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The Cocktail Hour Podcast
65 minutes | a year ago
From the Steeplechase to the Boardroom with Ann Gaffigan
Ann Gaffigan has over 15 years of experience in business, non-profits, sports and technology. She started her first company shortly after graduating from the University of Nebraska in 2004 with her degree in computer science. Gazelle Inc provided affordable and reliable custom solutions in order to streamline and modernize the operations of non-profit organizations and businesses. A decade later, she became Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and part owner of Land Pros Realty, a real estate brokerage specializing in Midwest land. A few years later, Land Pros merged with National Land Realty, a nationwide land real estate company, and Gaffigan became CTO and part owner. In late 2019, she embarked on a new journey to find new career challenges. As a result, she will be starting a new role in March 2020 that will be announced soon. Gaffigan lives in Olathe with her husband Jason High, an MMA fighter and realtor, and their daughter Jaelyn. A former professional athlete, Gaffigan won the 3000m Steeplechase at the 2004 Olympic Trials, setting an American and U.S. All-Comers Record. She believes strongly in equality and in giving back to your community and is a big supporter of WIN for KC, KC Women in Tech, Women Leaders in College Sports and Girls Inc.
53 minutes | a year ago
From corporate to start up with Mary Shannon
Mary Shannon is the founder of Connectus Worldwide, a professional business consulting firm specializing in the delivery of services to Small, Minority, Woman-owned, Veteran, and LGBTQ Business Enterprises, as well as majority organizations seeking to connect and do business with diverse businesses. She is passionate about her work and possesses decades of experience and knowledge that blends corporate strategy and business solutions with entrepreneurial spirit and personalized service. The services she provides include pre-application for certification, coaching and development, and access to corporate and government contacts for diverse businesses to succeed and accomplish their goals and objectives. Connectus Worldwide offers Supplier Diversity Program development, and Public Participation & Engagement Consulting for corporate and public organizations wanting to become more intertwined in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Prior to starting Connectus Worldwide, Mary managed a supplier diversity program for a Multi-Billion Dollar company for several years. She developed a proactive program for supplier identification, supplier growth and development, strategic planning, and program measurement, which resulted in increased and effective utilization of diverse suppliers throughout the corporation. In her role, Mary collaborated with internal executives, business partners, and stakeholders, as well as external colleagues across the country for the betterment of her program. Mary served two consecutive terms as co-chair of the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) “The Working Group.” The group is comprised of 25 product and consumer companies such as: ADM, Cargill, Colgate-Palmolive, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, MillerCoors, Medtronic, Monsanto, Pfizer, and P&G. Mary is on the Leadership Council for the National Small Business Association in Washington D.C. She is a graduate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Globe Program (Global Leadership Opportunities for Business Executives). She is a Black Achiever in Business and Industry, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater KC and the Black Achievers Society. She is honored to have a published piece on Supplier Diversity and Certification, in the 2018/2019 Thinking Bigger Business Media Entrepreneurs Guide.
49 minutes | a year ago
Using a theatre background to grow your company Erica Brune
Erica Brune is President of Lever1, a Kansas City-based professional employer organization (PEO) providing human resources, payroll and employee benefit solutions. Within five years of launching Lever1, Erica helped drive the company to become Missouri’s Fastest Growing Company of 2017—ranked No. 44 in the nation by Inc. Magazine and Women Presidents' Organization recently named Erica No. 4 in The 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies 2018. With Erica’s guidance, Lever1 has secured an industry-wide reputation of excellence, operational reliability and thought leadership. Erica Brune holds a dual role as CAO of an Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Company, Blue Chair Holdings – which includes subsidiary Gragg Advertising. Honored among Kansas City Business Journal’s 2016 Women Who Mean Business, 2019 Fast 50 and the Leadership Trust, Lever1 has also been recognized as 2017’s Top 25 KC Companies by Thinking Bigger Business and recognition as 2017 and 2018 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist. Erica currently serves as President for the Kansas City chapter of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) as well as other Boards both regionally and nationally. Erica is also seen regularly speaking across the nation as an expert in human capital management and business growth strategies with topics such as pay equity, HR for your small business and recruiting top talent to grow your business. Erica's expertise has been shared in renowned publications including Kansas City Business Journal, National Apartment Association and Thinking Bigger Business.
