South KC News / Member News

  • 29 Aug 2019 12:11 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Phil Botana is a commercial real estate agent with Newmark Grubb Zimmer (a Newmark Knight Frank Affiliate).  He advises and represents commercial clients on their acquisition, disposition and space needs. Phil’s background includes over 15 years’ experience in real estate investment and property management.

    Phil's past work includes assignments for Washington DC based public relations firm Creative Enterprises International where he was publicist of record for clients such as Human Events magazine, fine artist Mark T. Smith, the University of Louisville and publishing services for media site Hollywood on the Potomac.

    From 2012 to 2015 Phil served as Business Development Manager for Kansas City biotech manufacturer SCD Probiotics. He was responsible for global technology-transfer and licensing across the human health, animal health, industrial cleaning and agriculture sectors. He also worked on the international commercialization of sister company Proviera Biotech's innovative bio-chemicals for use in the leather tanning process.

    Prior to moving to Kansas City in 2003, Phil was directly involved in motion picture production, finance and distribution for fifteen years working with such stars as Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes and with studios such as Lionsgate, Warner Bros. and Disney on productions totaling in excess of $30 million. Phil served as Head of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for International Film Group, President of Acquisitions for Brimstone Entertainment, Vice President of International Sales at Peacock Films, and as Assistant to VP of International Business & Legal Affairs at Saban Entertainment.

    Phil graduated with a degree in International Relations from The American University in his hometown of Washington DC. He speaks fluent French and Spanish and is a lifelong martial artist.

  • 12 Aug 2019 12:42 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    St. Joseph Medical Center recently hired an endocrinologist to better treat patients in the metro with diabetes, thyroid disease, and other hormone and metabolic issues related to the endocrine glands. The hiring of Dr. Ahmad Almubaslat coincides with the hospital’s opening of a new outpatient endocrinology clinic, St. Joseph Endocrinology, opening August 16. The need for these services in the metro has been pervasive, hospital officials say, with new patient waiting lists extending for months.

    Dr. Mubaslat most recently practiced in Amman, Jordan where he spent the past two years establishing the first private diabetes center in Jordan, Khalidi DC as well as serving as faculty at the internal medicine residency program and the endocrinology fellowship program at Jordan Hospital. Dr. Mubaslat also consulted on the planning and design for the diabetes and endocrinology department at Abdali Medical Center, a regional medical center that launched recently in Amman, Jordan. Dr. Almubaslat brings nearly two decades of experience to the healthcare team at St. Joseph Medical Center. 

    He is board-certified in both internal medicine and in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolic diseases. After graduating medical school from Jordan University, Dr. Mubaslat concluded his internal medicine residency training at Brown University Medical School in Providence, R.I.  He completed an endocrinology fellowship at the Phoenix City Wide Endocrine Program, Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Dr. Mubaslat served as the head of the diabetes and endocrine department at Self Regional Medical Center in Greenwood, South Carolina and the diabetes and metabolic unit at Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri before leaving for Jordan. “The opening of our new outpatient clinic and the addition of Dr. Almubaslat is one more example of how St. Joseph Medical Center is committed to providing World-Class Healthcare on a local level,” says Jodi Fincher, CEO.

               “I am very excited to be coming back home to Kansas City, and especially excited about joining the team of St. Joseph Medical Center which is very well situated to provide cutting edge current and future diabetes and endocrine care to the beloved community of Kansas City,” said Dr. Almubaslat. He continued to say, “I am impressed with the vision and commitment of St. Joseph Medical Center leadership to offering nothing but the best to its patients and believes that our center has recruited all the essential elements to ensure the delivery of world class diabetes and endocrine care to our patients as I share the same core values.” 

    Endocrinologists are internal medicine physicians with additional training with the body's glands that produce hormones—diabetes being the most common ailment. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined, and having diabetes nearly doubles the chance of having a heart attack. The good news is that managing diabetes can reduce the risk for complications. The new inpatient/outpatient clinic at St. Joseph Medical Center will provide care to help treat, manage and reduce the incidence of diabetes and other endocrine-related conditions.


    St. Joseph Endocrinology

    Phone: 816-941-2222

    Fax: 816-941-2282

    930 Carondelet Drive, Suite 201

    Building C-East

    Kansas City, MO 64114

  • 24 Jul 2019 1:44 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Wayside Waifs is celebrating its 75th anniversary year in a very big way – breaking ground on an $8 million dollar construction project that will add 20,000 square feet to the south Kansas City, Missouri pet adoption campus. The project includes an Education & Training Center for large event hosting, dog training classes, youth education programming, and staff offices; along with a Canine Behavior Center, the second of its kind in the nation, that will exclusively serve shy, fearful and high-energy/arousal shelter dog behavior transformations.

