South KC News / Member News

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  • 30 Apr 2020 4:15 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Several organizations in Kansas City have partnered to create a guide for businesses of all types across the region to use as they prepare to re-open workplaces, while considering public health needs of their workforce, stakeholders, customers and community.

    The #SafeReturnKC Guide is a guide for responsible re-entry to the workplace and should be used along with guidance from the following: state and local public health departments, local jurisdictions recovery plans, CDC recommendations, OSHA guidelines, EEOC rules and regulations, trade association guidance as well as all other laws applicable to your workplace to re-open after stay-at-home orders are lifted.


  • 30 Apr 2020 11:53 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Mayor Lucas announced yesterday a new emergency order that allows most non-essential businesses to resume in-person operations beginning at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, May 6th. These businesses will be required to follow the 10/10/10 rule.

    This rule specifies that these businesses must limit the number of customers allowed to no more than 10 percent of building occupancy or 10 people, whichever is larger. They must also record the names, contact information and approximate entry/exit time of all customers who are on premises for more than 10 minutes.

    Religious gathers (including weddings and funerals) of 10 people inside and 50 people outside can resume, provided that social distancing is maintained and event organizers record the names and contact information of all attendees.

    There are several types of businesses that must remain closed until May 15th, including gyms, museums, bars, in-person restaurant dining, dog parks, playgrounds and public access to government buildings and community centers.

    These guidelines only apply to businesses located in Kansas City, Missouri, and here is an FAQ to answer questions you might have.



  • 30 Apr 2020 9:30 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    St. Joseph Medical Center was awarded an ‘A’ in the spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing St. Joseph Medical Center’s achievements providing safer health care.

    “As the Nation copes with a challenging pandemic, our gratitude extends to hospital leadership and health care workers everywhere for their tremendous dedication,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We hope this ‘A’ helps to thank the people who work and volunteer for St. Joseph Medical Center. They are role models in putting patients first, and their service has been extraordinary in our country’s time of need.”

    The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. The Safety Grade is a letter grade assigned to all general hospitals across the country and updated every six months, assessing how well the hospital prevents medical errors and other harms to patients.

    “The importance of these latest highest rankings and awards can’t be overemphasized,” said Jodi Fincher, CEO, St. Joseph Medical Center. “They point to our ongoing commitment to quality and overall safety for our patients and staff. We’re honored that St. Joseph Medical Center has been recognized for its commitment to health care excellence.”

    Developed under the guidance of a national Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

    To see St. Joseph Medical Center’s full grade details and access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter and Facebook.


  • 28 Apr 2020 10:07 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)


    Dan Hocoy, Ph.D., has been named president of Metropolitan Community College’s Longview campus in Lee’s Summit and the College’s vice chancellor of strategic initiatives. Hocoy, whose appointment was approved by the MCC Board of Trustees on April 23, will start his new position July 1.

    He is joining MCC from State University of New York’s Erie Community College, which he serves as president. The SUNY community college in western New York state includes three campuses — rural, suburban and urban —and more than 22,000 students, about half of them credit-seeking. Hocoy is also a licensed clinical psychologist and has worked in psychiatric hospitals as well as private practice.

    He has led Erie since July 2017. Prior to that, Hocoy was president of Antioch University in Seattle and associate vice chancellor for advancement for the nationwide five-campus Antioch University system. He was previously associate provost and a tenured professor at Saybrook University in California from 2010-2014.

    MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty said she was impressed with Hocoy’s commitment to higher education and specifically the mission of community colleges. “His breadth and depth of experience with philanthropy, development and implementation of major projects, and his stellar leadership at previous community colleges, make him the perfect fit for the position and our Longview campus,” she said.

    “Dr. Hocoy shared with me that this position was his dream job, and I believe that his passion and excitement for the role will lead to long-term success as the new Longview campus president and MCC’s vice chancellor for strategic initiatives.”

    Hocoy said the dual role at MCC “combines, in my mind, the best of both worlds — overseeing strategic advancement of the entire College while still being around the energy of students. I know I will enjoy cultivating the relationships that will help MCC expand its reach, footprint and resources. At the same time, I love the fact that I will still get to be on campus with students, faculty and staff.”

