News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Fast Trac New Venture Program Available to Blue Springs Entrepreneurs

clock March 30, 2011 15:57 by author Jeff Quibell





Cynthia Zluticky

County Program Director

Telephone: 816.252.5051

Cell: 816.806-8777

Fax: 816.252.5575


Entrepreneurship the Right Way – Fast Trac®New Venture™ to be held in Blue Springs

(BLUE SPRINGS, MO – MARCH 28, 2011) - Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Is your business off the ground but you just don’t feel like you have a sound plan yet? The Fast Trac® New Venture™ program is for YOU and it’s coming to University of Missouri Extension in Blue Springs in April!

This “gold-standard” business plan development program is fast-paced, interactive and energizing according to Susan Henson, Business Development Specialist with University of Missouri Extension. Participants will look at all aspects of their business idea, explore the feasibility of their new venture and how to develop a viable business plan. The accelerated program offered through the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Center will start Tuesday, April 26 and run for five consecutive Tuesdays through May 24, 2011. Classes will be held at the University of Missouri Extension Center in Blue Springs, 1106 West Main Street. For more information e-mail:

For more information contact


E-mail: Call: 816.407.3490


University of Missouri Extension does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran in employment or programs.

Fast Trac Flyer

Always Leave Your Campsite Just a Little Better Than How You Found It–Remember to Vote on April 5th

clock March 25, 2011 11:06 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 Res“Always leave your campsite just a little better than how you found it.” Adult Scout leaders often shared this fundamental principal with my scout troop. As I completed the requirements for Eagle Scout, it became a foundation for my beliefs and goals as an adult and later as an elected official.

I have visited thousands of homes in Blue Springs and have found residents very consistent in their expectations. They want their elected officials to find ways to make our city just a little better than how they found it. This basic philosophy of improvement is important to the long-term health of our community, and I feel very strongly that it is important for our elected officials to pursue such a worthy goal.

This year, residents are sharing with me their excitement about new shopping and dining opportunities that have come to our city, but they are concerned about the economy and looking to our elected officials, both locally and nationally, to find solutions. They are looking for a return to prosperity in the housing industry, and especially interested in insuring that the housing provided for our citizens is of high quality and yet affordably priced. The hope for older businesses to update their facilities and empty buildings to be better utilized continues, while recognizing that progress has been made in this area, there remains much to be done.

Missouri Innovation Park continues to move forward with small steps of accomplishment. I am committed to assisting with the facilitation of this project and to the quality jobs that will come as a result of its success. With new business and new employees, increased demand for housing and increased revenue for existing business will result in a stronger economy for our city.

Current city policy prevents or limits the renovation of many existing business facilities in Blue Springs. Many years ago, zoning policies were enacted that designated the location of specific industries within certain business corridors; car dealerships placed along the Outer Road, as an example. The unintended consequence of those policies is that existing businesses are prevented or limited in their options to improve their buildings when their location is inconsistent with existing zoning. Fixing the problem will require revised policies that will allow existing businesses to improve their properties, while still requiring new businesses to locate in the appropriate corridors of the city. This is a beginning step in the necessary process of addressing the blight and vacant buildings, and will show support and appreciation of the existing businesses that have sustained our community for many years.

I am excited about the opportunity to assist in finding solutions to all of the issues facing our city. Please remember to vote on April 5th. I will work hard to make our city better than it is today.

Free Business Seminars at Mizzou Center in Blue Springs

clock October 17, 2010 11:17 by author Jeff Quibell

Information & Learning at


1600 NE CORONADO DRIVE * BLUE SPRINGS, MO 64015 * (573) 884-0282


Charting the Path to Improved Performance

Every organization wants to improve its performance, but finding the right path can be expensive and time consuming. This session will introduce you to the Performance Pyramid, a model and set of tools that cuts costs, saves time and charts your path to improved performance.

Presented by: John Wedman - Professor & Director, University of Missouri

c October 15, 2010 7:30 – 9:00 am c Breakfast Provided

Business Intelligence for Free: Clients, Competitors & Suppliers

Learn to make informed decisions by using the business information offered free through your local public libraries. This session will highlight the ReferenceUSA database to find sales prospects, competitors and suppliers for your company. The MidContinent Public Library resources will be featured.

Presented by: Chris Le Beau - Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Missouri

c October 22, 2010 7:30 – 9:00 am c Breakfast Provided

What do your website users REALLY want?

