By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

Oreo was born on January 1, 2010 and currently weighs 1,400 lbs.

OreoOreo Special K is a spotted saddle horse that previously was a buggy horse in the Amish country. Most likely, Oreo had a difficult life before coming to Kansas City. The Amish people own horses mainly for practical purposes. And it’s safe to say – Amish view animals differently than your average horse owner.

“They don’t have a sentimental view of animals or nature,” said Steven Nolt, a senior scholar for Anabaptist and Pietist studies and a professor at Elizabethtown College. “They have pets that they love and care about but animals are also part of the world at work. Ideas about animals are not sentimentalized. They are fairly realistic. To work a horse is not being cruel.”

When he arrived, Oreo was fearful of everything, jumping at any noise, constantly looking over his shoulder and wanting to bolt if he was scared. Oreo worked with a “horse whisperer” over the last three months at Forbes Ranch, and he has made great strides.

Oreo is currently living with my friend Denise Farris and her horse Copper. They’ve become great friends already and love to run and play in the pasture together.

Both Oreo and I had a lot to deal with in 2018… and we’re looking forward to healing together in 2019.

Michele Stillwell

Michele Stillwell

Post Author: Michele Stillwell, Marketing Distribution Portal Enthusiast | Marketing Guru | Accounting Shark | Lover of All Animals

What feeds your soul?

I absolutely know what feeds mine.

It’s having the opportunity to leave the office every Wednesday afternoon to go to Crossroads Academy Quality Hill and read with my little first grader as part of Kansas City’s Lead to Read initiative.

Lead to Read connects trusted, caring adult volunteers (Readers) with kids in grades 1 through 4 from every walk of life.

Once a week, for 30 minutes, readers and kids explore the world by reading books provided by the children’s’ teachers.

Lead to Read

It’s all done in the safety and security of an elementary school classroom.

I can’t tell you how gratifying this has been for me both personally and mentally.

It’s hard to describe the feeling of knowing that you are helping inspire a child to love to read.

I truly look forward to my Wednesday afternoons. To be honest, I wish it was longer than 30 minutes!

Either way, hopefully, my little first grader is getting inspired to read and knows how much I care about her future.

If you’d like to volunteer and become a Reader, click here for more information.

Michele Stillwell

Michele Stillwell

Post Author: Michele Stillwell, Marketing Distribution Portal Enthusiast | Marketing Guru | Accounting Shark | Lover of All Animals

What qualifies a company to become a certified woman-owned business?

In order to qualify as woman-owned, a business must be considered “small” as defined by the relevant North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

In addition, the business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. Citizens.

Did you know MEDiAHEAD is 100% woman-owned and operated?

We’ve been Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)-certified since 2015.  We hold certifications in the states of Missouri and Kansas as well as in the City of Kansas City.

What are some of the advantages of being a WBENC-certified company?

Access to Information – Establishments that are certified, woman-owned businesses are granted access to large databases utilized by major corporations and government entities that support supplier diversity.

Networking Opportunities

Increased Education Opportunities


What are the benefits of working with a company that is WBENC-certified?

The Federal Government affords tax incentives to those who conduct business with minority and woman-owned businesses.

Additionally, tax liabilities are reduced for projects funded with Federal or State grants/loans when the supplier is a woman-owned business.

Smaller companies typically bring innovation to the table in order to stand out among the competition, have faster turnaround times, and develop innovative strategies to benefit their clients.

Smaller companies also have the advantage of agility, being able to quickly respond and adapt to the needs of their clients.

Did you know that WBENC-certified woman-owned businesses are among the fastest growing sector of our economy?

By partnering with a woman-owned business, you’re showing your company’s commitment to working in diverse markets and furthering economic growth in your local communities.

As a supporter of supplier diversity, your business becomes more attractive to corporations who are seeking second-tier sourcing suppliers who work with women-owned businesses.

According to WBENC, their certification standard is the most relied upon certification of women-owned businesses as a supplier diversity business program. This certification validates that a business is 51 percent owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women.

To all who support women-owned businesses, THANK YOU. To those looking to partner with more, give us a call today!

