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Chamber announces staff changes

Andrew Wiens will join the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Government Relations on January 2. He will direct the Chamber's advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

Wiens has been the Chief Policy Office for Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer since 2017. He has also held other policy positions in the Governor's office and the Department for Children and Families since 2011. A Kansas native, he is a graduate of Tabor College and Washburn University. He and his family are in the process of relocating to Wichita from Topeka.

Wiens said, "I'm thrilled to join the Chamber to represent the interests of the business community at all levels of government. I look forward to working together with the excellent leadership and staff to spur economic growth and community advancement in the area. I can't wait to get started."

Chamber President and CEO Gary Plummer said he is confident that the experience and skills Wiens brings to the Chamber will prove beneficial to members. "Andrew has the key relationships and expertise required for this vital role of advocating for the best possible business environment," Plummer said. "He is experienced at developing policy that advances free enterprise for Kansas companies and will help advance the interests of our members and region."

Plummer also announced that Tram Ngo, who has been Interim Director for the department during the search process, has been promoted to Director on a permanent basis. "Tram's management of the government relations department has earned her the respect of our members and partners," said Plummer. "She's a valuable member of our team and we look forward to her continued leadership at the Chamber."

Ngo joined the Chamber after graduating from Wichita State University in 2017. She served previously as both a Project Manager and Manager of Government Relations.

 

Monteferrante to lead Chamber Board in 2019

Michael Monteferrante is the President, CEO and Director of Envision, Inc. and the 2019 Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors.As part of our Annual Meeting on Nov. 29, our 2019 Board of Directors was officially announced. Michael Monteferrante, President, CEO and Director of Envision, Inc., will serve as the 2019 Board Chairman. Junetta Everett, Vice President of Professional Relations at Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc., will serve as the Chair-Elect. Ben Hutton of Hutton will serve as the First Vice Chair.

Michael Monteferrante outlined his goals for next year in this recent Wichita Business Journal article. We’re poised to grow in 2019!

The complete list of 2019 officers and Executive Committee members is as follows:

  • Michael Monteferrante, Chairman, Envision, Inc.
  • Bill Wood, Immediate Past Chair, Foulston Siefkin LLP
  • Junetta Everett, Chair-Elect, Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc.
  • Ben Hutton, First Vice Chair, Hutton
  • David Hodge, Treasurer, Leisure Hotels and Resorts
  • Karma Mason, Vice Chair of Advocacy, iSi Environmental Services
  • Gary Schmitt, Vice Chair of Economic Development, INTRUST Bank
  • Junetta Everett, Vice Chair of Inclusion, Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc.
  • Jason Cox, Vice Chair of Leadership, Cox Machine
  • Greg Klenda, Vice Chair of Membership, Klenda Austerman LLC, Attorneys at Law
  • Ben Hutton, Vice Chair of Quality of Place, Hutton
  • Joy Eakins, Vice Chair of Small Business, Cornerstone Data
  • Marty Cornejo, Vice Chair at Large, Allmetal Recycling, LLC
  • Lai-L Daugherty, Vice Chair at Large, Butler Community College
  • Claudio Ferraro, Vice Chair at Large, Via Christi Ascension
  • Stephanie Harder, Vice Chair at Large, Textron Aviation Inc.
  • Vic McMullen, Vice Chair at Large, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
  • Mark Nichols, Vice Chair at Large, Koch Industries, Inc.
  • Andrea Scarpelli, Vice Chair at Large, Emprise Bank
  • Mark Tucker, Vice Chair at Large, Cox Business
  • Pat Gearhart, Ex Officio, Bank SNB

Earlier this year, election ballots were mailed to more than 1,600 chamber members in accordance with the organization’s bylaws. As a result, the following individuals were recently elected or appointed to the Chamber’s 2019 Board of Directors:

  • Kelly Bauer, Fidelity Bank
  • J. Boleski, INTRUST Bank Arena
  • Mario Bonilla, Grant Thornton LLP
  • Monte Cook, Commerce Bank
  • Chris Dennis, Oxford Senior Living
  • Pat Do, Mid-America Orthopedics
  • John Ek, Wichita Business Journal
  • Greg Klenda, Klenda Austerman LLC, Attorneys at Law
  • Melissa Liby, Bombardier Learjet
  • Ed O’Malley, Kansas Leadership Center
  • Jadd Munn, RCB Bank
  • Jennifer Ray, The Monarch

The new board terms begin Jan. 1, 2019. A complete list of the current Chamber Board of Directors is available at wichitachamber.org.

Wichita Thunder Bringing Back #ILoveWichita Night in 2019

Matt Brokaw is the Vice President of the Wichita Thunder.A Member Minute profile with
Matt Brokaw, Vice President
Wichita Thunder
505 W. Maple | Wichita, KS 67213 | 316-337-9199
wichitathunder.com
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The Wichita Thunder is an ‘AA’ affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and a member of the ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League). We are currently in our 27th season, which makes us the 5th oldest minor league franchise in North America! We strive to provide the best and most affordable family entertainment in all of minor league sports.

Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?
The Thunder has been a member of the Chamber for nearly 20 years. We love all of the B2B networking opportunities available monthly through the Chamber and have met many of our current partners through these events!

The 2018 #ILoveWichita night was so successful that the Thunder is bringing it back in 2019.Describe a recent success/win.
Last season we launched our first ever #ILOVEWICHITA Night on Saturday, January 20, 2018.  It was one of our most successful games in franchise history, not only from an attendance standpoint but from an overall WOW factor. Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell unveiled the Wichita Flag jersey to generate excitement about the event and then dropped the puck to start the game. The overall sense of community pride was tremendous. We received more compliments on our Wichita Flag jersey than any other jersey in almost 20 years! Join us for our 2nd Annual #ILOVEWICHITA Night on Saturday, January 26!  Chamber members can receive a ticket discount by using the promotional code CHAMBER19. (A $21 Goal Zone ticket is discounted to $10 with the special Chamber code.)

To what do you attribute your success?
Our success is due to not only having a great staff but also offering the most entertaining yet affordable product in the city. It’s always our goal to send everyone home happy regardless of the scoreboard at the end of the game.

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell modeled the special Wichita Flag jersey that was worn for the #ILoveWichita night.What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
The Exposure trade show is our favorite event. We love the opportunity to not only network with over 1,700 attendees at this popular trade show, but also to connect with the other 200 business vendors that are trying to accomplish the same goals that we are. We have had TREMENDOUS results from Exposure and the Thunder will always be involved with this annual event.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? Why?
An absolute 10! We are constantly recommending the Chamber to other businesses that are not involved. We always let them know that it’s a great way to spread their message to other members through networking and other opportunities that the Chamber offers.

Follow the Wichita Thunder and plan to attend #ILOVEWICHITA night on Saturday, January 26, 2019.

Monteferrante says this unique experience will impact your life

Michael Monteferrante and Sal Giunta

We’re only a few weeks away from the Chamber’s November 29 Annual Meeting featuring Medal of Honor Recipient, former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta. Michael Monteferrante is the incoming Chairman of the Board for the Chamber as well as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Director at Envision, Inc. He was instrumental in securing Sal for the event. Monteferrante said, “Sal’s speech will be a goose bump experience that will impact your life. This is a rare opportunity to hear from such a decorated patriot.”

The Medal of Honor is awarded to the nation’s bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen by the President of the United States in the name of Congress. Sal received his medal in 2010 for bravery in battle during his second deployment to Afghanistan while serving as a rifle team leader in the Korengal Valley.

Jack Pulley, Fleet Sales Manager at Davis-Moore Auto Group, is also looking forward to Sal’s presentation, even though he’s already heard him speak on several occasions. “Sal is a true patriot. And this is the perfect occasion for Wichita to honor his bravery as we also welcome the KC-46 to McConnell Air Force Base and celebrate the launch of the Navy’s U.S.S. Wichita in early 2019. He’ll be a fabulous speaker and it will be a very patriotic evening.”

Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta

We hope you’ll join us on November 29 to thank Sal Giunta for his heroic actions and learn more about his determination to serve his country and his fellow soldiers. Please plan to bring members of your team, your clients and other business associates who will benefit from his presentation. Special student, military, and Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) ticketing pricing is available.

Our thanks to our many sponsors who have made it possible to bring Giunta to Wichita.
Presenting Sponsor:  INTRUST Bank
Premier Sponsors:  Cox Business, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. and Westar Energy
Platinum Sponsors:  Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Berry Companies, Black Hills Energy, Cargill Protein Group, Grant Thornton LLP, High Touch Technologies, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Meritrust Credit Union and RCB Bank
Print Sponsor:  Envision, Inc.
Gold Sponsors:  GLMV Architecture, Inc., Hutton, Lubrication Engineers, Inc., Occidental Management, Inc., and Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A.
Chairman’s Circle:  Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., Koch Industries, Inc., and Cox
Presidential Partners:  Textron Aviation, Inc., INTRUST Bank, and Fidelity Bank

Leadership Lessons from Salvatore Giunta

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore “Sal” Giunta was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2010.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore "Sal" Giunta was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2010.On Thursday, November 29, the community will have an opportunity to hear from former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta when he’s the featured speaker at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting. Giunta is the first living person to receive the Medal of Honor since the conclusion of the Vietnam War. His memoir, titled Living With Honor, covers his journey from being a teenage "sandwich artist at Subway" to his heroic actions during combat in Afghanistan in October 2007 that earned him the U.S. military’s highest honor in 2010. Most of us won’t ever be tested like Giunta or his fellow soldiers, but his story offers a number of life and leadership lessons that we can incorporate in our daily lives. He shares some of them in his book.

  • Training is essential. You need the right tools and the confidence to use them.
  • Teamwork and communication are vital. Your success depends on everyone understanding their role and embracing the mission.
  • Leadership is critical. You’ll move mountains for leaders you respect.
  • Heroes are all around us. Every courageous deed isn’t documented, captured on film or publicly celebrated. There are lots of quiet heroes among us that we can and should recognize for their sacrifices and heroism.