Do you know if your website is producing the expected results? Learn the steps your organization can take to ensure the best website user experience. Apply website usability testing techniques and explore advanced methods for more comprehensive usability evaluation.

Presented by: Sanda Erdelez - Associate Professor, University of Missouri

c October 29, 2010 7:30 – 9:00 am c Breakfast Provided

Leading from the Sidelines: Essential Coaching Skills

The coaching process is central to performance management. By creating the appropriate climate, environment, and context to empower individuals and teams, great coaches are able to achieve extraordinary results. This professional development workshop examines the coaching process and provides many tools and techniques to help shape your employees’ behavior on the job.

Presented by: Dewey Thompson - Business Trainer and Consultant, The Missouri Training Institute

c November 5, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided

Cultivating Trust

High-performance organizations are built on a foundation of trust. Vital leadership skills include personal strategies to strengthen trust at work and ways to overcome common trust traps. This session builds awareness of barriers to trust and strategies to cultivate trust, helping leaders create an environment in which people take risks, identify and solve problems and work together. We’ll provide you with hands-on, proven strategies for building trust in the workplace

Presented by: Rea Lee - Business Trainer and Consultant, Missouri Training Institute

c November 12, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided

People Power: Winning Through HR

Are employees your greatest asset? Are your employees engaged and committed to the success of your organization? The ultimate goal of the Human Resources function is to ensure that the right people are in the right positions and the organizational systems allow for employees to contribute fully to the accomplishment of the organizations goals. In this session, we’ll discuss how to shape your organizational culture, create systems for empowering employees, and align HR and organizational strategies for a cohesive approach to managing human capital.

Presented by: Gay Albright - Director of Business Development, The Missouri Training Institute

c December 3, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided

Strategic Planning

An organization’s competitive advantage starts with its strategic plan. By deciding where you want to go and how you want to get there you can engage stakeholders to move towards the common mission, values, and goals of your organization. This session will explore the purpose and value of strategic planning, identify the steps in the strategic planning process, and provide you with the tools you need to effectively develop and/or leverage a strategic plan for your organization.

Presented by: Alan St. John - Director of the Missouri Training Institute

c December 10, 2010 11:30 – 1:00 pm c Lunch Provided



School of Information Science & Learning Technologies

Missouri Training Institute

Sponsored by: Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

Registration Required:

Need Info? Contact: Andrea Smolanovich - -

(573) 884-0282

Mizzou Reaching Out to Grad Students

clock September 3, 2010 12:21 by author Jeff Quibell


Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation


Blue Springs, MO- Sept 3, 2010-

For more information, contact:

Ann Judd

Blue Springs EDC



Mizzou Reaching Out to Grad Students

The following video story was aired on Kansas City's Fox4News on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

BLUE SPRINGS, MO - More students are looking to stay closer to home to further their education, and as a result the University of Missouri is bringing a unique program to the metro area as specialized graduate classes are now underway at the new Mizzou Center in Blue Springs.
FOX 4's John Pepitone is Working for You with the report.

Click on the following image:

For more information about The Mizzou Center and/or the Missouri Innovation Park, checkout our website at



Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014


Blue Springs EDC | 1600 NE Coronado Drive | Blue Springs | MO | 64014

In office, it’s actions that matter

clock July 28, 2010 09:33 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Once again, it’s election time, as you can tell by the proliferation of political signs, letters to the editor, and junk mailings filling up our mail boxes. There are politicians who say they represent our interests, politicians who say they aren’t politicians, and opinion column writers, current and former politicians. How do we weed out the facts from the spin and make good decisions in selecting our next leaders? It’s difficult if not impossible to effectively verify the statements made by politicians in a timely manner. We often believe what we read or hear, especially if we know or trust the source.

As I read the letters to the editor and added my own comments to several, it occurred to me that those letters have been written with the best of intentions, usually to help friends with their efforts to win an election. Letters of support to express our own individual opinion of the person, not necessarily that the person we are supporting will in the end vote the way we think they should. Our elected officials surprise us at times with their comments, and their votes not always in sync.

So how do we as voters figure out whom to cast our vote for? Whom do we believe? The answer is simple and hard at the same time. We should make every effort to learn more about the people we are supporting, and we should dig more deeply than just our personal relationship with that person. Friendship is one thing; voting is another.

I really wasn’t surprised when I read Ron Fowler’s letter to the editor supporting Sheila Solon, as they are longtime political friends with similar positions on local issues. Ron wrote about how Sheila voted against multi-family housing complexes. What he didn’t mention is that she votes for them as well. Right or wrong, she is inconsistent on this issue. Once in February 2003 she voted to put multi-family zoning on Adams Dairy Parkway and twice that I recall in 2007 while I was on the council serving with her.

