Daily Archives: March 14, 2014

You don’t say

“It’s usually Mrs. McGinn with her daddy’s shotgun in her hand.”

– State Sen. Carolyn McGinn’s response to Sen. Forrest Knox during a debate on strengthening metal theft enforcement in which she said her family has been victimized, and he suggested her husband and a shotgun could take care of it

J.V. Johnston takes Newman University job and keeps ownership in Johnston’s

jvWICHITA — J.V. Johnston is the new vice president of institutional advancement at Newman University, which means he’s now the former president of Johnston’s, the men’s clothier at his Collective development just east of 21st and Greenwich.

“I’m leaving because I’m able to leave,” says Johnston, who will remain an owner in the business.

He says he’s been delegating more and more the last several years.

“One day, I came in, and I said, ‘I don’t have anything to do,’” he says. “I really kind of delegated myself out of a job.”

He didn’t have any intentions to work at Newman, though, until he felt a calling.

“It may sound squirrely,” Johnston says. “I’m religious. I’m not fanatical. I never had a calling. This time I did.”

Before he got that higher calling, though, Johnston heard from Bob Simpson, his friend who owns Simpson Construction Services.

Simpson told Johnston about the open position and the qualities the school was looking for in that potential employee.

“I’ll get you some names,” Johnston told him.

Simpson made it clear he had someone else in mind for the job.

“He leans over the table and says, ‘I’m looking at him.’”

Johnston says he “really felt like someone hit me with a club over the head, and I was going to fall out of the chair.”

He asked president Noreen Carrocci if she would consider him. She advised he get a resume for starters.

“I never had a resume, which is weird.”

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Subaru of Wichita responds to ‘Shame on Subaru’ sign with one of its own

suburuWICHITA — Labor dispute signs have been popping up at all kinds of businesses and nonprofits in the last couple of years, but Subaru of Wichita appears to be the first business to fight back.

“To be accused of desecrating the American way of life, we’re going to take a little bit of exception to that,” says Aaron Wirtz, who handles marketing and media for Subaru.

Earlier this week, the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 began a protest in front of the dealership, which is on East Kellogg between Greenwich and 127th Street.

Subaru is in the process of a $1.5 million update to transform the property to the Subaru brand from the previous Suzuki brand that was there.

Wirtz says in addition to hiring a local architect on the project, Subaru hired Wichita’s Key Construction as its contractor. He says Key then hired Hi-Tech Interiors, a local nonunion firm, to do a small portion of drywall work.

In response, the Carpenters union now has people manning a “Shame on Subaru of Wichita” sign on an easement in front of the dealership.

“While we’re certainly not happy to see that, we were kind of unsurprised,” Wirtz says.

In response, Subaru now has a sign that plays off the “Shame” by saying, “For having unbeatable prices.” It also says “indisputable” in a couple of places on the sign.

Wirtz says Subaru respects the union’s right to protest.

“We’ve actually given them lunch. We’ve invited them to visit our facilities.”

Wirtz says he’s convinced the people with the sign are simply hired by the union to stand there.

“It doesn’t really look like they want to be here anymore than we want them to be here, to be quite frank.”

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Funeral services set for Pat Ayars

WICHITA — Services have been set for Wichita businessman Pat Ayars, who died of complications from cancer on Wednesday.

The service will be at 11 a.m. on March 19 at St. Mark United Methodist Church at 1525 N. Lorraine Ave.

A memorial has been established in Ayars’ name with Victory in the Valley.

A 1,500-square-foot Scooter’s is second tenant for Union Station

WICHITA — Occidental Management now has its second tenant in its new development at Union Station, which it is planning to transform into a multi-use destination in the heart of the city.

“We’re going to be putting in a Scooter’s coffee cafe,” says Occidental president Chad Stafford, who handled the deal with chairman and CEO Gary Oborny.

Wichita businessman Tad Fugate will open the Scooter’s in 1,500 square feet on the east end of what was the Grand Hotel immediately to the west of The Wichita Eagle. The businesses are across from the entrance to Old Town.

“So they’ll have great presence along Douglas,” Stafford says.

“To have them in this with their coffee brand is pretty exciting,” he says of Fugate and his company.

This won’t be a typical Scooter’s kiosk.

“This is a little bit different for them in that they’re getting into a little cafe style.”

There are similar Scooter’s cafes on the Plaza in Kansas City and in Overland Park.

There will be a drive-through at the cafe.

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