Former Burns & McDonnell CEO offers leadership insight
Retired executive and civic leader Greg Graves adds voice to Speaker Series lineup
Lee’s Summit, MO—November 10, 2017— Greg Graves, former CEO of Burns & McDonnell, headlined the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council’s Speaker Series luncheon on Wed., Nov. 8 at the Emaline Ballroom, 616 SW 3rd St., Lee’s Summit, Mo. Graves, who retired in 2016, shared leadership insight gleaned from “go-to” books such as Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Graves said mentors throughout his career taught him to be willing to listen and learn from others while striving to “be present” at all times. He cited H&R Block Founder Henry Bloch, Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, and current Kansas City Mayor Sly James as demonstrating “Level 4 Leadership” outlined in Collins’ book.
“KC’s top leaders throughout the years also happen to be great listeners,” Graves said.
Greg Graves is one the most successful local business leaders in Kansas City history. During his 12 years as CEO of Burns & McDonnell, gross revenue grew from $300 million to $3 billion and employment grew from 1,500 to 5,500 employees. He retired from Burns & McDonnell in 2016 but continues to serve the Kansas City community as Chair of the University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board and The Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Besides philanthropic service, Graves is staying busy in retirement by developing a family retreat and lake in rural Cass County.
“When LSEDC kicked off the Speaker Series, Greg Graves was at the top of our list for speakers. It was fantastic to hear his personal story and thoughts on leadership, success and commitment to the community,” said LSEDC President Rick McDowell.
In addition to Graves, the LSEDC 2016-2017 Speaker Series lineup has featured Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, EyeVerify Founder and CEO Toby Rush, National Civic League President Doug Linkhart, and Carol Marinovich, former CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.
Construction set to begin on Pine Tree Plaza renovation
Lee’s Summit, Mo.—November 2, 2017—The strongly anticipated renovation of the Pine Tree Plaza retail center at Blue Parkway and Jefferson Street is underway as the property owner reconfigures the former Price Chopper store into three separate retail spaces.
“We are going to be doing a complete facade remodel, so it should look like a new center when we are finished,” said Trent Overhue, property owner and principal of NSI Investments LLC. “This will be a dramatic improvement with all new landscaping, parking lot lighting and signage.”
Planet Fitness will open a 25,000-¬square foot facility in December, and Harbor Freight Tools plans to open a 16,000-¬square foot store in the spring of 2018, leaving about 24,000 square feet of the former grocery store available for lease, according to Overhue.
Redevelopment of two retail “wings” on the east and west sides of the former grocery store totaling about 40,000 square feet will take place in early 2018, followed by improvements to two outbuildings suitable for restaurant or medical office tenants.
Pine Tree Plaza is located north of the new U.S. 50/Missouri 291 South interchange and is part of the city’s “Envision Lee’s Summit” redevelopment area, which aims to help Lee’s Summit achieve higher density housing and mixed-use development.
“Pine Tree Plaza is a longtime south Lee’s Summit retail fixture in a prime location, but the center has struggled with vacancy in recent years,” said Lee’s Summit EDC President Rick McDowell. “I am optimistic that this long overdue facelift will boost tenant interest, lift occupancy rates and potentially increase nearby property values.”
KC’s Regional Bid for Amazon HQ2 Represents Largest Response Effort in Kansas City Area Development Council History
PRESS RELEASE: Provided by Kansas City Area Development Council
October 19, 2017 – The KC region’s proposal for Amazon HQ2 was delivered to the company’s Seattle, Wash., headquarters this afternoon representing the largest regional response effort in Kansas City Area Development Council’s (KCADC) history. Honoring Amazon’s request for one response from each market, the KC region came together at an unprecedented scale of regional cooperation to present a proposal representing two states, 18 counties, and many communities from across the metro area.
In addition to many state, county and local community partners, more than 200 private sector leaders provided crucial input, lent their expertise and contributed significant value throughout the process. An online submission tool on the KCADC website received more than 60 ideas from members of the community and outside of the KC region. Several individuals who submitted ideas were contacted and further engaged in the process.
