Monthly Archives: May 2012

Roofing company Aspen to expand because of storm damage

Aspen Contracting is expanding its offices in the Wichita area following the Wednesday storms that caused extensive wind and hail damage.

“We are expanding our workforce and the number of offices that we operate in the Wichita area. The expansion is a direct result of increased demand from home owners and businesses requesting damage inspections and repairs,” said Pat Nussbeck, President and CEO of Aspen Contracting.

In a news release,  Aspen, which is a roofing contractor, said it will add an unspecified number of employees.

The company has its headquarters in Lee’s Summit, Mo., and operates in 42 states.

Two area companies named Exporter of Year finalists

Bunting Magnetics of Newton and Global Parts in Augusta are among five finalists for the 2012 Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award, the Kansas Department of Commerce announced.

The three other finalists are Bergkamp of Salina, Pitsco of Pittsburg and Tank Connections of Parsons.

Winners will be announced June 12 at the annual Kansas Calvary Encampment.

Fifteen Kansas companies were evaluated in the selection of award finalists.

They were evaluated on a number of measures, including number or percentage increase in jobs because of international activities, use of international distributors and joint ventures established.

Freddy’s to open Garden City restaurant

A Freddy’s Custard & Steakburger franchise is expected to open on the east side of Garden City as part of a commercial development planned there.

Landmark Commercial Real Estate today announced the sale of a Home Depot outparcel  to GC Custard LLC,  a Freddy’s Custard & Steakburgers franchisee. The outparcel is located  just off  East Kansas Avenue, which was previously home to an A&W Restaurant.

The sale was brokered by Brad Saville and Brent Madison of Landmark Commercial Real Estate Inc. GC Custard LLC has started construction and intends to have the new Freddy’s completed by late summer.

Local CCIM Chapter Earns President’s Cup Award


The Kansas chapter of the CCIM Institute was recognized for excellence at the organization’s Midyear Business Meetings in Kansas City, Mo., last month.

The Certified Commercial Investment Member group includes commercial real estate and allied professionals.

According to a release from the group, the Kansas chapter won the President’s Cup award, which honors CCIM chapters that have demonstrated the highest degree of skill, ingenuity, and innovation in promoting the membership benefits of the CCIM Institute at the local and regional levels.

The Kansas chapter won in Tier 3, the division for groups with fewer than 125 members.

Alternative energy casualty of Europe’s financial mess

Interesting story in Bloomberg about Spain, which has one of the biggest alternative energy industry. Because of its terrible financial troubles, Spain’s government has cut subsidies for all new wind and solar projects. The country appears to have mismanaged its power industry, generating far more power than it needs.

The problem is that by cutting off the subsides for too long, it will damage the industry. Most people believe that alternative energy will eventually play a big role in supplying the world’s energy, the only question is how and when.

Apartment complex for seniors planned in South Hutchinson


A plan for a 36-unit apartment complex for senior citizens is moving ahead in South Hutchinson.

Builders Development Corporation and Net Giver Communities have announced that the project will receive $5.5 million in affordable housing tax credits from the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation. The project also was awarded a $200,000 HOME funding grant from KHRC.

Developers said in a news release that the apartment complex will incorporate sustainable design and building materials as well as integrate renewable energy systems to help offset ongoing operating costs.

The development will be restricted to residents who are 55 or older and include one- and two-bedroom apartments. Construction is expected to start this fall.

NuStar’s Wichita region wins OSHA safety award

The employees and management of NuStar Energy-Central East Region (Kansas District) in Wichita have been recognized by OSHA for excellence in the company’s employee safety and health program.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration honored  NuStar Energy’s facility with a “star”  designation, the highest honor in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs.

NuStar Energy earned the designation following a comprehensive on-site evaluation by a team of OSHA safety and health experts, according to a release from the federal agency. The petroleum pipeline company employs about 70 workers at the facility.

The Voluntary Protection Programs recognize private and federal work sites with effective safety and health management systems that have maintained injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages.

Funeral directors group selects Justin Smith as president-elect

Justin Smith of Derby was installed as president-elect of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association at the association’s annual convention, which was held May 6-9 in Topeka.

Justin, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University, serves as president of Smith Family Mortuaries, which has funeral homes in Derby, Wichita, Haysville, Mulvane, Douglass and Belle Plaine.

Justin resides in Derby, with his wife, Deyna, and three children.

Other KFDA officers elected at the convention include Robert Gashaw of Osborne as president, Dudley Feuerborn of Garnett as vice-president and Bill Nicholson of Hoisington as secretary/treasurer.

Radio group names Wichita promotions and marketing director

Mike McQuilliam has been named promotions and marketing director for Journal Broadcast Group’s Wichita operations, according to a news release issued by the company.

McQuilliam joined the company in October 2001, beginning as an overnight monitor and remote technician, and later became the local producer for the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show on 92.3 KMXW.  He then moved to evenings on KFDI, a position he’ll continue in addition to handling his promotion and marketing duties.

Raised in Newton, Kan., McQuilliam attended Wichita State University and Kansas State Unviersity.

An avid hockey fan, he recently completed his second season as the PA announcer for the Wichita Thunder and was voted second best PA announcer in the league.

It’s all about gas prices

WICHITA — Many economic indicators seem to be stuck or even moving in reverse (you 401k owners know what I’m talking about), but gas prices have finally started to come down and, voila’, people are more confident about the future.  I guess that makes the politicians job pretty simple, doesn’t it.

Engineering school treats incoming freshmen

WICHITA — The engineering school at Wichita State University is treating its incoming freshmen to a week-long program of enrichment called the Bridge for Engineering and Engineering Technology Students. The school got a big grant last year and this is part of that. The school wants to improve the student experience in order to increase the number of Kansas applicants and their desire to stay in the program. Freshman can build personal connections with each other and faculty and mentors. It also has sessions for students to brush up on math.

The 20 slots of the program are already full for the upcoming year, but it  will expand next year  to 50 incoming freshmen.

Go Wichita adds Saturday hours

Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau will add Saturday hours starting this week.

The center at 515 S. Main, Suite 115, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, according to a news release from Go Wichita.

The visitors information center offers brochures on Wichita attractions, as well as the 2012 visitors guide and Wichita-related souvenirs.