"This morning, I was emailing a gentleman in China, whom we have a joint venture with. He's actually from the U.K., but he's traveling in China right now," said Comeau. "It's kind of amazing to sit here and think that while first of all, there's this huge time difference, but likewise, I'm able to communicate with him right then, about a very specific topic that needed to be dealt with right then, and I could do that just as quickly with him from Plainville, Kansas, as I could from any major city."

Comeau's passion for history, architecture and the region have also fueled his foray into community redevelopment that started in 1997 when he and his wife, Shirley, opened their unique retail store, C.S. Post & Co. in Hays. Since then, Comeau founded the Liberty Group, Inc., which is the primary developer involved with the renovation of more than 20 buildings in Hays' historic downtown. The renovated spaces have attracted a host of new retail and service businesses into the district.

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Pulling out architectural renderings, Comeau's eyes light up as he discusses his plans for a boutique hotel on the corner of 12th & Main.

"The concept has come full circle in terms of development. We have the ideas of what it will look like, and now we're in the process of putting together funding," said Comeau. "We're very excited!"

As CEO of Dessin Fournir, Comeau hosts visitors from all over the world who have discovered the appeal of northwest Kansas.

"We deal with textile mills in 10 European countries, and we have two English companies that relocated four years ago, one to Thailand, and one to Bangalore. So they fly into here, and they no longer look at Kansas in the same light," said Comeau. "They come here thinking we're in the hinterland, and leave thinking, 'my God, now I know why they live there.'"

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