Member Minute with The McGinty Machine Co.

222 N. Hydraulic – Wichita, KS 67214 –  (316) 269-3344
mcgintymachine.com | Facebook and Twitter: @mcgintymachine

The McGinty Machine Company, Inc. was recently honored as a Lockheed Martin Aeronautics 2017 Elite Supplier. The company started building airplane parts seven decades ago and has earned other supplier awards from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Owner and President Don McGinty shares more information about his company’s achievements, Chamber involvement and the Wichita business environment in today’s Member Minute.

Don McGinty is the President and Owner of The McGinty Machine Co.

Company background
My dad and uncle started The McGinty Machine Company, Inc., to build parts for war planes and general aviation in the mid-1940s. Since then, McGinty Machine has delivered quality precision-machined parts and customer service to the Wichita community and beyond. We offer both blue streak (or expedited) and long-term production, including sheet metal and small, benchtop assembly. We believe in quality, customer service and working as a team with our customers, so they can be the very best at what they do.

Describe your business’ most recent success.
Most recently, we were honored as a 2017 Elite Supplier from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. Only 23 suppliers, representing the top two percent of Lockheed Martin’s suppliers, earned this based on at least 98 percent quality, 98 percent delivery and a $1 million contract value. We had 100 percent quality and delivery.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics recently named The McGinty Machine Company a 2017 Elite Supplier. The company’s performance has earned them other awards.

To what do you attribute your success?
This is a second-generation business, and we’ve survived because of the foundation my father and mother left. I also attribute our success to our team. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

What differentiates your business from your competitors?
Reliability – Our customers know they can count on us.
Longevity – They know we will be with them year after year as we have been for the past 70+ years.
Experience – We have more than 30 years’ experience at the lead and throughout our company.
Innovation – We are always looking to improve our processes to provide quality work for our customers.
Quality – Quality is number one for our company.

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
Most people don’t realize the technology involved in manufacturing and how quickly it’s advancing.

Where do you see your business in five years?
Continuing to grow and expand our capabilities with the addition of new technology.

What about your business are you most passionate?
Quality. Customer service. Technology. Innovation.

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
Our company supports a variety of community and civic activities, including the Wichita Open (formerly Air Capital Classic), Wichita Aero Club, Wichita Children’s Home, and many others. Our employees are active with a number of organizations, and as a company, we try to support those as best as we can. Personally, I am involved with the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee and on the Wichita Aero Club board.

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 be more involved and to stay in touch with our decision makers. I’ve developed connections throughout the community and especially like serving on the Government Relations Committee.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
I enjoy the government relations events the most because of the opportunity to talk with and hear directly from decision makers. I also enjoy the opportunity to meet other business leaders at various awards and roundtable events.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague? Why?
10. The connections are invaluable no matter what stage of life or business you are in.

SMALL BUSINESS
What is your biggest challenge as a small business?
There are many challenging factors in running a small business. The labor force is one of those factors. Recruiting the talent needed to succeed can be a challenge as a small business.

What’s the best thing about being a small business?
Being your own boss is both stressful and rewarding. It allows you to grow something for your family and the people working for you.

What’s your best piece of advice for new small business owners?
Don’t be afraid to try and fail. This is how you gain experience in your industry. If one thing isn’t working, change it. Keep trying until you get to where you want to be.

Something you wish you’d known before you started your business?
I wish I’d had a better understanding of the market’s up and down trends. It’s important to understand this, so you can prepare and protect your business. Also, keeping your debt service at a minimal to not overextend yourself or your business is important to know.

WICHITA BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Why do you like doing business in the Wichita area?
There is no better place to live or do business than Wichita. I grew up here. I enjoy the people, the community, and the ease of getting around.

Earlier this month the 55 members of The McGinty Machine Company team celebrated their supplier award.

Digital Wichita Elevates Local Social Media Practices

MEMBER MINUTE WITH DIGITAL WICHITA

Digital Wichita joined the Chamber on Monday, April 2. We’ve interviewed their co-chair, Phil Mershon, for a profile of the organization and to introduce the group to our membership.

Some of the current Digital Wichita Leadership Team members are pictured above. They’re currently working on several 2018 social media events for the Wichita area.

What’s the mission of Digital Wichita?
Our nonprofit group elevates social media practices through access to educational events with nationally-known speakers and authors.

