Business briefs for Sept. 28, 2010

Lafarge names new regional president

Lafarge North America has named Olivier Biebuyck as president of cement for its River Business Unit, which has a regional office in Lee’s Summit and which includes the company’s operations in Sugar Creek.

The company, based in France, makes construction materials. It has 78,000 employees in 78 countries and posted sales of 15.9 billion euros in 2009.

Biebuyck most recently was president of Systech Environmental Corporation, a Lafarge subsidiary specializing in the sourcing and management of alternative fuels for Lafarge’s cement kilns in North America. He will be responsible for cement plants in Sugar Creek; Fredonia, Kan.; Tulsa, Okla.; Joppa, Ill.; and Davenport, Iowa, and for 38 cement and fly ash terminals. He is a native of Belgium and recently became a U.S. citizen.

Also with the River Region, the company has named Teodor Simeonov director of finance and Anthony Corridore, director of marketing.

Blue Springs chamber adds four to board

Four people have joined the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce board. Their terms run through 2013. They are:

Debra Weilbacher, Business Assistance.
  Rachel Hummel, Meyer Brothers Building Company.
  Mark Whitlow, K&M Office Products.
  Kevin Duncan, The Home Depot.

Career expo canceled

The career expo scheduled for Oct. 7 at the Pavilions at Hartman Heritage has been canceled. It had been planned by the Eastern Jackson County Development Alliance and New Landings Job Club.

Chamber anniversary events on Thursday

The Independence Chamber of Commerce kicks off a celebration of its 90th anniversary this week.

The chamber will hold a “Business Before Hours” event on Thursday. It’s from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the chamber office at 210 W. Truman Road. The event is a chance to network with business leaders.

Following that event, the chamber will hold an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Library official addresses chamber

Amy Fisher of the Mid-Continent Public Library system is the speaker at next week’s Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon.

It’s at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Community Center on Main Street. The cost is $10, and the meal, including a marinated chicken breast, is catered by Log Cabin Catering. Call the chamber at 816-847-2627 to register.

Small-business seminar offered

A seminar, “Starting & Managing a Small Business in Missouri,” is set for next week.

It’s from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 at the University of Central Missouri Summit Center, 850 N.W. Chipman Road,  Lee’s Summit. The presenter is Kelly Dyer, manager of Business Applications, and topics include business planning, legal forms, regulations, marketing and financing.

The cost is $79 for the first attendee and $39.50 for each additional person. Register by calling 660-543-4402, faxing to 660-543-8158, sending an e-mail to, or going to

Bed, Bath & Beyond reports higher profits

Bed Bath & Beyond has posted sharply higher quarterly profits, driven by a double-digit increase in sales.

The home-furnishings retailer, based in Union, N.J., is No. 314 in this year’s Fortune 500. It has more than 972 stores, including those in Independence and Lee’s Summit. It also operates more than 100 Christmas Tree Shops, Harmon, Harmon Face Values and buybuy BABY stores.

The company reported earnings of $181.8 million, or 70 cents a share, for the quarter ending Aug. 28. That’s a 34.1 percent jump in earnings from the same quarter in 2009. Net sales for the quarter were $2.14 billion, an 11.6 percent gain.