Fall of the Arctic King… an Homage to Polar Bears on the East side of Kansas City

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers.

SpraySeeMO - The Mural at Kenton BrothersThe week of September 8-15, the SpraySeeMo Mural Festival extended their reach to the East side along Truman Road for their 2019 festivities!

Kenton Brothers had wanted to be a part of the mural festival when we were located in the Crossroads Arts District, but we were in the process of moving to the East side of downtown later that year. This year, we were able to donate a wall at our new building. And we couldn’t be happier with the artist, Ivan Roque. His mural shares a compelling environmental message. #savethepolarbears!

(Check out Ivan’s Instagram for more beautiful murals.)


SpraySeeMO - The Mural at Kenton BrothersSpraySeeMO‘s goal is to “continue to grow and propel Kansas City into a mural laden town that promotes creative expression and exploration; an art mecca of our own Midwest design.”

Ivan told us about his design, “The idea behind the piece is impending extinction of the great polar bear… a creature so magnificent and powerful that one can only be in awe in its presence. Here, I’ve decided to create a thinned out polar bear due to the lack of prey. The Chrysanthemum is considered the flower of death used mainly for funerary occasions and the vines are a symbol of its nearing time. I dedicate this mural to my good friend @loveismofficial who’s opened my eyes even more to this ongoing tragedy and have a better understanding of the responsibilities that we carry painting in the public realm.”

Ivan’s Background

Ivan was born in Miami in December of 1991. Raised in the inner city of the infamous Carol City with a passion for the concepts of birth, death, renewal and social struggles. His influences range from the old masters to the new such Caravaggio, Marc Rothko, Typoe and Gianni Versace.

SpraySeeMO - The Mural at Kenton BrothersHe has traveled quite extensively for various exhibitions and murals including shows in New York City, Dubai, Seoul and mural festivals such as the Bushwick Collective Block Party… and the SpraySeeMo Mural Festival in Kansas City.

We were thankful to learn that Ivan is a man of his word even down to the environmental-based spray paint he used–@kobrapaint-that doesn’t use propellants with VOC’s that hurt the ozone layer (or Polar Bears).

Ivan, thank you and please know that we’re proud to display your art in KC! #kbway

For more info, check out this article and video on the Kansas City Star’s website.

A partnership made in Heaven – Children’s Lutheran Memorial Church

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers.

A few weeks ago, I received a call from my friend Kent Wilson. Kent has a great marketing company called Kent Wilson Designs that focuses on improving marketing results within profit and non-profit organizations. www.kentwilsondesign.com

He and I have done business together, and he’s a really good human doing great work personally and professionally. He introduced me to a church he’s affiliated with called Children’s Lutheran Memorial Church.

Children’s Lutheran Memorial Church

Children's Lutheran Memorial ChurchIn the midst of a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Kansas City is a tiny church community. A pastor, outside volunteers and highly-engaged church members have come together to create a sense of hope and joy… in spite of their surroundings.

Pastor Ann Rundquist leads the ministry and is doing incredible things for their community in providing an oasis for worship, food, clothing, showers and fellowship along Independence Avenue. The church has been through some very rough times as the surrounding neighborhood has declined. But Pastor Ann Rundquist sees hope.

While Ann was at Wartburg Seminary, she was asked to do part of her fieldwork at Children’s Memorial. “I bit,” said Ann, “and then I didn’t want to leave.”

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

We met Pastor Ann and were touched by her commitment and focus to offer love and support to her neighbors.

Their mission is truly contagious. She has been faced with many challenges in this role… and one of them is the state of disrepair of their building. We wanted to join with her in her work and committed to providing new hardware and keying system to secure their facility—it is KB’s mission to protect people, property and possessions.

We know that peace of mind in feeling safe is important to everyone.

Our mechanical team led by Ryan and the project lead Zach worked to assess their location and meet with Pastor Ann to learn how she uses her facility and who needs access to what areas. We then created a keying system and went to work to update the locking hardware on their building. Two of our apprentice security technicians, Meshack and Chris, were able to use their new skills in installing the new locking hardware.

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

Kenton Brothers is proud of our apprenticeship program where we educate and train people to develop skills using their hands.

Starting from the basics, working your way up, a willingness to learn and understanding the KB way are all steps toward success in our apprenticeship program. At Kenton Brothers, our apprentices spend months working at our Commercial Counter, months working with a lead tech (or techs) in the field, as well as participating in various vendor and manufacturer trainings, and in-house trainings before they are promoted to their next role within the company.

Through partnerships and close customer interactions, our apprentices experience hands on, real world training that can’t be taught in a classroom.

In the case of Children’s Memorial, the team was able to provide new door hardware, a new keying system, and help bring peace of mind to a church that does so much for its community. It was a win/win situation where our apprentices were able to get valuable on-site training and the church and its community can feel safer knowing they have a secure space.

Thank you Pastor Ann and the Children’s Memorial Lutheran Church team for allowing us to serve you!

Children's Lutheran Memorial Church

Thelma’s Kitchen – the first ‘donate what you can’ café in Kansas City.

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

Restoration ServicesPart of the KB team went on a field trip this week to visit Father Justin Mathews, Executive Director of Reconciliation Services at 31st and Troost.

Reconciliation Services

Since Kenton Brothers’ move from the Crossroads to the East side of Kansas City, we’ve been seeking an organization to partner with to develop our community relationships. We found Reconciliation Services to be an incredible organization doing powerful work in the heart of Kansas City. We learned about the racial and economic division that Troost Avenue symbolizes in our city’s history.

