All posts by afails

UNPLUG: For Your Health.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you” – Anne Lamont

One possible answer to so many questions
might be found in this quote from author
Anne Lamont: “Almost everything will work
again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including
you.” My best translation is – take
your time, pause, stop, and step back. And
consider repeating that same action several
times a day.
Regardless of your life, work, and family circumstances,
we are all in challenging times,
and, at the moment, the majority of us are at
least mildly “stir crazy.” And, there are more
difficult decisions ahead. We have jobs to do,
families to care for, community responsibilities,
and challenges from all sides of government,
including the outcome of the elections;
and, at the same time, we are challenged
with the necessity to make wise choices,
manage self- care, and to find ways to maintain
connections with the people we love.
In the midst of sorting things out and establishing
priorities and best practices, there is an
abundance of both scientific health necessities
and psychological “must dos.” Too much information
can create the perfect storm for frustration.
Reinforcing that concern, a client recently
shared that a daily link on her phone – IDEAS
FOR SELF-CARE – had become more annoying
than helpful. Consequently, my suggestion: If
you are annoyed by the do’s and don’ts for getting
through this quite-taxing, anxiety-provoking
pandemic and the demands and changes
dictated for staying healthy – and, I must add,
alive – it’s simply time to acknowledge that too
many self-care instructions/suggestions/dictates
– including this one – are putting many
on overload. And, in spite of that reality, paying
attention is essential, because the situation we
face in our states and in the country is with us
for a longer haul than we might want.

Regardless of your personal approach to the challenges, my suggestion is to “unplug”, step back, reflect, and focus.

As holidays approach, the best thing for many, especially
the extroverts among us, would be a big or even
small event – plans for holiday and family celebrations
and special occasions … football games and other sporting
events. Most people are anxious to talk, and celebrate,
and hug people we love and like. Regardless,
those historic, typical, traditional things we have been
accustomed to embrace aren’t the best things to actually
DO without unprecedented precautions.
If you DO pay attention to science and trustworthy
news, and I deeply hope you do, you already know that
recommendations for holidays are to avoid gatherings if
you don’t know precisely where people have been and
who they have interacted with – including your families.
Acknowledging there’s a growing and fairly natural resistance
to such precautions, I still struggle when I read the
governor of New York had to shut down a 10,000-person
wedding. That plan, at least to me, is a bit “off the page,”
even for those of us who might be high risk takers or perhaps
feel “science” is hard to manage, even believe.
Regardless of your personal approach to the challenges,
my suggestion is to “unplug,” step back, reflect, and
focus. Take the pressure off for the things you think you
should be doing and focus on the basics of health and
self-care even when they feel more restrictive than you
want. And give yourself credit if you believe you’ve done
a quite good job managing a truckload of restrictive
time already. The winter months will be more challenging,
and as long as we trust science, it’s possible to dial
back, find simple efforts at self-care, and manage the
restrictions necessary for health and well-being.
Science tells us the basics: wear a mask, social distance,
and wash your hands. Psychology is telling us countless
things to do – often far too many to sort through. Consequently,
my suggestions are to address the areas of your
life where you feel pressure, and then prioritize your own
self-care in balance with the efforts you make to show up
for those you live with and work with daily.
The point of what to do is to focus on just one thing at
a time. Once you feel the one thing is helping, move on
to an additional effort. Just don’t try too many things
at once. If you take all the advice from what you read,
including articles like this one, you will likely bog down.
And as you try just one thing at a time, include the simple
task of “unplugging” several times a day – step back and
stare out the window, maybe step outside for a few minutes,
even if it’s not ideal weather. Clear your head. And,
as you unplug, try this breathing technique: Breathe in to
a count of four; hold your breath to a count of seven; and
exhale through your mouth, slowly, to a count of eight.
Repeat this exercise four times.
Finally, acknowledge that if we are to get through this
challenging season and still enjoy our families, friends,
and holidays, we have to have a plan. It needs to be simple,
basic, easy to act on, and it needs to acknowledge
that we are in a challenging health crisis that demands
the best from all of us.
And as always, reach out if you need to talk.

Dr. Linda Moore has been in practice in the Kansas City area for over 25 years and is a
published author on personal and family issues.

The Enduring Power of Art and How It Helps Us Move Forward in Challenging Times

The phrase “man of the world” could have been coined with Julián Zugazagoitia in mind. He was born in Mexico City into a family steeped in history, creativity, and culture. He has lived in Paris, Rome, and New York. Since 2010, when he was named director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Julián Zugazagoitia has called Kansas City his home.

What is it about Kansas City that has made it feel so much like home for you?

The most beautiful surprise that this city has given me is to have the murals at UMKC by Spanish painter Luis Quintanilla. He was exiled because of the Spanish civil war and he ends up in Kansas City painting some murals. He dedicated them to my grandfather. [Julián’s grandfather fought the Fascists in Spain of the 1930s. He was eventually captured by the Gestapo and executed.] Those murals make me feel that this is really home.