Living With Honor is a memoir by Salvatore A. Giunta.Giunta is a true U.S. patriot, but his book doesn’t sugarcoat the hardships and heartbreak that soldiers endure during wartime. His humility is endearing and his endurance is inspiring. We hope that you’ll join us on November 29 to thank him for his heroic actions and learn more about his determination to serve his country and his fellow soldiers. Please plan to bring members of your team, your clients and other business associates who will benefit from his leadership lessons.

Our thanks to our many sponsors who have made it possible to bring Giunta to Wichita. Presenting Sponsor:  INTRUST Bank Premier Sponsors:  Cox Business, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. and Westar Energy Platinum Sponsors:  Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Black Hills Energy, Cargill Protein Group, Grant Thornton LLP, High Touch Technologies, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Meritrust Credit Union, RCB Bank, and Berry Companies Print Sponsor:  Envision, Inc. Gold Sponsors:  GLMV Architecture, Inc., Hutton, Lubrication Engineers, Inc., Occidental Management, Inc., and Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A. Chairman's Circle:  Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., Koch Industries, Inc., and Cox Presidential Partners:  Textron Aviation, Inc., INTRUST Bank, and Fidelity Bank

Why Boise is the "IT" Place to Be: A Recap of the 2018 City-to-City Visit

By Jonathan Long Director of Community Advancement Earlier this month, 59 Wichita leaders and influencers ventured to Boise, Idaho to find out what has made the City of the Trees the country’s new “IT” place to live, work and play. In the last two years, Boise has appeared in articles from Thrillist to Forbes, highlighting its dynamic community. And from what we learned during the trip, all the praise is well-deserved. Firstly, let’s get this out of the way: Yes, Boise has mountains – foothills, actually – and Wichita will never have those. However, while that landmark provides a wonderfully aesthetic background to the city, the mountains are not the leading cause of Boise’s growth and excitement. That credit goes to the leaders and influencers in the area. The citizens of Boise, in partnership with those who hold positions of authority, really seem to consider the perspective that they deserve greatness, which is defined differently by the various people who spoke to our group. However, that greatness was summed up with a common vision that their mayor, Dave Bieter, spelled out for us on our first day – the vision of making Boise the most livable city in America. In presentations, whether the topic ranged from how the Boise State Computer Science Department has moved downtown to create partnerships with businesses, how the expansion of the city’s convention center led to increased tourism revenues and the construction of multiple hotels downtown, to descriptions of how the police and arts departments worked together, everyone felt Boise’s unified call to bring them closer to the city’s vision of livability. As Project Wichita enters its final stages, I hope that we as citizens, influencers, and those in positions of authority rally together behind a shared vision and create progress to advance our community in order for Wichita to become a place where everyone lives their best life. View the daily, one-minute video recaps here: Day 1, Day 2, & Day 3. The City-to-City delegation toured the Boise State campus, including "The Blue" football field.

From Airplanes to Zumba, Exposure 2018 Had it All!

More than 220 businesses and organizations shared their products and services with 1,759 attendees at the Chamber’s annual trade show, Exposure, that was held on Sept. 27 at Century II. The numbers were up for both attendees (1,759) and exhibitors (220), and the event included booths with information about Wichita’s favorite aircraft programs and even a Zumba demonstration at the end of the day led by Genesis Health Clubs. One of the highlights at the Chamber exhibit was a visit from Connie Palacioz who stopped by to sign the U.S.S. Wichita banner. Palacioz riveted the original nose section of Wichita’s restored B-29 Superfortress, Doc, when she worked at Boeing from 1942-45. Her brother, Jay Cuellar, was a crew member of the U.S.S. Wichita (1939-47). Organizers Rachel Douglass (Membership and Engagement Director) and Alison Percy (Member Engagement Coordinator) reported that booth traffic was steady and that many exhibitors engaged attendees with interactive activities at their booths. The Chamber’s exhibit was centered on the red carpet and drew traffic all day as attendees signed two different Wichita flag-themed banners. The first banner will be used to welcome the KC-46 crews to McConnell Air Force Base this fall and the second one will be sent to the crew of the U.S.S. Wichita when it’s commissioned in early 2019. Some exhibitors, like Tim Fruits of Malibu Creative, posted a wrap-up of their experience on social media. Fruits shared a two-minute video about how the event reinforced his enthusiasm for building a business in Wichita. Like other exhibitors, Fruits made some valuable connections during Exposure with potential new clients and other business owners who are passionate about their industries and services. Tim Fruits with Malibu Creative posted a short video about his team's experience at 2018 Exposure. Check out more photos from Exposure on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Our thanks to the Exposure Committee for volunteering their time and expertise as well as our sponsors who made the event possible:

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 19, when next year’s Exposure event will take place.

Chamber receives award for Diversity & Inclusion work

In 2017, Diversity and Inclusion became one of the Chamber’s Strategic Priorities. Since then, the organization’s volunteer and staff leadership has led the way in championing the competitive advantage of having a diverse and inclusive business climate. This work was recently recognized by the Wichita Business Journal, when Chamber President & CEO Gary Plummer was named a 2018 Leader in Diversity. He was presented with the award at a luncheon event on Sept. 17. When asked what advice he would give an individual or an organization that seeks to be more supportive of diversity, he said, “Be intentional about discussing inclusion and working to make sure your organization reflects your community.” “Failing to embrace diversity and inclusion limits the breadth of perspectives that are considered and ultimately limits the organization’s impact,” Gary said. Read more of Gary's thoughts on the importance of diversity and inclusion in this profile by the Wichita Business Journal. Chamber President and CEO Gary Plummer (center) was named a 2018 Leader in Diversity by the Wichita Business Journal. He accepted the award with others who have been instrumental in the Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion work. From left to right: Junetta Everett, Delta Dental of Kansas; Gary Plummer; Suzy Finn, USD 259; and Jonathan Long, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.

New Connections, Great Prizes & Good Eats at Exposure on Sept. 27

If you’re looking for more reasons to attend Exposure on Thursday, Sept. 27, then look no further. In addition to making connections to grow your network, trade show attendees can enter to win the incredible prizes listed below. And don’t forget to visit the BizBite vendors that are offering samples of their signature eats and drinks throughout the floor (scroll down to see the list). More than 220 businesses from the Wichita region will be showcasing their products and services at Exposure, the region’s premiere business trade show and networking event. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Century II Expo. Admission is free for business professionals, and we encourage everyone to register here in advance to expedite the check-in process at the event. See the floor map and find more information about the event here. Prizes (Listed in Alphabetical Order and Includes the Prize Value and Vendor’s Booth Number) Account Recovery Specialists Inc (#822) Coleman cooler with beer in Wichita Flag Swag theme, $150 Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chtd. (#732) Game Night Basket, $400 Chick-fil-A (#836) Catered Meal delivered to one business, $100 Crossland Construction Co., Inc. (#610) Yeti Roadie Cooler Surprise, $250 Davis-Moore Auto Group (#724) One complete automotive detail, $150 DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport (#402) A weekend stay with breakfast for two, $250 Futurity First Insurance Group (#Table 1L) QuikTrip gift cards, $100 Genesis Health Clubs (#702) 3 Month free membership and 2 FREE personal training sessions, $300 Heartland Credit Union (#114) Gift basket from Augustino Brewery ($100), cash prizes ($200) and Sonospher Speaker ($105), $405 Homewood Suites by Hilton @ the Waterfront (#416) One complimentary weekend night (Fri., Sat., or Sun.) stay in a Luxury King Studio Suite - Includes complimentary Suite Start Hot Breakfast Buffet, $140 Hyatt Regency Wichita (#730) Complimentary one night stay in our Presidential Suite, $950  INTRUST Bank Arena (#913) Two tickets to Cirque du Soleil Crystal at INTRUST Bank Arena on Friday October, 26 at 7:30, $174 Kansas Star Casino & Event Center (#501) Dinner for two to the Woodfire Grille, $100 QueenBee Marketing (#906) Apple HomePod, $350 Signs & Design (#211) 4’ x 8’ Custom Full Color Banner, $192 Starkey Inc (#826) Amazon gift card, $100 Succentrix Business Advisors – Wichita (3G) Amazon Echo, $130 SumnerOne (#703) Lorell Sit-to-Stand Electric Desk Riser, $535 Superior Signs & Engraving, Inc. (#116) Printed Wichita Flag tote bag stuffed full of Wichita swag: beach towel, hat, t-shirt, coffee mug, tumbler, golf balls, bottle opener, key chain, license plate, and more, $250 Sunflower Bank (#820) Shockers Men’s Basketball home tickets and parking pass in a decorative basket, $250 The Alley Indoor Entertainment (#506) Free Escape Room Package. Valid for up to 6 people, 1 escape room adventure, $193 The Alley Indoor Entertainment (#506) 2 hours Unlimited Bowling, & Karts; good for up to 10 guests. Shoes included, $200 The Lodge at Old Kinderhook (#815) 1 Night Stay, 2 round of golf and 4 ICE passes + skate Rentals, $400+ Watermark Books & Cafe (#303) Gift certificate, $100 Wichita Sports Forum (#1037) A 6-month family membership (up to 4 people) to Aviate Extreme Air Sports, inside Wichita Sports Forum, $420 Wichita Thunder (#213) Four VIP Tickets good for any game, $116 World Impact Wichita (#518) Flying Stove gift card, $100 World Impact Wichita (#518) Espresso to Go-Go gift card, $100 Xclusive Events (#1030) 2 Tickets to Bloktoberfest Beer Tasting ($80) and 2 Bloktoberfest shirts ($30), $110 Xtreme Racing & Entertainment (#Table 1D) 6 Person Grand Prix Event, $310 Zinta Inspired Language LLC (#Tabletop 2J) One Adult 8-week Language Class (Spanish or French) With textbook, $298 Biz Bites (Listed in Alphabetical Order and Includes the Vendor’s Booth Number) American Fun Food Inc. • 401 Augustino Brewing Company • 114 Chick-fil-A • 836 Costco Wholesale • 101 Cowboy Chicken • 212 Eat Fit Go • 507 Fredo’s • 902 Hall’s Culligan Water Conditioning • 827 Hopping Gnome Brewing Company • 920A J Rae’s Bakery • 932 Jason’s Deli • 1201 LongHorn Steakhouse • 500 PrairieFire Coffee Roasters • 828 Reverie Coffee Roasters • 200 Rib Crib • 733 River City • 514 Sweetly Scrumptious • 514 Texas Roadhouse • 927 The Farris Wheel • 721 The Kitchen • 920B The Monarch • 1030 Admission is free for business professionals, and we encourage everyone to register in advance at wichitachamber.org/exposure to expedite the check-in process at the event.

