Final letter from our 2015 Chairman Jon Rosell

Dear Chamber members,

Jon Rosell

Jon Rosell

I’ve shared with many of my colleagues that serving as your 2015 Chairman of the Board has been one of the highlights of my career. I’ve been actively involved with the Chamber for many years, but my role as your Chairman has provided me with a unique opportunity to work much more closely with our members, other area leaders and our elected officials. I’ve gained new insights into the challenges our members face and the various issues that require resolution, yet I’m leaving with great optimism about the future of our Chamber and overall community.

The Chamber’s 2015 accomplishments have paved the way for new strategic priorities in 2016. As we begin a new year of advocating, influencing, connecting and promoting the community on behalf of our members, I want to encourage your participation in the important process of improving our business climate. Your involvement in the dialogues convened by the Chamber throughout the year and your contributions to the development and shaping of public policy are needed for an improved business environment.

My thanks to each of you for your encouragement, expertise and the energy you contributed this year as you helped the Chamber staff and Board fulfill our organization’s mission and vision. It’s been very rewarding to work with our membership, Board and the Chamber staff during the last twelve months and to see the results of their dedication. I have great confidence in our 2016 Chairman, Barry Schwan, and am excited to support his efforts to propel us even further in 2016.

Jon Rosell
2015 Chamber Chair &
Executive Director of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County

2015 Aviation Highlights from the Air Capital

We’ve seen a lot of creativity in this year’s Christmas and New Year’s cards and we’re appreciative that we’ve receive holiday greetings from so many of our members.  A card from Klenda Austerman especially caught our attention this week because it captures some important 2015 events.

2015 holiday card from Klenda Austerman

2015 holiday card from Klenda Austerman

The front of the card is an impressive photo from the 2015 Wichita flight Festival. But it’s the copy on the insert that we’re most interested in sharing with you. Notable aviation highlights from the Air Capital are listed on the card, ranging from the opening of the new terminal building at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport to the restoration of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

It’s a great reminder about all the work being accomplished every single day in Wichita. Whether we’re preserving our important aviation history or preparing to receive the Air Force’s newest tankers at McConnell Air Force Base, Wichitans remain very proud of the industry that put us on the map.

We’re looking forward to more notable highlights for all of our community’s industries in 2016 as we continue partnering with each of you to enhance our business environment.

Chamber members spread joy this season

Each year, the Chamber staff adopts a family through Big Bothers Big Sisters holiday giving program. Every family has different needs and sometimes the need is greater than others. Instead of toys and luxury items, the children in our family were requesting things like beds, socks and coats. When we reached out to some of our Chamber members for assistance, they responded that they would love to help. Special thanks to the members below for their generous contributions.

  • Mattress Hub – Twin size bedframe, mattress and box spring
  • At Home – Discounted dining set
Our staff enjoyed wrapping and delivering all the gifts for our family.

Our staff enjoyed wrapping and delivering all the gifts for our family.

Announcing the 2016 class of YPW’s Leadership Academy

YPW_leadership_finalTwenty-five area young professionals have been selected to participate in the 2016 Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) Leadership Academy, a leadership development program for young professionals who are interested in growing their leadership capabilities. Leadership Academy participants were nominated for the class by members of the community and then completed an application, which was reviewed by a selection committee.

The program educates YPs on their personal styles, values and strengths so they can grow as leaders, motivate others and impact change in their organizations and communities. The program, which will begin in January, includes six weekly sessions that feature interactive exercises, issue exploration, self-assessments, and in-depth conversations with Wichita’s top community and business leaders.

“This will be the sixth year we have conducted the Leadership Academy program, and each year we are impressed by the number of qualified nominations and applications we receive,” said YPW Executive Director Suzy Finn. “This year’s class represents a broad range of nonprofit, for profit, government and higher education organizations; a diverse representation of roles from accounting to construction to healthcare; and a variety of involvement in other areas of the Wichita community. We can’t wait to see what they learn from each other as they develop the skills to lead this community in the future.”