Does your family’s amazing history impact you and what you do, on a daily basis?

It’s different moments of consciousness in which you start realizing the complexity of your own identity. Growing up in Mexico City there were not a lot of questions, but I left for the UK for the first time when I was 12 and that was the first big shock. It was the beginning of my understanding that we’re all immigrants all the time. Identity is such a complex thing.

As we speak, the museum is closed due to COVID-19, and the world is also seeing protests demanding equal treatment and opportunity for all people. What does a place like the Nelson-Atkins mean in times like these?

When society and humankind come to moments that really challenge us, humankind needs to express itself. Art has found ways to tackle even these things. We have had pandemics in the past. Our collections have examples of artists creating art during very difficult moments. What I see is art that goes beyond the forms we normally celebrate. New generations expressing so much through social media and digital form. People can connect with us in the digital world.

The inside part of the museum is closed but people can still come and enjoy the landscaping and the sculptures. I trust that just being in the environment, in front of the art, is inspiring.

Some may look at places like the Nelson-Atkins and think, ‘Well, that isn’t really for me because of my socio-economic status or education or skin color.’

I know you and your staff work hard to make this a place for everyone.

We have made a lot of efforts to be a place of openness, of inclusivity, of making sure that everyone feels ownership of the museum’s legacy. Today’s events call for more effort.  I would say from the moment we opened this building in 1933, the first speech at that time said this place is for all groups, all races, all creeds. This is work that has to be done by society at large and work that we have to do together. We have a wonderful and wide diversity of people enjoying the museum and that is something we need to continue to foster.

We are using this time to look at ourselves as staff, look at our history as an institution, to reassess our collections, how collections have come to be. We need to be more cognizant, more attuned to our times. We also need to understand that we are part of a stream of history, knowing others have also faced times like these. Society today is waking up to many things. The younger generations are making us more aware of where we should be going.

In these uncertain, unsteady, unchartered times, should we look to art and places like the Nelson-Atkins as some sort of constant?

The nature of expression is always going to be there and museums like ours provide the ability to travel, not only the geographies of distant cultures but also in time. To see how time and different cultures and different civilizations and different ways of thinking are represented through art. A museum like ours can teach you that there’s hundreds of ways of thinking. That should give us a sense of awe. A museum like ours gives you a variety of possibilities. You see that humanity has so many ways of expressing and being. We can engage in dialogues that enrich and enlarge our perceptions and make us have more points of view than one.

Article taken from Fall 2020 edition of Today Kansas City Magazine, a publication of Soave Automotive Group. Interview by Joel Nichols.

Bringing Dust to Life


Chentell Shannon is creating a company and a culture that celebrates community.

It’s possible that Chentell Shannon shouts, but it’s difficult to believe that she would. She’s built Convivial Productions – a company that creates collections of handmade wares for the home, table, and garden – over the last five years with a quiet, steady hand. While she does not pretend to know all the answers of what happens next, she is conscious and careful with her life and her company as she considers what is best using her own definition of success.

While Shannon is passionate about what she does and how she does it, she was not envisioning her future as she made clay pots in kindergarten. Her interest in pottery came much later.

“My older sister is two years ahead of me,” Shannon says. “I was the
quintessential younger sister. I thought she was so cool. I wanted to be just like her.”

Shannon’s sister had enrolled in a ceramics class in high school, so she enrolled in a ceramic class in high school.

“Then, independently, I really started loving it. I took ceramics class-
es every semester that I could. Then I started doing independent study with my professor and learned wheel throwing and hand building.”

She discovered she has a visceral experience working with her hands.

“I think your mind goes into a different state,” Shannon says. “For me it’s therapeutic. It’s a release.”

She followed the same path in college, taking pottery classes and doing independent study. Her senior year, she found that she wanted to share the process and started looking for ways to introduce other people to the craft.

“Art therapy was the path that classified as a career in the arts. Even though I wasn’t really interested in the clinical aspects of art, it was the thing I thought I could make a career out of.”

But the reality of art therapy wasn’t the same as creating. She studied community art, which felt more organic. But after graduation, she became more and more interested in designing, creating, and selling her work. She trusted that all the components of the things that she had learned would come into play and become a career.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately,” she says. “We’re five years in. The first year was just me, then some interns, then part-time people. I think we were in five spaces before here.”

“Here” being the light-flooded space on the fourth floor of one of the old brick buildings in the West Bottoms that accommodates Convivial’s growing team. Shannon said this last move felt significant.

“When we moved here two years ago it felt like we jumped from being an individual studio to an actual company. There was consistency and culture.”

Convivial recently took over the full floor and has committed to the space for three years. Shannon says that the growth and expansion raise questions about who and what Convivial should be.

