Introducing our 2016 Leadership Wichita class

Thirty-one Wichita-area citizens have been selected to participate in the 2016 Leadership Wichita class, a leadership training program presented by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. Leadership Wichita participants are identified through a nomination process, followed by submission of a formal application to the program’s Board of Trustees for selection.

“Leadership Wichita provides professionals the training to use their talents and skills to tackle local needs, such as education and economic development,” said Tyler Heffron, Chair of Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees. “Past participants of Leadership Wichita have made significant changes in our community, and this year’s class will graduate equipped with the insight to build upon their professional successes to make Wichita an even better place to work, live and play.”

The 2016 class will participate in eight sessions that cover issues such as economic development and the future vision for Wichita, workforce development and the impact of ensuring a highly educated workforce in our community, the importance of consensus within government, along with building leadership skills through real-life examples, group discussions and collaboration.

The 2016 Leadership Wichita class will begin Thursday, Sept. 8 and will conclude Thursday, Nov. 17.

2016 Leadership Wichita Class

  • Aaron Bastian, Fidelity Bank
  • Shannon Benoit, Wichita Public Schools
  • Laura Bernstorf, Airbus Americas Engineering
  • Vicki Bond, Medical Provider Resources
  • Ann Buckendahl, Via Christi Health
  • Stacey Burke, Sedgwick County Sherriff’s Office
  • Scott Crawford, Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference
  • Heather Denker, Greater Wichita Partnership
  • Katy Dorrah, Mark Arts (formerly Wichita Center for the Arts)
  • Ben Drouhard, Citizens Bank of Kansas
  • Holly Dyer, Foulston Siefkin
  • Ryan Entz, Sasnak Management Corporation
  • James Finkeldei, Catholic Diocese of Wichita
  • Mandy Fleming, Youth Entrepreneurs
  • Clark Goetzinger, Westar Energy
  • Josh Herrman, Hutton Construction
  • Troy Houtman, City of Wichita
  • Kevin Hunt, Spirit AeroSystems
  • Diane Iseman, INTRUST Bank
  • Tracy Lucas, High Touch Technologies
  • Lindsay Poe Rousseau, Sedgwick County
  • Alicia Sanchez, Wichita State University
  • Nicole Schaar, Bank SNB
  • Mallory Schwan, House of Schwan
  • Carmen Simon-Phillips, SJCF Architecture
  • Kent Simpson, KCoe Isom
  • Greg Unruh, Wichita Area Technical College
  • Bradley Warzeka, Cargill Meat Solutions
  • Leslie Wessel, J.P. Weigand & Sons Wessel Team Home Sales
  • Ken White, Howerton + White
  • Col. Vonda Wigal, Kansas Air National Guard

Please join us in congratulating this year’s class!

The 2015 Leadership Wichita class heard from Wichita entrepreneur & Freddy's Frozen Custard co-founder Scott Redler.

The 2015 Leadership Wichita class heard from Wichita entrepreneur & Freddy’s Frozen Custard co-founder Scott Redler.

Envision helps bring home the gold, silver and bronze

They say teamwork makes the dream work and we’re seeing a lot of that happening during this year’s Olympic games. It’s been a great ride and so uplifting to watch athletes from all around the world support each other. That encouragement makes all the difference and helps propel them to the medal stand.

Teamwork makes the dream work at the Chamber, too. This week we had an opportunity at our Federal Issue Forum luncheon to recognize one of our many outstanding partners who not only support our important government relations work, but also teams up with our Communications and Investor Relations Department on printed materials.

Photo Jan 27, 9 24 14 AMLast year Michael Monteferrante and his team at Envision stepped forward and agreed to make it possible for the Chamber’s Annual Summary to incorporate some extra flair. You may recall seeing the folded flag-shaped summary at our 2015 Annual Meeting or you may have noticed it when it arrived in your mailbox last January.  We enjoyed seeing photos of it shared across several social media platforms and hearing from some members who considered it a keepsake. In fact, one of our Chamber members still has it posted on their retail storefront window.

The Wichita flag piece has received three awards during the last six months.

  • GOLD – First Place award from the Kansas Professional Communicators
  • SILVER – Second in the Wichita American Marketing Association competition
  • BRONZE – An Honorable Mention from the National Federation of Press Women

These awards would not have been possible without the generosity of Michael Monteferrante and his team at Envision. We are very grateful for his partnership and the awards he and his team helped deliver to the Chamber.

And we’re grateful for the many other partnerships that propel the Chamber and our members toward our vision of making this region the premier place to grow companies, careers and communities. It’s through your investment and efforts that we can make the dream work.

Chamber President Gary Plummer (left) presented Michael Montana, Teresa Houston and Michael Monteferrante of Envision with commemorative frame as a token of appreciation for their partnership.

Chamber President Gary Plummer (left) presented Michael Montana, Teresa Houston and Michael Monteferrante of Envision with a commemorative frame as a token of appreciation for their partnership.

Making business easier, one app at a time

A recap of the August Sunrise Scrambler

Back by popular demand was a panel of Chamber members to share their favorite apps and tools that make doing business easier and more efficient. Our thanks to these panelists for sharing their knowledge with us at yesterday’s Sunrise Scrambler:

  • Brad Painchaud, Director of Business Development at Squid Ink Creative (Moderator)
  • Carlos Fernandez, Co-founder of Clutch Studio
  • Jordan Walker, Digital Director at Greteman Group
  • Bill Ramsey, Director of Communications for The Insurance Guys and Owner of uBreakiFix
  • Kevin Falting, Founder & Director of Wichitalks

                      Ramsey, Walker, Falting, Painchaud & Fernandez


First to the podium was Carlos Fernandez to speak about Snapchat.

  • With over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day, Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing social networks.
  • The network is becoming a vital part of global marketing strategies with 71% of users falling into the 18-34 age range.
  • Carlos utilizes Snapchat for his personal brand, as it facilitates a one-on-one conversation with followers/clients.
  • You can’t deny the numbers: there are 100 million active Snapchat users, producing 10 billion snaps per day.

Jordan Walker recommends using WorldCard to organize and curate the business cards we all receive on a daily basis.

  • WorldCard puts business card information at your fingertips. You no longer have to search for cards.
  • It’s easy to use and fairly accurate with the scanning capabilities (although the paid version is much more accurate and it’s only $6.99.)
  • It syncs the data to your phone and email. You are also able to create categories to optimize organization.
  • The app uses the phone’s camera to scan.

Bill uses Genius Scan + to house all business expense receipts.

  • It has a simple, easy to use, interface.
  • No longer have to carry wads of receipts around, or lose them. Bill joked that he has no idea how much money has come out of his personal pocket over the years because of lost or illegible receipts.
  • Genius Scan + enhances receipt images, saves as PDF (which your accounting department will love) and uploads files directly to Dropbox.


Kevin recommended using Slack as an alternative to email for team communication.

  • Slack is simple to get started and use.
  • It promotes communication, collaboration, and is searchable.
  • Sharing files is made easy and file size limits are much larger than email.


A special thank you goes out to the sponsors of yesterday’s Sunrise Scrambler: Emprise Bank (Presenting Sponsor); Eberly Farm (Host Sponsor); and Burnell’s Fine Jewelry & Design (Showcase Biz Sponsor).

See photos from the event on our Facebook page.


Save the date for our next Sunrise Scrambler on Thursday, Sept. 29 at the Hyatt Regency Wichita, then head down to Century II Expo Hall for Exposure (Wichita’s largest business-to-business trade show)!

Pompeo Updates Chamber Membership

DSC_0046The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo at a Federal Issues Forum luncheon today. Pompeo shared his thoughts on the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, the current regulatory environment for businesses, the state of the economy, military issues and the current risks and threats to national security.

A question and answer period followed his presentation. Pompeo took questions from Chamber members about these topics:

  • Congressional conflict and the need for bipartisan efforts to move the country forward
  • The findings of the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi
  • Agricultural security and the safety of the U.S. food supply chain
  • Viable options for combatting and defeating radical Islamic terrorism threats to this country
  • Challenges facing the nation’s healthcare system

Pompeo ended the Federal Issues Forum with remarks about his confidence in the ability of Americans to find innovative solutions to the issues facing our communities and our country.

Special thanks to presenting sponsor, Envision, for today’s event. Gold sponsors included AT&T, Cox Communications, Koch Industries, Inc., Legacy Bank, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., and the McGinty Machine Co., Inc. AGH Wealth Management provided an E-Media Sponsorship.

Please plan to join other Chamber members at the Congressional Summit, featuring the entire Kansas Federal Delegation, on October 14, the Local Elected Officials Reception on November 10, and the Chamber Issue Forum featuring Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell on December 14.

Photos from today’s event are posted on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Wichita flag gains VIP status in VIP Wichita Magazine

Wichita Eagle publisher Roy Heatherly is an enthusiastic community champion and an active Chamber Board member. And he understands how passionate our Chamber staff is about promoting Wichita and elevating community pride. So we were happy to comply when he asked us to contribute a short article to his organization’s newest monthly publication, VIP Wichita Magazine.

VIP Magazine_Aug16

It was a great opportunity to partner with the Eagle and invite more Wichitans to be part of the #WichitaFlag and #ILoveWichita movement. The article on pages 14-18 of the August edition of VIP Wichita Magazine includes interviews with just a few of the movement’s earliest supporters.

