Vertical Group scam destroys friendships

Volume 16
Issue 22
May 29, 2010
www.columbiabusinesstimes.com
By Andrew Denney
It has been about a year since Columbia
resident Mike Trom spoke with his former
friend and neighbor Nathan Reuter, founder of
Vertical Group LLC, formerly located at 3210
Bluff Creek Drive.
The encounter between the two men at a
hearing at the federal bankruptcy court in Kansas
City was brief; it wasn’t much of a conversation
really. It was more of an exchange of pleasantries,
Trom said, “and that’s about it.”
Trom said he and Reuter were friends for seven
years before Reuter approached him in 2004 about
investing through Vertical Group. They hunted
together, attended neighborhood dinner clubs
together, their children played together. Trom said
he once helped Reuter build his garage.
When they were still neighbors, Reuter’s son
was returning to Woodbury Court in southwest
Columbia from the Mayo Clinic after a heart operation, and the Troms decorated the neighborhood
to welcome him home.
In the years since, Trom and Reuter have
been on opposite sides of a long court battle that
involved several of Vertical Group’s officers who
have been sentenced to probation or prison for
their roles in an investment scam that brought
down the company.
(continued on Page 19)
10
12
15
Adult Entertainment
New legislation could strip
the adult entertainment
industry of some revenue
sources.
Business Profile
Joe Priesmeyer succeeds
Joe Scheppers as
president of local
beverage distributor N.H.
Scheppers.
Buying Broadband
Downtown businesses
struggle to afford upgrades
to high-speed Internet.
1
$ 50
photo by jennifer kettler
Vertical Group
scam destroys
friendships

IBM Vice President Tim Shaughnessy shakes hands with former Mayor Darwin Hindman on stage with Gov. Jay Nixon during IBM's announcement May 17.
How to lure a technology titan
By Jacob Barker
Dave Griggs’ breakfast group, “the cronies,” usually
meets on Tuesday. But the group had a special dinner in
Boonville on Friday, May 14, and the chairman of Regional
Economic Development Inc. was eating next to City Manager
Bill Watkins, another member of the group. Just past 7 p.m.,
both of their cell phones rang with the same message: The
community had reached an agreement with IBM.
For the past several weeks, a team of attorneys had been
frantically working to finalize leasing, financing and construction agreements. The stacks of paper represent the culmination of the community’s unprecedented effort to lure
one of the world’s most revered companies to Columbia.
In less than four months, a deal was struck that normally
would have taken much longer.
After learning of IBM’s interest in late January, a fullcourt press — dubbed Project Tiger — by the city; REDI;
Columbia Area Jobs Foundation; the state; and local business leaders, banks and attorneys ensued to meet IBM’s
ferocious schedule. The result is an agreement that drew
from the salesmanship, research and negotiating prowess of
countless individuals.
“It’s a fast-track project; they want to be in operation by
the fourth quarter of this year,” said Economic Development
Director Mike Brooks. “There’s only one way to get there,
and that’s everybody working together.”
(continued on Page 16)
SPECIAL SECTION
Health Care
See Page 20
Permit #353
Columbia, MO
PAID
PRST STD
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2
May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
5
30
People You
Should Know
Vicki Powell,
executive senior
sales director
of Mary Kay
cosmetics
New Business
Update
PURE Photography
Gallery and
Studio promotes
photography as art.
Access Arts................................................................ 4
Agents National Title Insurance.................................. 4
All Star Automotive Inc............................................... 4
Alliance Bernstein....................................................... 4
AmerenUE................................................................ 19
America’s Best Value Inn.......................................... 27
Bambino’s................................................................... 4
Bank of America......................................................... 4
Big Brothers Big Sisters............................................. 4
The Blue Note........................................................... 13
BoCoMo Bay............................................................ 10
Boone County National Bank............................... 3, 16
Broadway Brewery................................................... 15
The Callaway Bank..................................................... 4
Central Missouri Food Bank....................................... 4
Central Trust & Investment Co................................... 4
CenturyLink.............................................................. 15
CenturyTel................................................................ 15
Club Vogue......................................................... 10, 11
Columbia Area Jobs Foundation.................... 1, 16, 17
Columbia College....................................................... 4
Columbia Integrated Technologies............................. 4
Comfort Suites......................................................... 27
Commerce Bank................................................... 4, 27
Courtyard by Marriot.................................................. 3
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center...................................... 22
Family Health Center.................................................. 4
Hilton Garden Inn....................................................... 7
Hy-Vee........................................................................ 4
IBM............................................. 1, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 23
KBIA........................................................................ 27
KOMU 8.................................................................... 27
KRFU........................................................................ 27
Landmark Bank.......................................................... 4
Landmark Hospital..................................................... 7
LeMone Trust...................................................... 17, 18
Liberty Fruits............................................................. 27
Little Dixie Construction..................................... 17, 18
Mary Kay Cosmetics.............................................. 2, 5
Mediacom................................................................. 15
Missouri Employers Mutual...................................... 27
Missouri Wines......................................................... 27
Mo-X........................................................................ 17
Naught-Naught Insurance Agency............................ 7
Newsy.com............................................................... 15
N.H. Scheppers.............................................. 1, 12, 13
Passions............................................................. 10, 11
PURE Photography Gallery and Studio............... 2, 30
Quaker Oats............................................................. 18
Ragtag Cinema......................................................... 13
Regional Economic Development Inc...... 1, 16, 17, 18
RE/MAX Boone Realty............................................... 3
Salvation Army........................................................... 4
Sandler Systems Inc. .............................................. 26
Schnucks.................................................................. 27
The Shelter................................................................. 4
ShowMe Better Courts............................................... 3
Simon Associates..................................................... 18
Sleep Diagnostic Services........................................ 20
Socket.................................................................. 4, 15
State Farm................................................................ 17
Stephens College....................................................... 4
Super 8..................................................................... 27
Sycamore................................................................. 27
Tech 2....................................................................... 15
Tellers....................................................................... 15
Tin Mill Brewery........................................................ 27
Tracy Arey Real Estate............................................... 4
Trail King................................................................... 31
True/False Film Festival............................................ 13
True Media Services................................................. 15
University Club of MU.............................................. 27
University of Missouri Health Care........................... 22
Vertical Group LLC......................................... 1, 19, 31
Visionworks Marketing & Communications.............. 29
Walmart...................................................................... 7
Wine Cellar & Bistro.................................................. 27
Yogoluv....................................................................... 3
Boone County National Bank .................................. 32
City of Columbia Water & Light................................ 25
Columbia Integrated Technologies........................... 18
Columbia Orthopedic Group.................................... 23
Columbia Regional Airport....................................... 26
Commerce Bank....................................................... 14
Delta Systems.......................................................... 21
GFI Digital................................................................... 7
Hawthorn Bank ......................................................... 3
Integrity Home Health.............................................. 20
Landmark Bank ………............................................ . 2
Missouri Business Women’s Conference................. 22
Missouri Planning Council for Developmental
Disabilities…............................................................. 28
Naught-Naught Insurance Agency........................... 20
Rost Landscape....................................................... 19
Sandler Training........................................................ 29
Shelter Insurance; Mike Messer & Mike Hatchett.... 15
Socket...................................................................... 24
Spillman Contracting................................................ 11
The Frame Shop...................................................... 10
The Insurance Group.................................................. 4
Triangle Blueprints.................................................... 26
Trulaske College of Business................................... 26
Vault.......................................................................... 13
Whiskey Wild.............................................................. 6
Wilkerson & Reynolds Wealth Management............ 12
Williams & Hussey Eye Care.................................... 27
Willie Smith – Magic Service.................................... 13
3
1
Comp Plan Task Force Executive
Committee Meeting
9 a.m. in the Daniel Boone Building New Edition,
Planning Conference Room, 4th Floor, 701 E.
Broadway
Officers of the Planning and Zoning Commission and
the Comprehensive Plan Task Force meet to discuss
progress on the plan and to keep communication
open regarding the Comp Plan document.
2
Missouri Women’s Business Conference
“In Good Company”
8 a.m. at the Courtyard by Mariott, 3301 LeMone
Industrial Blvd.
An opportunity to network, gain information
and promote products and services with other
Missouri women business owners. The event
costs $125. Register by contacting Virginia Wilson
at [email protected] or 882-9952.
3
Chamber of Commerce Governmental
Affairs Committee Meeting
4 p.m. in the Thomas G. Walton Building, 300 S.
Providence Road
Alice Leeper of RE/MAX Boone Reality and Bob Roper
formerly of Boone County National Bank co-chair
this committee focused on providing leadership,
information and advocacy for the Columbia business
community. For more information, contact Lexi Klaus
at 817-9114
8
Special Business District Board Meeting
4 p.m. at 11 S. 10th St.
Regular monthly meeting of the board of the Columbia
Special Business District.
9
Exploring Entrepreneurship Start-Up
Class
5:30 p.m., W. 1004 Lafferre Hall, University of Missouri
College of Engineering, Stewart Road and Sixth Street
The sixth in a series of 12 information sessions for
those interested in starting a business and wanting
answers and information about general business
issues. Cost of the session is $20, and pre-registration
is required. To register, contact Virginia Wilson at
[email protected]
Corrections
In the May 15 CBT on Page 15, we incorrectly
attributed statements from ShowMe Better Courts
Executive Director James Harris to U.S. Rep. Blaine
Luetkemeyer. Luetkemeyer was not quoted in the
story, and all statements attributed to him should have
been attributed to Harris. On Page 22 and 23 of that
issue, we incorrectly identified Ben Huang as a coowner of Yogoluv. The price of yogurt at the store is 40
cents per ounce, not 30 cents.
(573) 499-1830 | (573) 499-1831 fax
[email protected]
Advertising information:
[email protected]
Chris Harrison | General Manager | Ext.1010
David Reed | Group Editor | Ext.1013
Alisha Moreland | Art Director
Kristin Branscom | Graphic Designer
Betsy Bell | Creative Marketing Director
Jennifer Kettler | Photo Editor | 573-529-1789
Cindy Sheridan | Operations Manager
Annie Jarrett | Marketing Representative
Joe Schmitter | Marketing Representative
Ashley Meyer | Creative Services
Writers in this issue: Jacob Barker, Andrew Denney,
Jeremy Essig, Jennifer Kettler, Tim Kridel, Sean Spence,
Katrina Tauchen Columnists in this issue: Cathy Atkins,
Chris Belcher, Skip Elkin, Al Germond, Ray McCarty,
Lili Vianello
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May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
cbt BUSINESS CALENDAR — June
4
May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Hirings
Murphy
Beusan
Central Trust & Investment Co. named Reed Murphy the new chief
investment officer of the firm. Murphy joins Central Trust after working
for Bank of America, Alliance Bernstein and Commerce Bank.
Joe DiNatale joined the Tracy Arey Real Estate team as a licensed
Missouri Realtor. A graduate of Michigan State who earned his master’s
degree in business administration in 2006, DiNatale is an 11-year active
duty Air Force veteran who continues to serve in the Missouri National
Guard.
Commerce Bank announced that Gianina Beusan has been named
retail banking officer and branch manager for the company’s Fifth and
Broadway banking center. Beusan has more than 11 years of banking
experience and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
University of Missouri Provost Brian Foster announced Monday the
appointment of Joan Gabel as the new dean of the Robert J. Trulaske Sr.
College of Business. Previously, Gabel served as a Desantis professor and
chair of the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and
Business Law at the Florida State University College of Business.
Josh Stephenson joined The Callaway Bank as vice president and
commercial lender. Stephenson will be at the Chapel Hill and Forum
Boulevard location.
Bank of America Home Loans hired David Lynn as a mortgage loan
officer for the Columbia, Moberly, Mexico, Boonville and Jefferson City
areas. Lynn has five years of home finance industry experience.
Appointments
Gabel
Stephenson
Stephens College announced that Pamela Shackelford, chair of
the business and marketing department at Stephens College, has been
elected to a one-year term on the board of directors for the International
Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Shackelford was elected to
the board of directors during the IACBE’s 2010 Annual Conference, held
in Newport, R.I., on March 24 to 26.
Agents National Title Insurance Company announced the addition of
Robert J. Buchheit and Peter G. Klein to its board of directors. Buchheit
is the owner of All Star Automotive Inc. Klein is an associate professor
at the University of Missouri Division of Applied Sciences and associate
director of the Contracting and Organizations Research Institute. Brent
Scheer, CFO of Agents National Title Insurance Company, accepted the
appointment as chairman of the American Land Title Association’s Title
Insurance Accounting Committee.
Promotions
Lindsey Dunn was promoted to retail banking officer and branch manager for the Commerce Bank branch located inside the West Broadway
Hy-Vee. Dunn is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in
business administration.
Acquisitions
Dunn
Columbia Integrated Technologies announced April 30 that Monte
Grubbs, who serves as the company’s chief operating officer, purchased
CIT from Jeff Muscato. Grubbs will now serve as president and sole
owner of the company.
Awards
Columbia College announced Jeffry Hoyt and Jamaree Whitaker
were each awarded the Landmark Bank Scholarship, worth $1,500, for
the 2010-2011 academic year. The Landmark Bank Scholarship is awarded
to new or returning day or evening business majors who have shown
superior academic achievement. Ramona Bade, Mary Beth Gillum
and Regina Williams were awarded the Carol Frobish Scholarship,
worth $6,000 each, for the 2010-2011 academic year. The Carol Frobish
Scholarship is awarded to returning female business majors with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Ben Francisco won the Alumni Award from the University of
Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing for his work training hundreds
of health care providers to teach Missouri’s kids how to manage their
asthma. His work led to the creation of Asthma Ready Communities™, a
statewide program to improve asthma care.
Elizabeth Geden won the Honorary Alumna Award from the
University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing. A former associate
dean for research and director of graduate studies, Geden, retired since
2000, continues to work several days a week as a family nurse practitioner
for Columbia’s Family Health Center.
Community Service
Central Missouri Food Bank, The Shelter, Access Arts, Salvation
Army and Big Brothers Big Sisters were some of the 56 local nonprofit
organizations that received more than $3,000 from Columbia-based telecommunications provider Socket as part of its Honest to Goodness program. The company’s local home phone customers contributed to the fund
and donated 5 percent of their monthly bill to the charities of their choice.
Sale
Columbia restaurateur Brian Ash is straining knowledge he gained
from Bambino's into a new venture. Ash, 44, said he sold the Italian
restaurant to Jeff Weaver, current owner of Quizno's in the Broadway
Shops, and will turn his focus to selling a food separator he invented
called The Drain Strainer.
According to its website, the strainer is a drawer that can be attached
to catch food. It can then be removed so solids can be thrown out or
compacted, which allows liquids to flow more easily through pipes.
Ash said he came up with the idea 10 years ago while working at
Bambino's when he said he became tired of noodles clogging grease traps
on the pasta sink. Noticing the restaurant's dishwasher was equipped
with a screen that allowed water to flow through while catching solids,
Ash asked an associate to create a similar item for his sink.
Once he began the process of selling Bambino's to Weaver in late
April, Ash started looking for a new venture he thought he could run by
himself, and an Internet-based business seemed appropriate.
Ash, who will continue running Bambino's with Weaver until June 1,
said he is just beginning to turn his full attention toward the marketing
and selling of the strainer.