“I want to be really intentional with our growth. What will our products be like? What will the studio be like? What will our culture be like?”

She’s discerning about expanding the product line and how they will move forward as a company. This conscious movement drives decisions in every aspect of the business, including a recent opportunity to paint a mural on the side of the building.

“We had the opportunity to do the mural and we considered putting our name on it,” Shannon says. “But it’s not our building, so we reconsidered. Recognizing the neighborhood seemed like the right thing to do.”

The mural, which Shannon’s team designed and painted with the help of community volunteers, reads, “Welcome to the Historic West Bottoms.” This result is part of a broader philosophy.

“Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how owning a business is an opportunity. We can either work within the outline of standard business practices or be creative in how we approach growing and sustaining as a business.”

Shannon thinks this applies to where they invest, how they approach sales, as well as their motivation. This thinking is the root of Convivial’s creative, alternative, community-based marketing approaches, such as collaborating on murals, events, and dinners.

“I want to be creative with how we approach partnership and marketing,” she says. “We’re exploring putting those resources toward investing in the culture of our community and the architecture of our city, determining if this works as a more holistic approach for our staff, community, and customers.”

While she moves thoughtfully, Shannon and her team want Convivial to create more pieces, more lines, and, perhaps more importantly, more jobs. But they are careful about growth.

“What we do is not trend based. That’s why we don’t do limited editions. We are being intentional about things that last. We want our customers to know that if they buy dinnerware from us, they will always be able to get it.”

The company is currently exploring creating new concepts. Verdant, a plant and flower shop in the Crossroads that carries planters and candles, is planned for the spring.

Shannon sees Convivial as the parent company, while responding to smart opportunities along the way.

“I would rather keep being creative. This could lead to more variety, which could bring more chaos – or more success. We want to keep things fresh. The questions that I will always come back to is, ‘What will I be proud of?’”

Breathe. Enjoy.


He climbed two steps toward his upper-floor New York apartment and paused to catch his breath.

Two steps more, pause, catch. He could not wait to see his wife and children who were at
home waiting for him.

Two steps, pause, catch.

He checked his
email on his phone so as to not feel like he was wasting time.

Two steps, pause, catch.

Art reflects life, which is particularly true for artist Dylan Mortimer and his current body of work. Born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), he is currently living and breathing thanks to a third set of donated lungs. According to, CF is a progressive genetic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system. “In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps germs, like bacteria, leading to infections, inflammation, respiratory failure, and other complications. In the pancreas, the buildup of mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that help the body absorb food and key nutrients, resulting in malnutrition and poor growth. In the liver, the thick mucus can block the bile duct, causing liver disease.”

Dylan was born in 1979 in Ohio and grew up in St. Louis. He was 10 years old when he was diagnosed, at a time when the average lifespan of a person with CF was 17  years. As a boy, Dylan loved drawing. He drew comics and thought about art school very early on, an idea supported by his parents. When he was 14 years old, he saw a flyer for a month-long summer art program at the Chicago Art
Institute pinned to a board at his St. Louis high school. He and a friend attended that program.

After high school, he moved to Kansas City to secure a bachelor’s in fine arts in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute. He studied under the now-retired Welsh abstract painting instructor Warren Rosser. Over the course of his time there, Dylan’s figurative painting changed to mixed media and sculpture and installations. After
graduating in 2002, he moved to New York to pursue an
MFA from the School of Visual Arts, graduating in 2006. While there, he was deeply influenced by faculty member and artist Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, who is typically associated with the American Pattern and Decoration art movement of the mid-’70s through early ’80s. (Lanigan-Schmidt is also well known for his involvement with the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which are widely considered to be the most important event leading to the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in America.) Pattern and Decoration was championed by New York gallery owner Holly Solomon and inspired by 1960s liberation politics, particularly feminism. Artists were producing large paintings, collages, and sculptures emphasizing pattern and all-over decoration using pipe cleaners, foil, cellophane, glitter, and other inexpensive materials.

In 2019, Dylan had his second full lung transplant in New York and  moved back to Kansas City with his wife and two sons. He is currently artist-in-residence at the Townsend Building in Brookside, which is full of his works. These will be shipped to the University of Iowa, where his next show is taking place. That show will will conclude with adding his work to hospital, pharmaceutical company, and medical center collections. Paper, paint, caulk, glue, and glitter covered the studio’s surfaces, ready to be made into more works depicting cells, bronchial tubes, mucus, etc., and certain moments, feelings, and memories pertaining to his experiences of living with CF. Dylan used to resent the idea of making work about CF. “I didn’t want to talk about it; I didn’t want anyone to pity me.” But now, he fully embraces it and wants doctors, caretakers, hospital staff, and fellow survivors to see it and be inspired by it. In fact, he is taking speaking en gagements about his art and is thrilled he is able to simultaneously raise awareness about CF and art.

