Posts Tagged ‘columbia’

No need to wait to buy my book about Charles W. Gehrke, From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks, which will be published this fall.

Right now you can save 20 percent on the book and buy it for $16.00—a savings of $4 off the $20 cover. Choose from three delivery options: Pick it up at an event (A release party will scheduled soon), pick it up at the Compass Flower Press office, or have it shipped to you. You will be notified by email immediately when the books are in hand.

Pick it up at an event (date to be announced) or at Compass Flower Press office at 315 Bernadette Drive, Suite 3, Columbia, MO 65203. Cost: $16.

Buy Now Button

Or have it shipped to you directly for $20, plus tax and shipping.

Buy Now Button

So what’s From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks about?

Charles W. Gehrke was unflinching. Determined. Persistent.

He grew up among the poorest of the poor, yet carried only happy memories of those early years. Out of necessity he learned the value of hard work, as he and his brother helped support their family even as children — but he never complained and never stopped working even during his final days on this earth.

In the 1960s, his work searching for amino acids, the building blocks of life, drew the attention of NASA which would soon launch missions to the moon. Charles was tapped to investigate the lunar samples for signs of life. Spoiler alert: He didn’t find any — but a transcript I uncovered of a radio program from that time shows that he thought he would.

In 1968, he did something else unusual at the time and brought his research to the marketplace, launching ABC Labs, an firm that today employs about 300 people and was the first tenant of Columbia, Missouri’s research park, Discovery Ridge.

The book, From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks highlights the adventurous life of Charles W. Gehrke, a biochemist, entrepreneur and family man.

Published by Yolanda Ciolli’s firm, Compass Flower Press, and designed by Ginny Booker, the book will be released in September 2015, but you can reserve your copy now and be the first to get From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks.

Buy it here now:

Buy Now Button

Or have it shipped to you directly for $20, plus tax and shipping.

Buy Now Button

 

Read Full Post »

Credit unions, little known, not-for-profit financial institutes, are taking on the banks, pushing against a limit on the value of commercial loans they can make. This article led me to learn about this unusual financial organization and gave me the opportunity to exercise objective journalism, letting each side have their say. The article was published in the Columbia Business Times.

Read Full Post »

One of the core missions of journalism, I believe, is to explain why something is important.

This article does exactly that, in concrete and subtle ways. First, it outlines the expansion of the Centro Latino and the role of Eduardo Crespi.

Under Crespi’s direction, the Centro has been serving the growing Hispanic community of Columbia for 11 years. Now, he’s expanding its educational offerings in an effort to stem the tide of obesity in this population and the community as a whole.

The article outlines the obesity rates and the results of the problem. But it also highlights the results of one man’s efforts, multiplied through networking and community effort.

You can read the article at the link below:

June 10, 2011, Centro Latino: Relocating, Expanding Mission, Columbia Business Times. The 11-year-old Centro Latino, is moving to a new location and starting a new operation, Comedor Popular. Guided by Eduardo Crespi, the center, which provides assistance to Columbia’s growing Hispanic population, will now offer meals and education to stem the tide of obesity and related illnesses.

Read Full Post »

Back in 1987, my first editor Tommy Martin told me I didn’t have to know everything, I just had to have people willing to give me a call when something happened. The tip for this article didn’t come from someone calling me but through my connections within the community.

One of my hobbies in an interest in historic buildings, which you can see through another one of my websites, columbiahistoricplaces.com

But it’s through this connection that I learned Missouri Preservation was going to honor John and Vicki Ott’s company, Alley A Realty, for its redevelopment of the Berry Building. Once a warehouse for grocery items unloaded at the nearby railroad depot, now a bus station, the 1924 building was derelict when the Otts bought it. After a $3 million renovation, the building is now occupied by PS: Gallery, Wilson’s Fitness and 12 luxury loft apartments as well as other businesses.

This redevelopment was honored by Missouri Preservation, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting historic preservation.

This is only the fourth Columbia building honored by Missouri Preservation, but it is the Otts’ 11th redevelopment project in downtown Columbia.

While journalists like me work to remain objective, it is also part of our job to stay connected.

Read Full Post »

One of the jobs of the media is to provide a place where a community can have a conversation with itself.

That’s what this article is all about. Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris Belcher wants the community to discuss changing a law so voters can have an opportunity to tax themselves to pay for quality preschool for all children in Boone County.

He knows increasing taxes isn’t popular. He knows it will be a tough sell. But he also knows nothing will happen if people aren’t exposed to the idea so they can discuss the idea.

Belcher isn’t a fool. He provides a lot of dollar-and-cents reasons for going with quality preschool for children, including the fact that children who come to school unprepared are more likely to end up on the wrong side of the law later in life instead of becoming the workers and good citizens we’d like all children to grow up to be.

Learn more by reading this March 4, 2011 article in the Columbia Business Times.

 

Read Full Post »

If you’re of a certain age, the idea of a basement conjures up images of dark, dank spider-filled spaces.