Joel Kotkin, internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, and Richard Florida, the world’s leading urbanist, international best-selling author and professor, consulted with KCADC for the Amazon HQ2 proposal.
Kotkin said, “Kansas City is a jewel in the Heartland – with a great cultural heritage, affordable housing of all kinds and, most of all, a strong spirit of cooperation across the whole region. The next wave of American innovation seems poised to take place in the Midwest, and KC will be at the heart of it all.”
“Great regions are federations of neighborhoods; and Kansas City provides affordable options for living and working in a range of urban and suburban locations,” said Florida. “The Kansas City region has created a true community process and partnership … Kansas City will be well positioned to compete.”
In addition to its affordability, quality of life and strong growth in key occupational sectors, KC offers something no other city can claim – a vision that is recasting education and reshaping the workforce of the future, led by the world-renowned Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
“The Kansas City region’s bid offers an uncommon approach and bold ideas that invite Amazon to imagine its future alongside ours and to take part in the many ways our region is leading the nation and world, from right here in the middle of the country,” said Wendy Guillies, president and CEO, Kauffman Foundation.
Recommended Amazon HQ2 sites from the Kansas City market showcase the breadth of choice available to companies considering a KC location.
In a release from the State of Missouri earlier today, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens said, “Amazon is a company full of people who turn big ideas into reality. My team fully and equally supported the proposals submitted by our major metropolitan areas, Kansas City and St. Louis. We challenge Amazon to envision what it could achieve by partnering with us to unleash the combined strength of the entire state. We’d love to work with Amazon to build their new home here in Missouri.”
“We have been preparing for an opportunity like Amazon’s HQ2 for a generation. We want to create with Amazon the most prosperous and livable region in North America, right here in the heart of it. The Kansas City region recognizes the importance of redefining the workforce of the future through top notch education. We are building Amazon’s next generation of pioneers to be both skilled and empowered and we’re excited to redefine the next generation of talent with Amazon,” said Kansas Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer.
“Kansas City, Kansas has an unparalleled track record of bringing big projects to our community. From Google Fiber to Cerner, and even the National Soccer Training Center, we are a city that is proud of our business friendly, can-do attitude. We are happy to join forces with our regional partners to highlight our area’s advantages to Amazon,” said Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland.
“I believe Kansas City is competitive with any city in the world. I’m extremely proud of the bid produced by our team and how this entire community has embraced this unique opportunity to showcase Kansas City’s creativity, its people and it’s potential,” said Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James.
Chairman Ed Eilert, Johnson County Commission, said, “Upon arriving in Kansas City, Amazon would quickly learn what many of us who came here have known for years — this is a region of smart, hard-working individuals committed to providing opportunities for everyone to grow and prosper. Amazon’s second headquarters would be well-placed in the Heartland, with access to an excellent workforce, a lower cost of living, world-class schools, parks and libraries, and a vibrant regional culture. Johnson County would proudly welcome Amazon to the metro.”
Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland said, “This area is simply a great place to do business. The climate has cultivated world-class start-up businesses and nurtured corporate giants, and it’s been a source of support and stability for everything in between. It fosters risk-taking and innovation, and it’s fueled by a work force with strong values, a tremendous work ethic, loyalty, and commitment. So many people have moved here from across the country to work in our many leading companies, but you would be hard pressed to find any who ever want to leave.”
Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., said, “Jackson County is fully supportive of this collaborative and creative regional effort to be the new home of Amazon’s second headquarters. We are excited about the opportunity to advance to the next round of evaluation of the HQ2 project. The Kansas City region is ripe for economic growth and we applaud the aggressive campaign to make our case known as we move forward as one.”
“Lee’s Summit is one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Missouri, offering a collaborative, ‘can-do’ business environment that is on target to attract $2 billion in public and private investment over three years,” said Lee’s Summit Mayor Randall Rhoads. “Thanks to the Missouri Innovation Campus and an educational ecosystem that serves as a global model for excellence, Lee’s Summit is building the workforce of the future right here in the Heartland. We look forward to sharing our time, talent and treasure with Amazon.”