How long has the group been bringing experts to Wichita?
A group of four digital entrepreneurs (Naomi Shapiro, J.D. Patton, Eba Hamid and Cindy Kelly) formed Digital Wichita in 2010 to exchange best practices and improve their own social media skills. The group also wanted to learn from the best practitioners and began producing educational events in 2015. Our first event attracted 225 attendees.

Over the years we’ve brought a number of experts to Wichita, including:  Marcus Sheridan (The Sales Lion), Mark Schaefer (Schaefer Marketing Solutions), Shannon Johnson (Alaska Air) and Jeff Sieh (Social Media Examiner). It’s very beneficial to Wichita when the nation’s leading social media experts make connections with area business leaders. They become national ambassadors for our business community.

Digital Wichita secured author Marcus Sheridan for a learning experience event that was held in Wichita last October.

To what do you owe your success?
We have a very focused, passionate and well-connected group of about ten people on our planning team. They all volunteer their time to plan these events and they have a history of working well together. They have access to numerous local resources, but they’ve also developed valuable national connections so that we can secure some of the most sought-after speakers for our events.

The partnerships we’ve developed with other area organizations have really expanded our outreach the last three years. Organizations like the Chamber, Applied Technology Acceleration Institute, Douglas Design District and WIBA share our passion for elevating their social media game. They help us reach more businesses and organizations who are interested in keeping on top of the latest social media tools, measurements and practices.

What’s your most recent success story?
Convincing former Disney executive Duncan Wardle to offer an all-day innovation workshop focused on design thinking in Wichita on April 19 has been very rewarding. We’re using a new model that makes it possible to offer the interactive and hands-on learning experience for $200 per person, a fraction of the usual price. His goal is to help people break through their creative blocks and push past ‘group think.’

Wichita’s entrepreneurial community has been re-energized during the last few years and so the timing is perfect for this workshop. Transforming a great idea into a real working business model requires unleashing and capitalizing on creativity. And sharing those breakthroughs through social media channels is a powerful way to expand on them.

We’re offering Chamber members a reduced cost through the Chamber member-to-member discount program so we hope to meet many of them when they attend. Use the code Chamber50 for $50 off.

Digital Wichita celebrated Social Media Day in 2017 with an event that featured a panel of the digital experts behind Wichita’s top Instagram accounts, including several local entrepreneurs.

How does your organization differ from other area marketing organizations?
We focus solely on social media and we’ve cultivated professional and personal relationships with well-known experts who speak all over the country. We aren’t trying to replace or compete with other marketing organizations. We really enjoy partnering with them and we’re very open to new and innovative ways to work together. We don’t have a monthly meeting or offer annual memberships. We stay laser-focused on one or two events per year.

Why do you like doing business in Wichita?
We really love the entrepreneurial spirit here. People are willing to keep trying until they succeed. This is a large community with a very tight-knit feel. People are very connected. You can generally get to anyone you need to reach with just a few conversations.

Why did you join the Chamber?
We went through the process of becoming a legal nonprofit entity last year. Joining the Chamber was the next logical step.

Becoming more adept at social media helps businesses of all sizes thrive locally and expand their global reach. We want them to succeed in marketing their goods and services internationally. So our mission definitely aligns with the Chamber’s efforts to improve the overall business environment in the region. We believe membership will increase our visibility and provide us with more opportunities to partner with other organizations and businesses.

What’s your favorite Chamber event?
I attended the Chamber’s Annual Meeting last year and I’ve always been impressed with the caliber of speakers who headline that event.

Do you have a charity component to your work?
We want our events to be affordable to companies and organizations of all sizes, so we just try to cover our basic expenses with a low registration fee. In the event that we do raise a little extra money, we’d definitely like to give back to the city that has helped shape us. We’re interested in donating to local nonprofits, especially those that use and understand the power of social media.

Please welcome Digital Wichita to the Chamber by following them on these social media channels:  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 Contact Kresta Dundas at 316-268-1115 if you are interested in joining the Chamber or know a company/organization that would benefit from Chamber membership.

Surprising and Delighting Hoops Fans!

Our thanks to Luminous Neon President Joe Ontjes said his team for making our hoop-tastic dreams come true!

We’ve been counting down the days until the region hosts the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament March 15-17. The primary tourney hotel, the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, is just across the street from us, so we have the perfect location for welcoming basketball fans, coaches and players to Wichita. But we had to get a bit creative with our welcome message since we don’t have a marquee or digital signage.

