Steve Clark to be honored as 2015 Uncommon Citizen

Steve Clark

Steve Clark

Steve Clark of Clark Investment Group is the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Uncommon Citizen and will be recognized at the Honors Night celebration on Tuesday, April 21.

Established in 1974, the Uncommon Citizen is the Chamber’s most prestigious individual award. It recognizes those who, by their individual efforts year after year, have made uncommon contributions to the people and institutions of Wichita and the surrounding area. These uncommon citizens are honored not only for their role in business but for their participation in cultural, civic, social and philanthropic activities.

At the age of eighteen, Steve became the youngest licensed realtor in Kansas and has since been active in the industry for over forty-five years. Over the course of his career, he has owned and managed more than five million square feet of investment property in more than twenty-five states, with one of his most notable local projects being The Waterfront at 13th Street and Webb Road. Steve is a graduate of Wichita State University and has received numerous business and civic awards and honors. He has donated endless hours to local charities and municipal boards over the years, including serving the Greater Wichita YMCA for over twenty-five years.

“Steve’s long term commitment to real estate and business activities in the Wichita area and across the country made him an apparent choice for the distinguished and highest honor of the Chamber,” said Roger Lowe, member of the Chamber’s Honors Night Committee and Vice President Emeritus at Wichita State University.

Several businesses and organizations will also be recognized at the Honors Night celebration. Each honor is bestowed in recognition of a unique contribution to the enhancement of our community.

The 2015 recipient of the Spirit of Wichita award is Wichita State University. Established in 2002, The Spirit of Wichita Award recognizes businesses or not-for-profit organizations that have previously been given the Over the Years award. The organization’s culture must be basically the same as when it received the Over the Years Award a minimum of 20 years ago with employment, leadership, innovation and community involvement continuing to be strong.

The three 2015 recipients of the Over the Years award are: Meritrust Credit Union; The LDF Companies; and Youth Entrepreneurs. The Over the Years Award recognizes businesses and institutions with long-standing performances as good corporate citizens and major contributors to the community’s economic well-being; displaying leadership, innovation and community involvement.

The 2015 recipient of the Keeper of the Plains award is Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception. The Keeper of the Plains Award recognizes an outstanding architectural achievement completed by a firm, organization or individual, which has contributed to the beauty of our community.

Honors Night 2015 will be held Tuesday, April 21, at Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are now available. The cost is $90 per person or $720 for a table of eight. Sponsorships are still available. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Formal invitations will be sent to Chamber members, but the general public is also invited to attend.

Reservations may be made online. For tickets and additional information, visit wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or call 316-268-1123.

Chairman’s Lunch panelists announced

Our 2015 Chairman’s Lunch will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5 at INTRUST Bank Arena. A panel of community leaders and elected officials will answer questions raised during the Fuel the Fire Speaker Series and what those answers mean for Wichita.

“Last fall, three national speakers spent some time in Wichita offering their ideas on national trends that are affecting Wichita – our quality of life, our workforce, and how we can retain and attract jobs,” Chamber President and CEO Gary Plummer said. “They posed some great questions for the community to consider, and we thought we would benefit from hearing what some of our local leaders have to say about these same topics.”

The program will emphasize the importance of continued collaboration between our business community, governing bodies, and educational institutions in promoting Wichita’s best economic development differentiators—our educated and experienced workforce.

2015 Chamber Chair Jon Rosell

2015 Chamber Chair Jon Rosell

The discussion, moderated by Chamber Chair Jon Rosell, will include the following panelists:

  • Dr. John Bardo, President, Wichita State University
  • Laura Bernstorf, Chair, Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW)
  • Carl Brewer, Mayor, City of Wichita
  • Richard Ranzau, Chair, Sedgwick County Commission
  • Gary Schmitt, Chair, Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC)

This community event is open to the public. Tickets are $50 for chamber members, $60 for general admission, and $650 for a corporate table sponsorship (includes eight tickets and sponsorship benefits). Call 268-1123 or visit wichitachamber.org to purchase tickets.