Ron also talks about Sheila voting against sales taxes. Those votes were actually against the new retail development on Adams Dairy Parkway. The next time you sit down for dinner at Olive Garden or shop at Target or Gordman’s, consider that she fought hard to stop Adams Dairy Landing from coming to town. Just before she left city office, she worked very hard to scale back Missouri Innovation Park from its original 500 acres to just 100 acres. Her actions would have restricted job growth in Blue Springs at a time when we need more high-quality jobs. Again, she is inconsistent after making “real jobs” a focal point of her council campaign.

Former Councilman Solon, as pointed out by Mayor Ross in a recent article, was very ineffective as an elected official while on the City Council. I expect it would be no different in Jefferson City. Fortunately, the voters have a choice on Aug. 3. I would recommended giving strong consideration to Mike Parker. I’ve spent some time getting to know him and believe that he will best represent the interests of his constituents and will be an effective leader.

Mizzou Center Opens in Blue Springs

clock May 19, 2010 10:41 by author Jeff Quibell

Tuesday May 18, 2010 marked the opening of the Mizzou Center in Blue Springs as a part of Missouri Innovation Park.


image EDC Meetings 005



clock March 28, 2010 12:07 by author Jeff Quibell


Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation


Blue Springs, MO - March 26, 2010 -

For more information, contact:

Brad Scott




The University of Missouri at Columbia (Mizzou) has signed a lease agreement for space at the Heartland Financial Building in Blue Springs.  The space will provide for a base of operations that will enable Missouri's flagship research institution to provide support for area research initiatives, outreach services, student recruitment and alumni support.  This initial lease is a pre-cursor to a sought after permanent presence in western Missouri in a dedicated facility, the Mizzou Center.

Steve Wyatt (left), Vice Provost of Economic Development from MU, announces lease agreement at Blue Springs EDC Investor's Mtg, 3/26/2010

Mayor Carson Ross said, "We are very pleased with the decision of the Mizzou officials.  Their decision to lease space at the Heartland Financial Building at MIP is evidence of their conviction to have a greater presence in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  We have a shared and complementary vision for the Missouri Innovation Park (MIP) and we plan to partner closely as we see our vision become a reality."

Bill Wrisinger, Chairman of the Blue Springs Growth Initiative (BSGI), said, "Plans for development of the MIP will move forward.  Our land use plan and financial planning will continue as we work to accommodate Mizzou's prospective needs and the needs of other interested tenants.  Mizzou's intention to locate an "advance team" in Blue Springs affords BSGI the time needed to execute a land-use plan and to recruit other prospective tenants."

Brien Starner, President, Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation stated, "Blue Springs and Mizzou officials plan to move forward together to identify opportunities to aid new and existing companies in meeting their research and commercialization needs. We hope to identify those with whom we can partner and those who may be interested in supporting the Mizzou Center or the MIP financially.  Mizzou has affirmed our vision and we have forged a partnership that will bear fruit for both Mizzou and MIP."

Mayor Ross added, "It is no secret that our State Government is experiencing challenging economic times.  Far from retreating in the face of these challenges, Mizzou is making a courageous and strategic decision to invest in the future of Mizzou and of the Kansas City metropolitan area.  We appreciate their confidence in MIP and their commitment to our partnership."


To view MU's Press Release, click MU Press Release_03-26-10


Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014


Proud to be a part of the EDC

clock March 6, 2010 10:33 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 As I observed this past Monday’s City Council meeting, what struck me once again regarding certain members of the City Council is how they repeatedly seem to excel at being an embarrassment to our community. 

At first glance, one might see a thread of logic in some of the questions our District 3 councilmen asked of Blue Springs EDC President Brien Starner regarding Missouri Innovation Park. But when you drill down into the facts several inconsistencies arise that leave one wondering about the nature of their true motives.

Councilman Solon asked whether the EDC had ever paid a sitting councilman for services rendered.

One would hope our EDC would choose, whenever feasible and appropriate, to utilize local business services in Blue Springs.  Several councilmen, current and former, own businesses in our community. It would be no surprise that such activity might have occurred. 

My company has helped the EDC on a number of occasions with computer network issues since my service as a city councilman. Prior to engaging my company, the EDC did its homework to ensure that the services it was purchasing would be delivered at a fair price and at the professional level it required. We participated in a competitive bid process and were awarded the work based on the bid submitted.