That’s where Joe Ontjes and the creative Luminous Neon Art & Sign Systems team came into the picture. The Luminous team installed a new pedestal sign for the Chamber last year as part of our rebranding initiative. Today they stopped by to install some large temporary “Welcome” decals for us. But they didn’t stop there. They decided to surprise and delight both locals and visiting hoops fans with something very special.

We’re now the proud owners of an oversized basketball backboard that’s perfect for memorable photo ops. The creatives at Luminous outdid themselves with this unique three-dimensional display that includes our favorite hashtag, #ILoveWichita.

The team at Luminous Neon created a special welcome display for basketball fans, coaches and players who will be visiting the city in March.

Luminous Neon President Joe Ontjes said his team enjoyed developing the concept and then producing the king-sized basketball goal. Ontjes said, “Although this big hoop is a departure from the business signs we fabricate daily, it’s the kind of challenge that drives our creative team to do its best work. We feel like we accomplished our mission of making the Chamber’s basketball swishes come true.”

So stop by in the next few weeks and take a selfie with our temporary hoops signage. You can post it as a welcome to the teams, coaches and fans that Wichita will be hosting during tourney week. And then get ready to celebrate at one (or more) of the events our staff has put together to maximize your hoops experience.

YPW/CHAMBER LUNCH & LEARN | “Courtside Q&A” – March 6
A Lunch & Learn for YPs and Chamber members where panelists will discuss the upcoming basketball tournament and what hosting it means for Wichita! We’ll hear from AJ Boleski of INTRUSTBank Arena, Cindy Claycomb from the Wichita City Council, and Moji Rosson of Visit Wichita. Follow this link to register.

MINGLE ON COMMERCE – March 14
Join us as we partner with Xclusive Events on Wednesday, March 14 for the Mingle on Commerce from 4:30 – 6:30 PM. Wear your favorite basketball jersey or team colors and enjoy a cash bar and food trucks. There’s no fee, so no need to register. Learn more here.

MINGLE MADNESS WITH YPW – March 15
Young Professionals of Wichita and the Realtors of South Central Kansas will host an evening mingle at Distillery 244 to celebrate all things basketball. Follow this link to register.

Spreading #ILoveWichita across the city

We like to say that the #ILoveWichita movement has been fueled by pride, passion and partnerships. Without all three, the message would not be as far reaching as it is. One example of these partnerships is with the team at Atomic Billboards. In 2016, Atomic donated billboard space to display images from Instagram that were posted using #ILoveWichita.

Now a second rendition of the campaign is underway. We’re asking you to share what you love about Wichita so that others have an authentic view of what makes our region so unique. Maybe it’s the food scene. Does the thriving art community fill you with pride? Do you love experiencing diverse cultural events throughout the year? Do you find yourself sharing images of our first-class sunsets with friends who don’t live in Kansas? Is there a high-caliber area sports team that you always support? Do you live in the friendliest neighborhood on the planet? Whatever the reason, post it on Instagram and use #ILoveWichita, then look for your image on Atomic Billboards across the city.

Also partnering with us on this campaign is M.A.D. Ad Company. Starting next week, the #ILoveWichita messages will be shown on their Mirror Billboard Displays, located in several area bars and restaurants.

Our thanks to the teams at both Atomic Billboards and M.A.D. Company for helping spread #ILoveWichita throughout our city and region. Find more info at ILoveWichita.org, and join the #ILoveWichita movement today.

Bill Wood Leads the Charge in 2018 as Chamber Chairman

Bill Wood will lead the Chamber Board as Chairman in 2018.

Our monthly Chamber Update in the Wichita Eagle (published on Jan. 25) features an excerpt from this blog post introducing our 2018 Chairman of the Board, Bill Wood. Wood is a partner at Foulston Siefkin LLP, and specializes in mergers and acquisitions. He has nearly a decade of experience assisting the Chamber with everything from updating bylaws to serving on the Board of Directors.

Wood recently provided information about his firm, shared his thoughts on the Chamber and its 2018 priorities, and talked about the local business environment.

