Volume 16 | February 2023

February Chamber News

Wellsville Chamber of Commerce Mission Statement: 
“To improve business opportunity and build a better community”

Chamber Business Directory -

Whenever you are wanting to shop local and keep your business in Wellsville and the surrounding areas, please visit our website at https://wellsvillechamber.org/business-directory/ where you will find Chamber businesses broken out by industry. We are planning a marking piece with Chamber businesses listed by industry as well. (The marketing piece will be coming later his year.)

You can also read Entrepreneurial and Organizational Leader Spotlights here.

Visit Our Website

First Quarter Wellsville Chamber of Commerce Raffle -

If your business would like to sponsor a Chamber quarterly raffle or event, please contact us to coordinate. you can hold the event it at your business or any other local business.

Contact Us to Sponsor a Quarterly Raffle or Event

Host a Meeting - Showcase Your Business

If you would like to showcase your business by hosting a Chamber meeting and/or luncheon at your location, please let us know. This is a great way to familiarize other business owners with the tools and resources you have to offer the community and show off your physical space. Or you can cater the lunch and hold it at the Wellsville City Library or Wellsville Health and Rehab has also offer their space and can cater on site.

Schedule a Luncheon or RSVP


  • Wellsville Health and Rehab will hold at their facility at 11:30AM on March 14th. Meeting will begin at noon. Please RSVP by 3/10, if you'll be joining us. (Click link above.)

  • Oak Star Bank will host at the Wellsville Library on May 9th at 11:30AM. Meeting will begin at noon.

  • USD #289 will host on October 10th and provide a tour of all the new updates at the high school. FACS class will provide food. Additional details to follow.  

Entrepreneurial Spotlights

Entrepreneurial Spotlight - Scott Averill

Scott Averill and his wife, Susan, own Wellsville Health and Rehab at 304 W. 7th Street in Wellsville, Kansas. They acquired the business in 2008 and immediately began work to transform it. He has an interesting story about how this all happened:  “I stumbled into long term care about 34 years ago. I had no inclination whatsoever of ever working in the healthcare industry.” He had previously worked in the travel business but within a couple weeks of discovering long term care, he said: “I fell in love with the residents and applied for my adult care home license shortly thereafter.” 

Mr. Averill worked for the largest provider in the world of nursing homes in the early 1990’s. He then worked for a couple smaller companies over the next 10 years. After deciding he’d like to run his own business, he and his wife acquired Brookside Manor in Overbrook in 2004 and then Wellsville Manor in 2008. 

Scott has a great story about how he was able to afford the purchase of Brookside. At that time, his father was 78 years old and he mortgaged his Kansas City home of 40 years which gave them the cash to afford the down payment for a loan. Scott said, “I was extremely grateful for my dad’s support and we paid him back every penny including interest within a few years. He was also a partner in the business until 2011.”

Averill admits, “When we bought the property in Wellsville, it was basically a dumping ground for hospital discharge planners and their hard-to-place patients.” Immediately upon making the purchase, they started to shift the culture to being a great place to live, work and visit. And as we can all see, they physically transformed the building and in 2012 they added 18 assisted living apartments. 

Scott’s wife, Susan, was a teacher and coach for 28 years at Santa Fe Trail High School where she won 3 state volleyball championships. After leaving the field of teaching and coaching she joined Scott full time in the family business. Scott and Susan have five children who have all participated in the business in some way over the years. Three of their grown children are still actively involved in the business. 

When asked what his biggest challenge is right now, Scott said it was staffing. He said it is extremely difficult to find qualified applicants even when currently offering a $15,000 sign-on bonus and a one week paid vacation to Hawaii.  And even though staffing is such a challenge right now, it is also what Averill considers his biggest success. He said, “We have such amazing people who work with us. We have great teams in both Wellsville and Overbrook.” 

When asked if there was some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur, Scott said: “You have to be willing to take risks and then be persistent.”  He was also asked if he would do something differently if he had the chance and without hesitation he said, “Not a thing! All the jobs I had prior to becoming an owner helped to prepare me for this adventure.” 

Scott said his grandfather was his greatest inspiration. As a young child, Scott remembers his grandfather demonstrating a great work ethic. His grandfather was a traveling salesman, calling on jewelry stores to sell cleaning equipment used in the industry. Averill remembers his grandfather taking his two brothers and himself to call on customers. He was always impressed seeing his grandfather work as many hours as necessary to finish his job each day. 

Two business-related books that Averill feels inspired him the most are “In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best Run Companies” by Robert H. Waterman and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. He felt these two books really helped him focus on the value of business ownership.