    Partners on the project include A.L. Huber Construction and SFS Architects. Tom and Jill Turner and Dave and Sandy Johnson are leading the fundraising campaign efforts as Co-Chairs.

    Groundbreaking Event details:

    Time: 10 am, Comments at 10:30 am

    Date: Thursday, August 22, 2019

    Location: Wayside Waifs, 3901 Martha Truman Rd., Kansas City, Mo 64138

    Donors, adopters, business leaders, and the community at-large are invited to attend this exciting event to celebrate a new chapter for Wayside Waifs. To RSVP for the event, call 816-986-4414 or email

    About Wayside Waifs As Kansas City’s largest and most comprehensive no kill pet adoption campus, Wayside Waifs prepares pets and people for the bond of their lives. Each year the organization cares for more than 6,000 abandoned, abused, and homeless animals. Wayside is a private, independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity. It receives no government funding and is supported entirely by private donations and grants. Currently, the shelter has hundreds of animals looking for loving, forever homes. To see all of the animals available for adoption or to donate, please visit Facebook: Wayside Waifs; Twitter: @WaysideWaifs; Instagram: @WaysideWaifs

  • 24 Jul 2019 1:31 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    For seven years, award-winning Thirsty Coconut (TCI) has been distributing healthy beverage products to commercial accounts across the Midwest.  The company offers healthy, smoothies and frozen drink products to food service programs, and is redefining beverage distribution.  The company also supports clients by helping them start new beverage programs and supplies modern technology to get them going.

    Luke Einsel, President & Co-Founder of Thirsty Coconut, selected Kansas City after finding tremendous value to relocate onto what used to be Richard Gebaur’s Air base.   “It isn’t very easy to find everything you are looking for in one location.  We are a resilient young company that was looking for opportunity and found it in KCMO.   We are now poised for tremendous growth for the foreseeable future because of some bold bets that have paid off.” 

    Luke Einsel, President and Founder/Majority Shareholder is a first-generation college graduate and graduate of the SBA/Kaufman Foundation ScaleUp program, Luke has pushed every opportunity to the fullest, becoming an ambassador and featured speaker for the ScaleUp program, UMKC’s, and Johnson County's Small Business development centers and a 2018 25 under 25 winner. TCI also has some large opportunities to scale the operation.

    Their new location will be a place for employees that help maintain the warehouse while also servicing the machines. It will also provide office space for administrative purposes.

    Moreover, servicing nursing homes and hospitals and upscale businesses is not a new idea. Many times, having businesses be able to sell smoothies out of machines like you might find at a gym, hotel lobby or upscale food service location are easy to set up and implement.   TCI has currently made the strategic decision to focus primarily on the school market finding other markets as an added opportunity until funding is able to support this expansion.

    “In Kansas City, we’re committed to creating an environment that provides entrepreneurs the resources and support they need to thrive,” Mayor Sly James said. "Thirsty Coconut demonstrates how these efforts not only lead to innovation, but also to job creation and economic development for our city and region. We’re thrilled they’ve chosen Kansas City as their new home.”   Mayor Sly James said.

    A number of partners worked together to assist Thirsty Coconut with its relocation to the KC area: The City of Kansas City, Missouri; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri; The Missouri Department of Economic Development; The Kauffman Foundation, and Port KC.

    Thirsty Coconut relocated to KCMO to grow into a bigger space and to qualify for the New American Tax credits and be able to grow nationwide and globally.

    “We are very excited to welcome Thirsty Coconut to our City, a City of rapid growth.  I hope Thirsty Coconut continues to use all the resources available. KCMO is a place of destination, no longer a fly over City. Our region has many advantages its affordability, low corporate tax, a transportation hub, the world’s most connect Smart City, one of the top 5 emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems in the world and so much more”, said Narbeli Galindo, Economic Development Corporation Director of International Affairs for Kansas City, Missouri. 

    About Thirsty Coconut.

    Thirsty Coconut, TCI, provides frozen drink machines and similar equipment to schools, nursing homes, hospitals, health clubs and businesses that have a desire to provide healthier products at an up-charge to their clients. TCI’s main product, Juice Alive, is sold by the case to schools, who in turn serve the students a healthy beverage they enjoy. TCI currently has over 600 schools as customers, and is adding new schools rapidly. Each district or school has a nutrition manager, and as word of mouth spreads, they are eager to get set up.

