Early on, new GM switched sights from pro tennis to club management—and hasn’t looked back

Geary Goss, General Manager, Quivira, Inc.
Geary Goss, General Manager, Quivira, Inc.

By Lisa Phlegar
There’s a new face at the helm, steering the course for Q. Inc. and Lake Quivira Country Club, General Manager Geary Goss.
On May 16, Geary started his new adventure at Lake Quivira following the retirement of Dennis Nighswonger. Geary brings with him over 26 years of club management experience. He has managed private, semi-private and resort clubs. Previously, he served as the general manager of The Country Club of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, LA. He has also held general manager positions at Firerock Country Club in Fountain Hill, AZ, and Lochinvar Golf Club in Houston, TX. Even though each club was unique, Geary operated under a common mandate of attaining the highest possible member and guest experience while utilizing the club.
In his role as a General Manager, he has successfully developed budgets, marketing and membership platforms, short and long term strategic plans, and policy and procedure reviews, as well as operating principles, utilizing the club’s mission statement, vision and core values as a foundation. Additionally, he has extensive experience in golf course agronomy, golf operations, tennis operations, planning and implementing capital projects and programs designed to increase member use of all clubhouse facilities. Furthermore, Geary has experience managing large and small homeowner associations.
Q. How did you first get into the club industry?
Geary chuckled a little and then started talking about how, back in the day, he had aspirations of becoming a professional tennis player. However, that dream was squelched after a 20-minute tennis match and a loss of love and 1 with an All-American Tennis Professional. That tennis match provided Geary with the insight that being a professional tennis player was not in his future.
So, Geary changed his future when an opportunity arrived to manage Bear Creek Golf Club in Dallas, TX. That is where Geary got “hooked” as he says and found his passion; being able to provide a great experience to members and guests.
Q. How has the club industry evolved since you began your career?
“Back when, a club would promote a great maître d to the position of managing a 2-4 million dollar club. Unfortunately, clubs failed,” Geary said. He continued describing how the industry moved towards hiring professionals. Through the years more and more business professionals were being hired in all aspects of staffing. After five years with Bear Creek, Geary decided to return to school and earn an accounting degree with a minor in economics. He determined these degrees would help enhance his skills and qualifications in the industry where he discovered his passion.
Q. What do members want out of their club?
“Biggest thing . . . a safe place where family and friends can have a quality time and a great experience,” Geary stated.
Q. What lessons have you learned throughout your years as general manager?
Geary mentioned how he has found that staff wants to do a good job, but they need tools, resources and training to be successful. Therefore, it is important to be pro-active in developing the staff, as this can result in big benefits to the club.
Q. What do you like to do for fun?
For fun, Geary enjoys spending quality time with his family. He mentioned how family is his number one priority. Geary and his wife Susan have three children; one son and two daughters. Their children have blessed them with four grandchildren; three boys and one girl. His children and grandchildren are located in Oklahoma City, OK, Fort Worth, TX, and Houston, TX. Fortunately for Geary and Susan, living in Kansas will provide them easier access to their family, thus increasing their time together.
Geary also enjoys the thrill of heading down the road on his motorcycle, visiting new and interesting places. With Susan on the back, they have ridden up into the beautiful Arizona mountains. Additionally, they have ridden through the Grand Canyon and visited interesting ghost towns along the way. One of Geary’s favorite places to visit is Sedona, AZ—“one of the prettiest cities out there!” Recently, he purchased a 2017 Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra motorcycle and plans on christening it on the roadways of Kansas.
Additionally, Geary enjoys hunting. I asked him what he hunts, and he said hunting is a fairly new sport for him. He is however, captivated by the turkeys he saw this morning by the house. He went back into the house to rummage through an unopened moving box to find his turkey call. His plan is not to hunt them, but rather just enjoy their presence.
Geary is excited to be the new General Manager of Lake Quivira Country Club. He is looking forward to Lake Quivira’s future and elated with the vision the members have conveyed through the Strategic Planning Committee.
Please stop by the Clubhouse to meet Geary during his Welcome Reception on Tues., June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Why do we need a quarantine?

