Paul Gutierrez graduated from the M.S.W. program in 2009. Since graduating, Gutierrez has worked in direct therapy and counseling at the Mattie Rhodes Center in Kansas City. One of his job duties at Mattie Rhodes was to help with the annual Day of the Dead event. When planning for the event, Gutierrez had an idea to have businesses in the area participate in the event. Not only would this bring more attention to the event and the center, it was sure to help revive the businesses in the area. Gutierrez took it upon himself to start the conversation with the business owners. After going door to door and receiving positive feedback, he decided to start a community group who would meet regularly and discuss other ways to promote the area. With Gutierrez continuing to lead the charge, the group has since come up with the name 17th and Summit, created a logo, and started a Facebook page, website and directory.
Because of his creative and entrepreneurial skills, Gutierrez was named one of 34 KC Business’ Rising Stars in 2012. In addition, this project has sparked a new passion for Gutierrez, and he wants to continue to help in this way.
Gutierrez Photo: As seen in KC Business, photo by Gary Rohman