Client Success

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Initiatives Success Story PowerPartners

Initiatives was retained by the PowerPartners, a joint labor management coalition designed to promote the use of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) contractors and the IBEW Local Union 124 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The goal was to find a more effective business development approach. The first step taken was to ask industry stakeholders their perspective on what needed to happen to enhance the image and increase market share for journeymen electricians and the signatory contractors who employed them.

Six findings came to the forefront that ultimately became the foundation for a strategic business development campaign:

  1. Leverage your training capabilities
  2. Replenish and grow your ranks
  3. Develop partnerships with strategic targets
  4. Don’t just declare, demonstrate value
  5. Enhance the union image
  6. Think outside the box to become more competitive

A roundtable of many of these industry stakeholders was formed as an ad hoc advisory board. Initiatives arranged and conducted numerous joint calls to owners, contractors and developers. These calls included both labor and management representatives and began the process of developing strategic relationships necessary for business development. Many other relationships were developed with municipalities, industry associations, business groups, civic groups and economic development entities. All aspects of this business development campaign were held accountable with specific, measurable goals and objectives.

With a targeted marketing approach, Initiatives partnered with public relations firms that provided focused campaigns that are now changing the image of the IBEW and NECA contractors in the Kansas City area.

The “Power Partners” is now recognized as the flagship business development program for the Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades Council. In March 2007, Initiatives was the first company ever to receive the Labor-Management Council of Greater Kansas City’s Labor-Management Cooperation Leadership Award along with the Power Partners for their innovative and progressive approach to grow market share.

PowerPartners SWOT Analysis

KU Medical Center

Initiatives Success Story KUMed

In 2003, The University of Kansas Medical Center acquired a five-year, $8 million HRSA grant to build and enhance response capacity statewide in the event of a disaster mass casualty event caused by terrorism and natural disasters. The goal of the program was to develop a disaster response training program in various parts of the State of Kansas to prepare first responders from public health and safety to:

  1. Recognize terrorist and natural disasters, and;
  2. Respond in a coordinated, multidisciplinary manner.

In order to bring reality to the program, it was required to find a large concrete building and partially demolish it to simulate a bomb explosion. Next, an internationally recognized disaster training event coordinator, Rescue Training Associates (, loads concrete and steel obstacles into the partially demolished structure to add more difficulty to challenge first responders. In the end, KU Med provides a great public service but walks away from the structure leaving the cleanup for the owner of the building.

Obviously, it is difficult to find someone to donate a large building for this purpose. The first major event conducted was in the Kansas City area and it took two years for KU Med to find someone willing to donate a building for the exercise. The next location in Kansas for the grant was in South Central Kansas, an area of the State where KU Med did not have as strong business and political contacts needed to find a building.

Initiatives, Inc. was hired by KU Med in December 2005 to help find buildings and develop the business and political relationships necessary for KU Med to successfully conduct such a large scale event. In a matter of two months, Initiatives found four buildings. Due to the high interest and participation, KU Med later requested more buildings to accommodate high levels of enrollment in the program. Initiatives delivered two more within a month.

KU Med also wanted to use this opportunity to develop political and private sector contacts in a 19 county area in South Central Kansas. Initiatives made several introductions to political and business leaders in the Wichita community where the event took place. These introductions promoted KU Med as a strong community partner among key business and civic organizations in South Central Kansas. Initiatives was also instrumental in driving roles and responsibilities by keeping key public officials and businesses involved in the event operationally and on cue to ensure the event’s success in October 2007.

See photos of the disaster training event!

Alternative Energy Sources

Initiatives Success Story AES

Alternative Energy Sources, Inc. was established June 19, 2006 and headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. As a development stage alternative energy company, it constructed, owned and operated ethanol plants, acting as a consistent pipeline to the end-blender or refineries.

Alternative Energy Sources needed to create an investor presentation and business plan for institutional investors. Its purpose was to raise enough capital to build ethanol plants throughout the Midwest.

Initiatives, Inc. was approached by Alternative Energy Sources to perform an analysis of the current and future state of the ethanol industry, outline Alternative Energy Sources’ key differentiators and compile it all in a format that provided precise and succinct information that would sell to investors. All of it had to be backed up by comprehensive industry, market and financial data.

A rapid turnaround was necessary and Initiatives quickly put together a team of professionals with expertise in market intelligence, business plan development, presentation skills and media relations. The aggressive timeframe was met and Alternative Energy Sources was able to approach the investor community in a fully prepared and timely manner.


