by Barry Schwan
2016 Chamber Chairman
Jon Rosell, the Chamber’s 2015 Chairman, is a well-respected leader throughout our community who guided us through a landmark year in 2015. During his tenure, Jon worked in conjunction with others on the transformation of the Chamber’s Leadership Council into a new and separate entity, the Greater Wichita Partnership.
The Chamber had a significant role in establishing this new economic vision for our region. Jon and Gary Plummer, the Chamber’s President & CEO, were fully engaged in moving the work of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) to this new partnership.
Jon also oversaw other major Chamber accomplishments last year:
- Increased membership for the fourth year in a row, adding nearly 400 new members with 226 resulting from a 3-day membership drive
- Lobbied for 18 pro-business legislative wins, including major reform for the unemployment insurance system and funding for NIAR
- Completed the Chamber’s tenth city-to-city visit to learn from peers across the country
- Celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Young Professionals of Wichita, a Chamber affiliate, as they experienced a record number of members and record event attendance
- Secured an experienced and talented CFO to oversee the financials for the Chamber, Greater Wichita Partnership and the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation
I’d like to thank Jon for the role he played in building a better business environment for all of us in 2015, and his continued commitment to our community. His collaboration with other Chamber partners last year set the stage for further advancement in 2016.
The global competition for talent and innovative ideas makes it imperative for Wichita’s stakeholders to align and integrate our efforts. We need to maximize every opportunity to drive economic growth and community advancement in the Wichita region. I look forward to continuing that positive momentum in 2016 as the Chamber accelerates our collaborative efforts with partners and stakeholders.