The All-New 2020 Defender

By Editor | Posted in Vehicles on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 at 5:28 PM

Land Rover redesigns an icon for the future

Redesigning an icon is never easy, but Land Rover has succeeded in crafting a new Defender that embodies 70 years of Land Rover DNA in a package that is both handsome and practical.

“The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief design officer, in press materials. “This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4×4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.”

The Defender has a lightweight all-aluminum monocoque, or unibody, structure that is three times more rigid than a traditional body-on-frame design.

There are two versions: a short-wheelbase two-door Defender 90 that will be available later in the year and a four-door, long-wheelbase Defender 110. The base Defender, with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 296 horsepower, begins at $49,900. The Defender S starts at $53,350. Moving up to the Defender SE P400, with a mild-hybrid-electric six-cylinder engine pumping out 395 horsepower, the base price is $62,250. The Defender HSE is $68,350, the Defender First Edition is $68,650 and the Defender X begins at $80,900. The vehicle driven here was a Defender SE with a sticker price of $71,230.

The Defender 110 comes in five-, six-, or seven-passenger configurations. The seven-passenger configuration has a third-row seat with room for two. The six-passenger model has a front bench seat with a middle section that can fold forward to create an armrest. Three-across front seating is very rare these days.

The Defender 110 is big inside. The back seat has tons of legroom, and the cargo area is substantial. The exposed powder-coated magnesium cross-car beam that spans the instrument panel is integral to the overall strength of the body structure. It is available in a range of finishes and has integrated grab handles to aid entry. There are ample storage bins and cubbies throughout the interior, a phone charging pad and several plugs for phones, tablets, or laptops.

The functional heart of the cabin is the Pivi Pro system, accessed through a 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen, which allows customers to control numerous aspects of the vehicle using the same processing hardware as the latest smartphones. In addition, customers can connect two mobile devices at once using Bluetooth2.

The system accepts over-the-air software updates and various apps such as music streaming. Learning the touchscreen takes some time but it is not much different than most cell phones.

Let’s take a closer look at the powertrain options. The four-cylinder has a twin-scroll turbocharger that delivers 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It can accelerate the vehicle to 60 miles per hour in 7.7 seconds. The more interesting engine is the mild-hybrid six-cylinder that has both a twin-scroll turbocharger and a 48-volt electric supercharger. The starter motor replaces the alternator to assist the engine under acceleration, while the 48-volt lithium-ion battery stores energy captured as the vehicle slows down. Total power output is 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. This engine propels the vehicle to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds. The Defender can tow 8,201 pounds with either engine. Both engines are coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a two-speed transfer case that provides extra-low gearing for towing and off-road use.

The six-cylinder engine delivers excellent power right from idle. Full-throttle acceleration is quite impressive for a vehicle that weighs 5,034 pounds. The eight-speed transmission always seems to be in the right gear for any circumstance and the shifts are smooth.

While I did not have an opportunity to try the Defender off-road, Land Rovers are known for their off-road capability, and if history is an indicator, the Defender should be outstanding. An actuator-controlled piston operated by the foot pedal applies braking effort, delivering much finer control. Land Rover says this new system is handy during low-speed off-road maneuvers and when the traction control and emergency braking systems are triggered, because it can lock a wheel within 150 milliseconds, twice as fast as the 300 milliseconds with a conventional set-up.

The Terrain Response system is activated by the touchscreen and it has settings for various off-road conditions. It also has an automatic function that recognizes the driving surface and configures the vehicle with no driver input.

The high sills, short overhangs, and externally mounted rear wheel facilitate the vehicle’s off-road capability. For serious going, such as mud or sand, the driver can adjust cross-axle slip using center and rear slip controls on the central touchscreen. There are three settings that control throttle, gearbox, steering, and traction control, allowing the driver to tailor the vehicle for a particular situation.

A unique feature is a wade setting that enables the drivers to observe the depth of water under the vehicle on the vehicle infotainment screen. The wade setting also softens the throttle response, sets the ventilation system to recirculate cabin air, locks the drive, and adjusts the ride height. The Defender can wade through 35.4 inches of water. Once out of water, the vehicle automatically drags the brakes to clean and dry the discs.
A new option is a factory-fitted satin protective film that is available on Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone, and Pangea Green paint finishes. The wrap gives the body a satin finish and enhances durability because it can be repaired more easily than paint.

Want to test drive a Defender, or any of our other in-stock Land Rovers? Contact us today.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB250 4Matic

By Editor | Posted in Vehicles on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 at 10:00 AM

A compact SUV with innovative technology

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB250 crossover utility vehicle sits smack in between the company’s GLA and GLC, which is a pretty nice place to be because it offers the room of a larger vehicle with the maneuverability of a smaller one, and it does so at an affordable price. The GLB appears to be aimed directly at young families who want a spacious cabin, good fuel economy, a small third-seat option, and Mercedes-Benz styling.