    Hocoy says he is also inspired by Chancellor Beatty’s “bold vision to grow MCC throughout the Greater Kansas City area.” He says he has witnessed her ability to get things done.

    “I look forward to working with a leader committed to innovation, entrepreneurship and greater relevance for the College,” he added. “And to be living in the Kansas City region is certainly the cherry on top.”

    During his tenure at Erie Community College, Hocoy completed a comprehensive re-brand, initiated several new private-public partnerships, and restored the college to good accreditation standing with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Hocoy was also able to bring fiscal stability to the institution with balanced budgets, new sources of non-tuition revenue and a historic high in college reserves. His “Students First” approach resulted in increased student persistence and retention as well as new student services.

    As a non-native English speaker and the first in his family to go beyond high school, Hocoy says he regards community colleges as critical to social mobility and equity. Having been the beneficiary of public education from kindergarten to graduate school, he says he sees state education systems “as vital to empowering local communities as well as contributing to the workforce needs and economic competitiveness of the region.”

    With a grandmother from Jamaica, mother from Malaysia and father from China, and having been an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada, Hocoy has had a long-standing commitment to creating a campus environment that supports diversity, inclusive excellence and global perspectives.

    Hocoy holds a B.Sc. (bachelor of science) from the University of Toronto and an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Queen’s University in Canada. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Management and Leadership in Education executive program as well as the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents. He has written numerous articles and book chapters that intersect psychology, art, culture and higher education.

    Utpal Goswami, Ph.D., former MCC-Longview president, left the College in December for a college presidency in California.


  • 27 Apr 2020 12:53 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)


    AT&T* delivered “Some Good News” announcing three months of free wireless service for frontline nurses and physicians nationwide on the FirstNet® network – built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority. (FirstNet Authority).

    “‘Some Good News’ shined a light on our healthcare heroes,” said Jeff McElfresh, CEO, AT&T Communications. “They are working around the clock, on the frontlines to combat the COVID-19 health crisis. We want to be there to keep them connected. And that’s exactly what FirstNet delivers.”

    In case you missed it, in the third episode of John Krasinski’s digital show “S ,” where he covers only positive news from around the world, AT&T came to play ball!

    The episode features Krasinski and some hometown friends surprising a handful of nurses at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with a field trip to Fenway Park, where they threw out the first first pitch of 2020. Inspired, and to keep the good news going, AT&T surprised not only the nurses featured on the show but nurses and physicians all across the country.

    Nurses and physicians already on FirstNet Mobile – Responder plan will automatically receive the 3-month service credit1  on a smartphone or tablet line of service. Starting Monday, April 13, new subscribers are also eligible, connecting them to reliable critical communications with always-on priority access to the network, with fastest overall nationwide network experience.2

    In addition to three months of free service, nurses and physicians signing-on to FirstNet can get a $200 activation credit3 when activating a new FirstNet Ready™ smartphone on a new FirstNet Mobile-Responder plan.

    The COVID-19 health crisis illustrates precisely why public safety fought for the creation of FirstNet, the only nationwide high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders. While commercial wireless offerings are available to public safety, FirstNet continues to grow because of its unique public safety features that wireless networks built for the general public can’t provide. These include innovative, mission-focused tools and technologies, always-on, always-ready service for first responders, FirstNet Ready™ devices, a robust ecosystem of highly secure and public safety tested apps, a fleet of dedicated network deployables and more.

    The work we do is critical to millions of people and companies around the world, and we’re committed to being there when our customers, employees and first responders need us most during the COVID-19 pandemic. As public safety’s communications network partner, we have a responsibility unlike any other wireless carrier, and the FirstNet Authority holds AT&T accountable to deliver the solutions that meet public safety’s needs today and for decades to come. FirstNet was built for this situation – it’s exactly what the first responder community designed it for.

    Throughout this unique time, AT&T is supporting customers with financial hardships by waiving fees, increasing your data, upgrading devices, expanding access to our programming, offering free smartphones for life for public safety agencies on FirstNet, and not disconnecting service. We’re doing our best to keep our customers and employees safe, with free express shipping to your door, no-contact delivery and device setup, and curbside pickup. We’re also supporting first responders and medical personnel responding to COVID-19 with nourishing meals.