Open Streets ICT: A Dunkin' Good Time

By Tram Ngo Ever wanted to dunk the Mayor, Police Chief or a City Council Member or two? Well we've lined up your opportunity at Open Streets ICT on Sunday, Sept. 23. "What is Open Streets ICT?" you might be asking. Open Streets ICT is a FREE (we all love free) community-building event that closes a usually busy street to traffic and opens it for biking, walking, running, dancing, yoga and more. All Wichitans (that means you!) are invited to join the fun and to stop at local Douglas Avenue businesses, restaurants, street vendors and activity hubs. The goal of Open Streets ICT is to promote the interaction of local businesses and organizations with the community to help strengthen the connections in Wichita. You can check out the website here for more information. You might also be asking, "Why is the Chamber participating?Well because why not?! The Chamber's mission is to drive economic growth and community advancement in the Wichita region, so the mission of Open Streets ICT falls right in line with what we want to accomplish for our community. This is the second year the Chamber has participated in the event and you can see photos from last year’s activities on our Facebook album. This year, we're ready for a dunking-good time. $5 will get you three shots at sending one of the individuals listed below into a dunk tank. All proceeds will go to United Way of the Plains, so be sure to come see us in front of our building at 350 W. Douglas. Let us know you're coming by RSVPing to the Facebook event! Dunk Tank Schedule 1:30 p.m. – Jeff Longwell, Mayor of the City of Wichita 2:00 p.m. – Gordon Ramsay – Chief of Wichita Police Department 2:30 p.m. – Pete Meitzner – City Council member of District 2 3:00 p.m. – Jeff Blubaugh – City Council member of District 4 Interested in checking out the Wichita Flag murals along Douglas that day? Download the free izi.TRAVEL app (search for Wichita Flag Murals –Downtown Wichita, Kansas) to access an audio guide and digital map.

Fun on the Exposure Show Floor

Stacy Ward Lattin (owner of Hopping Gnome Brewing) and Natasha Gandhi (owner of The Kitchen) are teaming up to offer a Bite & Sip experience at Exposure. Three weeks from today, Century II’s Expo Hall will become the place to be in the Wichita business community when our Exposure trade show and networking event comes to life. On Sept. 27, more than 220 businesses from all industries will exhibit their products and services, and more than 1,800 attendees will walk away with connections and leads to grow their networks. But aside from that, there will be a whole lot of FUN on the show floor. One of our favorite new partnerships is between Hopping Gnome Brewing Company and The Kitchen. The Hopping Gnome is a small microbrewery and taproom known for their exceptional customer service and passion for craft beer, and The Kitchen is locally and family-owned restaurant known for serving delicious food that is good for the body and makes the heart happy. These woman-led companies are teaming up to offer attendees a Bite & Sip Pairing, which will feature a Hopping Gnome Beer that pairs well with The Kitchen’s Southwest Quinoa Salad. Pay them a visit at booth #920 -- your taste buds will thank you. (Pro Tip: Look for balloons throughout the show floor to find the BizBite booths, which are food vendors serving samples of their delicious offerings). Paint the Towne Owner Jessie Sterling (left) says her exhibit will showcase options for team building activities. Another new addition to Exposure this year is the creative team at Paint the Towne, a company that offers fun step-by-step paint parties for all ages and group sizes. Owner Jessie Sterling has promised an interactive experience when you visit them at booth #1010. “We will have art installations that guest can actually help create -- some for the nice and clean, and some that are a little bit more for the adventurous.” Many vendors use Exposure as a venue to launch new products and services. The team at Superior Signs & Engraving will be showcasing their new direct-to-garment printing services, and attendees will be able to see the process live, as they will be printing shirts throughout the show. Stop by and check them out in booth #116. For those who have attended Exposure in the last few years, you undoubtedly remember your visit to the Expo Block Party. The party is returning in 2018 and the following businesses are participating: Auto Craft Collision Repair, Heartland Play & Stay/Hairy Sofa Pet Grooming, Metro Appliances, River City Brewing Co., Specs and Sweetly Scrumptious. Come party with them on the main Red Carpet Aisle. The Expo Block Party is always a show favorite. One of our staff’s favorite parts of Exposure is getting to see so many Chamber members and member of the community in one place. You will find Chamber staff through the show floor and in our booth (#614). We will be celebrating a Salute to the Military, so stop by to sign a welcome banner for the KC-46 Tanker and U.S.S. Wichita Naval Combat Ship crews. We hope this has piqued your interest and that you will join us on Sept. 27. The show floor will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can experience all of this Exposure fun at no cost! Admission to the show is free for business professionals, but we do recommend registering in advance to expedite the check-in process at the event. Register here and be sure to check out the complete list of registered exhibitors. We will see you at Exposure!

Google Small Business Trainer in Wichita on Sept. 27

Register for three free sessions today! People in Wichita are looking for your company's products and services. Participating in our Exposure trade show event is one way to boost your brand awareness. But your potential customers are also looking online. That's why we're teaming up with Google to host three free workshops at Exposure on Thursday, Sept. 27 to help your business get online and grow! Please join us for one (or all three) of the sessions outlined below, and invite anyone else you think would benefit. >> Be sure to check out the intro video from Google Small Business Trainer Pamela Starr at the bottom of this post. << Make Your Website Work For You (11 to 11:45 a.m.) If you’re launching a new business website (or sprucing up an existing site), this workshop is for you. Learn how to create a search-friendly website that’s useful for customers and supports your business goals. In this workshop we’ll offer tips for:

  • Building a goal-oriented website
  • Creating useful content for your audience
  • Ensuring your site is useful for visitors, on any and every device
  • Increasing visibility with search engine optimization (SEO)

Tips for Measuring Online Success (11:55 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.) You invest time, effort, and resources into being online, but do you know how much it’s worth to your bottom line? This workshop introduces ways to track and measure progress, so you can find out. In this workshop we’ll discuss best practices for:

  • Measuring the success of your website
  • Evaluating actions on your Google My Business listing
  • Optimizing your online ad campaigns

Using Data to Drive Growth (12:50 to 1:45 p.m.) Learn about tools that can help you understand customer behavior with your online presence. We’ll show you how you can use this info to make informed decisions about your ongoing online marketing strategy. In this session we’ll talk about:

  • Identifying  business goals (and how you plan to use your online presence to achieve them)
  • Incorporating data into your plan
  • Selecting tools to help you find the answers you need

RSVP Now  (Please register to attend Exposure and select which session(s) you plan to attend on the final check-out screen.) Being online can have a big impact: Small businesses are nearly 3x as likely to reach more customers and new markets when they fully adopt digital tools. Yet, less than 1 in 5 small businesses in Kansas have a listing on a search engine. RSVP today for any of the workshops outlined above, and together we can help grow your business. Exposure will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Century II Expo Hall. It is the region's premiere business-to-business trade show and networking event. Exhibit your products and services for as little as $150, or attend the show for free (advance registration is recommended). [embed]https://www.facebook.com/ChamberWichita/videos/2137028726552739/embed]  

Winners of the 3rd Annual Photo Contest Named

There were 250 entries in the 2018 contest. Your Wichita flag was photographed in 30 states in the U.S.A. and in 25 different countries around the world during the third annual #wichitaflagsummertravelcontest. There were 250 entries using the hashtag between June 14 (National Flag Day) and August 17. That’s quite a jump up from the 173 contest entries in 2017 and the 52 entries in 2016. Our city’s flag was photographed at events ranging for the World Cup Soccer Match in Russia to a soccer tourney in Colorado. And there were images submitted with well-known international landmarks ranging from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Great Wall of China and the Fierce Girl sculpture on New York’s Wall Street. Wichita flag tats, stickers, glassware, patches, hats, luggage tags, headbands, jewelry, beach towels, magnets, cups and shirts made it into the entry images. This year more Wichita flag hand-painted rocks made the rounds than previous years with 15 photo entries—in 4 different countries and 4 different states. More highlights: -U.S.A. mainland entries ranged from as far north as Alaska to the country’s southernmost point in Key West, Florida. -Wichita flag fans who reside in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Spain entered the contest. -Colorado was the most photographed state with 37 entries, including the summit of 4  popular 14ers. One of this year’s contest winners is Brian Alvarez who is a flag fan and a frequent traveler. Brian said, “It’s been so amazing traveling around and posing with the flag, while people come up and ask about it. Then it turns into questions about Wichita. It’s great to promote Wichita to the outer world. I’ve received messages from numerous people asking where they can buy a flag or the Wichita flag T-shirts I wear. It’s been great.” So without further delay, here are your 2018 winners. MOST LIKES – This pic of a miniature flag fan enjoying a Myrtle Beach vacation in South Carolina drew the most likes and was posted by @reneeb_10. BEST BLACK & WHITE PHOTO – A unique image from @moderndayhobo at Chichen Itza was posted from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. BEST FAMILY PHOTO – The Grover family represented Wichita at Walt Disney World. They each wore a different flag-themed shirt from The Workroom. Entry by @katie_grover.MOST GIRL POWER – Two fearless girls in New York City were pictured in this popular entry from @paradocsbrewery. ENTRIES FROM MOST LOCATIONS – Where’s Brian? Brian Alvarez covered the map this summer, posing with the flag in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S.A. Check out his unique travel photos at @balvarez27. MOST ATHLETIC – Running the Rocky Mountain 5K and a half marathon at Estes Park in two days was no problem for these flag fashionistas. Entry from @sara_salerno1213. BEST FASHION STATEMENT – This image posted by @srains1 provided a new fashion accessory for a replica of Michelangelo’s David found in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy.  BEST STAYCATION – The @delano_dollies submitted this entry, all while kicking up their heels and performing at Old Cowtown Museum. MOST REMOTE LOCATION – Wake Island is one of the most remote islands in the world. It's a coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean primarily used for military aircraft refueling. This entry is from @ramblinmanjosh. A special shout out to past Chamber Board President Debbie Gann for her family’s travel contest post from their trip to Alaska (below left) and to incoming Chamber Board President, Michael Monteferrante, for submitting an entry from Puerto Vallarta in Mexico (below right).         And thanks to all who spread flag fever this summer with their staycation and vacation photos. Check out other entries by searching #wichitaflagsummertravelcontest and keep tagging @wichitaflag with your social media posts.