Izzy and PepperPost Author: IZZY

Hey, it’s IZZY! We haven’t talked in quite a while.  I’ve just been so busy keeping things moving at work.

One day my friend Pepper came to the office. We love to play. And boy do we play hard. Then we like to take a break and lay on the soft blanket. (Hey, it’s a dog’s life after all!)

As you can see, I chew on my bone. Pepper does NOT get my bone. She can only watch me chew on MY bone.

Truth be told, I’m really not too good at sharing, but Pepper doesn’t mind one bit.

It’s great having Pepper around as she can help me keep an eye on things, smell the floor, look out the front door and greet all the people that come in to visit. All of these are critical jobs at MEDiAHEAD.

We also keep everyone company at lunchtime. It’s our favorite time of the day!  I always like to show her which people have “the good stuff”, but unfortunately I’ve heard her keepers don’t let her have human food. (total bummer!)

That’s really a shame as some human food is super good.

Pepper doesn’t get to come too often, but when she does, we have a great old time!

Thanks for reading my post. I worked really hard on it. Now back to my bone…

Til next time,


izzy paw

Michele StillwellPost Author: Michele Stillwell, Marketing Distribution Portal Enthusiast | Marketing Guru | Accounting Shark | Lover of All Animals

One of the things I like best about working at MEDiAHEAD is that we give, donate and support so many local charities. Kat is so generous to the Kansas City area and all the charities that surround it.

The Grooming Project is just one of many that we support. If you don’t know what the Grooming Project is, let me get you up to speed.

It’s the pilot program of Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC), a nonprofit in Kansas City, MO devoted to helping impoverished families become self-reliant through job training.

This is job training that allows parents to do their most important job: raise their children out of poverty.

Highlights of this program include:                   

        100% job placement

        87% employment retention

        62% off government assistance

The Grooming ProjectThey train their students in the art of dog grooming, which is an in-demand career in the Kansas City area. Groomers make an annual salary ranging from 35K-70K.

Grooming is a profession in which individuals with many of the barriers to stable employment – including past addiction, criminal records and incomplete education – can find employment.

Their Annual RISE Gala is on Saturday, September 15.  39% of annual income comes from this event.

All proceeds benefit their life-changing vocation education program.

Donating to local charities is extremely gratifying and it’s built into the fabric of the MEDiAHEAD culture.

In the end, helping local charities makes you feel good, and helping others is hugely empowering and fulfilling.

The saying “It’s better to give than to receive” is truly a reality and I’m proud to work for a company who understands that.

Thank you MEDiAHEAD for supporting our local charities!

Michele StillwellPost Author: Michele Stillwell, Marketing Distribution Portal Enthusiast | Marketing Guru | Accounting Shark | Lover of All Animals

“What a great idea,” we all told Danny!

You see, it was Danny who came up with the idea that all of us at MEDiAHEAD eat lunch together as a team every Friday.

The rules are that we rotate who picks the place, picks up the food and then we eat together as a team in the conference room.

This is a bonding session.

We talk about our weekend plans, what we’ve been up to and all the great things going on in our lives (absolutely no politics, but occasionally shoptalk does sneak into our conversations).

Several great things have come out of this awesome idea. The biggest one is this….WOW does Kansas City have some great restaurants! It’s so incredibly hard to pick just one every Friday morning.

Browne’s Irish Marketplace

Browne's Irish Marketplace

Browne’s Irish Marketplace

Have you ever eaten at Browne’s Irish Marketplace, 3300 Pennsylvania Ave? They, by far,  have the best Rueben in town! The history, the building, and all the baked goods are phenomenal.

Did you know that they’ve been there since 1901?  If you haven’t had a chance to eat their food or visit them, you have to check it out. Our team absolutely loved it!

Howard’s KC

Another favorite is Howard’s KC at 1708 Oak Street. They use locally sourced organic ingredients, cater and the food is out of this world.



One of our team favorites is the fried chicken sandwich, which has sweet onions, pea shoots and BBQ mayo on a potato bun.

Am I making you hungry?  Like I said…it’s out of this world!