The GLB’s 111.4-inch wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than the GLA and only 1.7 inches shorter than that of the GLC. The long wheelbase not only contributes to a smooth ride but it accounts for 38 inches of back-seat legroom. The somewhat boxy exterior features an upright front section with short front and rear overhangs. The practical design allows 41 inches of headroom in the front seat, and a low step-in height makes getting in easy for youngsters or adults with their arms full of groceries.

Surprisingly, the GLB has a base price of $36,600 for two-wheel drive and $38,600 for 4Matic all-wheel drive. The base price swells with popular options, and the model I drove had a sticker price of $50,150. Competitors include the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40, among others.

Powering the GLB is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that has been completely updated to deliver sprightly acceleration and fuel economy that is rated at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway. This aluminum engine has cast-iron cylinder liners, four valves per cylinder and variable cam timing. It is paired with an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission that seems to be in the right gear at the right time whenever you need some extra punch for passing or changing lanes. One reason the engine feels so lively is because the GLB’s curb weight is a comparatively svelte 3,638 pounds.

The two-wheel-drive version sends power to the front wheels, while the 4Matic permanent all-wheel-drive system with variable torque distribution sends 80 percent of the power to the front wheels and 20 percent to the rear in “Eco/Comfort” driving mode. In Sport mode that shifts to 70 percent front and 30 percent rear. The Dynamic Select switch lets the driver choose Sport, Eco/Comfort, and Individual settings to control all-wheel drive although the system reacts intelligently to the current driving situation in any mode. In off-road mode, the all-wheel-drive clutch acts as an inter-axle differential lock, and power distribution is balanced 50:50 front to rear. An Off-Road Engineering Package further enhances the GLB’s off-road capabilities, because it adapts the engine’s power delivery and the ABS control to tackle off- road terrain away from paved roads.

For a vehicle aimed at young families, the cabin is of prime importance, not only in terms of comfort but also in terms of convenience. The split-folding rear seat, for example, can be moved closer to the front seat, making it easier for the front-seat passenger to reach a toddler in a child safety seat or to increase the rear cargo area. The sliding rear seat also improves access to the optional third seat, admittedly best suited for youngsters. The large tailgate opens to reveal a sizable cargo space (62 cubic feet with the seats folded).

The GLB has ISOFIX and TOP-Tether anchorages for child seats, and these can be used to attach up to four child seats in the rear. The third row includes two drink holders between the seats as well as two stowage compartments with a rubberized insert, each with a USB-C port. The third seat folds flush with the load compartment floor.

The Mercedes-Benz instrument panel now consists of two screens, one for a digital instrument cluster and one as a touchscreen for operating various vehicle functions such as audio, navigation, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The test car was equipped with the premium package that includes two larger 10.25-inch screens that sweep across the instrument panel like a large computer tablet. The gauge display can be changed in several ways, and many vehicle functions can be controlled by voice. “Hi, Mercedes” is all you need to say to get access to many functions. While the test car was not equipped with its own navigation system, I could connect my phone with Apple CarPlay and use my voice to get directions, play music, etc. Navigation with augmented video and speed limit assist adds an additional $1,150.

The GLB also offers optional driving assistance systems with functions adopted from the benchmark S-Class. Using this technology, the GLB is able to drive semi-autonomously in certain situations. To do so, it keeps a close eye on the traffic with camera and radar systems that allow it to see up to 1,640 feet ahead. The GLB also uses map and navigation data to support assistance functions. The driver assistance package of adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, evasive-steering assist, active-brake assist with cross-traffic function, emergency stop assist, lane-change assist, and active-steering assist adds $2,250.

Mercedes-Benz says that one in three of its vehicles sold worldwide is an SUV, and one in four a compact model. Thus, the GLB is poised to tackle an energized SUV market with a compact size, innovative technology, and everyday usability. For the opportunity to purchase one today, check out our Express Store.

Just the facts….

Engine: 2.0-liter, 221-horsepower four-cylinder

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic

4Matic all-wheel drive

Wheelbase: 111.4 inches

Curb weight: 3,638 pounds

Base price: $38,600

As driven: $50,150

MPG rating: 23 in the city, 31 on the highway

Tom Strongman has a degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri and was
formerly the director of photography and then the automotive editor of The Kansas City
Star. Tom, a member of the Missouri Press Association Photojournalism Hall of Fame, has
written about and photographed cars for more than three decades.