“It’s exciting to work with visionary leaders across our region to compete for Amazon HQ2. Independence is proud to contribute our ideas, expertise, and assets to the proposal, and to be a part of a community that truly understands the power of collaboration,” said City of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir.
“A collaborative effort of this magnitude is only possible with an immense level of trust. It is a core value of Amazon’s, and of the KC region. VML was honored to be involved in such a significant opportunity for our home town,” said Jon Cook, Global CEO, VML, whose agency developed the interactive digital platform for KC’s Amazon HQ2 proposal.
Tim Cowden, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council said, “Our KC region has never seen an economic development opportunity of this magnitude that is so publicly visible, requiring the amount of information in the time frame that Amazon requested, and the level of community engagement and response that we needed for this opportunity. I am so proud of our OneKC team. This project has proven we have the ability to come together and tell a comprehensive KC story that sets our region apart from all others across North America.”
Given the highly competitive nature of the site location process and Amazon’s required Non-Disclosure Agreement, no additional details of the KC region’s proposal will be available to the public.
The Kansas City Area Development Council serves the 18-county, two-state Kansas City area by marketing the region’s business and lifestyle assets to companies around the world. Working closely with its 50+ state, county and community partners and its more than 60,000 new jobs over its 40-year history. KCADC ranks as the number one regional economic development organization in the nation based on a survey of its site location consultant clients (DCI Winning Strategies Survey, 2017), and leads the efforts behind the KC Animal Health Corridor, KC SmartPort, KCnext and TeamKC. Visit thinkkc.com for more information.
CEO Luncheon Brings Major Employers and City Leaders Together
Lee’s Summit, Mo. – October 19, 2017 – The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council (LSEDC) hosted an intimate lunch to bring together city leaders and c-suite executives doing business in Lee’s Summit. Those seated around the table included Lee’s Summit Medical Center, GEHA, AT&T, Truman Medical Center – Lakewood, John Knox Village, ViraCor Eurofins, IPL Plastics, and Bennett Packaging. LSEDC Board Chair, Keith Asel and Vice Chair Machelle Riffe were also in attendance along with assistant city manager Mark Dunning and Mayor Randall Rhoads.
“Our goal is to provide the opportunity for open dialect about the benefits and the challenges of doing business here in Lee’s Summit,” said Rick McDowell, President of the LSEDC. “As an outside resource, we assist in many areas such as site selection, incentives and viable connections.”
Topics of discussion included workforce, transportation and logistics, housing and growth opportunities. LSEDC plans to host an additional meeting in the spring and will continue to work one-on-one to provide solutions to the business community.
Special thanks to our sponsor Equity Bank!
Edgemoor, KCADC launch ‘Better KCI’ campaign at LSEDC luncheon
Lee’s Summit EDC Board of Directors gives public vote of support to single-terminal KCI plan
Lee’s Summit, MO— Oct. 17, 2017— The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council’s October Advisory Board luncheon was the first stop for the Kansas City Area Development Council as it kicked off its “Better KCI” campaign ahead of Kansas City’s Nov. 7 special election. By Missouri statute, public finance projects require approval of voters in the construction jurisdiction, but improvements to KCI have regional business and tourist implications.
“KCI is Kansas City’s front door to the world, and we must maintain our status as a top destination….” KCADC President and CEO Tim Cowden told LSEDC investors. “The truth is that KCI as it is now configured is losing flights to St. Louis.”
Cowden hit the speaking circuit in October to educate business and citizen groups about the positive economic impact of a new single-terminal configuration at KCI, including the addition of international nonstop service required by many companies seeking new locations.
“Since opening in 1972, passenger travel out of KCI has nearly tripled. The current terminal configuration predates things like airline deregulation and post 9/11 security requirements,” Cowden said.
Edgemoor Infrastructure Managing Director Geoff Stricker joined Cowden at the LSEDC’s monthly advisory board luncheon, updating investors on the design and bid process for the $1 billion single terminal project.