Restoration ServicesAccording to Fr. Justin, in order to be the city we aspire to be, we have to get Troost right. It’s going to take more than poverty programs to heal this division in Kansas City. Fr. Justin is adamant, “It’s not enough to address the blight of the buildings only. We must also address the blight of the heart. It’s going to take true reconciliation.”

Their website reports that Kansas City is one of the top five most economically and racially segregated cities in America according to a recent study. In Kansas City, 23% of African Americans live below the poverty line compared to only 6% of whites. While these disparities have been persistent, they need not be permanent.

Last year, RS staff and hundreds of volunteers worked together to build relationships and care for 5,150 men, women, and children living in poverty, mostly on the east side of our city. Since the 1980’s Reconciliation Services’ goal has been to transform Troost from a dividing line into a gathering place, a place of healing and comfort. A place where guests, volunteers, and staff can come and find their strength.

Thelma’s Kitchen

Thelma's KitchenWe enjoyed lunch at Thelma’s Kitchen – the first ‘donate what you can’ café in Kansas City. Thelma’s Kitchen was created to meet the need for affordable, high quality, nutritious food access and to bring people together as a community gathering place. Thelma’s Kitchen is an alternative lunch spot for every category of people, working, non-working, students, and families to enjoy a great meal in a caring atmosphere and donate whatever payment your heart directs you.

I’ll be returning to Thelma’s to host some of my business lunches – and in lieu of paying a national chain for a lunch meal, I’ll donate that money to Thelma’s Kitchen, a community organization to help be a part of the change for good in our neighborhood. What a great concept!

There are a variety of ways, we as business leaders can collaborate with Reconciliation Services to affect positive change in Kansas City. In addition, they offer an entire continuum of care including social services, mental health services and economic building services to build social and financial community capital.

I encourage you to check them out, reach out to Fr. Justin and schedule a visit and a meal at Thelma’s Kitchen—it’s good for the soul. #kbway #donatewhatyoucan

Thelma's Kitchen Thelma's Kitchen Thelma's Kitchen Thelma's Kitchen



Creating Security Peace of Mind for Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center

By Gina Stuelke, CEO of Kenton Brothers

Samuel U. Rodgers Health CenterIn 1967, Dr. Samuel U. Rodgers opened the first federally-recognized community health center in Missouri — just the fourth such center in the country at that time.

Dr. Rodgers believed families deserve access to everything they need to thrive. That’s why he chose to open his health center at the Wayne Miner Housing Project, so families got the care they needed right in their neighborhood. In 1988, the Wayne Miner Health Center was renamed in honor of its founder and Executive Director: the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.

Dr. Rodgers dedicated his life to providing quality, compassionate and affordable health care to Kansas City.

Like Dr. Rodgers, Kenton Brothers Systems for Security has a long lived passion… ours is for creating security peace of mind. KB partnered with the Health Center as their security integrator of choice to upgrade and expand their access control and video surveillance systems. KB has been securing people, property and possessions for over a hundred years.

S2 access control and Milestone video management systems were utilized to increase peace of mind through effective administrative control and reporting. Kenton Brothers worked with the IT and Security teams to redesign and improve the capabilities and effectiveness of their systems. The end result was meeting the current needs at their main campus.

Kenton Brother commends the associates at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center as they build healthier families, enrich neighborhoods and strengthen the community via their five locations in the KC metro, serving more than 25,000 patients.


Hunt Midwest Invests in Community Awareness and Crime Prevention

By David Strickland, Vice President of Kenton Brothers

As one of the largest area developers and property managers, Hunt Midwest manages commercial, retail, industrial and residential properties all over the Kansas City Area. They are also the owner and developer of SubTropolis, the world’s largest underground business complex.

Hunt Midwest Crime Prevention MeetingHunt Midwest supports their businesses and the whole Kansas City Metro through hosting meetings to allow for collaborative discussion on how crime can be prevented. In July, I attended a very collaborative meeting with business and community members of the Hunt Midwest properties as well as the Kansas City Police Department and the Cass County Sherriff’s office.

The meeting was a great example of community based policing and crime prevention and how business and police departments can work together to not only catch criminals but prevent crime from taking place in the first place. KCPD Shoal Division Community officers Bill Keely and Richard Jones spoke at length about the ways KCPD is partnering with local businesses to help them promote a safe crime free business community. KCPD uses patrolling officers, community interaction and technology to not only catch the criminals but make it uncomfortable for them to commit crimes in KC because of vigilant citizens.

As a part of the KCPD Business watch program and the KC Watch program the city uses camera feeds shared to them by business owners to catch criminals in the act, build forensic evidence and deter crime through vigilant effort.

Once example given was a surveillance camera was set up to catch illegal dumping.

The perpetrator was caught on camera dumping at a commonly used dump site and even before the criminal was done unloading, the police had arrived and detained him. This was a successful operation because a business owner alerted the police of the dumping going on, the police investigated and found an excessive issue then installed Video surveillance to catch the suspects. It was a story of great collaboration.

I want to thank Hunt Midwest for providing this opportunity and hosting this type of meeting, as well as their commitment to safe, secure business environments. Kenton Brothers is proud to be your security partner!

Hunt Midwest Crime Prevention Meeting Hunt Midwest Crime Prevention Meeting