Business news for May 25, 2010

‘Overcoming Stress’ is luncheon theme

The Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce June luncheon will feature speaker Judy Smith on “Overcoming Stress.”

The event is next Tuesday at Grain Valley Middle School, 901 S.E. Ryan Road. Networking is at 11:30, and lunch is at noon. The cost is $9. Call the chamber this week to sign up. The number is 816-847-2627.

‘Guerrilla marketing’ is ICED program focus

The Independence Council for Economic Development has a few seats left for this Thursday’s Learn @ Lunch program, which is on guerrilla marketing.

The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Staybridge Suites in Independence. It is based “Guerrilla Marketing,” by Jay Conrad Levinson, and the program is delivered by Shawn Kinkade of Aspire Business Development. The focus is on the major roadblocks to successful marketings, the key traits of a “guerrilla marketer” and steps to creating a marketing plans.

The cost is $30 and includes lunch. Contact Jenni Mann at the ICED at or 816-252-5777.

Reynolds makes fast start with lia sophia

Doretta Reynolds of Blue Springs is among those whom lia sophia recently cited for top honors for its Excellent Beginnings Program Achievers for their sales accomplishments and professionalism. The award is given for the first 15 weeks’ performance by hitting sales levels and by sharing lia sophia with other new advisors. The company sells jewelry through in-home demonstrations. 

Help with fireworks tent and have a blast

The Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers to help with the fireworks tent June 26 through July 5. The chamber is asking people to sign up by June 11. Call the chamber office at  816-847-2627 or send an e-mail to

Area executive cited for development work

The Missouri Economic Development Council has named Jim Devine, president and CEO of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, as the 2010 Professional Economic Developer of the Year. The award is presented to an MEDC member who has made significant contributions in the field of community-based economic development.

Devine joined the Lee’s Summit group in 1999 and has more than 30 years of experience as a consultant or chief executive. The EDC, a public-private partnership, is the city’s marketing and product development arm to retain and attract business.

Insurance company honoring Michael Blau

Farmers Insurance Agent Michael Blau has qualified as a “Championship” Agent by the company for outstanding overall performance.

Recognition for the honor includes attending a conference this week in San Diego to discuss business strategies and key issues affecting customers and the industry. The company said only 164 agents and 22 district managers earned the honor of attending the conference. Blau lives in Lee’s Summit, where he also has his Farmers office.

Books-A-Million posts lower earnings

Books-A-Million has reported lower earnings for the first quarter of the year.

The book retailer, based in Birmingham, Ala., is opening a store soon in Blue Springs.

The company reported a profit of $2 million, or 13 cents a share, in the quarter that ended May 1, compared with $2.1 million, also 13 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The company has been cutting costs on the face of lower sales, which were down 3.6 percent for the quarter.