  • 23 Apr 2020 3:18 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Lifesaving Benefits Support First Responders During Global Coronavirus Pandemic; FirstNet Push-to-Talk Launches

    As the nation continues to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the FirstNet® communications platform – built with AT&T* in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – is bringing advanced capabilities to first responders across the country. Now, first responder public safety agencies on FirstNet can get premium FirstNet Ready™ smartphone devices for free for their agency paid users to connect them to critical communications when and where they need it most. All they have to do is get a new FirstNet Mobile – Unlimited for Smartphone line of service or eligible upgrade with either a 2-year service agreement or a new AT&T Installment 30-month agreement and meet some other conditions.1

    “First responders deserve a dedicated communications partner that can provide the tools they need, when they need them, and that’s exactly what they’re getting with FirstNet,” said Jason Porter, senior vice president, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “We are here working side-by-side with public safety and together we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable and ready to scale for even the most severe situations as we’re seeing currently with COVID-19. Now, agencies spanning law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, hospital emergency departments, emergency management and 911 operations can stay up-to-date with smartphones for life at no additional cost and know their responders’ devices are up to the task when the next emergency strikes.”

    The COVID-19 health crisis illustrates precisely why public safety fought for the creation of FirstNet, the only nationwide high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders. While commercial wireless offerings are available to public safety, FirstNet continues to grow because its public safety features stand above other wireless networks built for commercial use. As we detailed last week, this is exactly the type of crisis that public safety designed FirstNet for.

    Two years ago, we brought public safety’s specialized communications platform to life with the launch of the FirstNet dedicated network core. Already covering 99% of the U.S. population, we provide subscribers with the innovative, mission-focused tools, technologies and features they can’t get anywhere else. As we continue for the next 20+ years to operate, maintain and evolve FirstNet, public safety can confidently turn to this dedicated platform and the entire FirstNet ecosystem to help them effectively respond to their critical missions – from service with always-on, 24 hours-a-day priority and preemption, unique spectrum, FirstNet Ready devices, highly secure apps, dedicated network deployables and more.

    In addition to public safety agencies having free smartphones for life, to support FirstNet subscribers responding to the coronavirus, first responders can also benefit from:

    • Expanded mapping visibility. Through Local Control, the primary service portal for agencies using FirstNet, public safety administrators now have easy access to the interactive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) dashboard created by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Agencies can view confirmed cases in relation to their jurisdiction and couple this insight with the FirstNet Esri-embedded network status map – that now includes hospital and trauma levels – for better situational awareness. 
    • $200 activation credit for FirstNet subscribers.2 Starting April 1, individual first responders who sign-on to FirstNet and pay for their own service can get a $200 activation credit when activating a new FirstNet Ready smartphone on a new FirstNet First Mobile-Responder plan. This means first responders across agencies of all sizes will have affordable access to the fastest overall nationwide network experience.3

    Fostering new capabilities

    Developed from the ground up specifically for and with public safety, FirstNet Push-to-Talk (PTT) is the first-ever nationwide mission-critical standards-based push-to-talk solution to launch in the U.S. We tested the FirstNet PTT solution with public safety agencies across the country, including the Cranford Police Department in New Jersey.

    “Reliable communication is critical. It must work. It must be there when we need it. And it must be crystal clear because we don’t have time to repeat ourselves or introduce room for errors in fast-changing situations or when lives are on the line. Our experience with FirstNet Push-to-Talk has been excellent. On more than one occasion, FirstNet PTT allowed us to effectively communicate when our traditional systems failed,” said Captain Guy Patterson of the Cranford Police Department.

    “Testing FirstNet PTT was an intensely promising experience, showing us the future capability, quality and performance we can infuse into our response to enhance effectiveness and collaboration,” Captain Patterson continued.

    Currently available in a controlled-introduction, FirstNet PTT is designed to enable public safety to use their smartphones, feature phones, and specialized ultra-rugged devices like they would use a two-way radio, with highly reliable, high-performance calling. FirstNet PTT will also deliver new features that allow first responders to better react to changing events.

