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Updated: May 3

Written by Allison Seiler

Leadership Kearney Class 32 started the day at Builders with a presentation and tour from Stacy Bivona. Stacy discussed the different services Builders provides to DIYers and local contractors, including design assistance and serving as a full-fledged hardware store. She also touched on Builders plans for expansion in the upcoming years.

Photos provided by Baldwin / Parker Hannifin

Next, the class traveled to Parker Hannifin, where they learned about the company’s humble beginnings and how it transformed into the global company it is today. The class got to tour Parker’s Kearney manufacturing facility, which is nearly one million square feet and learned about how the company is vertically integrated and manufactures filters for cars, farm equipment, and everything in between.

Photos provided by Baldwin / Parker Hannifin

The class continued with the car theme and toured BluePrint Engines, where they broke into small groups for manufacturing facility tours. They learned how the founder, Norris Marshall, started BluePrint Engines out of his garage nearly 40 years ago. The class got to experience BluePrint’s process of manufacturing an engine from start to finish and learned that it is the number one source for GM, Ford, and Chrysler-compatible engines.

After finishing at BluePrint, the class traveled to Buckle and toured the Women’s Buying Group. They learned how the group purchases all the Buckle denim we have come to know and love, including how they work with certain companies to manufacture Buckle-exclusive products.

Cash-Wa was the next stop on the tour. The Leadership Kearney class toured the entire warehouse facility, including the freezer section, and learned about how the company serves small businesses in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. After the tour, the class explored the cash and carry store and the different products Cash-Wa offers in smaller quantities.

To end the day, the class went to Upper Room Brewery. Dustin Favinger showed the class their brewing equipment and explained their approach to brewing beer. He also explained that his brewer and business partner, Michael Freitag’s, career as a hospice chaplain inspired the theme for the brewery and the name for each beer. Afterward, the class discussed the tailgate to support Operation NETS at the UNK Spring game on April 19. 

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