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.