    About the Economic Development Corporation

    The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri (EDCKC) is a recognized economic development leader. With a mission to provide job growth, job attraction, entrepreneurship, public financing, international business development, and real estate development support services. It serves as a resource and advocate to cultivate the competitiveness of business locating or expanding to the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

    About Port KC

    Port KC, a political subdivision of the State of Missouri, was established in 1977 by the city of Kansas City. It is governed by a nine-member citizen Board of Commissioners, appointed by the mayor of Kansas City. Port KC is granted broad governmental and business enterprise powers for the purpose of promoting economic development and job creation.  Port KC’s statutory powers of issuing bonds, land reclamation and the ability to enter into contracts to implement its development projects, make it a unique and influential agency that has the flexibility to engage in a wide variety of strategic economic development projects that are vital to the economic progress of Kansas City.

  • 17 Jul 2019 1:33 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Swope Health is currently hosting an online art and garden supply drive for their Adult Day Program, part of the Swope Health Behavioral Health Department. Swope Health has set up an Amazon Wish List  page to make it easy for anyone to assist with needed supplies.  The Adult CPRP (Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program) Day program focuses on building life skills through topics like gardening, cooking and art for clients facing chronic and persistent mental illnesses. Supplies for these activities are always welcome. If you choose to purchase any items on these Wishlists, you can opt to have the items delivered directly to Swope Health.

    This is an easy and direct way to help clients and patients of Swope continue to have access to these vital programs that are beneficial to their mental well-being. Learn more about the garden and art programs from Swope Health’s blog.

    Swope Health is extremely grateful to the friends, businesses, and organizations of the South Kansas City Chamber for their support of the community’s most vulnerable members.

  • 28 Jun 2019 11:21 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Muehlebach Funeral Care began serving local Kansas City families in the Southtown and Brookside areas beginning in June of 1954.

    Since then, they have grown with the community, completed several additions and renovations including an onsite crematory to offer additional options for families.

    James “Bud” Harrington, who broke ground for Muehlebach Funeral Care, helped the firm become one of the first funeral homes to offer prearranged funeral plans, which offered convenience and peace of mind for families. This idea quickly became popular across Kansas City and throughout the United States. 

    James S. “Jim” Harrington joined his father’s business in 1963 and took over the funeral home in 1995. Jim continued his father’s legacy of providing professional and customized service to local families.

    In July of 2003, Steve and Nicole Pierce took over ownership of Muehlebach Funeral Care and have helped the firm remain a first choice for families. With Steve and Nicole’s leadership, Muehlebach has remained one of the few family owned and operated funeral homes in Kansas City. “Maintaining a tradition of quality service is our top priority. It is a privilege to uphold that tradition while helping those in their time of need,” says Steve Pierce.

    Recently, the Johnson Consulting Group of Scottsdale, Arizona presented Muehlebach Funeral Care with the 2018 Excellence in Customer Service Award. The award honors Muehlebach for receiving the highest levels of families’ satisfaction in 2018.

    As a full service funeral home, Muehlebach is committed to helping every family and individual. The Muehlebach Funeral Care family is dedicated to serving your family in the years to come.

  • 17 Jun 2019 10:13 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    St. Joseph Medical Center announced today that it is a recipient of the Healthgrades 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award. This distinction places St. Joseph Medical Center among the top 5% of all short-term acute care hospitals reporting patient safety data as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals.

    St. Joseph Medical Center is a member of Prime Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest hospital systems with 45 hospitals in 14 states. Prime Healthcare has more Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients for four consecutive years (2016-2019) than any other health system in the country.

    “We are proud to recognize the recipients of the 2019 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award, which shines a spotlight on the hospitals that are preventing the occurrence of serious, potentially avoidable complications, for patients during their hospital stay,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades. “We applaud these hospitals and their commitment to providing the best possible care for every patient.”

    During the study period (2015 to 2017), Healthgrades 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient hospitals demonstrated excellent performance in safety provided for patients in the Medicare population, as measured by objective outcomes (risk-adjusted patient safety indicator rates) for 14 patient safety indicators defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

    “Our recent awards including the Healthgrades 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award demonstrates the tremendous commitment and expertise of our caregivers,” said Jodi Fincher, CEO of St. Joseph Medical Center. “We take patient safety very seriously to earn our patients’ trust every day.  Thank you to our physicians, nurses, technicians, volunteers and staff who collaborate to consistently provide high-quality care to patients and families in South Kansas City and the wider Kansas City area. We are proud of this achievement.”

    Healthgrades found that patients treated in hospitals receiving the Patient Safety Excellence Award, as compared to patients at non-recipients hospitals, were on average*:

    • 55.9% less likely to experience an accidental cut, puncture, perforation or hemorrhage during medical care.
    • 50.9% less likely to experience a collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest.
    • 64.4% less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital.
    • 57% less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital.

