ABOUT ACUMEN
Built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies, Acumen is a mastermind community 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.

 

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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PURPOSE

To create catalytic communities that sharpen, inspire, and challenge CEOs and ignite a higher standard of influence and performance.

With shared values and beliefs, we spur each other on towards strong leadership — in business and in life — to reach new heights in our companies, our communities and our lives.

MISSION

Facilitate Catalytic Communities that Maximize our Platform of Influence, Impact, & Performance

OUR BOOK: Sharpen

A Guidebook for Business Ownership and Adventures in Leadership. Learn more

Look Inside

About Acumen with Sean Miller

THE
ACUMEN
DISTINCTIVES

Acumen is COMMUNITY.

It may be lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be.

We facilitate camaraderie among industry leaders who want to sharpen each other, and grow stronger together.

Acumen is
a place for
CHALLENGE.

Our mastermind teams are places for growth-oriented CEOs and Owners.

If where you’re at today isn’t good enough, and if you thrive when pushed to new heights, then our mastermind groups could be what you need.

Acumen is
for OWNERS
AND CEOS
 who seek
RESULTS.

We’re not a place for triage, for sunsetting, for closing up shop.

Acumen is designed for businesses seeking to be at the top of their game. Acumen is a place for people who want their companies to grow quickly and sustainably.

In fact, results are our promise:

Acumen guarantees a 10x ROI. If not, 100% of annual fees are refunded after your first year.

Acumen is
rooted in
PURPOSE

Every Acumen team is composed of CEOs and Owners who believe that HOW we live, lead, and serve others has meaning for today -- and on the great beyond.

Far from perfect, we are men and women who claim Jesus Christ as our Savior. We aspire to lead a life of purpose in our businesses, our communities, and our families.

Our Team

DREW HISS

CEO + Growth Catalyst

Drew Hiss launched his outsourced payroll and HR technology solutions company, Checkdate Solutions, in 1994. The entrepreneurial venture was a classic bootstrap start-up whose launch plan underestimated capital needs and ramp up time by significant multiples. The adventure predictably included scrapping for cash, overhauling the business model, rebranding, refocusing, redirecting resources, shifting tech platforms, praying, seeking counsel and wisdom, etc.. Not surprisingly, deep entrepreneurial scar tissue was forged. Ultimately Checkdate Solutions became one of Kansas City’s fastest growing companies and 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 and compartmentalization between business, family, community, values and faith. 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 family, faith 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 to help business owners leverage the influence of their business platform for eternal impact is at the core of Acumen which he founded late in 2015. Acumen is a catalytic iron-sharpening-iron environment forged from the fiery furnace of entrepreneurial battle, marketplace survival and integration of the timeless wisdom of the ages.
Drew and his wife, Sarah have been married for 30 years and have four children (plus two beautiful daughters in law) ranging in age from 25 to 20. He is a raving distance congregant of Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, CO. Drew enjoys snowboarding, hunting, cycling, hiking and a variety of outdoor activities and adventures including running with his three dogs.

DAN COOPER

President + Growth Catalyst

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 is the President and partner of Acumen, a mastermind community platform built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. Dan is also an ACC credentialed executive coach through the International Coaching Federation.

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.

TIM JAMES

Growth Catalyst

Tim James rose through technology ranks to lead companies in Healthcare, Scientific Research, Software, Publishing and Distribution, spanning both for profit and non-profit arenas.
In his most recent full-time engagement as President of PPM Information Solutions (PPMIS), Tim was hired by the company’s corporate owner to make the business unit viable and heathy by repairing the fragmented culture & portfolio while reversing a significantly negative bottom line. He was tasked with growing market share while improving client services with the underlying goal of positioning the software company for sale. After the successful sale of PPMIS to Bolder Healthcare Solutions in October of 2014, Tim led the transition with near-perfect client retention.

After the successful turnaround, marketing and sale of PPMIS, Tim started TCJ Consulting in 2016, focusing his efforts and leveraging his experience to help companies improve organizational health, and focus their strategy and leadership development to accelerate success.

Tim, and his wife Courtney, have four grown children and twin grandchildren. Tim and Courtney are active members of Christ Church Anglican in Overland Park where Tim serves on the Parish Council. Tim enjoys building, whether it’s healthy organizations, custom-designed furniture, or Beef Bourguignon. Creating something greater than the sum of its parts is where he feels God’s pleasure.

SARAH HISS

VP of Operations

Sarah has spent her life living the entrepreneurial dream. She was the reluctant co-founder of Checkdate Solutions, thinking “WTF is he doing”. Upon retirement from daily operational responsibilities, Sarah took on the task of raising 4 hooligans. She has spent the last several years as a professional volunteer with a number of “can’t say no” organizations. As an empty nester, Sarah is excited to be back in the professional world with Acumen helping deliver great client experiences.

