Robert G. Bailey / Advisory Board Member

University of Missouri / Columbia — Director of the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, Assistant Dean, & Senior Fellow

BA (1968), Marist College JD (1979), University of Missouri Director Bailey joined the Law School in 1979. He left full-time employment at the Law School from 1983-87 to serve as Municipal Judge for the City of Columbia, while continuing to work at the Law School part-time. In 1987 he returned full-time to the Law School and now serves as Director, Assistant Dean, and CSDR Senior Fellow. He continued to serve as Associate Municipal Judge until June 2005. He teaches Arbitration, Life Skills Seminar, and Lawyering and Dispute Resolution. Dean Bailey has an active arbitration practice serving on several arbitration panels including Major League Baseball’s Salary Arbitration Panel. He is on the FMCS and AAA Labor Arbitration Panels. He serves on the Governing Board of the National Academy of Arbitrators and has been or is Chair of the Audit, Nominations, and New Member Orientation Committees, and is the Academy's parliamentarian. Dean Bailey is also very involved in University and community projects and has served as chair or a member on the boards of numerous community organizations, for which he has received numerous honors. Dean Bailey serves as chair of the Athletic Department’s Strategic Planning Committee and the Professional Sports Counsel Panel. He is also vice-chair of the Health Science's Institutional Review Board and a member of the University’s Conflict of Interest Committee. He is a Commissioner with the National Conference on Uniform State Laws. He chairs or has chaired the Boone Family Resource Center, the Family Health Center, the Central Missouri Food Bank, the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network, and the Industrial Development Authority. He is active with the NCAA and has served as an accreditor at several Division I universities and has conducted strategic planning for the Division I Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Bob is married to Sharon, a retired kindergarten teacher extraordinaire. They have two children, Tara and Jessica, and four grandchildren, Caden, Bryson, Nathan, and Sadie Jane.  

Joe Calhoon / Advisory Board Member

Priority Advantage — President / Certified Speaking Professional

Over the past 25 years, Joe has delivered more than 2,500 client experiences to more than 500 different clients, providing the tools and guidance needed to improve performance and results. Joe’s proven business growth process has been utilized by companies such as Jack Stack Barbecue, Checkdate Solutions, General Electric and Burns & McDonnell. As a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), designated through the National Speakers Association, Joe serves as a catalyst for business growth, leadership development, and higher performance. Joe ’s  entertaining, educational and motivational style creates a positive learning environment that facilitates personal and organizational growth. Joe was the most requested and highest rated speaker with Covey Leadership Center in the 1990’s. In addition to helping start more than 20 new business ventures, he has authored three breakthrough books, Prioritize!, On the Same Page, and The 1 Hour Plan for Growth. Joe lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife, Diane.

David Embry / Advisory Board Member

Lockton Marketplace — President

David Embry   David Embry is currently the Senior Vice President of Sales, Client Service and Marketing responsible for leading the SelectQuote Benefit Solutions’ team in the management of client relationships, acquisition of new clients and building strategic partnerships.  SelectQuote Benefit Solutions provides institutions, their employees, members, or retirees with exchange services for Medicare complimentary insurance products, Auto & Home and Term Life.    Prior to joining SelectQuote Benefit Solutions, Embry spent 20 years at JPMorgan Chase. Most recently his role was the Managing Director of Client Service, Sales and Marketing for JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services unit and was a member of the organization’s Operating Committee.   He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southwest Baptist University and a master’s of business administration in finance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. David is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) with Series 6, 7, 24 and 63 licenses and holds a Life & Health Insurance License.

Dave Gras / Advisory Board Member

The Navigators — Kansas City Metro Director

Gras has worked with The Navigators, an international multicultural Christian organization, for 37 years. Since 1990, he has directed a Navigator Business and Professional Ministry in Kansas City. He provides one-on-one mentoring when he leads conferences and programs to help business people integrate faith and business. Gras and his wife Susan have four adult children and two grandchildren.  

Drew A. Hiss / Advisory Board Member

Acumen — CEO

Drew Hiss launched his outsourced payroll and HR technology solutions company, Checkdate Solutions, in 1994. The entrepreneurial dream, Drew experienced much success, but not without many failures. He bootstrapped the company to incredible heights. One of Kansas City’s fastest growing companies, his firm was named one of the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce Best Businesses not once, but twice. Additionally, Checkdate Solutions ranked as one of KC’s top 100 fastest growing companies for nine consecutive years and was in the top 25 nationally in its industry.

