Member Minute with Retreat to Joy

Connie Porazka of Retreat to Joy
110 S. Main, Ste. 101 | 316-650-3761
retreattojoy.com
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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.

 

Member Minute with the Rudd Foundation

Peter Najera is the President of the Rudd Foundation.

If you’re on social media in the Wichita area, you immediately noticed when Peter Najera, President of the Rudd Foundation, came to town late last year to lead the organization. He’s been actively promoting the Foundation and its mission while interacting with other area organizations on social media (@PeterNajera1). Give him and the @RuddFoundation a follow and then learn more about why the Foundation considers social media interaction with students and their parents a vital tool for fulfilling their mission.

Please tell us a little bit about the mission of the Rudd Foundation.
Leslie Rudd established the Rudd Foundation in 1998 as a way to honor the Midwestern values that strengthen character and lead to a lifetime of success in business, community, and family. The Foundation gives back in meaningful ways to help both people and organizations who possess the initiative, determination, and capacity to achieve their goals and thereby make a positive impact for those around them. While we give in many ways, our cornerstone initiative is our college scholarship program for Kansas residents to attend Kansas universities.

Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?
As a private foundation, we wanted to get involved with the civic life of the community.  Networking with other organizations and their leadership is instrumental in learning where the most need is, and how we might be able to help improve our community.

Rudd Scholarship winners who will attend Wichita State University were among the twenty 2018 announced this month.

Describe your organization’s most recent success.
We recently announced our $1.1 million commitment to fund our first class of 20 Rudd Scholars who will receive full-ride college scholarships to attend either Wichita State, Emporia State or Fort Hays State. By removing the financial burden of a college education, we hope to enable high-potential Kansas residents to go to school and upon graduation, start new businesses here in Wichita, teach in our schools and lead in our communities. We think it’s critical to invest up front through a college education to strengthen the talent pipeline of our city and our state so that our economy, and its citizens, can grow and prosper.

To what do you attribute your success?
We are thankful for the advice, support and collaboration from so many in the community to get our scholarship program off the ground and running. From working with our 3 partner universities to all the civic leaders who helped promote and recruit high-potential talent to apply for our scholarship, we’ve been able to convert our vision into a reality in just a few short months and begin making an impact now.

What differentiates your organization from your others in similar spaces?
We will be offering program support to our Rudd Scholarship winners, and not just paying the tuition bills. We intend to foster camaraderie and networking within each annual cohort of scholars, and internships and job placement wherever possible as graduation approaches. Our mission is to enable this young talent to achieve their career goals beyond the classroom.

Vince Tran from Wichita South High School is pictured here receiving his Rudd Scholarship.

What value do you expect Chamber membership to bring to you and your organization?
Through our membership, we believe we will be able to keep up with the latest initiatives in our city and better understand our role in helping when the right opportunity presents itself. We also will be counting on the membership to continue supporting our Rudd Scholars, and possibly helping through mentorship, internships, and maybe even a job or career one day!

Where do you see your organization in five years?
Our strategic plans call for us to grow and scale our staff as we grow our scholarship program year on year. In five years, we will be supporting 100 of the brightest, young Kansans in college while we will have our first 20 Alumni working in the community and providing mentorship to those still in school.

What about your organization are you most passionate?
The opportunity to give back to the community is very rewarding, but I think we are all most passionate about helping Kansas youth gain a college education and become productive members of society after graduation.

Favorite app?
We enjoy all the social media apps. We connect with most high school kids and administrators through Twitter and Instagram, but we find that most parents still hang out on Facebook and many times they are more interested in our scholarship than their kids (for obvious reasons!)

Favorite business book?
“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. We feel that the best businesses, profit or nonprofit, are led by selfless leaders who take care of their employees first.

Follow the Rudd Foundation @RuddFoundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find their LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/company/rudd-foundation/

More on the Rudd Foundation:
KWCH – New Kansas Scholarship Program Announced
The Wichita Eagle – Rudd Foundation Annual Scholars Dinner photos

Member Minute with LightSpeed VT Midwest

229 E. William St., Ste. 410, Wichita, KS | 316-771-5050
lightspeedvtmidwest.com
Facebook: LightSpeed VT Midwest
LinkedIn: LightSpeed VT Midwest

LightSpeed VT Midwest President Steve Hull

If you’ve ever sat through a dull training video, then you’ll understand the necessity of LightSpeed VT Midwest. Through their interactive video technology, their team helps companies, trainers and subject matter experts to maximize their effectiveness, automate accountability, reduce costs and in many cases drive new revenue. Steve Hull, President of LightSpeed VT Midwest, shares more about his company in this Member Minute interview.

Please tell us a little bit about your company.
Founded in 2006, LightSpeed VT Midwest is a training solutions company that takes your content and creates web-based training that engages users with interactive components within lessons. Whether your content includes customer service training, leadership, business development, or self-improvement, LightSpeed VT Midwest can scale it down, and create state-of-the-art training modules to help broaden your audience.

Our mission is to inspire people to learn by delivering the most engaging, innovative and reliable training solutions in the world.

Describe your business’ most recent success.
We recently launched a client with all new content in 90 days with over 1,500 interactive videos.

To what do you attribute your success?
Our staff are the key to our success. The people here bring a high level of talent and customer service.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
Our business model of revenue sharing with content experts and interactive technology.

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
Our clients include both local and national brands. Some of our local clients are Lubrication Engineers and Billy Sims. A few of our non-local clients are Grant Cardone, The Black Swan, and Dale Carnegie.

Where do you see your organization in five years?
In five years we hope to have doubled our client base along with diversifying the content provided by those clients.