About Foulston Siefkin

Background
Foulston Siefkin’s presence in Wichita goes back nearly 100 years to 1919, and is inextricably tied to our community’s history, with founder Robert Foulston serving as the City of Wichita’s first City attorney. His partnership with George Siefkin created the foundation for what’s now the largest law firm in Kansas and a practice and client list that’s growing throughout the Midwest and US. With offices in Wichita, Topeka, and Kansas City, we can deliver a Midwest cost structure for legal services from lawyers recognized by national organizations as among the leading lawyers in the US.

With nearly 90 lawyers and total staff of almost 200, the firm’s practice areas cover a broad spectrum of legal issues, including corporate and business, commercial litigation, employment and labor, real estate, environmental, energy, intellectual property, taxation, and mergers and acquisitions, as well as specific industries, such as health care, construction, and banking. This wide range of expertise, headquartered here in Wichita, allows us to fulfill our mission: to provide excellent legal advice and client service in a variety of areas of the law at a reasonable cost to the client.

What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area?
What’s NOT great about it? This community has great people, opportunity, and a great business climate; it’s a wonderful place to start, build, and maintain a successful business while also offering a terrific quality of life and a very reasonable cost of living. You don’t have to give up those other things to do business in Wichita.

Describe your firm’s most recent success.
Much of the work we do for our clients is confidential, but one transaction that’s public is our work to help MVP Holdings form a joint venture, Great Salt Plains Midstream Holdings, LLC, to build energy infrastructure in Oklahoma. We also recently worked with Kansas Bank Corporation to sell First National Bank of Liberal/Hugoton to Equity Bancshares and helped Cobham AvComm (formerly Aeroflex Wichita, Inc.) win a $2.1 million punitive damages award earlier this fall based on wrongful conduct by Tel-Instrument Electronics. Our clients’ success is our success.

To what do you attribute your success?
Great mentors and colleagues, a supportive family … and plain old hard work

What is something people may not know about your business?
People might be surprised to know how many different areas of law and industry areas our firm offers. I’m not sure everyone knows that we can take a business or organization from cradle to grave – from the start-up and entity formation to the sale transaction and estate planning phase, and everything in between. We’re known for business law and litigation, but it also may be a surprise for some to know the broad range of expertise we can deliver, from water rights and intellectual property to cybersecurity and alternative energy.

Where do you see your organization in five years?
Continuing to have the opportunity to grow with our clients.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to your firm?
Helping our clients be successful. It’s fun to help clients achieve goals, like buying or selling a business.

Is your firm involved in any community/civic activities? Why did you select those activities?
Yes, we encourage our lawyers to pursue their passion by volunteering and sitting on boards (our lawyers are on the boards of more than 60 organizations in the Wichita area); we also foster community involvement by supporting those organizations they’re involved with. The organizations we touch through volunteerism include health and human services, arts and culture, civic and economic development (like the Chamber), and countless others. We don’t choose the organizations, but simply encourage people to get involved in a way that’s personally meaningful to them.

What are some historical facts or unique aspects of your organization?
— Foulston’s 100-year anniversary falls in 2019; watch for our celebration.
— Longtime Foulston partner George Powers was a Rudyard Kipling fan and thought a portion of the Kipling poem “The Law of the Jungle” described a successful law firm.
— Every partner who has worked for the firm for 30 years earns a wolf statue for their desk with this excerpt from the Kipling poem engraved on it:  For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack
— It’s a reminder that organizations do better with strong individuals, and those individuals benefit from a strong organization.

Thoughts on the Chamber

Bill Wood has held multiple volunteer positions with the Chamber during the last decade.

What do you find most valuable about Chamber membership?
It’s very hard to choose! But I find the Chamber’s advocacy work of tremendous value. The fact that our community’s businesses and organizations have a voice in the legislative process and someone looking out for our best interests is a great asset for us all. We absolutely must have a strong educational system to maintain a skilled workforce and continue our economic development progress.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service and why?
Honors Night is my favorite event. Every time I go, I learn something about a business or person that I didn’t know before. It’s a giant Wichita-area cheerleading event, and I always walk out feeling better about our community!

How has your business benefited from Chamber membership?
The Chamber works to make our community better in every way – to improve our workforce, our economy, our diversity and inclusiveness, our quality of life, and our leadership capabilities. There are many very specific ways the Chamber has helped our firm, but the bottom line is that when our community benefits, Foulston benefits.