2015 SBA Emerging Leaders Program to start in April – apply today

By Aless Garvey

Wichita’s future gets a little brighter with every small business leader that graduates from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Emerging Leaders Program.

Emerging LeadersThe Emerging Leaders Program is provided to only 27 cities across the United States and promises to deliver small businesses with the organizational framework, resource network, and motivation required to build sustainable businesses and promote the economic development within urban communities – all at no monetary cost to participants.

Over the course of 26 weeks, participants develop a three-year growth plan that has been assessed by peers and business experts based on their individual business’ situation and goals. In addition, the participants will have access to a network of peers and business leaders who can continue to provide support and accountability as the growth plan is implemented.

2014 was the first year that the program was offered in Wichita, and 15 Wichita-area business professionals graduated in October, including these four Chamber members:

McIntosh says that she was thrilled with the program and believes she gained valuable knowledge from not only the instructors, but also from the experience of her group members. Throughout the program, she gained the confidence to move forward with her plans to transition Xenon International Academy to Crave Beauty Academy. “The curriculum was very well-rounded and I would encourage other small businesses to apply.”

The 2015 session is scheduled to begin in April. Those interested in participating are invited to attend a free, one-hour informational session on Feb. 13. Applications are due Feb. 28.

The program accepts the leaders of any type of business that meet these criteria:

  • An established business (in existence for at least 3 years)
  • Annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million
  • Have 3 or more employees (recommended)
  • Time commitment of the business owner, or executive “decision-maker”, to dedicate themselves to attend all 13 classes and develop a strategic growth plan (a 100+ hour commitment).

For more information or to apply, please view the SBA newsletter or visit the SBA website.

A Community Conversation about Jobs

Jon Rosell and Holly Landon will provide more information about the February 5 Chairman's Lunch on 99.7 LITE FM's Lite is Local program that airs at 8 a.m. on Sunday, January 18.

Jon Rosell and Holly Landon discuss the February 5 Chairman’s Lunch on 99.7 LITE FM’s Lite is Local program that airs at 8 a.m. on Sunday, January 18.

Join us for the annual Chairman’s Lunch at INTRUST Bank Arena on Thursday, February 5, as community leaders and elected officials discuss the most important economic development issues facing Wichita.

Tune into 99.7 LITE FM this Sunday at 8 a.m. to hear Jon Rosell (2015 Chamber Chairman) and Holly Landon (Manager of Business Services for the Chamber) provide more details about the event on Gayla Crouse’s weekly radio program, Lite is Local.

Corporate table sponsorships are still available. Follow this link to purchase tickets or a table for eight.

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor for this event, Grant Thornton LLP.

Self-Care Stress Management

Shelley Smith and Don Cantwell from Commercial Mechanical Inc. learned more about the Chamber's January Sunrise Scrambler.

Shelley Smith and Don Cantwell from Commercial Mechanical Inc. learned more about coping with stress during the Chamber’s January Sunrise Scrambler.

How do you avoid burnout at work and in your personal life? Suzie DeVaughn, LMSW, provided members who attended this month’s Sunrise Scrambler with valuable guidance on how to raise your resiliency while reducing your stress level.

Suzie has personally experienced the physical, psychological, spiritual and social benefits of self-care. Other benefits include increasing your efficiency, productivity and satisfaction at work and home. Building your own de-stress toolbox will ensure that you’re ready to deal with stressful situations. Meditation, physical exercise, humor, and journaling are just some of the relaxation tools and techniques you can explore to determine what works best for you and your situation.

The Self-Care Stress Management presentation was a powerful reminder that we need to extend the same compassion to ourselves that we extend to our friends and family. Committing to taking better care of ourselves in 2015 will ultimately benefit those we care about most since we’ll be strong enough to assist them in their time of need.

Check out the complimentary guided meditation downloads at selfcarespecialists.com. The site also includes information about self-assessment tools, inspirational quotes, and other resources.

Event photos are posted on the Chamber’s Facebook page and you can pick up more tips from members who tweeted during the event. Our thanks to event sponsors: Legacy Bank, Venue 332, Convergys, and Kent Audio Visual.

