Tell us about what you do and why you do it. I run the Leawood chamber of commerce. I’ve been doing it for 22 years and I do it because I love helping business people succeed and I love working in my own community where I live.
What’s your favorite thing about the community that you live in? The people. I just think people in Leawood are so cool and everybody knows everybody and it’s like a small town in a big city.
What inspired you to get started with the Chamber? The opportunity to help the community shape the growth of the community. Trying to set the tone of the community and help influence the kinds of businesses that come here.
What personality trait do you have that you feel really helps you in your career? I really like people.
When friends and family visit you from out of town, where do you go with them? All over the Kansas City Metro. We’ll go to the Liberty Memorial. We’ll go downtown. We’ll go to the River Market. We’ll go to the Crossroads. And we’ll go to things like, you know, Leawood Gezer Park or we’ll go out to Ironwoods. We’ll go out to the golf course. There’s so many things around here.
Favorite restaurant? Probably burgerfi. Believe it or not.
You are the first person to not mention barbecue so far. Do you know why? Well, I’m a vegetarian and they have a great veggie burger now.
What is one thing you wish you learned earlier in life? To be kind to people.
What is one thing you want people to remember you by? That I treated them nicely and fairly.
How long have you lived and worked here? For 30 years. And I’ve been at the Chamber for 22.
Who is the most exciting or interesting person you’ve ever met? John Denver for exciting. Met him at the Apollo launch when they’d had the Apollo Soyuz link up back in a hundred years ago when we were still sending rocket ships in space and met him down in Florida. And Sherman Titens, who is not a famous person, but he was the chamber member and he was one of my early board members, he was a great mentor and he was very thought provoking. He challenged you to think, he helps you push the edges, but he did it in a very positive way. And he was probably the most interesting from that perspective.
Favorite movie? The Terminator. Although the other ones were great too, but the original was what got me started.
A favorite music or band that you love to listen to or see live? I have such eclectic taste in music. I love going to the symphony, but I also love Mountain and Aerosmith. And then I also love Diana Krall, so I’m all over the board.
Favorite hobby when you’re not at work? Audio gear, finding old vintage audio gear, fixing it up and enjoying it.
Do you have a pet peeve? Opinionated people.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be? For what it’s worth by Buffalo Springfield.
Do you have a movie you can quote? “African or European.”
What skill or craft would you most like to master? I’d like to know how to fix and engineer a car.
There’s an emergency and you have a chance to run back into your home to grab one thing (everyone is safe)…what is it? My Mackintosh stereo. I couldn’t get all of them because they’re 60 pounds a piece so I’d just get one of them.
How did you and your spouse meet? The fun way of saying it is I picked her up in the mall, but she was the cashier at Jack Henry clothing store in the Metcalf shopping center. I was doing a return and she was the cashier and I just thought she had the prettiest blue eyes. We struck up a conversation, I had a friend that worked there, she helped facilitate things. And here we are.
What has been your biggest challenge this year? Keeping my energy level high in the face of so much frustrating stuff. That’s been hard for me and my team just to keep us all energized. That’s hard when there’s so many frustrating things going on.
What’s something that you’re looking forward to? Taste of Leawood 2021
Any last tidbits to add? Don’t be afraid to talk about politics with your friends, but don’t get mean and nasty. Listen, hear what they say. Try and understand what they say.
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Do you know someone who is a positive influence in our community? Please let us know, we would love to meet them for consideration to our Artist Project!