Looking at this Basement Transformation article published in the February/March issue of Columbia Home, you can get an entirely new view of a basement. The lower level of Gail and John Metz’s Columbia, Missouri, home was a once catchall, a jumble of the refuge of their busy lives. A complete renovation with the help of Kerry Bramon Remodeling & Design created a Colorado-lodge-like space complete with a kitchen, living room with a roaring fireplace and even his and hers offices. This article features photographs by Deanna Dikeman.

As a reporter, the challenge with this article was to write a paragraph to go with every picture. Sounds easy, right? But I’m used to writing an article that flows with transitions and explanations. To simply write a line or two to go with a photograph was a challenge, but an exciting one. Since I’m not just a writer, but a reader of magazines such as This Old House, I know how important those captions with pictures are. Take a look at the article and see whether you read the article or just the captions for the photographs.

Or do the different elements, the captions, photos and article give you what journalists call different entry points?

I hope so. Even more I hope you enjoy the article!

Read Full Post »

This 2000 S. Country Club Drive home is a 1924 version of a teardown, a situation in which a home is removed so the builder can construct something bigger and better in its spot.

Yes, this 100-year-old home, featured in Columbia Home & Lifestyle’s December 2010/January 2011 issue once stood across the street. Read about it and see the beautiful photographs taken by Deanna Dikeman here. (Reprinted with permission from CHL.)

Builder Berry McAlester moved this elegant, stone house it from its original site in 1924 so he could build a more elaborate home on its original site.

As it is often said, there’s nothing new under the sun, and so here’s a house from 1910 that represents a 1924 type of teardown.

Read Full Post »

Several Columbia firms have found a foothold in China, one of the world’s most massive markets.

How is this possible? Columbia isn’t on the coast, where you might think of industries turning to foreign markets.

Instead, Columbia and mid-Missouri is home to exceptional entrepreneurs who look beyond today and local, state and even national boundaries. This article outlines tips and some cautionary tales to help others access the Chinese market.

For example, Environmental Dynamics Inc. has been doing business in this Asian country for more than 10 years. During that time Jerry Conner of that company says they’ve learned the most crucial factor in doing business in China is guanxi or networking. The Chinese, he said, want to know they are going to see you and your firm again. They want to know about your firm, you and who you know that they might know.

That means if you want to work in China, you’ll need patience and diligence to establish guanxi.

It also means you may need help to get started. Jason Van Eaton of Spectrum Consulting Group saw this need as a business opportunity. Today, the firm started three years ago is working with 20 companies to help them break into the China market.

Alex LaBrunerie of LaBrunerie Financial launched Rising Tide to access investment information after deciding that the China market was the next big thing. The first thing he did was network and he found right here in Columbia someone who knew a major Chinese expert in that country’s equity investment information industry.

Russ Potterfield is so certain China is where he needs to be to help his company, Battenfeld Technologies, thrive he moved his whole family to Shenzhen, China, including his wife, who had to interrupt her own career teaching at Westminster College, and his three young sons. The move might seem extreme, but only to those who can’t see the future.

Of course, all these business people have their eyes open. They know that there are things to watch out for. But that didn’t stop them and the advice they offer should help other Columbia entrepreneurs access the Asian markets.

As Van Eaton said, a business already has a strategy to get into China or it will in five years. And then, he noted, it could be too late.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Should cultural diversity be considered an economic development tool? Perhaps.

In this article about Rising Tide and the Asian Equity Research Institute (AERI), a research center at the University of Missouri, Alex LaBrunerie, one of the principals behind both of these organizations, credited Columbia’s cultural diversity for making both of these businesses a reality.

That’s because it was through a connection with a Chinese national who was working for a friend of his that he made contact with one of the major players in the Chinese equity information business. That’s how a small city in mid-Missouri (Columbia, population 100,000) has developed two local organizations to tap into the growing powerhouse of the Chinese economy.

Read the entire article here: Jan. 7, 2011, LaBrunerie’s Leverage, Columbia Business Times. How a small financial services company in Columbia landed major players for a Chinese equity research center to help investors understand the world’s second largest economy.

Read Full Post »

Columbia, Missouri is replete with energetic entrepreneurs, but the most lively person I’ve interviewed so far is Russ Potterfield. Before leaving for China to accompany my husband David J. O’Brien to a convention where he was giving a presentation.

When I learned Russ, a local businessman, had opened an office in China just this summer, I quickly made plans, via email, to meet with him. After all, how many Columbia companies have offices in China? Turns out more than you might think.

At any rate, despite the demands of opening on overseas office, Russ took several hours to meet with me, describe all the amazing opportunities his new venture was providing for him and his family. For me, it was an amazing opportunity to meet such an energetic, farseeing individual.

Once again, I feel I am so lucky to be a journalist and have the opportunity to write about local, well kind of local, businesses and the people operating them. Congrats on the new office, Russ.

Dec. 24, 2010, Russ Potterfield’s China presence proving profitable Battenfeld improves logistics with satellite office, Columbia Business Times.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »