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).

 

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