Broadway Deli

Another one of our favorites is Broadway Deli, a little gem located on 2101 Broadway Blvd.

Broadway Deli

Broadway Deli

I can honestly say I think everything on their menu is wonderful.

Everyone on our team had something completely different and we loved everything! Danny got the Helzberg and he said it was fantastic; the bread was actually two potato pancakes. Yummy.

There are so many local favorites we’ve enjoyed since we started doing this as a team. We’re so lucky in Kansas City to have such great local restaurant choices.

Join us in supporting all of these wonderful people who work so hard to give us such great food.

What about you? What are your favorite lunch spots in Kansas City? Let us know!

Izzy gogglesPost Author: IZZY

Hey, it’s me again!

This is my second blog and oh boy is it a good one!

I’m so excited to tell you that I’m now a proud scooter-owner.  YES! You heard that correctly… I have a scooter.

My daddy (aka Bill) puts me in his backpack and drive because apparently they won’t let dogs drive these days. (What’s the world coming to?)

I like to tell Bill where to go. Most of the time, we head around the block and my sniffer goes into overdrive with all of the wonderful smells.

Izzy on the scooter

What are my favorite smells you ask?

I love the smell of the fresh air, fresh cut grass, and flowers blooming.

Oh, and I can detect anything. In fact, I’m sure there’s a new pup in my hood who I’ll need to meet soon.

We also ride the scooter to MEDiAHEAD.

I can always tell when we get closer to the office.

I get really excited because my work will begin when I get there. I’m just so busy, but hey, I love what I do.

Check us out on the video below! (I absolutely love the fresh air blowing through my ears. It’s good for my doggy soul.)

I hope you stop by to see me soon!

And, if you’re lucky, you might just catch me on my scooter!



izzy paw




Kat 600x450Post written by Kat McDaniel, Chief Innovator at MEDiAHEAD | Marketing Portal Guru | Variable Data Promoter | Analytics Advocate | Explorer

At MEDiAHEAD there’s practically a museum, or I guess I like to think of it as a gallery, of lovely, old doll heads that I’ve collected over the years.

Doll heads with sleepy eyes, staring glass eyes, porcelain faces, mops of hair and with no hair at all.

I think of them as art with the beautiful patina of age.

If they’re too nice, I don’t buy them. I like the ones that are cracked, paint chipped and tattered. Some child loved these dolls into the piece of art that they’ve become in their old age.

But one of the more relatively recent ways we relate to dolls is as strange objects of – and this is a totally scientific term – creepiness.

A fear of dolls does have a proper name, pediophobia, classified under the broader fear of humanoid figures and related to pupaphobia, a fear of puppets. I personally do not like ventriloquist dummies with their creepy fixed grins.

Doll CabinetDolls inhabit this area of uncertainty because they look human, but we know they’re not.

Our brains are designed to read faces for intentions, emotions and potential threats.

Even though we know that a doll isn’t likely a threat, seeing a face that looks human, but isn’t, unsettles our most basic instincts.

When designers come to MEDiAHEAD they love to look at the doll heads and outsider art that I also collect.

They appreciate the quirkiness and whimsical nature of them.

My children and employees…not so much. One employee told me that, although my doll heads look dead with empty eyes, they give the eery impression that they’re going to move.

I recently saw a photo that someone posted on Facebook of a cabinet of doll heads. Her response to all the negativity was this:

“Your poor, poor friends. How sad it would be to live a world where everyone likes the same food, pieces of art and styles. Open up your mind a bit – people find beauty in all kinds of things. All of these negative comments make me sad. And for the record, I have not murdered anyone and fed them to my poodles.”

My sentiments exactly.
Doll Heads

Izzy head shotPost Author: IZZY

Hey, it’s IZZY here and man oh man is my life FUN! Especially when I get to spend the day at MEDiAHEAD.

This is my first-ever blog post and I couldn’t be more excited to tell you a bit about my day when my daddy (WC aka Bill) brings me into the office.

First, I run like the wind as fast as I can through the halls just to let everyone know I’ve arrived! (I really want them to know the boss is around).