Thirty-one Selected for 2018 Leadership Wichita Class

Thirty-one citizens from the Wichita region have been selected to participate in the 2018 Leadership Wichita class, an immersive leadership experience presented by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. This class will join the more than 1,000 other individuals who have committed to become stronger leaders for the community since the program was launched in 1983. “Leadership Wichita provides professionals insight into community processes in order to use their talents and skills to tackle local needs, such as education and economic development,” said Ryan Bond, Chair of Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees. “Past participants of Leadership Wichita have made significant contributions in our community, and this year’s class will graduate equipped with the knowledge to build upon their professional successes, contributing to make Wichita the premier place to grow companies, careers and communities.” Participants are identified through a nomination process, followed by submission of a formal application to the program’s Board of Trustees for selection. The 2018 class will participate in nine sessions that cover issues such as the future vision for Wichita, economic development, the impact of ensuring a highly-educated population, the importance of consensus within government, and executing their leadership skills through real-life examples, group discussions and collaboration. The first session of the 2018 Leadership Wichita class will begin Thursday, Aug. 23 and the program will conclude Wednesday, Nov. 14 with a celebratory reception. 2018 Leadership Wichita Class:

  • Claudia Yaujar-Amaro, AB&C Bilingual Resources, LLC
  • Francis Baalmann, Foulston Siefkin LLP
  • Rachel Banning, Special Products, LLC
  • Courtney Bengtson, Wichita Community Foundation
  • Rachel Biggs, K·Coe Isom LLP
  • Brian Blackerby, INTRUST Bank
  • Todd Carter, Pathway Church
  • Angie Elliott, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Sherii Farmer, Westar Energy
  • Levi Fitzmier, RSM Marketing
  • Dioane Gates, World Impact, Inc.
  • Christyn Gunter, The Kansas African American Museum
  • Anna Hatter, City of Wichita
  • Michele Ingenthron, USD 259 Wichita Public Schools
  • Donita Jarrell, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office
  • Venus Lee, GraceMed Health Clinic, Inc.
  • Rusty Leeds, Sedgwick County
  • Erik Lopez, Airbus Americas, Inc.
  • Jeff Lucas, High Touch Technologies, Inc.
  • Tevin Manuel, United States Air Force
  • Thea Pajunen, Fidelity Bank
  • Laura Roddy, Mark Arts
  • Dan Shurtz, Oxford Senior Living
  • Chris Snyder, Kansas Air National Guard
  • Kevin Steckley, Syndeo HRO Rachel Thomas-Murphy, Thomas Grey Interiors
  • Brian Truskett, Eby Construction Company
  • Fe Vorderlandwehr, Alzheimer’s Association of Central & Western Kansas
  • Katie Wesbrooks, Spirit Aerosystems
  • Zach Wiggins, Martin Pringle Law Firm
  • Lora Winchell, Hunter Health Clinic

Please join us in congratulating this year's class!

Member Minute with Retreat to Joy

Connie Porazka of Retreat to Joy 110 S. Main, Ste. 101 | 316-650-3761 retreattojoy.com Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Connie Porazka is a pioneer in the field of Mindfulness and says Wichita is on its way to becoming noted for its growing mindful community. Recent studies have revealed that 80% of American workers feel stress on the job. And, nearly half say they need 'real' help in dealing with job-related stress. Connie Porazka and Susan Langmann founded Retreat to Joy in 2016 to address this workplace issue through the practice of Mindfulness, the process of bringing one's attention to the present moment. Learn more about this Wichita-centric business with a goal of helping people elevate their sense of joy and happiness. YOUR BUSINESS Please tell us a little bit about your company. At Retreat to Joy, our mission is to transform individuals and businesses through Mindfulness to create and nurture a kinder Wichita. We offer training in Mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. Our vision is to make Mindfulness an integral part of local corporate culture. We do this by offering a variety of platforms, from 2-hour lunch-and-learn programs to half, single, and multi-day team workshops. Describe your business' most recent success. We most recently were engaged in a full-day retreat entitled More Joy, Less Stress, a custom tailored workshop for 25 employees from Child Start. Participants learned about stress resilience and compassionate self-care. To what do you attribute your success? Mindfulness is becoming an in-demand mainstream need; the trends in the marketplace are indicating this. Some of the most downloaded apps of 2017 were Mindfulness apps, like Calm. Businesses often suffer because of all that weighs on their employees and are seeking solutions to equip workers with tools to improve workplace productivity. Joy is the missing ingredient in so many lives, so we are here to help more Wichitans access a daily sense of joy through Mindfulness. What differentiates your business from your competitors? Currently we are pioneers in this field and are actively networking and partnering with anyone who wants to join. Wichita is already well on its way to becoming noted for its growing mindful community. Connie wants people to know that meditation is not just sitting cross-legged on the floor. She's teaches businesses how to easily incorporate the teachings into each day. What is something people may not know about you or your business? I have trained in Mindfulness at the University of California, San Diego. In addition, I’ve completed Google Search Inside Yourself Institute training at Georgetown University. This has put me into contact with leaders and concepts in the Mindfulness movement at the national level, and I’m bringing that knowledge to Wichita. Where do you see your business in five years? I’d like all that we’re doing to nurture Wichita as a community. Part of doing that involves a long-term plan of establishing a school in Wichita for nutrition and Mindfulness. What about your business are you most passionate? I love helping people and businesses discover the joy of living in the present moment and the ability to reduce stress in their lives. My practice is very Wichita-centric to benefit the community I call home. Is your company involved in any community/civic activities? Yes, we work with Wichita in Mind, e2e, WeKan, and Breakthrough Club, to name a few. We also organize a monthly Mindfulness Meditation. This is a free service we offer to the community, which also provides attendees the opportunity to support and be supported by other like-minded individuals. THE CHAMBER Why did you join the Chamber and what do you think will be most valuable about Chamber membership? Being part of the Chamber is a wonderful opportunity interact with other businesses. It puts us in a great space to meet people who also love Wichita and want to be part of the Renaissance going on here. What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why? I am a morning person and really look forward to the Sunrise Scramblers. On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? 10! I have had such a personal and warm welcome into the Chamber. Everyone has been so helpful! SMALL BUSINESS What is your biggest challenge as a small business? I think for us, like most small businesses, it’s challenging to initially bring in enough capital to elevate the business to the next level. What's the best thing about being a small business? I enjoy the freedom to build my business by connecting with others. There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit in Wichita and I love getting to be a part of that! What's your best piece of advice for new small business owners? Work at it every day. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the big picture. But if you can do even just a little each day, those consistent efforts will bring about your dreams into reality. What is something you wish you'd known before you started your business? I wish I’d known more about all of the tremendous resources here available to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Here are some that I’ve had the privilege of working with that I wish everyone knew about: e2e, Network Kansas, SBDC and Kauffman FastTrac. Why do you like doing business in the Wichita area? I love the Wichita community. I am native to Kansas and it is so fulfilling to be working towards creating even more connectivity and positivity in the place I proudly call home. OTHER TIDBITS Favorite business app? My favorite business app is Insight Timer. It’s the app I use to time my daily meditations. Favorite business book? Why? My favorite business book is Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler. The principles in this book have helped guide my vision, and I believe that making a positive impact in the community can send the effects rippling throughout the world. But it starts HERE. What's the most effective social media tool for your business? I find that Facebook has been an enormously effective tool for spreading the word and bringing people together. You can expect to see lots of new and exciting content on our Retreat To Joy page on Facebook. How many hours per week do you devote to connecting with your customers and partners on social media? This is a tricky question, because spending too much time on social media can be considered a roadblock to Mindfulness. However, I post regularly to maintain engagement and raise awareness. I love using social media to spark real life meet-ups. You can often find me having meaningful face-to-face conversations over coffee as a result of social media interactions with individuals who want to learn more about Mindfulness.  