“LSEDC recognizes that KCI is the ‘front door’ for the entire Kansas City region,” said Lee’s Summit EDC President Rick McDowell. “That’s why the LSEDC Board of Directors has overwhelmingly voted to support KCI’s single-terminal concept.”
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Summit Technology Academy students celebrate National Manufacturing Day
Teens explore career paths in advanced manufacturing with tours of three local companies
October 11, 2017– LEE’S SUMMIT, MO— Summit Technology Academy (STA) students visited a trio of Lee’s Summit companies to learn first-hand about careers in the advanced manufacturing industry. The educational event on Oct. 6 coincided with National Manufacturing Day, which was created to inspire students to choose careers in modern manufacturing.
“This collaboration highlights Lee’s Summit’s strong educational ecosystem and the strategic collaborations that our partners have designed to help develop and prepare the workforce of the future,” said Jessica Hamilton, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council’s director of community and investor relations.
The event was made possible through a partnership between the LSEDC and Summit Technology Academy, as well as local manufacturers Automated Motion Inc., Creative Blow Mold Tooling, and ULTRAX Aerospace Incorporated.
“By inviting three thriving local companies with distinct and unique operations to host students as part of National Manufacturing Day, our goal is to give these future employees a snapshot of career opportunities in manufacturing,” Summit Technology Academy Principal Elaine Metcalf said. “Students gained a better understanding of the skills and education needed to advance in the industry.”
A total of 16 STA juniors and seniors observed manufacturing processes in real-time while engaging with engineers, programmers, machinists, and tool makers to learn more about career paths in the advanced manufacturing field.
Students who participated in the local celebration of National Manufacturing Day are enrolled in STA’s Digital Electronics and/or Computer Integrated Manufacturing course. STA is located within the new Missouri Innovation Campus, a STEM-based educational collaboration between the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri. MIC students obtain a bachelor’s degree in two years with little to no student debt, thanks to partnerships with the business community and community organizations.
“It was a real treat to host the next generation of innovators and tech leaders. We are fortunate to have the Missouri Innovation Campus in our community helping create a critical pipeline of technology talent,” ULTRAX President Troy Prewitt said.
Event highlights below:
•At ULTRAX Aerospace Incorporated, students simulated the manufacturing process– from product ideation through production and final product testing– and learned about the growing industry of aerospace manufacturing and career opportunities. Ultrax is a design and manufacturing center that develops customer-focused diagnostic and troubleshooting tools for electrical systems used in the aerospace industry.
•Students learned about the manufacturing of PC boards, control panels, cables and turnkey products, as well as automatic aerospace oxygen mask testing while touring Automated Motion Inc. Automated Motion is a design engineering and contract manufacturing company that specializes in electro-mechanical assemblies and devices and automated systems. Students connected their classroom curriculum to real world experience at the Lee’s Summit based company.
•Students observed the blow mold tooling process and learned about on-the-job training and career path progression at Creative Blow Mold Tooling. The company offers career advancement based on competency, experience, productivity and intangibles such as work ethic and attendance. High school internships start at $13.50-$15/hour and students may rise through technical ranks to become a mold design engineer earning $25+/hour. The company also pays for industry certification programs.
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City of Lee’s Summit Celebrates Opening of Runway Extension
September 27, 2017– LEE’S SUMMIT, MO – The City of Lee’s Summit and project partners celebrated the official opening of the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport’s new extended runway and completion of airport upgrades on Wednesday, September 27 at Hangar 1, 2525 NE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit, Mo.
“It is gratifying to be here today to celebrate the fulfillment of a long-term vision set forth by Lee’s Summit leaders,” Lee’s Summit Mayor Pro Tem Rob Binney said. “This new 5,500-foot long runway enables larger corporate jets with greater fuel capacity to take-off and land at the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport, ultimately helping Lee’s Summit build its profile as an important gateway to opportunity.”
The $18 million project was funded through approximately $17 million in federal and state grants and a 5 percent local match by the City of Lee’s Summit. Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. served as general contractor for both the runway earthwork and paving projects, and Crawford Murphy and Tilly, Inc. provided engineering design services.