I am proud we were able to provide the quality service to meet the needs of the EDC.

Councilman Solon suggested that the city should consider placing Innovation Park on a 100-acre tract north of I-70 on Adams Dairy Parkway.  She seemed puzzled as to why a 250-plus-acre project would not fit on a 100-acre tract.

Why is she so determined to promote that land and so opposed to the current location? Didn’t she state during her campaign for the City Council that she wanted to bring “real jobs” to Blue Springs? Why is she opposing a project that will achieve her own stated objective?

In the fall of 2009 Councilman Solon led a comprehensive plan review task force. Her task force’s recommendation to the council was to amend the comprehensive plan to establish a land use category for Missouri Innovation Park and recommended tracts of land, approximately 250 acres surrounding the Adams Pointe Golf Course, for that designation.

While claiming Monday that she had not received an update on MIP since May 2009, Councilman Solon apparently forgot her Sept. 16, 2009, council briefing prior to her recommendations that were adopted in October 2009. 

In the end, it was exciting to learn that the University of Missouri would be accelerating its entrance into our community by almost two years.

It should come as no surprise that the current economy has slowed capital investment in the project, but by coming to Blue Springs early, MU is demonstrating its commitment to the project and to its eventual success!

Innovation Park still offers hope

clock February 17, 2010 16:48 by author Jeff Quibell

The headline on the front page of Saturday’s Examiner, “Innovation Park hits roadblock,” was discouraging to me considering the hard work and dedication so many people have invested in making this project a reality. As I went on to read the article, my hopeful expectations for the future of the Innovation Park were restored.

Rarely do complex projects advance exactly as originally envisioned. Adams Dairy Parkway itself is an example of the need and benefit of adaptability in accomplishing objectives for the greater good of the community.

imageToday, we know that the University of Missouri component of the park will initially locate in the Heartland Financial building, adjacent to Adams Pointe Golf Course, while waiting for economic conditions to improve before beginning construction of the Mizzou Center. This is an excellent example of adapting and recognizing that market conditions require flexibility to accomplish this very worthy goal for our community.

The vision of Missouri Innovation Park is to build a regional home for a knowledge-based workforce dedicated to innovation and the commercialization of the ideas that come from that work. The park will link scientific research, higher education and entrepreneurial development and as a result encourage high-tech commercial development along the Adams Dairy Parkway corridor.

The current plan is to locate the first building in the park immediately south of the Adams Dairy Landing shopping center. Future expansion will initially be to the south.

A recent economic impact study found that over the next 15 to 25 years the Missouri Innovation Park would bring close to 3,765 new jobs within the park itself and indirectly an additional 2,140 jobs in the surrounding community. The average pay for these jobs would be $51,000 per year and in many situations, higher incomes are likely.

Proposed state legislation to encourage and accelerate the development of the park – House Bill 1635 and Senate Bill 922 titled “Missouri Jobs For the Future” – is the vehicle for accomplishing this objective. I would encourage us all to stand together in support of these bills as we work to continue the progress toward the Missouri Innovation Park’s development.

Innovation Park brings promise

clock January 20, 2010 16:47 by author Jeff Quibell

mip The Missouri Innovation Park, announced just more than one year ago, has received significant media attention. Excitement surrounding the development projects and the impact that they will have on our city abounds. However, the fine details are still forthcoming.

Innovation involves the deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative to generate new ideas. The Missouri Innovation Park will be a science and technology park for research and development, new products and services. The Mizzou Innovation Center, which will facilitate the collaborative efforts of University of Missouri professors and graduate students in the study and research of human and animal health technologies, will be the anchor tenant.

The remainder of the park would house facilities and businesses that will integrate well with the research and development of the university and will likely produce products for commercial sale, resulting from scientific and technological discoveries of the park. The potential for several thousand high-paying jobs coming to Blue Springs and the surrounding region is exciting and is only one component of the many benefits to our community that will come because of the park.

The Mizzou Innovation Center should begin development and construction in the coming months. The commitment our city leaders have made to the park, to the achievement of this goal which will raise the economic demographic of our community, will be validated.

As we embark on this extraordinary journey, no one knows exactly what the final result will be or how the finished product will appear. The details of the park continue to evolve, which is normal and appropriate for projects of this magnitude and scope. The result will lead to discoveries we cannot even imagine today. With innovation and discovery, the possibilities are limitless.