What about your business/organization are you most passionate?
Our people and our interactive technology. The two combined are a powerhouse!

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
We recently went to L’Ouverture Technology Magnet Elementary for their Career Cookout. The goal was to expose kids to a variety of careers in technology. We asked kids to show us their best dance moves, so we could make a music video. You can see the end result on our Facebook page.

THE CHAMBER
Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about  membership? We joined the Chamber to support Wichita and the local business community. The networking events alone have brought value to our business.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
Our favorite Chamber event is Exposure. It’s a great way to expose our products and services, as well as explore what the rest of the city has to offer.

The LightSpeed VT Midwest team created this interactive video to promote the Chamber’s upcoming Exposure event. How could this technology be utilized for your company?

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business?
Two great local clients, Fundamental Learning Center and Wired Within!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague?
10 –  Involvement in your community is the most important thing a small business can do.

SMALL BUSINESS
What is the best thing about being a small business?
The best thing about being a small business is that all staff members get to be hands on with our clients, which provides a closer relationship and level of customer service.

What is the most challenging thing about running a small business?
The most challenging thing about running a small business is that staff members do wear multiple hats at times.

What is your best piece of advice for new small business owners/entrepreneurs?
My best piece of advice for a new small business owner is to get involved in the community. Use that to learn what resources are available to you.

What is something you wish you had known when your started your own business?
To always build more time into your expected costs than you think you will need.

Favorite business book?
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Member Minute with the Alzheimer’s Association

1820 E. Douglas | 316-267-7333
Follow on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
alz.org/cwkansas/

Fe Vorderlandwehr is the Executive Director of the local chapter of the Association, which serves 68 counties in Kansas.

Did you know that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined each year? This month is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and Executive Director Fe Vorderlandwehr is featured in this Member Minute to share ways you can get involved to find a cure. And be sure to mark your calendar for Oct. 13 for the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at INTRUST Bank Arena.

Please tell us a little bit about your organization.
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. We work on a global, national and local level to provide care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the Association is committed to accelerating the global progress of new treatments, preventions and ultimately, a cure.

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

The Association is the leading voice for Alzheimer’s disease advocacy, fighting for critical Alzheimer’s research, prevention and care initiatives at the state and federal level. We diligently work to make Alzheimer’s a national priority.

The Alzheimer’s Association was founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers. Today, the Association reaches millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s across the globe through our headquarters in Chicago, a public policy office in Washington, D.C., and a presence in communities across the country. The local chapter serves 68 counties throughout central & western Kansas and is located in Wichita. They operate with a staff of 8 and countless volunteers.

Describe your organization’s most recent success.
We recently hosted our inaugural Memory Gala. This first-time event brought together over 340 civic and community leaders. It allowed us to not only expand our reach and share our message with many for the first time, but it also raised over $384,000 to help fund local care, support and research programs.

Also, on June 1, Governor Jeff Coyler signed the Executive Order to authorize the development of an Alzheimer’s Kansas State Plan. With the Order, all 50 states now have a state plan.

On June 1, Governor Jeff Coyler authorized the development of an Alzheimer’s Kansas State Plan. 

To what do you attribute your success?
We have a great Board of Directors and passionate committee volunteers representing many different industries and interests. But we all are working together to achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.

What is something people may not know about you or your organization?
We provide respite grants for caregivers. While care giving can be rewarding, it can also create tension and exhaustion. Without some time off, the mental and physical health of the caregiver becomes affected. This could reduce the quality of care for the loved one. The purpose of the Respite Assistance Program is to provide family caregivers time to do necessary or desired activities. The program helps pay for care for the loved one while the caregiver gets a short break, respite. The program can allow the caregiver to do things such as: go to the beauty shop, have lunch with a friend, maintain the garden, visit the physician, take a nap, and more. With this program, we hope to ease the burden on families by helping with some of the costs. 

What differentiates your organization from your others in similar spaces?
We are the largest Alzheimer’s-related nonprofit that provides care and support programs AND research.

As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research, the Association is committed to accelerating the global progress of new treatments, preventions and ultimately, a cure. Our peer-reviewed research grant program has invested over $385 million in more than 2,500 scientific investigations since 1982. 

Where do you see your organization in five years?
It is important that while we look toward funding research we continue to provide care and support. The Association will contribute to research breakthroughs that are life-changing for people with Alzheimer’s disease by driving the international research agenda.

The Association will contribute to a dramatic increase (e.g., to 90 percent) in the accurate and timely diagnosis of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and a significant increase in the number of people with dementia and their caregivers who receive affordable, high-quality care and support (e.g., to 80 percent of people with the disease).

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
Participating in community activities is something that we enjoy. We have been a part of the Wichita WagonMaster’s Chili Cook-Off, ICT Open Streets, Wichita Women’s Fair, Wichita Pride, and Final Fridays in the Douglas Design District.

What about your organization are you most passionate?
Finding a cure! And the path toward a cure is research. The Alzheimer’s Association is one of the largest funders for Alzheimer’s research, behind only the American and Chinese governments.

THE CHAMBER
What do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?

Being part of the Chamber not only helps us with community outreach and awareness but with community engagement as well. Outreach and engagement are two separate things. The Chamber allows us to reach more businesses as well as engage not only them but ourselves with the community.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
The Sunrise Scramblers are a wonderful way to start the day. Getting to network and know members from the community, as well as hear from great speakers on relevant topics are reasons why we are part of the Scrambler Club and we reserve a seat at breakfast for the entire year!

