Kat McDanielBy Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

It’s something that is very important to me and all of our employees.

From the very beginning we recycled all paper, metal and plastic.

Items are collected all over the facility, recycled, reused or disposed of in a responsible way.

On demand printing, enabled by our digital presses, allows our clients to print only what they need. This reduces their waste and valuable storage space. Did you know that 30% of all printed material becomes dated or factually obsolete before it is ever consumed? That’s why on demand is better!

All components of the dry inks that we use have been tested to ensure no harmful compounds are generated or released during manufacturing, usage or disposal. The dry inks also can be readily removed from printed documents for recycling.

Our presses also feature patented coatings and glossing techniques in combination with the dry inks – these solutions use environmentally benign methods to add protection and enhance prints. No plates or water are used when printing digitally. Less paper is used since there is no need for a traditional make-ready, therefore less raw materials are used.

Recycled materials and paper are used when possible and we work very hard to ensure that our production is waste-free.

Our plant was one of the first facilities to be certified for FSC and FSI in Kansas City.

Orion Award - Clean and GreenIn 2007 we completely redid all the lighting in our 40,000 square foot facility and received the Orion Environmental Award. We reduced our power consumption by a third and we were able to recoup our costs for the project in less than one year.

MEDiAHEAD also received the inaugural Bridging the Gap Environmental Award in 2008 for our efforts in preserving our environment.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

― William Shakespeare

By Izzy, the lovable mascot and driving force for success at MEDiAHEAD

Izzy head shotHey, it’s IZZY! Did you miss me? It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog. I’ve been so busy with work and all, I am so sorry!

I have to share an experience with you. Something happened recently that almost killed me. Well not really, but I was so incredibly sick. Self induced food poisoning. It was horrible.

Friday Lunch

Every Friday, the office orders lunch and eats together. I think this is just a wonderful thing. I usually participate by sitting on the floor and begging in my usual way, looking for scraps and such. No one was budging this day, because it was pizza (I guess) and they love pizza.

After everyone was done eating, they accidentally left the remaining pizza on the conference room table. Just for ME! So… I jumped up on the chair and got onto the table and helped myself to a pizza buffet! It was so delicious, I just had a wonderful time and no one was even looking. After eating as much as I possibly could, I jumped down and ran around the office to check on everyone’s productivity like I normally do.

Then it hit me… yikes, the pizza wasn’t settling well. Before you know it, the pizza… you know, well… I don’t want to go into the details. Apparently, pizza expands in your stomach. My humans should have told me that.

Izzy Eats Too Much Pizza

Take a look at the picture… I look like a bowling pin with legs and ears. I was not feeling well at all. I lost all my energy and I thought I was going to have to go to the doggy hospital; the rest of the afternoon wasn’t much fun.

Then I got busted.

Kat found my paw prints on the table in the conference room… and the jig was up! Everyone knew I had gotten into the pizza. Hey, they left it just for me, right!?!?! Now I understand that it really wasn’t left for me. What an insidious trap. Dogs should not eat PIZZA!

I feel much better now though. Well enough to tell you the story at least. Thank you for your condolences and well wishes.

Til next time!

– Iz

By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD

Populous LogoPopulous is an architectural design firm here in Kansas City. They are well respected and have done projects all over the world. We appreciate one of the statements on their home page, “We design the places where people love to be together.” They have a passion for their work, and we really enjoy working with them.

When we first met with the Chief Marketing Officer of Populous, one of their designers was in the room. We asked him for a business card. The designer said that unfortunately, it had been four weeks, and he still didn’t have a business card. We told them we could fix that. And that’s how the relationship started!

Today, Populous employees have the ability to go to their online, customized portal to order business cards.

Populous - Unique Business CardsSomething unique we are doing for them… they can choose any one of the photos of Populous projects for the back of their business cards! If they upload a hundred project photos, they can have one hundred different business card backs in their 250 business card order. It’s a fun way for their employees to give a personal touch to the sales and marketing process. And all they have to do is log into their portal to order. It’s that simple.

Once ordered, their new business cards will get to them within 2 – 3 days after they approve them in our system. What an improvement over the 4+ weeks it used to take to get business cards!

We love what we do at MEDiAHEAD and no project is too big or too small.

When faced with a challenge, we tackle it head on and always come up with a solution. Often, it’s a customized solution that ends up being the right answer for each and every client. Let us help you streamline and standardize your processes, get faster turn times, and manage your brand consistency and content. Most of all save, you can save your organization time and money.

At MEDiAHEAD, the customer comes first. Give us a chance to show you. Find out more about us in more stories on our blog: https://mymediahead.com/blog

University Academy Logo

LeRay WarriorBy LeRay Warrior, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

University Academy is one of the best schools any child could wish to attend. Not only does the school provide some of the best statistics in the state, but, as a student, it prepares you better than any other public high school can for college admission.

As a K-12 public charter school, the aim of of this institution is simple, to shape and mold students into the leaders of our future by easing their path to higher education. There is no doubt in my mind that attending this high school is a huge reason behind the success I have enjoyed.

Here’s why I think UA is one of the best high schools in the country, and why parents should definitely be sending their kids there.

Impressive Track Record with College Admissions

Ever since the school’s inception in 2000, the school has been delivering outstanding results. For starters, there has been a 100% acceptance rate for seniors moving on to college after graduation. These students aren’t just getting accepted into any old university… With approximately 50% of UA graduates going on to gain admission into top 150 colleges nationwide.