Today’s workplace culture tends to compartmentalize personal virtues from commerce, creating siloes between business, family, community and values. But as a CEO, Drew and his company grew when he decompartmentalized: on his journey, he learned to integrate his life of commerce and his life of faith, family and values. Drew merged Checkdate Solutions with payroll industry leader Paycor, stepping away from the company in 2008 and serving on its board for eight years. Drew remains an owner in the firm. Today, Drew’s heart for virtuous business leadership is at the core of Acumen. Acumen is a catalytic iron-sharpening-iron environment and this is Drew’s passion.

Drew has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Drew is involved with Young Life Kaw Valley, a Christian outreach to middle and high school students in the Basehor-Linwood, DeSoto, Lansing/Leavenworth, Mill Valley and Bonner Springs, KS areas and currently serves as its Board Chair. Drew is also the past Chair of the Board for Higher M-Pact. Hiss previously served as a board member for the National Christian Foundation - Heartland and City Union Mission.

Drew and his wife Sarah have been married for 27 years and have four children ranging in age from 23 to 17. He is a member of Westside Family Church and a raving-fan distance congregant of Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, CO. Drew enjoys snowboarding, hunting, cycling and a variety of outdoor activities including running with his four dogs.


Ellis Ingram, MD / Advisory Board Member

University of Missouri/Columbia-School of Medicine — Senior Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion

Ellis Ingram, MD, is senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. He has served on the pathology faculty at MU for more than 30 years. Dr. Ingram was born and raised in Detroit and received his medical degree from the University of Michigan. He completed a residency in pathology at MU in 1978. Dr. Ingram leads several outreach and pipeline programs. He and his wife, Pamela, founded Granny’s House, an afterschool program that provides a safe and encouraging environment and a hot meal to children. Dr. Ingram is also the founder of CALEB – The Science Club, which sparks students’ interest in science, medicine, legal professions, education and more through field trips and hands-on experiences. He also founded the Excellence in Learning program, which brings St. Louis area high school students to MU each year to experience medical education. Dr. Ingram received a U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring. The Ingrams were also recognized with the Donna Crocket Memorial Award from Coyote Hill Children’s Home for their efforts to serve children and the community. In 2010, Dr. Ingram received MU’s Inclusive Excellence Award.  

Tom Lipscomb / Advisory Board Member

Northwest Mutual Financial Network — Financial Representative

Tom Lipscomb has been a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual since 1985. Eleven times he has been among the top twenty salespeople for the company out of over 7,000 representatives. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Kansas. Tom and his wife, Kari, have two children, Anna (age 15) and Thomas (age 12). They live in Overland Park, Kansas. Tom plays saxophone on his church music worship team and is on the board of several local ministries. His hobbies include kids’ activities, bicycling, traveling, music, and playing catch in the backyard.  

Patrick McGannon / Advisory Board Member

Kessinger/Hunter and Company — President

McGannon is President of Kessinger/Hunter & Company, a full-service real estate firm, handling 25 million square feet in 23 states and internationally. He currently oversees an industrial department that handles the leasing and sales of over nine million square feet of industrial properties in the Greater Kansas City area.

Matt Miller / Advisory Board Member

The Robert E. Miller Group — President

Prior to joining The Miller Group in 1986, Matt worked as a manager in the construction field. That expertise translated into a special focus in property and casualty sales. Matt has served on the board of the Associated Builders and Contractors and other trade organizations which help him better assist his clients. Today, Matt’s primary responsibility is in Business Development. For the past 20 years, he has helped the firm grow in excess of 20% each year, doubling in size about every three years. Matt was a tennis player at Regis University, where he earned a BS/BA in Business and Philosophy. He is a graduate of Rockhurst High School and the father of six children.

Robert Pascuzzi / Advisory Board Member

Creative Planning — Vice President

Robert Pascuzzi heads Creative Planning Services, a retirement planning affiliate of Creative Planning. Creative is an independent investment company that provides unbiased assessment and management of company retirement plans company, and is dedicated to bringing a full range of retirement plan consulting services at both the plan sponsor level as well as the participant level. Our in-house investment committee, headed by one of the nation's top financial advisors, selects and monitors investments for company retirement plans. Creative is nationally recognized for its wealth management services and has been featured in Robb Report's Worth Magazine, Bloomberg Wealth Manager and Medical Economics. Creative Planning has an in-house investment committee that selects and monitors investments for company retirement plans. Since 1993, Bob has focused his expertise in both the qualified plan arena as well as providing "key employee" executive carve-out benefits. When deploying education at the participant level, Bob and his team focus on assisting employees to get "on track" to live the same standard of living in retirement. Bob grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated in 1986 from Briar Cliff college in Sioux City, Iowa with a BA degree. Bob earned the CLU designation from the American College in 1998 and earned his AIF designation (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) from the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies in March, 2006. He is also involved and supports the Christian Foundation for underprivileged children. He is married to Kelly and they have three boys.  