By John Nelson
Approximately six years ago, based on information provided from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and other State and Federal agencies, the Lake Quivira Board of Directors implemented a strict quarantine requirement for all watercraft entering our lake. This rule was enacted to stop the chance of infesting Lake Quivira with zebra mussels, which have infested lakes throughout most of the Midwest and East Coast. In most states, it is illegal to knowingly release zebra mussels into any waterbody. Additionally, many states on the West Coast have implemented border checkpoints for the examination of all watercraft being brought into their state. If any evidence is found, the vessel must immediately be taken to a decontamination/quarantine area.
First identified in 1988 in the Detroit River, it is believed zebra mussels were brought into the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway in the ballast water of ships from the Black and Caspian Seas in Europe. Once initial infestation had occurred, the spread of zebra mussels occurred rapidly throughout the Midwest and East Coast. With females laying thousands of larvae at a time, they will quickly overcome any body of water. The primary cause for further contamination of additional waterways occurs from the transport of the zebra mussel larvae in contaminated recreational boats and bait buckets between lakes and rivers. Once a lake is infested, a noticeable sign is the presence of crystal clear water, which many individuals identify as a healthy lake condition. In actuality, the opposite is true. Zebra mussels feed by filtering water, rapidly removing all the plankton and nutrient particles from the water. These particles are what cause the cloudy appearance in lake water and provide nourishment and protection for fish and other aquatic species necessary for a healthy lake and ecosystem. They also significantly reduce the oxygen levels in the water which enhances the growth of blue algae.
Today, over forty lakes and almost all major rivers throughout Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri are contaminated with zebra mussels. They are ranked as one of the top three aquatic invasive species threats to Kansas waters by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Most recently, the City of Lawrence has identified zebra mussels in parts of the city water system. Additionally, a small lake near Paola, KS, is now contaminated simply because they purchased and moved used dock flotation materials to the lake from Lake Lotawana in Missouri. The Lake and Residential Committee, working closely with Midwest Lake Management, tests Lake Quivira on an annual basis for the presence of zebra mussels. This year, the testing will also include certain areas upstream from Lake Quivira.
Lake Quivira rules are very specific relating to the control of zebra mussels. All watercraft, new or used, including, but not limited to, pontoon boats, motor boats, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and all boat trailers must go through a two- week quarantine period at our Lake Maintenance Facility located at 4600 Renner Road. Additionally, all boat and dock site equipment, including outboard motors, paddles/oars, foam knee boards, swim floats, and dock materials including ladders and flotation materials must be reported and undergo the same quarantine period prior to being brought into our community. No live bait can be brought into the lake unless it was purchased from Minnesota Bait or Cabela’s and brought to the lake in the original bag with proof of purchase. Guests are not allowed to bring any bait to the lake.
In 2016, additional rules were implemented related to the use of sand for dock site construction purposes. In that most of the local construction sand comes from the KAW River, a contaminated river, all sand used for dock site construction or beaches must be kiln dried (heat treated) and purchased from an approved vendor. Verification of such purchase is required by Lake Quivira Security. Currently, the Lake and Residential Committee is in the process of implementing new rules concerning the use of only new encapsulated foam flotation materials for all floating dock construction or refurbishment. Violation of any of these rules would be subject to a fine and loss of lake privileges.
At times these rules may seem onerous. However, the health of our lake and golf course (lake water is used for irrigation) is of utmost importance for our future enjoyment and property values. Everyone is asked to do their part in controlling the spread of zebra mussels into Lake Quivira.
Please remember if you are intending to use that new water toy for your upcoming 4th of July party, it needs to be placed in quarantine by June 15. For further information, please feel free to contact Gary Anderson with LQ Lake Maintenance or any member of the Lake and Residential Committee.

Welcome! By Aline Zimmer

Marcia and Dick Rippey
Marcia and Dick Rippey

They’re baaack . . . with cool cars and all that jazz

After ten years away, Dick and Marcia Rippey have returned to live at Lake Quivira. Dick lived here for 45 years and Marcia for 13, so they know the community well.
Dick grew up in Wisconsin and has always been around lakes. Now retired, he was District Manager and then Regional Manager at Armstrong in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Marcia, born and raised in Kansas, was an anesthesiologist for 34 years. After they married they moved into Marcia’s Cape Cod house on Lakeshore Drive, which quickly felt too small given Dick’s collection of “play” cars. A six-car garage with a house at Lake Winnebago lured them away.
But the garage provided happiness for a brief period. After a while they missed their friends, the golf course and the friendly atmosphere. Marcia kept her eyes and ears open, and when they found their current house, complete with a spacious garage and lots of windows, they jumped on it.
Marcia has a son who recently moved from Prairie Village to Dallas, a daughter in the Denver area and two granddaughters. Dick has three children, two of them in the Kansas City area. Richard is an engineer, Catherine works for Medicare and Ted is a Dean at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
The couple have a multitude of interests. Dick enjoys hunting, fishing, golf and tennis, and raced cars for eight years. Among his collection of autos is an Austin Healey from 1967, the last year they were manufactured. Marcia enjoys painting watercolors and is learning to play the dulcimer. They also run a jazz record business that dates back to 1947, and they travel to jazz festivals in Wisconsin and other states.
The Rippeys say it is nice to be back home, where they’ve picked right back up with traditions such as Fred Braun’s clean-up day. Friends have welcomed them with phone calls, visits and loaves of bread.
Welcome back to the Lake, Dick and Marcia.