When asked about his goals for this year, Dylan replied: “I want to be happy and healthy, to continue running and biking with my sons. It is a gift to breathe, and it’s no less a gift for anyone else. Breathe and enjoy. I highly recommend it to everyone.”

Three of Dylan’s works have been recently installed at the KU Med Health Education Building (HEB). You can see his Open Spaces project, a pink painted tree called “Tree, Broken Tree,” in Swope Park; and a sculpture and two collages in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art collection. You can also visit his representing gallery, Haw Contemporary, and website

A Legacy in Values


Spend some time with Pat Cocherl, affectionately known to many as “Mr. C,” and a few things quickly become apparent: his love for his family, his admiration of the founding fathers (particularly Thomas Jefferson), and his desire to give back.

All these passions come together at the Cocherl Family Foundation’s Jefferson Building. The Leawood space was designed from a drawing by Jefferson that had never been built. The stately structure is filled with references to its namesake as well as other early American visionaries, mixed in with photos of the Cocherl clan: Pat, his wife of almost 50 years, Kathy, and their five children: Jennifer, Shawn, Ryan, Kristen, and Patrick.

The building opened in 2017 and serves as the headquarters for the Cocherl Family Foundation, which is run by all seven family members united to pursue a single purpose: helping kids.

The Cocherl Family Foundation’s mission is in some ways penance for a wrong choice Mr. C made decades ago, he explains.

Cocherl was serving as president of the Blue Valley School District’s board of education in the mid 1980s when a vote passed in favor of integrating students with special needs into the district’s schools. He didn’t agree, thinking it would adversely affect the quality of education, but the
board voted and he was overruled. The program launched at the school where the Cocherl family’s youngest son, Patrick, was about to start kindergarten.

After a few weeks at school, Patrick asked to invite his friend Jake over for a playdate. When the friend arrived, the Cocherls were surprised to see that he was in a wheelchair. Jake’s mother explained some of the basics they would need to know to help Jake during his time at their home, and
the kids had a blast. Meanwhile, Mr. C realized he’d made a huge mistake by rejecting the idea of making the district more inclusive.

“I went to every school in the school district and apologized for my vote and vowed that day to right that wrong,” he said. After working behind the scenes for some time, the Cocherl Family Foundation was born in 2003, a formal entity dedicated to making a difference in the lives of
local children.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Mr. C says about the foundation’s work.

The Cocherl Family Foundation is truly a family affair, starting with its funding. Mr. C’s company, Heartland Customer Solutions, offers support services for Panasonic products and put the Cocherls in a financial position to give back. The family’s own money is the lifeblood of the foundation, which also accepts donations from people who believe in its charitable mission.

Since its establishment, the nonprofit has given to numerous organizations that work to improve life for kids, including the Rose Brooks Center, Beat the Monster, and Children’s Mercy Hospital. It’s also helping to provide funding to a new Wonderscope location in South Kansas City. And in recent years, one of the biggest focuses has been Keep the Spark Alive, an organization determined to prevent suicide by funding innovative programs and initiatives in schools, starting with Blue Valley.

Additionally, the Cocherl Family Foundation offers annual scholarships to Blue Valley students who receive special education services through individual education programs, commonly known as IEPs. The awards fund
their post-high school education, whether that includes attending a college, university, or vocational school.

Mr. C estimates hundreds of area students have received the renewable scholarship since it was established. The scholarships not only set these students up for success after graduation, they also help them develop a sense of self-worth and confidence they might otherwise lack, parents have told the family.

Of course, the Cocherls haven’t been without challenges of their own. Several years ago, the family’s patriarch suffered a massive heart attack that brought him to the brink of death. Mr. C survived, but the experience put his philanthropic mission into even sharper focus.

After recovering, he wanted to ensure the work of the foundation will outlive him and Kathy through their kids, who play an active role, bringing their own projects and ideas to the family’s quarterly meetings where future commitments are decided.

With the children fully invested, the foundation is poised to make an impact for years to come. “I realized that I had more pieces to put in place to finish, and I’ve now done that,” he says, adding, “For the first time, I realized my mortality and it made me hyper-focused on what’s important.”

Kansas City’s Quixotic Roque Show

by PATRICIA O’DELL |  photos courtesy of QUIXOTIC

While many Kansas Citians have seen the artistic collaboration of Quixotic at events around town, some are unaware of the reach and scope of the performance company’s work. For the first time since its inception, the company will be offering regular shows near the Crossroads district.

Quixotic calls Kansas City home. The performance group began in 2005 as an annual creative collaboration to provide an outlet for local ballet dancers and stage professionals to work in the off season.

“We did one show a year in abandoned buildings,” says executive producer Mica Thomas, who managed production at the beginning. “We’d clean up the space and figure out a way to run power and put on a show. It was fun and people loved it.”