Position Available: Accounting Administrator

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 at 5:05 PM

Aristocrat Motors, a leading high-end, luxury dealership in the Kansas City automotive market, is looking to add a qualified FULL TIME ACCOUNTING ADMINISTRATOR to our team! We are looking for someone with a strong accounting background, preferably in a Dealership environment. The individual should be able to multi-task and prioritize in a high-stress environment. Experience with CDK DMS system is a plus but not required.

Apply today or refer a qualified friend. You can apply by visiting the following We look forward to hearing from you!

Job duties include but are not limited to….

  • Post all retail new/used car deals in accounting
  • Send contract packages to lenders for funding
  • Receipt checks in accounting system for new/used car deals
  • Post funding notices for new/used car deals
  • Post internal charges to vehicles
  • Remit/pay/post all warranty products sold through F&I for new/used car deals
  • Process cancellations for warranty products
  • Handle payoffs for floorplan vehicles
  • Any other task, as assigned by the Controller

In addition to competitive pay, we offer our associates the following benefits:

  • Health, Dental, Vision, Life, and Disability insurance
  • 401(k) plan with company match
  • Paid Time-off
  • 5 day work week – no weekends
  • Closed for most major holidays
  • Employee Vehicle Purchase Program
  • Professional work environment, with job training and advancement opportunities
  • World class beautiful facility

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $15.00 to $20.00 /hour

Breathe. Enjoy.

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 4:19 PM


He climbed two steps toward his upper-floor New York apartment and paused to catch his breath.

Two steps more, pause, catch. He could not wait to see his wife and children who were at
home waiting for him.

Two steps, pause, catch.

He checked his
email on his phone so as to not feel like he was wasting time.

Two steps, pause, catch.

Art reflects life, which is particularly true for artist Dylan Mortimer and his current body of work. Born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), he is currently living and breathing thanks to a third set of donated lungs. According to, CF is a progressive genetic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system. “In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps germs, like bacteria, leading to infections, inflammation, respiratory failure, and other complications. In the pancreas, the buildup of mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that help the body absorb food and key nutrients, resulting in malnutrition and poor growth. In the liver, the thick mucus can block the bile duct, causing liver disease.”

Dylan was born in 1979 in Ohio and grew up in St. Louis. He was 10 years old when he was diagnosed, at a time when the average lifespan of a person with CF was 17  years. As a boy, Dylan loved drawing. He drew comics and thought about art school very early on, an idea supported by his parents. When he was 14 years old, he saw a flyer for a month-long summer art program at the Chicago Art
Institute pinned to a board at his St. Louis high school. He and a friend attended that program.

After high school, he moved to Kansas City to secure a bachelor’s in fine arts in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute. He studied under the now-retired Welsh abstract painting instructor Warren Rosser. Over the course of his time there, Dylan’s figurative painting changed to mixed media and sculpture and installations. After
graduating in 2002, he moved to New York to pursue an
MFA from the School of Visual Arts, graduating in 2006. While there, he was deeply influenced by faculty member and artist Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt, who is typically associated with the American Pattern and Decoration art movement of the mid-’70s through early ’80s. (Lanigan-Schmidt is also well known for his involvement with the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which are widely considered to be the most important event leading to the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in America.) Pattern and Decoration was championed by New York gallery owner Holly Solomon and inspired by 1960s liberation politics, particularly feminism. Artists were producing large paintings, collages, and sculptures emphasizing pattern and all-over decoration using pipe cleaners, foil, cellophane, glitter, and other inexpensive materials.

In 2019, Dylan had his second full lung transplant in New York and  moved back to Kansas City with his wife and two sons. He is currently artist-in-residence at the Townsend Building in Brookside, which is full of his works. These will be shipped to the University of Iowa, where his next show is taking place. That show will will conclude with adding his work to hospital, pharmaceutical company, and medical center collections. Paper, paint, caulk, glue, and glitter covered the studio’s surfaces, ready to be made into more works depicting cells, bronchial tubes, mucus, etc., and certain moments, feelings, and memories pertaining to his experiences of living with CF. Dylan used to resent the idea of making work about CF. “I didn’t want to talk about it; I didn’t want anyone to pity me.” But now, he fully embraces it and wants doctors, caretakers, hospital staff, and fellow survivors to see it and be inspired by it. In fact, he is taking speaking en gagements about his art and is thrilled he is able to simultaneously raise awareness about CF and art.

When asked about his goals for this year, Dylan replied: “I want to be happy and healthy, to continue running and biking with my sons. It is a gift to breathe, and it’s no less a gift for anyone else. Breathe and enjoy. I highly recommend it to everyone.”

Three of Dylan’s works have been recently installed at the KU Med Health Education Building (HEB). You can see his Open Spaces project, a pink painted tree called “Tree, Broken Tree,” in Swope Park; and a sculpture and two collages in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art collection. You can also visit his representing gallery, Haw Contemporary, and website

A Legacy in Values

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Thursday, January 2nd, 2020 at 3:50 PM


Spend some time with Pat Cocherl, affectionately known to many as “Mr. C,” and a few things quickly become apparent: his love for his family, his admiration of the founding fathers (particularly Thomas Jefferson), and his desire to give back.

