Speaker Date Topic
Rebecca Williams Jun 30, 2021
Year of Service Closing and Introduction of New Officers
Suzi Hallas Jul 14, 2021
Monarchs Baseball
Monarchs Baseball

Suzi is the Manager of Special Events & Community Engagement for the Kansas City Monarchs Baseball Organization.

Her current responsibilities include planning events at Legends Field (previously T-Bones Stadium) as well and community outreach throughout the Kansas City area and region. She is also involved in expanding our partnership with The Negro League Baseball Museum.

Previously Suzi spent 30 years in the hotel/event planning industry handling group sales and marketing, operational planning for meetings and events as well as strategic alignment with key accounts.

She is a graduate from the University of Kansas, with a bachelor’s degree in visual communications.

She continues to volunteer at Read to Lead, Leawood Rotary events, K-State mentorship at the school of hospitality as well and many additional annual events.

Jen Greenstreet Jul 21, 2021
Just Like You Films
Farmer Bob Ralph Aug 11, 2021
Princeton Popcorn
Princeton Popcorn

Farmer Bob is a first-generation farmer. Born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas, he always had a love for agriculture. As an adult he was able to explore this interest and settled upon popcorn as his crop of choice.

Bob grew up in the suburbs but always felt the rural life was interesting. So, he bought some cows…. Then purchased a farm for his cattle, Bob needed to put up a fence since it didn’t have one. In preparing the farm for a brand new fence, he hires his friend, Bryan, to bring his bulldozer to the farm and clear the fence line. Bryan does this by pushing over trees and piling them up. After the fence was installed, the piles of trees were left to dry out. Eventually, when the weather was right [show snow on the ground], Bob lit the piles on fire and burned them up. Parts that didn’t burn were piled up again and burned. Eventually, it left the ground with a coating of ash. Bob had a thought! I have just enriched the soil. I ought to grow something… but what? How do you grow crops? Nobody in Bob’s family has ever had anything to do with agriculture.

After days of thinking about it and considering various crops, he decided on popcorn. He went to the store and bought a bag off of the shelf and planted it by hand in the soil with ash mixed in. After a week or so, the popcorn plants emerged from the soil! What a shock! It worked!

Carefully tending to the corn over the summer, it eventually reached maturity, matured, turned brown and dried out. Hand harvesting the ears, the anticipation was growing. There was elation when the kernels actually popped in a hot air popper. From that, a business was born. Popcorn it is! BUT, it must be vertically integrated so he can control each step of the process to ensure quality. The thought of seed-to-store was born. Bob, now Farmer Bob, will become a first-generation farmer and plant, raise, harvest, pop, flavor and package the popcorn himself. 

Scaling up, Farmer Bob plants many more aces of popcorn with well-researched hybrid popcorn varieties, formulates the recipe for the different flavors and purchases custom-designed production equipment. Now, Farmer Bob has planted 130 acres of popcorn that appeared on store shelves in late 2019. 

Sarah Fustine Aug 25, 2021
Pioneer Partners, LLC

Consulting firm passionate about improving the quality of life and communities through smart technology, design thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.