“This project would not be possible without strong collaboration at all levels of government,” Lee’s Summit Airport Manager John Ohrazda said. “I would like to thank our project partners and the City of Lee’s Summit for supporting the growth and vision of Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport.”
The airport runway improvements, along with the City of Lee’s Summit’s purchase of the 40,000-square foot Hangar 1, are expected to boost economic development and redevelopment activity by offering another option for transportation and accessibility, according to Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President Rick McDowell.
$18 million project expected to serve as catalyst for airport growth
“While providing a significant economic boost to the City of Lee’s Summit, these airport improvements also provide business and corporate aircraft users better access to the southeastern Jackson County area and the metropolitan Kansas City region,” McDowell said. “In addition, Hangar 1 allows the airport to accommodate both ‘based’ and transient corporate aircraft.”
The earthwork project to accommodate the longer runway began in fall 2015 and was completed in summer 2016. The paving portion of the project began in fall 2016.
For More Information:
Sarah Shore | Lee’s Summit Public Works | 816-969-1800 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tina Chace | Lee’s Summit EDC | 816-525-6617 | email@example.com
Krista Klaus | Lee’s Summit EDC | 913-284-5752 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee’s Summit EDC Hosts 2017 Developer Showcase
Event offers project updates on New Longview, The Grove and Paragon Star projects
Lee’s Summit, MO—September 15, 2017—Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council investors received insight and updated information on three of the city’s premier economic development projects at LSEDC’s second annual Developer Showcase luncheon on September 13, 2017 at Emaline Ballroom, 616 SW Third St., Lee’s Summit.
- Corey Walker, senior vice president of Platform Ventures, provided master plan updates for the New Longview development area, including the Fascination Corridor. As B&B Theatres takes shape on the south side of Fascination Drive, Walker said Platform’s team is speaking with several potential tenants for office and retail buildings planned for “Fascination North.”
- Mark Long, executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Zimmer, offered an update on the first 200,000 square foot speculative industrial building at The Grove of Lee’s Summit. Site preparation is underway in the building divisible to 40,000 square feet. Newmark Grubb Zimmer is marketing the property to prospective tenants and plans to pursue potential prospects in the aerospace, light manufacturing and e-commerce industries.
- Paragon Star developer Phillip “Flip” Short shared updated and expanded plans for the $220 million sports-themed destination attraction and mixed-use project north of I-470 at View High Drive. Paragon Star has added 98 acres to the north side of its project site, with the addition of a fieldhouse with fitness facilities, volleyball and basketball courts, as well as additional sports fields and amenities. In addition, Paragon Star has retained Clearwater, Florida-based Sports Facilities Advisory-Sports Facilities Management to assist with the project as it grows in size and scope.
The LSEDC launched the Developer Showcase series in 2016 to give investors updated insight, networking opportunities and timetables associated with the broad range of economic development activity taking place in the city, according to Rick McDowell, president of the Lee’s Summit EDC. “The project pipeline and deal flow in Lee’s Summit is the strongest I have encountered in three decades of economic development,” McDowell said. “LSEDC’s Developer Showcase offers our friends and investors insight into project timelines and activity.”
About Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council | The LSEDC is a public-private sector partnership devoted to improving the economic well-being of residents and businesses in Lee’s Summit through its vision: To promote and enhance the City of Lee’s Summit as a model community for economic innovation and growth, fueled by a pro-business environment, diverse economic base with a commitment to strong relationships and work ethic.
For More Information:
Tina Bell Chace, LSEDC | 816-525-6617 email@example.com
Krista Klaus | 913-284-5752 firstname.lastname@example.org
B&B Theatres announces comprehensive remodel of Lee’s Summit 16 in Lee’s Summit, MO!
September 6, 2017 – B&B Theatres is pleased to announce that work is underway on a comprehensive remodel of its theater location in Lee’s Summit, located at 1451 NE Douglas Street in Lee’s Summit, MO!