To complete our interview, I asked him what three things he would change in the world if he could. Here’s what he told me, “First, I’d have Medicare for all - at any age. Second, I would implement term limits for all elected officials. Lastly, I’d eliminate war.” Scott is 67 and when asked about retirement, he replied, “It doesn’t appeal to me at all. The residents keep me wanting to show up every day. Working in long term care is a great way to make a difference in people’s lives EVERY day! The travel business was fun, but this job is rewarding beyond comparison.” 

If you’d like to contact Scott Averill or Wellsville Health and Rehab, you can call or text him at: 785-224-3453. Or you can send him an email at: [email protected].


Entrepreneurial Spotlight - Bill and Kim Thompson -

Bill and Kim Thompson are partial owners of Select Steel Fabrication LLC at 800 Fiber Lane in Wellsville, KS. Bill and a partner started the business in Ottawa in 2009. Following is a great story of their entrepreneurial journey. 

Bill Thompson grew up in Mayetta, Kansas. After high school, Bill went to Dodge City Community College for one year. He studied Farm and Ranch Management. After that year at DCCC, he decided to leave and go to work for a ranch back in Mayetta. He worked there for three years. Next, he went to work for a company specializing in erosion control. He was in that job for two years. While there, he ventured out to a Chris LeDoux concert in Topeka and met a lovely girl named Kim (wink, wink). 

Kim May grew up in Wellsville, Kansas. After high school, she went to Emporia State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. After college, she moved to Olathe and went to work for Sprint where she worked for the next 13 years. She obtained her MBA from Mid-America Nazarene College while she worked at Sprint. 

Bill and Kim were married in 2000 and moved to Wellsville, KS. At that time, Bill took a job as a full-time subcontractor for Osborn Energy in Louisburg, Kansas. After working there for a while, the company fell upon hard times and were unable to fulfill their contracts. The work that Osborne Energy was doing was still available. Bill made the big decision to take out a bank loan to outfit his own truck to become his own contractor so he could take on that work.

While working as his own contractor, he was approached by an apartment complex to weld an ornamental cap for their entry sign. This led to another job of welding handrails for the stairwells. His friend, John Newhouse, was the superintendent at AG Spanos Construction at the time, and sent more work to Bill. At the time, Bill was doing this welding work out of his garage. He found himself moving more into commercial work building handrails for office buildings, hospitals, and schools. One of Bill’s first large jobs for handrails was for a large apartment complex in Barstow, Missouri.


In 2007, Bill partnered with Joe White, who was doing similar work in Ottawa. Together, they took on a job building all the handrails on the catwalks at the Sprint Center and another similar project in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Then in 2009, Bill and Joe decided to form a partnership, called it Select Steel Inc., and built a shop together in Ottawa. At that time, they had eight employees combined. Right after they merged their businesses, the recession of 2009 hit, and they were forced to layoff nearly half of their employees. They worked feverishly for that first year to keep the remaining employees employed and to pay their bills. Bill said, “we went about 11 months without a paycheck.” 

As fate would have it, also in 2009, Kim was laid off from her job at Sprint. By now, Bill and Kim had a five-year old and a four-year old. Kim received a severance package from Sprint that helped, but with trying to get Select Steel up and successfully running, she also took a job at A&H Heating and Air Conditioning. It was there that Kim said, “This is where I learned how to run a small business.” She worked there for two years. It was that knowledge, combined with her education and work at Sprint, that prepared her to come to Select Steel as the Business Manager in 2010. At that time, things were slowly starting to get better. Work was coming back in.

Over the next 10 years, Bill and Joe worked for several contractors. In 2015, they opened another shop in Ottawa to focus on their smaller projects. They used the original shop for their large projects. In 2016, there was a change in the partnership. Joe White decided he was ready to retire and sold his shares to Chase Doherty. In June of 2019 the decision was made to relocate to Wellsville to combine the two smaller shops and acquire more space. At the time, they had 15-20 employees. 

Today, Select Steel does very little, if any, handrails. Their current focus is on structural steel. They are considered a small fabrication shop with about 2000 square feet per employee. They currently employ 30 employees. Bill said, “We can build anything any other steel fabricator can build, we just don’t want to do the amount of volume of some of the larger shops in Kansas City.” 

When asked what the biggest challenges business owners have, Kim admits,” Finding and hiring good employees has been the hardest part of this business for us. We hire five people to find one that has the work ethic we are looking for and will make coming to work a priority.”  Bill chimes in, “We can teach employees how to do what is necessary.” 

