Schenker award

Cherie Schenker was recognized by the Kansas Department of Commerce for having the Woman-Owned Business of the Year, Schenker Family Farms. She is standing with her husband, Kevin.

Lower middle-market private equity firm Blue Sage Capital (“Blue Sage”) recently completed acquisition of Magnum Systems Inc.

Headquartered in Kansas City, with an additional manufacturing facility in Parsons, Magnum, through its Taylor Products and Smoot brands, is a leading designer and manufacturer of branded packaging and material handling solutions serving a diverse set of end markets, applications and customers.

The company’s products are designed to handle free-flowing materials that are difficult to package or convey in all types of manufacturing environments. Magnum’s products are recognized throughout the industry for their superior quality, performance, reliability and ease of use.

President and CEO of Magnum, Travis Wallace, remarked “the Magnum management team is thrilled to partner with Blue Sage as we seek to lead the company into its next stage of growth.  The Magnum brand is highly respected in the industry and with the resources and skill set Blue Sage can bring to bear, we believe the company is well-positioned for the future.”

Peter Huff, co-founder and managing member of Blue Sage, stated, “Magnum management and shareholders have built a solid business with a long track record of market leadership in the pneumatic material handling and packaging industries.  We are delighted to partner with Travis Wallace and his team as we work together to accelerate the growth initiatives at the company.”

Wallace assumed his job in Parsons on Oct. 1. He succeeded Gary Saunders, who retired.

Wallace has been part of the Magnum Systems team for 10 years beginning in the assembly area for the Taylor Products brand from 1997 to 1999 before returning to Magnum from 2001 to 2006, assuming responsibilities as a regional sales manager and product manager.  In 2007, Wallace joined DERBIGUM Americas as a marketing strategist, working his way up to general manager of American operations prior to rejoining the Magnum team as general manager in 2015.  Since his latest return to Magnum, he has integrated the engineering departments at both the Kansas City and Parsons locations while overseeing business development for the organization.

“There is something to be said for going home. Magnum Systems is where I received my first opportunity in the industry as an assembly technician.  To be able to return and lead this company means a lot to me.  I am excited about the team we have in place to continue our tradition as a customer-centric company focused on providing solutions for our customers.  In an industry experiencing rapidly evolving technology and automation, Magnum Systems is well-positioned to remain a leader in innovation, quality, and service for the foreseeable future.”

Wallace holds a bachelor of arts degree in public relations and master of arts in organizational and interpersonal communication from Pittsburg State University.  He is married and the father to four children.  He spends his downtime attending his kids’ sporting events, cooking with his wife, staying in touch with his rugby mates and writing.

Save-A-Lot to change owners

The corporate owner of a grocery store chain with locations in Parsons and Chanute will sell the chain to a Canadian company.

Food retailer and wholesaler Supervalu Inc. will sell its Save-a-Lot business to Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp. for $1.37 billion rather than spinning off the discount chain as previously planned, the companies said Monday.

Save-A-Lot has 1,370 stores, mostly in the southern and eastern United States, and generates about a quarter of Supervalu’s sales. Supervalu had been looking to separate the more profitable division from its slower-growing grocery wholesale and food retail businesses as bigger rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. increase their focus on groceries.

The deal is expected to close by Jan. 31, the companies said.

Zacarello moves office

Cody Zacarello moved his American Family Insurance office from 1816 Main to 107 S. 27th recently.

The insurance agency was renting space in its former building when Jennifer L. Eichinger, CPA, LLC, bought the building and relocated to it.

American Family Insurance offers auto, home, life, business and umbrella insurance.

Body Beautiful moves downtown

Body Beautiful relocated recently from 2331 Main to 1906 Main, Suite A.

The beauty salon opened in its new location, the former home of Radius Salon, which closed, on Sept. 27.

The move was made because the new building is better suited for Body Beautiful, is located downtown and offers a better opportunity for everyone working there. The business has five hair stylists and two nail technicians. The business also has two tanning beds, a standing tanning bed and spray-on tanning.

Body Beautiful was leasing the 2331 Main building, and it is for sale now.

Newland attends fall conference

TOPEKA – More than 230 optometrists and 155 optometric assistants attended the 2016 Kansas Optometric Association Fall Eyecare Conference in Wichita.  Optometrists attending were able to receive 13 hours of continuing education toward the 24 hours required for re-licensure.  Among those attending was Dr. Craig Newland of Parsons.

The seminar included sessions on ocular emergency management, psychosocial impact of vision loss, ophthalmic ultrasounds and technology in refractive eye care.  Attendees also had the opportunity to hear presentations on quality performance measures, technology and practice management.

Library workshop held in        Parsons

Kati Sills and Julie McIntosh of Parsons Middle School, Brenda Edward of McCune Osage township Library and Willie Markham of Parsons Public Library attended the Southeast Kansas Library System (SEKLS) workshop on how to Refresh Your Children’s and Young Adult Collection at the Parsons Public Library on Sept. 28.

The morning session featured Erin Downey Howerton, who spoke to the crowd on The Life-Changing Magic of Weeding. In the afternoon, a panel of librarians from across Southeast Kansas advised the 35 participants on the basic principles of choosing quality materials for the library in the areas of literature for young adults, graphic novels, early literacy, juvenile series fiction and board books. Particular emphasis was placed on the specialized journals and websites that offer book reviews of these specialty subject areas.

Schenker Family Farms             recognized

McCUNE — A McCune business was awarded Woman-Owned Business of the Year (Retail Division) this week by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Cherie Schenker of Schenker Family Farms was honored. Schenker and her husband, Kevin, had a chance to purchase part of her family’s farm in 2007. They took it and began turning the livestock operation into a direct-marketing farm specializing in pasture raised and grass-fed meats. Now, it markets and ships to customers across the U.S. and is one of two companies in the country that direct ships steaks to our soldiers in Afghanistan. Schenker Family Farms employs six people and now is one of the largest direct marketing operations in the state of Kansas.

“We are honored to be recognized. Homegrown businesses can make rural America thrive,” Schenker said.

For more information visit their website at or find them on social media.

The award was presented during a luncheon in Topeka celebrating Kansas Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, celebrating minority and woman entrepreneurs in Kansas.

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