7 Ways to Celebrate Wichita's Birthday

The 148th anniversary of Wichita's incorporation is this Saturday, July 21. We encourage everyone to find a way to celebrate our city and have offered several recommendations below. Tell us how you're celebrating on Twitter by using #ILoveWichita. Attend a Birthday Celebration
  • The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is providing free admission on Saturday if you bring a Birthday card for Wichita.
  • Known as LevelUP, several community groups are transforming a not-so-typical parking garage into a vibrant, curated showcase of Wichita at 215 S. Market.
  • The Wichita Art Museum is hosting a Birthday Bash to celebrate the city’s anniversary as well as the Museum’s 83rd birthday.
  • Host your own birthday bash by offering a discount or service for people wearing flag swag and promote it via social media.
The flag is a common sight in College Hill neighborhoods. Photo from Tillie's Flower Shop. Wave Your #WichitaFlag Gone are the days when only a handful of businesses and homes were flying the city’s official flag. Wichitans are showing their pride at home, school and work by flying their favorite civic symbol and tagging @WichitaFlag on social media. Don’t own a flag, yet? Find a list of local vendors that can set you up with various sizes of flags at ilovewichita.org. Support a Local Artist Stumped about how to mark a special occasion for a friend, family member or co-worker? Purchase some flag wearables or art. The variety and quantity of creative folk and commercial art that Wichitans are creating is dazzling. Check the @WichitaFlag accounts and look for the flag swag listing on ilovewichita.org. This mural can be found at 350 W. Douglas. Visit a Mural Wouldn’t it be flagtastic to have a guide to all the Wichita flag-themed murals in the downtown area? The Chamber offers a PDF guide for the three-mile stretch of Douglas Avenue between Clifton Avenue and S. Osage Street (download at ilovewichita.org). Rather go green? Then download the izi.travel app and look for the Wichita Flag Murals – Downtown Wichita, Kansas tour. There are both audio and readable versions of the tour, which includes 28 different murals on or near Douglas Avenue. Display #ILoveWichita for All to See Share what you love about our city on social media using #ILoveWichita, use your organization’s digital signage to share your pride, or add a #ILoveWichita decal to the front door of your company of organization (Contact Courtney Sendall to learn how to get a decal). Heather Feist (@honeyfeist) and friends spent their friend-cation in matching flag tanks at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida Participate in the #WichitaFlagSummerTravelContest Take the Wichita flag on your summer vacation and enter to win. Just follow @WichitaFlag on Instagram and post your original photos on Instagram of you repping ICT. Tag your location, use #WichitaFlagSummerTravelContest, and be part of spreading the Wichita love. Show Your Wichita Colors Grab a copy of today's Wichita Eagle to cut and color a Wichita flag coloring sheet, or download a two-sided version from ilovewichita.org.

Member Minute with the Rudd Foundation

Peter Najera is the President of the Rudd Foundation. If you're on social media in the Wichita area, you immediately noticed when Peter Najera, President of the Rudd Foundation, came to town late last year to lead the organization. He's been actively promoting the Foundation and its mission while interacting with other area organizations on social media (@PeterNajera1). Give him and the @RuddFoundation a follow and then learn more about why the Foundation considers social media interaction with students and their parents a vital tool for fulfilling their mission. Please tell us a little bit about the mission of the Rudd Foundation. Leslie Rudd established the Rudd Foundation in 1998 as a way to honor the Midwestern values that strengthen character and lead to a lifetime of success in business, community, and family. The Foundation gives back in meaningful ways to help both people and organizations who possess the initiative, determination, and capacity to achieve their goals and thereby make a positive impact for those around them. While we give in many ways, our cornerstone initiative is our college scholarship program for Kansas residents to attend Kansas universities. Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about Chamber membership? As a private foundation, we wanted to get involved with the civic life of the community.  Networking with other organizations and their leadership is instrumental in learning where the most need is, and how we might be able to help improve our community. Rudd Scholarship winners who will attend Wichita State University were among the twenty 2018 announced this month. Describe your organization's most recent success. We recently announced our $1.1 million commitment to fund our first class of 20 Rudd Scholars who will receive full-ride college scholarships to attend either Wichita State, Emporia State or Fort Hays State. By removing the financial burden of a college education, we hope to enable high-potential Kansas residents to go to school and upon graduation, start new businesses here in Wichita, teach in our schools and lead in our communities. We think it’s critical to invest up front through a college education to strengthen the talent pipeline of our city and our state so that our economy, and its citizens, can grow and prosper. To what do you attribute your success? We are thankful for the advice, support and collaboration from so many in the community to get our scholarship program off the ground and running. From working with our 3 partner universities to all the civic leaders who helped promote and recruit high-potential talent to apply for our scholarship, we’ve been able to convert our vision into a reality in just a few short months and begin making an impact now. What differentiates your organization from your others in similar spaces? We will be offering program support to our Rudd Scholarship winners, and not just paying the tuition bills. We intend to foster camaraderie and networking within each annual cohort of scholars, and internships and job placement wherever possible as graduation approaches. Our mission is to enable this young talent to achieve their career goals beyond the classroom. Vince Tran from Wichita South High School is pictured here receiving his Rudd Scholarship. What value do you expect Chamber membership to bring to you and your organization? Through our membership, we believe we will be able to keep up with the latest initiatives in our city and better understand our role in helping when the right opportunity presents itself. We also will be counting on the membership to continue supporting our Rudd Scholars, and possibly helping through mentorship, internships, and maybe even a job or career one day! Where do you see your organization in five years? Our strategic plans call for us to grow and scale our staff as we grow our scholarship program year on year. In five years, we will be supporting 100 of the brightest, young Kansans in college while we will have our first 20 Alumni working in the community and providing mentorship to those still in school. What about your organization are you most passionate? The opportunity to give back to the community is very rewarding, but I think we are all most passionate about helping Kansas youth gain a college education and become productive members of society after graduation. Favorite app? We enjoy all the social media apps. We connect with most high school kids and administrators through Twitter and Instagram, but we find that most parents still hang out on Facebook and many times they are more interested in our scholarship than their kids (for obvious reasons!) Favorite business book? “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. We feel that the best businesses, profit or nonprofit, are led by selfless leaders who take care of their employees first. Follow the Rudd Foundation @RuddFoundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find their LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/company/rudd-foundation/ More on the Rudd Foundation: KWCH - New Kansas Scholarship Program Announced The Wichita Eagle - Rudd Foundation Annual Scholars Dinner photos

Member Minute with LightSpeed VT Midwest

229 E. William St., Ste. 410, Wichita, KS | 316-771-5050 lightspeedvtmidwest.com Facebook: LightSpeed VT Midwest LinkedIn: LightSpeed VT Midwest

LightSpeed VT Midwest President Steve Hull If you've ever sat through a dull training video, then you'll understand the necessity of LightSpeed VT Midwest. Through their interactive video technology, their team helps companies, trainers and subject matter experts to maximize their effectiveness, automate accountability, reduce costs and in many cases drive new revenue. Steve Hull, President of LightSpeed VT Midwest, shares more about his company in this Member Minute interview. Please tell us a little bit about your company. Founded in 2006, LightSpeed VT Midwest is a training solutions company that takes your content and creates web-based training that engages users with interactive components within lessons. Whether your content includes customer service training, leadership, business development, or self-improvement, LightSpeed VT Midwest can scale it down, and create state-of-the-art training modules to help broaden your audience. Our mission is to inspire people to learn by delivering the most engaging, innovative and reliable training solutions in the world. Describe your business’ most recent success. We recently launched a client with all new content in 90 days with over 1,500 interactive videos. To what do you attribute your success? Our staff are the key to our success. The people here bring a high level of talent and customer service. What differentiates your business from your competitors? Our business model of revenue sharing with content experts and interactive technology. What is something people may not know about you or your business? Our clients include both local and national brands. Some of our local clients are Lubrication Engineers and Billy Sims. A few of our non-local clients are Grant Cardone, The Black Swan, and Dale Carnegie. Where do you see your organization in five years? In five years we hope to have doubled our client base along with diversifying the content provided by those clients. What about your business/organization are you most passionate? Our people and our interactive technology. The two combined are a powerhouse! Is your company involved in any community/civic activities? We recently went to L’Ouverture Technology Magnet Elementary for their Career Cookout. The goal was to expose kids to a variety of careers in technology. We asked kids to show us their best dance moves, so we could make a music video. You can see the end result on our Facebook page. THE CHAMBER Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about  membership? We joined the Chamber to support Wichita and the local business community. The networking events alone have brought value to our business. What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why? Our favorite Chamber event is Exposure. It’s a great way to expose our products and services, as well as explore what the rest of the city has to offer. The LightSpeed VT Midwest team created this interactive video to promote the Chamber's upcoming Exposure event. How could this technology be utilized for your company? What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business? Two great local clients, Fundamental Learning Center and Wired Within! On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? 10 -  Involvement in your community is the most important thing a small business can do. SMALL BUSINESS What is the best thing about being a small business? The best thing about being a small business is that all staff members get to be hands on with our clients, which provides a closer relationship and level of customer service. What is the most challenging thing about running a small business? The most challenging thing about running a small business is that staff members do wear multiple hats at times. What is your best piece of advice for new small business owners/entrepreneurs? My best piece of advice for a new small business owner is to get involved in the community. Use that to learn what resources are available to you. What is something you wish you had known when your started your own business? To always build more time into your expected costs than you think you will need. Favorite business book? Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Project Wichita Continues to Next Phase

By Bill Wood Partner, Foulston & Siefkin 2018 Chairman of the Board of Directors, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Bill Wood leads the Chamber Board as Chairman in 2018. Project Wichita is a community engagement process that is being utilized to identify the future we want for our region and the steps necessary to achieve it. The listening sessions and focus groups for the first phase of Project Wichita have concluded and the co-chairs for the initiative have reported that input was received from 239+ focus groups and 3,800+ participants, ranging in age from 9 to 90. I’m pleased that our Chamber team initiated and led 9 focus groups with 274 participants as we sought responses from the Young Professionals of Wichita, Past Chairmen and Chairwomen of the Chamber, the Small Business Committee, our regional partners, the Board of Directors, our Board of Advisors and participants from our 2017 Diversity and Inclusion listening tour. Project Wichita co-chairs have shared eight major topics that are on the minds of the community.
  • Downtown Area (Downtown development and innovation, Old Town, Delano and entertainment districts, retail shopping, etc.)
  • Riverfront (Create destination place for entertainment, leverage river as community destination, performing arts venue and conference/convention center)
  • Strong Neighborhoods and Communities (Affordable housing options, support unique and diverse neighborhood cultures, safety and infrastructure issues)
  • Cultural Arts and Attractions (Cultural investment in museums, art, entertainment and restaurants, natural attractions, festivals, diverse entertainment options)
  • Economic Opportunity (Industry diversity and balance, emphasis on technology, promote education hub, workforce development)
  • Transportation (Completion of Kellogg and regional expressways, enhanced/improved public transit, air serves and connections, passenger trains and bike/walking paths)
  • Education (K-12 improvement and investment, all levels of higher education and pathways, increased emphasis on STEM, establish goals for graduation and global preparedness)
  • Community Wellness (Mental health care, access to quality health care, care for aging populations and homelessness)
The next step in this process is underway. A digital survey launched on June 18. It will remain open through July 6. Your input is vital to this phase and we hope that you’ll share the link found on projectwichita.org with your colleagues and neighbors. The survey results will be used to develop an action plan focused on the next ten years. As a member of the Project Wichita Visioning Team I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about any phase of the initiative. I welcome your input and I look forward to continuing to share more information with you during the process.

