The Heroines

Jo S. Zakas

is honored with a Large Paver from Carol Wolfe Konek

 Jo S. Zakas Jo is an organizer and a leader. She loves life and people and is always ready for her next adventure - wherever it may take her.

Jo Zakas is a self-made woman, a woman who invented herself. After leaving her large family of origin at the age of twelve, she was on her own, taking care of herself, becoming an entrepreneur and a civic leader, and serving as a role model and mentor for women who make a difference.

She is a dynamic and highly motivating individual. She plays tennis and golf, enjoys traveling, painting and collecting original works of art. Jo is a community and business leader of determination and vision. She has initiated a number of groups to bring women together to achieve their aspirations, including The Board and the Expansion Network.

Jo was an employee of Corporate America only once when she was employed by Phillips Petroleum Credit Card Billing Office in Kansas City. She purchased her first business at the age of seventeen and has been an entrepreneur ever since.

Always one to follow her intuitions, passions and creativity, Jo is not afraid to take on a project that others know will fail and, of course, succeed.

Jo has always contributed to community development, to cultural and civic life, and to the personal and professional development of other business people. Jo has provided a venue for many small businesses to get their start in Clifton Square Shopping Village.

Jo has spent her life as an entrepreneur. She is the president, owner, developer and manager of Clifton Square, a thriving theme shopping center which she developed in 1972 in Wichita, negotiating the financing, purchasing, zoning, and construction of the Square.

She is president and controlling stockholder of Plaza Nine, Ltd., doing management and business consulting for companies in Kansas, Missouri, California, New York and Texas.

Past enterprises include:
Initiation of Plaza Nine retail fashion shops in Kansas City, St. Louis and Wichita; Le Restaurant, in Wichita; Communique Management Systems, a management development company with offices in Newport Beach and Wichita; The Courtyard Deli, in Wichita.

Jo produced and hosted an hour news talk show twice a week, for Special Edition on KNSS 1240 AM Radio. Jo was a founder and CEO of KSAS TV 24, an independent television station in Wichita

Her business career began at the age of 17 with the purchase of Greenwell Insurance Agency. Jo was general agent and broker with licenses in Kansas and Missouri when she opened Budget, Inc., a premium finance company.

The Sate Banking Board, State of Kansas, Chairperson, (first woman on this board, first non-banker chair).
Wichita Publishing Co., President & CEO.
The Small Business Administration, Wichita.
Advisory Committee on Business Recognition, City of Wichita.
Advisory Board, Wichita Children's Home.
Who's Who International, Marina Del Rey.
The Paul Revere Foundation.
Kansas Good Roads Association.
AAA Automotive Club of Kansas.
National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce.
Dimensions 100.
Unlimited Investment Group of Wichita.
YWCA of Wichita.
Task Force on Cost Effective Management and the Overall Economic Development Committee for the City of Wichita.
Expansion Network, Wichita.
1992 Miss USA Judges Chairperson.

She has addressed the MBA graduates of Tucks School of Business at Dartmouth College, where she served as Executive in Residence Military Affairs Committee.
Vice Chairperson for McConnell Air Force Base.
Conferred with General Hill, of the 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, LA, regarding women's role in the military.
Participated in the 47th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, at the invitation of the Honorable Caspar W. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense.
Delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business.

Women of Achievement Award, Women in Communications.
Sculpture featured in Beautifying Wichita Through Sculpture.

Take responsibility for your actions. Be grateful.

Submitted by Carol Wolfe Konek

September 5, 1998