How do you think the community benefits from Chamber membership?
At a high level, the community benefits in the same way that our firm has – making our community overall a better place to live, work, and play. At the individual business level, there are as many ways to benefit as there are Chamber initiatives, ranging from education seminars to help you run your business better, to networking, to making sure you’re aware of the Kansas legislature’s actions and how they might affect your organization. As with many organizations, the more you participate as a member, the more you get out of it.

Where do you see the Chamber in five years?
Continuing to help lead our community in the areas critical to our success

On a scale of 1 to 10, how strongly would you recommend Chamber membership to a colleague?
Eleven!

Why?
Being a Chamber member helps continually make this a better place. As the Chung data showed us, we’ve still got some work to do to reach our region’s full potential as a vibrant, entrepreneurial and thriving hub. This is a great place right now – but if we work together, we can build an even better future for our businesses and our children. Along the way, we’ll have some fun, do some networking, and meet new friends.

What differentiates the Chamber from other organizations you belong to?
Its ability to have a powerful effect on the entire community

Which of the 2018 Strategic Priorities do you feel most passionate about and why?
They’re all important, but education rises to the top for me. If we don’t get this right, we can’t provide skilled workers at the rate we need to replace retiring workers – and we don’t have the workforce to retain and build economic vitality with new and growing businesses.

Personal

How long have you lived in Wichita?
All my life except for three years at law school. You can guess how long that is.

What are you most passionate about when describing Wichita to a colleague?
The quality of life here is exceptional – we have the amenities of a much larger city, but the friendliness of a smaller town. You don’t have to be from here to get involved and make a difference; everyone who wants to help sees a welcoming attitude.

What is something people may not know about you?
Even though I spend a lot of hours behind my computer, I love being outdoors playing golf (St. Andrews’ Old Course is on my bucket list), fishing, waterskiing, and surfing. My kids like to wakeboard, but I’m an old-school slalom skier.

Favorite business app?
Wsj.com

Please join Wood for the annual Chairman’s Lunch on February 1. Two elected officials and four area leaders will discuss Place Possibilities:  Wichita’s Next Big Vision.
Register
See images from the 2017 Chairman’s Lunch

#ILoveWichita Night this Saturday with the Wichita Thunder

At an unveiling event on Jan. 4, Mayor Jeff Longwell displayed the Wichita flag jersey that will be worn at the Jan. 20 game, and Vanesa Barnard of Jason’s Deli showed off the rally towel that will be given to the first 500 people that evening.

The Wichita Thunder is celebrating our city this Saturday on #ILoveWichita Night, when they take on the Colorado Eagles. The Chamber is proud to partner with the team on this event to promote community pride, and the team will be wearing a special Wichita flag-themed jersey. Also, the first 500 fans through the door will receive a special Wichita flag rally towel. The event is presented by Chamber member Davis-Moore Autogroup, and Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell will be on-hand to drop the puck.

Game Details
Saturday, January 20
Puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
INTRUST Bank Arena

Only 1,000 lower bowl tickets remain, and Chamber members can purchase tickets here for 50% off by using discount code “CHAMBER.” This offer excludes glass seats and is available online only.

Click here to watch the event promo video, and click here to see photos from the Jersey Unveiling Event that was help on Jan. 4.

Partnerships Fuel Wichita Flag Movement

Cassandra Bryan of Cassandra Bryan Design was one of the Wichitans featured in the series of community pride videos.

We like to say that the Wichita flag movement has been fueled by pride, passion and partnerships. Without all three, the message of the flag would not be as far reaching as it is. One partnership that contributed to the growing Wichita love in 2017 was when Chamber member World Studios ICT produced several videos that highlight the Wichita flag.

We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to their team for contributing their time and talents to the betterment of our community. Find links to and descriptions of each video below.

Your Wichita Flag | Watch on Facebook or YouTube
To celebrate the Wichita flag’s 80th birthday on June 14, 2017, this video was published to tell the story behind the city’s symbol. You can also catch this video playing on the City of Wichita’s City7 TV channel.

The Wichita Flag Movement | Watch on Facebook or YouTube
The Wichita Flag movement is important for so many reasons. This video features proud Wichitans sharing their thoughts on why.

The Best Thing About the Wichita Flag | Watch on Facebook or YouTube
When we asked people to name their favorite thing about the Wichita flag, we learned that everyone has a unique connection to the symbol.