The community response was positive and Thomas, in conjunction with founder Anthony Magliano, began producing regular shows. About three years into the project people began approaching them to perform at events.

“They’d say, ‘We could give you $500.’ It was only $500, but that made it a paid gig.”

In 2011, they received a call from Mike Lundgren, director of innovation strategy at VML. He introduced the group to TEDx.

“That was a game-changer,” says Thomas.

The exposure from the TEDx performance led to international bookings. Suddenly, this group of local technicians and performers was traveling to Spain, China, India, and the Middle East. The bigger opportunities and bigger budgets allowed for a broader scope of work. They began to explore aerial performance, projections, and animation.

“We know that in Kansas City most people have seen us at Crossroads or the West Bottoms, the Nelson – and we love that, but I don’t think they know we’re doing video mapping for the Smithsonian.”

The company went from one performance a year to employing 15 to 20 people in a residency with a regular show in Miami, which is a riff on cabaret. It’s been remarkably successful.

While Kansas City has always been supportive of Quixotic, the group has performed some of its bigger, more complex material away from home. That is about to change. The group has two new projects launching in the fall. They are bringing Quixotic to Kansas City in a bigger way.

“Our first project is with the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens,” says Hilary Rambeau, producer. “I know when some people think about Quixotic, they think about sitting down and watching a show. This is going to be a like a luminary walk, but times a thousand. It’s about a mile and a half path through the grounds with innovative installments, musicians, and aerialists.”

The group is excited to perform for people who might not have seen them in the heart of the city.

“This is a great way for us to get to Johnson County and have something that is for everyone. We think there may be a lot of people who don’t know who we are in this part of the city,” Magniano says.

The group is equally excited about a collaboration closer to Crossroads.

“So, we opened the show in Miami and it was supposed to run for two months,” Thomas says. “We’ve been down there for two and a half years. We’re ready to bring our performers back – and some of our new Miami family – and do a show here in Kansas City two nights a week.”

Quixotic will be performing in the Heartland Theatre at Crown Center.

“It’s going to be a very unique experience,” says Magliano. “It’s a classic cabaret format – edgy – it’s a late-night experience with an allstar cast of artists, many of whom have been with us for years.”

But it’s not only the relationship to the performers that is at the new show’s foundation, but the connection to the city, as well.

“We’re putting a Kansas City spin on it,” Magliano says. “This will be more jazz inspired than the show in Miami. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Prohibition. We want it to reflect that speakeasy vibe.”

The group sees this new concept as an exciting addition to Kansas City’s nightlife.

“Whether it’s people in from out of town as tourists or on business, or people who are taking friends for the third or fourth time – which was our experience in Miami – we really think this is going to add something unique and special to Crown Center, Crossroads, and downtown,” says Magliano.

“It’s amazing that just a few years ago Anthony and Mica were just trying to create opportunities for artists to perform full time,” Rambeau says. “Then there were ballet dancers, musicians, and technical designers. Now we have 15 to 20 people whose primary income is performing with us in Miami while still creating experiences for more than 90 clients a year with our Kansas City cast.”

“That’s been the goal the whole time,” Magliano says. “Consistent work for people in the arts.”

New Tech Workplace Takes Center Stage


Nowhere is the rapid pace of change more apparent than in the tech sector. Fierce competition for talent, an evolving regulatory environment, and mounting privacy and data security challenges confront both well-established tech leaders and startups, forcing them to continuously adapt and innovate.

Companies that succeed in this hyper-competitive market have two things in common: workforces and workspaces that can pivot to address new demands and business models. In a recent report titled “HOK Forward: Tech Workplace Takes Center Stage,” HOK explored the impact tech industry challenges are having on the office space and examined design solutions that can make these spaces more responsive and successful.

The report found that workplace flexibility is key when it comes to spurring innovation and collaboration. So too is personalization. Each company’s ideal environment should reflect its culture, work style, mobility profiles, and business goals and be continually reevaluated as the organization grows.

Five workplace trends that are gaining popularity in the tech sector include: Activity- Based Workplaces (ABW) – This office concept encourages movement and empowers people to select the right space for the job at hand. ABW environments are typically designed to serve four major work functions: solo work, collaboration, learning, and socializing and rejuvenation. These spaces work nicely for organizations that are marketoriented in organizational structure.

Neighborhood-Based Choice Environments (NCE) – A variation of the ABW model, these spaces create a neighborhood or home for teams to operate out of while still allowing people to have access to a variety of work settings. These spaces are ideal for organizations that are team-based and mobile but still seeking to build community.

Agile Environments – Scrum spaces where project-based teams from different business groups or departments can gather to collaborate on special projects. These spaces are helpful for team-based organizations that desire belonging and community, because they are highly interactive and collaborative.