The Drain Strainer, manufactured by a company Ash said he found on
the Internet, comes in three models depending on sink size and ranges in
price from about $300 to about $450. v
We want to hear from you. Please e-mail your submissions to [email protected]
Executive Senior Sales Director, Mary Kay Cosmetics
AGE: 37
JOB DESCRIPTION: Executive management/sales
YEARS LIVED IN COLUMBIA: Eight years
ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: Jefferson City
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in English
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Other than Mary Kay, my No. 1 priority is my
children. When I’m not working my personal business or with my unit,
I’m volunteering at my children’s school, going on field trips, helping with
my daughter’s basketball team, lunch bunches and many other activities. I
think it’s important not to forget about our community. I strive to do a set
amount of charitable contributions every year.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: Mary Kay Corp., 2003 to 2010
A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE AND WHY: Dan McNerney because of
his success story and the way he motivates others. He reminds me of Mary
Kay Ash and her ethics.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I love watching women grow in all
areas: faith, family and career. Mary Kay is a safe place for women to
realize their God-given talents. The company helps women feel better
about themselves and grow as individuals and replaces their 40-hour/
week jobs for a more fulfilling career in which they are recognized and
compensated for their efforts.
IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: I would be a motivational
speaker who encourages others and changes lives.
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME AND HOW: Leading people and
learning to serve. Being an effective leader is one of the most rewarding
things I’ve done.
A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: I’m currently working on a project that
is extremely important to me. Having recently lost a close friend to
spousal abuse, I have set out on a campaign to do an extra 100 facials
in May/June, and I’m donating 20 percent of the total sales to the local
women’s shelter.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: Mary Kay is the
only company I know of where you can promote yourself and are in
complete control of financial freedom. It’s literally $100 to start your own
multibillion-dollar business and make 50 percent profit your first day.
Mary Kay is not a public company run by a board of directors but instead
is privately owned and is totally debt-free.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Spend time with my family, travel and read about
leadership/entrepreneurs.
photo by jennifer kettler
FAMILY: My amazing husband, Kirk, and three sweet children: Myles, 11;
Lexi, 10; and Chloe, 7.
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: I don’t know if I can single out one particular
place. Columbia is such a great town with all the parks, restaurants and
shops. I enjoy it all!
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: Earning our first pink Cadillac. I
remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was June of 2005. My
family was so excited!
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT I: Played the viola for years. v
May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Vicki Powell
5
People You Should Know
6
May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
ECONOMIC INDEX | COLUMBIA'S ECONOMIC INDICATORS
CITY RECEIPTS
Hotel Tax Receipts
March 2010: $158,441
March 2009: $153,678
Change (#): $4,763
Change (%): 3.1%
*some hotels have not reported
for March 2010
Year-to-Date 2010: $368,399
Year-to-Date 2009: $375,259
Change (#): -$6,860
Change (%): 1.8%
1% Sales Tax Receipts February 2010: $1,394,096
February 2009: $1,478,515
Change (#): -$84,419
Change (%): -5.7%
Fiscal Year-to-Date 2010:
$7,988,065
Fiscal Year-to-Date 2009:
$8,077,057
Change (#): -$88,992
Change (%): -1.1%
LABOR
Columbia Labor Force
April 2010: 92,882
April 2009: 93,506
Change (#): -624
Change (%): -.6 %
Missouri Labor Force
April 2010: 2,991,129
April 2009: 3,039,207
Change (#): -48,078
Change (%): -1.6 %
Columbia Unemployment April 2010: 5,029
April 2009: 4,933
Change (#): 96
Change (%): 1.9%
Missouri Unemployment April 2010: 262,739
April 2009: 252,376
Change (#): 10,363
Change (%): 4.1%
Columbia Unemployment Rate
April 2010: 5.4%
April 2009: 5.3%
Change (#): .1%
*lowest unemployment rate in a
Missouri metropolitan area
Missouri Unemployment Rate
April 2010: 8.8%
April 2009: 8.3%
Change (#): .5%
CONSTRUCTION
Building Permits – Residential
April 2010: 102
April 2009: 108
Change (#): -6
Change (%): -5.6%
Value of Building Permits –
Residential April 2010: $9,778,817
April 2009: $6,792,070
Change (#): $2,986,747
Change (%): 44.0%
Building Permits – Detached
Single Family Homes
April 2010: 50
April 2009: 28
Change (#): 22
Change (%): 78.6%
Value of Building Permits –
Detached Single Family
Homes
April 2010: $7,969,188
April 2009: $4,112,000
Change (#): $3,857,188
Change (%): 93.8%
Building Permits –
Commercial
April 2010: 26
April 2009: 23
Change (#): 3
Change (%): 13.0%
Value of Building Permits –
Commercial April 2010: $5,455,500
April 2009: $10,991,838
Change (#): -$5,536,338
Change (%): -50.4%
Building Permits – Commercial
Additions/Alterations
April 2010: 20
April 2009: 20
Change (#): 0
Change (%): 0.0%
Value of Building Permits
– Commercial Additions/
Alterations
April 2010: $1,903,000
April 2009: $2,686,577
Change (#): -$783,577
Change (%): -29.2%
HOUSING
Units Sold in Boone County –
Detached Single-Family
Homes
April 2010: 202
April 2009: 159
Change (#): 43
Change (%): 27.0%
Volume of Sales in Boone
County – Detached SingleFamily Homes
April 2010: $34,907,618
April 2009: $25,383,749
Change (#): $9,523,869
Change (%): 37.5%
Median Price of Home Sales
April 2010: $150,000
April 2009: $143,900
Change (#): $6,100
Change (%): 4.2%
Months of Inventory
April 2010: 6.49
April 2009: 7.97
Change (#): -1.48
Change (%): -1.8%
Foreclosures in Boone County
April 2010: 29
April 2009: 26
Change (#): 3
Change (%): 11%
COLUMBIA REGIONAL
AIRPORT
Passengers on Arriving Planes
April 2010: 2,879
April 2009: 1,917
Change (#): 962
Change (%): 50.2%
Passengers on Departing
Planes
April 2010: 2,879
April 2009: 1,922
Change (#): 957
Change (%): 49.8%
UTILITIES
Water Customers
April 2010: 44,629
April 2009: 44,284
Change (#): 345
Change (%): 0.8%
Electric Customers
April 2010: 45,234
April 2009: 44,924
Change (#): 310
Change (%): 0.7%
Sewer Customers –
Residential
April 2010: 40,300
April 2009: 39,956
Change (#): 344
Change (%): 0.9%
Sewer Customers –
Commercial
April 2010: 3,563
April 2009: 3,562
Change (#): 1
Change (%): 0.0%
Contributors include: Lori
Fleming, Karen Johnson, Sean
Moore, Linda Rootes, Sarah
Talbert and Carol Van Gorp
Compiled by David Walle
In a departure from its usual practice, the City
Council opted not to reappoint one of the Planning
and Zoning Commission’s most senior members.
Nearly a dozen people applied for the two open
spots on P&Z, one of the city’s most important commissions. Both commissioners whose terms had
expired reapplied for their positions. Raman Puri, a
local developer and vice president of Hilton Garden
Inn, has served on the commission for more than
a year and was reappointed. Bill Tillotson, a senior
adviser for the Naught-Naught insurance agency, also
won the City Council’s approval.
Glenn Rice, an Internet administrator for MU, has
served on the commission since 2005 and was not
reappointed.
In a letter Commission Chairman Jeff Barrow wrote
to the City Council, he called Rice and Puri two of the
best commissioners who have served during his 13
years on P&Z. It's uncommon, but not unheard of, for
a commissioner to not be reappointed, Barrow said in
an interview.
“Prior councils consistently have appointed commissioners who reapplied for the commission unless
the applicant has displayed a glaring deficiency,”
Barrow wrote.
“I was supporting the reappointment of our
standing commissioners,” Barrow said. “I don’t know
the new commissioner, but I’m going to miss Glenn a
lot. He was a very productive member and had a lot
of experience.”
In the past few years, the commission has ramped
up its schedule and meets almost every week to work
on a number of planning documents and processes
in addition to reviewing zoning and development
requests. Development Services Manager Pat Zenner,
who staffs the P&Z meetings, said Rice was an active
member whose insights often influenced other commissioners’ opinions.
“The loss of any member of the planning commission who has been there for five years and has been
through the changes we’ve been through will be felt,”
Zenner said.
Rice said he believes he has an “undeserved
reputation as anti-growth.” He’s voted for some of
Columbia’s larger developments, including Landmark
Hospital, the Broadway/Fairview Walmart and the
Old Hawthorne subdivision, he said. In addition, he
said he has only missed eight meetings out of 102
during his time as commissioner, a better record than
Puri’s.
“If there’s this perception I’m this anti-growth candidate, it’s absurd, and my record proves it,” Rice said.
CBT obtained an e-mail sent to City Council members from Kristi Ray, Columbia Chamber of Commerce
executive vice president, urging the council to choose
Chamber members who had applied for various
boards and commissions. The e-mail mentioned the
P&Z applicants before mentioning any other commissions and endorsed both Puri and Tillotson.
“We have watched (P&Z) with great interest
and have been concerned with some of their recent
actions,” the e-mail states.
In the past year and half, Ray began regularly
sending messages to City Council members supporting Chamber members applying for boards and
commissions. The Chamber also encourages its members to apply for boards and commissions, she said.
“We think we’re doing the city a service by getting
them more applicants,” she said.
Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser voted
for Tillotson along with Mayor Bob McDavid, 2nd
Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill and 3rd Ward
Councilman Gary Kespohl. Nauser said the City
Council regularly gets letters of recommendation
for applicants to city commissions, but she looks at
their qualifications, not their endorsements. Nauser
said her vote doesn’t mean she disapproves of Rice’s
performance.
“I think I just wanted to see some change,” she
said. “It was a very hard decision.”
Rice’s departure from the commission also makes
the 4th Ward the only ward without representation on
P&Z. Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley, who
ran against Rice’s wife, Tracy Greever-Rice, in the
April election, was the only councilman to vote for Jim
Holman, a resident of the 2nd Ward. Dudley said he’s
not concerned about losing representation for the 4th
Ward on P&Z.
“What I look at is what people are thinking and
their experience in the development world and the
construction world,” Dudley said.
First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz said he
thought Rice was targeted as a commissioner whose
views weren’t “sufficiently orthodox” to those of
some members of the community. He and 6th Ward
Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe were the only members of the City Council to vote for Rice.
“I felt both Ray Puri and Glenn Rice earned their
keep on the commission,” Sturtz said. “They both
really distinguished themselves and were doing great
work.”
Rice’s involvement with the development of the
East Area Plan and Comprehensive Plan impressed
Sturtz, he said. He and other members of the council
highly respected the commission’s planning work.
But, Sturtz said, “I’ll be curious to see whether that
holds true anymore.” v
May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
By Jacob Barker
7
New council puts its stamp on planning commission
8
May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
voices
From the Roundtable
1956: Another watershed year in Columbia's economic development
Al Germond
Al Germond is the host
of the "Sunday Morning
Roundtable" every
Sunday at 8:15 a.m. on
KFRU. [email protected]
My first contact with Big Blue was in the early
’50s. Staring at a school wall clock emblazoned
with the letters I-B-M, I remember watching its
pulsing hand count down the minutes to recess. I
remember family talk about this burgeoning
enterprise up and down the mid-Hudson River
Valley during the time IBM was transitioning from
manufacturer of purely mechanical devices into
a company that built electronic mainframe computers such as the famed Model 360.
Computing has come a long way from the 1949
10-ton Mark III model, a computer built for the
Navy — and not by IBM — that was 30 feet long
and 15 feet wide and contained 4,500 vacuum
tubes. IBM eventually bested dozens of other data
processing contenders, including Remington,
Rand, Burroughs and RCA, all while federal trust
busters periodically went after Big Blue as an
alleged monopoly. More recently, the online revolution and software advances have made IBM
seem the outfit moving into eclipse.
There has been pain and anguish up and down
the Valley during the past few decades as IBM's
plants expanded and contracted with the highly
volatile vagaries of electronics, manufacturing
and especially component miniaturization. The
integrated circuit chip, first patented in 1958,
has been as much a job buster in manufacturing as
it has been the progenitor of creative, service and
programming jobs using powerful computers
now virtually pocket-sized.
As IBM emphasizes software development,
job losses in one of IBM's "big iron" plants back
East, though unfortunate, hopefully represent a
gain for the Columbia area's more knowledgebased economic atmosphere. Not unexpectedly,
caustic, often corrosive commentaries have
already commenced. There are legitimate questions to be sure, but in the new reality of economic
development, it looks as if Columbia has finally
chosen to enter the bear pit of utilizing incentives,
tax breaks and other stimulants because — for
better or worse — that's how the game is played
these days.
We've been waiting too
long for this.
Although the IBM announcement a fortnight ago was significant, the big daddy of
economic stimuli that shaped Columbia's
future was the virtually simultaneous opening
in September 1956 of the University Medical
Center on the then south edge of the MU campus
and State Farm's employment of 180 people in
its new regional office on the then northwest
outskirts of the city. The estimated population of
Columbia at the time was 34,000.
State Farm's choice of Columbia in 1955 was
based on the desire to expand to a community similar to the firm's Bloomington, Ill., home
office location. But the battle to upgrade the
University of Missouri School of Medicine
and replace the outmoded Parker Hospital with a
sprawling complex of clinics required significant
effort. The arduous, politically charged struggle
for this economic development jewel pitted
Columbia against Kansas City, with the former
winning only narrowly in the state legislature.
The naysayers will have to swallow the fact
that extending Maguire Boulevard to Stadium
Boulevard and granting northern access to the
LeMone Industrial Park played a significant
role in attracting IBM to Columbia. It’s ironic
that a community that prides itself on rigid fire
code enforcement finds three City Council representatives — one of them now retired from
office — deliberately denying an alternate passage in and out of this "city-within-a-city" where
hundreds of people are employed.
There's the whisper that State Farm played
a role in helping IBM make up its mind about
Columbia. It seems that State Farm is very pleased
about being part of our community, so it was a
case of one happy customer telling another about
our area. Kudos equally go out to the region's educational institutions as they collegially worked
together to ensure the compatibly of their operations with IBM's needs.
Access to the rest of the world was also significant. Reliable airline connections recently
upgraded to all-jet service came along just in time.
Isn't the pouting about IBM selecting Columbia
over St. Louis ironic when in fact Missouri's
eastern anchor city wasn't even being considered?
May the spotlight of economic development successes continue to shine on the Greater Columbia
area. We've been waiting too long for this. v
County View
Boone County Fairgrounds: A community investment
Skip Elkin
Skip Elkin is Northern
Boone County
commissioner.
When you think of youth sports, you typically think of a little league baseball game or
soccer match. You envision scores of 6- and
7-year-olds running in all different directions
and Dad standing along the fence or running
up and down the sidelines to offer constructive
criticism. Mom is sitting on the bleachers and
cheering each and every play. What you probably don’t think about when you envision youth
sports is the economic benefit for the community. Sporting activities generate millions of dollars each year while giving our kids a multitude
of outdoor and recreational opportunities.
In 2003, the Boone County Commission
began the process of creating a master plan
for the 134-acre Boone County Fairgrounds,
the 50-acre Smith Tract owned by the City of
Columbia and the Country Atkins Park. These
neighboring lands total 264 acres of parks and
recreation space.
The master plan was completed by Dr.
David Vaught, chair of the Department of Parks,
Recreation and Tourism at the MU School
of Natural Resources. The master plan was
developed during the course of many months
before being adopted by Boone County and the
City of Columbia. This was a comprehensive,
transparent planning process that took several
months and included Columbia Parks and
Recreation as well as many other individuals
and organizations. The plan included numerous
enhancements, including youth sports facilities,
a multipurpose building and an additional
equestrian arena.
Progress has been made on the master
plan with the addition of two full-sized baseball fields in the Country Atkins Park that are
used almost daily when the weather is warm.
The Sapp Equestrian Arena is complete and is
responsible for attracting and retaining many
events at the fairgrounds.
Not only will it continue to
enhance opportunities for our
kids, but it will also provide
economic support for our local
businesses.
