Kansas City Business Kudos

Recent business promotions, awards, new hires and special announcements

Have news or promotions that you would like to share? Email them to [email protected]. Please include the name of the person you would like to applaud along with his or her formal job title and a 100-word biography and hi-resolution photograph.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City announced the appointment of Catherine Futter as director of curatorial affairs, a position that leads the Nelson-Atkins’ dynamic curatorial team. Futter, who has been with the Nelson-Atkins for 13 years, was previously the Louis L. and Adelaide C. Ward senior curator of European Arts. Futter replaces Antonia Boström, who accepted the position of keeper of sculpture, metalwork, ceramics and glass at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

“After a national consultation, it was obvious to me that we had the best candidate for this important position already at the Nelson-Atkins,” says Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell, CEO and director of the Nelson-Atkins. “Catherine has been growing dramatically as an arts leader and will thrive in this role.”

Futter has curated a number of permanent collection installations of European and American art from medieval to the present in the Nelson-Atkins and Bloch Buildings. She has organized exhibitions that highlight living artists, and also has led the museum’s efforts to spark an area conversation about creating a cultural district in the midtown area.

Somos Agency

Somos Agency, a Kansas City-based Hispanic and multicultural marketing firm, has recently divided the agency into three separate service divisions, according to Nicholas Segura, founder and president. The service divisions include Somos Agency, Somos Surveys and Somos Talent.

“Somos Agency has been growing and expanding our Hispanic marketing services over the past 24 months, and I thought it was time to separate the talent side from the creative agency,” Segura says.

Somos Agency’s will continue assisting clients in developing Hispanic focused, culturally rich communications, advertising, branding, marketing and social media programs. Somos Surveys is a proprietary Hispanic consumer information gathering service, offering corporations and advertising agencies current information about U.S. Hispanic consumers, including product and services purchasing behaviors, preferences, insights and opinions. Somos Talent exclusively represents ethnic talent for print, broadcast, and voice over brand advertising and marketing communications.

The Somos Agency has also relocated to 104 E. 5th Street, #200, Kansas City, MO., 64106.

Generator Studio

Kansas City-based architecture firm Generator Studio announces the addition of Peter Baird, Gretchen Blain and Crystal Peterson to its team. The new team members join Generator Studio as the firm’s roster of clients continues to grow, including expanded hotel industry work with True North Hotel Group and an expanding portfolio of professional sports stadium renovations.

Peter Baird, Gretchen Blain and Crystal Peterson

Baird is a new project director at Generator Studio, bringing more than 12 years of experience to the team. Baird oversees, manages and works with the firm’s expanding hotel and retail projects, and also provides architectural intern mentoring. Blain joins the Generator Studio team as a project architect, overseeing retail and workplace projects. Peterson joins Generator Studio as an interior design coordinator, focusing on creating the interior design elements for sports, hotel and workplace projects including the Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium.


National law firm Polsinelli has elected 24 attorneys to shareholder based on their client service and diligent work in more than a dozen service areas including health care, financial services, real estate, and litigation.

“We’re proud to recognize our new shareholders for their dedication to serving our clients,” says Polsinelli Chairman Russ Welsh. “Their achievements display that together, our firm will continue to create value and help our clients achieve their business objectives. It’s been a productive year and we thank our clients for helping us grow and allowing us to serve them nationwide.”

Seven attorneys at the firm’s headquarters office in Kansas City and one from its Overland Park office were appointed to shareholder.


VeriShip announced it has been listed on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. VeriShip grew 125.1 percent during this period.

VeriShip’s President, Ross Reed, credits an investment in data-driven parcel technology and a deep parcel shipping expertise among employees with the company’s more than 125 percent revenue growth.

“This year’s growth is a testament to the hard work of everyone at VeriShip,” Reed says. “Thanks to a commitment of innovation and deep parcel shipping expertise derived from our employees listening to the challenges of over 3,300 clients, VeriShip has been able to develop new, data-driven parcel intelligence technology that better meets our client’s needs in the complicated industry of parcel shipping analysis.”

Sullivan Higdon & Sink

Tony Robinson

Tony Robinson has joined Sullivan Higdon & Sink as vice president, director of finance. He brings nearly 20 years of financial acumen to SHS, and will be responsible for the agency’s overall administrative and financial operations, including accounting, forecasting and regulatory compliance.

He comes from Richter 7 in Salt Lake City, where he was chief financial officer. Robinson earned his bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business.


Cosentry, provider of IT solutions in the Midwest, announced its participation in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program. Through the program, Cosentry will now offer Managed Office 365 Services along with its Managed Azure Services to customers. Microsoft’s program enhances Cosentry’s hybrid cloud offerings by enabling the company to sell combined offers and services, as well as directly provision, manage, support and bill Microsoft products and services.

Cosentry combines expertise in Microsoft technology, customer requirements, and nine strategically located data centers across the Midwest to deliver the Microsoft Cloud Platform customized to meet specific customer needs.

