Past Issues

Thinking Bigger Business Staff

Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co. Celebrates 60 Years

SPONSORED POST | Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co. is turning 60 this year. As a locally-owned community bank they are a true financial partner to their business customers—connecting business owners with a vast array of credit resources and solutions. The financial professionals at Blue Ridge Bank have the skills and training to advise and support customers throughout the lifespan of their business loans. (more…)

Piloting Your Business to Success, with Michael Hendricks of SureHosting

Michael Hendricks, founder and CEO of SureHosting Internet Solutions, joins Smart Companies Thinking Bigger host Kelly Scanlon to discuss how he turned a childhood passion for computers into a thriving business.

As Michael puts it, he was always “that kid” growing up. At the age of 7, he gained infamy when he tore the family computer apart and successfully put it back together. His parents gave him a PC, but with one caveat: He had to sign an agreement to never touch the family PC again. Little did his parents know, they were giving him the gift of a career.

Before starting SureHosting at age 19, Hendricks worked for Silicon Valley companies and in IT in the healthcare industry.

Tune in to capitalize on the wisdom of Michael’s experience as a business owner:
Michael’s business partner and best friend from high school was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Learn how dealt with the partner’s separation from the business and eventual death. “It taught me that business was for real,” Michael said. “If we didn’t deal with the painful situation and save the business, it would cost all of our employees their jobs. It was a hard lesson, but when I hear about companies who work with spouses or family members, I think about this and realize it can work, but it takes a commitment from all parties that the business comes first.”How his love for flying helicopters taught him important lessions about hiring and training employees.How business owners can learn to view technology as a return to the bottom line rather than as a cost. As Michael puts it, “You should not be ‘spending money’ on technology.
Visit the archives to listen to all the shows in the Smart Companies Thinking Bigger lineup.

From Entry-Level to Company President, with MTI Events owner Melissa DeLeon

Melissa DeLeon, president and owner of MTI Events, joins Smart Companies Radio host Kelly Scanlon to discuss her entrepreneurial journey through more than 30 years in the meetings and incentives industry.

MTI Events is a family-held, full-service events company that Melissa’s mother founded in 1986. Melissa started with the company from its beginning, working her way from the ground up with data entry for performance reports, mailing promotional marketing items and working on site as professional travel staff. 

After graduating from college in 1994, Melissa started full time as an account executive in sales at MTI. In 2006, she took over as president of the company. 

Listen in as Melissa shares:
How she transitioned from an entry-level employee to company president.The secret to MTI Event’s success over the years.How they’ve grown the business, including expanding beyond events as incentives and adding corporate meeting and team-building events; special events such as trade shows, golf tournaments and customer appreciation programs; and sales meetings.Some of the most memorable events Melissa has planned over the years. You won’t want to miss the story about the zebras leading the guests to the buffet table!
Visit the archives to listen to all the events in the Smart Companies Thinking Bigger lineup.


Diamond Quality Service and Values Drive DMC Service, with Karen Crnkovich

Karen Crnkovich, owner of mechanical service contractor DMC Service, joins Smart Companies host Kelly Scanlon to discuss her entrepreneurial journey.

Founded in 2004, DMC Service (which stands for Diamond Mechanical Contractors) focuses on repairing and maintaining existing building and industrial systems,such as HVAC and plumbing.

Tune in as Karen discusses her transition to owner of the company and the core values that drive company culture, their relationships with customers, and their community involvement. The core values include: connected, committed, capable and champions.

Clients aren’t the only ones who benefit from the expertise of this certified woman-owned business. Every year on the Diamond Day of Service, DMC’s team donates time and materials to a nonprofit agency or family in need.

Visit the archives to listen to all the shows in the Smart Companies Thinking Bigger lineup.


  1. (913) 432-6690
  2. PO Box 754
        Shawnee Mission, KS


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