The newest project at the fairgrounds that
ties youth sports to economic prosperity is a
multipurpose arena for youth basketball that
was proposed by the Columbia Youth Basketball
Association. The Boone County Commission
entered into a memorandum of understanding
with CYBA that authorizes them to construct a
new multipurpose building on the fairgrounds
if they can raise the necessary funds for the
project. Columbia Parks and Recreation already
provides programming support for CYBA, and
that will continue when this project comes to
fruition. The facility can be used for other community events such as the Boone County Fair.
Go to www.cybball.com for more information
on the project.
Later this summer, the Boone County
Fairground will attract another type of sport.
The National Bikers Roundup will be held at
the Boone County Fairgrounds Aug. 3-8. The
millions of dollars of economic impact from this
event will be felt by our business community.
The logistical impact of this event will be felt by
the residents and local public service agencies.
When you bring more than 30,000 people
into the community for five days, there are going
to be some logistical challenges such as traffic
control, crowd management, noise and longer
lines at restaurants and stores, to name a few.
I commend Sheriff Dwayne Carey and his staff
for taking the lead on all these logistical issues.
They have spent countless hours meeting with
NBR, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the
Columbia Police Department and other local
and state agencies to make this event as fun and
safe as possible for all the guests and residents.
I advise all residents to remember that the economic benefit that an event like this brings to
the community is worth any temporary inconvenience it might cause.
As Columbia and Boone County continue
to grow, so does the demand for quality athletic facilities. I feel any money, whether it is
public or private, invested in the Boone County
Fairgrounds is money invested in our community. Not only will it continue to enhance opportunities for our kids, but it will also provide
economic support for our local businesses. v
9
Guest Column
Legislative leaders fail to support Missouri manufacturers
Ray McCarty
Ray McCarty is
president of Associated
Industries of Missouri in
Jefferson City.
Did you know Missouri manufacturers
employ nearly 290,000 Missourians, more than
10 percent of total non-farm employment? Did
you know Missouri manufacturing workers
earned an average $63,000 per year, $13,000
more per year than workers in other fields?
Would you be surprised to learn Missouri
manufacturing output is about 13.5 percent of
the state’s economy? All true, according to a recent study based
on federal employment statistics. But when
employers presented the legislature with
a bipartisan proposal that could increase
Missouri’s ability to attract and retain manufacturing jobs, legislative leaders refused to
approve the bill, despite the support of an
overwhelming majority of legislators in both
chambers and Gov. Jay Nixon.
Missouri employers applauded the passage
of bills that reversed harmful Supreme Court
decisions, allowed them to avoid full layoffs
by extending the Shared Work program and
allowed Missouri’s unemployed to receive
their share of federally funded unemployment
benefits. These measures did not improve the
bottom line for our businesses or enhance the
business climate but simply allowed us to maintain the status quo. Business leaders know that lower taxes and a
less-burdensome regulatory environment allow
employers to create wealth in the economy. We
are extremely disappointed that the legislature
failed to pass a bill that would have helped
attract new product lines to our existing
Missouri manufacturing plants.
The bill, called the Manufacturing Jobs Act,
would have provided benefits to Missouri manufacturers and suppliers that make new products — products that have never been made by
the company in Missouri before. Manufacturers
would have been required to make capital
investments of $100,000 per employee at the
facility and export a percentage of the finished
product. The incentive would have allowed
these Missouri employers to retain half of the
withholding taxes from jobs that would be
saved by using the program. Suppliers to these
manufacturers that added five or more jobs
with good wages and benefits would also have
benefited from the program, as they would
have been allowed to retain withholding taxes
on new employees.
The jobs bill would have
provided benefits to Missouri
manufacturers and suppliers that
make new products — products
that have never been made by
the company in Missouri before. The bill would have provided employers
with a valuable tool while protecting taxpayers. Incentives would need to be repaid with
interest if a manufacturer did not fully comply
with the program. The total amount of the
incentives was limited. The bill had an expiration date that required the legislature to review
the success of the program and take action
before the program could be renewed. The
bill established no new tax credits but instead
allowed employers to retain some of the withholding tax that otherwise would have been
paid for existing employees.
But our legislative leaders did not use the
power granted to them by Missouri workers to
provide manufacturers this needed tool. Once
again, Missouri manufacturers were forced
to the sidelines as we continue to watch our
manufacturing operations — and the associated
jobs — stream to other states and countries. This
bill was a top priority for Associated Industries
of Missouri and would have had a real positive
impact for Missouri manufacturers and their
suppliers. We worked on the bill until the legislative session’s final hour, when it became clear
that politics would prevail over common sense
and the legislation would not become law.
The bill became entangled in a debate over
tax credit reform despite our best efforts to
educate legislators that this was not a tax credit
program. Although we support responsible tax
credit reform and make sure our tax dollars are
spent prudently to attract and retain Missouri
jobs, we are extremely disappointed that the legislature’s inability to pass this bill will result in
continued job losses at Missouri manufacturing
locations. In the end, the legislature imposed
additional costs on Missouri employers that
provide health insurance for their employees
as they passed another insurance mandate (in
addition to more than 40 existing insurance
mandates).
The voting public needs to remind legislators of the importance of retaining quality jobs
in manufacturing in Missouri, and employers
should hold legislators responsible for providing the tools necessary to ensure that
Missouri continues to be a leader in manufacturing — an industry that is vital to the state’s
economy.
Ray McCarty is president of Associated
Industries of Missouri in Jefferson City. He has more
than 25 years of economic development and taxation
experience from state business organizations and
departments. v
Superintendent's View
School quality, home value and industry
Chris Belcher
Belcher is
superintendent of
Columbia Public
Schools. [email protected]
columbia.k12.mo.us
Recent studies — and common sense — tell
us that the quality of public schools has a direct
correlation to property values.
Several studies indicate that homeowners
would experience a reduction of 2 to 10 percent
of the value of their home should standardized test scores drop by 10 percent in public
schools. Specifically, the Rand Corporation cites
studies that have found that a 1 percent higher
average reading or math score in Chicago and
Massachusetts was associated with a 1 percent
higher property value.
Other studies link the value of homes to the
rating of the local school. Values for homes close
to elementary and middle schools rated as good
or excellent were 20 to 32 percent higher than
similar homes located close to schools rated as
average or poor. Many Realtor websites link to
school ratings sites for just this reason. School
Match, a national firm that rates K-12 schools,
has identified Columbia Public Schools as one
of 28 school districts in Missouri and among 16
percent of districts nationwide to earn the What
Parents Want Award. The Columbus, Ohiobased firm ranks school systems in a national
percentile format and makes comparisons
possible for parents, homebuyers, corporate
leaders, policymakers, educators or Realtors
using its services.
The announcement by IBM on May 17
to bring a data center to Columbia certainly
has a connection to the quality of our public
schools and the quality of our workforce. Tim
Shaughnessy, IBM senior vice president, cited
Columbia’s “strong sense of public-private
partnership, a competitive business model and
availability of a talented workforce” as the three
factors that attracted the global information
technology giant to mid-Missouri.
Good public schools and post-secondary
education make it easier for companies such
as IBM to manage the transfer of dedicated
employees. Good schools also play a vital
role in attracting and retaining the necessary
quality workforce. Clearly, these are two of the
primary reasons IBM chose Columbia. In fact,
the Brookings Institute found that 72 percent of
business leaders reported workforce quality as
the most significant factor when deciding where
to locate.
Vibrant, progressive communities have a
very tangible impact on economic health. The
complex symbiotic relationship of the many
sectors of a community requires attention and
nourishment. A UCLA study of the CharlotteMecklenberg School District indicated that the
proximity of schools to amenities such as shopping and parks was also key to the development
of the neighborhood and the success of the
school. As such, failure in any sector of the community impacts all other sectors. However, it is
the interdependency of the system that makes
it strong. The system wins or loses as a whole,
and thus each sector must be supportive of
the others. In Columbia, the impacting entities
continue to work to maintain positive relationships. Frequent and frank dialogue is critical in
moving the community forward in unity. Strong schools make strong communities,
and strong communities make strong schools.
This is the season of graduation in which we celebrate the accomplishments and future of our
students. Let’s also celebrate the accomplishments and future of Columbia. v
May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
voices
By Jeremy Essig
Legislation passed by the General Assembly
this session has one Columbia business owner
asking how much social control is too much.
Kevin Bay, owner of BoCoMo Bay, an "alternative smoke shop" located on Wilkes Boulevard,
might see two sources of his revenue affected by
two bills passed by Missouri's House and Senate.
In the closing week of session, the legislature
passed a measure that would enforce new regulations on businesses such as Bay's that sell adult
entertainment items. The previous week, the legislature approved a separate measure banning
synthetic marijuana, often referred to as K2. Bay
also sells K2, which he calls an "herbal incense."
Although supporters of these measures point
to the societal benefits of the legislation, Bay and
other Columbia business owners fear the fiscal
impact for both themselves and the state.
Nellie Symm-Gruender, owner of Passion's
adult bookstore, said that adult entertainment
businesses generate more than $30 million in
sales and property tax revenue for Missouri
every year. The new regulations, she said, could
force businesses similar to Passions to close and
would cost the state revenue during a time of
budget woes.
Symm-Gruender labeled one provision in
the new law, which would require all areas of
an establishment selling adult entertainment
items to be viewable, as a business killer. The
new restrictions would prohibit adult arcades
— private booths located within a store where
customers can view adult films. These booths
provide a significant amount of revenue for the
store, Symm-Gruender said, the loss of which
could prompt the closing of the establishment.
According to the bill sponsor's chief of staff,
the purpose of the adult industry bill was to
regulate, not close, adult businesses.
Todd Scott, chief of staff for Sen. Matt Bartle,
R-Lee's Summit, said Bartle argued on the Senate
floor that adult industries would still be able to
operate under his bill. Bartle was only aiming to
place new regulations on the industry, Scott said.
"Why the adult business feels they should
be outside the purview of regulations is beyond
me," Scott said, noting that Missouri also regulates hairdressers and barbers.
photos by jennifer kettler
10 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Legislature passes adult
industry bill, owners claim
restrictions may cause closings
BoCoMo Bay sells blueberry flavored BoCoMo Dew, an herbal
incense designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. BoCoMo
Bay owner Kevin Bay said: "A lot of our customers use the
Dew instead of prescription drugs for pain management.
We'll change the herbal blend and chemical components
in the packaging before Aug. 28 to make it legal. There will
always be an alternative out there, and I feel that not only are
the new laws a violation of civil liberties but it is a prejudice
to a culture."
The new regulations include a measure
permitting only partial nudity in strip clubs as
well as a requirement that patrons sit at least 6
feet from all dancers. Under the new mandate,
adult businesses must also close by midnight.
Jay Yeager, owner of Club Vogue, said it is
his belief that Bartle wants to close down adult
entertainment businesses. If these regulations
are approved by the governor and become law,
Bartle would be successful, he said.
"The minute we would have to conform to
those laws, we become instantly unprofitable,"
Yeager said. "We would cease to exist."
A good portion of Club Vogue's business
comes in after midnight, Yeager said, and a
large amount of the money made by his entertainers comes from lap dances, a practice that
would be prohibited under the legislation's
6-foot rule. He said he doubts he would be able
to retain his staff under the restrictions.
"Quite frankly, a lot of these entertainers
who don't have job skills in other places are
probably going to take food stamps and be
more of a burden on the state," he said.
Scott, however, said he hopes this legislation will provide new opportunities for
women currently working as entertainers in
adult nightclubs.
Nellie Symm-Gruender, owner of Passion's adult bookstore, feels that new regulations could force businesses similar to
Passion's to close. If signed by the governor, the bill would put restrictions on hours of operation, shut down private viewing
booths and regulate who the bookstore can hire.
Jay Yeager, owner of Club Vogue, talks with one of his
dancers outside of the club. New legislation passed by the
General Assembly would put new regulations on strip clubs
and porn shops in Missouri. The regulations only permit
partial nudity in strip clubs and require that patrons sit at
least 6 feet from all dancers. The new mandate also requires
that adult businesses must be closed by midnight. "I doubt
I'll be able to retain my staff under these restrictions, and
we'll cease to exist," said Yeager.
"I would think there are very few people,
growing up, that their highest aspiration is to
be a stripper," Scott said, adding that he thinks
this legislation will provide hope for women
working in nightclubs and allow them to "see
there is a better life."
Scott also said adult entertainment businesses
lead to other problems such as crime, sexually
transmitted diseases and prostitution; he cited
the case of a 14-year-old Kansas girl who was
brought to work in Missouri at an adult entertainment club and was eventually raped.
Property values in neighborhoods that contain adult entertainment businesses also decline,
Scott said.
Yeager, who describes his business as a
gentlemen's club, said he opposes the view that
his club is a place of smut and noted that the
majority of his business comes from bachelor
parties.
"It's guys having a good time; they're having
a lot of fun,” Yeager said. “It's not some seedy
underbelly place where, you know, individuals
are lurking in here in the corners or something."
Columbia adult-business owners said their
establishments receive fewer police calls than
Columbia area bars and convenience stores, and
Symm-Gruender also said she had affidavits
from neighboring businesses supporting her
establishment.
All three business owners said they have
attempted to contact Gov. Jay Nixon to ask him
to veto the legislation when it comes to his desk.
Jack Cardetti, a spokesman for Nixon, said
that though the governor had not yet read the
bill, he has been generally supportive of similar
legislation.
If signed by Nixon, the opponents of the
bill said they plan on challenging the legislation in court on First Amendment grounds, a
method that has proved successful with similar
legislation.
Bay said two previous adult entertainment
bills were struck down as unconstitutional.
Those lawsuits cost Missouri money both in
attorney fees to defend the legislation and reimbursements to the adult entertainment industry
for court costs he said.
Columbia Rep. Chris Kelly said that though
he was not speaking on the intent of the legislation, he wondered if the adult bill had "overreached" on First Amendment grounds.
Scott said the wording of the bill was carefully crafted, and he was confident that the bill
passed during the legislative session would prevail against any First Amendment challenges.
He cited a 2009 case, Enlightened Reading v.
Jackson County, in which legislation containing
similar language was also challenged. In that
case, the court found the Jackson County law fit
within the guidelines of free expression enumerated in the First Amendment.
Bay said he wished the General Assembly
would recognize the rights of individuals and
stop attempting to legislate morality.
"Everyone is going to be in bubble wrap by
the time they're done," he said.
Morality lessons should come from parents,
not the legislature, Bay said, adding that his own
daughter is a student at MU with a 4.0 grade
point average and has never been involved in
drugs or the adult industry.
But it could be argued, according to Scott,
that morality can be found in every piece of
legislation.
"Every law that's passed is a statement by
representatives as to where the bar ought to be
set," Scott said. v
11 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Krystina Lively organizes merchandise at Passion's adult bookstore.
N.H. Scheppers stays in family
with Priesmeyer as president
photos by jennifer kettler
12 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
business profile
Joe Preismeyer, left, and Kevin Wisch check product inventory levels of the company's imports and specialty beer brands.
Preismeyer recently became president of N.H. Scheppers Distributing Company.
By Sean Spence
In 1952, Joe Priesmeyer’s grandfather Norb
Scheppers made the trip to St. Louis to acquire
the exclusive distribution rights for AnheuserBusch products in Boone and Callaway counties.
That territory quickly expanded to include Cole
and parts of Moniteau and Osage counties.
Today, Joe Priesmeyer is the new president of
N.H. Scheppers and assumed leadership of the
company his grandfather started more than 50
years ago. He takes the place of Joe Scheppers,
his uncle. Scheppers will stay on as chairman of
the company involved in strategic planning but
not in the day-to-day operations of the business.
“It’s a family business,” Priesmeyer said.