    We’re building a broad ecosystem of devices, apps and accessories that will support FirstNet PTT and drive further innovation, choice and flexibility for public safety. The first device to launch is the Samsung Galaxy XCover FieldPro. This field-ready device is purpose-built, equipped with push-to-talk capability, and highly secure. Its features make it suited for use by first responders across all public safety disciplines.

    To help make sure devices meet first responders’ needs, they are subject to hundreds of tests that cover many key capabilities, from security and durability to network impacts. Only devices that pass these tests are certified and approved as FirstNet Ready.

    We’ve also certified an Assured Wireless Corporation embedded IoT module and USB connected modem as FirstNet Ready in preparation for launching high-power user equipment (HPUE) solutions. Following 3GPP standards, power class 1 HPUE solutions can transmit stronger signals. This increased signal can only be transmitted using Band 14 spectrum – the nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the U.S. government specifically for FirstNet.

    For first responders serving rural, remote and tribal communities, HPUE could significantly increase their coverage area. For urban and suburban first responders, this could help address the common challenge of indoor or below ground coverage. The stronger signal provides increased availability to meet mission needs for users who are connecting from hard-to-reach places like basements, elevators, stairwells, and parking garages, and helping first responders reliably communicate inside and out.

    In 2017, the federal government selected AT&T to build and manage FirstNet, public safety’s network. We have a responsibility unlike any other wireless carrier, and the FirstNet Authority will hold AT&T accountable to deliver the solutions that meet public safety’s needs – today and for decades to come.

    Go here for more FirstNet news. Or check out FirstNet.com to learn more about the solution.


  • 23 Mar 2020 12:43 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    The Hickman Mills C-1 Schools Board of Education has selected Carl Skinner, Ed.D to serve as Interim Superintendent. Dr. Skinner currently serves as HMC-1’s deputy superintendent of student services.  

    “We are happy to have Dr. Skinner lead our school district while we search for the next superintendent," said Board of Education President Wakisha Briggs. “His work in the district over the past seven years demonstrates his commitment and support of students, parents, teachers and administrators. He is part of the HMC-1 community and keeps the best interest of students first.” 

    Superintendent Yolanda Cargile, Ed.D announced last month that she is leaving the district to be the superintendent in the Center School District. He will take over following Dr. Cargile’s last day March 31, 2020. 

    Prior to overseeing Student Services, Dr. Skinner was deputy superintendent of curriculum & instruction. He has been with HMC-1 since 2013. Before moving to Kansas City he was Director of Testing, Research and Evaluation for the Newton County School System in Covington, GA. He has been in education for 25 years. 

    “I am honored to continue the work in HMC-1 to increase student achievement and do so alongside a dedicated team of educators and leaders,” said Dr. Skinner. 

    Dr. Skinner received his Doctor of Education from Arizona State University, Interdisciplinary Master of Arts from the University of South Carolina, and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Delta State University. 

    The Board of Education is working with Ray and Associates, Inc. to lead a national search for HMC-1’s next superintendent. Once named, Dr. Skinner will work with the new superintendent to ensure a smooth transition. 

  • 17 Mar 2020 2:44 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    In addition to the suspension of disconnections announced last week, Evergy will waive late fees and add payment agreement options for residential and small business customers as the coronavirus continues to affect local communities, causing financial hardship for some.

    “These measures reflect Evergy’s commitment to our customers and communities as we face uncertainty in light of the coronavirus,” said Terry Bassham, Evergy president and chief executive officer. “We serve our communities and it is important to us that we are there for our customers during this crisis. The steps we are announcing today will hopefully provide some relief for customers worried about the near future.”

    Evergy announced Friday its temporary suspension of nonpayment service disconnections for residential and small business customers. Today, the company took several additional steps to help its customers. Late fees will be waived, and residential and small business customers who had been disconnected prior to Friday’s announcement may re-establish service by paying one-twelfth of their account balance. These changes will be in place through at least May 1.

    While service won’t be disconnected in the coming weeks, Evergy encourages customers to continue to make payments toward their energy use to avoid higher balances later. Evergy customer service representatives can assist customers with payment arrangements and budget billing options. In addition, by calling 2-1-1, customers may learn about community resources for financial assistance. Customers will continue to receive reminders, including collection notices, calls, and texts even though they will not be disconnected. These notifications are important to remind customers of past-due balances and, if eligible, customers need the notifications to receive energy assistance funds from community organizations.