All these passions come together at the Cocherl Family Foundation’s Jefferson Building. The Leawood space was designed from a drawing by Jefferson that had never been built. The stately structure is filled with references to its namesake as well as other early American visionaries, mixed in with photos of the Cocherl clan: Pat, his wife of almost 50 years, Kathy, and their five children: Jennifer, Shawn, Ryan, Kristen, and Patrick.

The building opened in 2017 and serves as the headquarters for the Cocherl Family Foundation, which is run by all seven family members united to pursue a single purpose: helping kids.

The Cocherl Family Foundation’s mission is in some ways penance for a wrong choice Mr. C made decades ago, he explains.

Cocherl was serving as president of the Blue Valley School District’s board of education in the mid 1980s when a vote passed in favor of integrating students with special needs into the district’s schools. He didn’t agree, thinking it would adversely affect the quality of education, but the
board voted and he was overruled. The program launched at the school where the Cocherl family’s youngest son, Patrick, was about to start kindergarten.

After a few weeks at school, Patrick asked to invite his friend Jake over for a playdate. When the friend arrived, the Cocherls were surprised to see that he was in a wheelchair. Jake’s mother explained some of the basics they would need to know to help Jake during his time at their home, and
the kids had a blast. Meanwhile, Mr. C realized he’d made a huge mistake by rejecting the idea of making the district more inclusive.

“I went to every school in the school district and apologized for my vote and vowed that day to right that wrong,” he said. After working behind the scenes for some time, the Cocherl Family Foundation was born in 2003, a formal entity dedicated to making a difference in the lives of
local children.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Mr. C says about the foundation’s work.

The Cocherl Family Foundation is truly a family affair, starting with its funding. Mr. C’s company, Heartland Customer Solutions, offers support services for Panasonic products and put the Cocherls in a financial position to give back. The family’s own money is the lifeblood of the foundation, which also accepts donations from people who believe in its charitable mission.

Since its establishment, the nonprofit has given to numerous organizations that work to improve life for kids, including the Rose Brooks Center, Beat the Monster, and Children’s Mercy Hospital. It’s also helping to provide funding to a new Wonderscope location in South Kansas City. And in recent years, one of the biggest focuses has been Keep the Spark Alive, an organization determined to prevent suicide by funding innovative programs and initiatives in schools, starting with Blue Valley.

Additionally, the Cocherl Family Foundation offers annual scholarships to Blue Valley students who receive special education services through individual education programs, commonly known as IEPs. The awards fund
their post-high school education, whether that includes attending a college, university, or vocational school.

Mr. C estimates hundreds of area students have received the renewable scholarship since it was established. The scholarships not only set these students up for success after graduation, they also help them develop a sense of self-worth and confidence they might otherwise lack, parents have told the family.

Of course, the Cocherls haven’t been without challenges of their own. Several years ago, the family’s patriarch suffered a massive heart attack that brought him to the brink of death. Mr. C survived, but the experience put his philanthropic mission into even sharper focus.

After recovering, he wanted to ensure the work of the foundation will outlive him and Kathy through their kids, who play an active role, bringing their own projects and ideas to the family’s quarterly meetings where future commitments are decided.

With the children fully invested, the foundation is poised to make an impact for years to come. “I realized that I had more pieces to put in place to finish, and I’ve now done that,” he says, adding, “For the first time, I realized my mortality and it made me hyper-focused on what’s important.”

Kansas City’s Quixotic Roque Show

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 at 5:34 PM

by PATRICIA O’DELL |  photos courtesy of QUIXOTIC

While many Kansas Citians have seen the artistic collaboration of Quixotic at events around town, some are unaware of the reach and scope of the performance company’s work. For the first time since its inception, the company will be offering regular shows near the Crossroads district.

Quixotic calls Kansas City home. The performance group began in 2005 as an annual creative collaboration to provide an outlet for local ballet dancers and stage professionals to work in the off season.

“We did one show a year in abandoned buildings,” says executive producer Mica Thomas, who managed production at the beginning. “We’d clean up the space and figure out a way to run power and put on a show. It was fun and people loved it.”

The community response was positive and Thomas, in conjunction with founder Anthony Magliano, began producing regular shows. About three years into the project people began approaching them to perform at events.

“They’d say, ‘We could give you $500.’ It was only $500, but that made it a paid gig.”

In 2011, they received a call from Mike Lundgren, director of innovation strategy at VML. He introduced the group to TEDx.

“That was a game-changer,” says Thomas.