“What I really like about this company is that we
try to keep it a family business. We view people
when they come here as part of the family. You
put a Budweiser logo on the side of the building,
and it feels like you are part of something bigger,
which you really are, but there’s still that family
feel.”
Priesmeyer started working in the warehouse of the company while he was a student
at Hickman High School. He left for college —
recruited for diving to New York City’s Columbia
University — but returned to Columbia to work
in the summers.
He planned to stay in New York when he
graduated from Columbia with a degree in psychology but couldn’t find a job.
“I kind of came home to regroup because I
wasn’t really sure of what I was going to do,”
Priesmeyer said. “I went to work in the warehouse to make some extra cash and ended up
never leaving. I fell back in love with Columbia.”
From the warehouse, Priesmeyer found himself moving to a wide range of positions in the
company. “It is a small business, so roles are not
so defined,” he said. “Everyone ends up chipping in and doing whatever needs to get done.”
One of his earliest jobs, when Columbia still
had an aluminum can deposit ordinance, was to
collect cans, crush them and haul them off for
Mike Ginter delivers Bud Ice to the cooler of Loop Liquor.
N.H. Scheppers serves 550 customers in mid-Missouri.
recycling. Priesmeyer said it was the kind of job
that might appear on the Discovery Channel’s
program Dirty Jobs.
“It was not fun,” he said.
Priesmeyer said he filled pretty much every
role in the office, including the position he held
immediately before assuming the presidency:
vice president of sales and marketing.
“I just kept working my way around until I
knew as much about the business as anybody,”
he said. “I just kind of found myself in the position where I am now.”
Today, N.H. Scheppers employs about 70
people, split between facilities in Columbia and
Jefferson City. The company’s primary focus is
still on Anheuser-Busch products, but it has recently
begun to expand into new lines.
Priesmeyer said Anheuser-Busch has a 70-share
of the beer market in his company’s territory, which
means that about 70 percent of the beer sold there is
an Anheuser-Busch product, and that one of the best
ways to expand is to sell a variety of products.
The company is exploring a broad range of new
products such as high-end sodas, energy drinks,
waters, mixers, Dad’s root beer and tea, he said.
“Monster energy drinks really got us started,”
Priesmeyer said. “That’s what showed us we could be
successful with different kinds of products.”
Tracy Lane, executive director of Ragtag Cinema
and the True/False Film Festival, has worked with
Scheppers since the early 1990s, when she was general
manager of The Blue Note. Scheppers makes the local
sponsorship decisions for the products it distributes,
and Lane persuaded Priesmeyer to add Mountain
Valley bottled water as a sponsor of the film festival
this year.
“Joe was always really personable and a great
person to work with,” Lane said. “I knew with all of
the changes last year with Budweiser that they were
looking to get into products other than beer. I thought
Mountain Valley water was just really good water and
would be a great partner for True/False.”
Priesmeyer said one of the things he likes best
about N.H. Scheppers is the opportunity it has for
community involvement.
“Because of our size, we get to interact in the community in a way that others may not get to interact,”
he said. “We can be more involved. We feel like we are
ingrained both in Columbia and Jeff City.” v
N.H. Scheppers Distributing Company on Hathman Drive.
Mark Jones unloads his truck at the end of the day at the N.H.
Scheppers warehouse.
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V.P. of Operations Kevin Wisch checks inventory levels for the
nonalcoholic products at the N.H. Scheppers warehouse.
Jack Miller needs speed. The downtown
Columbia headquarters of his firm, True Media
Services, houses the servers used by his St. Louis
and Canada offices. The faster his upstream
broadband connection is in Columbia, the
faster the servers can pump advertising proofs
and other files to those offices, which allows
employees there to be more productive.
“They can download only as fast as I can
upload,” Miller said. “That’s why upload speed
is very important to me.”
Miller isn’t alone. A few blocks away, Newsy.
com streams thousands of videos each day and
strains its upstream connection.
“We definitely see a real need for an increase,
both up and down,” said Jim Spencer, president
of Newsy.com.
Whether it’s upstream, downstream or both,
many downtown business owners said they
need faster broadband to stay competitive. That
demand highlights a larger issue: The availability
of super-fast broadband affects downtown’s
ability to attract and retain businesses that otherwise might consider outlying areas — or even
other cities.
1 gigabit per second available now
photos by jennifer kettler
By Tim Kridel
Dan Lakaner of Socket troubleshoots a pair of wires while
checking the status of a T1 connection in City Hall's data
center. City Hall has five T1 lines to meet the city's broadband
needs. More than a decade ago, Socket added a fifth T1 line
dedicated to dealing with the call volume needs of the billing
and protective inspection departments.
Meanwhile, CenturyLink also offers speeds of
up to 1 gbps downtown.
“We currently serve over 1,000 (customer)
devices by fiber out of the central office on 625
Cherry St. and distribute the fiber in six different
directions,” a company spokesperson said.
More fiber coming?
Regardless of who’s providing it, high speeds
If there’s so much demand for higher speeds, don’t come cheap, especially if the fiber or copper
why aren't CenturyTel, Mediacom, Socket and can’t be snaked through existing utility conduits
other operators providing it? The short answer to reduce construction costs. Digging up a city
is they can but only when they have customers street costs about $110 per foot.
willing to pay a premium for premium speeds.
“It’s a mess,” said Carson Coffman, Socket vice
For example, Mediacom’s Enterprise Solutions president. “You have to bore through concrete.”
division offers speeds ranging from 5 megabits
Those costs are passed on to the customer. Add
per second (up and down) to 1 gigabit per second, in the monthly fee, and a fast connection becomes
the top speed that Google promises to provide if it more expensive than many businesses can juspicks Columbia as a pilot city
tify. For example, Mediacom
for its Google Fiber project.
charges about $5,600 per
Mediacom said those speeds
month for a dedicated 100
are available throughout
mbps fiber link.
downtown, though its conFor downtown businesses
sumer broadband service
that want those kinds of
currently is available on only
speeds but can’t justify the
a few blocks.
expense, help could come
Mediacom has two diffrom wireless carriers. To
ferent broadband networks
accommodate
data-hungry
downtown because, like all
devices such as smart phones
other cable operators, it hisand the iPad, wireless carriers
torically focused on TV for
are upgrading the broadband
consumers; its network went
connections to their cell phone
where residences are.
towers, including ones atop
“Between Eighth and
downtown buildings.
Ninth streets on South
Those “backhaul” conBroadway, you have cable
nections often are fiber and
— the back of Tellers and
are provided by companies
Broadway Brewery because
such as CenturyLink and
there are apartments above,”
Mediacom. Each new fiber
said Jonathan Sessions, manline to a cell site puts that
aging partner of Tech 2, a
super-fast connection closer
computer consultancy. “If you
to more businesses downtown
didn’t need cable TV service
and throughout the city.
at your business, you didn’t City Hall uses four T1 cards, seen here, to
So instead of a telco or cable
get cable run to it. That’s why handle its incoming and outgoing call volume, operator having to spend, for
as well as its long distance service.
downtown lacks corner-toexample, $30,000 to trench
corner cable infrastructure.”
fiber to a business — and pass
By comparison, Mediacom’s Enterprise that cost on to the customer — the construction
Solutions division runs fiber optical cable to expense could be just a fraction of that because
downtown businesses as they sign up for ser- it can tie into a fiber line close by. If that scenario
vice instead of piggybacking on the existing pans out, it’s good news for business owners such
consumer-focused infrastructure.
as Miller — and downtown itself.
“My business is completely diverse of the
“Businesses today may not need a gig of
residential business,” said Dominick DePaola, upload and download, but in five years, I bet
Mediacom’s senior director for Enterprise everybody does,” Miller said. “To get businesses
Solutions. “I don’t even look where they have ser- to look at downtown as a viable possibility, we’ve
vice. Basically I go to where the customers are.”
got to have the infrastructure.” v
15 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Downtown businesses seek
faster broadband
“This deal had to happen to turn
the town around.”
-Craig Van Matre
Left: REDI
Dave Griig
Vice Pres
Shaughne
Bob McDa
former M
Hindman
Jay Nixon
the IBM a
May 17. T
welcomes
to Columb
Shaughne
with repo
the annou
Columbia's
deal with IBM
And the change of
direction it signifies
In foreground, from left: REDI President Mike Brooks, attorney Craig Van Matre and
Boone County National Bank CEO Steve Erdel applaud IBM's announcement. The
three were key players in Project Tiger.
IBM ... continued from Page 1
The public-private partnership, unequaled in Columbia’s history, was referenced by IBM Vice President Tim Sha
when he made the May 17 announcement that the company intended to create 800 jobs in the community. In a
the state incentives and personal involvement from Gov. Jay Nixon, the local collaboration to acquire a building an
its renovation was instrumental to IBM’s commitment. The deal represents not only a change in Columbia’s willi
offer incentives to large employers but also further evidence that the local economy is morphing into one that can
with the country’s high-tech hubs.
Learning from CHIP
The call on Jan. 26 wasn’t the first from IBM. In the fall of 2008, the company gave the community a first lo
response — dubbed Project CHIP — produced an offer that would have provided the company with about 100,0
feet of space by combining two buildings on Maguire Boulevard. But the market-rate lease terms didn’t get Col
the short list, and IBM never made a visit. In January 2009, the company announced it would locate a service ce
potential employment of 1,300 in Dubuque, Iowa.
“The whole building situation was not compelling enough for them to come visit,” said Bernie Andrews, the
of REDI at the time. “We knew going into this one we needed to come out of the gate with our best deal, get the
and then let the community sell itself.”
In the year between IBM’s Dubuque announcement and the company’s second request for information from
and the state of Missouri, a number of changes occurred. Boone County’s Chapter 100 Bond policy was amended
personal property sales tax abatement. The Columbia Area Jobs Foundation, the nonprofit entity serving as the inte
for the city’s agreement with IBM, really got up and running. And REDI added a staff member to its roster — Bro
After the initial contact this January, REDI immediately went to then-Mayor Darwin Hindman to secure his su
an aggressive local incentive package that could provide a building below market rate. Hindman signaled his sup
letter included in the response to IBM.
IBM timeline
Fall 2008
IBM makes initial contact with Columbia.
Project CHIP begins.
Feb. 4-5, 2010
Columbia and the state submit
RFI to IBM.
May 14, 2010
Building lease agreement is signed.
January 2009
IBM announces it will build a
1,300-employee service center in
Dubuque, Iowa.
Feb. 18, 2010
First conference call with IBM
executives and state and local
teams.
June 2009
Columbia recruits Mike Brooks from the
Indiana Health Industry Forum to become
the city’s economic development director
and president of REDI.
March 1-2, 2010
IBM makes first visit to
Columbia. Local team and state
team, including Gov. Jay Nixon,
are present.
May 17, 2010
IBM announces it will open a service center
on LeMone Industrial Boulevard.
March 16, 2010
IBM makes second visit to
Columbia, where governor
and local leaders continue
sales pitch.
May 17-24, 2010
Financing, construction and property
management contracts finalized.
Jan. 26, 2010
IBM requests information regarding a
potential site from the state of Missouri.
The Missouri Partnership contacts REDI.
Project Tiger begins.
April 6-7, 2010
IBM makes third site visit
to Columbia.
May 24, 2010
City Council approves agreement.
The 10
began a
which f
for the
photos by jennifer kettler
I Chairman
gs, IBM Senior
sident Tim
essy, Mayor
avid and
Mayor Darwin
listen as Gov.
n speaks during
announcement
Top: McDavid
s the company
bia. Below:
essy speaks
orters following
uncement.
aughnessy
addition to
nd finance
ingness to
n compete
ook. REDI’s
000 square
lumbia on
enter with
president
em to visit
Columbia
d to allow
ermediary
ooks.
upport for
pport in a
“When I understood what was going on, I let it
be known that I favored pretty much whatever it was
going to take to take those steps,” Hindman said.
That was the “green light,” Watkins said. The city
presented IBM its proposal in February, in which the
city would acquire the roughly 100,000-square-foot
building at 2810 LeMone Industrial Blvd. — “the
only building in town that had even the potential of
working,” according to Watkins — and provide it to
the company for virtually nothing.
“We found out with project CHIP, there is no chance
to negotiate if you don’t get them to visit the first
time,” Andrews said.
The offer was apparently sufficiently attractive
because on March 1, IBM executives arrived in town
for their first visit.
Selling Columbia
On one of IBM’s early visits, Dave Griggs gave them
a tour of the city on a Mo-X bus. They loved the parks
and trails. They were impressed with downtown. The
cost of housing blew them away.
“It’s a very easy job to sell Columbia,” he said.
The REDI team also made sure the company talked
to the right people. During each of IBM’s three visits
to Columbia, the executives were wined and dined
amongst some of the community’s most notable
players.
“It’s important to the company to know that it’s
not just the economic development office that wants
them,” Brooks said. “They expect that.”
Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Chris
Belcher was brought in. UM System President Gary
Forsee was present for two visits. Hindman was there
selling Columbia. Local CEOs sat at the table.
The state was also heavily involved. Gov. Jay Nixon
was present for the site visits and hosted the IBM executives at the Governor’s Mansion for dinner.
“Gov. Nixon really pulled the stops out to make this
company feel welcome,” Griggs said.
A significant event was a meeting between IBM
executives and State Farm Vice President of Operations
Mike Staloch. In 2003, the insurance company closed
one of its regional offices and moved hundreds of
employees to Columbia. Staloch told the IBM team
that State Farm transferred 320 people to Columbia
and only lost one, according to Griggs.
“It wasn’t REDI or the city or somebody who maybe
was a little overzealous in their sales pitch,” Griggs said.
“I mean, they were talking one on one with (Staloch).”
As the negotiations progressed, and IBM’s interest
became more apparent, the questions the company
asked became incredibly specific, especially regarding
the potential workforce.
“We were told right up front on workforce: ‘It’s
going to take more than just you telling me you’ve got
a workforce. You’re going to have to prove it,’” Griggs
said. “They really grilled us.”
The company received presentations from local
higher education institutions and commitments to
revamp curricula to meet their needs. A lot of the
research groundwork had been done during Project
CHIP, but significant portions of the workforce
00,000-square-foot warehouse at 2810 LeMone Industrial Blvd.
a multimillion dollar renovation last week. Little Dixie Construction,
formerly used the space as a warehouse, is the general contractor
project.
information had to be updated. The level of detail
IBM requested kept the REDI team working way past
business hours, with responses often due within
24 hours.
“You don’t take a process that normally would minimally take six to nine months, at best, and condense it
down into four months without quick turnaround and
quick production,” Brooks said.
The community sales pitch never let up. While
Hindman was in Washington, D.C., for the U.S.
Conference of Mayors, he made a special stop by the
IBM offices there.
“They were still holding their cards pretty close to
the vest, but on the other hand, they had a lot of very
nice things to say,” he said.
Hindman referenced a letter from IBM commending
Columbia on its livability and the importance of that
factor in the company’s deliberations about choosing
a site.
“I can’t help but point out that (they) specifically
mentioned the trails,” Hindman said.
The incentive package offered to IBM was no doubt
attractive. The state incentives — more robust than
the offer during Project CHIP, according to Andrews —
are potentially worth more than $28 million. The city
and county incentives are worth roughly $5 million.
But Columbia’s lifestyle, and its inexpensive workforce
compared to the coasts, played an important role.
“It wasn’t just about incentives; they could have
gone anywhere,” said 1st Ward Councilman Paul
Sturtz. “There are lots of communities that could put
together a similar package. Columbia’s distinctive
culture can’t be discounted.”
"We found out with project CHIP,
there is no chance to negotiate if you
don’t get them to visit the first time.”
-Berrnie Andrews
An intense schedule
City Counselor Fred Boeckmann, unlike most attorneys, doesn’t get paid by the hour. So he doesn’t know
how much time he spent finalizing the financing,
construction and leasing agreements with IBM. The
best estimate he could offer was “a lot of hours.”