Maker Environments for Mobile Occupants (MEMO) – These spaces are emerging in sectors where rapid development is key. They encourage experimentation and group work in entrepreneurial environments with flat organizational structures.

Immersive Environments – These spaces pull the best lessons learned from ABW, NCE, agile environments, and MEMO and tailor them to meet the specific needs of a company to create custom spaces.

These creative approaches meld the needs of an evolving workforce with the needs of the organization. But attracting talent extends far beyond the work styles accommodated. So, how can tomorrow’s tech workplace attract and retain top talent?

Here in Kansas City, AREA Real Estate Advisors is collaborating with HOK, JE Dunn, and Somera Road to reimagine City Center Square into Lightwell – a new destination for the tech and creative workforce of tomorrow. The focus on flexibility and personalization is shaping the space, attracting tenants like WeWork and ensuring Class A office space for companies in the heart of downtown.

In addition to personalization, amenities play a critical role. Amenity offerings should be diverse and speak to the culture of an organization. Nap pods, wellness rooms, medical clinics, and maker spaces are benefits gaining popularity in the tech industry and beyond. These amenities speak to a workforce that values convenience, works hard, and finds inspiration in unique ways.

Smart workplaces are gaining popularity in the technology sector. Complete with multiple sensors that track office use – such as how often a space is used and the peak times of activity within a communal space – this advanced technology can help building owners and operators optimize a space and better understand which kinds of environments are in demand.

In addition to leveraging data, tech workplaces are on the cusp of merging the digital realm with physical space. This move toward seamless technology that anticipates behavior and needs and creates immersive experiences has the potential to transform the work experience. At the center of this evolution should be a commitment to engaging, equipping, and empowering individuals to excel, which requires developing flexible, technologyinfused space solutions that accommodate a growing diversity of work styles, preferences, and personalities.

The tech industry’s increased focus on the human experience – from amenities to immersive technology – can be applied to workplaces in other sectors. While the next big technological advancement isn’t set in stone, one thing is certain: Companies that wish to remain competitive and responsive in the future will need workplaces with the flexibility and personalization that allow their people to gather, connect, innovate, and simply be their best.

1900 Has Our Number

words by EMILY & STEWART LANE | photos by ANNA PETROW

Emily Lane: Months before the actual day, Stewart and I had a lengthy discussion about what we would do for our wedding anniversary. When you’re married to a chef, it seems almost unfair to ask your partner to cook for his own occasion, so we decided dining out was the right decision. So off we went to The Restaurant at 1900, located at the intersection of Shawnee Mission Parkway and State Line in the mixed-used 1900 Building, which recently was restored and expanded by Karbank Real Estate Company and proudly holds the LEED Gold certification (a greenbuilding rating system).

As Stewart and I reminisced about our wedding and past years of marriage, it seemed the same tenets we were personally celebrating that night – care, love, appreciation, teamwork – were also projected through the staff and the food. We were greeted warmly, the hostess welcoming us as if we were in her home. Our server, Jenna, was gracious and had a wealth of knowledge, but shared in a way that was truly genuine and never intimidating. And we were delighted to visit with General Manager Keith Goldman, who has made a tremendous name for himself as a pillar of the hospitality industry in Kansas City. In the elegant, yet contemporary, dining room we settled in for a night that was nothing of short of perfection.

Stewart Lane: At The Restaurant at 1900, Executive Chef Linda Duerr and her powerhouse team of chefs (Andy McCormick and Jonathan Ponzer) are a super group, akin to the Traveling Wilburys, who create edible artistry with familiar, yet complex, flavor profiles. We began our meal with a fluke crudo, composed of tender slices of delicate near-transparent fish enhanced with sweet melon, lemon, and mint, with chopped pistachios and crisp cucumber breaking up the texture and flavors. Speaking of textures, the beef tenderloin tartare was a masterpiece of the medium. Nestled in a thin web of crispy fried potatoes, finely mixed cool beef tenderloin was augmented with fermented turnips and poached potato, giving a lightness and unique texture to the classic dish. The tartare was finished with a delicate truffle sauce, tempered with stone-ground mustard, chives, and lemon. The tomato and bulgur salad, featuring tart green tomatoes and sweet cucumbers, incorporated with root vegetables and dusted with bulgur wheat, cured olive, and banyuls vinaigrette on a pillow of creamed feta, was summer on a plate. Coriander and sesame lamb ribs, which were an inventive spin on that particular cut of meat, utilized spice and a salt-sugar cure to create a crispy outside with tender meat that pulled from the bone. As plate after plate arrived, we were increasingly impressed by the thought and attention going into each step of the cooking and plating process.

EL: Jenna strategically timed the arrival of our plates in a way that we would enjoy each course with the appropriate wine. And speaking of wine, we would be remiss not to mention the iconic Beverage Director Doug Frost (one of four people in the world who has obtained the designation of both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier), who, unsurprisingly, has culled an impressive wine list with something for every palate. Trust your server for advice on a bottle; you won’t be disappointed.