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your organization?
It has given us access to business and community leaders and allowed us to explore partnerships that can be mutually beneficial.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague?
10 – Really the question isn’t ‘why to join’ but ‘why not join’. The Chamber offers so many different ways to get involved and meet fellow business colleagues and leaders. You can choose how to be involved and what areas interest you.

NONPROFIT
What is the greatest challenge in operating a nonprofit?
Outreach. We have a small staff of 8 individuals and cover 68 counties in Kansas. We just can’t physically be everywhere, however, we have great volunteers and ambassadors that help us with education classes, programs and fundraisers. We are always looking for more passionate volunteers to help us reach and engage our community members in central and western Kansas.

Mark your calendar for Oct.13 for the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at INTRUST Bank Arena.

How can people get involved with your organization?
We have many volunteer opportunities that range from fundraising, marketing, education, office help, special events, etc.  If you are looking for a way to get involved, please give us a call. Whatever your interest or skills, I know there is a volunteer opportunity. For example, we have some volunteers that help sew “busy blankets” for those with Alzheimer’s, some help download iPods with music for our Roth Project, some help with data entry, some help plan events, and so much more.

What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area?
I’ve always described Wichita as the “largest” small town. Even though there is close to 400,000 residents in Wichita (and over 640,000 total for the metro area), there is still a strong sense of community and of helping your neighbors and fellow citizens. I feel we get the best of both worlds.

OTHER
Favorite app?
Walk to End Alzheimer’s App. Staying up to date with your Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising progress is easy! Just click on the My Fundraising Progress button to get real-time goal and raised amounts. Take advantage of all your potential donors with email addresses by sending them an email donation ask. Schedule posts on Facebook, too! You can choose from a list of weekly messages or other timely messages to automatically post on your Facebook Timeline and your friends’ News Feeds just like any posts shared from the Facebook app.

Favorite business book?
Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell.  It is a short read but a great read – a great guide to being a better leader and mentor.

Is there anything else you would like to include? 

Member Minute with Dandelion Wine Design

Facebook and Instagram @dandelionwinedesign – 316-308-0803

Jan Sattler is the creative talent behind many of the Chamber’s most popular graphic design projects. She’s developed numerous invitations as well as the Chamber’s award-winning annual summaries. And she just finished producing a unique intern passport for the Chamber’s affiliate, the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW). In this interview, you’ll learn more about what inspires her to find creative solutions to the challenges faced by her clients.

Jan Sattler owns and operates Dandelion Wine Design.

What products and services do you provide?
The name of my business might lead you to believe that I specialize in the fermentation of dandelion blossoms into wine. Not so. I love a good challenge and I find great satisfaction in transforming what some people may view as a problem into a positive opportunity. My objective with this business is to find creative solutions. That’s reflected in the name and motto for my business:  “When life gives you dandelions, make dandelion wine. Turn your nemesis into something divine.”

I specialize in logo & branding design, business cards, stationery, brochures, flyers, postcards, ads, banners, forms, catalogs, newsletters, direct mail, posters, billboards, signs, infographics, trade show materials, murals and apparel design.

In addition to graphic design services for businesses and organizations, I also design invitations, announcements, signage and room decor for events celebrating the special occasions of life: birth, birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, retirement, and memorials to name a few.

Another category of my design work involves various Wichita Flag swag items, including a 2018 calendar and unique seasonal items.

My objective with this business is to find creative solutions – to surpass the typical way of thinking by creating an end product that is truly unique and unforeseen. I strive to exceed the expectations of the client while meeting the specific needs of their company, organization or special event.

About my company
I’ve been a graphic artist for 20 years, but only recently under the name Dandelion Wine Design. Past clients include the Diocese of Wichita, Wichita Clinic and Via Christi Health. I’m the Principal & Creative Director, Project Manager, Business Manager and Graphic Designer for my business.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?

Initially I prefer to meet face-to-face with new clients. I want to get to know them and learn their story. I’m interested in their style and their preferences. I want to create specifically for each client and satisfy THEIR unique graphic needs rather than MY wants, without any templates or preconceived idea.

Jan Sattler likes to incorporate unique folds in her designs so that they stand out for her clients.

What about your business are you most passionate?
The creative part. My favorite projects are the ones where I can be “extra” creative. Perhaps a special fold will take the project to the next level as was the case with the 2015 & 2016 Chamber Annual Summaries. My 2018 Wichita Flag calendar design took “special fold” to a whole new level. Another fun project was the interactive Wichita Flag mural I designed for the Chamber. Now I have been challenged to create a fun mural for one of my Chamber member clients, SpinICT.

Describe your business’ most recent success.
Together with the Chamber, three awards were received for the 2015 Annual Summary “folded Wichita flag” document: 2016 Silver Award from the Wichita American Marketing Association Annual Report category, 2016 First Place from the Kansas Professional Communicators Annual Report category and 2016 Honorable Mention from the National Federation of Press Women Nonprofit Brochures category. We also won the 2016 Gold Award from the Wichita American Marketing Association for the #ILoveWichita Wichita Flag cityscape design and initiative.

To what do you attribute your success?

I was drawing and painting from a very early age and always had a sense of the elements of design before I learned their technical definitions. Certainly, many useful traits have been passed down through my family, like the courage and determination necessary for growth and new ventures as well as a strong work ethic.

What is most valuable about Chamber membership?
Since I work alone at my home office, what is most valuable to me is networking and socializing with other Chamber members. Many of my clientele are Chamber members, whose design work was secured as a result of my Chamber membership and their recognition of my graphic projects produced specifically for the Chamber. On a scale of 1-10, I rate Chamber membership at a 10 for anyone who wants to build a successful business in this vibrant, pride-filled community.

What is your favorite Chamber event?