“Usually there’s more time to get something
done, and usually the projects aren’t this significant,” Boeckmann said. “I cannot think of anything
comparable.”
He’s worked the past three weekends, and the other
local attorneys involved in the deal — Craig Van Matre,
who represented the local banking group; Erick Creach,
who represented CAJF; and Bruce Beckett, who represented the LeMone Trust — scrambled to finalize the
agreements between the involved parties and IBM as
the deal neared the final stages. Time had been of
the essence from the beginning, with IBM insisting on
having an operational facility by Nov. 1.
“I’ve been doing this work for a long time, and I’ve
never had a project on this tight of a time schedule, not
at this magnitude,” Brooks said.
The agreement ultimately reached was given
the nod by the City Council at a special meeting on
May 24. CAJF will buy the building from the LeMone
Trust with a $500,000 contribution from the city and
enter into the financing agreement with local banks.
The banks will make up to $10 million available for
the building’s renovation. After CAJF finalizes agreements with the banks and the general contractor, Little
Dixie Construction, it will hand over ownership of the
building to the city, which will pay down the $2.55
million balance on the building with rent from IBM.
IBM’s contract allows it to basically write one check for
property management, utilities and payments in lieu of
taxes, all of which will go to paying off the construction
and building loans.
To make a deal legally, the city had to use CAJF as a
go-between. The city on its own would not have been
able to acquire the building and enter into a construction agreement without a municipal election and a
bidding process, Van Matre said.
“We didn’t have the time, and we didn’t have the
legal ability to do it with the city as the owner and with
the city as developer, so we had to have a private developer step in to do all this,” he said.
The city’s de facto purchase of the building is the
first time Columbia has ever taken such an action.
But ironing out the differences to get to a final agreement required some savvy — and sometimes heated
— negotiations.
At one point Van Matre said he accused Boeckmann
of “going postal” — a clear indication for anyone who
knows the soft-spoken city counselor that the dialogues
got intense.
“We had some frank and spirited conversations
with the IBM people about what they wanted, which
was the moon, and what we could give them, which
was something considerably less,” Van Matre said.
Technically, there is still a “window of risk,” as Van
Matre put it. IBM has the right to withdraw from the
agreement until the beginning of July if the state incentives don’t materialize. But that’s a significant difference from where the negotiations commenced, when
the company wanted the right to scrap the deal any
time before they occupied the building.
“The banks could not justify putting $10 million out
and hoping IBM didn’t find some reason they wanted
to walk away,” Van Matre said.
The ball is in the state’s court now, the promised
incentives the last piece of the puzzle that needs to fall
into place. Those involved said there is no reason to
believe the state won’t come through.
“There’s just too many people who would have
major egg on their faces, going all the way up to the
governor of the state,” Van Matre said.
(continued on Page 18)
18 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Meanwhile, construction and design specifics
were also being finalized. Ultimately, Little Dixie
and the LeMone Trust ended up with a significant
business deal securing a construction contract
potentially worth $10 million and selling an
underutilized building. But convincing IBM of the
structure’s potential was one of the project’s more
significant obstacles.
“I was very positive from the initial phone call
that Columbia had a great opportunity to bring
IBM to the community,” said John States, one of
the owners of Little Dixie.
Little Dixie was grilled by IBM on cost estimates
and required to produce job quotes and estimates
under “phenomenal time pressures,” Watkins
“It’s not so much what happened from January
to the present; it’s what happened from 2006 to
2010,” Wade said. “There was no question that at
some point we would hit some biggies.”
As for Watkins, IBM is the “biggest fish” that
Columbia has landed since he has been here, he
said. He pointed to the area’s willingness to start
using tools such as Tax Increment Financing and
Chapter 100 Bonds, as well as specific measures
such as the approval of electricity discounts for
large power users.
“The community, particularly the council, and
I give the previous council a lot of credit, was
willing to consider these kind of things for the
right project,” he said.
Griggs pointed to the university’s adoption of economic development
as a core mission, its establishment of the Life Sciences Incubator and
its growing collaboration with local government and REDI.
said. The team the firm assembled to sell the
building’s potential to IBM had the challenging job
of demonstrating how it would convert a warehouse — not long ago filled with some cars, an
old forklift and “lots of dirt,” according to Griggs
— into a corporate office.
“Part of the challenge that you face when
you’re trying to make this kind of conversion is
getting people to see the vision of what it can be,
not what it is,” Brooks said.
States gives lots of credit to the architect,
John Simon of Simon Associates, in convincing
IBM of the building’s potential. But oftentimes
IBM would ask for definitive cost estimates and
designs without many specifics on what it wanted,
Griggs said.
“What do you want in the space; how do you
want the space configured?” he said. “We knew
nothing.”
But after all the wrangling concluded, Watkins
said the city did not depart much from its original
proposal.
“We had to go through some different machinations to make it work legally, but it is pretty
much the same basic offer that was put on the
table back then,” he said.
Carrots for companies
The significance of the IBM deal, apart from
the jobs and community investment, is the change
in the community’s willingness to offer incentives. When Watkins was economic development
director and helped lure Quaker Oats to Columbia
in the mid-’90s, the only incentive they were
offered was a sewer line, he said.
“For a while, over the past eight to 10 years
anyway, the community was not looked at by a
lot of businesses because we didn’t put things on
the table,” Watkins said. “We kind of said we’re
a good enough community; we don’t have to do
that.”
These days, Andrews said REDI is hearing from
more companies interested in the community than
at any time in his history, and he gives credit to
the change in the community’s willingness to craft
incentive packages.
“We were getting eliminated before we even
got contacted,” he said.
Former 4th Ward City Councilman Jerry Wade
said the IBM deal is the result of efforts that intensified during the past five years to put the tools in
place for high-tech economic development.
Griggs pointed to the university’s adoption
of economic development as a core mission, its
establishment of the Life Sciences Incubator and
its growing collaboration with local government
and REDI.
A watershed year was 2004, when REDI began
reviewing its incentive policy, Griggs said.
“Never in history had the word incentive been
met with anything other than, ‘We don’t do
that,’” he said.
Changing Columbia’s economy
The implications for Columbia’s economy
loom large. With a company as significant as IBM
making a public announcement, Columbia’s reputation as well as its economy will get a boost.
“For the companies that are considering
Columbia or who have recently considered
Columbia but have not pulled the trigger on whatever project they’re working on, this sends a really
big signal,” Griggs said.
The $77 million impact Brooks derived from
a Federal Reserve model assumes $33 million in
ripple effects from the $44 million payroll IBM
will potentially generate. But the publicity is also
significant, as is the continued growth in IT jobs,
he said.
“With the addition of this company, it’s just
going to make our technology job base just that
much more noticeable and significant,” he said.
In Dubuque, the city has already begun to see
itself transform due to the effects of IBM’s investment there, said Rick Dickinson, president of the
Central Dubuque Development Corporation.
Columbia can expect similar results, he said.
“Ten years ago, you could have shot a cannon
down Main Street Dubuque,” he said. “Now, it’s a
vibrant business center.
“It will change the dynamics of your economy
nearly overnight.”
Although some members of the community
have already expressed skepticism about the
incentive package offered to the company and
the secretive manner under which the deal was
negotiated, those involved said the incentives and
confidentiality request are standard. IBM got a
good deal, they said, but so did Columbia.
“Anybody who thinks we made a mistake in
doing what we did is just flat wrong,” Van Matre
said. “This deal had to happen to turn the town
around.” f
photo by jennifer kettler
On April 14, Judge Dennis Dow of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Missouri
issued an 81-page opinion that constituted a victory
for the investors who sunk big money into a deal that
Reuter and Vertical officers said would make them a
fortune.
Dow decided that Reuter should pay up for his role
in the elaborate investment scheme that took millions
from investors — and friends — who trusted him.
And on May 19, the judge converted Reuter’s Chapter
11 bankruptcy filing to a Chapter 7, which means his
assets could be liquidated to pay back Trom and eight
other investors who claim that Reuter scammed them.
The investors involved in the bankruptcy case lost
a total of about $917,000. Dow said they are entitled to
get that money back, plus $2.7 million in damages and
attorneys’ fees.
In all, Vertical Group was able to pull in more than
$2 million from about 40 investors from across the
country. According to court documents, Trom was the
first of the nine investors involved with the lawsuit to
give money to the company.
The former location of Vertical Group is now home
to a law firm, and Reuter is working as a carpenter in
Columbia.
But in late 2004 and early 2005, these offices were
a place of big talk and big promises — a place where
investors from all over the state and the country were
told their five- or six-figure investments could be used
to acquire standby letters of credit, and they could become millionaires overnight.
Because he claims to have lost money in the deal
with Trom and that Vertical officers had misinformed
him, Reuter has maintained that he, too, was the victim of a scam.
Before the bankruptcy
judge ordered him to pay
the investors, Reuter was
unable to defend himself
from accusations made
against him in a lawsuit by the investors and
then sought bankruptcy
protection.
He has never been found
guilty of any criminal
charges.
“If he were guilty, he
would have been prosecuted,” said his lawyer in
the bankruptcy case, James
Daniels of Kansas City.
“…a sharp business
acumen”
Nine investors filed a lawsuit against local businessman Nathan Reuter, who is being accused of
Reuter, 51, is originally promoting an alleged securities scam. Reuter has filed for bankruptcy.
Reuter formed Liberty Financial Corporation in
from California, Mo., a town of about 4,000, located 60
1999
in Springfield, according to court documents
miles southwest of Columbia. He graduated in 1980
from the University of Missouri, where he had been a and documents filed with the Missouri Secretary of
member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, with a degree State. It was around this time that Monte Chilters of
Springfield came to work for Reuter.
in agricultural economics.
Chilters, who handled residential real estate loans
From there, he went to work for AmerenUE for
13 years. He managed inventory control for the com- for Reuter’s company, said he was interviewed by
pany’s nuclear power plant in Callaway County. But Reuter to work for the company. He described Reuter
as a “sharp guy” and “easygoing.”
Reuter had bigger aspirations.
More importantly, Chilters said, he had heard good
After he left Ameren, Reuter began working in real
estate and started up a few businesses in Columbia, things about Reuter’s reputation in the local busiaccording to court documents. He filed with the ness community, namely that Reuter had “the Midas
Missouri Secretary of State to start The Tiger Club touch.”
“Everything he touched turned to gold,” Chilters
LLC, located at 1116 Business Loop 70 E., in 1992. He
then started up Mr. Tidy Car Wash, formerly located said. “So I wanted to go work for him.”
in southwest Columbia at 3715 Sandman Lane.
(continued on Page 30)
19 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Reuter ... continued from Page 1
20 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
photos by jennifer kettler
SPECIAL SECTION | Health care
LEFT: Matt Hake, president of Sleep Diagnostic Services, helps about 3,000
patients a year with their sleep disorders.
ABOVE: Patient Amanda Woyczik undergoes a clinical study.
Sleep disorder clinic grows past
city limits, saves patients money
By Sean Spence
Sleep disorders are on the rise, and health care entrepreneur and respiratory therapist Matt Hake
believes his company, Sleep Diagnostic Services, provides an answer.
Hake founded Sleep Diagnostic Services in 1994 with Tim Hogan, who sold his interest in the
company to Hake in 2005.
“There was a need because there were not a lot of places where you could be tested,” Hake said.
“Our main focus is the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.”
Hake described obstructive sleep apnea as a condition in which a person’s sleep is disrupted,
usually because of some sort of airway obstruction. Airway obstructions prevent continuous sleep,
which can lead to a variety of health problems such as excessive sleepiness and high blood pressure.
“People with obstructive sleep apnea can fall asleep on the job, wreck cars because they are falling
asleep at the wheel, get in trouble for poor work performance,” Hake said. “There is a high correlation between sleep apnea and stroking.”
Hake pointed to a 1992 congressional study that reported that one out of eight Americans suffers
from a sleep disorder, the majority of which went undiagnosed.
That’s where Sleep Diagnostic Services comes in.
“We take people who are suspected of having a sleep disorder; we diagnose them; and we provide treatment for them that allows them to improve their quality of life,” he said.
Originally, the company started as an add-on for full-service hospitals. But Hake found that it
was easy for a hospital to let him build a sleep diagnostic practice for them and then cut him out by
creating their own in-house program.
Hake responded in 2003 by opening three independent labs, separate from any hospital system,
as complements to the existing contracts with hospitals.
“We did it to control our own destiny,” he said. “We are not at the mercy of the hospital contracts.”
Adding the independent facilities was made possible, in part, by insurance company payment
schedules that make it cheaper to go to independent labs than to a hospital.
“Let’s say you go to the hospital; your reimbursement rate from the insurance company might be
$1,500 to $2,500, whereas our average reimbursement is $600,” Hake said. “(Our cost) is on average
a third of the cost of a hospital-based sleep study. Competitively, that’s a big deal.”
For a patient whose insurance policy includes a 20-percent co-pay, for example, this represents an
out-of-pocket difference of hundreds of dollars unrelated to quality of care, Hake said.
Today, Sleep Diagnostic Services contracts with nine hospitals and has two independent labs —
one in Columbia and one in Lake Saint Louis. Hake said the company employs about 30 people,
about half of which are sleep technicians.
“We’ll see about 3,000 patients this year,” Hake said. “My goal is to help 10,000 people a year.”
The majority of the company’s patients come through physician referrals. Hake said his company
offers physicians an alternative for patients who say they can’t afford sleep testing.
Dr. Sanjeev Ravipudi, a Columbia cardiologist, said he has been referring patients to Sleep
Diagnostic Services for four or five years.
“Some people truly don’t believe they have a sleep disorder,” Ravipudi said. “Sometimes it takes
a little convincing to get them screened. Not everyone who gets screened has a sleep disorder, but
for those who do, it can make a big difference.” v
Grant to move MU docs digital
By Dianna Borsi O’Brien
Grant Savage, head of the University of
Missouri School of Medicine Department of
Health Management and Informatics, knows
firsthand why we need electronic medical records.
Every year he suffers from allergies and goes to his doctor. His
doctor flips through his paper
medical records to review what
happened last year, which medications worked and which did
not.
The goal of a $6.8 million,
two-year
cooperative
agreement awarded to MU from the
U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, Office of the
National Coordinator for Health
Information Technology, is to
prevent doctors such as Savage’s
Savage
from having to flip through pages
of medical records to find — or
not find — the information they need.
Announced on May 28, the funds will create
the Missouri Health Information Technology
Assistance Center, which will:
• Help physicians select and purchase hardware and software by providing unbiased, comparative information and access to discounts
and loans.
• Provide assistance via a website and a
staffed toll-free number, as well as provide access to group purchasing plans and information
on loans.
• Analyze physicians’ office procedures
make sure office workflow is compatible with
the use of electronic health records.
• Teach health care practitioners to use electronic records in meaningful ways.
• Provide information for obtaining federal
reimbursement for adopting and effectively using electronic health records.
The award will be put into action through
partnerships with organizations including the
Hospital Industry Data Institute, the Missouri
Primary Care Association, the Kansas City
Quality Improvement Consortium and Primaris,
the state’s federally designated health care quality improvement organization.
No one has been hired yet for the project,
Savage said, because the final agreement is still
in process. Even after the paperwork is completed, some of the funds will not be distributed
until the HIT Assistance Center and its partners
contract physicians for the center’s services.
Eventually the funding will translate into
about 20 new jobs in Missouri, distributed
among MU and the four partnering organizations, Savage said. These funds were part of
$267 million in awards to 28 nonprofit organizations announced earlier this year by Health and
Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Going digital, saving lives
Unlike many industries, the health care sector has been slow in the move to digital. For example, Savage said when he goes to get his car
fixed, his mechanic has a printout of all the work
he’s had done.