SL: On Jenna’s recommendation, we ordered (and devoured) a small serving of the black garlic linguine in white clam sauce. Succulent clams rested on sliced sea scallops and sharp radicchio, with tender black garlic pasta adding an umami bomb to the sweet flavors. The pickled green garlic and fennel with basil and parsley kept the flavors light and fresh with a lemon crumb nestled in each open clamshell.

For our entrées, Emily couldn’t stay away from the Maine lobster roll, which contained tender lobster lightly dressed and served on a perfectly toasted, buttery and airy brioche bun. The lobster meat was sweet, perfectly cooked, and enhanced with a little lemon and mayonnaise. Another nod to Chef Duerr’s New England roots was the crispy skinned black sea bass accompanied by peekytoe crab dressed in a light lemon aïoli. A savory yet light medley of roasted radishes, white asparagus, grilled scallions, and edamame created a beautiful balance with the tender and juicy sea bass. A simple avocado purée connected all the flavors into a perfect bite, and contentedly we cleared our plates.

EL: If you’ve ever read our column before, you’ll know that I have quite an affection for desserts. But on this occasion, writing about the conclusion of your meal is particularly near to my heart, as I am proud to call Elizabeth Paradise not only a firstrate pastry chef, but also one of my closest friends. Chef Paradise creates sweet treats that appear beautifully simple, not overdone or excessively complex, yet made with an abundance of precision and care. She touches on nostalgic flavor profiles and then reaches beyond for the complementing flavor you never knew you needed, exemplified in her blueberries and cream with crushed meringue and lemon verbena. When you visit, indulge in several of Chef Paradise’s desserts; you’ll be glad you did.

After all, it doesn’t take an anniversary for you to go out to dinner and let the team at The Restaurant at 1900 show you some love.

The Restaurant at 1900 is located at 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Mission Woods, Kansas. They are open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, as well as Monday lunch. Reservations strongly encouraged.

2019 Porsche Macan – The Sports Car of SUVs Gets Refreshed

words and photos by TOM STRONGMAN

Since its introduction in 2015, the Macan has been one of Porsche’s best-selling vehicles and it’s not hard to see why. It is a near-perfect blend of a sports sedan and a utility vehicle: fun, yet practical, never boring. Think of it as a sports car you can take to The Home Depot.

The Macan illustrates why midsize crossover-utility vehicles, as a class, keep growing in popularity and, in some cases, are pushing sedans out of the market. They ride and drive like a car, have an upright seating position, and deliver cargo versatility. What they cede to bigger SUVs (greater towing capacity and rugged off-road capability) is essentially moot because most buyers rarely do either.

The 2019 looks wider due to revised front air intakes and new front lights. The parking sensors have been relocated in the front fascia.

One of the most visible changes is found in back where a full-length light bar connects the taillights similar to the rest of the Porsche lineup. Twenty-one-inch wheels are now available for the first time and there are four new exterior colors, including the high-impact Miami Blue and Chalk, a soft, warm gray, straight from the 911 palette.

For this review I drove both the base Macan and the Macan S. The base model starts at $49,900 and has a turbocharged 2.0-liter fourcylinder that delivers 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The S begins at $58,600 and has a new 3.0-liter, single-turbo V-6 that is also used in the base Cayenne and Panamera. It develops 348 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The engines are sourced from corporate cousin Audi but have been tuned with Porsche software. Both models use the same seven-speed PDK transmission that can be shifted manually with paddles on the steering wheel. Allwheel- drive is standard.

While the Macan S is one second quicker to 60 miles per hour, the base four-cylinder actually feels a tad more responsive in stop-and-go traffic because throttle tip-in is sharper. That could also be a result of being a couple hundred pounds lighter.

One observation about the transmission in the S: under light acceleration it shifts into high gear at low rpm to help fuel economy. It often pulls away from a stop in second gear and can need a good prod on the throttle to get it moving quickly. Selecting Sport mode makes the car feel much livelier.

One of the Macan’s more endearing traits is handling that is more like that of a sedan than a utility vehicle. Because the all-wheel-drive system is biased toward the rear wheels, the Macan feels more balanced in corners than most vehicles in this segment and that day-to-day agility is appealing. Power is also distributed to the front wheels when weather and road conditions dictate.

The ride is fairly firm with the standard suspension. Body roll in corners is moderate and the car feels perfectly planted at highway speeds. There is a bit of low-speed harshness on rough surfaces. Porsche’s optional height-adjustable air suspension and active damper control system, PASM, deliver a slightly more compliant ride. The air springs also enable the driver to raise the car’s ride height slightly for off-roading.