Plan to join us for the next Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, February 18 at 7:30 a.m. when Carrie Wiegand, PHR with AGH Employer Solutions will discuss Destroying Employee Engagement Myths: What Really Matters in Engaging Employees?

 

2015 Honors Night recipients announced

Each year, we recognize individual, corporate, and architectural achievement at our Honors Night celebration. The 2015 event will be held on Tuesday, April 21.

“Honors Night celebrates an outstanding individual, exemplary corporate citizens, exceptional commitments to the community, and striking architectural achievements,” said Gary Plummer, President and CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber. “Each honor is bestowed in recognition of a unique contribution to the enhancement of our community.”

The 2015 recipient of the Spirit of Wichita award is Wichita State University. Established in 2002, The Spirit of Wichita Award recognizes businesses or not-for-profit organizations that have previously been given the Over the Years award. The organization’s culture must be basically the same as when it received the Over the Years Award a minimum of 20 years ago with employment, leadership, innovation and community involvement continuing to be strong.

The three 2015 recipients of the Over the Years award are: Meritrust Credit Union; The LDF Companies; and Youth Entrepreneurs. The Over the Years Award recognizes businesses and institutions with long-standing performances as good corporate citizens and major contributors to the community’s economic well-being; displaying leadership, innovation and community involvement.

The 2015 recipient of the Keeper of the Plains award is Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception. The Keeper of the Plains Award recognizes an outstanding architectural achievement completed by a firm, organization or individual, which has contributed to the beauty of our community.

The 2015 recipient of the Uncommon Citizen award will be announced later this month. Established in 1974, the Uncommon Citizen is the Chamber’s most prestigious individual award. It recognizes those who, by their individual efforts year after year, have made uncommon contributions to the people and institutions of Wichita and the surrounding area. These uncommon citizens are honored not only for their role in business but for their participation in cultural, civic, social and philanthropic activities.

Honors Night 2015 will be held Tuesday, April 21, at Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are now available for purchase at wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or by calling 265-7771. Formal invitations will be sent to Chamber members, but the general public is also invited to attend.

Sendall promoted to Communications Manager

Sendall

Courtney Sendall has been promoted to Communications Manager.

Courtney Sendall joined the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce in February 2013 as our Communication Coordinator. Over the last several years she’s expanded and updated the Chamber’s communication tools and managed several communication interns. In addition to increasing the Chamber’s visibility in the community, she’s consistently demonstrated her willingness to take on new projects that connect and promote our members.

In fact, Courtney has been the driving force behind our most popular weekly newsletter feature, the Member Minute. Since she started this feature in June 2013, she’s interviewed 73 Chamber members about their work, what they value most about their Chamber membership and why they enjoy doing business in Wichita. She’s just as enthusiastic about those interviews today as she was the first time she called on a member.

We appreciate everything Courtney does as part of our Chamber team and we hope that you’ll join us in congratulating her on her well-deserved promotion to Communications Manager.

Wayne Chambers: Champion of collaboration and alignment

By Jon Rosell, 2015 Chamber Chair

Jon Rosell and Wayne Chambers at the 2014 Annual Meeting

Jon Rosell and Wayne Chambers at the 2014 Annual Meeting

2014 Chamber Chair Wayne Chambers closed our December Board meeting with some eloquent remarks. He defined his 12-month term as a “privilege to serve” and “a special opportunity to do something that makes you proud.”

At the outset of his tenure, Wayne stated that his primary goal was to encourage increased collaboration and alignment among community organizations. That happened in a myriad of new ways in 2014, including these successful efforts:

  • The Chamber’s Leadership Council collaborated with the Wichita Community Foundation and the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation to initiate a Fuel the Fire speaker series.
  • The Chamber partnered with other business groups (Wichita Independent Business Association, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce) to reduce the cost of unemployment insurance and to make the state’s unemployment insurance (U.I.) program more flexible for employers.
  • The Chamber collaborated with 18 other “Yea-sayer” organizations interested in shaping the community’s future by endorsing a proposed sales tax initiative. A “yes” vote was also endorsed by both The Wichita Eagle and The Wichita Business Journal as a way to advance the community. The effort aligned some of these groups on a single community issue for the very first time.
  • The Chamber worked with Go Wichita and other local organizations on a community branding initiative.

