I’m a writer who never gives up. You will never find out two weeks after you’ve given me the assignment I can’t do it.
Ten-and-a-half-hour time zone? No problem. Locating stone quarries that have literally disappeared? Sure, no worries. Learning about unusual products and obscure topics is my forte. I do the research, find the sources and then turn all that into interesting, snappy articles for consumer and trade magazines, online publications and websites.
Check out my pieces on Water Lilies private label frozen food success, Ballast Point craft beer packaging, pet-food packaging, Fulbright scholars, women business enterprise certificates, historic homes and cancer and other health.
As a writer, I literally cook — check out this first-person travel essay on Moroccan cooking classes.
Study abroad paves the way for post-graduation opportunities — The way to Dubai, a master’s degree and a position as news director at Rwanda’s first private television station started with study-abroad programs for these three University of Missouri graduates.
Packaging Propelled Private Label Manufacturer to Costco Success — Water Lilies had been making private label frozen foods for years. When it decided to launch its own brand, Mandarin Market, the right packaging landed it a spot in Costco on the first try. Read about what made this kind of success possible in this case study published in Package Design magazine.
Fresh Story — This case study highlights The Honest Kitchen’s package redesign to tell consumers the story of the fresh, raw dehydrated pet food that nourishes pets and appeals to savvy consumers. The illustrations of Natalya Zahn’s illustrations show the what and how of this trending pet food.
Modern, Vintage, Hip — How do you make something look vintage without making it look old? Kellogg’s solved this challenge by creating vintage packaging for Target using hand drawn art that sparked nostalgic feelings — and consumer purchases of Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Froot Loops.
Is Your Training Mix Right? — Top execs reveal on how they decide what kind of training to offer, electronic, in person, team building, leadership training among an amazing array of options.
The Rock that Built Us –Doug Mertens of Mid-Missouri Limestone fights the image of quarries as dirty, dangerous places. Instead, he says they’re essential to life as we know it today, supplying not just building materials, but the necessities for infrastructure from streets to sewer drainage. At one time, Columbia, Missouri boasted 30 quarries and eight brick works. Today, many of those quarries are forgotten, built on or around. Today, one is part of a local park, another is the behind a university building. The history of Boone County’s quarries translates into the stone and brick buildings that still stand today.
I want my WBE — Katharina Hoffman of Hoffman Commercial Landscaping and other women in the landscaping business are finding new, burgeoning business opportunities with the help of the Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certificate. It’s a lot of paperwork, but Hoffman says she’s found it is also the ticket to a different kind of landscaping work, work for cities, counties and other governmental agencies.
Application Nation — How do real estate agents and buyers see and use the ever more popular real estate apps such as Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia? Both the pros and those in the market love them. Learn more about how to use them more effectively.
The Ins and Outs of Houzz — Firms in the green industry are finding ways to use Houzz, an up and coming on-line platform that links homeowners and professionals. Founded in 2009, in 2013, it boasted 12 million unique viewers, 89 percent of whom are homeowners with an average home value of $450,000. This Landscape Management article outlines how to Houzz.
The Hansel and Gretel House – Often called the fairy-tale cottage or the Gingerbread house, the home at 121 West Boulevard is surrounded by gardens, making it a cozy sight. But inside the house is a log cabin, making it a touch stone to Columbia’s pioneer past.
A Community Comes Together — In a few weeks, Nene Rwenyaguza will see the wife and children he had long thought dead. He fled his Congolese village 10 years ago, but only learned three years ago his wife and children were alive — in Kenya. By then he’d gained entry into the U.S., as a refugee. Now, Columbians have gathered together to provide him with everything his family will need, from furniture to a computer.
Bringing it back to MU — This article written for the University of Missouri’s International Center highlights how scholars going overseas benefits them, the students and the campus in general. The piece also gave me an opportunity to learn how to work around slow internet connections which forbid Skype interviews, forcing me to try my hand at Skype message internviewing!
