A Sit Down with Santa

By Jessica Morrow, Marketing Coordinator
The holiday season is a special time of year. It’s a time to gather with our loved ones and create memories that last a lifetime. Most of us will never forget the conversations had with Santa as we sat on his lap and told him about the gifts we wanted on Christmas morning. These moments can be taken for granted by most, as they seem like a right of passage during this time of year. However, there are some families that know all too well the void that’s left from missing these memory-making moments. Whether it’s a child fighting through an early childhood developmental issue or families who have a little one that must spend their Christmas break in the hospital, rather than playing outside with friends. There are families throughout the Kansas City Metro and beyond that could use an extra dose of Christmas spirit. 

ACI Boland Achitects very own, Greg Highbarger, took it into his own hands to provide children and their families with a sense of normalcy and joy during their tough time by acting as Santa. This being the 20th year that he has donned the Big Man’s red suit, I sat down with Greg to get to get to know more about why he started this tradition and what he has learned about the Christmas season over the years.  

JM: Greg, 2014 marks the 20th year that you have acted as Santa for children throughout the metro, who may have not otherwise had the chance to see him. How did you initially get involved?

GH:  I was asked by a colleague, who had a special needs child, if I would be their Santa for their Holiday party.  A favor for a friend turned into a true passion.

JM: Why do you continue to volunteer your time year after year?

GH:  Simple:  The joy I give and, more importantly, receive doing this is immeasurable.  It is the kick-off to my holiday season every year!

JM: Do you have a favorite memory?

GH:  Several years ago I was approached by one of the families about their son.  Apparently he was not the best at eating his vegetables (who is?).  They asked if I could mention his eating shortfall during his visit with Santa.  I did and it worked!  Still eating the vegetables today and Santa is getting ALL the credit!  I would be remiss if I also failed to mention the countless responses I receive about the joy their child had in visiting with me as Santa.  Many of them will only “go to” me as their Santa.  With many of these kids, that is truly special!


Interiors Department Wins Impromptu Design Competition

A recent contest was held and sponsored by Mohawk Flooring and DalTile promoting some new products. 

Designers were given an hour to put together a product design scheme in an hour.  

Interior Designers Sarah Anning and Christina Parisi decided to play on the name of the carpet "State of Mind" for their scheme and write-up.

LIVE THE DAY: Taking it from Day to Night

As spring begins to hatch, ladies are making the transition with outfits that go from day to night with bright, flirty & fun pops of color.

Warm & cool neutrals will get you through the work-day, but in order to spice up your evening you’ll need to toss in a vibrant clutch or sassy lipgloss. 

Keep that ‘little black dress’ as your baseline and epitomize the high power–meets-high polish of the city’s chicest with the latest trends in accessories. 

Your style reflects your  State of Mind.



Michael Kautz, President - Honored by MASA

Michael Kautz of ACI Boland Architects was recently honored by the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) for his service to public education.   Kautz was one of eight individuals to receive the association's prestigious Friend of Education Award.

This award is presented annually to recognize non-educators for their contribution to education locally or statewide.  Kautz was nominated for the award by school administrators in the Greater Kansas City MASA District.

Herman Miller's We Care Volunteer Event

On December 5, 2012, ACI/Boland Architects continued the tradition of helping children create gifts for their families in Kansas City. This year our crafts were decorated Coffee Mugs and Christmas Ornaments. Everyone had a great time, and we look forward to next year!