The exposure from the TEDx performance led to international bookings. Suddenly, this group of local technicians and performers was traveling to Spain, China, India, and the Middle East. The bigger opportunities and bigger budgets allowed for a broader scope of work. They began to explore aerial performance, projections, and animation.

“We know that in Kansas City most people have seen us at Crossroads or the West Bottoms, the Nelson – and we love that, but I don’t think they know we’re doing video mapping for the Smithsonian.”

The company went from one performance a year to employing 15 to 20 people in a residency with a regular show in Miami, which is a riff on cabaret. It’s been remarkably successful.

While Kansas City has always been supportive of Quixotic, the group has performed some of its bigger, more complex material away from home. That is about to change. The group has two new projects launching in the fall. They are bringing Quixotic to Kansas City in a bigger way.

“Our first project is with the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens,” says Hilary Rambeau, producer. “I know when some people think about Quixotic, they think about sitting down and watching a show. This is going to be a like a luminary walk, but times a thousand. It’s about a mile and a half path through the grounds with innovative installments, musicians, and aerialists.”

The group is excited to perform for people who might not have seen them in the heart of the city.

“This is a great way for us to get to Johnson County and have something that is for everyone. We think there may be a lot of people who don’t know who we are in this part of the city,” Magniano says.

The group is equally excited about a collaboration closer to Crossroads.

“So, we opened the show in Miami and it was supposed to run for two months,” Thomas says. “We’ve been down there for two and a half years. We’re ready to bring our performers back – and some of our new Miami family – and do a show here in Kansas City two nights a week.”

Quixotic will be performing in the Heartland Theatre at Crown Center.

“It’s going to be a very unique experience,” says Magliano. “It’s a classic cabaret format – edgy – it’s a late-night experience with an allstar cast of artists, many of whom have been with us for years.”

But it’s not only the relationship to the performers that is at the new show’s foundation, but the connection to the city, as well.

“We’re putting a Kansas City spin on it,” Magliano says. “This will be more jazz inspired than the show in Miami. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Prohibition. We want it to reflect that speakeasy vibe.”

The group sees this new concept as an exciting addition to Kansas City’s nightlife.

“Whether it’s people in from out of town as tourists or on business, or people who are taking friends for the third or fourth time – which was our experience in Miami – we really think this is going to add something unique and special to Crown Center, Crossroads, and downtown,” says Magliano.

“It’s amazing that just a few years ago Anthony and Mica were just trying to create opportunities for artists to perform full time,” Rambeau says. “Then there were ballet dancers, musicians, and technical designers. Now we have 15 to 20 people whose primary income is performing with us in Miami while still creating experiences for more than 90 clients a year with our Kansas City cast.”

“That’s been the goal the whole time,” Magliano says. “Consistent work for people in the arts.”

New Tech Workplace Takes Center Stage

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 at 5:23 PM


Nowhere is the rapid pace of change more apparent than in the tech sector. Fierce competition for talent, an evolving regulatory environment, and mounting privacy and data security challenges confront both well-established tech leaders and startups, forcing them to continuously adapt and innovate.

Companies that succeed in this hyper-competitive market have two things in common: workforces and workspaces that can pivot to address new demands and business models. In a recent report titled “HOK Forward: Tech Workplace Takes Center Stage,” HOK explored the impact tech industry challenges are having on the office space and examined design solutions that can make these spaces more responsive and successful.

The report found that workplace flexibility is key when it comes to spurring innovation and collaboration. So too is personalization. Each company’s ideal environment should reflect its culture, work style, mobility profiles, and business goals and be continually reevaluated as the organization grows.

Five workplace trends that are gaining popularity in the tech sector include: Activity- Based Workplaces (ABW) – This office concept encourages movement and empowers people to select the right space for the job at hand. ABW environments are typically designed to serve four major work functions: solo work, collaboration, learning, and socializing and rejuvenation. These spaces work nicely for organizations that are marketoriented in organizational structure.

Neighborhood-Based Choice Environments (NCE) – A variation of the ABW model, these spaces create a neighborhood or home for teams to operate out of while still allowing people to have access to a variety of work settings. These spaces are ideal for organizations that are team-based and mobile but still seeking to build community.

Agile Environments – Scrum spaces where project-based teams from different business groups or departments can gather to collaborate on special projects. These spaces are helpful for team-based organizations that desire belonging and community, because they are highly interactive and collaborative.

Maker Environments for Mobile Occupants (MEMO) – These spaces are emerging in sectors where rapid development is key. They encourage experimentation and group work in entrepreneurial environments with flat organizational structures.

Immersive Environments – These spaces pull the best lessons learned from ABW, NCE, agile environments, and MEMO and tailor them to meet the specific needs of a company to create custom spaces.