While we didn’t have the time or the resources to profile everyone who has played a role in promoting Wichita’s pride over the last decade, we feel like that’s great news! Because there are so many organizations and people now united in propelling Wichita’s image forward, we could easily fill all the pages of several issues of VIP Wichita Magazine with fascinating stories and compelling images.

Wichita native Ben Faires provided an added bonus to the article we developed. He videotaped some of the interviews and then produced a short video that has already been viewed more than 4,000 times on the Wichita Flag Facebook page. A film student at Washburn University, Ben donated his time and talent to produce this tribute to his hometown, which he titled The Resurgence of the Wichita Flag.

We’re grateful to Roy for this opportunity, to Ben for his gift of the video and to everyone who made time to participate in interviews for the article. And we applaud and appreciate all those who are dedicated to improving Wichita and growing pride in those things that make Wichita so special.

Don’t miss these other Chamber-related features in the August issue of VIP Wichita Magazine.

  • YPW #ILoveWichita T-Shirt Unveiling event, page 7
  • Chamber’s Metro Maui Mingle event, pages 32-33
  • Why I Love Wichita feature with two former Chamber Board members, page 40

City-to-City Destination: Nashville, TN

By Stef Flores
Community Advancement Program Coordinator

Last month, Suzy Finn and I went to Nashville in preparation for this year’s City-to-City Leadership Visit, scheduled for September 19-21. Besides eating our way through the city’s restaurants and winding our way through the city’s streets, we met with some instrumental city leaders and reaffirmed why Nashville is the perfect destination for this year’s trip.

Nashville is an impressive city. It hosts one of 10 Google tech hubs in North America, the downtown area has seen over $4 billion in investment since 2000, and between 70-100 people move to Nashville every day. So, what are some parallels that exist between Nashville and our very own Wichita?

IMG_0705Nashville hasn’t always had a prized downtown district. “Twelve-fifteen years ago, people took pride in how long they could avoid our downtown area,” Tom Turner, with the Nashville Downtown Partnership, told us. “There’s finally a shift in that mentality.” And he’s right. With the development of The Gulch, which used to be warehouses and train tracks, and the immense effort put into keeping the downtown area both safe and clean, the area is drawing more visitors and more residents than ever before.

There’s a strong entrepreneurial spirit that shines in Nashville. With the sun posed high in the sky, we made our way out to Nashville’s Trolley Barns to tour the esteemed Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Founded in 2010, the EC (as locals call it) touts programs in four focus areas: technology, music tech, publishing, and healthcare and provides mentoring opportunities to strengthen the ties in the community.

Suzy Finn (pictured) & Stef Flores visited Nashville last month to prepare for our City-to-City visit this fall.

Suzy Finn (pictured) & Stef Flores visited Nashville last month to prepare for our City-to-City visit this fall.

Healthcare is one of Nashville’s top industries. According to Jamie Lee with the Nashville Health Care Council, more than 400 healthcare companies operate in Nashville, and more than 600,000 people are employed in the industry.

The Cumberland riverfront is getting a makeover. A pedestrian bridge offers those seeking modes of active transportation an impressive view of the city (we can attest!), while the new Riverfront Park boasts an amphitheater that can hold up to 6,500 people for outdoor concerts.

CmD3DkwWIAEHFhx_cropNashville’s found its identity. No one named them the “Music City;” they named themselves. Self-branded but nationally recognized as the center for all things music, they live and breathe this identity. As we stepped off the plane, we were greeted by live music from Tootsie’s airport location, rock music blasted us from boxes along their downtown streets, and it was difficult to miss the large music note printed on the floor at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Music City certainly has a lot going for it, and we’re excited to show this year’s leadership group some of the initiatives, programs, and partnerships that secured Nashville as our top selection this year.

For more information, please contact Stef Flores at

Exposure early-bird pricing ends Friday

Exposure, Wichita’s largest business-to-business trade show, will take place this fall at Century II Expo Hall. To take advantage of early-bird booth pricing, businesses must register to exhibit by this Friday, July 29. Register here.

Tammy Taylor-Lindholm

Tammy Taylor-Lindholm

If you’re still on the fence about showcasing your products and services at Exposure Tammy Taylor-Lindholm of Meritrust Credit Union has answered a few FAQs about the show. Click here to see yesterday’s FAQ post from Brad Painchaud of Squid Ink Creative.

Is exhibiting at the show only for Chamber members?
No, all Wichita area businesses are invited to participate but there is a price break for members of the Wichita Metro Chamber. Of course I recommend becoming a member but if you’re still on the fence, this event is a great way to see some of what the Chamber has to offer.

What type of businesses should participate?
Many think it’s strictly a business-to-bustiness event, but the networking and brand awareness EXPO offers is great for all kinds of businesses.