Finding My Moroccan Mojo — This first-person travel essay reveals the truth about travel: It’s not just what you do, but what you learn that counts.
In God We Trust — This business feature explores why and how businesses put Corporate Social Responsibility into practice and why consumers respond. It’s not just big businesses that include a CSR message. It includes tips on how to do CSR right.
David vs. Goliath, Credit unions vs. banks — Little known, not-for-profit financial institutes, Missouri’s credit unions are taking on the banks, pushing against a limit on the value of commercial loans they can make. Find out what each side said about the issue. This article was published in the Columbia Business Times.
The Ins and Outs of City-Wides — Planning a city-wide event starts with knowing, really knowing, the attendees, what they want, what they expect and what they need. This article for Smart Meetings magazine outlines exactly how to plan a city-wide event.
Vanishing Act — No company is immune to the occasional sideways employee, siphoning corporate funds. But stories of some of Boone County’s most successful embezzlement schemes shed some light on the situation.
LaBrunerie’s Leverage — Alex LaBrunerie, head of a small financial services company, realized China would be the next economic powerhouse. To take advantage of that, he helped create a one-of-a-kind financial partnership and a center at the University of Missouri to make economic information available to U.S. investors.
Russ Potterfield’s China presence proving profitable, Battenfeld improves logistics with satellite office — Why would the heir-apparent of a successful sporting-goods company open a new operation in Shenzhen, China, far from friends and family? Because, Potterfield explains, this is where the future is, a future he’s eager to embrace for himself and his young family.
Doing Business in China: Cautionary tales and advice — Columbia firms offer tips and cautionary tales on breaking into the Chinese markets.
Writer’s Welcome — My experience to China exposes the downside of this developing country.
Centro Latino: Relocating, Expanding Mission — The haunting images of amputation and other results of poorly treated diabetes has led Eduardo Crespi as he’s worked to create a Centro Latino and now an expanded center that will include a vegetable-based and education diabetes-prevention program.
A Last Request — Molly and Ryan Rippel set out to honor their mother’s death from cancer, which they say was caused in part from her lack of health insurance. Research shows twice as many women without coverage are diagnosed with Stage III or IV breast cancer than women with private health-care coverage. Their mother, Barbara Rippel, was a well-known Realtor and was diagnosed with Stage IV when she finally went for treatment, which her children say she delayed due to the lack of health-care insurance.
A Joint Mission: Columbia women unite to fight arthritis — Eight women make major strides in the fight against arthritis, conducting research, conducting public outreach, furthering public policy, urging exercise. Columbia is a powerhouse in progress against the No. 1 cause of disability.
Urban Farm Center strives to become self-sustaining — The nonprofit Urban Farm Center is making sure it can stay in the business of helping people grow their own vegetables by offering for-hire landscaping services to those who can afford to pay, so they can help those who can’t.
Cucumbers with that aspirin? — Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy, a local drugstore, and a local rental agency are providing gardening space for neighbors in the hope that vegetables, berries and fruits can keep the need for drugs away.
Green for Greens — A new kind of grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation requires Boone County Department of Health and Human Services to spend its money on efforts that will last long after the grant runs out.
Cheap Eats in Moscow, Russia — Knowing where to eat and shop makes it easy to get around in Moscow, Russia, one of the world’s most expensive cities.
Passion for Pizza: Greg Neichter’s pizzeria empire began with downtown Domino’s — In 1980, Greg Neichter was 22 years old, a college graduate, drove a beat-up Camaro and almost couldn’t get a loan to open his first Domino’s Pizza. By 1985, he had four locations and was driving a Jaguar. Today, he has 35 locations and three of his children and two of his brothers are in the business. And he still eats pizza almost every day. That’s passion for pizza.
Creating sounds of something great — Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could operate all your electronic gadgets, your sound system, your television, your home theatre all from one remote? With the help of Pure Audio & Video Specialty you can.