#ILoveWichita Because… | Watch on Facebook or YouTube
How can you choose just one reason why you love Wichita?

We’d love to see your thoughts and feelings about the flag as well. Post your comments and tag @WichitaFlag and/or use #ILoveWichita.

We’re looking forward to seeing the Wichita pride continue to grow and to what partnerships emerge in 2018!

The team at World Studios ICT helped spread the Wichita flag message far and wide this year, with one of their videos receiving more than 30,000 views on Facebook alone.

 

Show Your Support for the Official Wichita Flag License Plate

It was announced in October that the City of Wichita will be submitting a bill during the next legislative session to add a Wichita flag license plate option for Kansas motorists. The City has surpassed their initial goal of 500 signatures of support for the bill, but we want to keep going! Help us continue to demonstrate the demand for a Wichita flag license plate by completing this form.

Here’s how the program, titled Plates for Parks, will work: By purchasing a Wichita flag license plate for $50 at the time of registration or renewal, the flag will ride with you everywhere you go. The annual royalty fee of each license plate sold will go towards improving the City’s park system through the Wichita Parks Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. So it’s a win-win!

Add your name today at the link above!

Wichita Flag will soon be flying at all Wichita Public Schools

Last year, the Chamber’s marketing and communications team was invited to make a presentation about the Wichita Flag to students participating in the annual Comm Week at Wichita State University’s Elliott School of Communication (pictured below). Stressing that the #ILoveWichita and Wichita flag movement has been fueled by partnerships, passion and pride, we asked the students to spend a few minutes brainstorming ways to widen the movement and make it more inclusive.

The students came up with a list of about eight ways to further accelerate civic pride. One of the ideas at the top of their list was to donate a Wichita flag to every school in the Wichita Public Schools system so that students could see it flying every day.

Through the power of partnerships and collaboration, Together Wichita turned that great idea into a reality this week when ninety-three 3’ x 5’ Wichita flags were donated to Wichita Public Schools, one for each of their learning centers. The flags were presented at the November 30 District Council meeting to administrators from across the district.

Ben Jennings of Together Wichita (left) and Angie Prather of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce (right) present USD 259 Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson (center) will a 3’x5’ Wichita flag at the November 30 District Council meeting. Together Wichita has purchased and donated ninety-three flags for the district, one to fly at every learning center.

Ben Jennings from The Wichita Eagle manages the Together Wichita initiative and made the presentation at the District meeting. Jennings is a long-time flag enthusiast and said it was an easy decision for the Board to approve the donation, “We don’t believe this has ever been done before and we loved the idea of making it happen.”

The Wichita Regional Chamber is one of twenty-one organizations working year-round on community improvement projects under the banner of Together Wichita. (See the complete listing on togetherwichita.com and below.) Organized, staffed and managed by The Wichita Eagle, past Together Wichita projects include bicycle and walking path signage, a Memories Park, community chalkboards, the Keepers on Parade and a large Together Wichita sign to display at area events.

School administrators also learned that Ben Hutton, CEO of Hutton Construction, has generously donated a Keeper of the Plains sculpture to USD 259. Hutton is a member of Together Wichita and also leads the Chamber’s Quality of Place Strategic Initiative. A student from the Wichita Public Schools will paint the Keeper. The finished sculpture will be unveiled sometime in 2018 when it’s completed. It will then be included on the Keepers on Parade map located on the organization’s website.

Visit TogetherWichita.com to learn more about how your organization or company can become involved and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2017 TOGETHER WICHITA PARTICIPANTS

Sean Weaver
Allen, Gibbs & Houlik

Susan Armstrong
Armstrong Chamberlin

Patty L. Sanders
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

Walter Berry
Berry Companies, Inc.

Jeff Longwell
City of Wichita

Bob Thurman
Credit Union of America

Kacie St. John
EddysEverything.com

Charles Millsap
Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch

Dr. Amy Carey
Friends University

Ben Hutton
Hutton Construction

Ben Jennings
The Wichita Eagle

Patty Koehler
JR Custom Metals Products, Inc.

Scott Schwindaman
Lubrication Engineers, Inc.

