When Business and Community Come Together, Everyone Wins.

By Alicia Walker, SBA Relationship Manager, Core Bank Loan Production Office

Recently, I was invited to attend a ribbon cutting event by one of my good friends, Mark Byrd. Mark Byrd is the owner of New Reflections Technical Institution (NRTI), a school which offers Commercial Driver’s License Programs in the Kansas City, Missouri area. The program is committed to helping individuals in need of a second chance find a better living, and do what we all long to do… be able to take care of our families.

I was invited to ATTEND the ribbon cutting for NRTI. Little did I realize, until I got there minutes before the program started, that I was HOSTING as the MC! If you don’t know me well, you might expect that I would be a little frazzled by the short notice and lack of familiarity with the agenda. But, not me. My motto that day was, “have mic, will travel.”

NRTI CDL Program: Ribbon Cutting

I started my MC duties out by thanking those in attendance for coming and noting it was a “reflection” on their support for New Reflections Technical Institute. (See what I did there?) I then went on to talk about the pride and sense of accomplishment the program provides graduates of the program. I even mentioned the economic impact the program will have on our local economy through job creation… I’m talking millions of dollars.

NRTI CDL Program: Ribbon Cutting

From left to right: Alicia Walker, Mayor Sly James, Mark Byrd

I spoke a little more about the importance of businesses rallying around programs such as NRTI by volunteering as classroom speakers on business topics (which I’ve done), opportunities to provide financial support and donations, and spreading the word about programs like NRTI. When this marriage of collaboration between business and community happens, we all win.

Next on the agenda, Kansas City Mayor Sly James spoke about the partnership between the city and New Reflections Technical Institute. He praised the work, commitment and progress Mark had made. Compared to my speech, the Mayor did okay… (just kidding.) It was awesome to hear him speak about the success of the NRTI program.

I attend a lot of events as a Business Banker for Core Bank. I get to network with influential people, meet passionate and successful business owners, and when I’m lucky, be in some really cool photos. But this event was special. It was personal. As a person who once needed her own second chance (topic for another blog post maybe?) I can really appreciate the struggle and now the success these students are realizing as a result of their participation in the NRTI CDL program. So to the students and Mark, I say “kudos and congratulations!”

Mark and a Truck