The Annual Meeting of course, since I have been given the opportunity to create the printed materials for the event: the folded flag brochure in 2015, the new logo reveal with special fold in 2016 and the Sports Celebrated magazine in 2017.

Sattler designed the interactive Wichita flag mural that is positioned on the east side of the building.

What’s your best piece of advice for new small business owners?
If you have some talent and you are willing to work hard, you can become very successful at your trade. But excellence, peak performance, and being the best you can be at something can really be enhanced with coaching. Don’t be afraid to seek appropriate counsel, mentoring and advice. Fortunately, Chamber membership provides many of these coaching opportunities to build your business.

What’s the most effective social media tool for your own business?

So far, I have not taken full advantage of the positive impact that social media could have on my business. I have an Instagram account, a Facebook page and a website that I am currently updating. However, I have dedicated time to create graphics for social media use for my clients.

Where do you see your business in the next five years?
I plan to nurture the seed that has already been established, to strive to make Dandelion Wine Design more efficient and profitable. We all know that it’s difficult to keep a good dandelion down. To be resilient and deeply rooted are key.

Member Minute with Connie’s Mexico Café

2227 N. Broadway, Wichita, KS 67219 | 316-832-9636
Facebook: Connie’s Mexico Café
Instagram: @conniesmexico

One of Wichita’s oldest and most-loved Mexican restaurants, Connie’s Mexico Café is celebrating 55 years in business this month. The founders of the restaurant, Ralph and Connie Lopez, proved that you don’t need a fancy degree to do well in life — just a commitment to work hard and a desire to chase the American dream. They passed that work ethic on to their daughter Carmen Rosales, who now owns the restaurant, and she is passing it down to her children and grandchildren.

Carmen shares her passion for her family-owned restaurant and the broader Wichita community in this Small Business Week Member Minute Profile.

Please tell us a little bit about your business.
Connie’s Mexico Cafe was started in 1963 by Connie and Ralph Lopez. After Ralph served in WW2, Connie, Ralph and their daughter Carmen moved to Wichita to truly live the American dream. Wichita is such an entrepreneurial town. Ralph also opened his own barber shop and helped Connie start the café. They worked hard at owning small businesses!

Today, we sell Tex-Mex food and are known for our King Size Burrito, and we have 21 employees.

You can’t go wrong with the queso fundido enchiladas!

Describe your business’ most recent success.
Being voted Best Mexican Restaurant in the Wichita Eagle Reader’s Choice Awards again and celebrating 55 years of service in 2018.

To what do you attribute your success?
Consistency of my mother Connie’s recipes, taking no shortcuts, and offering the best service and food. 

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
Longevity and consistency 

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
We have been around since April 1963. 

Where do you see your organization in five years?
More expansion and publicity for our business and hopefully another location.

What about your business are you most passionate?
Happy customers and co-workers 

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
We are strongly tied to the local community events in Northside. We participate in some NoMar events, and we donate what we can when any local organizations need a helping hand. 

Share any fun facts, throw backs, historical facts, or unique aspects of your business.

  1. Connie’s burritos were 25 cents back in the 1960’s.
  2. Our building is 112 years old.
  3. We found a beautiful hidden mural in our kitchen when we renovated last year.
  4. Connie used to make the tortillas from scratch for all the meals on the menu.
  5. Back in the 1970/80’s the Carney brothers, founders of Pizza Hut, tried to ask Grandma Connie if she’d ever consider franchising Connie’s food. Connie declined the opportunity to consider franchising Connie’s food. We often wonder if Connie’s could have been the next Taco Bell, but if you’ve ever eaten a Connie’s taco, you’d quickly taste the difference!

THE CHAMBER
Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?
We became members to invest in our future and to join forces with other local businesses. We want to share ideas with other members and hear their goals, give encouragement and take any advice on how to thrive! 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague?
Highly recommend! We all want our businesses to grow not only with customers, but because of relationships with community and other businesses. This will create an awesome city for all. 

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business?
The ribbon-cutting event celebrating our 55th anniversary (scheduled for Friday, May 11) is such an honor. We can’t wait to celebrate!

The fajita plate is also a customer favorite.

SMALL BUSINESS
What is the best thing about being a small business?
I teach my family about everything, and my grandkids get to experience growing up in the restaurant industry.

What is the most challenging thing about running a small business?
Finding employees with the same passion. 

What is your best piece of advice for new small business owners/entrepreneurs?
Never lose hope and never give up!

What is something you wish you had known when your started your own business?
The hard work is never ending.

Favorite app?
Facebook and Instagram are powerful tools we use to advertise. And, of course, our alarm system Alert 360 to always check on our restaurant when we can’t be there.

WICHITA BUSINESS COMMUNITY
What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area?
The best thing about doing business in the Wichita area is the cooperation other businesses bring. We love that big or small companies have their events at our restaurant or we cater at their special events. We love that we are considered an icon and a staple of Wichita.

Is there anything else you would like to include?
Please join us for our 55th Anniversary Celebration on May 11 & 12! We will be having a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce at 1 p m  on Friday the 11th and other fun events all weekend!

Connie’s Mexico Cafe Owner Carmen Rosales stands next to family photos that hang in the restaurant. They show her parents, Ralph and Connie, and her five daughters.

Member Minute with The Arcade

139 N. Mead, Wichita, KS 67202 | 316-844-0010 | thearcadewichita.com
Facebook: @thearcadewichita | Twitter & Instagram: @arcadewichita

Owners Michael Jensen and Derek Sorrells have brought a new and unique entertainment option to downtown Wichita.