For many, college isn’t possible without the help of some sort of scholarship, which was certainly the case for many students when graduating. UA has helped last year’s graduating class receive more than $7 million in scholarship offers, and that number has significantly risen this year.

They help students check the boxes for scholarships and support them through the application process.

If you want to give your child the best possible chance of achieving entry into a top school with a good chance of an academic scholarship, then UA is one of the best schools in the country, never mind the state, to fulfill this goal.

Recognized for Its Commitment to Its Students

What I love about my former high school is that they support all students equally, no matter their background.

In 2017, UA Upper School was awarded National Blue Ribbon status, demonstrating its commitment to excellence and student support. This achievement has taken years of hard work and dedication from everyone involved with the school. And it has finally paid off by becoming the first ever public charter school in Missouri state history to receive National Blue Ribbon recognition.

Unwavering support and commitment to students from all backgrounds is also demonstrated by the college degree completion rates of UA graduates. These stand at more than 5x the national average for students that come from the lowest quartile of family incomes. Not only has UA achieved national recognition, but it’s also received a 100% APR from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the last 3 years running!

I’m so proud to say I am an alumnus of this institution, because I graduated with many other students who would have been written off at other high schools… but not here. Everyone is treated with the respect and support they deserve while receiving one of the best educations around.

Investment in Extracurricular Education

I’m a big believer in education not stopping once you leave the classroom.

The programs that I’ve taken part in, such as entrepreneurial courses and investment courses, were invaluable in developing skills that were useful both in my professional and in my personal life. Although a confident child, I didn’t properly develop my social skills until I was thrust out of my comfort zone. These experiences, forced me to mature as a person and make me into the person I am today.

Other extracurricular experiences that many students have participated in include traveling abroad, away from their families, to experience different cultures. This helps them all become more well-rounded individuals.

Support Doesn’t Stop Upon Graduation (How UA Set Me Up for Life)

With many other high schools, once a student leaves, contact between them and their school drops off as staff focus their efforts back on their remaining students. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth at University Academy! Their alumni success program is second to none, offering students the chance to intern with awesome companies. The College Incentive Program (CIP) also makes money available for students to help to take care of expenses such as books, tuition, living expenses and equipment.

These programs were instrumental in helping me secure work with one of the biggest payroll and HR companies, Paychex. With the work ethic instilled in me from from my UA days, I managed to become one of their top sales reps before moving on to Capital One to become Vice President (Commercial Cards).

I’m now a Principal at MEDiAHEAD, and I still attribute my successful career to the education and experiences given to me by University Academy.

Why I Give Back

As you can see, UA has influenced many parts of my life. This school set me on a path that I may not have taken had I attended a different high school. Having given me such a platform, it is only right that I dedicate what time I can to give back to students and the wider community of UA.

Where I can, I help out with students and alumni. My goal is to make sure the support I received continues to be at the exceptional level it was when I attended. I also donate yearly to help fund projects and programs that advance students in their bid to gain college acceptance.

Final Thoughts

University Academy is one of the best high schools nationwide. I am so thankful for their commitment to outstanding education, for their dedication to helping every single student with their college applications and finally for their continued support after graduation. In my opinion, there really is no better place to send your child to be educated, not just as a number in a classroom, but as a person that will be ready to go out into the wider world when the time comes.

If you have an opportunity, please visit the school to take a tour. I am sure that you will be impressed!

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Building a loyal team can impact everything from your company culture to your bottom line.


Building a Loyal TeamSeveral years ago I was wandering around Home Depot and Target. I was picking up crazy things for my 65 employees before our holiday party: a yardstick for Danny, because he always goes the extra yard for us, a fire extinguisher for Bill, a magic wand for Carly, a magic 8 ball for scheduling and pom-poms for the plant manager.

I tried to pick out something that symbolized what that employee meant to all of us and what we recognized as their strength. One of the employees at Home Depot finally came up to me and looked in my cart – he said “Lady, I just have to ask you, what in the heck are you building?”

“A team” I answered, laughing.

Years later, after the company had experienced some hard times, Danny wrapped up the yardstick and gave it to me for Christmas – he said that all the employees knew that I had gone the extra yard for them that year. There wasn’t a dry eye at the party and I still keep the yardstick on top of my computer to remember that day.


To get everyone involved one year, we all picked names of our fellow employees out of a hat. You had to say ten nice things about your person and build or make something for them. Everyone went all out making mobiles, globes, illustrations, framing artwork and pictures. But, most significant were all the wonderful things that they had to say about each other.


Building a Loyal TeamI’ve found that a big part of feeling valued occurs when employees are aware that they add something to the company that no one else can. Last year, I chose a book that I thought symbolized what each employee meant to the company. The Magician for Michele, The Fearless Leader for Bill, The Book of Joy for Michael, The Old Man and the Sea for Mike, etc.


Every Friday, we bring in lunch for all the employees and they get to pick a different place to order from. The only rule when we come together is that no business is discussed – we talk about kids, dogs, funny stories and weekend plans. On occasion, we go to Roanoke Park and climb on all the equipment and enjoy the sun while eating our sandwiches.


When I got sick in 2016, I had a meeting with my attorney, accountant and insurance broker. They challenged me to write down every question that employees lined up outside my door to ask every day. After writing them all down, I assigned someone or empowered the employee to make that decision while I was gone – they already knew the right answer. And, big surprise, since I have been back, no one lines up outside my office. They all know the right thing to do and make good decisions.

As an employer or a manager, one of your most important responsibilities is making your employees feel truly valued, letting them know that without them, your company, your department and you – would be worse off.