Dave Perky / Advisory Board Member

TPP Certified Public Accountants, LLC — Partner

As a co-founder of the firm, Dave was instrumental in the early growth of the firm from just a couple of employees.  The firm’s unique bonus structure and administrative policies were originated under his leadership.  Dave has also served as managing partner during a majority of the years of the firm’s existence.  A Certified Public Accountant since 1978, his experience includes four years with an international accounting firm where he served on the audit and tax departments. Throughout his career he has provided tax and financial services to individuals, trusts, partnerships and corporations. Working with company owners, Dave coordinates and analyzes clients’ financial information, provides tax-planning services with an emphasis on the minimization of income taxes and has extensive experience with succession and estate planning.  His education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Kansas State University, where he graduated magna cum laude, and hundreds of continuing education hours in accounting and taxation. Dave is a member of the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Certified Financial Planners. Dave has also earned the designation of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning (CSEP). He serves on the Board of Higher M-Pact - an organization whose mission is to transform high risk urban youth into tomorrow’s leaders.  He is also active in Corporate Resource Alliance – an organization dedicated to helping the business owner run his/her company more profitably. Dave and his wife Teresa have three children and reside in Overland Park, Kansas.  

Larry Ryan / Advisory Board Member

Ryan Lawn & Tree — Owner

Larry Ryan started Ryan Lawn & Tree in 1987. From day one, Larry's goal has been to set the standard in customer service. Larry has a degree in forestry, but it was the 10 years he spent in the restaurant business that taught him to deliver high quality products and hire a staff that truly puts the customer first. RYAN partners with our customers to maintain their lawn, trees, shrubs and irrigation systems with high quality service at an affordable price.  

Jane Shelley / Advisory Board Member

Waterford Property Company, LLC — Partner

Shelley has over 22 years of commercial real estate experience with specialization in property management. She has lead property management teams responsible for over 11 million square feet of office space. Additionally, she supervised new account transition teams including coordinating new staffing, operations and process mapping for five new clients totaling over 1.2 million square feet of space. Jane also develops and implements formal customer service surveying programs and measurement plans to gauge customer service satisfaction and metrics.

John W. (Jay) Simpson / Advisory Board Member

Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP — Partner

Simpson is a Partner and the chair of the Tax Practice Group at Shook Hardy & Bacon, LLP. He has substantial experience in tax planning and tax controversy work; developing strategies for corporate acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, reorganizations and restructurings; state income, sales and property tax law; and representing telecommunications businesses with respect to state and local tax matters. Jay has represented clients before the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, the Kansas Board (now Court) of Tax Appeals, the Missouri Supreme Court, and the Kansas Supreme Court.

Tim Sotos / Advisory Board Member

Clinical Reference Laboratory — CEO

Mr. Sotos is Chairman of the Board and CEO at Clinical Reference Laboratory.  He has been CEO since 1995 and has been with CRL for over twenty-five years. He holds a B.S. in Economics and an M.B.A., both from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.    

Michael Williams / Advisory Board Member

Williams Dirks Dameron, LLC — Founding Partner

Williams represents employers in arbitrations and is an experienced litigator of discrimination and retaliation claims. Mr. Williams counsels business clients regarding human resource, workers' compensation and employment issues. He is an experienced speaker to employees, management and human resource officers on various employment law topics. Mr. Williams is also a requested presenter at employment law seminars for continuing legal education and human resource professional organizations. Mr. Williams is very active in the Kansas City community as a mentor for disadvantaged youth.  He is chair of both the Diversity Committee for the firm and the Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair.

Mike Yardley / Advisory Board Member

VML — Chief Integration Officer

Yardley is the Chief Integration Officer at VML, a full-service digital marketing agency. He oversees VML's 30-person media and digital content distribution discipline, as well as the eCRM discipline, which is responsible for email marketing. Mike also provides strategic and account leadership for some of VML's largest global client partnerships including Colgate-Palmolive, YRC Worldwide, Giant Eagle and Fannie Mae. In his spare time, Yardley enjoys spending time with his family, serving in the community and reading a good book.

“Higher M-Pact showed me great things. They took me to my first concert. And it shocked me because I never thought I could be in a position like that. With the things that I’ve gone through in my life, I never even imagined that this could be possible.”