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.