Initiatives Success Story PAZ

Azzy Reckess, President of PAZ Health Care Management, established a business presence in Kansas by purchasing the former Halstead Hospital/Halstead Hospital campus last September. The purchase of this 275,000 square foot health care facility presented several business opportunities primarily related to the health care industry.

The challenge was to quickly turn this investment into a revenue-producing facility while growing it for mid and long term profitably in the health care industry. An immediate opportunity was to convert part of the former Halstead Hospital into a call center. The plan was to employ local residents to provide a diversified employment base for non-health care workers in the community.

Initiatives, Inc. was retained to establish the Halstead Hospital as the location for the Kansas Child Support Enforcement Program Call Center. Initiatives’ primary responsibility was to sell the merits of Halstead and the former Halstead Hospital as the best location for the State.

Challenged with a late start in the process and the task of identifying the proper resources in a new and unfamiliar market, it was necessary to explore ways to accelerate the networking and qualification process. Initiatives was given the task to develop and implement a successful strategy for PAZ Health Care Management in a short period of time.

Research was conducted on a national basis. Several qualified vendors were identified and approached. The most prominent national vendors specializing in child support collections call centers had already chosen communities in other areas of the State. After exploring numerous possible options, Initiatives identified USA-800 as a highly-qualified vendor and sold them on the merits of bidding on the call center in an extremely competitive environment. USA-800 agreed to partner with PAZ Health Care and use the Halstead Hospital as its call center location.

Initiatives worked with USA-800, PAZ Health Care Management, the Halstead Community and the Harvey County Economic Development Council to identify the proper resources and strategy necessary to sell the State of Kansas. Together, they successfully landed the Kansas Child Support Enforcement Program Call Center.

Kansas Logistics Park

Initiatives Success Story KLP

Initiatives developed a “Regional Economic Vision for Transportation” in 2008 for the Harvey County Economic Development Council. One of the major findings was that Newton, Kansas has a unique combination of existing assets that makes it a viable candidate for a logistics park that consolidates and transports goods from truck to rail and vice versa throughout the region.

The City of Newton, Harvey County, Watco Corporation and TransLink, Inc. agreed to pursue developing a logistics park in Newton, Kansas. Its initial focus was to begin serving as a staging area for wind energy components.


The City of Newton secured over 500 acres devoted to the Kansas Logistics Park ( and is now in the process of building out its infrastructure. This initiative landed a major wind energy manufacturer, Tindall Corporation, out of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Tindall is building a $66 million manufacturing facility that will employ over 400 people at the Kansas Logistics Park. The facility will manufacture patented precast concrete pedestals that will raise wind turbines another 100 feet to gain more efficiency.

This announcement continues to receive tremendous regional and state support from the general public. Foreign wind energy manufacturers are now becoming aware of the Kansas Logistics Park as a prime location site and Initiatives continues to team with the Harvey County Economic Development Council to further promote its development.

The Kansas Logistics Park now serves as a magnet for other major wind energy manufacturers and suppliers. There will be numerous wind sites built in this region in next 15 to 25 years. Located in the middle of the country, this location gives wind energy manufacturers further reach to distribute components throughout the Midwest.

Learn more about the Tindall Corporation Atlas Concrete Tower Base at


Initiatives Success Story CIBOR

The Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) identified the development of biomaterials as a statewide core competency for the bioscience industry in Kansas. Its goal was to establish a center of excellence for biomaterials as a bioscience cluster, positioning Kansas as an international leader in biomaterials research and commercialization that utilizes composites and polymer manufacturers in the Kansas aerospace industry.

CiborIn a competitive grant application process, Via Christi Health System and its subsidiary, Via Christi Research, in collaboration with Wichita State University’s National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR) hired Initiatives to perform a SWOT analysis of statewide manufacturers that would:

  • Identify strengths and core competencies of area manufacturers
  • Identify Kansas manufacturing assets and determine how they can best be leveraged for commercialization
  • Connect and sell the academic sector’s value proposition to the private sector


The findings concluded that composite and polymer manufacturers requested technical support, R&D support, labs and partners who know the industry in order for to embrace biomaterials manufacturing. Their interest in diversification was high and they were confident they would be a major driver for a biomaterials and medical device manufacturing cluster in Kansas.

