The first quarter of my Chairmanship has flown by quickly. I’m pleased to share some of these important developments with you.
• Quality of Place: Our January Board meeting was devoted to focusing on the quality of life in our region and the need for updated facilities for performing arts events. Chamber Board Member Mary Beth Jarvis from Wichita Festivals also chairs the Century II Citizen Advisory Committee. She provided our Board members with a briefing on the analysis her committee undertook in 2018 as they reviewed different options and scenarios.
• Legislative Reception: We spent time in Topeka on February 12 discussing our legislative agenda with 25 elected officials. Fifty Chamber members took advantage of this unique opportunity to speak directly with legislators about the Chamber’s platform and how the decisions made in Topeka directly impact their businesses and organizations.
• Chairman’s Lunch: The Multipliers management concept was introduced to more than 550 business leaders at our Chairman’s Luncheon in February. A partnership with the Kansas Health Foundation made it possible to bring our keynote speaker, Elise Foster, to Wichita so that we could learn together how to magnify the talents of our existing workforce.
My thanks to our panelists for the event, Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, Sedgwick County Commission Chairman David Dennis and the Chamber Board members who are leading three of our 2019 Strategic Priorities: Joy Eakins from Cornerstone Data (Vice Chair of Small Business), Junetta Everett from Delta Dental (Vice Chair of Quality of Diversity & Inclusion) and Ben Hutton of Hutton (Vice Chair of Quality of Place). A clear outcome of the panel discussion was the commitment of these leaders to alignment and working on common goals in our region.
• Strategic Plan: Chamber Board member Ed O’Malley with the Kansas Leadership Center initiated our strategic planning process with our staff and Board members with an ambitious goal of completing a three-year plan by the end of the second quarter. We spent our February Board meeting discussing our aspirations for our organization, as well as the strategies and activities needed to achieve them.
• Talent: Chamber Board Member Gabe Schlickau with Meritrust Credit Union was recently named our Vice Chair of Talent for our 2019 Strategic Priority on retaining, educating and engaging talent for our business community. Schlickau will be working on a multi-faceted plan this year to contribute to our success in this critical area.
• City-to-City: Our Community Advancement team announced that our 2019 City-to-City Leadership Visit will be held September 11-13 in San Antonio, Texas. Check the Chamber’s website for updated information about registration.
• Membership: The second quarter of my Chairmanship will be focused on strengthening the Chamber’s voice and presence in the region. A larger and more diversified membership base will transform and energize our organization. I’ve challenged our Board, staff and members to bring in 275 new members this year and we’re hoping most of them will join us during an intense three-day event that will take place April 2-4.
Your commitment will help us reach that membership goal. Please encourage your suppliers, partners and business associates to become a member of our organization during the month of April. We need their input, ideas and resources to help our initiatives gain more traction and to ensure that this region is the premier place to grow companies, careers and communities.
My sincere thanks to Board Member Greg Klenda who is our Vice Chair of Membership and the individuals listed below who have committed to ensuring that our April 2-4 membership event is successful. Please contact one of them or Angie Elliott (316-268-1129) from the Chamber staff if you’d like to assist.
- Christine Allen of Hotel At WaterWalk
- AJ Boleski of INTRUST Bank Arena
- Junetta Everett of Delta Dental of Kansas
- Claudio Ferraro of Ascension Via Christi
- Jose Gutierrez of Farmers Insurance
- Greg Klenda of Klenda Austerman
- Mark Koch of Carson Bank
- Jadd Munn of RCB Bank
- Kyle Orndorff of IMA Financial Group, Inc.
- Karyn Page of Kansas Global Trade Services
- Adam Pogue of Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
- Jennifer Ray of The Monarch
- Sean Tarbell of Davis-Moore Auto Group
- John Trowbridge of AGH
- Jeff Weiford of GLMV Architecture, Inc.
This update was included in the Chamber's quarterly printed Synergy newsletter. Click here to view the entire publication.