“Cosentry has worked closely with Microsoft to technically validate our services and enable best-practice solutions for hybrid cloud deployments, including connections to Microsoft Azure global cloud,” says Brad Hokamp, CEO of Cosentry. “The combination of our hybrid cloud consulting and managed services expertise simplifies the adoption of the public cloud for our customers, allowing them to focus their internal resources on more strategic initiatives that support business growth and market differentiation.”


CarrBaierCrandall (CBC) Real Estate Group has been selected to develop a three-story Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in San Jose, Calif. The new 92,000 square-foot clinic will replace the existing single-story community-based clinic. Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2016 at the corner of U.S. Highway 101 and Silver Creek Valley Road.

The project was awarded to CBC’s sister company, US Federal Properties Co., based upon quality, price and a clear understanding of the client’s needs. In recent years, CBC has completed the development of five VA clinics nationally, and with the addition of San Jose, will have two under construction.

“CBC is honored to work with VA Palo Alto Health Care System for the development of this new facility,” says Dan Carr, principal of CBC Real Estate Group. “We are proud to be involved in the creation of a building offering enhanced facilities and services to our nation’s veterans, and a place staff and the community will be proud of.”

CBC has also been chosen by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, to manage and represent its interests as development project manager for the Healthy Campus, which is a core component of the Downtown Central Parkway District Plan. A roadmap for the revitalization of Downtown Kansas City, Kansas, the Healthy Campus is a planned $30 million redevelopment project near the intersection of 10th Street and Minnesota Avenue.

Kansas Department of Commerce, Office of Minority and Women Business Development 

Staffing Kansas City, based in Overland Park, has been selected as the 2015 Kansas Woman-Owned Service Business of the Year by Kansas Department of Commerce, Office of Minority and Women Business Development.

Staffing Kansas City President and Staffing Coordinator Shelley Seibolt

Staffing Kansas City is being honored based on their high level of business development and leadership achievements, its positive impact on the business community, consistent growth and profitability, a unique business culture, and volunteerism and dedication to charitable organizations.

The Department of Commerce Office also honored Sook Park, executive director of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, as the  “2015 Kansas Minority Business Advocate of the Year.

Sook was selected based on her leadership and making a significant and notable contribution to the promotion and advancement of minority-owned businesses in the Kansas City community. Sook develops and overseas AACC programming, communications, and membership. This includes educational programs for small businesses, monthly networking events, and the annual AACC CelebrASIAN Award Gala, one of the premier business events in Kansas City.

Kansas City area businesswoman and noted national speaker, Mary A. Redmond, the FearLess Negotiator LLC, has been honored as the “2015 Kansas Women Business Advocate of the Year Award” by the Kansas Department of Commerce, Office of Minority and Women Business Development.

Redmond is being recognized because of her long-term dedication to assisting women to be more successful. She coaches, counsels and mentors women executives and business owners in the metro Kansas City area.

Graves Garrett 

Graves Garrett LLC is pleased to announce the addition of two new attorneys to its Kansas City office. Miriam Bailey has joined the firm as counsel in its complex commercial litigation practice group, and Joseph McGroder has joined as an associate and will support the firm’s commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense and free speech, campaign finance and election law practice groups.

“We are very excited to welcome both Miriam and Joe to the firm,” said Graves Garrett Partner Todd Graves. “Both are exceptional attorneys and will greatly enhance our internal practice as well as our ability to continue effectively serving our clients.”

Before joining Graves Garrett, Bailey was in private practice at a national law firm where she focused on commercial and professional services litigation. Her past experience also includes serving as a judicial intern to the Hon. Duane Benton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Hon. Robert E. Larsen of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

Miriam Bailey

Prior to joining Graves Garrett, McGroder worked at a regional personal injury firm where he managed mass tort campaigns and individual claims through all phases of litigation. McGroder earned his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law where he served as an editorial board member of the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Joe McGroder

YMCA of Greater Kansas City

The YMCA of Greater Kansas City appointed Max Savar as senior vice president of membership engagement.

Savar’s focus is growth of membership through innovative recruitment strategies and programs. The Y’s membership includes more than 98,000 children, teens, adults and seniors at 14 greater Kansas City locations. Most recently, Savar was association director of program operations for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. During his career, which includes 10 years of management experience, he has established successful membership engagement programs and led staff training efforts to provide a positive member experience.

Max Savar

The Y also appointed James Spearin as senior vice president of youth development. Spearin leads before- and after-school programs, summer day camp, early learning, Head Start, Achievement Gap, Childhood Nutrition, Youth and Government and Youth Volunteer Corps programs, impacting more than 10,000 youth annually.

Spearin has more than 20 years of YMCA experience, most recently as vice president of youth development at the YMCA of Western North Carolina in Asheville, N.C. He has led the creation of programs that have become national models in community sustainability, mobile kitchens and nutrition education, federal feeding programs, and childhood obesity prevention.