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Leadership Programs

The Chamber recognizes the importance of developing and retaining leaders in our community. For this reason, the Chamber currently offers two leadership development programs: the Young Professionals of Wichita's Leadership Academy and Leadership Wichita.

YPW Leadership Academy

The YPW Leadership Academy educates on personal styles, values and strengths to grow as leaders, motivate others, and impact change in organizations and communities. It works to expand leadership, career and life skills. The Academy is divided into six sessions during the first quarter of the year. For more information, visit the YPW website.


Leadership Wichita 

Leadership Wichita provides an immersive experience that identifies 30 local achievers then provides the information and inspiration to take increasingly significant roles in the community. Participants craft a vision for the community; gain valuable insight into local government, economic development, education, and media; and interact with the key community and business leaders working to make progress in each area.

Since Leadership Wichita was introduced in 1983, more than 750 local business, government and military persons have completed the program and have committed to become stronger leaders for our community.

Those interested in participating must be nominated by another person and then submit an application. A committee selects 30 individuals, who will attend sessions from September through November. Sessions focus on developing leadership skills and introducing community issues.

Nominations for the 2016 Leadership Wichita class are now closed. We will announce this year’s class on August 5.

Frequently Asked Questions about the program, as answered by Leadership Wichita alum:
Tammy Allen on what differentiates Leadership Wichita from other programs
Denise Sherman on the value of investing and participating in Leadership Wichita
Tyler Heffron on the Leadership Wichita selection process



For more information about this program, please contact Suzy Finn.

Search the Leadership Wichita online alumni directory.

2016 Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees

Tyler Heffron (Chair)
Attorney - Partner
Triplett, Woolf & Garreston, LLC

Ryan Bond
Director, Brand and People Experience
Sasnak Management Corporation

Dennis Clary
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
Cox Communications

John DeCesaro
Vice President and Marketing Manager
Fidelity Bank

Claudio Ferraro
Sr. Administrator and Chief of Staff
Via Christi Health

Bobby Gandu
Director of Admissions
Wichita State University

Katie Grover
Senior Vice President and Marketing Director
Fidelity Bank

Christina House
Project Operations Lead & Risk Officer
Airbus Americas Engineering

Chris Howell
President, Western Kansas Region
UMB Bank, N.A.

Wendy Johnson
Division Director, Marketing and Communications
Wichita Public Schools

Mark Manning
Budget and Research Director
City of Wichita

Gabe Schlickau
State Farm Agency – Schlickau

Don Sherman
VP, Community Relations & Strategic Partnerships
Westar Energy



Wichita Insight

This is an invitation-only program for high-level executives who are new to their positions or who have just relocated to the Wichita area. There are six sessions for participants and their spouses to help them establish new connections and familiairze them with the community.

For more information about this program, please contact Suzy Finn.

Section Highlights:
Suzy Finn
Director of Community Advancement