I’ve never exhibited before. Is there any assistance to get me on the right track?
Definitely – this year there are four free exhibitor prep sessions prior to the show. Not only that, but Chamber staff and members of the Exposure planning committee are available and more than willing to offer firsthand advice from their own exhibiting experience.

What has your business gained from exhibiting at Exposure?
By participating in Exposure, Meritrust Credit Union has gained opportunities to grow current business relationships and build relationships with new, local businesses. The event also provides an excellent setting for promoting our products and services.

So what are you waiting for? Exhibit prices go up at the end of this week. To find more information about Exposure, including a floor map and a link to register your business to exhibit, visit

2016 Exposure Brochure_CoverCrop


Four reasons to exhibit at Exposure

Exposure, Wichita’s largest business-to-business trade show, will take place this fall at Century II Expo Hall. To take advantage of early-bird booth pricing, businesses must register to exhibit by this Friday, July 29. Register here.

Brad Painchaud

Brad Painchaud

Brad Painchaud of Squid Ink Creative, longtime exhibitor and chair of our Exposure event committee, has answered a few FAQ’s about the show. Check back tomorrow to see a few more answers from Tammy Taylor-Lindholm of Meritrust Credit Union.

What is Exposure?
Exposure is the only area trade show event that brings the entire business community together for face-to-face networking. This will be the 13th year for the event, scheduled for Thursday, September 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Century II Expo Hall. Nearly every industry in the Wichita area will be represented.

Why should I exhibit my business at Exposure?

There is a long list of benefits to taking part in Exposure, but I’ve listed a few of my top reasons here:

– 1,800+ attendees from the Wichita business community looking for products and services
– Gain access to 220+ other exhibitors, with 89% of them being B2B
– Significantly increase your brand awareness in one day
– Expand your network by inviting prospective customers to visit your booth

How much does it cost?
Exhibiting your business at Exposure is incredibly affordable. Space starts at only $150 and runs to $2,000. We have options in every price range to meet the needs and budget of any business that wants to have a presence at the show. You could also consider partnering with another company that compliments yours to expand your footprint and heighten your visibility. Early bird booth pricing ends on July 29, so visit to see a floor map and reserve your space.

What has your business gained from exhibiting at Exposure?
We have had the ability to show off our creativity. Most of our work samples we show off are for other clients. We use Exposure to engage potential clients with interesting and fun ways to show off our talents. Most of our business has been word of mouth, but this show has expanded our footprint. Also by engaging people at the show, they get to see our personalities and who we are.

To find more information about Exposure, including a floor map and a link to register your business to exhibit, visit

2016 Exposure Brochure_CoverCrop

Chief Ramsay’s leadership noticed nationally

Gary Plummer is the President & CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

Gary Plummer is the President & CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been impacted by the recent coverage around the country about racial justice, violence in our streets and the risks taken each day by our law enforcement community. Certainly, Wichita isn’t immune to those sort of issues.

But we credit Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay for his leadership in taking a different approach in our community. Coverage of the community picnic in McAdams Park on July 17 has been trending across America (see the links below). Just a few days after hundreds of citizens took to the streets to protest police shootings around the country, Chief Ramsay invited organizers to come back together for a barbecue and meaningful dialogue aimed at real understanding and healing.

It’s worth noting that it also certainly took the willingness of Black Lives Matter organizers  and other community leaders to make this approach successful. The Chamber commends all the partners involved in the July 17 barbecue for demonstrating real leadership and love for our entire community. Chief Ramsay and other leaders will tell you the community barbecue was just the beginning on a long journey toward inclusiveness and understanding. Even the name of the event was First Steps Community Cookout.

However, we can’t imagine a better way to start.  Everyone involved has given us another great reason to be proud of Wichita!

Video posted on Facebook
Wichita Eagle story
KWCH story
CNN story 
NPR story

A Different Kind of Contest for Wichita’s Birthday

By Kali Babich

With Wichita’s 146th birthday quickly approaching on Thursday (July 21), we want to give you presents to celebrate. We will be holding scavenger hunts around Wichita, and clues to the prize locations will be posted on our Snapchat account. Don’t let the physical activity requirement discourage you; the Wichita flag-themed prizes will make it all worthwhile (and you might catch a Pokemon at the same time).

So tell your friends and family if you think they’d enjoy some Wichita goodies as well. Don’t have us on Snapchat? Add us! Search our username, wichitachamber, or use our Snapcode below. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the birthday of our beautiful city.

Official RulesSnapcode
1. Follow wichitachamber on Snapchat.
2. View our story throughout the day on Thursday, July 21 to find clues to our location.
3. The first person to follow the clues and find Chamber reps at the designated locations will win some Wichita flag swag.

Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Must be 13+ years of age to participate. This is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered, or associated with Snapchat.

Good luck!

Prizes up for grabs on Thursday

Prizes up for grabs on Thursday