Wayne also worked with Chamber CEO Gary Plummer and other Chamber members to secure sponsorships for an internationally-known speaker for the Chamber’s Annual Meeting. Our December 4 event featuring Dr. Condoleezza Rice attracted 3,000 people who gathered to hear her insightful remarks about the power of education to ensure social equality and democracy.

All of these efforts drew people together and elevated the conversation about charting Wichita’s future. As we build on these activities in 2015, I want to thank Wayne for his leadership and devotion to this community. He’s brought many organizations together to take ownership in defining the future of Wichita and I look forward to working with each of you in new ways to advance our community in meaningful and measurable ways this coming year.

Introducing our 2015 board officers

Jon Rosell

Jon Rosell

Our 2015 Board Chairman and Chair-Elect were officially introduced at a recent board meeting. Jon Rosell, Executive Director of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, will serve as the 2015 Board Chairman. Barry Schwan, Owner of House of Schwan, will serve as the Chair-Elect. Also elected to a top leadership position was Scott Schwindaman, President and CEO of Lubrication Engineers. Schwindaman will serve as First Vice Chairman in 2015.

The complete list of 2015 officers and Executive Committee members is as follows:

Barry Schwan

Barry Schwan

  • Jon Rosell, Chair, Medical Society of Sedgwick County
  • Barry Schwan, Chair-Elect, House of Schwan, Inc.
  • Wayne Chambers, Immediate Past Chair, High Touch Technologies
  • Scott Schwindaman, First Vice Chair and Business Services Vice Chair, Lubrication Engineers, Inc.
  • Mark Tucker, Treasurer, Cox Business
  • Gary Plummer, President and CEO, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Walter Berry, Advocacy Vice Chair, Berry Companies, Inc.
  • Jeff Fluhr, Communications Vice Chair, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation
  • Shelly Prichard, Community Advancement Vice Chair, Wichita Community Foundation
  • Gary Schmitt, Economic Development Vice Chair, INTRUST Bank, N.A.
  • Rod Young, Leadership Vice Chair, Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A.
  • Michael Monteferrante, Membership Vice Chair, Envision, Inc.
  • Martha Linsner, Special Events Vice Chair, TCK – The Trust Company of Kansas
  • Laura Bernstorf, Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) Board Vice Chair, Airbus Americas Engineering, Inc.
  • Vera Bothner, Vice Chair at Large, Bothner and Bradley, Inc.
  • Junetta Everett, Vice Chair at Large, Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc.
  • Claudio Ferraro, Vice Chair at Large, Via Christi Health
  • Matt Leary, Vice Chair at Large, Wesley Medical Center
  • Mark Nichols, Vice Chair at Large, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC
  • Jim Walters, Vice Chair at Large, Textron Aviation
  • William Wood, Vice Chair at Large, Foulston Siefkin LLP

The following individuals were recently elected or appointed to the Chamber’s 2015 Board of Directors:

  • Walter Berry, Berry Companies, Inc.
  • Gene Bowen, Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce
  • Cindy Claycomb, WSU Ventures
  • Moji Fanimokun, Kansas Secured Title
  • Tim Farrell, RST Ventures, Inc.
  • Sam Foreman, YPW Chair-Elect
  • Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festivals, Inc.
  • Jerry Jones, Slawson Real Estate Company
  • Vic McMullen, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
  • James Nastars, Meritrust Credit Union
  • Linda Snook-Davison, Seeders, Inc.

“I am confident in the leadership that Jon Rosell and the rest of the board will provide the Chamber in 2015,” said Gary Plummer, President and CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. “We plan to continue working with other community groups to move Wichita forward this year.” The new term began on Jan. 1, 2015. A complete list of the current Chamber Board of Directors is always available at wichitachamber.org.