Multiple improvements are currently being implemented and installed, including full-scale seat replacements! Dated static seats are being removed to make way for luxury electric, leather reclining theater chairs. A new point-of-sale software was recently installed, the implementation of which has enabled reserved seating in all sixteen auditoriums. Additionally, the software allows guests to participate in the B&B Theatres Backstage Pass Loyalty Program, a rewards system through which repeat guests can earn discounts on tickets, concessions, and other great promotions.
Other plans include a comprehensive overhaul of the concession area, replacing outdated fixtures and realigning the lobby area with the B&B brand. New carpets and restroom improvements will be included in the remodeling effort, bringing a new polish and shine to a wonderful hometown theater.
Last but not least, customers will be excited to learn about the installation of self-serve soda fountains, which will afford them the opportunity to fill their own drinks, mix flavors, and enjoy free refills on all drink sizes.
Many other exciting and major improvements and developments are included as part of this comprehensive effort, and updates will be released routinely on B&B Theatres social media channels.
In addition to this massive remodel at the Douglas Street location, B&B has also announced that construction on a 7-screen boutique theater is underway in the New Longview Development in Lee’s Summit. Dirtwork has been done, and construction is slated to begin in the Fall with an estimated completion date of April 2018.
B&B Theatres has been family owned and operated since 1924 when Elmer Bills Sr. opened a movie house in Salisbury, Missouri where the future Mrs. Bills played the piano for silent movies. During the company’s 93 years, and four generations of family involvement, it has seen the coming of sound, color, Technicolor, stadium seating, multiplexes, and now digital cinema.
B&B Theatres is the 7th largest theatre chain in North America and operates 400 screens at 50 locations in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida.
Contact: Paul Farnsworth, Director of Public Relations, B&B Theatres
Companion Animal Health chooses Lee’s Summit for new regional office
August 28, 2017—Lee’s Summit, MO—Companion Animal Health, a Delaware-based manufacturer of animal health lasers & rehabilitation products, will open a regional office and training center at 657 SE Bailey Road in Lee’s Summit. The new regional office will be announced at the annual Global Animal Health Homecoming Dinner and Investment Forum hosted by the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor this evening.
Companion Animal Health provides innovative therapeutic solutions to the veterinary market with a focus on evidence, education, and partnership. In addition to providing highly reliable products, the company also provides the resources and tools necessary to successfully incorporate laser technology and products in veterinary practice.
“Companion Animal Health is a perfect ‘companion’ to the Lee’s Summit community,” said Lee’s Summit EDC President Rick McDowell. “Recent market studies of our business landscape identified that the Lee’s Summit business and educational ecosystem was ripe for the expansion of animal health and health related companies, so we are thrilled about this announcement.”
The Kansas City Area Development Council provided project assistance to Companion Animal Health for its new location in Lee’s Summit. Additional partners included the State of Missouri, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, City of Lee’s Summit, KCP&L, and the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.
“Companion Animal Health is an innovative company in the animal health industry and it’s been an honor to assist them in their selection of the KC Animal Health Corridor,” said Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor. “We look forward to the success we know they will have with this new location.”
The Animal Health Corridor is home to more than 300 animal health companies and represents the largest concentration of animal health assets in the world. Anchored by Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, the Corridor generates more than half of the sales generated by the global animal health industry.
About Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council | The LSEDC is a public-private sector partnership devoted to improving the economic well-being of residents and businesses in Lee’s Summit through its mission: To promote and enhance the City of Lee’s Summit as a model community for economic innovation and growth fueled by a pro-business environment, diverse economic base and a commitment to strong relationships and work ethic. http://www.leessummit.org
About Companion Animal Health | Companion Animal Health is the Delaware-based manufacturer of Companion Therapy Lasers®, and other animal health & rehabilitation products. Companion Animal Health is also the exclusive world-wide distributor of Companion Regenerative Therapies™. Companion is a division of LiteCure and provides expertise in design, manufacturing, production, and support. LiteCure is ISO13485-certified and continues its commitment to science, education, and the highest level of customer service. http://www.companionanimalhealth.com
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