Name Dropping – Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions
Kansas City native Jaime Geer Steinman is the new owner of Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions, and the company’s future could not be in better hands. “All I want is to do right by Marcia and Lon. They gave birth to an amazing brand, and I want to be a good stepmom,” said Jaime, laughing.
Jaime has always been extraordinarily driven and successful. She played varsity golf at Shawnee Mission South and at Truman State University, where she majored in economics and finance. This helped pave the way to working as a buying officer at the May Company in St. Louis, which acquired the Jones Store. After May Company was acquired by Macy’s, Jaime decided to move to Denver, where she quickly got a consulting position at RE/MAX in the franchising department where her territory was St. Louis. Jaime made her way up the ranks at RE/MAX, where she was director and vice president of operations, was a risk manager, and launched mortgage franchises. During her 15-year career at RE/MAX, Jaime received numerous industry accolades.
After helping entrepreneurs create their businesses, Jaime decided she wanted one of her own. With the help of her husband, David, who is an attorney, they started their search. “The question was whether we wanted to build a business or buy one, so we started to look at publicly listed businesses.”
In addition, they are parents to two young children and knew they wanted to be closer to Jaime’s parents in Kansas City. (Jaime and David are also parents to two young adult children from David’s previous marriage, whom Jaime refers to as “my wonderful gifts.”)
In July, David found the listing for Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions. “What was especially important was that it never said it was a culinary company because I have no culinary background. What it did say was that it was a production and event company, and with my work with branding, franchising, systems, and corporate entertaining and events, that meshed well with my background. David and I met with Marcia and Lon and their son, Stewart. I mean, how can you not fall in love with them? It was such a good fit. I have always seen business as personal, as developing relationships. And that’s how we all connected.”
What Jaime was impressed with was that there was such a strong team behind Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions. “We have Stewart Lane as executive chef, Jeff French as vice president of event planning, the staff of 25 full-time people, and the 50 to 75 contractors. Many of the staff members have been with Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions for many years, and there is such institutional knowledge with the customers, knowing their preferences, their likes, and dislikes. With 700 events a year, we continue to deliver exceptional service and food in a creative and personal way. We bought a high quality brand, and I don’t want to tinker with a good thing. I just want to maintain and improve upon what we do.”
Since Jaime has only been an owner for close to three months, she is still listening and learning. David and her children are still living in Denver while their second oldest finishes high school. The family plans to move to Kansas City next year. “I’m in my mid-forties, living with my parents again,” Jaime said laughing. “But since I am working 12 to 18 hour days, I hardly make it into their social schedule.”
Jaime now understands Marcia and Lon’s passion and love for their business. “We are usually celebrating milestones and happy events. What we might expand upon, with laser-like focus, is the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and corporate business.”
What Jaime wants to emphasize is that satisfied clients will still experience the same level of service that they always have had. “Running Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions has been such a joy. It’s been everything Marcia and Lon described it as. The company is such an exceptional brand, and I just want to continue Marcia and Lon’s vision.”
Also featured in the January 25, 2020 issue of The Independent
Photo Credit: Aaron Lindberg Photography
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