Mitch Holthus, the "Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs" challenged the Kanza Cooperative to keep their generations connected at their annual meeting April 5.

The generations need to stay connected for success. That was the message Mitch Holthus "The Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs" presented at the Kanza Cooperative Association annual meeting April 5.

Holthus focused on the Cooperative "C" level areas of Connect, Creative, Courage and Conduit.

The Cooperative had a successful year and that success was due to work and input from all the generations that are members and employees. Society tends to separate the generations but to maintain the success at the Cooperative, those generations need to be integrated across the board. This will allow for horizontal accountability, Holthus said.

To make his point on generations, Holthus asked for the longest association with the Cooperative. He started looking for anyone with 50 years but eventually found a couple that had been associated for 68 years. He then asked for someone who had just joined the organization and found a recent hire.

To keep the Cooperative success going, they need to use the wisdom and skill from all the generations.

"That's the power of this cooperative," Holthus said.

The future belongs to the creative and the Cooperative is no different. Holthus said while some might consider Kansas as the middle of nowhere, he considers Kansas in the middle of everything and creativity is essential to growth in Kansas and the Cooperative.

Courage is needed to continue on the path to success. Just like the firefighters that tackled the fire at Ashland, it takes everyones courage to try new paths.

He encouraged the Cooperative to keep the wisdom of all the people who make up the organization.

"We need your wisdom," Holthus said.

Holthus used the courage of NFL player Eric Berry who had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma but played on as an example of someone having the courage to continue when things were tough.

Holthus shared a video that changed they way he approached he broadcast his games. A video story about a blind Chief's fan was aired. The person said he floored on how much of the game he could follow by listening to the broadcast. Holthus said his approach to the next game was changed. He had to rethink how he broadcast the game.

The Cooperative needs to be willing to observe and change to fit the circumstances too.

Holthus suggested that the Cooperative develop an academy to teach young people all the elements needed to make a Cooperative successful.

The time is now to start thinking about the next two generations coming on and encouraged the Cooperative to consider an academy.

Entertainment during the meal was provided by Ji Yon Shim, a cellist who has been principal soloist of the Sao Caetano Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, co-principal in several other orchestras including Illinois Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, Ill. and Toho Academy Festival Orchestra in Japan. She has also been on the faculty of several universities in the U.S. and Brazil. Shim currently lives in Hutchinson.