     If all hospitals in the country performed at the level of award recipients for each of the 14 Patient Safety Indicators, 127,667 patient safety events could have been avoided.*

    In addition to Healthgrades, St. Joseph Medical Center has excelled at passing stringent audits with honors from The Joint Commission, the Leapfrog Group, the American Heart Association, Women’s Choice Award, and many more re-certifications for acute-care and specialty care services across the country. 

    View Healthgrades hospital quality methodologies.

    *Statistics are calculated from Healthgrades Patient Safety Ratings and Excellence Award methodology which is based primarily on AHRQ technical specifications (Version 5e and 2018) to MedPAR data for years 2015 through 2017 and represent 3-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

  • 13 Jun 2019 12:18 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    What should transit be trying to do in Kansas City?

    The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has initiated one of the largest system redesigns in agency history – RideKC Next.

    The RideKC Next project is a review and redesign of current transit service focused on Kansas City, Mo. (KCMO). The goal is to make sure updates to the transit network reflects the needs, priorities and values of people in KCMO communities.

    Take the Survey

    We want to hear from you! The KCATA wants to hear people’s thoughts and opinions about transit. The responses will help shape future transit decisions.

         Take the survey online in English or Spanish at

         Request a paper copy by email at
    (Surveys are available in English and Spanish.)

         Request a paper copy by phone at 816-346-0300.

    The survey is open until July 31, 2019, and takes less than 10 minutes to complete!

    RideKC Next has three phases.

         Phase One: Review existing transit service. Gather community feedback through a survey and in person at community meetings and events.

         Phase Two: Share a draft updated transit service plan. Get more community feedback.

         Phase Three: Submit final plan to KCATA for review and approval by the Board of Commissioners. Implement the plan over the next two years.

    Find Out More!

         Visit - Learn more and stay updated by visiting the project webpage.

         Share the online survey. You can also request a paper copy in English and Spanish.

         Follow the KCATA on social media for updates: Facebook @RideKC  |  Twitter @RideKCTransit

  • 23 May 2019 1:55 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    First Call educates families about addiction and empowers them to live their most healthy and productive lives. We know that for every, one person fighting substance use disorder, 10 others are impacted. That is why First Call Family Services programs help those facing a loved one’s substance use disorder in the Kansas City area. These programs include How to Cope for adults; Caring for Kids for young children and teens; How to Care for caretakers of children impacted by familial substance use disorder; extended support sessions, and an alumni group.

    Companies can now partner with First Call Family Services to help expand programming for families by utilizing the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) Tax Credit. First Call Family Services has been approved by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, from now until December 31, 2020, to participate in the NAP Tax Credits. This allows eligible donors to contribute to programs for families impacted by addiction while receiving a tax credit equal to 50% of their donation to be used toward their Missouri state taxes. For example, a gift of $10,000 to Family Services will receive a Missouri state tax credit of $5,000. This credit is in addition to the usual federal and state charitable deductions.

    Any qualified person, firm or corporation in business in Missouri is eligible to receive credits, including individuals with income royalties or rental property and sole proprietors.

    For more information, visit; or contact Emily Hage, Vice President of Development, at emilyh@firstcallkc.orgor 826-800-8052.

  • 10 May 2019 10:26 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Avila University announced the appointment of Timothy Klocko as vice president for finance and administration. In this role, Klocko will oversee all aspects of the financial life of the University, providing management and direction for Avila’s financial activities.

    Klocko brings more than 30 years in leadership in higher education, including extensive experience overseeing finance, accounting, business operations, strategic budgeting and planning, facilities, campus safety, human resources and auxiliary enterprises.

    Prior to joining Avila, Klocko served as vice president for finance and administration at Stephens College in Columbia. In two tenures at Stephens, he streamlined financial management systems and established a data-driven approach to financial well-being.

    “We’re very pleased to be welcoming Tim to Avila in this important role,” said Avila President Ron Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA. “In a rapidly changing higher education economy, his experience navigating tricky financial situations for numerous institutions will put Avila in a position of preparedness and strength for years to come.”

    Between his appointments at Stephens, Klocko served in a vice president role at Sweet Briar College of Sweet Briar, Virginia and Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia. In the former, he served as part of the first administration after Sweet Briar’s restoration, working with partners to quickly create a strategic, sustainable plan for the college. Prior to serving in administrative roles, he taught accounting.

    “I am excited to join Avila University and apply the skills and lessons I’ve gained throughout my professional career,” Klocko said. “I admire the mission of the University, specifically its diversity and the opportunities it provides to groups underrepresented in higher education. I hope my varied background and extensive experience will be beneficial to Avila.”

South KC Chamber of Commerce

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

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





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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