What do you do when you and your buddy own nearly 70 arcade game from the 80s and 90s? You open a place where people from all around can enjoy them, which is exactly what arcade game collectors Derek Sorrells and Michael Jensen did. For some, visiting The Arcade brings back nostalgia of their youth. For others, it is the first time experiencing these games. And for all, it is a lot of fun.

President Derek Sorrells shares what makes The Arcade unique (and an incredible deal – only $10 for all-day play!) and his enthusiasm for gaming in this Small Business Week Member Minute Profile.

Please tell us a little bit about your company.
The Arcade was opened on December 15, 2017 by Derek Sorrells and Michael Jensen, two arcade game collectors that turned their private collections into a place where everyone can enjoy and play 80s and 90s arcade games. We are located in downtown Wichita at 139 N. Mead.

Describe your business’ most recent success.
Parties! We have held MANY parties….more than we ever thought we would. We have hosted everything from corporate parties to church groups to team-building events. And, of course, birthday parties.

$10 buys all-day, unlimited play at The Arcade.

To what do you attribute your success?
A simple low price ($10 for all the games you can play!) and a large group of games that all work!

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
We don’t require quarters or tokens for our 75 video games. Customers can play all they want for one flat fee.

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
Michael and I owned 90% of the arcade games BEFORE the arcade opened. Both had huge personal collections in their basements and now we get to share them with our customers.

Where do you see your organization in five years?
It’s difficult to know where we’ll be in five years. This is an interesting business based somewhat on nostalgia. Hopefully we are still around and growing!

What about your business are you most passionate?
Seeing people smile and hearing them tell their kids, “This is what an arcade was like when I was a kid!” The stories and comments like that make our business worthwhile every day.

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
We generously donate to non-profits.

Share any fun facts, throw backs, historical facts, or unique aspects of your business.
Derek’s first arcade game was Galaga and Michael’s was Mortal Kombat 2.

THE CHAMBER
Why did you join the Chamber?
We joined the Chamber in order to work with other small business owners and to grow and learn together.

SMALL BUSINESS
What is the best thing about being a small business?
If something needs to change, we change it.

What is the most challenging thing about running a small business?
You’re the CEO and the janitor at the same time.

What is your best piece of advice for new small business owners/entrepreneurs?
Plan. Talk to people already doing what you want to do. Don’t let your passion overrule logic.

WICHITA BUSINESS COMMUNITY
What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area?
The people. We are friends with people that run arcades across the U.S. The problems they seem to have (like trying to sneak in, rude and crass behavior, etc.), we just don’t see much of it. People are friendly and respectful.

OTHER
Favorite app?
The Points Guy (love traveling!)

Favorite business book?
Anything from Tony Robbins

Member Minute with Red Door Three

1400 Terradyne St #210 | Andover, KS 67002 | (316) 570-2773
FB: @RedDoorThree | Twitter: @edmundson3

Stacy Edmundson is the President and Owner of Red Door Three.

Stacy Edmundson is the President and Owner of Red Door Three. Located in Andover, the company has been a Chamber member since 2014 and a member of the Wichita Manufacturer’s Association (a Chamber affiliate) since 2015. Edmundson’s passion for customer service shines through in this Member Minute.

What products and services does Red Door Three provide?
Red Door Three is a display and exhibit company that specializes in creating exhibits that are custom to the client’s needs — from design to manufacture to set-up and dismantle. Our main areas of focus are custom exhibits, portable displays, custom kiosks and interior signage. We handle the project, from the design process to manufacturing  to final installation. We are also an authorized Nimlok dealer.

Why did you join the Chamber and what do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?
Business is all about relationships. We joined to connect with other businesses in the Wichita area. It’s been an amazing marketing tool for us and has helped with name recognition and credibility.

What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area?
Wichita is a great city to do business in, especially in our industry, because of the variety of businesses that call Wichita ‘home’. Every business needs what we have to offer in some way or another. We want our clients to succeed in their marketing efforts so that they can grow and create more jobs. We take great pride in that. There’s no more gratifying feeling than designing an exhibit and having it come to life to create business opportunities for our clients.

A rendering of the Solution Center that will open soon inside the new warehouse space Red Door Three will occupy in Andover.

Describe your business’ most recent successes.
It’s been a banner year, so I’d have to list five things.
— I was just accepted into the SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative. In completing the program, I will have developed a three-year strategic growth action plan for my business.
— With the help of the Kansas PTAC Team, we are finalizing our government contracting certifications.
— We’ll soon be finalizing a Solutions Center for our clients at our facility located in Andover. It will be a great environment for clients so that they can see various products and what materials and options are available.
— We were recognized by Nimlok for “2017 Best Design” for an exhibit we created for a local Wichita client.
— Last year’s growth was amazing and our referrals are helping our expansion.

To what do you attribute your success?
Making sure that every client we have feels like they are our only client. We are focused on customer service. Our clients know that we will take care of them. That’s crucial in our industry. We live by deadlines and we don’t get second chances.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
There are two of them actually. I try to attend every Small Business Owner Roundtable. It’s a great opportunity to meet with other business owners in the community and the session topics are very informative. The topic may not pertain to my business at this point in time, but things change so rapidly that it probably will soon.

My other favorite is the Member Business Exchange. You meet so many different businesses in such a short period of time. Great event!

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
The fact that we offer complete trade show coordination — logistics, show service coordination, set-up/dismantle, and exhibit storage. All of those services are needed to put a client’s exhibit to use and they can continue to rely on us for those.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
We’re LOCAL. Many companies in our area have relied on exhibit houses outside of Wichita to develop their exhibits and may not realize that they can get the same level and depth of services with Red Door Three right here in the Wichita area. I would put us up against anyone’s current exhibit partner in terms of customer service, value, and overall expertise in the industry. Also, many other exhibit houses require their customers to sign multiple-year fulfillment contracts. These contracts require the client to work exclusively with an exhibit house for a specific period of time, typically two years. We don’t believe those types of contracts are necessary. We hold ourselves to the highest standards on all of our projects at all times. Returning clients and referrals are a testament to our high level of service.