AUGIE GRASIS III

Growth Catalyst

August (Augie) Grasis is a serial technology entrepreneur who has founded and built four companies throughout his 35+ year professional career. He has a passion for businesses and the entrepreneurs who lead them.
Augie founded and led Handmark, a mobile industry pioneer which helped establish the mobile app and mobile advertising businesses. During its 13 year history, Handmark served millions of customers, raised venture capital from both coasts, grew to 100+ employees and $35M in revenues before its sale to Sprint in 2013. Augie was awarded E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year (Midwest, Technology) in 2009 and Handmark was named to Kansas City’s Champions of Business three successive years.
Prior to Handmark, Augie founded Foresight Resources, a Computer Aided Design (CAD) software company in the early days of the Personal Computer. Foresight developed the first CAD for Windows and invented the DIY Home Design software market before being acquired by Autodesk in 1997.
Most recently, Augie teamed up with his son and experienced transportation executives to co-found FreightorGator, a freight Industry tech startup with new approach to LTL freight booking. He was responsible for launching the company and building its online service before turning it over to partners in 2017.
Augie currently serves on the Board of Directors of Milbank, a family owned, industry leading manufacturer of electrical components and mentors business students at UMC & UMKC.
Augie lives at Weatherby Lake with his bride of 39 years. They have three grown children and four grandchildren (so far) and attend the Vineyard KC church. Downtime is spent restoring, collecting and racing vintage cars, leading an open water swim group, sailing at Weatherby Lake and skiing in Colorado with his family.
He serves as fundraising chair for the Jeremy Katzenberger Memorial Triathlon at Weatherby Lake which supports the Sua Sponte Foundation aiding families of injured and fallen soldiers. The event has raised over $100,000 in its six year history.

SCOTT STANGER

Growth Catalyst

Scott Stanger has an extensive business background with over 30 years as a CPA, consultant, and business executive/owner.
Scott grew up in Kansas City, but he has split his adult life living and working in Kansas City as well as Texas. He studied accounting at Baylor University in Waco, TX, and after graduating in 1988 he joined Price Waterhouse in Houston, TX in their business turnaround group. He returned to Kansas City in 1994 as the CFO and eventual President of his family’s construction company Stanger Industries which was performing multi-million dollar commercial and government projects across the country. In 2008 he ventured back to Waco to take on the CFO role of a start-up construction business that quickly became one of the largest in central Texas. In 2015 he returned to Kansas City to be near family and apply his diverse accounting and business knowledge to the benefit of his consulting clients.
Scott has been happily married to his wonderful wife Cheryl for over 30 years. Their son Nathaniel is following in his father’s construction footsteps at Stanger Industries, and their daughter Abby is also following in her father’s footsteps going to work for PwC in New York City.
Scott thinks outside the box while checking the box, as he is an avid reader with an eye for applying what he learns to ensure an organization’s goals are achieved and lives are impacted. Inspired teamwork, contagious excellence, and perpetual impact are hallmarks of Scott’s purpose-driven approach to life and work.

JENNY TRUPKA

Director of Client Experience

Jenny Trupka graduated from Kansas State University with a Masters in Accountancy and started her career in public accounting. Most recently, Jenny had been with an agriculture company for five years serving in several different roles assisting with marketing, accounting, and human resources, most recently as the Director of HR. Additionally, Jenny owned and operated a full-service event planning company. Today, Jenny is the Director of Client Experience at Acumen striving to improve our client’s experience. Jenny and her husband, Tristan, have one son and attend Church of the Resurrection- West. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys staying active, entertaining, playing with their dogs, and spending time with her family and friends.
TESTIMONIALS
GROWTH OF BUSINESS, PROFITABILITY AND LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS:

“The Acumen community has been an invaluable resource for me personally and the key leaders of our firm. The DNA of what makes Acumen unique around the notion of a "higher standard" can be found throughout our organization and leadership approach. The unique combination of competence and confidentiality with a group of high-performing peers is a catalyst. The affinity model aligns me with like-minded owners.”

Case DormanCEO, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
WISE COUNSEL, ACCEPTANCE, CONFIDENTIALITY & SAFETY OF IMPARTIALITY

“The major difference I've experienced [with Acumen] is the authenticity, transparency, and ‘get-real’ factor. We share a common 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 SchramThe Purple Guys
A BIGGER, CLEARER VISION FOR THE BATTLE AHEAD

“Being challenged by a group of other leaders month, with key performance indicators and holding each other accountable, has made me a better leader. And it's helped me transition my team into better leaders. Leadership at our company is now an activity rather than a position. I travel in from Florida for Council each month – the newer guys have asked me why I do that… it’s because Acumen is such an impactful part of my life that I wouldn't miss it.”

Bob MeyersPresident & CEO, iTedium
CATALYTIC GROWTH FOR YOU, YOUR FAITH, YOUR FAMILY AND BUSINESS

“After every meeting, I come back with an extensive list of things that can share with the team. The ROI for Acumen has been significant. For the distinct roles I play; child of Christ, husband, father, and business leader – the group helped me keep appropriate priorities. I feel like I'm so much better in each of those roles - as a result of my time with Acumen.”

Todd PleimannManaging Partner, RubinBrown
TO BE A BETTER BOSS

“My group has been like a board of directors. I know I’ll get objective opinions, and that every single individual cares about me and my success. Advice without personal agendas, and consistent with my faith, is rare and valuable. Nuts & Bolts has transitioned significantly in the past two years and I largely credit the group for that success.”

Tim HaakePresident, Nuts & Bolts Hardware
INTEGRATION OF FAITH AND COMMERCE FOR GREATEST IMPACT AND LEGACY

“The ROI for me and my business has been tremendous. Our firm continues to grow at record levels and the wisdom and insight provided by my fellow advisors has been a catalyst for not only our growth, but my maturity and effectiveness as a leader. I realize now that ROI doesn't just mean "investment" it also means “influence.” I realize more than ever that my business is an incredible platform for influence!”

Dustin DollCEO, Accord Group
CONTACT US

Please contact us if you are interested in:

Joining one of the unique affinity-centric Acumen teams.

Learning more about the unique Acumen approach and model.

Becoming a growth catalyst to help business owners and CEO’s maximize their leadership impact.