JoAnne Ruth Degan – Obituary

JoAnne Ruth Deegan, 87, of Lake Quivira, KS, died May 14, 2017.
She is survived by her two children, Tim and Anne, and Anne’s husband, Gary. She is also survived by her two grandsons. She is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, James E. Deegan.
She worked for many years at Hallmark Cards in Purchasing until her retirement. She enjoyed traveling and cooking. Visitation will be at 1 p.m., followed by service at 2 p.m., on Sat., June 3, at Merriam Christian Church, 9401 Johnson Drive, Merriam, KS.

Jeanne Louise Shafer Blessing – Obituary

0617 blessing obit photoJeanne Blessing passed away peacefully at Lakeview Village in Lenexa, KS, on May 9, 2017, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Throughout her illness Jeanne was a beacon of love and strength, as she was all her life, to those who knew her.
She was much beloved by her family, including her husband of 63 years, Roger Francis Blessing Jr.; two sons and their wives, Bill and Anne Blessing of Leawood, KS, and Craig and Monica Blessing of Princeton, NJ; and four grandsons, John, Joe, Lucas, and Michael. Her kind, patient and practical life philosophy was embodied by her recent favorite phrase, “Do the best you can with what you’ve got.”
Jeanne was born March 18, 1929, in Great Bend, KS, to Lloyd and Kathryn Bell Shafer and grew up there with three siblings. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 1952, where she was an Alpha Chi Omega. After working as a physical therapist in Kansas City, MO, and Fort Belvoir, VA, she became a full-time homemaker in Overland Park and Lake Quivira, KS. She was praised by clients when she returned to providing in-home physical therapy services through the Visiting Nurses Association.
She and Roger were active volunteers in the community and enjoyed extensive travels together. The family has held a private memorial service and no larger event is planned. No flowers are necessary, but any memorial gifts may be directed to the Lakeview Village Foundation, Inc., 9100 Park St., Lenexa, KS 66215 or online at www.lakeviewvillage.org/about-us/lakeview-village-foundation/

Marilyn Sue Block – Obituary

0617 obit blessingDecember 23, 1947 – May 02, 2017

Marilyn was born in Enid, OK, on December 23, 1947. She met her husband Ernie in Santa Barbara, CA, where they married and had two children. She was a 33-year resident of Lake Quivira.
As partner in Ernie Block Studio, co-founder and officer of The Crossroads Community Association and Merriam Elementary PTA President for four years, her life was dedicated in the service to others. Her final challenge was in spreading joy to those she touched at KU Cancer Center.
Her determination, dignity and acceptance of all people defined her life. The love and dedication for her family had no boundary with grandsons Cooper and Desmond the light of her life. She loved coconut cream pie and lemon cookies.
Marilyn is survived by her husband, Ernie; daughters, Erika and Tina; grandsons, Cooper and Desmond; her mother, Betty Dundas; siblings, Mike, Pat and Michelle, and Danny and Cindy Dundas; extended family Patrick Alexander.
Remembrance and visitation were held on May 28 at the Lake Quivira Clubhouse.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to The University of Kansas Health Systems to benefit Women’s Oncology. https://giving.kansashealthsystem.com/tribute

A look at Lake Quivira resident Ray Ansari’s Hybrid Cube innovation

Ray Ansari, founder and CEO of Hybrid Energy
Ray Ansari, founder and CEO of
HCI Energy

By Dawn Gabel
With contributions from Lee Stiegemeier, Co-Founder, Circle Sideways
What do you get when you combine a used shipping container, a wind turbine, solar panels and a hydrogen fuel cell? You have a portable containerized power solution that is poised to meet a variety of critical human needs around the globe.
“While I did not invent those things, I came up with the idea of putting them together in a proprietary combination,” said Ray Ansari, founder and CEO of HCI Energy, LLC. “My goal is to use this product to help communities solve common problems more cost-effectively and efficiently in everything from disaster relief to telecommunications to military operations.”
The Hybrid Cube, as it’s called, was developed by Quivira resident Ray Ansari and is now being put into production for use worldwide. In fact, Clay County, Missouri, will be one of the first locations to benefit from the renewable power generated by a Cube. The county plans to use it to provide reliable backup to the