Member Minute with the Alzheimer's Association

1820 E. Douglas | 316-267-7333 Follow on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram alz.org/cwkansas/

Fe Vorderlandwehr is the Executive Director of the local chapter of the Association, which serves 68 counties in Kansas. Did you know that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined each year? This month is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and Executive Director Fe Vorderlandwehr is featured in this Member Minute to share ways you can get involved to find a cure. And be sure to mark your calendar for Oct. 13 for the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at INTRUST Bank Arena. Please tell us a little bit about your organization. The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. We work on a global, national and local level to provide care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research, the Association is committed to accelerating the global progress of new treatments, preventions and ultimately, a cure. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. The Association is the leading voice for Alzheimer's disease advocacy, fighting for critical Alzheimer's research, prevention and care initiatives at the state and federal level. We diligently work to make Alzheimer’s a national priority. The Alzheimer’s Association was founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers. Today, the Association reaches millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s across the globe through our headquarters in Chicago, a public policy office in Washington, D.C., and a presence in communities across the country. The local chapter serves 68 counties throughout central & western Kansas and is located in Wichita. They operate with a staff of 8 and countless volunteers.

Describe your organization’s most recent success. We recently hosted our inaugural Memory Gala. This first-time event brought together over 340 civic and community leaders. It allowed us to not only expand our reach and share our message with many for the first time, but it also raised over $384,000 to help fund local care, support and research programs.

Also, on June 1, Governor Jeff Coyler signed the Executive Order to authorize the development of an Alzheimer’s Kansas State Plan. With the Order, all 50 states now have a state plan.

On June 1, Governor Jeff Coyler authorized the development of an Alzheimer’s Kansas State Plan. 

To what do you attribute your success? We have a great Board of Directors and passionate committee volunteers representing many different industries and interests. But we all are working together to achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

What is something people may not know about you or your organization? We provide respite grants for caregivers. While care giving can be rewarding, it can also create tension and exhaustion. Without some time off, the mental and physical health of the caregiver becomes affected. This could reduce the quality of care for the loved one. The purpose of the Respite Assistance Program is to provide family caregivers time to do necessary or desired activities. The program helps pay for care for the loved one while the caregiver gets a short break, respite. The program can allow the caregiver to do things such as: go to the beauty shop, have lunch with a friend, maintain the garden, visit the physician, take a nap, and more. With this program, we hope to ease the burden on families by helping with some of the costs. 

What differentiates your organization from your others in similar spaces? We are the largest Alzheimer's-related nonprofit that provides care and support programs AND research.

As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research, the Association is committed to accelerating the global progress of new treatments, preventions and ultimately, a cure. Our peer-reviewed research grant program has invested over $385 million in more than 2,500 scientific investigations since 1982. 

Where do you see your organization in five years? It is important that while we look toward funding research we continue to provide care and support. The Association will contribute to research breakthroughs that are life-changing for people with Alzheimer's disease by driving the international research agenda.

The Association will contribute to a dramatic increase (e.g., to 90 percent) in the accurate and timely diagnosis of people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and a significant increase in the number of people with dementia and their caregivers who receive affordable, high-quality care and support (e.g., to 80 percent of people with the disease).

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities? Participating in community activities is something that we enjoy. We have been a part of the Wichita WagonMaster’s Chili Cook-Off, ICT Open Streets, Wichita Women’s Fair, Wichita Pride, and Final Fridays in the Douglas Design District.

What about your organization are you most passionate? Finding a cure! And the path toward a cure is research. The Alzheimer’s Association is one of the largest funders for Alzheimer’s research, behind only the American and Chinese governments. THE CHAMBER What do you find most valuable about Chamber membership? Being part of the Chamber not only helps us with community outreach and awareness but with community engagement as well. Outreach and engagement are two separate things. The Chamber allows us to reach more businesses as well as engage not only them but ourselves with the community.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why? The Sunrise Scramblers are a wonderful way to start the day. Getting to network and know members from the community, as well as hear from great speakers on relevant topics are reasons why we are part of the Scrambler Club and we reserve a seat at breakfast for the entire year!

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your organization? It has given us access to business and community leaders and allowed us to explore partnerships that can be mutually beneficial. On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? 10 - Really the question isn’t ‘why to join’ but ‘why not join’. The Chamber offers so many different ways to get involved and meet fellow business colleagues and leaders. You can choose how to be involved and what areas interest you. NONPROFIT What is the greatest challenge in operating a nonprofit? Outreach. We have a small staff of 8 individuals and cover 68 counties in Kansas. We just can’t physically be everywhere, however, we have great volunteers and ambassadors that help us with education classes, programs and fundraisers. We are always looking for more passionate volunteers to help us reach and engage our community members in central and western Kansas. Mark your calendar for Oct.13 for the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at INTRUST Bank Arena.

How can people get involved with your organization? We have many volunteer opportunities that range from fundraising, marketing, education, office help, special events, etc.  If you are looking for a way to get involved, please give us a call. Whatever your interest or skills, I know there is a volunteer opportunity. For example, we have some volunteers that help sew “busy blankets” for those with Alzheimer’s, some help download iPods with music for our Roth Project, some help with data entry, some help plan events, and so much more.

What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area? I’ve always described Wichita as the “largest” small town. Even though there is close to 400,000 residents in Wichita (and over 640,000 total for the metro area), there is still a strong sense of community and of helping your neighbors and fellow citizens. I feel we get the best of both worlds.

OTHER Favorite app? Walk to End Alzheimer’s App. Staying up to date with your Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising progress is easy! Just click on the My Fundraising Progress button to get real-time goal and raised amounts. Take advantage of all your potential donors with email addresses by sending them an email donation ask. Schedule posts on Facebook, too! You can choose from a list of weekly messages or other timely messages to automatically post on your Facebook Timeline and your friends’ News Feeds just like any posts shared from the Facebook app. Favorite business book? Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell.  It is a short read but a great read – a great guide to being a better leader and mentor. Is there anything else you would like to include? 

Purple Goldfish authors coming to Wichita

Authors and customer experience leaders Evan Carroll and David Rendall will be speaking in Wichita on June 21. Their three-hour workshop is titled “Think Outside the Bowl: Creating a World-Class Experience to Drive Customer Loyalty and Advocacy” and is based on the Purple Goldfish book series. The workshop will challenge attendees to think differently about their customers and to do the little things that make a big difference in customer experience. The program is presented by AMA Wichita and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. It will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 21 at The Hudson – directly following Wichita American Marketing Association’s Awards luncheon. Evan Carroll is an NPR, CBS, and New York Times featured author, keynote speaker, Veteran SXSW presenter, and IBM Futurist who humanizes technology to connect with customers, engage employees and drive a stronger bottom line. As a workshop facilitator, Evan inspires companies to leverage technology, data, and analytics to drive customer loyalty and advocacy. He is the author of two books: Blue Goldfish and Your Digital Afterlife. During the last fifteen years, David Rendall has spoken to audiences on every inhabited continent. His clients include the US Air Force, Australian Government, and Fortune 50 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, United Health Group, Fannie Mae and State Farm. David has a doctor of management degree in organizational leadership, as well as a graduate degree in psychology. He is the author of four books: The Four Factors of Effective Leadership; The Freak Factor; The Freak Factor for Kids; and Pink Goldfish. Emily Juhnke of Gardner Design is the incoming president of Wichita's chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and has heard Evan speak on previous occasions. "The AMA is made up of professionals who are leaders in their fields of expertise, and this definitely includes Evan and David,” Emily said. “We’re so excited for Wichita businesses to benefit from their insights, which, when applied, will no doubt lead to increased sales and profitability." “We’re thrilled to have national thought-leaders like Evan and David joining us in Wichita,” said Chamber Director of Engagement Rachel Douglass. “When the Wichita American Marketing Association secured them for their annual awards luncheon and asked if we’d like to partner on a post-luncheon workshop, it was a no-brainer. The importance of customer service and overall differentiation is key to the success of our local businesses – and our community’s economic growth.” Tickets are available for $45, and each ticket holder will receive will receive a signed copy of Purple Goldfish ($15.95 value) and a copy of the Purple Goldfish Workbook ($19.95 value). Register at wichitachamber.org.