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business?
Visibility. I didn’t buy an existing business. I started a brand new one. While I had years of industry experience and people knew my name, they weren’t familiar with my company. The Chamber was the best way to get my name out there. It helped with both visibility and establishing credibility.

Where do you see your organization in five years?
We just celebrated our fourth anniversary and we’ve had a lot of growth in those four years. I predict even more growth for us in the next five years. I want to keep building our diverse list of clients and hope to hire a few more people over the next few years.

What about your business are you most passionate?
Learning about businesses and telling the client’s story thru exhibits and displays.  By doing this, it allow the client a platform to open more doors and provide more opportunities for their business. The variety of businesses in and around Wichita is truly amazing. I always try to get a tour of our client’s facility to get a real sense of what they do and how they do it. It helps us to provide the background and details our designers need to do the best job for the client. Those details definitely show through at the end.

Best thing about being a small business?
Knowing that the sacrifices and challenges are worth it when you get to pursue your own passion.

Most challenging thing about owning a small business?
Juggling so many priorities can be challenging, but there’s a real sense of gratification when you deliver exactly what you promised the client.

Best piece of advice for new small business owners.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek mentors who you can connect with and support your vision. I’ve been so impressed with the business professionals who’ve been able to help me. Just one example: Shawn Nguyen at Wichita State University’s Kansas PTAC Team guided me through the entire certification process for government contracting. That group is invaluable for small businesses like mine.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague?
A 10 for sure. There’s no better way to connect with the many great businesses in and around the Wichita area.

Favorite business book?
Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
I recently joined the Wichita Aero Club and I’m a member of the Board of the Wichita Manufacturer’s Association (WMA). The majority of our clients are manufacturers, so I really enjoy learning more about that they do through the tours WMA offers. It’s really beneficial to interact with people who have so much experience in that industry. Our manufacturing experience in this region elevates us globally and I like being part of that organization.

Is there anything else you want to share?
People always ask me about the company name. I can’t take credit for it. I gave one of my dear colleagues the task of coming up with something that represented my beliefs. She came up with three words.
RED – is for leadership, courage and passion. It’s a bold color that stands out, even from afar. It represents the courage to outshine others and do the things others might be afraid to do.
DOOR – we offer different options.
THREE– represents my three children.

That sums it up!

Member Minute with Augustino Brewing Company

756 N Tyler Rd – Wichita, KS 67212 – (316) 721-5554 – augustinobrew.com
Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @augustinobrew

The four founders of Augustino Brewing Company have decades of brewing and business expertise. They opened their brewpub in November 2017 and offer locally made craft beer along with special cocktails, coffee and a full range of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, sides and desserts. A calendar filled with special events provides their customers everything from a Mother’s Day brunch experience to a Cornhole Tournament Throwdown.

Augustine and Bianca Iacopelli hosted a ribbon cutting at Augustino Brewing Company for Chamber Champions in April. Check the Chamber Facebook page for event photos.

A majority woman-owned brewery, the business owners include Bianca and Augustine Iacopelli and Kara and Geoff Finn. Augustine Iacopelli recently provided some insights into Wichita’s growing brewery scene and the highlights of owning a small business.

Please tell us a little bit about your company.
We improve our community by creating daily moments of joy for our friends and neighbors. We do this through offering food and beverage experiences not available elsewhere. We feature an American cuisine food menu, a 3.5 barrel brewery that our bar guests can look into, and a full coffee and cocktail bar. If you’re looking for a place to bring a party for drinks, there will be something nearly everyone in your group can enjoy. We also feature special seminars and events in “Beerology” and mixology and host intimate tours of our brewhouse on Saturday afternoons at 3 p.m.

Describe your business’ most recent success.
Every day we have guests coming through our doors and trying out our beers for the first or fiftieth time. Each week, our team has become stronger as we bring on additional A-players that see they are getting in on the ground floor of something really cool and unique in the brewing and restaurant industry. It’s difficult to quality when you’re a startup company and may not be able to offer all the perks of other companies, so you have to find team members who see the big picture and realize the best is yet to come.

To what do you attribute your success?
Never being afraid to fail and never being afraid of being the dumbest guy in the room. Surrounding yourself with smart people who have learned lessons before you is important. Also, trying to absorb (and filter) as much information as possible, while thinking about what might be applicable to what you are trying to accomplish is important.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
We focus on building relationships with our guests by offering our Ultimate Mug Club, which is our “gym membership without the sweat and a lot more beer!” For one flat price each month, members get beers and coffee included in their membership along with additional discounts. All their beers and coffees are served in our signature 20oz stoneware mugs instead of our pub pint glasses.

We’re also the only brewery in the area that both features a full coffee and mixology bar. There are specialty coffees and cocktails that are available at Augustino Brewing that you cannot get anywhere else. One example of this is Lu’s Habitude. This is a Cuban coffee nitro collaboration between Augustino Brewing and Nitro Joe’s. It can be ordered with or without alcohol and is fantastic either way.

We also produce a podcast called “What’s Brewing with Augustino.” This originated to simply create content to improve our website ranking on Google and other search engines. I’d created over 100 episodes prior to opening our doors and didn’t necessarily intend to continue producing them. However, shortly after we opened, people started asking our staff if I was planning to do new episodes for the show. So, we’re starting the show back up, currently via Facebook Live, with archives going to our channel on SoundCloud, iTunes, and our Augustino Brewing blog on our website. It’s a fun way to get our news and events out to fans.