2016 Leadership Academy Participants:

Tracy Anderson, Adams Brown Beran and Ball, Chtd.
Dacia Brown, Koch Industries
Maggie Butler, Via Christi Health
Chris Callen, Builders Plus Construction
Noah Coonce, Emprise Bank
Megan Davis, K Coe Isom, LLP
Daniel De Longe, Graybar Electric Co.
Jessica Dean, Apples & Arrows
Kyle Dresbach, United States Air Force – McConnell Air Force Base
Kate Flavin, Sedgwick County
Grant Good, AGCO Corporation
Kristen Hoffman, Delta Dental of Kansas
Lance Lewis, Spirit AeroSystems
Erin Manning, Riordan Clinic
Stacey Matson, Hutton Construction
Steven Peyton, Kansas Air National Guard
Christine Pileckas, INTRUST Bank Arena
Shawn Schmidt, Central Kansas Clean Cities
Dorian Soto, Westar Energy
Carly Taft, CLC Lodging
Natalie Toney, Wichita State University
Tyler Walden, Allen, Gibbs & Houlik
Randy Ware, Wichita State University
Mavish Wasim, Doctors Express Urgent Care
Abigail Winter, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy

Please join us in congratulating the class of 2016!

‘Tis the Season to be Joyful

A recap of the December Sunrise Scrambler

DSC_0072My favorite Sunrise Scrambler each year is always in December, when all of our nonprofit members are invited to take part in a mini social services fair. This year was no different and 29 nonprofits were represented this morning, mingling with the 150 attendees and raising awareness of their missions.

Keeping with the theme of philanthropy, Damon Young (pictured) of Mahaney Roofing Company gave the keynote presentation titled “Corporate Citizenship: The Joy of Giving Back.” He shared that the “why” behind his company’s corporate citizenship is joy. They have intentionally built a business case and culture of joy, which overflows to everything they do. Below are some of Damon’s main points.

  • Corporate giving starts by first giving to employees and ensuring they are treated fairly. For example, instead of using contracted labor, Mahaney Roofing hires their workers as full-time employees, providing fair compensation and full benefits.
  • Cultivating a culture of joy is good for business for two reasons:
    • People like doing business with other people who are happy.
    • Mahaney Roofing Company has experienced an increase in their recruitment and retention rates because employees want to work in a positive environment.
  • His company embraces positive visuals as reminders to employees about why they do what they do. A sign reading, “We’re here to make good things happen for other people” hangs in their commons area.
  • Damon’s simple definition of corporate citizenship is asking, “Are we a net taker or a net contributor? Are we adding value to our community?”

Damon concluded his presentation by saying, “I would have a hard time saying that giving back won’t help your business, because it will. But that’s not why we do it. We do it because it brings joy.” Thank you to Damon for sharing his passion with us this morning.

A huge thank you to this month’s Sunrise Scrambler sponsors: Emprise Bank and Hyatt Regency Wichita. You can see photos from the event on our Facebook page and find other commentary from the presentation on Twitter using #ChamberICT.


2016 Breakfast Club
Don’t miss out on any of the great Sunrise Scrambler programming we have planned for next year! Purchase your 2016 Sunrise Scrambler season pass for $150 (a $180 value) and receive the following perks:

  • Be pre-registered for all twelve monthly events
  • Receive a special name badge noting you as a Breakfast Club member
  • Save 17% off the yearly price of $180, which is like receiving two months for FREE

 Register here!

Video of Annual Meeting with Charles Koch Now Available

TJ7_0579_cropMore than 3,500 area business leaders and residents attended the Chamber’s Annual Meeting last month at Century II. Those in the audience had the opportunity to hear Wichita native Charles Koch discuss his thoughts on his upbringing, the economy, and his Market Based Management strategy. Koch is the Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, Inc.

We’ve recently uploaded the interview to our YouTube channel for those who couldn’t attend the event. Other links to coverage of the evening are also included below.

Charles Koch interview – 2015 Annual Meeting
Wichita Chamber:  Building a Better Environment for Business
2015 Wichita Metro Chamber Annual Meeting Sponsors

Articles and Stories
Charles Koch draws laughs, applause at Wichita Chamber event – Wichita Business Journal
Charles Koch acknowledges people’s frustration with government at chamber talk – Wichita Eagle
Charles Koch:  Corporate welfare has to end – KWCH12