These creative approaches meld the needs of an evolving workforce with the needs of the organization. But attracting talent extends far beyond the work styles accommodated. So, how can tomorrow’s tech workplace attract and retain top talent?

Here in Kansas City, AREA Real Estate Advisors is collaborating with HOK, JE Dunn, and Somera Road to reimagine City Center Square into Lightwell – a new destination for the tech and creative workforce of tomorrow. The focus on flexibility and personalization is shaping the space, attracting tenants like WeWork and ensuring Class A office space for companies in the heart of downtown.

In addition to personalization, amenities play a critical role. Amenity offerings should be diverse and speak to the culture of an organization. Nap pods, wellness rooms, medical clinics, and maker spaces are benefits gaining popularity in the tech industry and beyond. These amenities speak to a workforce that values convenience, works hard, and finds inspiration in unique ways.

Smart workplaces are gaining popularity in the technology sector. Complete with multiple sensors that track office use – such as how often a space is used and the peak times of activity within a communal space – this advanced technology can help building owners and operators optimize a space and better understand which kinds of environments are in demand.

In addition to leveraging data, tech workplaces are on the cusp of merging the digital realm with physical space. This move toward seamless technology that anticipates behavior and needs and creates immersive experiences has the potential to transform the work experience. At the center of this evolution should be a commitment to engaging, equipping, and empowering individuals to excel, which requires developing flexible, technologyinfused space solutions that accommodate a growing diversity of work styles, preferences, and personalities.

The tech industry’s increased focus on the human experience – from amenities to immersive technology – can be applied to workplaces in other sectors. While the next big technological advancement isn’t set in stone, one thing is certain: Companies that wish to remain competitive and responsive in the future will need workplaces with the flexibility and personalization that allow their people to gather, connect, innovate, and simply be their best.

1900 Has Our Number

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, October 7th, 2019 at 6:17 PM

words by EMILY & STEWART LANE | photos by ANNA PETROW

Emily Lane: Months before the actual day, Stewart and I had a lengthy discussion about what we would do for our wedding anniversary. When you’re married to a chef, it seems almost unfair to ask your partner to cook for his own occasion, so we decided dining out was the right decision. So off we went to The Restaurant at 1900, located at the intersection of Shawnee Mission Parkway and State Line in the mixed-used 1900 Building, which recently was restored and expanded by Karbank Real Estate Company and proudly holds the LEED Gold certification (a greenbuilding rating system).

As Stewart and I reminisced about our wedding and past years of marriage, it seemed the same tenets we were personally celebrating that night – care, love, appreciation, teamwork – were also projected through the staff and the food. We were greeted warmly, the hostess welcoming us as if we were in her home. Our server, Jenna, was gracious and had a wealth of knowledge, but shared in a way that was truly genuine and never intimidating. And we were delighted to visit with General Manager Keith Goldman, who has made a tremendous name for himself as a pillar of the hospitality industry in Kansas City. In the elegant, yet contemporary, dining room we settled in for a night that was nothing of short of perfection.

Stewart Lane: At The Restaurant at 1900, Executive Chef Linda Duerr and her powerhouse team of chefs (Andy McCormick and Jonathan Ponzer) are a super group, akin to the Traveling Wilburys, who create edible artistry with familiar, yet complex, flavor profiles. We began our meal with a fluke crudo, composed of tender slices of delicate near-transparent fish enhanced with sweet melon, lemon, and mint, with chopped pistachios and crisp cucumber breaking up the texture and flavors. Speaking of textures, the beef tenderloin tartare was a masterpiece of the medium. Nestled in a thin web of crispy fried potatoes, finely mixed cool beef tenderloin was augmented with fermented turnips and poached potato, giving a lightness and unique texture to the classic dish. The tartare was finished with a delicate truffle sauce, tempered with stone-ground mustard, chives, and lemon. The tomato and bulgur salad, featuring tart green tomatoes and sweet cucumbers, incorporated with root vegetables and dusted with bulgur wheat, cured olive, and banyuls vinaigrette on a pillow of creamed feta, was summer on a plate. Coriander and sesame lamb ribs, which were an inventive spin on that particular cut of meat, utilized spice and a salt-sugar cure to create a crispy outside with tender meat that pulled from the bone. As plate after plate arrived, we were increasingly impressed by the thought and attention going into each step of the cooking and plating process.

EL: Jenna strategically timed the arrival of our plates in a way that we would enjoy each course with the appropriate wine. And speaking of wine, we would be remiss not to mention the iconic Beverage Director Doug Frost (one of four people in the world who has obtained the designation of both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier), who, unsurprisingly, has culled an impressive wine list with something for every palate. Trust your server for advice on a bottle; you won’t be disappointed.