    “Our employees are committed to keeping the lights on for our communities and are working hard despite the challenging circumstances,” Bassham continued. “The health and safety of our employees, customers and communities continues to guide us as we work through this together.”

    To protect the health of our employees and customers, Connect, which is Evergy’s walk-in customer service center in Kansas City, is closed through March 28. Customers may access their Evergy account online at evergy.com, receive assistance by calling Evergy customer service centers or make payments at an authorized pay station.

    Evergy call centers are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and may be experiencing high call volumes. Much like grocery stores, to minimize the number of people gathered in its contact centers, the company isn’t bringing in additional staff, so customers’ patience is appreciated while customer service representatives work through the anticipated high volume of customer calls.

    Evergy Missouri and Kansas Metro customers can reach customer service at (816) 471-5275 or toll-free at 1-888-471-5275. Evergy Kansas Central customers can call 1-800-383-1183.


  • 25 Feb 2020 1:56 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

     RideKC has released a Draft Plan for a major system redesign - RideKC Next - and they want to hear what you think about the potential changes! View proposed route maps and read the plan on the project webpage. Your input into the RideKC Next system redesign is vital.

    The survey is open until March 16, 2020, and it takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

    Take the Draft Plan Survey

  • 24 Feb 2020 2:10 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    MarksNelson, a leading CPA and business advisory firm located in Kansas City, is pleased to announce Josh Beck has been named Managing Partner. Mr. Beck succeeds Mark Radetic after a multi-year succession planning process completed by the firm.

    As a Partner in MarksNelson’s Advisory Practice, a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, and leader of the Real Estate niche, Mr. Beck has been a passionate advocate for the success of the firm’s clients and team members. “MarksNelson employs some of the best and brightest professionals in our industry united by a sincere care for our clients, our team, and our community. It is my mission to uphold the legacy we have established over the last 50 years while always evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients,” said Mr. Beck.

    Mr. Beck previously founded an advisory firm that merged with MarksNelson to pursue a common vision. “We strive to support our clients with the solutions they need to keep moving forward, wrapped in an exceptional client experience from a team that truly cares about their success,” he added. With this focus as a driver, the firm has added new services including accounting automation, business intelligence, data science services, enterprise resource planning, client relationship management solutions, software customization, and more. Additionally, the firm’s internal MarksNelson University program is providing robust technical and industry-based training programs to further develop their professionals as trusted business advisors.

    With a staff of over 170 employees, MarksNelson is one of the largest CPA firms in the Kansas City region and has extensive experience in the insurance, real estate, manufacturing, distribution, and construction industries. Though the firm has staff and clients throughout the United States, MarksNelson considers Kansas City “home” and prioritizes serving the community through initiatives like Wrapped in Warmth, Random Acts of Kindness, and their annual Volunteer Day.

    MarksNelson LLC is an accounting and business advisory firm committed to help clients safeguard and grow their businesses. MarksNelson is a member of The Leading Edge Alliance, a professional association bringing together resources on a national and international level. MarksNelson has significant accounting and business advisory experience in the construction, insurance, manufacturing and distribution, and real estate sectors. MarksNelson is nationally recognized, having been named to the INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA)’s Top 200 Firms; Accounting Today’s list of top Midwest Accounting Firms; Inavero’s Best of Accounting Award for Client Satisfaction; Inc’s 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in the U.S.; as well as the Kansas City Business Journal’s Champions of Business. To learn more and make the move forward with MarksNelson, visit marksnelsoncpa.com.

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South KC Chamber of Commerce

406 E. Bannister Road, Suite F
Kansas City, MO 64131-3028

Phone: (816) 761-7660
Fax: (816) 761-7340

  E-mail:
vwolgast@southkcchamber.com


 


 


 


South Kansas City is one of the fastest growing areas in the KCMO metropolitan area. Millions of investment dollars are being spent in this region, which makes it a prime location for businesses to grow and prosper. 

The South KC Chamber is dedicated to working with KCMO's city leadership, our business members, and local community organizations to create a positive, growth-oriented business environment in South Kansas City. We would love to support your company's growth too! 

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