More #ILoveWichita Events and Promotions in 2018

2018 Chamber Chairman Bill Wood threw out the first pitch at the June 6 Wichita Wingnuts game and modeled the Wichita flag jerseys the team will wear on June 9. The #ilovewichita movement has been making some measurable progress since it was initiated in 2015. The informal grassroots “pride in place” campaign is centered around the promotion of the city’s official flag and a hashtag proposed by the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW). Collaborations with area businesses, media outlets, and other partners have resulted in a positive platform and a powerful microphone for those who believe in collaborating to create the best possible future for our region. Measurable Results Last year the Chamber’s Quality of Place committee recommended leveraging the ongoing social media campaign in telling Wichita’s success stories and improving perceptions of the region’s quality of place. The committee’s chair, Ben Hutton, challenged Chamber Board members to apply an #ilovewichita decal to their front door to show community support and to use the same hashtag in their company and personal Twitter postings. He also extended the challenge to Chamber members. The number of #ilovewichita Tweets has grown significantly since 2015. The result was a major jump in the hashtag usage last year. Research by social media monitoring expert Ian Anderson Gray showed a significant increase from 913 mentions on Twitter in 2016 to 9,342 mentions in 2017---all without paid advertising or sponsored posts. 2018 Events and Promotions Since its inception the campaign has been fueled by pride, passion and partnerships. In early 2018, the area’s minor league hockey team, the Wichita Thunder, hosted the first-ever #ilovewichita community pride night. The team wore specially-designed Wichita flag-themed jerseys for the January 20 game against the Colorado Eagles and the first 500 fans received special Wichita flag rally towels. Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell dropped the ceremonial hockey puck to kick off the game. Adam Ortega of Luminous Neon Art & Sign Systems designed and installed the new decal on the Chambers pedestal sign. Chamber members M.A.D. Ad Company and Midwest Billboards have committed to accelerating the movement this year with a partnership that includes donating ad space to the cause. M.A.D. Ad Company has donated space on mirrored billboard displays that are positioned in area bars and restaurants, and Midwest Billboards has donated space on nine of their Wichita-area electronic billboards. The space utilizes repurposed images and content posted on Instagram using the hashtag #ilovewichita. Watch our social media channels later today (June 8) for a video announcement about a new social media contest. The hashtag got another major boost this year when Wichita hosted the first and second rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. It was utilized by Chamber partners Visit Wichita, the City of Wichita and INTRUST Bank Arena along with numerous area businesses, organizations and individuals. Our partnership with Luminous Neon Art & Sign Systems in producing a giant basketball hoop and backboard included a large #ilovewichita decal and the seven-day social media contest they sponsored incorporated the hashtag in photos with the 3-dimensional display. This month Luminous Neon Art & Sign Systems donated and applied an #ilovewichita decal to Chamber signage just in time for the annual Wichita River Festival. And the Wichita Wingnuts, Wichita’s independent baseball team and a member of the South Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball Association, are hosting an #ilovewichita night of baseball this Saturday at 7 p.m. when they take on the Kansas City T-Bones. The team will be wearing special Wichita flag jerseys designed just for this game. Our thanks to all of our partners who continue to fuel pride in our region and improve our quality of life and place.

Gaulding Promoted to Accountant

Peter Gaulding has been promoted to Accountant. The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce has promoted Peter Gaulding to Accountant effective June 1. Peter joined the Chamber two years ago in a part-time accounting clerk role to perform billing duties. He moved to a full-time position earlier this year and his additional duties as an Accountant will include monthly reconciliations, report creation and preparation of tax returns. He is a recent graduate of Wichita State University with an Accounting degree. Chamber President and CEO Gary Plummer said Peter earned his promotion through dedication and hard work. “During his tenure with the Chamber, Peter has assumed increasing levels of responsibility and the successful completion of his accounting education will allow him to perform professional-level accounting work. His assistance with a planned move to advanced technology tools will be critical to the success of the project.” In his off hours, Peter is a drummer in a local alternative rock band called Letters from Rome. You can catch him at Riverfest on Thursday, June 7, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Food Court Stage. Congratulations on your promotion, Peter, and on the great band gig at Wichita's biggest party! We'll be there rocking with you. Peter is also a drummer in a local band called Letters from Rome.

Is the Wichita Flag Copyrighted?

Both the Chamber and the City of Wichita frequently field questions about the legal and design rights surrounding the Wichita flag. The simple answer is this: the Wichita flag is not copyrighted and never will be. The City of Wichita proudly uses the flag as a symbol of local government and allows others to use it for personal and/or commercial use. Over the last several years, the flag has become more popular and widely used. You will see it on shirts, cups, skateboards, home decor, chocolate, tattoos and more. Since the flag is public domain, businesses and individuals are allowed to truly make the flag their own. National Flag Day is next week on June 14. It’s the day that both the U.S. flag and the Wichita flag were officially adopted. We’re encouraging flag enthusiasts to show their community spirit by posting Wichita flag photos on social media and using #ILoveWichita with the images they share. Check the June issue of VIP Wichita magazine for a two-sided coloring sheet with information about the flag's history and symbolism. History & Symbolism The famous Wichita flag was designed in 1937 by a local artist named Cecil McAlister. McAlister placed an abundance of meaning in his design and it is one that has stood the test of time. The red and white rays symbolize the path of freedom to come and go as one pleases. The blue disc represents happiness and contentment. The white center includes a Native American symbol called a hogan, which means “permanent home.” Learn more about the flag’s symbolism and history in this video, titled Your Wichita flag. Helpful Links

Last Day to Nominate Innovators, Challenge Seekers and Continual Learners

Still mulling over who to nominate for our 2018 Leadership Wichita class? Three program graduates offer some insight into the qualities they look for when submitting nominations. Submit your nomination today on the Chamber's website. Coleen Tabor CONTINUAL LEARNERS Coleen Tabor, Talent and Diversity Director at Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. “I consider these qualifications when making my nominations: people who have demonstrated leadership capabilities by leading cross-functional teams both inside the company and in the community; people who show a strong commitment to continuous learning in both personal and professional realms and whose commitment is based in a humble understanding of their strengths and opportunities for growth; and people who have a desire to impact the region by building economic and cultural value for all community members.” Matt Cortez CHALLENGE SEEKERS Matt Cortez, VP & Opportunities Studio Lead at GLMV Architecture “When submitting my nomination for the program, I look for the intangible qualities in a person that allow them to see opportunities in every difficulty (along with qualifications that show up on a resume). These individuals must have integrity, they must be visionaries and they also must have a substantial amount of grit to overcome challenges.” INNOVATORS Sheelu Surender, Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Wichita State University Sheelu Surender “The individuals I nominate have a passion and commitment for innovation and growth, both in their organizations and in our community. They are leaders who give of their time, talent and resources to advance the greater good. As they participate in the program and gain a greater understanding of the local environment, the perspective gained will be transformative.” Today is the last day to nominate our next group of 30 community changers who will participate in the 2018 Leadership Wichita class. This annual immersive experience is managed by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and the program runs between August 23 and November 14. Visit wichitachamber.org/leadershipwichita for more information about the program or contact the Chamber's Director of Community Advancement, Jonathan Long, at 316-268-1170.

2018 Small Business Award Winners Announced Today

Watermark Books & Café and Allmetal Recycling, LLC are the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Small Businesses of the Year. The Chamber made the announcement at today's award luncheon held at the Hyatt Regency Wichita. Award finalists were divided into two tiers based upon number of full-time employees. Watermark Books & Cafe represents Tier One (businesses with 1 – 25 full-time employees), and Allmetal Recycling represents Tier Two (businesses with 26-100 full-time employees). Judges evaluated the finalists based on five key areas: leadership and performance, employee relations, entrepreneurship, diversity and community involvement. Watermark Books & Cafe is our Tier One 2018 Small Business Award Winner. Watermark Books & Café opened its doors in 1 977 and is located at 4701 E. Douglas. Twenty-five employees at the independent bookstore keep the minds and bodies of their customers fed by hosting interesting reading events involving nationally-known authors and selling made-from-scratch café items. Owner Sarah Bagby credits her success to a passionate staff and a complex marketing infrastructure as well as her partnerships with authors, area businesses, schools, publishers, and literary houses. A champion of local authors, Bagby said, “We love to bolster stories being written in Wichita.” Allmetal Recycling is our Tier Two 2018 Small Business Award Winner. Founded in 2009, Allmetal Recycling, LLC currently employs a team of seventy-seven and is located at 800 E. 21st St. N. The company has been growing its footprint and changing the culture as well as attitudes about the scrap metal and recycling industry with the tagline, Not your typical scrap yard. Owner and general manager Clint Cornejo said, “We set out to change the image of the industry. Safety is our top priority and we’ve created a friendly environment for our customers.” The Presenting Sponsors of the 2018 Awards program were Mahaney Roofing Company and The Monarch. Joe Ontjes of Luminous Neon, Inc. gave the keynote address. Small businesses are responsible for creating 2 of every 3 new jobs in the U.S. and make up almost 90 percent of the Wichita Regional Chamber membership. The Small Business Awards program, now in its 14th year, is designed not only to provide small businesses the recognition they deserve but to also give other small businesses a chance to learn from the best.

2018 Small Business Awards Finalists

Tier One (1 – 25 full-time employees)

McCurdy Auction, LLC Paint the Towne Reverie Coffee Roasters Shelden Architecture Watermark Books & Cafe

Tier Two (26 – 100 full-time employees)

Allmetal Recycling, LLC Elite Staffing Solutions Stearman Field Bar & Grill The Anchor

Visit the Chamber’s Facebook page to see photos of the event. Videos highlighting each of the finalists will be posted to the Chamber’s YouTube channel.

Member Minute with The McGinty Machine Co.

222 N. Hydraulic – Wichita, KS 67214 –  (316) 269-3344 mcgintymachine.com | Facebook and Twitter: @mcgintymachine

The McGinty Machine Company, Inc. was recently honored as a Lockheed Martin Aeronautics 2017 Elite Supplier. The company started building airplane parts seven decades ago and has earned other supplier awards from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Owner and President Don McGinty shares more information about his company's achievements, Chamber involvement and the Wichita business environment in today's Member Minute. Don McGinty is the President and Owner of The McGinty Machine Co. Company background My dad and uncle started The McGinty Machine Company, Inc., to build parts for war planes and general aviation in the mid-1940s. Since then, McGinty Machine has delivered quality precision-machined parts and customer service to the Wichita community and beyond. We offer both blue streak (or expedited) and long-term production, including sheet metal and small, benchtop assembly. We believe in quality, customer service and working as a team with our customers, so they can be the very best at what they do. Describe your business' most recent success. Most recently, we were honored as a 2017 Elite Supplier from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Only 23 suppliers, representing the top two percent of Lockheed Martin’s suppliers, earned this based on at least 98 percent quality, 98 percent delivery and a $1 million contract value. We had 100 percent quality and delivery. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics recently named The McGinty Machine Company a 2017 Elite Supplier. The company's performance has earned them other awards. To what do you attribute your success? This is a second-generation business, and we’ve survived because of the foundation my father and mother left. I also attribute our success to our team. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. What differentiates your business from your competitors? - Reliability - Our customers know they can count on us. - Longevity - They know we will be with them year after year as we have been for the past 70+ years. - Experience - We have more than 30 years’ experience at the lead and throughout our company. - Innovation - We are always looking to improve our processes to provide quality work for our customers. - Quality - Quality is number one for our company. What is something people may not know about you or your business? Most people don’t realize the technology involved in manufacturing and how quickly it’s advancing. Where do you see your business in five years? Continuing to grow and expand our capabilities with the addition of new technology. What about your business are you most passionate? Quality. Customer service. Technology. Innovation. Is your company involved in any community/civic activities? Our company supports a variety of community and civic activities, including the Wichita Open (formerly Air Capital Classic), Wichita Aero Club, Wichita Children’s Home, and many others. Our employees are active with a number of organizations, and as a company, we try to support those as best as we can. Personally, I am involved with the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee and on the Wichita Aero Club board.