“Sometimes I think my car mechanic has better information on my car than I do on my own
health care,” he said.
To get around the lack of comprehensive
records, Savage writes out the names of all his
medications and their dosages and gives it to his
physician. “I’ve been in health care for 20 to 25
years, but most people don’t do this,” he said.
For many people, insufficient records can result in what is called
“poly pharmacy,” unintended
drug interactions or wasted money because people end up taking
drugs they don’t need. If their
physicians were aware of all their
current medications, that could
be avoided, Savage said.
The danger increases with age.
Savage said many people older
than 65 take an average of eight to
12 prescriptions, often from two
or three physicians.
It often falls to primary care
physicians to help patients manage all this. In Missouri, there are
5,300 primary-care physicians, and Savage said
the project’s goal is to sign up 1,200 doctors for
the center’s services. If that goal is reached, federal funding will continue for two more years;
the project is designed to become self-supporting through contracts with physicians, Savage
said.
Savage, the principal investigator on the project, said the ultimate goal is not about avoiding
paperwork: It’s about safety, saving money and
saving lives.
With electronic records, if someone comes
into an emergency room unconscious or unable
to communicate, the physician would be able
to access information on any allergies to medications, previous conditions or other necessary
information. Doctors would no longer be practicing medicine in the dark, Savage said.
In other cases, such records also could save
patients time, money and risks. For example,
Savage said, if someone has had a blood test or
an X-ray ordered by one doctor and then went
to another physician, electronic records would
eliminate the need to repeat the X-ray or blood
test. The new physician would be able to immediately access any lab results without waiting for
a fax or photocopies to arrive.
Addressing security concerns, Savage noted
that accessing an ATM involves using electronic
records and sensitive data, but people do it all
the time. Patients would have to opt into and
authorize access to an electronic records system,
which adds an extra layer of security.
Electronic health records could also help
Missourians tackle chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, kidney disease and
obesity, said Dr. Karen Edison, director of MU’s
Center for Health Policy and co-principal investigator of the project. Missouri currently ranks
40th in the country for prevalence of cardiovascular disease and cancer, 36th for kidney disease
and 34th for obesity.
Electronic records would help physicians
coordinate care for chronic diseases, provide
benchmarks on health markers and give guidance for best management practices.
“You can’t improve something if you don’t
have good metrics,” Savage said. v
21 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
SPECIAL SECTION | Health care
22 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
SPECIAL SECTION | Health care
University to fund Ellis Fischel with revenue bonds
By Jeremy Essig
University of Missouri Health Care has chosen to
take on its own debt to build a new cancer treatment
facility after the legislature once again failed to appropriate funds for the center.
Following another legislative session in which
state funds for the project were not made available
by Missouri's General Assembly, the curators of the
University of Missouri voted unanimously on May
21 to issue revenue bonds to fund a new Ellis Fischel
Cancer Center facility.
The project, estimated to cost about $52 million,
will be funded with $30 million in new revenue bonds,
and the rest will come from University of Missouri
Health Care operating revenues, according to a release
from UM Health Care.
The new facility will take up two floors in UM
Heath Care's new patient tower and is expected to include a radiation oncology area with expanded imagining capabilities, 36 examination rooms, a new breast
cancer center and a variety of cancer survivor services,
according to the release. Construction on the patient
tower is expected to be completed by 2013.
Although unable to obtain state funding for the
project, local legislators were commended by Health
System Vice Chancellor Dr. Harold Williamson Jr. for
their efforts.
"We are grateful to our local legislators for working
hard in a bipartisan effort to try and secure state funding," Williamson said during the curators meeting.
In late April, Missouri's House of Representatives
voted to approve funding for the new cancer center in a
reappropriations bill sponsored by Budget Committee
Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood. At the time, Icet
gave credit for the measure to Columbia Rep. Chris
Kelly, another member of the Budget Committee.
UM President Gary Forsee said
current economic conditions make
this the optimal time to construct the
new facility.
Within a week of the House's passage, however, the
Senate Appropriations Committee struck out the provision for Ellis Fischel funding.
Kelly, a Democrat, said some members of the
General Assembly have erroneously treated the
funding for the center as a "pork barrel" project for
Columbia's delegation. He said the detractors of the
funding ignore the fact that Ellis Fischel provides cancer treatment of last resort to more than 90 counties in
Missouri.
Kelly also said that opponents of the center's funding ignore the financial benefits of having a top-notch
cancer hospital in the state of Missouri that could
combine both research and medical interests at the
University of Missouri.
"It would have by far been the biggest economic
development bill if passed," Kelly said.
Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia, agreed with Kelly on
the benefits of the new center to all Missourians. The
new cancer facility would be "such a help statewide,
not only locally," she said.
Speaking a day before the UM Heath Care announcement, Still said she had hoped a bonding bill
proposed by Kelly would have passed during the last
session and provided funds necessary for the new
cancer facility. The bill would have authorized the
General Assembly to issue $800 million in bonds for
construction projects throughout the state.
After being read during the first week of session,
Kelly's bill laid dormant until being assigned to committee the final day of session.
Although both Kelly and Still had previously
promised to raise the issue of Ellis Fischel funding
again during the 2011 legislative session, the announcement by UM Health Care seems to make that
promise unnecessary.
UM President Gary Forsee said current economic
conditions make this the optimal time to construct the
new facility.
"With interest rates and construction costs both at
optimally low levels, the time to act is now," Forsee
said in the UM Health Care release.
The new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center will replace
the existing one, located on Business Loop 70. The current facility was constructed in 1939 as the state's first
cancer hospital, according to the the release, and was
transferred to the university and renamed the Ellis
Fischel Cancer Center in 1990. v
The Missouri Women’s Business Conference
Keeping Good Company
June 1-2, 2010
Courtyard by Marriot Hotel in Columbia
Primary Event Sponsors:
Missouri Women’s Council, Missouri Small Business &
Technology Development Center, Lincoln University,
Commerce Bank, AARP
Media Sponsors:
102.3 BXR, KFRU, KLIK, Jeff 104.1,
The Columbia Business Times
To register for attendance or to be an exhibitor, visit
www.missouribusiness.net. Registration includes lunch.
Exhibitors still
being accepted!
Event begins with a networking “Business
One-on-One” social sponsored by the AARP
and designed to provide a one-stop information venue for women business owners
to meet individually with professional local,
state, and federal government representatives
as well as business industry professionals.
Women can receive advice and instruction
on all facets of growing their business.
Main event on Wed., June 2, features breakout sessions, a panel of women business
owners, a guest speaker, exhibitor booths,
attendance prizes, and plenty of networking.
Keynote speaker is M.B. Izard, author of
BoomerPreneurs: How Baby Boomers Can
Start Their Own Business, Make Money and
Enjoy Life. She owned a number of businesses and has more than 30 years experience
working with entrepreneurs.
By Jeremy Essig
Following a year marked by historic revenue decline,
two Columbia state representatives offered their take on
the 2010 legislative session.
In separate interviews, Democratic Representatives
Chris Kelly and Mary Still said the local delegation was
able to pass through a number of measures that will benefit the area. The two also said local residents should be
proud of the delegation's ability to work together.
"In Columbia we're the black-and-gold party," Still
said, referring to a delegation that includes Kelly and
herself as well as Democratic Rep. Stephen Webber and
Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer. "We don't quibble a lot
about politics but try to mutually join together to support
our community."
Webber and Schaefer's offices did not respond to interview requests for this story.
Budget
A continued decline in revenue and uncertainty about
additional federal stimulus funds required the House
and Senate to cut $500 million from the fiscal 2011 budget
proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon in January.
Although committees in each chamber were able to
cut the additional funds from Nixon's proposal, some of
the savings were based on legislation that never passed,
which left the budget passed by legislators out of line
with revenue projections for the next fiscal year.
The budget passed was "technically balanced but,
on the other hand, still needs more work," said Kelly, a
member of the House Budget Committee.
Four days after the 2010 legislative session concluded,
State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced that
more cuts — $350 million worth — would need to be
made in order for the 2011 budget to balance.
"We knew it wasn't balanced," Still said of the budget.
"We knew we were going to come up short."
Kelly lamented the legislature's inability to pass a
number of measures he said would have provided additional savings for the state, including a bill he sponsored
to bring funds from other areas into the state's general
revenue pool and another measure that would rein in
Medicaid spending.
Both representatives also said the state needs to take a
look at new sources of revenue. "We certainly can't cut our
way into prosperity," Still said.
Jobs
Already passed by the House, the Senate brought up
the economic development bill on the final day, only to
see it filibustered by a number of members.
Kelly said the attitude of members toward tax credits
by the end of session had become, "Kill 'em all.”
But that view is short-sighted, Kelly said, noting
the role state tax incentives played in drawing IBM to
Columbia.
According to Still, a jobs bill would have also contained the MOSIRA program, under which a small
amount of general revenue would be set aside for investment in science and technology.
"That could have had a huge effect here in Columbia,"
Still said of the program.
Ethics
The General Assembly was able to pass ethics legislation during the final days of the 2010 session.
"It was a sham," Still said of the bill.
She said she voted for the measure because it addressed the transfer of money between committees
but questioned language imposing contribution limits
of $20,000 while exempting representatives from the
provision.
Kelly cited a portion of the bill that would make it a
class C misdemeanor to obstruct an ethics investigation
and noted that littering is a class A misdemeanor.
"We took ethics just a little less serious than littering,"
he said.
An interesting, frustrating session
Still, who described the session as both "interesting"
and "frustrating," said she was very proud of her involvement in the passage of a measure requiring some insurance plans to cover autism spectrum disorder.
As the ranking Democrat on the House Health
Insurance Committee, Still said she was "the leading advocate on our side" for the autism coverage mandate.
But Still was frustrated that her bill regulating payday
loan centers never made it to the House floor.
"It was clear that the speaker and the House floor
leader were not going to let that come to a vote," Still said.
Kelly described himself as "extremely frustrated" at
the legislature's inability to appropriate funds for the
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Kelly also said there was
not enough "strategic planning" on behalf of members
to plan for future problems, including a fiscal year 2012
budget that will be short $900 million in federal stimulus
funds used by the state this year.
Kelly said he expects a more productive session in
2011 and added that Rep. Steven Tilley, R-Perryville —
the expected Speaker — is committed to a cooperative
General Assembly.
"Next year I think we'll be better," Kelly said. v
23 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Legislative session frustrates Columbia lawmakers
24 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
PUBLIC RECORD
CENTRAL TRUST BANK THE
LT 21-C HIGHLANDS PLAT 3
Boone County deeds of trust worth more
than $275,000
Issued May 4 through May 17
$378,100
ADAM, LAURA
BOONE COUNTY NATIONAL BANK
LT 105A VISTAS AT OLD
HAWTHORNE PLAT 1A
$4,250,000
STEPHENS COLLEGE
BOONE COUNTY NATIONAL BANK
LT 28A STEPHENS COLLEGE PLAT 2
$1,600,000
SCHNARRE, BRIAN & FRANCES
FAMILY TRUST THE
CALLAWAY BANK THE
STR 13-51-12 //S FF W/EXCEPT
$1,492,254
PREMIER LLC
8-BALL COMMERICAL PROPERTIES
LLC
LT 201 VILLAGES AT ARBOR POINTE
PLAT 2 THE
$1,300,000
PERRY, LINDALL A & JANE ANN;
BOONE LANDHOLDINGS LLC
FCS FINANCIAL
STR 22-49-12 //SW
$1,108,789
RICE INVESTMENTS LLC
BOONE COUNTY NATIONAL BANK
LT 227 PT COLUMBIA
$820,000
ROBERTS, STEPHEN R & MARILYN A
HAWTHORN BANK
STR 8-47-12 /E/SE SUR BK/PG:
2372/83 AC 16.390
$690,000
MORRISSEY, WILLIAM & LISA
LANDMARK BANK
STR 27-49-14 /E/NE SUR BK/PG:
1447/8 AC 30.00
$655,536
CHERRY HILL DENTAL ASSOCIATES
LLC
BANK OF AMERICA
LT 101 ROSEWOOD
CONDOMINIUMS
$650,000
LIFESTYLE DEVELOPMENT INC.
BOONE COUNTY NATIONAL BANK
LT 101C VISTAS AT OLD
HAWTHORNE PLAT 1A
$650,000
FOREST LAKE INC.
CENTRAL TRUST BANK THE
STR 14-46-12 /E/NW AC 80
$577,500
C M A E INVESTMENTS LLC
BANK OF MISSOURI THE
LT 601 OAK FOREST PLAT 11
$505,000
MCNALLY, WILLIAM BRYANT &
STACEY A
CENTRAL TRUST BANK THE
LT 2 JAYNES SUBDIVISION PLAT 2
$417,000
MURPHY, STEPHEN M & KRISTY L
NORTH AMERICAN SAVINGS BANK
LT 167 OLD HAWTHORNE PLAT
NO. 2
$400,000
HALE REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS LLC
BURTON, JAMES R & JUDITH A
STR 17-48-12 /NW/NE SUR BK/PG:
482/99 FF TRACT 3
$395,929
HEYEN, KEVIN W & MARY
ELIZABETH
MAINSTREET BANK
STR 28-46-12 //SW SUR BK/PG:
2553/20 AC 10.230
$390,000
BOWLES, RICHARD H & NANCY L
$375,000
STOHLDRIER, DONALD & BELINDA
LANDMARK BANK
LT 127B VILLAS AT OLD
HAWTHORNE PLAT 1 THE
$350,000
KAYSER, THOMAS M & LISA E
HAWTHORN BANK
STR 13-48-13 //SW
$341,000
GRIEBEL, JAYLON S & CINDY G
WELLS FARGO BANK
LT 163 THORNBROOK PLAT 5
$334,000
HUDSON, ERNEST L & LEGRETA
SHELTER MORTGAGE INC.
LT 75 HERITAGE MEADOWS PLAT 4
$329,000
CANAVAN, PAMELA J & STEVEN C
STATE FARM BANK
STR 28-48-11 //SW SUR BK/PG:
3200/6 AC 10.010
$321,300
WATTS CONSTRUCTION CO INC.
LANDMARK BANK
LT 3 HUNTER'S BEND PLAT NO. 1
$315,000
VILES, SHARON MARIE
BOONE COUNTY NATIONAL BANK
LT 71 LAKE WOODRAIL SUB PLAT 6
$308,700
CAMPBELL, JOHN K & RHONDA K
SIRVA MORTGAGE INC.
LT 150-A BELLWOOD PLAT NO 2-A
$300,600
ANDERSON, RUSSELL & ANDREA
BOONE COUNTY NATIONAL BANK
LT 238 OLD HAWTHORNE PLAT
NO. 2
$300,000
LANDRUM, CARL R TRUST
UNION BANK
STR 31-48-12 //S SUR BK/PG: 620/396
FF TRACT 7 & P
$300,000
LEUTHER, THOMAS E & VICKI G
COMMERCE BANK
LT 115 AVALON PLAT 1-A
$300,000
HAWKINS, RICHARD & LISA
CENTRAL TRUST BANK THE
LT 121 WESTCLIFF PLAT 1
$300,000
PATEL, HASMUKH-BHAI A &
URVASHIBEN H
BANK OF MISSOURI THE
LT 60 PL 4 COUNTRY CLUB
FAIRWAYS
$295,480
P & S DEVELOPERS LLC
CALLAWAY BANK THE
LT 30 LAKEVIEW ESTATES PLAT 7
$294,800
HOLLINGSHEAD, MATT W &
JENNIFER A
BANK OF MISSOURI THE
LT 306 HIGHLAND RIDGE PLAT 3
$288,000
BEACON STREET PROPERTIES LLC
HAWTHORN BANK
LT 449 THORNBROOK PLAT NO. 13
A Life Aquatic Scuba LLC
Kevin Kivlahan
573-443-2182
1727 Paris Road
Scuba training and travel
Adam’s Barbershop
Adam Z. Prosser
573-449-7136
108 W. Business Loop 70
Barbershop
BatteryPro
Joshua C. Reynolds
573-289-5282
6640 Stephens Station Road, Ste. 101
Collect automotive batteries for
recycling
Bready North America Inc.
