Brent Toellner, president of the board of directors for KC Pet Project, answers The Pitch‘s questionnaire


Name: Brent Toellner

Occupation: President of the board of directors for KC Pet Project

Hometown: Boonville, Missouri

Current neighborhood: Hyde Park

What I do (in 140 characters): Social media, marketing consulting and advertising sales for Missouri Life magazine, and learning all about local food and regional tourism in the process.

What’s your addiction? Being right on the Internet. The Internet is great for many things, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there.

What’s your game? Basketball. Golf. Fantasy baseball. Actually almost anything; I’m very competitive.

What’s your drink? Boulevard Single-Wide. Love a good, hoppy IPA. For something different, Manifesto’s Smoke & Choke is amazing.

Where’s dinner? Usually on my back porch. I really like to cook. But when we go out, it’s almost always for Mexican. Los Tules and Teocali are our favorites.

What’s on your KC postcard? The view from Liberty Memorial that captures the downtown skyline, Union Station, the Western Auto Building, and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when … “ It chose to privatize the city shelter operations and then contract with KC Pet Project. We formed this organization not only because we knew we could save more lives, but we could fix a problem in KCMO if the city would not get in the way and let us succeed. We still have a few kinks to work out, but kudos to them for taking a chance on a brand-new organization.

“Kansas City screwed up when … “ It tore up and paved over the original trolley system.

“Kansas City needs … “ A new animal shelter. Our 1972-built shelter was never designed to actually care for animals, and is an embarrassment for a city that is at the heart of the Animal Health Corridor.

My sidekick: My pit bull, Stella

“I always laugh at … ” The Daily Show. Just incredibly smart commentary on what ails American media and politics.

“I can’t stop listening to … ” Sports talk radio. It’s football season. Sporting KC is tied for first, and the Royals are still relevant.

“I just read … ” Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs by Ted Kerasote. I think everyone would be a better pet owner if they read this book.

The best advice I ever got: Early in your career, never take a job just for money. And to get the experience you need, work for free if you have to. Sometimes learning what you need from the people you need to learn from is most important.

Worst advice: “Don’t worry about the money.” In the business world, always worry about the money and, more importantly, what strings are attached by those who give it.

My dating triumph/tragedy: Convincing my lovely wife, Michelle, to go out with me after a double date (we were with different people) failed miserably.

My brush with fame: Seeing George Brett at the coffee shop on the pine-tar day was pretty fun. We also saw Paris Hilton in a club in Vegas.

My 140-character soapbox: Politics is not a spectator sport. If you want changes, get involved. And if you want to help Kansas City’s homeless pets, adopt from KC Pet Project!

What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Everything. I end up apologizing a lot.

Who’s sorry now? Me – isn’t that obvious?

My recent triumph: Recently, an organization I helped form, the Kansas City Pet Project, completed a full year of running the Kansas City, Missouri, animal shelter with a live release rate above 90 percent. I’m really proud of that. Taking over that shelter two years ago was something that was seen as an almost impossible task. Our team at the shelter is accomplishing some amazing things every day, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

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