1 Million Cups hosted its monthly meeting Wednesday morning at State Fair Community College where a new event planning business and Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County gave presentations. 

Boni Lee gave a presentation of her event planning business, Heartsing Events. Lee said she came up with the name because she likes to help people have events that make their “hearts sing.”

“I offer all kinds of planning services,” Lee said. “Weddings are one of my favorites and reception, but I also really enjoy helping with conferences, retreats, and workshops, team building and stuff like that. I love the creative side of Heartsing Events or just event planning. The process for me is what I find a lot of fun. I like to create events that are meaningful and interactive.”

Officially organized in July, Heartsing Events offers unique and personal event planning with creative designs. She has been involved in planning events since she was in junior high and worked for 12 years at SFCC as the director of counseling and advising. Lee primarily works locally but will come to people although travel costs can apply. 

The most unique event Lee has planned was a hat and scarf party for her sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The party helped teach attendees how to speak with her sister about cancer. 

“Those kinds of events that you don’t really think about,” Lee explained. “That’s where I feel like someone with my background in counseling and just my experiences with students and people over the years helped.”

Lee said the most challenging part of starting the business was figuring out pricing and “breaking away from the traditional ‘go to work and get a paycheck.’” Lee’s goal is to have her own venue to offer her own variety of retreats and conferences as well as letting other people use the space. 

Heartsing Events can be found at HeartsingUnlimitedLLC.com. 

Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County Executive Director Jessica Craig also presented, explaining EDSPC and what it has accomplished. 

“I like to say economic development is creating new wealth in the community that was not there before,” she explained. 

Craig said the organization works on expansion, business retention, new business creation, and business recruitment. Craig said they work nationally and internationally to recruit businesses to Pettis County. 

“We also want to create an environment for startups because we are a community that is ripe for start-up businesses. We want to foster collaboration between entrepreneurs,” she said. 

Craig was asked about green energy in Sedalia and Pettis County. While green energy is not a major type of business EDSPC works with, Craig explained Nucor is “somewhat of a green company.”

“People don't think of a steel mill as a green business…” she said. “This facility will be powered by wind energy so Kansas City Power and Light is providing power to the plant via wind energy which is pretty phenomenal to think about it. We’ll be KCPL’s largest customer…They use 100% recycled scraps. They’re starting with recycled materials and at the end of the day produce rebars.”

Another point Craig touched on was how national events like presidential elections can affect economic growth in the area. She said businesses tend to “scale back their decision making” during those events. With the presidential election next year, she said it would have an impact, but she has not seen an impact as hard as previous years, saying the current business activity is “strong.”

Craig also spoke about the number of calls EDSPC gets from other communities across the state and country who are asking why Sedalia and Pettis County are doing so well. 

“I'm like, ‘How much time do you have?’” joked Craig. “I’ve been on board with Economic Development for three years now and this was a strong organization, a strong community, before. When the economy started to rebound we hit the ground running. This is not just a three years or two years in the making. This is 30-plus years of building a strong organization and strong community and we’re capitalizing on that now.”

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