Augustino Brewing Company is located at 756 N. Tyler Road.

What is something people may not know about your business?
Very few people realize that Augustino Brewing is either the only or one of the only majority women-owned breweries in the state of Kansas and among a handful of women-owned breweries in the region. Even though the sign says Augustino, which people associate with me because of the closeness in name, my spouse Bianca Iacopelli, owns over 60% of the business outright and is our financial hero behind the scenes that makes Augustino Brewing happen.

Where do you see your business in five years?
We’d like to expand our business into additional locations bringing our craft food and beverage experiences to additional communities in the Wichita area and beyond. We’ve been asked many times about distributing our product on a larger scale. We very recently signed a distribution contract and you’ll start seeing Augustino Brewing on draft in some of the finer craft beer establishments in the immediate Wichita area. That stated, we are not in a hurry for mass distribution. All the movement currently in craft beer is toward smaller-scale and local establishments. People want beer that’s made near them in many cases, which is why the regional and national brewery markets are struggling. We believe that we are building a model that is scalable, while still allowing for localized innovation and community involvement.

What about your business are you most passionate?
As a homebrewer for about 20 years, the craft beer side of the business is the focus of my passion. However, our ownership team realizes scaling our business requires looking beyond the beer to having a passion for the food and beverage category in general. One thing that is concerning to the craft beer industry right now, is that many younger drinkers are not drinking craft beer, or drinking less of it than their parents’ generation. Just like macro beer was my generation’s “parents’ drink of choice,” and thus not as “cool” as craft beer to people around my age, “craft beer” is becoming that way for the younger generation as they seek out other beverage categories. Because we offer high-end mixology and craft coffee in house in addition to our beer, we’re able to bridge the gap between generations and offer unique products not available at our other area competitors. I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to recruit some of the top bartenders and mixologists in the area that bring a level of creativity and passion to other beverage areas. Their enthusiasm for what they do excites me as well and adds significant value to the Augustino Brewing Company brand as a whole.

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
We love participating in area philanthropic events, particularly those that support causes helping disadvantaged children and women escaping trafficking and abuse in the community.

What unique beverage can people find at Augustino Brewing Company?
We feature the only nitrogenized Cuban coffee beverage in town, if not anywhere. Lu’s Nitro Habitude Cafecito packs a huge punch in terms of caffeine and sweetness and was our first collaboration on a beverage project with Nitro Joe’s. The reaction we’ve gotten from everyone who has tried it is… “WOW, that’s amazing.”

THE CHAMBER
Why did you join the Chamber and what do you think will be most valuable about Chamber membership?
We believe we’re uniquely positioned as a business that can cater to other businesses. By being one of only two brewpubs currently in town with separate seating areas that can handle groups of over 100 with a full kitchen, we’re able to cater to groups looking for unique food and beverage experiences for both their employees and clients. Before we even opened our doors we were receiving phone calls to book special events and meals at our location and have found that our business clientele was higher than we originally predicted. We look forward to working with fellow Chamber members on planning special events at Augustino Brewing Company in the future.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
Thus far, I’ve only been to one event which was Networking at Noon at Hopping Gnome Brewing. I enjoyed myself and the fact that there were a number of people I knew there from other professional circles.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? Why?
Honestly, the jury is still out for me as I’m a new member. If it’s like many other things I have been involved with in my professional career, the more you invest into an organization the more you’ll get out of it. We’re happy to continue to explore the many resources and opportunities the Chamber has and hope to continue to grow with the Chamber.

Are there other Chamber members that you do business with?
Several, perhaps most notably Heartland Credit Union, who played a very significant role in making Augustino Brewing Company a reality.

SMALL BUSINESS
What is your biggest challenge as a small business?
What’s not a big challenge as a small business startup?! Paying down debts and keeping money coming in, while refining business practices and constantly trying to improve on shoestring budgets. We’ve definitely seen increased business since the beginning of the year, but it’s always a struggle. We go by the mantra, “If we help enough other people and philanthropic organizations where we can, we’ll wind up building good karma in the community and helping ourselves in the process.”

What’s the best thing about being a small business?
Being a “jack of all trades” is finally paying off! I’ve probably learned more in the past six months than the past twenty years. Business ownership is fraught with challenges, but each one is like trying to solve a puzzle and is extremely engaging and exciting.

What’s your best piece of advice for new small business owners?
I’ll pass along some good advice I received from another business owner:   “Remember, the highs are never as high as they feel, nor are the lows as low.”

Something you wish you’d known before you started your business?
Nothing really prepares you for the mental, emotional, and physical toll starting a business can take. You can “know” the things you will face as you deal with the challenges and triumphs of owning and operating a business, but there isn’t anything that lessens the impact ownership has on your well-being and the importance of making time to recover and recuperate, even when it feels like there is no time to do so.

WICHITA BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Why do you like doing business in the Wichita area?
Because it’s a great city with great people. All of our owners are “transplants” from other parts of the country and settled down in Wichita because it’s a gem that many people who have grown up here are only now starting to realizing. There’s a wonderful resurgence in the entrepreneurial community that provides support to local businesses and entrepreneurs trying to bring their ideas and projects to reality.

OTHER ADVICE
Favorite business app? Why?
Evernote Premium is the BOMB! It pretty much ties my business and personal life together no matter where I’m at. I also live off the business card scanning tool when networking. It’s nice to be able to just scan the cards you receive and have them automatically saved and filed within Evernote and in your contact lists simultaneously, not to mention automatically searching to see if the contact is on LinkedIn and available to connect.