A Realtor’s Ordeal Birth becomes blessing, business gains perspective — The housing industry crash, his mother’s death and the life-threatening illness of his son didn’t slow down Freddy Spencer or the momentum of his then newly launched real estate firm, Advantage Century 21. How did he keep going despite all these challenges? Spencer credits his agents, and they point to his own positive attitude and faith in them and the business.
Parker building getting history friendly Atkins family touch — The 1907 building 16 N. Tenth St., once housed one of Columbia’s oldest businesses, the Parker Furniture Company, which, in tune with the those times built caskets. Since then, the company has moved next door and renamed itself the Parker Funeral Service, and the building is slated for renovation by Atkins Investments, a firm which has brought back several other historic buildings from derelict pasts and into new uses.
Winning Warehouse | Berry Building gets preservation award — A former warehouse and then dilapidated storefronts, the now renovated 1924 Berry Building garnered a state award for its preservation its owners John and Vicki Ott of Alley A Realty. Today, the building houses a gallery, a fitness studio and luxury condominiums. In addition to this $3 million renovation, the Otts have renovated nine other downtown buildings.
Heading off the Achievement Gap: CBT Power Lunch — The achievement gap shows up in grade school, but Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher says it starts in preschool. He’s advocating change the law to fund preschool help.
Home & Lifestyle Articles
Basement Transformation. A former catch-all, today, Gail and John Metz’s basement looks and feels like Colorado-lodge-like space complete with a kitchen, living room with a roaring fireplace and even his and hers offices. Kerry Bramon Remodeling & Design created the cozy space.
Custom Built. The custom cabinets of Mark Hall Cabinetry grace roughly 4,000 Columbia homes — and make the home he and wife Stephanie Hall’s built a unique family dream home. Their country home includes family and friend friendly features starting with the kitchen next to the swimming pool, where their five children spend much of their time. Next up, the house is bisected by an 8-foot hallway lined with lighted, column cabinets and floored with easy-to-clean tile, creating an easy passage from the garage and the kitchen — and a nice sliding spot for their young children.
Delightful Contrasts. This 1910 four-square, stone house owned by Mary and Russell Still is proof of two things: a historic home can be functional and location is everything. Mary Still is a Missouri Representative and often works from home in this brought-up-to-date historic structure. The house also used to be across the street from its present location, 2000 S. Country Club Drive. In 1924, Berry McAlester, the builder of the house, moved it across the street, so he could use its original location for another, more grand, home for himself.
Capturing Columbia’s Cinema Century — Going to the movies used to be for more than Friday and Saturday nights. The buildings were also more than movie houses or theatres: they were movie palaces. At one time, during the 1930s, Columbia boasted three such movie palaces on Ninth Street, offering a total of 3,500 seats in a town of roughly people 15,000 people. But those were the days before cars, radio, and television. Today, Columbia features 4,227 movie theatre seats and a population of 100,000. A look at the movie theatre industry in Columbia then and now.
Notable Properties: Historic Renovation Boosts Community Commerce — What if historic renovation made economic sense? Many say it does including Richard King, who operates The Blue Note, a thriving live music venue housed in the first building named to the Notable Properties List by the Columbia Historic Preservation Commission.
Housing a Legacy: Renewed interest in John William “Blind” Boone and ragtime musician — J.W. “Blind” Boone, a child of a former slave who lived from 1864-1927, toured throughout the country during his life, introducing spirituals — and ragtime — to the concert stage. Today, his home at 10 N. Fourth Street is on the National Register of Historic Places and under renovation.
This page has the following sub pages.
- Grant to move MU docs digital — Full article
- Business Articles
- Home is Where the Heart Is – June/July 2010 Columbia Home & Lifestyle
- Jeff MacLellan: The Man Behind the Numbers – Full article
- Creating sounds of something great
- “Man, It Feels Good to be a Banker” – Full Article
- Health Issues
- Celebrate the Music: Ragtime festival … – Full Article