Acumen: Sharpen, Challenge, Inspire

Igniting a Higher Standard of CEO Influence and Business Impact.

About Acumen

Built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies, Acumen is a mastermind group designed for passionate people who work with vision and strive for impact.

Acumen is designed for CEOs and Owners who want to sharpen their edge, growing their companies with strategy and a foundation of integrity.

At Acumen, our CEOs and Owners gather bold insights, experience big and brave results and make lasting impact. The partners of Acumen are driven just as much by our values as we are by our vision. We believe in running our companies with integrity, and doing work with excellence.

Our values are our foundation and our beliefs drive our actions. No one has all the answers, but we are all humble and all teachable. Benchmarks, ROI and the bottom line are critical — but at Acumen, we know it’s how we do business that can drive impact.

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Vision

A Higher Standard of CEO Influence and Business Impact.

With shared values, virtues and beliefs, we at Acumen spur each other on towards strong leadership in business and in life. We come together at Acumen to reach new heights in our companies, our communities and our lives.

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Mission

Catalytic multiplier communities that sharpen, inspire and challenge CEO’s.

The Acumen Distinctives

Learn More About the Acumen Distinctives

ABOUT DREW HISS, CEO

Drew Hiss launched his outsourced payroll and HR technology solutions company, Checkdate Solutions, in 1994. The entrepreneurial dream, Drew experienced much success, but not without many failures. He bootstrapped the company to incredible heights. One of Kansas City’s fastest growing companies, his firm was named one of the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce Best Businesses not once, but twice. Additionally, Checkdate Solutions ranked as one of KC’s top 100 fastest growing companies for nine consecutive years and was in the top 25 nationally in its industry.

Today’s workplace culture tends to compartmentalize personal virtues from commerce, creating silos between business, family, community and values. But as a CEO, Drew and his company grew when he decompartmentalized: on his journey, he learned to integrate his life of commerce and his life of faith, family and values.

Drew merged Checkdate Solutions with payroll industry leader Paycor, stepping away from the company in 2008 and serving on its board for eight years. Drew remains an owner in the firm. Today, Drew’s heart for virtuous business leadership is at the core of Acumen. Acumen is a catalytic iron-sharpening-iron environment and this is Drew’s passion.

Drew and his wife Sarah have been married for 27 years and have four children ranging in age from 22 to 17. He is a member of Westside Family Church and a raving distance congregant of Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, CO. Drew enjoys snowboarding, hunting, cycling and a variety of outdoor activities including running with his three dogs.

 

“I WAY underestimated the impact this would have on my business and my effectiveness as a leader. Our business has seen tremendous growth — projecting to triple our business in the next two years. Employees on the team are engaged at levels that we've never seen before. Acumen has been a major catalyst for business growth as well as personal leadership effectiveness.”

Bob Meyers, iTEDIUM

ABOUT DAN COOPER

Dan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003, and was its CEO until selling in 2012. During his time with ej4, he grew the company from a startup to a nationally-recognized firm, serving clients including Pepsi-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Honeywell, Monsanto and Syngenta. Channel partners included SAP and Oracle. As of the 2012, ej4 was serving 1,000+ customers, delivering millions of program views, was highly profitable and debt-free. Today, he leads CompanyBurst, a coaching practice helping CEOs and Owners challenge the status quo, break through plateaus, and accelerate growth with intention and accountability.

Dan is active in the Kansas City business community. He is a member of the Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program and is an investor and mentor in SparkLabKC, a Kansas City-based business accelerator. He and his wife, Ali, have three children and attend Cure of Ars church in Leawood, KS. Dan enjoys running, all things soccer — coaching, playing and watching —and burning all types of meat on the backyard barbecue grill.

 

“The major difference I've experienced [with Acumen] is the authenticity, transparency and ‘get-real’ factor associated with this group. We share a common value and belief system and that makes an incredible difference in the connectedness and counsel of our team — the stakes are higher! It's a high-performing team for a much Higher reason!”

Jon Schram, The Purple Guys

ABOUT JOE CALHOON

Joe Calhoon launched his speaking and consulting career in 1986. By the mid-1990's, Joe was one of the most requested and highest-rated speakers with The Covey Leadership Center. In ten years, Joe served more than 100 world-class organizations on four continents. In 2000, Joe founded Priority Advantage™ and began delivering double-digit growth for business owners in a wide range of industries. He has authored three business books and created a proven process that produces measureable, game-changing business results. Joe has now worked with hundreds of small to mid-sized businesses, delivering sound business growth strategies while developing leaders organically, nurturing talent from within and instilling a winning attitude into the corporate culture.

Joe and Diane have one son, Joseph. Joe and his wife are actively involved at Maywood Baptist Church. Diane also volunteers at City Union Mission. Joe enjoys travel, adventure, swimming and golf.

 

“I recently read this translation of Prov 27:17 in my Life App Bible and it’s amazingly relevant…'Mental sharpness comes from being around good people. And a meeting of the minds can help people see their ideas with new clarity, refine them, and shape them into brilliant insights. This requires discussion; partners who can challenge one another and stimulate thought - people who know how to attack the thought and not the thinker. Two friends who bring their ideas together can help each other become sharper.' So apropos and such an amazing group!”

DOUG BARCUS, L.G. BARCUS & SONS

ABOUT RANDAL LINVILLE

Randal Linville has over 35 years of experience and success as a commodity market trader, international business executive and corporate board leader. He brings expertise and a myriad of connections in the following sectors: agriculture, capital markets, commodity, government, infrastructure, nonprofit, private equity, professional, and transport.

Randal co-founded, led as CEO, and recently sold Agspring, a top 40 grain logistics company. It was formed in 2012 as a private equity backed consolidator of agribusiness firms to supply grains, oilseeds, and related products to growing global markets. Previously Randal was at The Scoular Company for a 25-year career during which he earned positions of increasing leadership and management responsibility. As President, and CEO from 1999-2009, Randal led Scoular through a decade of extraordinary success from building a portfolio of diverse business operations based in North America with International reach.

Today, Randal is Managing Director of ClearSight Ventures. He serves as advisor, board member, entrepreneur, executive, and investor for a portfolio of marketplace and nonprofit groups including CropWorks Co-Founder and Chairman, The FarmHouse Foundation Trustee Emeritus, Halftime Institute, GlobalHouse Group, Global Scholars, HighQuest Partners, Church of the Resurrection, Economics Club of Kansas City, Heritage Foundation, National Association of Corporate Directors, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

While growing up on a farm in Holcomb, KS, Randal developed a passion for both agriculture and business that led him to Kansas State University where he earned dual degrees in Agricultural Economics and Business Finance in 1976, followed by an M.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1977. Upon graduation, he began his career with Central Soya Company and later joined The Pillsbury Company. Randal resides in Leawood, KS with his wife Debbie and children Grace and Jake. Their special interests include Exclusive Resorts family travel in USA and abroad, and Pilate’s fitness training.