Holly Smith Berry
573-442-3742
33 E. Broadway, Ste. 280
Retail bread machines
Celtic Wyndes Farm Shoppe
Terri L. McHugh
573-289-3127
1800 Commerce Court
Sewing and alterations
Columbia’s Real Food Co-op
Eli Samuel Gay
573-442-0594
220 N. 10th St., Ste. 102
Grocery store
Dr. Carl’s Auto Care
Shahriyar Siraji
573-673-0758
1722 B Paris Road
Auto repair
Dugout Sports Cards
James R. Polacek Jr.
1907 N. Providence Road, Ste. B
Retail sports cards and collectibles
El Jimador
M I Degollado Inc.
1412 Forum Blvd.
Mexican restaurant
Element Yoga & Health Studio
Ashley M. Jenkins
573-446-9700
1506 Chapel Hill Road, Ste. E
Yoga/health/fitness/wellness
Fairfield Inn & Suites
Relax Investments Inc.
573-886-8888
1115 Woodland Springs Court
Motel
Genesis Salon LLC
Carolyn M. Hendren
573-441-6398
1204 Rogers St., Ste. 103
Hair salon
Great Southern Travel
Great Southern Financial Corp.
3103 W. Broadway, Ste. 101
Travel sales
Herstyler
Barbara Turner
479-783-2312
2300 Bernadette Drive
Hair styling products
I D Embroidery
Lisa Dawn Brzycki
573-814-3166
2610 Calvert Drive
Embroidery/promotional products
Junction Real Estate Group LLC
Jane Hardin Gelnda
573-474-3700
1809 Vandiver Drive
Sales, real estate, leasing and
management
La Terraza Grill LLC
Carmen Mendez Arce
128 E. Nifong Blvd.
Mexican restaurant
Lees Lawn Care & Equip LLC
Larry Arthur Lees
660-263-7570
2600 Range Line St.
Small engine sales/repair, mower
sales
National Studios Inc.
National Studios Inc.
314-344-9191
2300 Bernadette Drive
Photography studio
Perfect Eyebrows LLC
Jignesh K. Biscuitwala
573-445-5051
2300 Bernadette Drive, Ste. 916
Eyebrow threading and henna
tattooing
Petro Mart #51
Western Oil Inc.
1300 Fellows Place
Gas/convenience store
R & L Simulators
Roger Rosenbaugh
479-966-5369
2300 Bernadette Drive
Adventure rides
Servicenoodle.com
Russell B. Brett
573-442-6190
302 Campusview Drive, Ste. 207
Service locator website
080 Leasing LLC
Christopher J. Bell
813-247-5223
2300 Bernadette Drive
Hurricane simulator
Shotgun Pete’s BBQ Shack
Philip G. Peters Jr.
701 W. Business Loop 70
Drive-thru restaurant
CoMo Massage/Alison Sower
Alison L. Sower
573-355-8826
19 E. Walnut St., Apt. C
Licensed massage therapist
Studio 1012 LLC
Laura Detert
1012 Park Ave.
Interior design firm
Sunray
Daniel Francis Bugnitz
573-529-0026
220 N. 10th St., Ste. 101
Food producer
Tink’z Hair A’Peal
Charnell Y. Hickem
573-881-7510
101 E. Forest Ave.
Beauty salon
Total Auto Repair
Arthur E. Sims
573-449-6010
3112 Range Line St.
Auto repair
TY Nails
Lanh Ba Thai
1109 E. Business Loop 70
Nail salon
Yoga Sol
Pollyanne Sweitzer
300 St. James St.
Yoga studio
Harpo’s
Towering Oak Enterprises LLC
29 S. 10th St.
Restaurant/bar
Jerry Thompson Watercolors
Jerry D. Thompson
573-499-1423
110 Orr St.
Art Gallery
Mudd Room
Courtney Hawk
573-441-1683
1103 E. Walnut St., Ste. A
Pottery painting
The Frame Shop on Orr Street
Carla J. McElroy
573-442-7333
110 Orr St.
Retail custom picture framing
25 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
NEW BUSINESS LICENSES
26 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Smart Thinking » Cathy Atkins
Is your child a better salesperson than you?
If you want to improve your selling skills and strategies, pay close attention the next time your child attempts to “sell” you on something.
If you have children, preteens or younger, hardly a
day goes by that they aren’t trying to sell you on something: buy them something, take them someplace, relieve them of a chore or other responsibility. The list
goes on.
And what is their “closing” ratio? I suspect it’s
pretty high. Perhaps better than your closing ratio.
You might disagree. You might be thinking, “My
kids are always asking for things, but I don’t give in to
their every request.” That might be true, but let’s analyze it. When kids want something, they plan several
avenues of attack — different approaches with different justifications to support their request — especially
when it’s a request they suspect you won’t readily
grant. So they initiate their first plan. If that doesn’t
work, they go to plan B, plan C and so on until you
finally give in, perhaps after their fifth attempt. From
your perspective, you turned them down four times
out of five, but from their perspective, they “closed”
the first sale. They just had to ask for it five different
ways. Most salespeople accept the first no — or even
the first sign of a no — and abandon the effort.
Why are most children such good salespeople?
Children are not afraid of rejection. In fact, they are
truly shocked when you say no. They fully expect a
yes. That’s why they’re so persistent. Tell a child he or
she can’t have or do something, and be prepared for a
barrage of whys, pleases (typically multisyllable) and
customary explanations: “But everyone else has a cell
phone!”
When self-consciousness kicks in, kids work their
hardest to avoid rejection and negativity. That selfconsciousness, for most of us, lingers into adulthood.
Send a child out in the neighborhood to sell something, and he or she will knock on door after door, up
one side of the street and down the other side, until
he or she makes a sale. Send an adult salesperson out
in the same neighborhood, and he or she will knock
on a few doors and, if not immediately successful,
will make an “intellectual” assessment about the poor
quality of the “territory” and abandon the effort.
Children are persistent and creative in
their approach.
Children are persistent and creative in their approach. The strategy behind their multi-plan attack is
to get you to view their request from different perspectives. Their expectation is that one of those viewpoints
will provide enough justification for you to grant their
request. And they never seem to run out of positions
from which to have you judge that request. They’ll let
it rest long enough to regroup and try a new tactic.
As children we found nothing wrong with that approach. The strategy simply acknowledged the fact
that different people see things differently, and some-
times it takes an examination from a different perspective to see what another sees. As adults, we “refined”
our evaluation of that strategy, labeled it “manipulative” and abandoned it. Too bad.
Children are chronically curious. They are not
afraid to ask questions, especially, “Why? Where?
When? How?” If you turn down one of their requests,
be prepared to answer several follow-up questions. As
adults, we accept a no and then begin to wrestle with
what we did wrong that caused the no. Much of this
deliberation occurs inside our own head. Children, on
the other hand, stay in the moment, and their natural
inquisitiveness kicks in. After a bazillion questions, if
they haven’t worn you down, they’ve at least stripped
away any logic behind your “because I said so” answer. It’s a great lesson in questioning techniques.
And finally, children have gratitude down to a fine
art. Anyone who has ever given in to a child’s salesmanship and been met with a kiss, hug and “I love
you!” knows exactly what I mean.
Yeah, I’m a sucker for my kids.
Pay attention to them. Take notes. You’ll not only
learn something, but you will also gain a greater appreciation for their creativeness, determination and
conviction. Those are pretty good qualities for a salesperson. Wouldn’t you agree? v
© 2009 Sandler Systems Inc. Sandler Training is the
global leader in sales and management training and consulting. For information on classes starting soon, visit
www.savant.sandler.com, or e-mail [email protected]
By Katrina Tauchen
When University Club of MU’s Farm to
Table summit lands in Columbia June 12 and
13, a slew of local, regional and national chefs
will be along for the ride. The summit, aimed at
connecting culinarians with local growers and
producers, will feature two days of demonstrations, seminars and workshops emphasizing
sustainability and the farm-to-table movement.
“So much of this is about awareness,” said John
LaRocca, University Club general manager. “It’s
about networking and collaboration.”
And to help build that collaborative network,
LaRocca and University Club Executive Chef
Daniel Pliska are bringing in some big names:
Headlining Chef, Walter
Scheib: Former White House
Chef Walter Scheib started in
the White House in 1994 as
chef to President Bill Clinton
and the first family, and his
service continued 11 years
and into the presidency of
George W. Bush. During
his time at the White House,
Scheib
Scheib’s work covered everything from small family dinners to large formal
events, and he was known for utilizing products
grown and produced in the U.S.
Since leaving the White House, Scheib coauthored a book, White House Chef: Eleven Years,
Two Presidents, One Kitchen, and founded The
American Chef corporation. His Farm to Table
event highlights will include:
• Lunch with Walter Scheib (June 12,
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. and June 13, 11:30 a.m. –
12:30 p.m.; Carnahan Quad Event Tent)
• Cooking with Walter Scheib (June 12,
4:45 – 5:30 p.m., Reynolds Alumni Center,
Columns Ballroom; June 13, 10:30 a.m. –
11:30 a.m., Farmers Market Stroll Tent)
• Reception and Book Signing with
Walter Scheib (June 12, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Carnahan
Event Tent)
Ann Cooper: Known as The
Renegade Lunch Lady, chef
Ann Cooper has been instrumental in the movement toward bettering food and nutrition in American schools.
She’s the author of four books,
served as past president and
board member of Women’s
Chefs and Restaurateurs, was
Cooper
appointed to serve on the U.S.
Department of Agriculture National Organic
Standards board and was an executive committee member of Chefs Collaborative.
Cooper’s involvement in this year’s summit
includes an invite-only panel discussion titled
“Building a Better School: Model for Feeding
Our Children,” which will address Cooper’s approach to transitioning schools from processed
to whole foods (June 13, 10 – 11:15 a.m., Reynolds
Alumni Center, Don Rey Room). Other events
featuring Cooper include:
• Improving Our Children’s Nutrition
(June 13, 3 – 4 p.m., Farmers Market Stroll Tent)
• Meet the Author and Book Signing
(June 13, 4:15 – 5 p.m., Farmers Market Stroll Tent)
Jonathan Justus: Executive chef of Justus
Drugstore, the Smithville, Mo., restaurant he
co-owns with his wife, Camille Eklof, Jonathan
Justus is no stranger to the farm-to-table movement. In fact, his successful farm-to-table and
sustainability seminar at the University Club’s
Latin Food Summit last year helped serve as inspiration for Farm to Table 2010.
A James Beard semi-finalist for Best New
Restaurant in 2007, Justus follows a culinary
philosophy that emphasizes sustainability and
the 100-mile rule, or using products he can find
within 100 miles of his restaurant. His seminar at this year’s summit is titled “Building an
Infrastructure of Farmers” and will address
building connections among farmers, culinarians and institutions as well as how and where
to find unusual and wild foods (June 12, 3:45 –
4:45 p.m. and June 13, 3:45 – 4:30 p.m., Reynolds
Alumni Center, Columns Ballroom).
Farm to Table’s featured chefs also includes
local chefs Craig Cyr of the Wine Cellar & Bistro
and Mike Odette of Sycamore. Rounding out
the list are chef Bill Cardwell, of Cardwell’s at
the Plaza and BC’s Kitchen in St. Louis; Debbie
Gold, executive chef of The American Restaurant
in Kansas City; Timothy Grandinetti, director
of farmstead operations and executive chef of
Overlook Farm in Clarksville, Mo., and Overlook
Farm in the City in St. Louis; Robert Stricklin,
executive chef at the College of the Ozarks; Julie
Ridlon, founder of Chefs Collaborative St. Louis;
and Dan Wehner, executive chef at The Westside
Local in Kansas City. v
A portion of the proceeds from Farm to Table will
go to the Columbia Farmers Market Pavilion fundraiser, and a portion will go the American Culinary
Federation Central Missouri Chapter. For more about
the event, visit www.f2tuclubmissouri.com.
Farm to Table 2010 is supported by the
following businesses and organizations:
Commerce Bank
KFRU News Talk 1400 AM
KOMU 8
Schnucks
Columbia Business Times
Columbia Home & Lifestyle
Jefferson City Magazine
Missouri Wines
MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural
Resources
MU Sustainability Office
MU College of Arts and Science
Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau
Tin Mill Brewery
O'Fallon Brewery
Ozark Bottled Water
Ronnoco Coffee
Liberty Fruits
Comfort Suites
America's Best Value Inn
Super 8
Missouri Employers Mutual
Missouri Legacy Beef
KBIA
Missouri Beef Industry Council
Williams & Hussey Eyecare
Do you suffer from Dry Eyes?
Chronic Dry Eye Disease affects approximately 20% of our
population. It is the most common of all eye disorders.
What causes Dry Eyes?
• The Aging Process – 75 % of individuals over the age of 65
suffer dry eye symptoms
• Contact Lens Wear
• Hormonal Changes in Women
• Environmental Factors – Smoking, wind, cold, air pollution
• Side Effects of Disease/Medications
What Treatments Are Available?
Depending on the intensity of the condition, treatment may
be as simple as using artificial tears a few times a day. In more
persistent cases, however, prescription dry eye therapies and/or
punctual occlusion may be needed to provide long term relief.
Contact lens wearers have many options of new materials to
improve dry eye symptoms as well.
Dr. Shelley Williams and Dr. Scott Hussey offer vast
experience in treating Chronic Dry Eye Disease. To determine
the appropriate treatment for your individual dry eye
condition, it is essential to have a thorough examination to
determine the cause and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Dry Eye Checklist
RED EYES
TIRED EYES
DECREASED CONTACT
LENS TOLERANCE
DRY THROAT OR
MOUTH
CONTACT LENS
DISCOMFORT
SEASONAL ALLERGIES
ARTHRITIS/JOINT PAIN
BURNING
ITCHING
WATERY EYES
FOREIGN BODY
SENSATION
LIGHT SENSITIVITY
SANDY OR GRITTY
FEELING
OCCASIONAL
TEARING
CONSTANT TEARING
PAIN OR SORENESS IN
OR AROUND EYES
If you experience three of more of the symptoms listed above, you
may be suffering from CDED. Left untreated, your symptoms will
most likely intensify, making your daily life unpleasant, or worse,
deteriorate your visual acuity.
If in doubt, call to schedule your dry eye evaluation today.
Dry Eye Disease may be covered by your Health Insurance
Provider. We are providers for VSP, Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield,
United Healthcare, Mercy, Medicare, Healthlink, & Coventry.
Call to schedule your appointment today.
Browse our selection of glasses online...
www.MyEyedentityEyewear.com
2 2 0 0 Fo r u m B l v d . S u i t e 1 0 2 , C o l u m b i a , M O 6 5 2 0 3
|
(573) 445-8780
27 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
U Club’s Farm to Table features
some big-name chefs
Learning to disconnect
Smart phones have become wildly popular since
Apple’s iPhone captured the hearts of people of all
ages. My husband has an iPhone, my best friend has
an iPhone, and one of my employees came to work
last week and announced that her 80-year-old grandmother has an iPhone. Even I used to have a smart
phone, back when they were just for the busy business
professional. And guess what — I hated it.
When you have a smart phone, you are always
connected. You receive your e-mails on the spot,
wherever you are, whenever you want. Seems nice,
right? Except I don’t want to be that connected. I eventually let my smart phone go in favor of a plain old cell
phone. It doesn’t get e-mails, and it doesn’t surf the
net, but if I need to call someone, it gets the job done.
