February 11, 2019 to February 17, 2019
Below is a quick recap from week five as your 4th District County Commissioner. You can follow me in real time on Facebook here
Top Story - Play Ball!
This past week I was so honored to witness the groundbreaking of our new baseball stadium. As a kid I spent virtually my entire summer, every summer, at either the Winway ballpark in Parsons, Kansas or traveling to nearby cities to watch my two older brothers play baseball. One of my older brothers, Matt Carnal, played baseball at Newman University from 2000-2004. I also enjoyed playing the game as a catcher for a travelling softball league. My grandma is such a fan she has the MLB ticket. Doesn’t miss a game. So … I guess you could say my roots run deep in baseball.

Whether we all agree on the design of the stadium or not, one things for sure, memories will be made at this new ball park. And the best news, it’s not just a ball park. It’s an event center that will provide year-round entertainment. This place will be a new spot for concerts, ice skating, football and soccer games and much more. 

Babe Ruth once said, “Never allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!”

I want to applaud our city leaders and the many community partners for all the hard work that has been done thus far to bring this to fruition. I can’t wait to make new memories with my family and friends in just a few short months!
County Highlight - City of Maize
The City of Maize has tapped into a secret sauce. Not only do they have a great new chicken spot but industry in this town is BOOMING.  

Last week, Maize City leaders gave me the GRAND tour of their city. Our first stop was the Career Academy. Walking into this career academy aka “a ridiculously awesome high school” my mouth dropped. It is one of these coolest learning environments I’ve been in to date. The list of programs that students can choose from was, to say the least, impressive. From culinary arts in a world class kitchen to an engineering class with all the bells and whistles, these students have an opportunity to get a solid jump to a career. Lauren, pictured below, created this wheelchair with her fellow classmates for a child from Colwich who has Cerebral palsy. Impressive.

From the Career Academy I toured two manufacturing plants, Reifenhäuser and Kyodo Yushi. 

The Reifenhäuser Group is a leading global manufacturer of plastics processing machinery who makes screws and barrels that turn plastic in to a usable, strong material.  

Japan-based Kyodo Yushi and Wichita-based Lubrication Engineers, Inc. have teamed up to produce lubricants for the automotive industry. They are looking to hire around 30 new positions soon. 

For those of you who are environmentally cautious, you’ll be delighted to know that these two companies both mentioned the responsibility they feel for protecting our environment. Both companies passed the Lacey Cruse grilling on their environmental practices. 

The Maize Industrial Park is located on land near 119th Street West and 53rd Street North.

Our last stop was Moxie Junction. This place made my heart sing. Not only did they make me the best vanilla latte I’ve had in a hot minute, they employ and train special needs adults and teens.

Hats off to the people of Maize. I can see why you are one of the nation’s fastest growing cities.  
Maize Career Academy
Lauren at Maize Career Academy
A product sample from the Reifenhäuser Group
Moxie Junction
Business Spotlight - ChicknMax
Anyone who knows me, knows I love dipping sauce. So when I discovered the incredible sauce station at the ribbon cutting for the third locally owned ChicknMax at Maize and 37th street, my heart was full. 

Nominated for the Hot New Concept of 2018 by the Kansas Restaurant Association, ChicknMax is a place you need to check out. The atmosphere and of course the menu create a winning combo.

“Opening our first three restaurants and developing the retail line of sauces and seasonings during our first year really is quite a testament to the team,” says Max Sheets, president and CEO. “We have a couple more retail items in production to be released later this year and are close to completion on our commissary kitchen. We want the food to be made fresh locally and we know consistency is the key to long-term success.”

ChicknMax has three locations throughout Sedgwick County. Check out their website and all their locations here
Mom Moment - Building Confidence
Being a single mom is tough. Sometimes I’m thriving, while most the time I feel like I’m just surviving. But whatever the case, my girls are ALWAYS watching. One thing I have to constantly remember … I am human. Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. 

As a parent, I have to embrace those mistakes, successes and failures. I have to embrace my flaws IN FRONT of my girls. I have to equip them with skills, and not limit the skills that I teach them. I have to encourage them to take risks and try new things. But above all, I must encourage them to find their confidence and own it.

Fear of failure or concern for what others think of us is not an option in my house. We will not live in fear, nor will we succumb to the opinions of others. 

We need young girls and women to be unapologetically themselves. In my humble opinion, too much emphasis is placed on girls and women to look and act a certain way. We need young girls and women to re-focus their attention away from their bodies and towards their goals. We need to build confidence based on what they can do and how many lives they touch, rather than what they look like. 

My wish and what I’m trying to do is help my girls turn their focus to building others up and to have the confidence within themselves to do so.   
The Week Ahead - Speaking at Warner Moore Luncheon
I will be the featured speaker at this month's Warner Moore Luncheon this Friday, February 22.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon begins at noon.

If you are eating, the luncheon price is $12. If you are not eating, the event is free to attend. To give Larkspur an accurate count of our seating, please purchase your buffet tickets or confirm your attendance in advance at:
"Inspire others to Inspire others!"
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203