Bill and Kim say that their primary focus as entrepreneurs has always been to provide for employees. As Kim said, “From day one, our focus has always been to make the right decisions to not only benefit us, but also our employees. We have never wanted to make a decision that will negatively impact our employees.” Bill said, “We also put a lot of priority in giving back and try to support the many organizations and events in town.” Bill has also worked with a local vendor to help get welders donated to Wellsville High School to aid in teaching welding. 

When asked the top three skills necessary to be a successful entrepreneur, Kim and Bill both chimed in with, “Patience, negotiation skills, and adaptability are all necessary to be an entrepreneur.” Bill said, “By adaptability, I mean, a good entrepreneur needs to be ready to take advantage of a good opportunity and accept that things will always change, especially technology.” And to wrap things up, they were asked if they could, what three things would they change in the world? Again, they were both on the same track with what Kim said, “Kindness, showing empathy toward others and having the ability to discuss differences and come to an understanding instead of creating hate and division would be the things I’d wish for.” 

If you’d like to contact Select Steel Fabrication LLC you can do so at https://select-steel.com/, call them at 785-521-3700, or email at [email protected].   

Annual American Legion Easter Egg Hunt -

The tradition of our town continues as we once again plan for our Annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted by Wellsville American Legion, WJRC and Wellsville Chamber of Commerce.  It will be held on Saturday, April 8th at Saddle Club Park beginning at 1PM. The Hunt is always fun and successful, but we hope to take it up a notch this year. We could use your support!

If you wish to donate any amount, we request your donation no later than March 1st. This allows us ample time to collect and coordinate stuffing of the eggs. You can drop donations by the WJRC office or mail directly to the WJRC at 320 Pendleton Ave, Wellsville, KS 66092 any time prior to March 1st

Please make your checks payable to WJRC and write in the memo, Easter Egg Donation. We will also accept any donations at the Chamber meeting in January or February. If you’d like someone to drop by to personally pick up your donation, please email [email protected] or [email protected]

The American Legion, WJRC and Chamber of Commerce appreciate all you do to support our community and its traditions.  

Wellsville Chamber Sign Advertising program -

Have you noticed the beautiful banners displayed every two weeks on the Wellsville Chamber sign sitting on Highway 33 in the field next to Bert's and across from Auburn Pharmacy? If not, take a look next time you are driving by. We have received lots of positive feedback about the program. You can use the sign to celebrate a milestone, award, an employee or anyone or anything about our town.

If you would like to advertise to the thousands of cars passing by our billboard on Highway 33 each day, we can help produce and display a banner designed just for your business. This Chamber sign is especially important to your business if you are a business located somewhere other than on 33 highway. Many people who live outside Wellsville or are coming off the highway to stop at Bert's or Casey's don't know what other businesses Wellsville has to offer. They might make it a point to use your services each time they are in town if they only knew where you were!

We have a few dates remaining for the 2022-2023 Chamber year. If you would like one (or a few) in 2023, now is the time to book your dates! Please reach out if you would like to book a spot.

Email the Wellsville Chamber of Commerce

City of Wellsville

The City Council has placed a dumpster at the Public Works department at 730 S. Main in the gravel lot. It is JUST for yard waste and limbs and will be marked as such. This service is provided to the residents free of charge.

Reminder: You are able to put up to 8 bags of yard waste out on trash day. They will also take limbs if they are cut up no larger than 4ft and tied together.

City Council Meeting Minutes

Wellsville Police Department

Police Chief Hackler Graduates Homeland Security Leadership Academy-

Officer Hymer Graduates the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Academy-

Chamber Member Help Wanted

Bert's Truck Stop -

  • Day shift Kitchen Employee
  • Mid shift Cashier 

Special Chamber Member Promos

Please let us know if you have any special promotions you'd like to share with the Wellsville Chamber members and the Wellsville community.

Commercial Space Available

511 Main -

  • 3 large offices available
  • $700 per office
  • Includes utilities, common area and bathroom access
  • Phone/wifi not included.
  • Contact Shawn Faruqi 913-221-5869 for more information

Franklin County Info

February Monthly FCDC Report -


FCDC has been working hard to assist with housing, childcare, and training pipelines. FCDC assisted with MIH applications for Wellsville and Ottawa. FCDC is the point organization for submission of an apartment development in the city of Ottawa. The application will be submitted through Franklin County with FCDC being the administrator on behalf of the county for this grant if awarded. This is a $15 million dollar grant request for over 70 apartments to be built in the city limits of Ottawa.

The Wellsville effort is part of a development plan to provide 150 new doors via apartments and fourplexes in the city of Wellsville.