And if someone needs to call me, it does that, too. But
I don’t even like that very much, so I rarely give out
the phone number.
One of my husband’s favorite new shows is The
Marriage Ref on NBC. It offers a voyeuristic view into
other people’s marriage arguments. In many ways, it’s
kind of sick, but I have to admit that we enjoy watching it. On a recent episode, one of the conflicts was
over a wife’s cell phone habits. Her Blackberry was
always abuzz with text messages and e-mails. It had
become such an issue that her husband was feeling
neglected. I’d feel neglected, too, if my spouse answered texts and e-mails during dinner or while taking a drive. He used to be much worse about doing
this but has really made an effort to focus on me instead of his phone. However, the woman on the TV
show was even texting during intimate moments with
her husband! What could she possibly be saying?
Although having a smart phone can be a great convenience, it’s important to remember to disconnect every once in a while. Many health experts warn against
technology addiction for the adverse effects it can
have on your health, such as headaches, eye strain,
stress, insomnia and relationship issues. Aside from
all of that, I would suggest disconnecting simply for
sanity’s sake. Your brain just needs a break!
Let’s work on adopting some basic ground rules.
Try shutting down your phone at a few key times:
While in bed. Whether you are relaxing with your
family, being intimate with your partner or actually
sleeping, keep the phone out of the bedroom. Your
phone won’t be lonely, and your relationship with
your loved ones will be better for it. You might even
get a better night’s sleep because you won’t wake up
every time your phone rumbles to tell you you’ve received some spam e-mail at 4 a.m.
While on vacation. An astounding 83 percent of
people check their e-mail every day on vacation, according to a study by AOL. I understand the relief that
can come from knowing there are no fires at the office that you need to put out, but remember the No. 1
reason you went on vacation: to get away and relax.
So don’t obsess over checking your e-mails, and don’t
check so often that you end up working away your
much-deserved time away from the office.
While out with friends. For me, there is nothing
more obnoxious than being out with a friend who
talks on his or her phone while we are together. I even
had someone cut me off mid-sentence so she could answer the call of another friend. She then proceeded to
have a 10-minute chat about her niece’s baby shower
while I sat awkwardly across the table and waited for
our food. In addition to making your friends feel awkward, didn’t you get together with them so you could
catch up and nurture your friendships? Make plans
later to hook up with the friend on the phone.
While in a meeting. This seems obvious to some,
but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen go into a
meeting wearing a Bluetooth earpiece. In my opinion,
it’s just not polite, and it takes your attention away
from the meeting at hand. If you are interviewing for
a job or trying to sell me something, I can almost guarantee I won’t be impressed by your Bluetooth, and I
probably won’t be pleased to hear your phone ringing
in your pocket either.
If you think your technology dependence is a true
addiction, consider cutting yourself off one step at a
time. Leave your phone at home one day a week, cut
the number of times you check your e-mail in half, or
just make sure you aren’t committing one of the faux
pas I’ve mentioned above. If you need a little more
help, visit Dr. Oz’s website. He has a four-week plan
for cutting technology use to a healthy level. v
Lili Vianello is President of Visionworks Marketing &
Communications, a Columbia-based, full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm. Contributions to
this article were made by Visionworks staff members. Visit
them online at www.visionworks.com.
29 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
Getting the Word Out » Lili Vianello
photos by jennifer kettler
30 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
NEW BUSINESS update
ABOVE: From left, owners Lisa AdamsLloyd, Dale Lloyd, Art Smith and
Jack Stanley practice studio lighting
techniques in their 2,400-square-foot
photography studio.
LEFT: Art Smith moves his 22-footlong soft box that he built out of
copper piping and fabric. It's used to
light cars and large objects.
PURE plans to promote
photography as art
By Jenny Kettler
PURE Photography Gallery and Studio
opened its doors at 504 E. Broadway on April
23. Already showcasing fine art photography
from eight local artists, the new gallery plans
to continue supporting the photography community with classes, studio space and professional services.
“What we are doing here at PURE
Photography Gallery and Studio is unprecedented in the Midwest,” co-owner Lisa AdamsLloyd said. “We are representing local fine art
photographers and their work as well as offering
professional studio space for photographers of
all skill and experience levels.”
With more than 100 years of combined photography experience, owners Art Smith, Lisa
Adams-Lloyd, Dale Lloyd and Jack Stanley
created PURE to promote photography as art.
“The opportunity to open a door for artists
in a format that is professional is very exciting,” Stanley said. “The idea that we can take
photography as an art form and promote it by
stepping it up a level is probably the most inspiring part of this.”
The gallery offers a vast collection of fine
art images for home and office decoration
from award-winning photographers such as
Lloyd, Woody Woodward, Carry Yonley and
Martin Spilker.
“If you’re a bank or a shop and need some
fine art for your walls, we’re a one-stop shop
for that,” Stanley said.
Artists selected to be part of the gallery
pay a monthly fee to display their work and
have access to the studio and conference
room facilities.
For other artists and photographers in the
community, a 2,400-square-foot studio space
can be rented out by the hour. Four studio
spaces with multiple backdrops and backgrounds and more than $10,000 worth of lighting equipment are available.
“You can do cars with our large 22-footlong soft box, interior home shots with our
brick wall, fashion photography, product
lighting and even film shots with our green
screen,” Stanley said. “We created PURE so
photographers could get access to the gallery
and deliver most of their work and business
from this location.”
In addition to providing studio and gallery space, PURE has a photographic reference library open to the public. The company
offers classes and provides photo walks and
photo trips throughout the year. This summer, PURE is offering classes for studio lighting and amateur and advanced photography, as well as a kids day camp. To sign up
for classes or to get more information, visit
www.pureimaginggroup.com. v
Reuter ... continued from Page 19
Chilters, who ended up
working for Reuter for six
years, said Reuter taught
him the ropes of working
with mortgages, which was
the primary operation of
Liberty Financial at this time.
He called Reuter a “mentor.”
“He taught me from the
ground up,” Chilters said.
A few years later, court
documents
state, Reuter’s
Far right, Nathan Reuter on a hunting trip.
“ambitions grew.” He moved
his operation to Columbia
and expanded it to include investment opportunities. He bought a
strip mall on Green Meadows Road and formed Green Meadows
Properties LLC and Bluff Creek Properties LLC in June 2002. He
sold the strip mall on Green Meadows and acquired another on
Nifong Boulevard, worth up to $3 million.
It was around this time that Reuter became acquainted with
Daryl Miles Brown. In August 2003, Reuter and Brown formed
Vertical Group, under which six subsidiaries were formed. Reuter
brought with him to the company three-fourths of Liberty’s staff
after that company closed in March 2004.
Reuter said in July 2008 in a deposition that he had never
checked into Brown’s background.
“He walked the walk, and, I mean, the last time I went to the
dentist, I didn’t ask for a copy of his diploma either,” Reuter said,
according to a transcript. “He’s a dentist.”
According to the bankruptcy judge’s ruling, Reuter was impressed by Brown’s fantastic stories — stories about his days playing football for the Kansas City Chiefs, about being a highly competent securities salesman hobnobbing with the rich and famous,
about being close with Donald Trump’s “people” and Michael
Jordan’s “people.” These were stories that Reuter had retold to
potential investors as fact but that later proved to be untrue.
One story he passed on to Trom in October 2004, when Trom
approached his friend about getting a loan to buy a business, was
that Brown had access to both $2 billion in “papers” and a highly
profitable trust.
Reuter told Trom that through his association with Brown,
he could access a low-risk, high-yield investment program that
could net him $5 million as long as Trom was willing to fork over
an initial investment of $175,000. He was told the money would
be used to acquire “standby letters of credit.”
Reuter said that he and two other investors would even put
up $175,000 of their own money and that the money would be
forwarded to a “Dr. B,” or Dr. Bichai, a man whom Brown had
vouched for but wanted to keep a secret. In addition, because this
investment deal was a “special opportunity,” there would be no
contracts, according to court documents.
In the three months after Trom wired the money over, he never
got his promised payoff. What he did get from Reuter and other
officers at the company were excuses: delays resulting from the
holiday season, government restrictions on the flow of the euro,
Dr. Bichai taking junkets in the Cayman Islands or being too
drugged up to sign contracts because of the painkillers he was
taking for injuries he received in a car accident — Trom heard it all.
Andrew Ryder, an FBI agent involved with an investigation
into Vertical, for which search warrants were issued in March
2005, testified in an affidavit that though he was investigating
the company, a loan officer there had looked into “Dr. B” after
payments were missed. The officer found that there was a federal
indictment against a “Dr. B,” a.k.a. Samuel Bichai of Clearwater,
Fla., who was charged with more than 80 counts of fraud.
The officer had told Reuter about the indictments.
In addition, Reuter knew by February 2005 that Dr. B had
made off with the money. But Trom would not find out about this
until a few months later in May 2005, after more investors were
offered a similar deal by Vertical. Reuter then apologized and said
he had been duped as well.
Reuter also knew at this point that the Missouri commissioner
of securities had conducted an investigation into the company in
late 2004.
In his opinion, Judge Dow wrote that Reuter is “financially
successful” and “sophisticated,” with a “sharp business acumen.”
photo by jennifer kettler
Chilters, whose fiancée lost the largest amount of
money of all the investors involved in the lawsuit, said
he trusted Reuter with “his life.”
“We had Nate’s word,” Chilters said.
The investors filed a lawsuit against Reuter in 2006,
and in 2007 Reuter lost his representation because the
court ruled that his attorneys, who were also acting as
counsel for Vertical, could not represent Reuter individually. Thus he could not defend himself against the
accusations made in the lawsuit.
Reuter filed for bankruptcy protection, which prevented him from paying the damages that the plaintiffs claimed were owed to them.
Recouping losses
The May 19 decision means a trust fund set up
in his wife’s name and his holdings in Bluff Creek
Properties and Green Meadows Properties could be
liquidated to reimburse investors.
In an April ruling, the judge decided that Reuter is
responsible for investors’ losses because Reuter knew
that he and other officers in the company were not certified by the Missouri Secretary of State office to trade
securities, that Brown had participated in “fraudulent
business activities” and because Reuter had already
expressed that he had trouble trusting Cole.
The judge wrote that Reuter had misrepresented
himself and the company and had worked to create
a “false impression of legitimacy, trustworthiness and
credibility.”
For the most part, the investors said they are satisfied by the ruling in the bankruptcy court. But they
said Reuter got off easy by not getting charged in
criminal courts.
Chilters said the punishment should have been
harsher.
“When he’s penniless and broke and has no assets,
that’s when justice is served,” Chilters said.
According to a transcript of a taped deposition
from July 2008, Reuter said he didn’t make any money
from Vertical and that the family had a negative cash
flow.
He sold his house on Woodbury Court for $400,000
and now works as a self-employed carpenter in
Columbia. The bankruptcy ruling indicates that Reuter
has no disposable income, receives an allowance from
the trust fund and has given no indication that he will
seek any more lucrative career opportunities.
Daniels, Reuter’s lawyer, said the case and the ensuing media attention have “ruined” Reuter’s life.
Trom, because of his closeness with Reuter, has
been the main point of contact for the news media
since the scam made headlines and offered his words
in statements released by David Brown, the attorney
for the investors. But he said it was a job he would
rather not have.
At this point, Trom said, he’s lost the anger he once
had over the investment scam.
“Yeah, it pisses me off,” Trom said. “But I don’t sit
and stew over it every day.”
Trom, a district sales manager for Trail King, a national distributor of customized semi-trailers used for
transporting construction equipment, has been more
worried about falling sales numbers from a sagging
construction market than the “drawn out process” of
trying to recoup his money in the court system.
He said he would even forgive Reuter if he approached him today and “owned up” to his role in the
loss of his money.
Reuter has recently tried to recoup some losses
of his own in bankruptcy courts. He asked the judge
about a rifle he lent Trom before the investment deal.
Trom said that got some laughs in the courtroom and
said he intends to hold on to the rifle.
“It might be all I ever get,” Trom said. v
31 May 29, 2010 Columbia Business Times | ColumbiaBusinessTimes.com
In a meeting with Brown,
they learned about an investment opportunity with
which the company was
involved.
When they came back for
a subsequent meeting about
this opportunity, the plaintiffs said it appeared Reuter
was in control of things. He
sat at the head of the table,
directed the meeting and
fielded questions. Fields
was also told that it would
only be about 30 days before
he started seeing returns on
his investment.
For Fields, it wasn’t just
the deal that sounded pleasing; so did Reuter. He said
Reuter talked about his
family and told him he was
Catholic. He told Fields that
he wanted to build a church.
It sounded like such a
sure thing that Fields —
who, like many of the plaintiffs in the case, had never
invested before — put up
$50,000.
Like Trom, Fields did
not receive the payout he
had been expecting on the
date he was told he would
receive it. When he approached Vertical’s officers
about the status of his inMike Trom looks through court documents from a lawsuit that he and eight other investors filed vestment, they offered the
against local businessman Nathan Reuter. Trom, who knew Reuter for 12 years and allegedly lost retired insurance agent a job
$175,000 in the securities scam, said "If you can't screw your friends, who can you screw? I'm past managing the company’s inangry; at this point I just want to see justice."
surance portfolio.
But when Fields returned
The judge said that though Reuter lost money on the
to the company, this time as an employee, things were
deal, he did not have the right to be reckless with his
different. The company’s computers had been confisneighbor’s money.
cated by the FBI, who had already begun investigating
Trom said it was more than just recklessness on the
Vertical. Brown explained to Fields that it was just a
part of Reuter that led to the loss of his money.
mistake.
“It’s so complex and convoluted,” Trom said. “It’s
Amy House, an accountant for Vertical, told the FBI
an amazing little scam he pulled.”
in May 2005 that Reuter, Brown, Williams and Chuck
Bowman, another officer, were known as the “Ivory
“We had Nate’s word…”
Tower” of the business and that their meetings togethThe other investors named in the lawsuit against
er were usually held in secret.
Reuter were offered a slightly different deal from
When Fields began to work for the company, he
Trom.
was told that Reuter had resigned.
Their money would be wired to an escrow account
More red flags were raised for Fields when he bemaintained by Dennis Cole, an escrow agent in Florida.
gan to look into the company’s insurance portfolio. He
There were promises of big returns with no risk.
discovered there wasn’t one.
Cole, who had knowledge that Vertical had been
“There was nothing there,” Fields said. “There was
involved in illegitimate practices, cooperated with ina shell of nothing. Everything was gone.”
vestigators when he received federal charges for his
Legal troubles for the company began to mount.
dealings with Vertical.
The Missouri Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit
Chilters and his fiancée, LaDonna Henderson,
against the company in May 2005, and Brown was arneeded a loan for a friend to start a convenience store
rested at gunpoint in September 2005 at his Columbia
and approached Reuter to help. He told them they
home for federal wire fraud.
would need to front $300,000 to show that their assets
Brown is currently serving a 15-year sentence in a
were liquid. Then he told them about an investment
federal prison.
deal that within one month would return their princiReuter was never arrested for anything to do with
pal investment, plus $700,000.
Vertical. In his 2008 testimony, he blamed the probOn Feb. 1, 2005, Henderson wired the investment
lems with the investments on Brown. But investors
to an escrow account in Florida.
disagree.
Later that month, James Fields of Lenexa, Kan., and
Fields said he never would have invested in the
an associate were shopping for loans to rehabilitate
company if it weren’t for Reuter. He said he “trusted
houses and heard about Vertical from Rick Williams,
in Nate.”
an officer in the company.
“I would not have been taken if it weren’t for
Fields said Williams told him that Reuter could get
Nate,” Fields said.
Fields in with the “movers and shakers” of trading.