Dr. Noreen M. Carrocci
Newman University

Thomas Gentile
Spirit AeroSystems

Patrick J. Hanrahan
United Way of the Plains

Bill Voloch
Wesley Healthcare

Don Sherman
Westar Energy

Sheree Utash
Wichita Area Technical College

Gary Plummer
Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce

Dr. John Bardo
Wichita State University

Announcing the #WichitaFlagSummerTravelContest winners

The 2nd annual #WichitaFlagSummerTravelContest has concluded and the results prove that Wichitans love their hometown’s flag. The contest received nearly 173 unique entries, which was more than triple the number that was received in 2016. At the conclusion of the summer, the Wichita flag has been photographed in all 50 states, 36 different countries and on 5 continents. It’s safe to say that flag fever has spread worldwide.

Before the contest winners are revealed, here are a few other fun facts from this year’s contest:

  • The flag visited 7 different National Parks in 6 states
  • 124 individual accounts participated
  • 15 posts were from area businesses who joined in the fun
  • 28% of the entries included Wichita flag t-shirts
  • 20% of the entries used cloth flags (any size)
  • 9% used a flag picture on their phone
  • 6% used stickers
  • 5% used the insert published in the June 14 Wichita Eagle
  • The remainder (32%) used other flag swag (socks, koozies, hats, license plates, pins, magnets, etc.)

Contest winners are pictured below. They will each receive prizes from Great Image Designs (@greatimagedesigns on Instagram) and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. Thank you to all who entered and are helping spread Wichita love around the world!

50th State
When the @WichitaFlag account reported that Delaware was the only state it had not visited, Brandi Brenner (@brandi.brenner) and family changed their vacation plans so the flag could represent in its 50th state! They are photographed here at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

 

Best Group Pic
Can you say #SquadGoals? Heather Feist (@honeyfeist) and friends spent their friend-cation in matching flag tanks at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

 

 

Best Story
When Gabby Garlow (@garlogab) visited The Temple Bar Pub in Dublin, Ireland, early this year, she placed a Wichita sticker on a wall inside the pub (pictured left). Fast forward to July when Hillary Martin (@Hillarymartin22) visited that same pub and found the sticker her fellow Wichitan had left behind (pictured right).

 

Farthest Away
The flag was carried to many corners of the earth this summer, but the farthest it traveled from Wichita was to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is 9,358 miles away. The flag is pictured here at the Petronas Twin Towers with Juan Velazquez (@juanpv00).

 

Highest Point
Kacey and Paul Bowen of Wichita Real Estate (@wichitarealestate) summited Mount Massive in July and carried along the flag and some local brews to celebrate at the top. Standing at 14,421 feet in Colorado, Mount Massive is just that. Josh Herman (@josh_herman) also conquered the 14er with the flag in hand in August.

 

Least Amount of Oxygen
Alejo Cabral (@mr_alejo_cabral) is a Wichita transplant, but that doesn’t hinder his love for the flag. During his vacation to Tulum, Mexico, the flag accompanied him during a dive into some underwater caves. Any guesses on how many takes it took to get that shot?

 

Most Countries Visited
This year’s MVP award goes to Juan Velaquez (@juanpv00), who submitted four contest entries from three different countries. Thanks to Juan, the flag crossed Cambodia (pictured), Vietnam and Malaysia off its travel bucket list.

 

 

Most Patriotic
Airman Lauren Nguyen chose to pose with the Wichita flag following her formal graduation from  boot camp at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. She makes us all proud to be Americans and proud to be Wichitans. Photo submitted by Lauren’s mother, Kim (@kimmisuu).

 

Most Popular
It’s probably not difficult to believe that the contest photo that received the most likes was this adorable entry from Kelly Korroch (@2kellyk). The photo of her pup Teddy was taken in Breckenridge, Colorado, as he took in the views and fresh mountain air.

 

Most Unusual
There have been many photos of the flag posing with animals like cats and dogs and even hedgehogs. But this was definitely a new one: riding a camel in the Sahara Desert with Kris Hammer (@kris.on.the.road).

 

 

State with the Most Entries
It may come as no surprise that more entries were posted from Colorado than any other state — 16 entries to be exact. This one was taken by Kyle Hiebert (@qb3rt5) in the Garden of the Gods and was one of the favorites.

 

 

Youngest Flag Fan
It’s always fun to see young Wichitans learning about the flag and its symbolism. Victor White (@ginger727) shared this photo of his grandson at New Smyrna Beach, Florida, showing his love for the flag and for Wichita.

 

To see all of this year’s entries, search #WichitaFlagSummerTravelContest on Instagram.