61 minutes | a year ago
Ending Period Poverty With Jessica McClellan
Jessica is a Motivational Speaker, the Founder and President of Giving Hope & Help Inc., “Voice of the voiceless”, survivor and advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, education and cancer support advocate, philanthropist, humanitarian, and radio/internet talk show host of PURPOSE, PASSION & POWER With Jessica Lynn on KUAW.org (Kansas City’s Global Community Radio Station). Jessica has received several awards including the 2019 - I Change Nations Community Ambassador Award. She was honored as the 1st Kansas City Mom of the Year 2019, by Magic 107.3 Radio Station. She’s also a 2019 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. - Women of Courage Award Recipient, a 2018 Women of Distinction of Jackson County Honoree and a 2017 LIFT HER UP Honoree, based on her philanthropic work, humanitarianism and leadership with Giving Hope & Help Inc. She will accept the Nefertiti Award from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Societas Docta, Inc. March 28, 2020. She is a 1st generation graduate from Southern University and A&M College – Baton Rouge, LA, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Marketing. She also holds a Master’s of Science in Business Management (MSM) from Baker University – Baldwin City, KS. She is the 2014 Grand Prize Winner of the Be Your Possible Essay Contest sponsored by Barclaycard MasterCard. Jessica holds over twenty years of sales and management experience including ten years of pharmaceutical and medical sales experience. She is an Independent Corporate Trainer/Facilitator; an active member of the Kansas City Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Central Exchange, Polka Dot Powerhouse – Kansas City, KS Chapter, Sister’s Circle-GKC, Southern University And A&M College Alumni Federation, an INROADS Kansas City Inc. Alumna and a faithful member of City Center Church.
60 minutes | a year ago
Leading from the top as a woman with Polly Thomas
Polly began her career as a physical therapist, studying at the University of Missouri, where she also met her husband Eric. While she maintained a passion for healthcare, she quickly learned that direct healthcare delivery was not where she wanted to focus her career. She joined Harcourt Health Sciences as a medical sales representative in 1999 and realized she had a passion for sales. In 2001 she joined Cerner Corporation in the healthcare consulting practice. Polly spent nine years working at Cerner Corporation, utilizing her clinic experience to help optimize clinical process utilizing technology and implementing Cerner’s onsite health center for employees. In Cerner’s executive development program Polly held a variety of roles including consulting, international assignments and led the organizational change management group of 150 clinicians focusing on changing healthcare delivery in her last position there. Her most proud accomplishment at Cerner was creating and implementing their onsite health clinic for employees. Polly joined CBIZ an employee benefits consulting firm, as a benefits consultant in 2009 and has held several positions in the company. In September of 2016, Polly was appointed President of the Kansas City CBIZ Employee Benefits practice, a division of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc. During her tenure with CBIZ, Polly created the national onsite clinic consulting practice and assisted many clients with developing comprehensive total reward programs that retain and attract talent. Her current focus as President of the Kansas City Employee Benefits division is organizational culture, growth strategy and client retention. Polly and Eric have two children, Ella and Owen and recently a puppy named Mae, or Mary Puppins as Ella and Owen like to call her.
62 minutes | a year ago
Overcoming obstacles to lead entrepreneurs with Alicia Hooks
Alicia Hooks is the Director of Technology & Workforce Development at the Kansas City Kansas Community College serving the communities of the Greater Kansas City area, Wyandotte and Leavenworth Counties. When originally tasked with creating an Entrepreneurial program/center for area businesses and entrepreneurs, over 300 entrepreneurs were assisted in the first 3 years. In October of the following year, she was given the additional responsibility of the Workforce and Career Center. Since then she has initiated innovative programs and services with business and industry resulting in being asked to be a contributing author in a revised training text for workforce leaders. Dr. Hooks additionally is the CEO of BRP Counseling Services, Inc., founded in 1994, the President of BRP Enterprises LLC, and a public speaker who has spoken at regional and national conferences. She has been a faculty member at the University of Phoenix and Ottawa University in the areas of psychology and substance abuse. Dr. Hooks is a published author, has been featured in national magazines, on at least two cable television shows, and is a contributing writer to an international blog for women of color. Previously she worked in the capacity of Executive Director, Operations Manager, Clinical Director, Intervention Specialist, Instructor, Trainer, and Counselor at various facilities. She has personally assisted numerous for profit and not-for-profit businesses in organizational start-up and growth; and has conducted workshops/seminars on a variety of topics. Dr. Hooks’ governmental experience includes having served as the Senior Constituent Services Aide to Congressman Dennis Moore and Legislative Aide to State Senator David Haley supporting her knowledge base for helping contractors obtain state and federal contracts.
