SAA members encouraged to begin building professional network

Posted on Oct 22, 2015 in Alumni News and News

SAA Networking Night, October 2015

“One thing we all have in common is our Jayhawk network,” Mark van Blaricum told students at the Student Alumni Association’s Networking Night event on October 20.

More than thirty members of SAA attended the popular event, modeled after “speed dating” events, to meet alumni, make connections and learn more about the business world.

Van Blaricum, b’99, l’02, g’08, gave the keynote address at the event, and reminded students that there are many different ways they can gain leadership skills. He has worked as an attorney in various healthcare settings since 2006, serving as the risk manager at a hospital, a compliance officer for a safety-net health insurance plan, as well as practicing law at a small healthcare firm.  Van Blaricum is also a freelance ghostwriter for Inc.com and other outlets. He has a passion for health and wellness, and gives presentations on health-related topics to groups across Kansas City.

After the keynote, students had the opportunity to meet with alumni in small groups.

Other alumni who participated in the event include:

Kelli Calhoon, e’01, a senior Manager for Ramboll Environ US Corporation, who manages air quality and other environmental permitting and compliance projects for a variety of manufacturing industry clients, including power generation, oil & gas, cement, construction materials, and fertilizer manufacturing. She manages and prepares technical work and has extensive experience with business development and sales in the environmental services industry.

Mark Frutiger, b’01, an Account Manager II—Institutional Servicing for KeyBank, who manages pool loans in the Institutional Servicing group. He works with borrowers, lenders and other stakeholders to make sure loans are in compliance and operating within established guidelines. He is an advocate for the borrower and the lender.

Grant Kollman, c’10, associate director  and investment sales specialist at Berkadia Real Estate Services who focuses on the acquisition, disposition, and advisement of multifamily assets throughout the Midwest.

Tom Larkin, a’09, vice president of development for Flint Hills Holdings Group, LLC, who oversees real estate development sourcing and project management for the state of Kansas and parts of the Kansas City Metro.

Mike Walrod, b’90, a consultant and business coach who helps business owners and executives gain clarity over what they want to accomplish. He collaborates with them on the critical next steps needed for success.

Jerry Younger, e’86, g’92, the deputy secretary and state transportation engineer who provides the executive day-to-day leadership for 2400 employees of KDOT. He is responsible for the effective and efficient management of a 10,000 mile state highway system as well as involvement in other transportation modes (bike/pedestrian, rail, transit, aviation). He also serves as the chief engineer for KDOT.

“As you climb the career ladder, you will be put in charge of people. Their success will depend on your success, ” explained Younger.

SAA Networking Night, October 2015

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Crimson and Blues

Posted on May 1, 2013 in Alumni News and News

More than 800 Jayhawks–including Coach Bill Self and his wife, Cindy–turned out for the 18th annual Rock Chalk Ball April 27 at the Overland Park Convention Center. The ball is the largest annual event hosted by the KU Alumni Association’s Kansas City Chapter.

In keeping with the “Crimson and Blues” theme, guests picked up souvenir sunglasses as they entered the reception, serenaded by the sounds of live jazz, courtesy of student musicians in the Lucas Parker Trio. A special exhibition from KU Libraries, “Rhythm and Meaning: Jazz at KU,” highlighted the libraries’ Sound Archive, one of the largest jazz collections west of the Mississippi. Guests mingled during the reception as they kept their eyes on their bids in the silent auction.

Trumpet players ushered guests into the ballroom for a rousing performance of KU favorites by KU Spirit Squad, Pep Band and Mascots. Emcee John Holt, j’81, l’84, introduced event chairs Howard, b’79, and Debbi Cohen, assoc., and Nick, b’04, and Clare Blasi, assoc. along with Brooke Briley Robison, d’01, g’04, and Mark Frutiger, b’01, who led the Rock Chalk Ball committee for the Kansas City Chapter.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and her husband, Shade Little, continued their tradition of being the first couple on the dance floor. This year they sported their souvenir sunglasses, as did many other dancers of all ages amid the soulful sounds of the Karen Davis Project. Those who craved dessert enjoyed flaming Bananas Foster, prepared by chefs stationed throughout the ballroom

When the dancing ended and the lights came up at midnight, the party was still going strong. Jayhawks, mark your calendars for the next Rock Chalk Ball, April 26, 2014!

–Jennifer Jackson Sanner

Check out photos from Rock Chalk Ball in the slideshow below:

Click here if you can’t see the slideshow. Photos by Steve Puppe and Dan Storey.

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