Second, I go to each office to smell the floor and look around to see if there’s anything I need to clean up from the prior day. It’s one of my many important jobs and is critical to the overall success of the company.

Third, I take a rest. Look, it’s really hard being the boss of everyone at MEDiAHEAD.

After all of that is done, I take on hall duty. This is an important part of the day, as I lay in the hall, watch the breakroom door, and wait patiently for lunch to begin.

Then I follow everyone into the lunchroom to ensure they get their lunch and I’m right there to clean anything up that they drop.

Izzy hall watching

I also occasionally follow people to their offices, using my sad puppy eyes to successfully secure a little snack from their lunch (I have them right in the palm of my paw).

After lunch, it’s obviously time for me to curl up in an office chair and take my afternoon nap.

Rest assured, I always keep one eye open and my ears are trained to listen for the glorious sound of someone opening up a bag of popcorn. I can hear it a mile away.

Sometimes I decide to walk on desks to check for anything I would like to eat. I figure if it’s left out on the desk then it’s fair game, right?

My life is really tough, but I have to admit that I love coming into the office every day and letting people know that the boss cares and loves them all.

The next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and see me!

P.S. Someone started a nasty rumor that I snore really loud, but I don’t believe it for a second.


izzy paw



Post Author: Michele Stillwell, Marketing Distribution Portal Enthusiast | Marketing Guru | Accounting Shark | Lover of All Animals | Bourbon Drinker

Perseverance is not giving up. It’s persistence and tenacity. It’s giving the maximum effort required to do something…and keep doing it…until the end, even if it’s hard.

The word “perseverance” originally comes from the Latin perseverantia and means to abide by something strictly. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If you’re doing something in spite of all the difficulties, you’re being strict on yourself.

No one knows PERSEVERANCE better than Kathryn McDaniel!

Kathryn McDanielIf you know her, you understand this. If you don’t, let me share a bit of her inspiring story and journey.

Kathryn began her career in print sales in 1980 at the age of 23, so to say she’s a seasoned veteran in the printing industry would be an understatement.

Over the years, she’s given back to the Kansas City community in countless ways…donating printing to various organizations, going out of her way to attend events, and on and on.

Kathryn is the busiest woman I know.

She is dedicated to her goal of maintaining a healthy environment by being a leader in the print industry, all while maintaining her status as being 100% woman-owned and operated, with all the certifications to back her up, nationally as well as in Kansas and Missouri.

MEDiAHEAD provides solutions to many of the well-known brands in Kansas City. Kathryn built these relationships over time and has kept them in large part due to her personal dedication to these accounts.

She has fostered numerous healthy partnerships as evidenced by the testimonials we get from each and every client.

Kathryn infuses our core values into each employee, encouraging them to seek opportunities that will provide cost savings for our partners, enable consistency in their brands, and reduce their cycle times.

Each and every employee understands this and we live by these values.

Kathryn is our rock! She’s been through some tough times both personally and with the business. Nothing keeps her down.

She comes in each and every day with a smile on her face and will always laugh at our stories about our weekend or vacation escapades. She, in turn, makes you laugh at each of her stories.

Kathryn is truly genuine and has a HUGE heart for each and every one of us.  You can enter her office at any time of the day and she’ll always turn around with a smile on her face and welcome you.

Each employee at MEDiAHEAD stays at MEDiAHEAD because Kathryn treats each employee as she would want to be treated. As a result, she has a team of dedicated employees who love their leader and want nothing more than to see the company succeed and continue to build her dream and success.

And this is why all of that love matters, now more than ever.

In December 2017 the entire team at MEDiAHEAD was crushed when Kathryn came into our annual Christmas party and told us she’d been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.  The good news is that she had surgery and they successfully removed all of the cancer. The unfortunate news is she is going through immunotherapy for a year and there is a 50/50 chance it could come back.

Let me tell you this. I’ve never seen a staff come together so closely, (we were close even before the news) but since, we’ve all pulled together and continue to get things done. We all are extremely passionate about our jobs, passionate about Kathryn, and we’ll do anything we can for her.

Kathryn takes PERSERVERANCE to the next level…and we’re honored to be a part of her journey.