FCDC has approached two potential developers regarding the construction of a new day care center in Ottawa. In addition, FCDC is working with potential partners on a possible daycare center in Wellsville.


FCDC seeks membership renewals during the first quarter of each calendar year. At this date just under 70% of the existing members have renewed their membership for 2023. We anticipate another high renewal rate this year and are hopeful to grow our membership to 100 members during 2023. Membership dues are expected to be paid by the end of the first quarter of the calendar year.

Executive Director Comments Impacting Wellsville:

While speaking to the Lt. Governor and to KDOT the concerns of the slow process on the bridge being constructed in Wellsville was also a topic of discussion. FCDC voiced strong concerns on the numerous delays and lack of progress on the highway 33 project. This is hampering development in Wellsville and is needing attention. FCDC has been heard on this issue.

Full February FCDC Report

Franklin County Optimist Club -

The Franklin County Optimist Club is pleased to recognize January WMS Student of the month:

  • Bronson Speer 6th grade
  • Rory Smith 7th grade
  • Taylar Spring 8th grade
  • Each student received a certificate from the Optimists
  • Each student received a gift card from Hot Off The Press donated by Bill Lytle

Size Up Franklin County -

This is a new software program provided by FCDC to anyone. It is a program for businesses new and existing. It can help new businesses build a business plan and existing ones tweak their plan. It provides access to location of competition, suppliers, workforce, and much more.

Size Up Franklin County website

Kansas Income tax Credit -

Franklin County is now designated as an E-Community. One of the benefits of this is we can offer you access to Kansas Income Tax Credits. The attached document will provide further information.

Here are some key points:

  • You get a 75% tax credit from your investment
  • You may be able to deduct your full investment on your federal income tax return
  • Your support provides funding for the GAP loans we can offer to new businesses
  • We will get a 20% commission locally on all tax credits we sell for use for economic development in our county


  • We currently have only $250,000 to offer here in Franklin County this year
  • You must run this through me if you would like us to receive the local benefits of your investment

PLEASE let Paul Bean know if you would like to purchase tax credits this year for your business or individually. It will be first come first serve.

*Always seek professional tax advice when making these types of decisions

Tax Credit Form

USD #289 Info

Wellsville School District Projects and Programs -

Facilities Update

The USD 289 bond project continues to move forward. Below are updated pictures of our project, along with a couple of important notes regarding access to district facilities/entrances.

  • The new Middle School office and entrance are now open! 
  • The new high school English, Social Studies, and student collaboration areas are now open. Students and teachers have been very excited to see and use the new facilities.
  • Demolition will begin on high school classrooms that will become new math classrooms and collab areas on February 20th. 
  • The remodeling of the HS office area is scheduled to begin on February 20th. This will mean that the high school office entrance will be closed beginning February 20th through the remainder of the school year. Parents and students entering the building during the school day will need to use the Middle School office entrance. 
  • Individuals who are utilizing a wheelchair and attending indoor events after February 20th will need to enter via the Middle School office entrance or KD Gym Lobby. 

Kansas - A Friend Asks

While we often go to the doctor for help with a fever, etc., we are not always as quick to get help if we are feeling down or depressed. I would offer that our mental health is equally as important as our physical health. USD 289 is excited to be able to offer a new resource to students and parents to assist in this endeavor. “A Friend Asks” is a FREE smartphone app that helps provide the information, tools, and resources to help a friend (or yourself) who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide or depression. We are working to have the app added to each 6-12 student school-issued technology device and all staff devices. While we are only adding the app to 6-12th grade devices at this time, we are sending this information to elementary families, as well as parents may wish to share the resource with their student and/or access the app themselves.  We would invite each of you to download the app today and encourage friends and family to do the same. Education is the key to prevention, and we never know when this information will be needed and could help save a life.

The “A Friend Asks” App contains the following information:

  • Warning signs of suicidal ideation
  • How to help a friend
  • How to get help now
  • What to do and what not to do

The app can be downloaded from the apple store or Google Play from the link below.


USD 289 counselors and social workers are readily available to answer any questions you have and/or to assist you in supporting your student's mental health needs. 

Community Chamber Events

Monthly Meeting -

March 14th at 11:30AM lunch provided by the Wellsville Health & Rehab, meeting at noon at Wellsville Health & Rehab conference room.

  • Please RSVP by 3/10, if you'd like to join

Community WJRC Events

Check out all the Wellsville Recreation Commission has planned for our community seniors this month!

Learn more about WJRC events

Community Library Events

Library Updates -

  • Friday, March 10th at 4PM - Groundbreaking for new Library addition!