THE CHAMBER Why did you join the Chamber and what do you think will be most valuable about Chamber membership? I joined the Chamber to be more involved and to stay in touch with our decision makers. I’ve developed connections throughout the community and especially like serving on the Government Relations Committee.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why? I enjoy the government relations events the most because of the opportunity to talk with and hear directly from decision makers. I also enjoy the opportunity to meet other business leaders at various awards and roundtable events. On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? Why? 10. The connections are invaluable no matter what stage of life or business you are in. SMALL BUSINESS What is your biggest challenge as a small business? There are many challenging factors in running a small business. The labor force is one of those factors. Recruiting the talent needed to succeed can be a challenge as a small business. What's the best thing about being a small business? Being your own boss is both stressful and rewarding. It allows you to grow something for your family and the people working for you. What's your best piece of advice for new small business owners? Don’t be afraid to try and fail. This is how you gain experience in your industry. If one thing isn’t working, change it. Keep trying until you get to where you want to be. Something you wish you'd known before you started your business? I wish I’d had a better understanding of the market’s up and down trends. It’s important to understand this, so you can prepare and protect your business. Also, keeping your debt service at a minimal to not overextend yourself or your business is important to know. WICHITA BUSINESS COMMUNITY Why do you like doing business in the Wichita area? There is no better place to live or do business than Wichita. I grew up here. I enjoy the people, the community, and the ease of getting around. Earlier this month the 55 members of The McGinty Machine Company team celebrated their supplier award.

Help Shape Our Region with a Leadership Wichita Nomination

We asked three area leaders why they have consistently nominated candidates for the Chamber's Leadership Wichita program. They shared their responses in the Chamber Update that published in today's Wichita Eagle. We're also sharing them here to inspire you to submit a nomination before May 25. VALUE Sheelu Surender Sheelu Surender, Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Wichita State University “I nominate someone for the Leadership Wichita program every year because of the tremendous value I believe it offers participants, their organizations and the larger community. The program is unique in that it brings together cross sections of our community and offers a rare opportunity to learn, network and develop relationships with other leaders who are committed to improving and growing our community. "This type of intensive immersion, over a relatively short period of time, truly connects participant with their community and helps underscore how we, as engaged citizens, can make immediate and direct impact on community success." Matt Cortez OPPORTUNITY Matt Cortez, VP & Opportunities Studio Lead at GLMV Architecture “I believe the Leadership Wichita program provides individuals with a unique opportunity to understand their community by exposing them to issues and opportunities facing Wichita and the surrounding area. The Leadership Wichita program has a rich history of alumni who have gone on to have tremendous success within their organizations and the community. This success can be attributed to the development of their skills within the program, along with the motivation from classmates to become more effective leaders. The Leadership Wichita program sets itself apart from all other leadership programs in this way and that is why I nominate individuals for this program every year." CONNECTIONS Coleen Tabor Coleen Tabor, Talent and Diversity Director at Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. “I nominate someone for Leadership Wichita every year because the program plays an important role in Spirit’s leadership development programming by providing context, connections and involvement. The program accomplishes these goals by exposing leaders to the strategic plans for the community, connecting them with people and organizations influencing these plans, and involving them in the forward motion for the business, government and cultural advancement of the region." Leadership Wichita is an immersive experience for 30 area achievers that runs between August 23 and November 14. The program provides interactive learning experiences for those interested in taking increasingly more significant roles in shaping the region. Since it was introduced in 1983, the program has graduated more than 1,000 representatives of local businesses, government and the military. For more information about the program, contact Director of Community Advancement Jonathan Long at 316-268-1170.

Member Minute with Dandelion Wine Design

Facebook and Instagram @dandelionwinedesign – 316-308-0803

Jan Sattler is the creative talent behind many of the Chamber’s most popular graphic design projects. She's developed numerous invitations as well as the Chamber’s award-winning annual summaries. And she just finished producing a unique intern passport for the Chamber’s affiliate, the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW). In this interview, you'll learn more about what inspires her to find creative solutions to the challenges faced by her clients. Jan Sattler owns and operates Dandelion Wine Design. What products and services do you provide? The name of my business might lead you to believe that I specialize in the fermentation of dandelion blossoms into wine. Not so. I love a good challenge and I find great satisfaction in transforming what some people may view as a problem into a positive opportunity. My objective with this business is to find creative solutions. That’s reflected in the name and motto for my business:  “When life gives you dandelions, make dandelion wine. Turn your nemesis into something divine.” I specialize in logo & branding design, business cards, stationery, brochures, flyers, postcards, ads, banners, forms, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, posters, billboards, signs, infographics, trade show materials, murals and apparel design. In addition to graphic design services for businesses and organizations, I also design invitations, announcements, signage and room decor for events celebrating the special occasions of life: birth, birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, retirement, and memorials to name a few. Another category of my design work involves various Wichita Flag swag items, including a 2018 calendar and unique seasonal items. My objective with this business is to find creative solutions – to surpass the typical way of thinking by creating an end product that is truly unique and unforeseen. I strive to exceed the expectations of the client while meeting the specific needs of their company, organization or special event. About my company I’ve been a graphic artist for 20 years, but only recently under the name Dandelion Wine Design. Past clients include the Diocese of Wichita, Wichita Clinic and Via Christi Health. I’m the Principal & Creative Director, Project Manager, Business Manager and Graphic Designer for my business. What differentiates your business from your competitors? Initially I prefer to meet face-to-face with new clients. I want to get to know them and learn their story. I’m interested in their style and their preferences. I want to create specifically for each client and satisfy THEIR unique graphic needs rather than MY wants, without any templates or preconceived idea. Jan Sattler likes to incorporate unique folds in her designs so that they stand out for her clients.

What about your business are you most passionate? The creative part. My favorite projects are the ones where I can be “extra” creative. Perhaps a special fold will take the project to the next level as was the case with the 2015 & 2016 Chamber Annual Summaries. My 2018 Wichita Flag calendar design took “special fold” to a whole new level. Another fun project was the interactive Wichita Flag mural I designed for the Chamber. Now I have been challenged to create a fun mural for one of my Chamber member clients, SpinICT.

Describe your business’ most recent success. Together with the Chamber, three awards were received for the 2015 Annual Summary “folded Wichita flag” document: 2016 Silver Award from the Wichita American Marketing Association Annual Report category, 2016 First Place from the Kansas Professional Communicators Annual Report category and 2016 Honorable Mention from the National Federation of Press Women Nonprofit Brochures category. We also won the 2016 Gold Award from the Wichita American Marketing Association for the #ILoveWichita Wichita Flag cityscape design and initiative. To what do you attribute your success? I was drawing and painting from a very early age and always had a sense of the elements of design before I learned their technical definitions. Certainly, many useful traits have been passed down through my family, like the courage and determination necessary for growth and new ventures as well as a strong work ethic. What is most valuable about Chamber membership? Since I work alone at my home office, what is most valuable to me is networking and socializing with other Chamber members. Many of my clientele are Chamber members, whose design work was secured as a result of my Chamber membership and their recognition of my graphic projects produced specifically for the Chamber. On a scale of 1-10, I rate Chamber membership at a 10 for anyone who wants to build a successful business in this vibrant, pride-filled community. What is your favorite Chamber event? The Annual Meeting of course, since I have been given the opportunity to create the printed materials for the event: the folded flag brochure in 2015, the new logo reveal with special fold in 2016 and the Sports Celebrated magazine in 2017. Sattler designed the interactive Wichita flag mural that is positioned on the east side of the building. What's your best piece of advice for new small business owners? If you have some talent and you are willing to work hard, you can become very successful at your trade. But excellence, peak performance, and being the best you can be at something can really be enhanced with coaching. Don’t be afraid to seek appropriate counsel, mentoring and advice. Fortunately, Chamber membership provides many of these coaching opportunities to build your business. What’s the most effective social media tool for your own business? So far, I have not taken full advantage of the positive impact that social media could have on my business. I have an Instagram account, a Facebook page and a website that I am currently updating. However, I have dedicated time to create graphics for social media use for my clients. Where do you see your business in the next five years? I plan to nurture the seed that has already been established, to strive to make Dandelion Wine Design more efficient and profitable. We all know that it’s difficult to keep a good dandelion down. To be resilient and deeply rooted are key.

2018 Leadership Wichita Nominations Underway

Nominations opened this week for the 2018 Leadership Wichita program and will close on May 25. Managed by the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Wichita provides an immersive experience every year for 30 area achievers. The program runs between August 23 and November 14 and provides interactive leadership learning experiences for those interested in taking increasingly more significant roles in shaping the region. Participants 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. Ryan Bond of Sasnak is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Wichita and currently serves as the Chair of the Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees. Since Leadership Wichita was introduced in 1983, more than 1,000 representatives of local businesses, government and the military 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 a completed application. Ryan Bond, Director of Brand Experience for Sasnak Management Corporation, graduated from the Leadership Wichita program in 2014. He currently serves as the Chair of the Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees. Bond said the Board plans to announce the 2018 Leadership Wichita class on August 6. “Our Board’s goal is to have a group of participants, representing a broad spectrum of industries, backgrounds and viewpoints from across the region, that desire to make a positive difference in the community we share.” Please visit the Chamber’s website to find more detailed information about the program and to submit a nomination by the May 25 deadline. For more information, contact the program manager Jonathan Long at 316-268-1170.
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