57 minutes | a year ago
Being a woman business owner in the freight industry with Jy Maze
Jy’Juan Maze (better known as Jy) is the President of Maze Freight Solutions. She has been in transportation and supply chain management for over 10 years. Her sales success with large and small companies, along with the lack of diversity in the industry, led to the founding of Maze Freight Solutions in 2017. The company, which emphasizes integrity, quality, and superior customer service, has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception.Prior to founding Maze Freight Solutions, Jy worked as a Freight Broker for Freightquote.com, an award-winning software-based freight solutions company. For half of her almost decade long career there, she led the sales team and still holds the record for highest full truckload freight sales. Her resiliency and keen ability to connect with, and solve the problems of her customers continues to contribute to her success. Jy Maze LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jy-maze-0a23a8156/
55 minutes | a year ago
Navigating Politics as a Woman and a Mother with Joni Wickham
A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Joni and her indisputable southern accent arrived in Kansas City almost 10 years ago after leading initiatives within state and federal government as well as advocacy organizations. In her eight years with the mayor’s office—the majority of them spent as Chief of Staff—Joni has proven herself as an accomplished political strategist, communications expert, and organizational leader. She directed public policy initiatives, communications tactics, and administrative decision-making during her tenure, all while promoting women’s leadership and empowerment issues. An artful negotiator, Joni helped steer Sly’s major development projects in Kansas City while raising the city’s profile at the national and international levels. Her front-row seat at city hall shed light on how local government is still very much a man’s world, and this motivated her to create a first-of-its-kind women’s empowerment initiative, which has been implemented in several major cities. Prior to her time at city hall, Joni worked with the American Federation of Teachers, the Missouri Department of Transportation, and in the office of Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. While a student at Meredith College, where Joni received her Bachelor of Arts in political studies, she studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. An accomplished alumnus of University of Missouri where she earned her Masters of Arts in political science, Joni was the recipient of the 2019 University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs Mel Carnahan Public Service Award. Joni has authored a LinkedIn series addressing the unique workplace challenges women face surrounding conflict.
70 minutes | a year ago
Fit, Fab and Forty with Hailee Bland-Walsh
Born and raised in the greater Kansas City area, Hailee Bland-Walsh, returned to the Midwest in large part to contribute to a community that welcomes entrepreneurs to pursue their passions. Hailee spent eight years in the San Francisco area honing her fitness and business acumen and then upon her return to Kansas City took her passion, drive, and expertise to the next level with the opening of City Gym KC in 2011. Over the course of eight plus years, membership has grown 50% each year, with over 2,000 members to date. City Gym—Waldo, underwent a $250,000 expansion in January 2014 and currently has 11,600 square feet of space. City Gym KC employs 60 full and part time employees, as well, as 15 personal trainers including Hailee herself. City Gym KC has been named “Waldo’s Best” twice by the Waldo Business Association, “Best Studio” by KC Fitness Magazine and was awarded, “25 Under 25” by Thinking Bigger Business. Personal accomplishments include, Hailee being named, “Best Female Trainer in KC” by KC Fitness Magazine and “Best Trainer" by KC Magazine, twice. Hailee was named to the 2017 class of, “Women Who Mean Business.” In addition to her work with City Gym, Hailee is an entrepreneurial consultant working with individuals and companies looking to grow themselves and their businesses. Hailee is also an engaging speaker on topics ranging from fitness to company culture. Hailee was a Division I student-athlete at the University of Minnesota in soccer. After time in the professional ranks, Hailee turned her attention to her true calling – connecting people to their best selves through healthy lifestyles. Hailee drives to break barriers as one of only a handful of female gym owners in the nation. The creation of City Gym KC has been one of Hailee’s greatest accomplishments so far, yet her work is not done.