These findings were instrumental in the award of a $20 million KBA grant designed to support the National Center of Innovation for Biomaterials in Orthopaedic Research known as CIBOR. The findings also assisted in landing a $2.1 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

After the establishment of CIBOR, Initiatives provided a focused statewide effort to properly engage and qualify tier I and tier II manufacturers to develop and establish its manufacturing supply chain.

CIBOR SWOT Analysis Abridged / CIBOR SWOT Executive Summary


Initiatives Success Story KCCP

The PowerPartners program developed for the Local Union 124, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Kansas City Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association, is considered a prototype for other building trades to adopt. It incorporates several strategies designed to increase market share.

From this, the Kansas City Construction Partners (KCCP) was formed consisting of a consortium of construction crafts consisting of management and labor representing over 300 contractors and over 7,500 craft workers.

The KCCP adopted “Five Pillars” offered to the construction industry.

  1. Code of Conduct: Our workforce code of conduct ensures that labor and management will do their parts to ensure an exceptional construction experience.
  2. Prioritizing Safety: The KCCP safety program provides a higher level of training and safety awareness for all workers, including supervisors and journeymen.
  3. Substance Abuse Prevention: Our standardized substance abuse program meets or exceeds all national standards for helping avoid and eliminate drug and alcohol abuse.
  4. Eliminate Work Disruption: KCCP offers a “No Work Disruption Warranty” effectively ensuring there will be no work stoppages or disruptive activity that my impact construction schedules.
  5. Jurisdictional Conflict Resolution: Our jurisdictional resolution plan helps eliminate delays and ensures a smooth-running work site.

Provisions of the Five Pillars were adopted to build the 204,277 square foot corporate headquarters for JE Dunn Construction that was completed in 2009. This program is now viewed as a future template to be utilized by labor and management throughout Kansas City and the nation.

KCCP Brochure

Harvey County

Initiatives Success Story Harvey County

In the summer of 2008, the Harvey County Economic Development Council, Harvey County, its seven municipalities and area businesses hired Initiatives to develop and articulate a unified economic vision. This process was designed to build a business case for future regional transportation needs that will position the region for a 10 year statewide transportation plan.

The goals were to:

  1. Give the State of Kansas a clear and concise picture of the most current economic development opportunities available to our region.
  2. Outline to the State of Kansas our future transportation needs, and if fulfilled, how they can provide a return on investment for the whole State.

Initiatives interviewed 46 people representing 33 organizations. The objective was to reach out to a well representative sample of community and business leaders. This process gave the ability to identify overriding economic development themes and to determine how they relate to proposed highway enhancements.

Major conclusions were:

  • Kansas is becoming increasingly “urbanized” as its citizens are gravitating towards metropolitan areas in the State. This phenomenon has occurred and continues to occur in Johnson, Wyandotte and Douglas Counties near metropolitan Kansas City, which is in Missouri. It is now occurring in Sedgwick, Harvey and their adjacent counties near Wichita.
  • The region already has critical infrastructure elements in place or in process that are driving this trend in central and south central Kansas. The State of Kansas is benefitting from its investments in northeast Kansas and now has an excellent opportunity to capitalize on a “second wave” of regional growth in central and south central Kansas.


The findings from this study led to the development of the Kansas Logistics Park. It has also prompted the Kansas Department of Transportation to develop an expanded interchange on I-135 to accommodate the transport of large wind energy components.

Harvey County Transportation Study

Johnson Controls

Initiatives Success Story JC Logo

In the fall of 2006, Initiatives received a request from Johnson Controls, Japan, to host a large delegation of executives from Mitsui Real Estate visiting Kansas City. As the second largest real estate developer in Japan, the delegation was touring a major hospital to learn best practices for the construction of the Mitsui Memorial Hospital. The corporate jet shuttling the delegation was delayed which created about 6 hours of unscheduled time. This created a potentially awkward situation for Johnson Controls.

Aware of its network with the Kansas City construction community, the President of Johnson Controls, Japan, contacted Initiatives on short notice asking if a tour of other major construction projects could be arranged. Without delay, Initiatives arranged a presentation with the President of the Kansas City Area Development Council that featured the development plans for the Power & Light District. Construction site tours were also arranged at the Sprint Center and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. All this was followed by dinner at a fine Kansas City restaurant; just in time to catch their flight back to Johnson Controls’ corporate headquarters in Milwaukee.