This Cube installation, solar panels deployed, sits north of Liberty, MO
This Cube installation, solar panels deployed, sits north of Liberty, MO

telecom infrastructure used by its police force. Ultimately, by ensuring officers have the ability to receive and monitor calls, dispatch radio communications to those in the field and communicate with constant up-time, the region will benefit from improved public safety.
In addition to local interest in the Hybrid Cube, service providers, companies, non-profit organizations and even governments have expressed the desire to leverage the benefits this innovation has to offer.
The evolution of the solution
Armed with an electrical engineering degree and an MBA, Ray spent more than two decades traveling the world as an energy industry executive. During those travels, he recognized that while energy was generally available in developed cities, reliable power was rare in remote areas. This is frequently due to a combination of scarce resources, unreliable transportation and complex environmental conditions. Having worked on various wastewater, power and fuel cell-related issues, Ray put his knowledge and experience to work to develop a reliable, reusable energy source that could be self-contained and distributed to even the most remote location for dozens of applications.
“For the last 12 years I have been designing hydrogen fuel cells. Prior to that, I designed skid-mounted wastewater treatment solutions. With those experiences under my belt, designing the Cube was a logical transition for me. After working to get the initial design just right, I filed a patent for our product and in 2016 the patent was granted,” Ray said.
During the much anticipated wait for that exciting news, Ray began building the HCI Energy team and working on a prototype.
Historically, when remote, off-grid users needed reliable power, they installed an environmentally hostile diesel generator, which required a continuous supply of diesel fuel and consistent technical support. This ongoing requirement for fuel and technical support presented inherent problems with system reliability and greatly increased total cost of ownership. Perhaps most significantly, when fuel or support was compromised, power ceased.
Therefore, Ray designed the Hybrid Cube to utilize readily available renewable wind and solar energy to feed the onboard battery storage. Additionally, it can combine components from a variety of manufacturers and run on natural gas, hydrogen, methanol or methane, depending on what is most readily available to the customer and the installation location’s fuel infrastructure. By housing the components in a standard ISO shipping container, the Cube is highly portable via standard international transportation channels and protocols.
In his travels around the globe, Ray spent a great deal of time in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, China, India and the Philippines. While there he realized the Cube would have even broader appeal if it could be modified to address needs beyond power production. Utilizing his background in the wastewater industry, he designed a drinking water and wastewater package that could be integrated within the Cube’s footprint. This flexibility is part of its desirability from a broad array of potential customers.
Ray noted, “What we have created is called a hybrid package, and it is really nothing new. However, we utilize off-the-shelf products and integrate them into a package that can provide reliable power, clean drinking water and sewage treatment to end users, all while reducing fuel consumption, capital costs and the need for ongoing technical support. Our specialty is truly the integration of components in a controlled environment.”
An added benefit of this controlled environment is the Cube’s ability to retract its wind turbine and solar panels during inclement weather, while the fuel cell and generator provide continuous power. This automation protects the solution from potential damage by storms or high winds. The containerized design also minimizes the potential for theft.
In addition to reliable clean energy, the Hybrid Cube has another byproduct–American jobs. HCI Energy is working to develop strategic partnerships with U.S. companies to create manufacturing jobs that take care of every step of the process, from design and development to installation and operation.

Ray stands next to a Cube under construction
Ray stands next to a Cube under construction

A fit for numerous situations
To say that the applications for this product are vast is an understatement. First, the shipping container design ensures the Hybrid Cube can be transported via truck, rail, ship or even helicopter. That makes remote locations a non-issue for the solution. If disaster hits, and even the most accessible location becomes inaccessible due to destruction, the Hybrid Cube can literally be a lifesaver.
“In Greensburg, Kansas, when the EF5 tornado ripped through the town in 2007, rescue workers and townspeople had to drive for hours for hotel stays. In a similar instance, a Hybrid Cube energy package would allow cleanup crews to remain close by, using portable housing,” Ray explained.
Insurance companies and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Association) are interested in this solution for its many applications. FEMA, for example, could choose to install and secure these units prior to a hurricane coming ashore. After the storm passes, the units would automatically open up and start providing power and drinking water for the people whose lives are affected. Similarly, if natural gas and diesel lines are shut down due to an earthquake, the Hybrid Cube could have a major impact in a population’s ability to quickly recover.
Meanwhile, government officials in Canada have connected with Ray to address excess spending required to deliver water to native populations in remotely located communities in the Yukon. Many of the locations have been using gas wells that have gone dry, so now they have very few diesel-powered generators running to make do. In fact, the lack of power has made it so that about 180 communities in North America don’t have a wastewater treatment plant that runs consistently, thereby creating health issues.
Groups like Asia Development Bank and World Bank also see the Hybrid Cube as a solution to water purity and scarcity issues, in addition to the need for reliable, clean power in remote locations and small villages.
Currently, several models of the Cube exist for use “out of the box” to address various needs, but the HCI Energy team can completely tailor an energy package for a specific customer as needed.
“All of my life I have looked at simplifying products for simplifying life,” Ray shared. “After working on projects to address the aftermath of natural disasters or improve conditions in unreliable grid or off-grid regions, I’m proud that HCI Energy stands to make a positive global impact in the lives of so many. This is truly a dream come true.”
To follow Ray and the HCI Energy team’s journey, visit hcienergy.com.