SL: On Jenna’s recommendation, we ordered (and devoured) a small serving of the black garlic linguine in white clam sauce. Succulent clams rested on sliced sea scallops and sharp radicchio, with tender black garlic pasta adding an umami bomb to the sweet flavors. The pickled green garlic and fennel with basil and parsley kept the flavors light and fresh with a lemon crumb nestled in each open clamshell.

For our entrées, Emily couldn’t stay away from the Maine lobster roll, which contained tender lobster lightly dressed and served on a perfectly toasted, buttery and airy brioche bun. The lobster meat was sweet, perfectly cooked, and enhanced with a little lemon and mayonnaise. Another nod to Chef Duerr’s New England roots was the crispy skinned black sea bass accompanied by peekytoe crab dressed in a light lemon aïoli. A savory yet light medley of roasted radishes, white asparagus, grilled scallions, and edamame created a beautiful balance with the tender and juicy sea bass. A simple avocado purée connected all the flavors into a perfect bite, and contentedly we cleared our plates.

EL: If you’ve ever read our column before, you’ll know that I have quite an affection for desserts. But on this occasion, writing about the conclusion of your meal is particularly near to my heart, as I am proud to call Elizabeth Paradise not only a firstrate pastry chef, but also one of my closest friends. Chef Paradise creates sweet treats that appear beautifully simple, not overdone or excessively complex, yet made with an abundance of precision and care. She touches on nostalgic flavor profiles and then reaches beyond for the complementing flavor you never knew you needed, exemplified in her blueberries and cream with crushed meringue and lemon verbena. When you visit, indulge in several of Chef Paradise’s desserts; you’ll be glad you did.

After all, it doesn’t take an anniversary for you to go out to dinner and let the team at The Restaurant at 1900 show you some love.

The Restaurant at 1900 is located at 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Mission Woods, Kansas. They are open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, as well as Monday lunch. Reservations strongly encouraged.

2019 Porsche Macan – The Sports Car of SUVs Gets Refreshed

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, October 7th, 2019 at 6:00 PM

words and photos by TOM STRONGMAN

Since its introduction in 2015, the Macan has been one of Porsche’s best-selling vehicles and it’s not hard to see why. It is a near-perfect blend of a sports sedan and a utility vehicle: fun, yet practical, never boring. Think of it as a sports car you can take to The Home Depot.

The Macan illustrates why midsize crossover-utility vehicles, as a class, keep growing in popularity and, in some cases, are pushing sedans out of the market. They ride and drive like a car, have an upright seating position, and deliver cargo versatility. What they cede to bigger SUVs (greater towing capacity and rugged off-road capability) is essentially moot because most buyers rarely do either.

The 2019 looks wider due to revised front air intakes and new front lights. The parking sensors have been relocated in the front fascia.

One of the most visible changes is found in back where a full-length light bar connects the taillights similar to the rest of the Porsche lineup. Twenty-one-inch wheels are now available for the first time and there are four new exterior colors, including the high-impact Miami Blue and Chalk, a soft, warm gray, straight from the 911 palette.

For this review I drove both the base Macan and the Macan S. The base model starts at $49,900 and has a turbocharged 2.0-liter fourcylinder that delivers 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The S begins at $58,600 and has a new 3.0-liter, single-turbo V-6 that is also used in the base Cayenne and Panamera. It develops 348 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The engines are sourced from corporate cousin Audi but have been tuned with Porsche software. Both models use the same seven-speed PDK transmission that can be shifted manually with paddles on the steering wheel. Allwheel- drive is standard.

While the Macan S is one second quicker to 60 miles per hour, the base four-cylinder actually feels a tad more responsive in stop-and-go traffic because throttle tip-in is sharper. That could also be a result of being a couple hundred pounds lighter.

One observation about the transmission in the S: under light acceleration it shifts into high gear at low rpm to help fuel economy. It often pulls away from a stop in second gear and can need a good prod on the throttle to get it moving quickly. Selecting Sport mode makes the car feel much livelier.

One of the Macan’s more endearing traits is handling that is more like that of a sedan than a utility vehicle. Because the all-wheel-drive system is biased toward the rear wheels, the Macan feels more balanced in corners than most vehicles in this segment and that day-to-day agility is appealing. Power is also distributed to the front wheels when weather and road conditions dictate.

The ride is fairly firm with the standard suspension. Body roll in corners is moderate and the car feels perfectly planted at highway speeds. There is a bit of low-speed harshness on rough surfaces. Porsche’s optional height-adjustable air suspension and active damper control system, PASM, deliver a slightly more compliant ride. The air springs also enable the driver to raise the car’s ride height slightly for off-roading.

