Membership Update

Membership Update:

95 members, up 4 from the previous quarter

Member Profile: Luke Gardner

Where do you work/what do you do?

Currently I work for Blount International, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of farm, ranch, forestry, lawn and garden, and agricultural parts and implements.  I am the Inventory Manager for the new Distribution Center for all of North America near the KCI Airport.  I am responsible for 40,000 different SKUs worth over $51,000,000 in a 350,000 sq. ft. distribution center.  We are planning on expanding to 1,000,000 sq. ft. with the integration of other Blount product lines.  We currently house 2 of the 5 product lines Blount has acquired.  Right now we are in the start up phase, creating and controlling processes, integrating systems, and merging business cultures.  Exciting stuff!

Where did you go to school? Are you new to the area? If so, where did you, move here from?

I am originally from the Kansas City area.  I went to K-State for both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Industrial Engineering.  I was a former member of the KCIIE chapter and K-State student chapter, and have recently rejoined to reconnect with old peers and friends.

Is there anything about you or your family that you would like to share?

Married my wonderful wife Sarah last September.  No kids yet. 

Any other tidbits of information that you might like our members to know about you?

Love to travel and eat new things.  Of course, being from KC, I am a BBQ connoisseur.


Membership Update & News

Membership as of 4/1/12 – 91 (down 3 from last month)

Member News

IIE member since 2009, Matthew Kafka is a process improvement project manager by day at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinic. Matthew has recently entered a new business venture, The Local Pig.

During Matt’s formative years (high school and college) he grew up on a farm and worked as a line cook in steakhouses. This background led to many experiences ranging from hunting to cost analysis and set the base for his constant yearning for continuous improvement and high standards of always looking for ways to improve products or processes. Matt’s first job out of college as a process engineer allowed him to travel the country (75% on the road) and experience regional and rural/urban cultures especially related to his interests pertaining
to food and healthcare!

This brief history sets the stage for his desire to be an entrepreneur. An opportunity via craigslist occurred to open a butcher shop. Matt and Alex Pope, his business partner, met over a few beers and struck a business relationship. Due diligence, his background, and his conservative nature with resources and money all pointed to signs of success for the butcher shop business opportunity.

The Local Pig has been and will continue to be a huge learning experience. Matt has learned and can see now why many folks don’t take the plunge into forming a small business! Since opening the doors on February 27th, Matt and Alex have learned one valuable lesson in particular: we were naïve! Engineer and business skills can only take you so far with planning and interacting with customers!! You can have much planning and there will still be items that were forgotten or not even thought about, one in particular being that the customer
reception has been larger than expected! The original business plan has already been exceeded and larger visions are now being formulated!

The Local Pig opened its doors at 2618 Guinotte Avenue in Kansas City, MO on February 27. A grand opening party was held on March 3. The Local Pig is open daily from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm.

To find out more, below are links to The Local Pig’s website and recent press releases on the business:
The Local Pig –
The Local Pig on Twitter –!/thelocalpigkc

Ink Magazine –‐chef‐alex‐popeopens‐local‐pig‐a‐butcher‐shop‐in‐the‐east‐bottoms/

Pitch Weekly –‐popes‐local‐pig‐opens‐on‐monday-february‐27