107 Mini-Lite for the trailer market.

    1970 - Rapid growth prompts relocation to Peterson's current site in Grandview, Mo.

    1974 - The legend of Grandview's "Quiet Giant" is born as Peterson embarks on the first of several facility expansions.

    Peterson launches a landmark product for trailer markets: the classic 440 S/T/T Light.

    1978 - Peterson launches the model 426 Series, its first sealed lights.

    1980 - Booming business drives another major plant expansion.

    1986 - NHTSA orders all new cars to sport a third, center-mounted brake light, driving explosive sales of Peterson's V300 Retrofit Lights.

    1991 - More plant expansion as Peterson subsidiary, Mission Plastics North, moves operations to the Grandview campus.

    1995 - Peterson leads industry in earning ISO 9001/QS-9000 registration. Company introduces Piranha® LED lights with a 36 LED S/T/T model.

    1996 - Vector Tool & Engineering joins the corporate family.

    1999 - Another industry first: the 10-diode LED S/T/T.

    2003 - More innovation: the industry's first multi-function Strobe & Turn LED.

    2005 - Custom wiring harness subsidiary, Maxi-Seal, moves to Grandview campus.

    2006 - Growing customer demand drives the latest major plant expansion.

    2010 - Grandview's "Quiet Giant" is now one of America's top three safety lighting manufacturers, offering a line of over 2,200 lighting-related products.

    "We're proud to be celebrating our 65th anniversary," said Peterson President and CEO, Don Armacost, Jr. "While much has changed here, one thing that hasn't is a tradition of square dealing that my father established in the early days. It's brought this company a long way, and will continue to guide our relations with customers, suppliers and employees as we move ahead."

    Peterson Manufacturing Company is a world-leading innovator in the production of a complete line of vehicle safety lighting, mirrors, reflectors, antennas and related products. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, Peterson Manufacturing is a key subsidiary of Peterson Corporation, 12 highly specialized companies and over 3,000 people working in global transportation-related industries.

  • 22 Oct 2010 11:28 AM | Anonymous

    The MCC-Longview 2010 Fall Arts Series continues with a vivid and eye-opening photography exhibit by Kathy Disney.

    Disney’s exhibit, ‘The Ties that Bind: A Glimpse of Haiti,’ offers a rare look into what it means to live and grow in a nation with such a storied history. As a photographer, Disney was able to capture those brief moments in her subjects’ lives that can tell a story beyond a single image.

    Haiti is only 90 minutes by air from Miami and an average Haitian family lives on less than $300 a year - that is $1.22 a day for a family. They have two sets of clothes, one for everyday and one for Sundays and eat only one meal a day. When you have so little, there is no pretense, no ego, they stand before the world and say here I am.

    “I looked into their eyes and into their souls and realized that what I was witnessing was the string of humanity that ties us all together as brothers and sisters on this earth,” Disney said of her exploration and work.  “For that I am eternally grateful and blessed. This trip changed my life before I ever left.”

    Along with a month-long exhibit, Disney will also speak about her working and experience in Haiti at an artist’s reception on Oct. 29. You are invited to hear the stories behind the photographs.

    Kathy Disney Exhibition:
    Oct. 20 – Nov. 20
    MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center gallery
    500 SW Longview Road, Lee’s Summit MO
    Gallery days and hours: Wed – Sat, 12-4 p.m.

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