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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM, Independence Chamber of Commerce Join Forces

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 14, 2011) – The University of Central Missouri, through its Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development (IESD), officially joined forces with the Independence business community as they recently celebrated the occupancy of office space provided by the Independence Chamber of Commerce. As a result of this collaboration, chamber members will receive enhanced membership services and increased community programs.

UCM President Charles Ambrose joined Rick Hemmingsen, president of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, and Independence Mayor Don Reimal in unveiling a digital video information center at the Independence Chamber of Commerce office and Free Enterprise Center, 210 W. Truman Road, in a ceremony April 8. The information center will bring current information about the university to the community.

UCM and Independence Chamber of Commerce
University of Central Missouri President Charles Ambrose, center, is joined by Independence Mayor Don Reimal, left, and Vaughn Cornish, right, chairman of the Independence Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, in unveiling the digital information screen that will symbolize the University of Central Missouri’s presence at the chamber office and Free Enterprise Center in Independence. 

Hemmingsen noted that an agreement signed by UCM’s IESD and the Independence Chamber of Commerce in 2007 laid the groundwork for the collaboration. Services and program provided will be available to members of the chamber, as well as non-members.

Ambrose said the university is grateful for the partnership, which will include further development of the university’s relationship with the Blue River campus of Metropolitan Community College. University departments and programs planning on having an initial regular presence in the facility include programs offered by the KC Initiative of the College of Education, and a formal presence by the UCM Office of Enrollment Management, and WorkForce Central.

“This event today symbolizes a link between education and economic development,” Ambrose said. “Education is a primary tool in economic recovery. UCM is willing and proud to provide the resources to meet that need in the community, but we can’t do it without partnerships like this.”

Reimal said an educated workforce is important to the growth of the community.

“That makes UCM’s presence here in Independence that much more important,” he added. “We now have a local link to a close and affordable education at UCM.”

Vaughn Cornish, chair of the chamber board of director, said UCM’s desire to work with Independence “is exciting to me and to the board. We appreciate the university’s willingness to work with us and the commitment that has been made to the future of our community.”

IESD and the Entrepreneur Zone at UCM provide a variety of programs to targeted business segments, creating and promoting customized services. Additional services and programs will include training and seminars, patent and trademark services, assistance with product development, market research and strategic planning. Both organizations partner with other organizations such as financial institutions, economic development agencies and government agencies and will provide additional services as needed.

For more information about the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development, go to the Institute’s web site,, or contact Brad Snyder at 660-543-4664. For more information about the Independence Chamber of Commerce, contact the chamber office at 816-252-4745.