December 2016 Around Town 2

Synergy Services Opens Doors of New Children’s Center

Doubling its capacity to serve the area’s most vulnerable children, Synergy Services recently opened the doors of a new Children’s Center located at 2501 NE 46th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.

The new 10,000 square-foot facility which sits on six peaceful acres provides shelter and support services to children throughout the metro who have experienced abuse, neglect or serious family crisis. At least 16 children can be housed at the shelter at any given time, while also providing support services to additional families in crisis through the program center.

The new center opens amid growing awareness and concern for the long-term consequences of childhood trauma cited most notably in the comprehensive ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente.

Synergy board members Tom Isenberg and Greg Personelli led the fundraising charge to raise the $3 million necessary to build the campus. Blackbird Design Studio, which recently merged with Helix Architecture & Design, designed the campus and JE Dunn Construction built it.

Learn more about Synergy’s work or get involved at

Liberty Artists Chosen for New Multigenerational Community

From across Missouri, Kansas and other parts of the Midwest, artists submitted hundreds of pieces covering all subjects and mediums to Norterre for consideration during its recent “Call for Art.” Developers are proud to announce two Liberty artists – 
Shawn Garland and Beth Stiefer — as some of the first few artists selected to have their creations featured in the unique multigenerational neighborhood. For these women, the opportunity to enhance the lives of people of all generations brings great purpose to their life’s work and passion. Hundreds of pieces of art will inspire and motivate those who live, heal and play at Norterre. The development’s leadership believes the hand-selected art will spark dialogue and stimulate the senses through an emotional connection both inside and outside across the neighborhood.

Shawn Garland started painting as a child alongside her grandmothers who were both accomplished painters. She went on to study art at the University of South Florida, but started creating art more consistently about 20 years ago. Her primary medium is acrylic and acrylic gels, but she also works in stained glass, silk painting, watercolors, pen and ink, caricatures and wood burning. Norterre selected three paintings from her “Affirmation” series of floral acrylics depicting a Magnolia, Peace Lily and Bird of Paradise.

Beth Stiefer, the second Liberty artist, loves the historic charm of the area, which inspires her watercolor artwork. She paints scenes of life in Liberty, depicting the buildings, streets and statues that give the city its charm. Stiefer enjoys showcasing her artwork, and she is honored to have it placed in city buildings in Liberty, such as City Hall, through connections she established in the area, like Joe Crownover with Four Corners Framed Art.

TNK Children’s Foundation Appoints New Executive Director

TNK Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2013, is proud to announce that Stacie Bratcher has joined the agency as its new Executive Director to lead the administrative function, manage operations, and fully develop and implement a strategic plan to raise funds for the organization.

TNK Co-Founder, Staci Upham-Tubbs, who will now assume the position of Chairman & Chief Executive Officer says, “Stacie came highly recommended. Her wealth of experience and nonprofit knowledge has already made her a key addition to the TNK Children’s Foundation family. We view her appointment as a sign of our commitment to provide support for parents caring for children with cancer, and it is very fortunate that we were able to secure someone of Stacie’s caliber to fulfill this role and take us to the next level.”

Before joining TNK Children’s Foundation, Stacie oversaw development efforts for Center for Developmentally Disabled (CDD), where she was responsible for building and executing the development plan, and implementing the information technology systems to support the function. Prior to CDD, she worked as Associate Executive Director for Immacolata Manor in Liberty, where she was extremely involved in the day-to-day operations, served on all major committees, and provided exceptional leadership and assistance in the strategic planning for the Manor.

Stacie has a BA in Communications from William Jewell College, and is a Fellow of the Pryor Center for Leadership Development, Doniphan Leadership Institute. She and her husband, Rob, reside in Liberty, MO with their three children. For more information about TNK Children’s Foundation, visit

Park Univeristy Named ‘Best for Vets’

Park University has been selected as the No. 4 “Best for Vets” private college/university in the country, as announced by Military Times in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2017” rankings. The ranking is a reflection of the services and support the University provides to active duty military, veterans and their families.

Military Times, an independent source for news and information for the military community, and its associated newsweeklies, Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times and Navy Times, also ranked Park No. 5 overall in the “online and nontraditional” category (schools that serve military students primarily online or through a network of campuses).

The publication recognized Park’s 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio as the lowest among those schools ranked in the top 20, and it gave Park 3½ stars (out of four) for its staff support. The staff support distinction rates the number of staff members dedicated to veterans issues in proportion to its military and veteran student population, the amount of time staff spend on veterans issues, and the scope and frequency of military-related training for instructors and administrators.

For more information about Park University’s military and veteran services and programs, visit