  • The Wellsville City Library is looking for a new board member that resides within the city limits.
  • If you are interested please call the library at 785-883-2870.

Wellsville Public Library website

Community Events

Chamber Member Church Events

Family Church

Sunday Service -

  • Three identical in-person services at 8:00AM, 9:30AM, and 11AM
  • Live online service at 9:30AM

Helping Hands Food Pantry Grocery Distribution -

  • Fri February 17th
  • Sat February 18th
Learn more about Family Church
GriefShare -
  • A faith-based, friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.
  • How GriefShare works: Support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help.
  • You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you cope with your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life. Grieving is a process and not meant to last forever.
  • Mondays at 7pm at Family Church
  • For more info contact Debra McCullough (913) 206-5372

Celebrate Recovery
  • A 12-step program to help you find freedom and healing from hurts, habits, and hang-ups
  • Meets weekly at Family Church on Thursday's at 7PM
  • For more info contact Mike Holtwick 913-710-6255
Wellsville Baptist Church

Sunday Service -

  • One in-person service 9AM
  • Sunday School for all ages at 10:30AM
Learn more about Wellsville Baptist Church
Ladies Craft Nights -
  • Every 3rd Sunday of the month, 6-8PM
  • Women are invited to gather and bring any craft project they are working on
  • Once each quarter we’ll do a guided group activity such as making a painting, ornament, or decoration for the home

Bible Study -
  • Every Wednesday morning from 9:30-10:30AM
  • No matter how little or how much you know about the Bible, we guarantee you’ll learn something new at this study
  • All are welcome to join us for an hour of study followed by a visit to Hot Off the Press for snacks

Pioneer Club -
  • Every Wednesday evening (Sept-April) from 6:30-8PM
  • Club will be canceled if there is no public school that day
  • PC is essentially Christian scouting
  • Kids between the ages of 3-18 are invited to join in learning more about God while simultaneously engaging in practical life skills and hobbies

Play Group -
  • Every Thursday from 9:30-11:30AM
  • Moms and kids of all ages are invited to play in the WBC gym
  • Kids can bring skates, bikes, scooters, or any other toys they’d like
  • A great way for kids to get their energy out, while the mom’s can sit and chat

Men’s Breakfast -
  • Every Saturday morning from 8-10AM
  • Don’t worry about bringing anything other than your appetite
  • Breakfast and fellowship are both provided

Wellsville Methodist Church

Sunday Service -

  •  In person worship and Church@Home - 10:45AM
Learn more about Wellsville Methodist Church

Shared Experiences Bereavement Group -

  • First and third Tuesdays at 10:30AM
  • Open to anyone
  • Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided

Zoom Tuesdays -

  • Bible study each Tuesday evening at 6:30
  • Lasts about one hour
  • Invitation needed
  • Call 785-883-2737 for Zoom link
  • Everyone is welcome

2022/2023 Wellsville Chamber of Commerce Officers

Wellsville Chamber President
Susan Stueve
Sales Associate
Farm Bureau Financial Services 
Vice President
Nicole Vlcek
Wellsville Chiropractic
Susan Larsen - Driskell
Simplot Grower Solution Location Manager
Ken Larsen
CFO - Retired
Desoto School District

Wellsville Chamber and Health Coalition Partnership Description
Many interested parties have asked for clarification regarding the relationship/partnership between the Wellsville Chamber of Commerce and the Wellsville Health Coalition. In 2021, the Wellsville Chamber of Commerce (WCC) and Wellsville Health Coalition (WHC) embarked on a collaboration to share resources where appropriate in order to boost both organizations’ efforts in areas of overlapping interest. The organizations are separate entities, but they often meet concurrently and share in other ways. The mission of the Chamber of Commerce remains "“To improve business opportunity and build a better community.” The Chamber exists to serve and build business in our community. The Wellsville Health Coalition exists to serve as a local health policy coalition that connects people working on such shared goals, facilitates cooperative and streamlined efforts as appropriate, and ultimately improves all aspects of health, civic engagement, community partnerships, and overall resident and community wellbeing. To accomplish this, the coalition seeks to monitor community-specific data, help prioritize ideas, share resources, promote activities, seek funding, and make a greater impact together. Additionally, the WHC aims to prepare the community for healthy growth through attention to social factors affecting health, to serve as an example for other rural communities, and to coordinate with the Franklin County Health Department on community health assessment and planning.

As always, if you have events or job postings you'd like included, please send the information and any fliers or pictures to [email protected] prior to the beginning of the month of your event. We welcome any feedback and suggestions about what to include and the layout. It's a creative process together. We wish you and your family an amazing 2022!
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