44 minutes | a year ago
A Journey Through Music & Non-profits with Meredith Suarez
Meredith Suarez is a dedicated nonprofit leader with over 10 years of experience in the sector. For the past six years, Meredith has been part of the growing team at Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City, joining the organization in 2013 as a Development Officer and promoted to her current role as Director of Development & Marketing in 2016. She currently serves as on the senior leadership team at Junior Achievement and has raised over $5M in revenue during her tenure to advance the future of KC kids. With her roots in the performing arts, Meredith holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Arts Management in Nonprofit Management from Columbia College Chicago, and is a 2017 graduate of the Central Exchange Emerging Leaders Program. In addition to her professional experience, Meredith enjoys reading, nerding out on NPR, and attending family-friendly events with her husband Alberto and dynamic 7-year old son.
63 minutes | 2 years ago
May Cause Drowsiness and Blurred Vision: The Side Effects of Bravery with Gloria Squitiro
Gloria Squitiro is the birth mother of Tara and Andrew, and the cosmic mother of Alex, Nick, Pipo and Anna. Squitiro has an INFJ personality (introverted, intuitive, feeling, judging). She is an advocate and a dreamer who takes concrete steps to realize her goals and make a lasting, positive impact. Helping others is her purpose, but not through charity. Her passion is to get to the heart of issues so people need not be rescued at all. Gloria has been married to her husband (Funk) for over 40 years. She became his campaign manager by default, and has the rare distinction of being the only First Lady in America that was legally banned from the City Hall office where her husband, the mayor, worked. Squitiro has a bachelor's in psychology and is published in Harper’s Magazine. Her memoir, May Cause Drowsiness and Blurred Vision: The Side Effects of Bravery, is the first in her three-book C’mon Funk series. She lives in Washington, DC, surrounded by some of her flock It’s her calling to make every husband on earth feel grateful they’re not married to her.
61 minutes | 2 years ago
The Tie Between Professional Development and Diversity with Michelle Wimes!
Michelle P. Wimes serves as the Chief Diversity and Professional Development Officer at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., one of the nation’s largest labor and employment law firms. In her role, Michelle leads the firm’s efforts to attract, develop, retain, promote and advance a diverse group of attorneys across the firm’s national platform of 53 offices in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Additionally, Michelle leads the firm’s attorney training and professional development efforts. She is based in Ogletree Deakins’ Kansas City office.
47 minutes | 2 years ago
Establishing yourself as a national expert in the property management industry with Jeanette Cox
Jeannette Cox is Vice President Oddo Development overseeing development and operations for residential, multi-family and commercial real estate. Ms. Cox has over 15 years of successful experience in development and property management with particular strengths in leadership, owner/manager communications and company strategies. Ms. Cox is serves on the board for the National Apartment Association. Ms. Cox earned a bachelor degree in Business Administration, holds her CAPS certification and graduate of NAA Lyceum. Ms. Cox is a strong advocate for continual learning and education and is a national speaker specializing in new development, operations and bridging generational gaps in the workplace. Ms. Cox is a proud mother and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and giving back to communities in which she lives and works.
52 minutes | 2 years ago
Dominating your career after college sports with Jessica Blubaugh
Jessica returned to the Kansas City Sports Commission in September of 2018 as the Director of the Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City after 11 years, having started her career with WIN in 2003 as an intern and then the Program and Media Relations Coordinator. Jessica has spent 15 years in the non-profit sector, specifically in events and marketing. After four years at the KC Sports Commission, she moved on to the Women’s Sports Foundation in New York and then, Atlanta. In her time there, Jessica had the opportunity to work with sports greats like Billie Jean King, Michelle Kwan, Aimee Mullins, Julie Foudy and Jessica Mendoza, managing the organization’s major fundraisers and community events. She then took a role at Teach For America where she led the national events marketing team that served as the internal events agency to the organization’s 54 regional offices and five national departments. While there, she was tapped to lead the event marketing and experiential components for TFA’s 25th Anniversary Summit. She later joined staff at Visit KC allowing her to focus her time and efforts back in the Kansas City community as the Director of Partnerships & Events. Jessica grew up in Manhattan, KS, played softball for two years at Johnson County Community College and then graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Communications. She is currently working on her Master’s in Organizational Development & Leadership at Rockhurst University. She lives in downtown KCMO with her wife, Julie, and two dogs.