Favorite business book? Why?
Winning by Jack Welsh is a pretty easy read, albeit a little longer than many business books, but many of the principles are rock solid regardless of your industry.

Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell cuts to the bare bones principles of creating a great customer experience. It’s based on his years in hospitality at Hilton, Marriot, and Walt Disney World.

Start Here by Clay Clark, Johnathan Kelly, and Marshall Morris is a beast of a book. It literally outlines the steps of starting a successful business in an actionable manner, complete with accompanying website, templates and business podcast.

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
What’s the most effective social media tool for your business? Why?
Right now, it’s definitely Hootsuite. We’ve set up months of “timeless” posts for our feeds to give us a good baseline of communication with our audience that we augment with our more timely photos, videos, and events that we drop in on a more ad hoc basis.

How many hours per week do you devote to connecting with your customers and partners on social media?
It can vary, but the short answer is a lot. As a new business, social media is a very cost effective way to reach our specific audience and test marketing and branding messages before trying to scale our messaging to a wider audience.

Member Minute with Hermes Healthcare, Inc.

1900 N. Amidon, Suite 210 – Wichita, KS 67203 – (316) 260-4110 Hermeshealthcareinc.com | Facebook: @Hermeshealthcare

Hermes Healthcare is a primary care practice that specializes in foot care. Founded in April 2015 by nurse practitioner and owner Jayne Hermes, it serves over 5,000 patients in 75 locations throughout Kansas. More than twenty staff members consisting of nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants and office personnel focus on providing adult foot care for their patients. Cardiologist and peripheral vascular interventionist Dr. Ravi Bajaj is the collaborating physician for the practice. 

Nurse Practitioner Jayne Hermes owns Hermes Healthcare and Dr. Ravi Bajaj is the collaborating physician.

Owner Jayne Hermes shared information about the challenges and rewards of operating a growing healthcare practice in this interview.

Describe the mission of Hermes Healthcare.
We fill a clinically neglected gap in healthcare and enhance the quality of life of those we serve by providing excellent foot care and education. Healthy feet are an important part of maintaining independence and enhancing quality of life. Caring for them as we age can be difficult due to failing vision, as well as decreased mobility and flexibility. Diabetes, heart, kidney, and neurological problems put people at risk of loss of limb, making screening, prevention, and education paramount. Peripheral vascular disease is largely unrecognized and can cause foot and leg pain and non-healing wounds leading to amputation. Foot and toe deformities compound the problem by creating pressure points that can lead to painful sores.

Because routine foot care can prevent foot and leg complications and help patients keep their independence, many of our services are covered by Medicare and other insurances if patients have a qualifying diagnosis. Foot care includes a thorough foot exam and assessment of circulation and sensation, trimming and cleaning of nails, reduction of calluses, removal of ingrowing nails, and freezing plantar warts. We also provide education on foot care, safety, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other health conditions. We test for peripheral artery occlusion if indicated.

Describe your most recent successes.
— We recently surpassed 5,000 patients.
— April 2 was our third anniversary.
— We’ve outgrown our current facility and are in the process of moving to a new location at 3343 W. Central, which will open in May.
— Our services were profiled in The Wichita Eagle on April 5. That story generated 15 new patients for us on the day the article ran plus a number of inquiries. We’ve continued to gain three to six new patients per day as a result of that article.

To what do you attribute your success?
I think this was God’s plan. It certainly isn’t something I envisioned. The need and opportunity just presented themselves.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
Our foot care services are different from podiatry in that podiatrists focus on the structure and function of the foot. Our focus is on circulation, sensation, screening, and education.

Hermes Healthcare treats patients at 75 Kansas locations.

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
People don’t know about the prevalence of peripheral vascular disease or that professional foot care is recommended and covered by insurance if present.

Where do you see your business in five years?
Because, atherosclerosis (plaque) is not usually localized, I can see our services expanding to screening, treating and referring for coronary artery disease and carotid disease. While peripheral vascular disease causes pain and poor healing, patients with it usually die of heart disease and stroke. It’s also conceivable that we could expand into other states and regions.

What about your business are you most passionate?
Providing exceptional patient care and a positive work environment.

THE CHAMBER
Why did you join the Chamber and what do you think will be most valuable about Chamber membership?
I joined the Chamber to network and tap into business and leadership resources and marketing opportunities. I find opportunities like this Member Minute to be quite valuable in increasing visibility and exposure.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
I appreciate opportunities to learn about the success of other area businesses via Chamber communication initiatives. I’ve been watching the Nuggets of Wisdom (N.O.W.) videos produced by M.A.D. Ad Company about Chamber members. I’m learning a lot about area businesses which is not only beneficial professionally, but personally.  I now know where to have my next diamond ring designed and where to get my craft beer.

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business?
Exposure, visibility and opportunities to network.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? Why?
A 10 because of the opportunities for networking and exposure, resources, support and  communication about Wichita leadership and events.

SMALL BUSINESS
What is your biggest challenge as a small business?
Keeping up with Medicare/insurance policies and regulations.

What’s the best thing about being a small business?
Feeling empowered to succeed.

What’s your best piece of advice for new small business owners?
Discover hidden talents of your staff and put them in a position to best utilize those talents.

Why do you like doing business in the Wichita area?
We are headquartered in Wichita and have many loyal and supportive patients.

Favorite business app?

Up to Date (clinical decision support tool)

Favorite business book?
Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide by Carolyn Buppert.

What’s the most effective social media tool for your business?
We use Facebook to recruit qualified staff as well as new patients.