Liberty Consultants and KW Cares of St. Louis Team to Help the Military

The founder, Deputy Librarian Lori Ketchum, says it is what she dreamed of as a teenager.
“I don’t know if I ever became a designer of organizational mission statements, but I graduated high school with a big yearning to do something for someone. I started volunteering at the county fair in Money, Missouri, and I loved that. The more I did that, the more I came up with ideas for that organization. I dreamed of being a set builder, or designing signs and highway markers for a small town, the type of thing you usually do for other people. I didn’t think I was very good at design, I thought it was mostly geometry and basic stuff, but I took people’s hopes and dreams and made them real.” Lori Ketchum
But after high school, her plans changed. She started at a local architectural firm and never left. Now, she is dedicating her talents to KW to help people in St. Louis and beyond.
“KW is great because we’re in a pretty good position geographically,” she says. “Since the pandemic began, seven of our employees have been at home. We’ve been fortunate enough that our insurance coverage has been paid through and that we’ve been able to use some of our extra hours to run the site. We’ve been able to continue what we’ve been doing so successfully for the last year and a half. We don’t have to change who we are,” Ketchum adds. “We can focus on what we know, our core subject matter, and how that can be universally helpful. KW prides itself on being a company that’s struggling to serve its community.”
While the start-up process can be slow, KW is able to find clients quickly. Having an established presence in St. Louis means business is booming. Their clients include schools, businesses, and nonprofits.KW helps them get stabilized and find the best path to growth with a Missouri USDA loan.
“We were very lucky that we were able to get the validation that we needed in order to move forward. I had already done a couple of projects at high-end design firms back in Missouri. Obviously, that was a little more typical work for me, but I had done it before and also with local architecture firms creating public projects, transportation interchanges, rebuilding department buildings in St. Louis and need help from a St. Louis mortgage broker. My experience with charities and with helping keep people safe always interested me and intrigued me.” Lori says
Now, the agency helps those lacking resources find a path forward and assist alongside other small businesses on the path to success.

Recently, they refurbished houses in Missouri and have helped those with mortgages.
“If we can help people more effectively, are we started in too big a place, or not enough?” -Andrew Erickson, Liberty Consultants Founder and CEO
Erickson is quick to praise KW Cares’ work. He believes it is the reason he and his family are still here: his own personal help, and then 526 Capital’s gift. He wishes the nonprofit could accommodate all of the help. KW Cares has so many needs now but thanks to the help of 526, it has been able to function.
Read more in-depth coverage of St.

During this past winter, the charity group reached out to Liberty Consultants. The vast support of the more than 1,000-person strong company's has taken on a different sort of light. Comments were pouring in from across the nation of one man’s experience with Liberty Consultants. Security was initially a concern because he lives in a high-risk area. His current work location also put him very close to a prescription drug outbreak, another safety concern. But more than the incidentals, the concerns started to flow towards another culprit: security.
“The security guys were terrible and worse than ever,” recounts Alex, one of his coworkers at the time. He doesn’t want to use his last name, but his experience with security at the company started a year before the pandemic started. To start, they didn’t take a specific risk assessment. As part of their normal paperwork, he showed up to work with all of his gun licenses and even carried his personal protective equipment. While he’d signed the necessary forms, he still felt relaxed. He would even greet clients without a hint of uneasiness.
In all, it was not a welcoming environment. Yet Alex found relief when they started to reassure their customers. They’d try to reassure customers that their company is up to date and secure. “That was good,” thinks Alex of here since he took on the job. Without regulation, he thinks security companies like his could be more profitable. And they certainly don’t have the headaches of other industries.
His problem was the office. The environment was intimidating and swarming with hidden cameras. The staff couldn’t acclimate quickly. “Eight or nine people would be lined up, wearing masks,” he recalls.
Then came the lockdown. Alex says patients often wait in the room for days before seeing a doctor for symptoms. It’s chaos on every level.
By the time he got to work, his concerns about the safety of clients’ safety and surgical equipment were either allayed or forgotten. He’s still there today. Alex believes more regulation is needed for healthcare businesses so that employees are better trained and safer. He also believes more testing should be required for new patients. As with most healthcare workers, his increased education about viruses, bacteria, and illnesses helped him to focus on operations. “I learned a lot,” he says of his experiences in the months leading up to the pandemic.
“Customer service is the number one factor in a business,” implores Chris, an employee. He’s referring to sales, and he’s right. If you make a good customer experience, they are more likely to spend. The interest could be there for a reason.

1950 Craig Rd #100CT, St. Louis, MO 63146


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