Slip behind the wheel and you’ll notice a new 10.9-inch infotainment screen that spreads across the center of the instrument panel. Center air vents now reside below the screen. The new infotainment system is a marked improvement over the previous model. The driver can choose a full-width navigation screen and a three-dimensional view provides a visual context that is missing with the base onedimensional map. Numerous apps show nearby fuel stations, lodging, and restaurants, all items that would be very handy on trips.

Up front, under the skin, Porsche chose stiff aluminum pieces to replace steel units in the front suspension and increased the width of the 19-inch and 20-inch front wheels. The result is sharper corner turn-in. The brake pedal has been redesigned for better feel and the Macan S gets slightly larger front brake rotors.

The 2019 Macan also gains the new Traffic Jam Assist function as a component of the optional adaptive cruise control system. When so equipped, the Macan can accelerate, brake, and keep itself within a marked lane at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

The Porsche Connect app and Porsche Car Connect app enable the driver to communicate with the Macan via a smartphone. The Offroad Precision app can be used to improve and even record off-road experiences in the Macan.

An expanded range of options and assistance systems are also available. The optional GT Sport steering wheel, wrapped in Alcantara, echoes the one found in a 911. The Sport Chrono package includes a mode switch integrated into the steering wheel, and a sport response button that boosts the power of the Macan for 20 seconds at the push of a button. Other options include a heated windshield and an air ionizer that improves the quality of the air inside the vehicle.

Voice input of navigation destinations is simple thanks to the new Voice Pilot. Using online voice recognition, commands are now much more intuitive than before. For example, a navigation destination can be entered without stating address details. The system also understands voice commands for controlling music and vehicle functions.

Running for Research

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, October 7th, 2019 at 5:43 PM


One in every 79 women will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime. Kelly Cannova found out her mother was one of those women when she was diagnosed in December 2011.

“I wanted to do something,” Cannova says of her mindset after hearing the news. “I didn’t want to be a person who just sat back and said, ‘I wish there was a cure; I wish there were better treatment options; I wish that someone would find something to help ovarian cancer more than it’s being aided right now.’”

So she decided to do more than wish for progress: She founded the OVERRUN Cancer Foundation in 2012, with an annual 5K and 1-mile walk as its central fundraising event. Shortly after, Cannova learned her friend Kristi O’Keefe’s sister was also battling ovarian cancer and asked O’Keefe to come onboard to help.

The two knew they wanted to raise money for ovarian cancer research, which receives less funding than other diseases. Although fewer people are diagnosed with ovarian cancer compared to breast cancer, the prognosis is often much worse, in part because there is no form of early detection, like a mammogram, Cannova says.

Aiming to keep their donations in the Kansas City community, Cannova and O’Keefe partnered with the University of Kansas Cancer Center’s ovarian cancer research program, overseen by Deputy Director Andy Godwin.

In the seven years since the foundation launched, OVERRUN has raised $300,000, most of which has gone to research, including potential therapies, overcoming chemotherapy resistance, new mechanisms of disease spread, and identifying several repurposed drugs and novel compounds.

“We can get money to the young researchers who are willing and able to think outside the box that the government wouldn’t necessarily fund so they can try new research projects with our money,” Cannova explains. “There’s a lot of red tape, and it takes a long time for grants to go through – this way, things can kind of move a little more quickly.”

Additionally, OVERRUN provides comfort bags for newly diagnosed patients at metro hospitals. Cannova says these bags are helpful to take to treatments and include comfort items such as “I am Strong” socks, Chapstick, tissues, hand sanitizer, lotion, mints, pen and a pad of paper to jot down notes from the doctor, and an “I am Strong” book with inspirational quotes and photos from the race.

Despite the discouraging prognosis for many patients, Cannova and company work to maintain an upbeat attitude for themselves and cancer patients.

“We always say, ‘We believe in a cure.’ We always want to be positive and hopeful and we have to keep hoping and working toward that cure.”

The community is invited to help be part of that cure through the annual OVERRUN Ovarian Cancer 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Teal Trail Walk. This year’s race will take place October 20 at Southcreek Office Park in Overland Park.

“Our race is more than just another 5K. It’s a day of hope and support and awareness for everybody,” Cannova says. “Teams come out; survivors come out. We have a survivors’ tent and tons of food and entertainment. It’s just a fun morning and a really important day for people who have been affected and their families, even families who have lost people.”

Since the inaugural run in 2012, participation has grown from around 750 people to more than 1,500 in recent years.

“The first race, we were just absolutely amazed at the outpouring of support. Every year, it’s such a great feeling that so many people are there to help and come out. My mom knew about it and would come out when she could and was so thankful and appreciative that we were doing that.”

Unfortunately, Cannova’s mother passed away in December after her seven-year battle with cancer.

“Some people ask if that’s going to make me stop,” Cannova says, “but it’s really made me want to get a cure more, to get better treatment options for these women of all ages that are diagnosed.”

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