54 minutes | 2 years ago
Understanding why your voice matters at every table you sit at with Lynn Parman
As Vice President of Business Development for the Kansas City Market, Lynn leads business development efforts for the Kansas City region for McCownGordon Construction. Lynn has over 20 years of broad-based experience in non-profit leadership, private industry, regional economic development, and local government management. Previous to her role with McCownGordon, Lynn served as President & CEO of the American Royal Association. Lynn has also served in leadership roles in sales & marketing and corporate communications for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc and worked six years as Vice President of Bioscience Development for the Kansas City Area Development Council where she directed a team in the creation, launch, and successful execution of the KC Animal Health Corridor brand. Parman also held vice president roles in economic development and business development at Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce respectively. Parman holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.
61 minutes | 2 years ago
Disrupting the oldest practice in the world: medicine with Dr Allison Edwards
Dr. Allison Edwards aims to change the manner in which healthcare is delivered, putting the emphasis on keeping people well rather than solely stepping in and treating the sick. Her professional interests and areas of expertise include public health, women’s health, preventive medicine, and emergency medicine. Originally from Lawrence, Dr. Edwards spent her undergraduate years at Drake University in Des Moines, IA before returning to Kansas City for medical school at the University of Kansas. From there, she completed her residency and served as Chief Resident at the University of Colorado in Denver, CO and is currently board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. In addition to providing care at KCDPC, she volunteers at the JayDoc Free Clinic and serves as a Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Kansas and a Volunteer Clinical Instructor for the University of Colorado, allowing her to continue to educate the next generation of healers. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and pursuing hobbies including photography, travel, gardening, cooking, being outdoors, and reading the newspaper over a cup of coffee.
63 minutes | 2 years ago
Doctor, Teacher and Boss Lady Dr. Pam Shaw
Dr. Pam Shaw is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. For the university, she is the Assistant Dean for Clinical Sciences and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Services. She has served as president of the Kansas Chapter of the AAP and recently completed 6 years as the District Chair and board member for District VI for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She has been involved in training for the chapter to help private practice physicians offer evidence based and quality care to children including developmental screening, mental health screening, detection and treatment of obesity and oral health services and immunizations. Part of her new job is providing student services to students from the medical school, nursing school and health professions. Her undergraduate degree was in Human Biology at the University of Kansas. She attended medical school and did her pediatric residency at the University of Kansas. After experiencing private practice, Dr. Shaw returned to the University of Kansas in 1990 where she has been involved in the teaching and practice of general pediatrics since then. She is married and has three sons and one daughter in law. She loves to read and travel and watch sporting events, especially KU basketball.
56 minutes | 2 years ago
Entrepreneurship: a side hustle with Courtney Windholz
Traditionally educated as a molecular biologist, Courtney’s acute attention to detail proved highly valuable as she built a mergers and acquisitions firm from the ground up as the Operations Director. This experience not only gave her a comprehensive understanding of the financial and operational functions of a complex organization, but also her responsibilities to manage the sales and marketing activities contributed to her thorough grasp of how all departments impact the brand and bottom line of a company. Courtney currently is the volunteer chairperson for the KC Golf Classic where she oversees 500 volunteers for Kansas City’s largest golf event in Kansas City. She was the former lead organizer at 1 Million Cups, a Kauffman entrepreneurship organization that allows entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their business and collaborate with other entrepreneurs and business leaders in the community.
54 minutes | 2 years ago
Dominating entrepreneurship after a successful sales career with Courtnay Bradley
Courtnay is the Founder and Chief Purpose Officer at Trilogie. One of her main goals is to have fun and enjoy each and every client and project. She has nearly 25 years of sales and client relationship management experience and has been in the commercial interiors and contract furniture industry for 15 years. In 2009 she started Trilogie with the sole purpose of creating kick ass workspaces that help organizations thrive.
64 minutes | 2 years ago
Why your vote matters with Jolie Justus!
Jolie Justus is the Director of Pro Bono Services for Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., where she is a champion for Kansas City’s most vulnerable citizens, helping juveniles and foster children get better representation. Prior to serving on the City Council, Jolie represented the Kansas City area in the Missouri State Senate. There, she earned a reputation for getting things done and working across party lines to find areas of common ground. One of her most significant accomplishments was an overhaul of the state’s criminal justice code that brought out-of-date policies from the 1970s into the 21st Century. The badly needed criminal justice reform was lauded by prosecutors, law enforcement, defense lawyers and victims’ advocates for creating a system that was more just, more fair, and more effective. While in Jefferson City, she served as the Senate Democratic Leader and was the chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Progress and Development and ranking member of both the Judiciary Committee and the Senate’s Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government.
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