March 2015 Around Town

WWI Museum Offers Centennial Flag Program

The United States Flag is a symbol of patriotism, pride and respect. The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial offers the opportunity to receive a U.S. flag flown at the Museum as an incredible gift for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or as an opportunity to honor a veteran or Scout.

There are different flag packages available through the Centennial Flag Program presented by Edward Jones: Honor, Old Glory and Legacy. Each package includes a flag flown at the National World War I Museum, a certificate signed by the President and CEO of the Museum and a member of Congress, and a photograph of the flag being flown at the Museum. All flags are flown on the Museum’s south flagpole, which is a World War I memorial dedicated in 1948 in honor of the 89th Division.

For more information, call 816.888.8129.

Park University Selects EFL Associates to Lead Presidential Search

Park University has retained EFL Associates Inc., an executive search firm based in Leawood, Kan., to conduct the search for the University’s next president.

EFL Associates, which specializes in academic, business and nonprofit executive searches, founded its higher education specialty practice in 1999, and serves institutions ranging from small, privately-held college and faith-based universities, to large, world renowned schools.

“We believe their unique combination of skills will be particularly beneficial to Park as we engage in this search,” says Ann Mesle, J.D., chair of Park University’s Board of Trustees. “We have had extensive discussions with EFL and are excited to be working with such a talented firm.”

Park University, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, will be hiring the 16th president in its history. David Fowler, currently serving as interim president of the University, previously indicated he would not be a candidate for the permanent position.

A new president is expected to be hired for the start of the University’s 2015-16 academic year, which begins on July 1.

Liberty Hospital receives ‘Show Me 5’ Award

Liberty Hospital has received a Show Me 5 Award for best breastfeeding practices from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The Missouri Show Me 5 Hospital Initiative: Taking the First Steps to Being Baby-Friendly recognizes the success of Liberty Hospital’s implementation of the following five practices:

•            Helping mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour;

•            Having infants stay in the same room as their mothers;

•            Giving no food or drink other than breast milk to babies, unless medically indicated;

•            Giving no pacifier or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants; and,

•            Fostering support groups and referring mothers to groups upon discharge.

“Breastfeeding is the best way mothers can impact their child’s health from the very beginning of life, and it will have a positive impact on both a mother’s and child’s health throughout their lifetime,” says Liberty Hospital Director of Women and Children’s Services Cathy Bonderer, BSN, RNC-OB, NE-BC. “We’re excited to receive this award because it recognizes Liberty Hospital for doing the best thing for our patients.”

Liberty Arts Squared Seeks Artists

The 6th Annual Liberty Arts Squared Festival is now accepting applications from visual and literary artists to participate in the two-day arts festival, June 5 & 6, 2015.

The festival will begin with an evening of fine visual arts and crafts booths and headlining musical entertainment in historic downtown Liberty on Friday evening, June 5. Saturday, June 6, will feature a full range of exhibits and activities with live music, interactive and children’s activities, visual arts and fine crafts, and a chalk art contest.

Entries are juried and merit cash awards are given in the visual and folk arts and crafts, with a Best Overall Festival Exhibit, Best Individual Fine Visual Exhibit, Best Individual Fine Crafts Exhibit, among others. Judging will take place on Friday evening, June 6. More than $3,000 in prizes will be awarded.

Information about the festival can be found at Fine artists must apply through To be included in festival print materials, application must be accepted by May 1st. BOMH members who have not applied before receive $10 off their application fees.

Crown Center’s Off Center Theatre to become Musical Theater Heritage

Musical Theater Heritage (MTH), the Kansas City professional theater company specializing in musical theater productions, has signed an exclusive lease to occupy the 243-seat Off Center Theatre on Level 3 of the Crown Center Shops. MTH, with its large casts and live music has become a local theater favorite for its intimate and engaging concert-style productions of book musicals and cabaret shows.

"We've enjoyed a tremendous relationship with MTH for many years," says Zahid Nana, Crown Center's Vice President of Marketing and Hospitality. "It's been exciting to watch them grow, and we're looking forward to the wonderful entertainment they'll continue to bring to Crown Center."

MTH is quite ready for this giant step.  Last year they provided employment for 289 actors, singers and theater technicians, bringing 11,500 theatergoers to Crown Center.  Having a permanent home will certainly be a way for them to continue their phenomenal growth.

Northland Builders Target “Goldilocks” Design

A significant national homebuilding trend is evident in a Northland development.

“Downsizing” is most often linked to baby boomers that no longer need their large home and the work that goes with it. For many, the emphasis is also on “rightsizing” and maintaining the quality of their current home. In the Northland, there’s also a desire to remain in one of Greater Kansas City’s best areas.

Long-time area businessman Dan O’Dell and builder Bob Sanders are addressing this trend.

“People want to downsize, but they still want the quality they’re accustomed to,” explains O’Dell, a Liberty native and area business leader for 20 years. “They’re moving from great locations like Riss Lake or Weatherby Lake, and they want to keep that quality.”

Partnering as Midland Construction, O’Dell and Sanders have created Villas at Tiffany Woods. Located just north of 96th and Ambassador Drive, the Villas have some counterparts in Johnson County and areas of both U.S. coasts.

For more information, call 816.287.0055 or visit

New CEO Brings Positive Outlook to Lawson Bank

Veteran area banker Randy Baker has been named president and CEO of Lawson Bank.

Baker brings more than 22 years of banking experience to his new post. For the past six years, he served as senior vice president of corporate development for Citizens Bank & Trust Co. Before that, he worked with Hillcrest Bank, First Federal Bank, BankLiberty and Kansas State University Federal Credit Union. He says Lawson Bank’s financial strength and community focus are key reasons for his move.

Baker will work from the bank’s Gladstone location, which is strategically located in the heart of the Northland.

“That is a prime location,” he says. “It’s perfect for serving Gladstone, Platte County, Liberty and the Northtown area.”

Morning Day Café Expands Offerings

Liberty Squares’ favorite coffee shop is putting on its little black dress for its expanded nighttime offerings. Nite Bites offers a selection of small plates for sharing, innovative cocktails featuring small batch, organic and apothecary style ingredients and live music. Nite Bites is available Wednesday through Saturday from 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. For more information, visit

Equity Financial Services Group hosts Wine Tasting

Equity Financial Services Group, a subsidiary of Equity Bank, will host a private client event, “Income for What’s Next, ” a retirement seminar featuring complimentary wine tasting on March 12, 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Wines By Jennifer, 405 Main St. in Parkville.

Keynote speaker will be Bill Kerns, regional vice president from Franklin Templeton Investments.  Sponsored by EFSG and Franklin Templeton Investments. For more information on EFSG, or how you can attend the seminar, please contact Ted Broker at 913.202.2036, or visit Equity Bank at 6200 NW 63rd Terrace at Burlington Creek.