Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Pitch Questionnaire with KCnext's Ryan Weber

The KCnext president talks about what he loves in KC.

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Ryan_Weber.jpg

Name and occupation: Ryan Weber, president of KCnext

What is KCnext? KCnext - the Technology Council of Greater Kansas City is a nonprofit organization that serves as the regional advocate for the tech industry, supporting more than 75 technology-company members in the Greater Kansas City Area. KCnext is committed to growing the existing base of technology firms, recruiting and attracting technology companies, aggregating and promoting regional IT assets, and providing peer interaction and industry news.

Hometown: I spent most of my childhood in Olathe, but I was born in Salina. I had a brief stint in Oklahoma but was young and have vague memories of red dirt.

Current neighborhood: West Plaza

Who or what is your sidekick? Bruno, my giant yellow Labrador

What career would you choose in an alternate reality? Chef! I love to cook, and I worked in a few restaurants growing up. But I couldn't "stand the heat."

What was the last local restaurant you patronized? Actually, as I answer this, I am eating a sandwich from Twenty 20.

Where do you drink? Zoo bar! Or Manifesto, if I feel like "class'n" it up. We are lucky to have the kind of creativity from the mixologists at Manifesto.

Favorite place to spend your paycheck: eBay

Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? Oklahoma Joe's for barbecue, Ponak's for margaritas, and McCormick & Schmick's for a chocolate-bag dessert.

Finish this sentence: "Kansas City got it right when it ... " Renovated and reopened Union Station. It's also amazing how Power & Light, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and the organic emergence of the Crossroads District have really changed our city for the better.

"Kansas City screwed up when it ... " Decided to be so humble in regard to all the creative and innovative people, things and companies that are located here.

"Kansas City needs ... " Mountains! I love to see mountains but hate the commute.

"People might be surprised to know that ... " My first job out of college, I lived out of a suitcase for two years. Oddly enough, I still haven't been to Maine.

____ take(s) up a lot of space in my iTunes: Jack Johnson. Who knows - I could still be a surfer someday, right?
What TV show do you make sure you watch? 60 Minutes

What movie do you watch at least once a year? Saving Private Ryan - no relation.

What local tradition do you take part in every year? American Royal. And the Westport St. Patty's festivities.

Celebrity you'd like to ride the Mamba with at Worlds of Fun: This is tough. I would have to find someone who isn't afraid of heights, doesn't get motion sickness, and would scream so loud that they would entertain all of us on the way down ... Taylor Swift.

Favorite person or thing to follow on Twitter: @KCnext, of course. I also follow Silicon Prairie News, @SiliconPrairie, to stay on top of all the regional tech news.

Person or thing you find really irritating at this moment: Wi-Fi. Even though KC is better than most cities, there still isn't enough to go around. It either disappears when you need it or turns its back and locks you out.

Last book you read: I am currently reading The Coming Jobs War by Jim Clifton.

Favorite day trip: Manhattan, Kansas. Go, Cats!

What is your most embarrassing dating moment? Be careful if you sit outside on the patio. You never know what "presents" can fall on your shoulder.

Describe a recent triumph: The KCnext team recruited 20 new member companies in the first quarter of 2012. We hosted 100 professionals at our first educational briefing in March and more than 400 attendees at our networking event at Livestrong Sporting Park. It's going to be a great year!

Ryan Weber became president of KCnext on January 24.
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