Slip behind the wheel and you’ll notice a new 10.9-inch infotainment screen that spreads across the center of the instrument panel. Center air vents now reside below the screen. The new infotainment system is a marked improvement over the previous model. The driver can choose a full-width navigation screen and a three-dimensional view provides a visual context that is missing with the base onedimensional map. Numerous apps show nearby fuel stations, lodging, and restaurants, all items that would be very handy on trips.

Up front, under the skin, Porsche chose stiff aluminum pieces to replace steel units in the front suspension and increased the width of the 19-inch and 20-inch front wheels. The result is sharper corner turn-in. The brake pedal has been redesigned for better feel and the Macan S gets slightly larger front brake rotors.

The 2019 Macan also gains the new Traffic Jam Assist function as a component of the optional adaptive cruise control system. When so equipped, the Macan can accelerate, brake, and keep itself within a marked lane at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

The Porsche Connect app and Porsche Car Connect app enable the driver to communicate with the Macan via a smartphone. The Offroad Precision app can be used to improve and even record off-road experiences in the Macan.

An expanded range of options and assistance systems are also available. The optional GT Sport steering wheel, wrapped in Alcantara, echoes the one found in a 911. The Sport Chrono package includes a mode switch integrated into the steering wheel, and a sport response button that boosts the power of the Macan for 20 seconds at the push of a button. Other options include a heated windshield and an air ionizer that improves the quality of the air inside the vehicle.

Voice input of navigation destinations is simple thanks to the new Voice Pilot. Using online voice recognition, commands are now much more intuitive than before. For example, a navigation destination can be entered without stating address details. The system also understands voice commands for controlling music and vehicle functions.

Running for Research


One in every 79 women will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime. Kelly Cannova found out her mother was one of those women when she was diagnosed in December 2011.

“I wanted to do something,” Cannova says of her mindset after hearing the news. “I didn’t want to be a person who just sat back and said, ‘I wish there was a cure; I wish there were better treatment options; I wish that someone would find something to help ovarian cancer more than it’s being aided right now.’”

So she decided to do more than wish for progress: She founded the OVERRUN Cancer Foundation in 2012, with an annual 5K and 1-mile walk as its central fundraising event. Shortly after, Cannova learned her friend Kristi O’Keefe’s sister was also battling ovarian cancer and asked O’Keefe to come onboard to help.

The two knew they wanted to raise money for ovarian cancer research, which receives less funding than other diseases. Although fewer people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer compared to breast cancer, the prognosis is often much worse, in part because there is no form of early detection, like a mammogram, Cannova says.

Aiming to keep their donations in the Kansas City community, Cannova and O’Keefe partnered with the University of Kansas Cancer Center’s ovarian cancer research program, overseen by Deputy Director Andy Godwin.

In the seven years since the foundation launched, OVERRUN has raised $300,000, most of which has gone to research, including potential therapies, overcoming chemotherapy resistance, new mechanisms of disease spread, and identifying several repurposed drugs and novel compounds.

“We can get money to the young researchers who are willing and able to think outside the box that the government wouldn’t necessarily fund so they can try new research projects with our money,” Cannova explains. “There’s a lot of red tape, and it takes a long time for grants to go through – this way, things can kind of move a little more quickly.”

Additionally, OVERRUN provides comfort bags for newly diagnosed patients at metro hospitals. Cannova says these bags are helpful to take to treatments and include comfort items such as “I am Strong” socks, Chapstick, tissues, hand sanitizer, lotion, mints, pen and a pad of paper to jot down notes from the doctor, and an “I am Strong” book with inspirational quotes and photos from the race.

Despite the discouraging prognosis for many patients, Cannova and company work to maintain an upbeat attitude for themselves and cancer patients.

“We always say, ‘We believe in a cure.’ We always want to be positive and hopeful and we have to keep hoping and working toward that cure.”

The community is invited to help be part of that cure through the annual OVERRUN Ovarian Cancer 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Teal Trail Walk. This year’s race will take place October 20 at Southcreek Office Park in Overland Park.

“Our race is more than just another 5K. It’s a day of hope and support and awareness for everybody,” Cannova says. “Teams come out; survivors come out. We have a survivors’ tent and tons of food and entertainment. It’s just a fun morning and a really important day for people who have been affected and their families, even families who have lost people.”

Since the inaugural run in 2012, participation has grown from around 750 people to more than 1,500 in recent years.

“The first race, we were just absolutely amazed at the outpouring of support. Every year, it’s such a great feeling that so many people are there to help and come out. My mom knew about it and would come out when she could and was so thankful and appreciative that we were doing that.”

Unfortunately, Cannova’s mother passed away in December after her seven-year battle with cancer.

“Some people ask if that’s going to make me stop,” Cannova says, “but it’s really made me want to get a cure more, to get better treatment options for these women of all ages that are diagnosed.”