YPW: Finding more ways to Enhance Wichita

It is no secret that retaining and attracting the best of millennial workers (those born between 1980 and 2000) is critical to Wichita’s future success. We are fortunate to have strong and well-organized groups of young professionals in our community, including Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW). They are celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2015 and the organization has never been stronger, reporting both record membership and engagement levels.

Last Saturday, YPW completed their annual Enhance project, during which 115 volunteers completed projects (everything from painting to deck construction) on several homes in District 6 near Evergreen Park. Not only did the group paint homes, they also completed an art mural on a wall near the pool at the park, all with the goal of improving the community we call home. A big thank you to the Wagonmasters for cooking up burgers for the volunteers to enjoy. You can watch the story that aired on KWCH here.

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YPW Executive Director Suzy Finn and volunteers Laura Bernstorf and Sam Foreman were also the featured guests on 99.7 Lite FM’s weekly Lite is Local program to talk about the organization’s 10th anniversary. They answered questions like:

  • How do you define a “young professional?”
  • What is the best way for young professionals to get involved in YPW?
  • How has the organization changed and evolved over the last decade?
  • To what do you credit the organization’s record numbers of members and event attendance?

YPW RadioThey were excited to share information about YPW’s inaugural YP Week to mark their decade milestone. The week of July 27-31 will be packed with events that celebrate the young professionals in our community. For example, YPs can have breakfast with the Mayor or attend a program fair highlighting the many ways to engage with YPW and other community YP groups. The week will conclude with the 10th Anniversary Founders’ Day Gala and YPW Awards on Friday, July 31 at Venue 332 at the Wichita Scottish Rite. Find these and all of the YP Week events on the YPW website.

If you missed the original airing of the YPW Lite is Local program, you can hear it on the station’s website.

YPW is the key ingredient in the Chamber’s strategic priority to “strengthen the region’s ability to attract, engage and retain young and diverse talent.” They are actively connecting YPs to the community, working to create a more inclusive definition of a YP, and providing opportunities for YPs to grow and lead. We encourage everyone to find a way to celebrate the young professionals in our community, and to help them find more reasons to love and to choose Wichita.

Are you the Top Dog?

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Speaker Maurice Evans reminded Chamber members that leadership is highly relational.

You don’t have to be appointed the top dog in your organization to lead the pack. People will follow you and embrace your ideas if you are adding value to their lives and their work. Real leadership is the result of influence rather than position.

Maurice Evans of iGROWyourBiz, Inc. reminded 115 Chamber members at this week’s Sunrise Scrambler that influence is an essential leadership skill. Evans says developing and maintaining influence requires a commitment to making good things happen for others. You need to identify and seek moments each day where you can make a difference and perform value-added acts for those around you.

Your influence will grow with the value you add. But you’ll also need to embrace accountability and integrity. Real influence is the result of living what you believe. Borrowed beliefs have no power and influence can’t be bought.

You can view the slides from Maurice’s presentation here.

Our thanks to Maurice for sharing his presentation and to this month’s sponsors:  Legacy Bank, Eberly Farm and Davis-Moore. Check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for photos, video and more information from the program.

Register for next month’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, July 15,  when Dr. Atha McNay discusses The Power of Potential & Growth.

Waving the Flag of Wichita

With Flag Day approaching this Sunday, June 14, we wanted to share the message behind Wichita’s (often unknown) flag. Our Manager of Business Services Angie Elliott has prepared the post below about what the flag means to her.

Angie Elliott

Angie Elliott

Let’s play a flag game. I’ll mention a flag and you visualize it.

  • The United States flag. Got it! Too easy.
  • The Canadian flag. Of course you know that one too.
  • The Olympic flag. Oh yeah, the five rings.
  • The Wichita flag…. Huh?

Don’t feel bad if an image of the Wichita flag doesn’t immediately come to mind. You’re in the majority. Today, I’m quite pleased to introduce it to you. But first, humor me just a moment longer. Try to visualize the Wichita flag, based on its description below.

“Three red and three white rays alternate from an off-center blue sun. The rays are the path of freedom to come and go as one pleases. The blue disc represents happiness, contentment. Stitched on the blue sun is an Indian symbol for hogan or permanent home. It’s a white circle with four sets of three parallel rays emanating from the circle’s principal axis.”

You can see the flag image here. Is it what you pictured? You may have seen it around town but not realized its significance. It was the winning design by a local artist, Cecil McAlister, in a 1937 city flag contest and was accepted by proclamation on June 14, 1937, Flag Day.

Truth is, by reading the description, I really wanted you to think about the design’s meaning, not just visualize the image. I imagine the feelings Cecil incorporated in his design were a commentary on what he valued about his city. Freedom, Happiness, Contentment, Home.

I wear a Wichita flag lapel pin. When someone asks what it is, I share a little knowledge and offer them their own pin. I always wonder if, by taking the pin, they’re just being polite, or if they find special meaning in this little point of Wichita pride. What is it they find valuable about Wichita?

Each of us experience this city differently. My experience as a Wichitan is unique to me. Cecil’s experiences were unique to him. And you have a unique Wichita story, too. The flag is a symbol of pride. Pride in what we share, pride in our differences, pride in why we all work so hard to invest in and build our community.

I share the flag with others because I value their unique Wichita perspective. My appreciation of this city grows when I understand another’s perspective. When I see someone wearing or flying the flag, it makes me smile, and I want to know what part of this city they are celebrating.

Let me know if you’d like a pin. I’m ready to share and I hope you will too.

You can email Angie at aelliott@wichitachamber.org.

Get out and explore Wichita this weekend

Visit Wichita has launched a regional advertising campaign inviting viewers to spend their weekend in Wichita. You can see the 30-second commercials via the links below.

Susie Santo, President of Visit Wichita, recently spoke at a Downtown Rotary meeting about the positive effects that tourism advertising has on the people who live in the community being advertised. She shared a study about a North Dakota tourism campaign that indicates that people who have seen the advertising think significantly more highly of the community when it comes to choosing a place to start a career, start of business, or a place to attend college.

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So, we invite you to view Wichita through the eyes of a visitor this weekend and to visit somewhere in the city that you have never been – you never know what you might discover. Then share your experiences using #ILoveWichita. Happy exploring!

Wichita’s New Gateway is Open

It was a milestone moment for Dwight D. Eisenhower Airport earlier today when the new It Changes Todayterminal building officially opened to passengers. Many Chamber members were involved in the project and they were there to greet the first arriving airlines and their passengers.

Check our social media accounts for images and videos from this special occasion.

Facebook Album at Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce
Twitter @VentureBoldly
Instagram @ Wichita Metro Chamber

The event was also live streamed using Periscope @Wichitametrochamber. Those videos expire on the Periscope app after 24 hours, so we’ve saved them on our YouTube channel in case you missed them. Look for Ribbon Cutting and First Flight Arrives.

Congratulations to everyone at Dwight D. Eisenhower Airport on this wonderful new gateway to our community. And thanks to the many Chamber members who contributed their talents and efforts to this project.