Nominate an Entrepreneur to Speak at the Library

Library Life
John McDonald
Help decide who gets to follow John McDonald in our Cradle of Entrepreneurs series.

We want to hear from you! What local business owner has inspired you, uplifted your community, or provided a model for doing business? The Kansas City Public Library is hosting a series of public conversations with entrepreneurs who have made KC a better place to do business – and to live. We want your input.

Named for a landmark 2004 address by Kauffman Foundation president Carl Schramm, the Cradle of Entrepreneurs series emphasizes the role of the entrepreneur in making Kansas City great. In each event, Library Director Crosby Kemper III conducts a live interview and Q&A session with a local business exemplar.

So far, Crosby has spoken with Gail Lozoff, owner of SPIN! Pizza, and John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Co. (Click their names to read re-caps of the events, which drew a combined audience of 655 people.)

Upcoming Cradle of Entrepreneurs events include:

  • October 11: Mary Carol Garrity of Nell Hill’s – Central Library, 6:30 p.m.
  • November 15: Danny O’Neill of The Roasterie – Plaza Branch, 7:30 a.m.
  • November 16: Ollie Gates of Gates Bar-B-Q – Central Library, 6:30 p.m.

But we’re still looking to book more great entrepreneurs – and that’s where you come in.

Tell us which Kansas City business owner you want to see featured in our Cradle of Entrepreneurs series. From seasoned veterans to young upstarts, we’re interested in all comers. It takes all kinds of entrepreneurs, after all, to build a community.

Here’s how to nominate an entrepreneur

  1. Post a comment on this blog entry in the space provided below. (Note: If you post outside of regular business hours, it may take until the next morning for your comment to appear.)
  2. Write your nomination on our Facebook wall. (And be sure to “like” the Library to stay in touch with the conversation.)
  3. Tweet your nomination to @KCLibrary. (Don’t forget to follow us, too!)

The virtual floor is open, Kansas City. Who will you place on the stage?

Video: Cradle of Entrepreneurs conversation with John McDonald.

-- Jason Harper


Cradle of Entrepreneurs

I personall would like to see some one that is not so noted in the area such as a new entrepreneurs. Some one that has made a sucess in business during the resession. All of the folks that are planned are noted people with longevity in business and most of us have already seen them in various interviews.

Google Fiber

I'd also love to have a night dedicated to Google and how their investment in our community can be capitalized on by local entrepreneurs. Could have someone from Google come and moderate as we discuss how the Google Fiber project effects Kansas City and it's different industries. That's the most helpful thing I can think of for local entrepreneurs..


I totally agree with Dylan Allen. Well said.

Alen B.
seo services uk prices

John Scott, owner of Scott Fitness

I would like to nominate John Scott, owner of Scott Fitness for his selfless desire to improve people's health by creating a safe, welcoming and affordable gym where anybody can feel comfortable get in shape regardless of size, age or physical ability.

John Scott humorously explained his [gym] philosophy best on his website when he wrote, "No contracts. No sign up fees. No cancellation fees ... Scott Fitness is for people who want an enjoyable place to exercise. We discourage body builders, grunting power lifters and spandex ..."

Every member has 24 hour access to all four locations (except the Briarcliff location until handscanner is installed), a selection of free classes, access to certified trainers, private, individual showers and bathrooms, couples discounts (a couple is any two people signing up together), six and twelve month discounts and plenty of equipment.

In short, John Scott has created a member-focused gym with the primary goal of getting people heathy and in shape with the secondary goal of being profitable and expansive which is an honorable thing.

Entrepreneurship Class / Get Together

How about a one night class / get together for local entrepreneurs to come and share ideas about what will benefit the community. The moderator can be a respected entrepreneur who helps guide the conversation.

Entrepreneur Nomination

I would like to nominate Raul Villegas. Raul is a young entrepreneur who came to Kansas City with the love of soccer and the desire to share it with others. Four years ago he opened a soccer store and one year following started a soccer league. His soccer leagues are for men, women, and youth. What seperates Raul from the others is the way he reaches out to the community. There are many children that want to participate in extra curricular activities but are unable to based on their families' income. Raul saw the need, especially in the hispanic community, and wanted to give them the opportunity to be apart of a team. He feels that playing sports helps children build teamwork, promotes healthy activity, and brings the community together. Because of the importance he places on soccer he waves the fees for the youth teams so that all can participate reguardless of income. These fees are normally around $20,000 per year for all of the teams combined. Most of his youth, ages five to seventeen, are from Wyandotte County and the Northeast area. This year he has fourty-four teams which equals out to about 700 youth players. This I believe makes a huge impact on the community in the lower income areas and gives some children an opportunity that they would not of otherwise had. One of his accomplishments was to be the first youth team to play in the Livestrong stadium.

Entrepreneur Speaker

Though she is an educator, I think the new Dean of the KU School of Business, Neeli Bendapudi, would be an excellent guest. She is very energetic, knowledgeable and an expert in Service Quality and Services Marketing and Management.

KC Entrepreneur Nomination

I'd like to nominate Julie Koppen, publisher of Greenability Magazine. A pioneer in the "green" publishing business, her magazine boasts the most advanced eco features of any publication in the area, and her work to connect the community of Kansas City around environmental issues is inspiring. She definitely deserves to be a speaker in the Cradle of Entrepreneurs.

Post new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <b> <blockquote> <br> <center> <dd> <div> <dl> <dt> <em> <font> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <hr> <i> <img> <li> <ol> <p> <pre> <span> <strong> <sub> <sup> <table> <td> <tr> <u> <ul>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

The words below come from scanned books. By typing them, you help to digitize old texts and prevent automated spam submissions.