Chamber Invests Resources in Project Wichita

by Bill Wood, 2018 Chamber Chairman and Partner at Foulston Siefkin LLP

The formation of a new community vision process, Project Wichita, was announced at the Chamber’s Chairman’s Luncheon on February 1. Since that time the organizers have received financial commitments from more than 60 area organizations and businesses interested in ensuring the success of this new initiative.

Bill Wood leads the Chamber Board as Chairman in 2018.

The Chamber’s participation in Project Wichita includes a financial pledge as well as a commitment to set up focus groups and encourage participation in the process. I’m pleased to be one of three official representatives of the Chamber who are members of the Project Wichita Visioning Team. Jonathan Long, the Chamber’s Director of Community Advancement, joins me on the leadership team as does Hutton Construction CEO and Chamber Board member Ben Hutton. Long is also undertaking facilitator training for Project Wichita focus groups.

Debbie Gann, Vice President Communications & Public Affairs for Spirit AeroSystems, and Scott Schwindaman, President and CEO of Lubrication Engineers, are two of the four Project Wichita co-chairs. Both have recently led our Board of Directors and both continue to be involved in advancing the community. The other two co-chairs also represent Chamber members. Juston White is the Executive Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, and Aaron Bastian is President at Fidelity Bank.

Listening sessions and surveys will take place through the middle of the year and I have a very specific call to action for each of you. Please participate in a Project Wichita focus group, community event or a survey to identify the issues that are most critical for community success, and please fully engage in the process and ensure that others do the same.
I’m pleased to share with you that the Chamber is diligently working to host several Project Wichita focus groups using the digital toolkit developed by Project Wichita.

Investor Engagement – We’re hosting a focus group on April 19 for input from a joint meeting of our Board of Directors and Board of Advisors. Representatives from the Boards of YPW, Wichita Hispanic Chamber, Heartland Black Chamber and our Small Business Committee will also participate.

Small Business Committee – In addition to participating in the April 19 event, our Small Business Committee will meet on April 25th to develop a plan to solicit more input specifically from small businesses in the region.

Past Chairs – Past Chairmen and Chairwomen of the Chamber will gather on May 1 for a focus group so that we can solicit their unique perspective on Project Wichita discussion questions.

Diversity & Inclusion – Participants from last year’s Diversity & Inclusion listening tour will be invited to a focus group on May 14 and then encouraged to host focus groups with those within their own networks.

Regional Partners – The Chamber is leading a focus group on May 16 in Newton for input from  representatives of area Chambers and Economic Development groups.

Leadership Wichita Alumni – A date for an alumni focus group is being targeted and Leadership Wichita is also working with USD 259 to train high school students as facilitators for classroom focus group sessions.

YPW – Our affiliate, the Young Professionals of Wichita, will host three focus group sessions. Two will be scheduled on area college campuses to ensure participation at the collegiate level.

I look forward to sharing more information with you about this important visioning process as the year progresses.

YPW hires Ulises Gonzalez

Ulises Gonzalez has joined YPW as the Program Coordinator.

By Dara Quastad 

Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) is excited to announce Ulises Gonzalez has been hired as the Program Coordinator. Ulises was previously the Director of the Hispanic College Institute and the Student Leader of Inclusion & Diversity Excellence at Fort Hays State University. While at Fort Hayes, he served as the Student Body President from June 2015 to May 2016. He also has held positions at Hays Public School District and at the Broadmoor Hotel.

Ulises is a 2017 graduate of Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism & Hospitality Management and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management.

In his new role, Ulises will oversee event and program management for YPW, manage and coach volunteers, and support membership onboarding and engagement. Ulises says that he loves Wichita because the city “embraces an inclusive community that celebrates diversity, supporting people from different backgrounds. It makes people feel like they belong, just like it did with me.”

He officially joined YPW Monday, February 19.

On Valentine’s Day (and every day), we love our interns

Written by Dara Quastad and Emma Meyer

We love our interns: Dara Quastad and Emma Meyer!

Our team has grown by two, as Dara Quastad and Emma Meyer have joined the Chamber as marketing interns.

Dara Quastad is working with Young Professional of Wichita (YPW) as their communications and marketing intern. Born and raised in McPherson, Dara has spent the past four years at Sterling College and will graduate in May with a Bachelors in Public Relations. She is a member of Pi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate Organization, a published author in the 2017 manuscript of top speeches by the Interstate Oratorical Association, and a representative and member of the Sterling College Forensic and Debate team. After graduation, Dara plans to stay in the Wichita area and pursue a career in public relations. As somewhat of an outsider to Wichita, she will bring a unique perspective that will be helpful when teamed up with individuals from the area. When asked about the her internship, Dara replied, “I am thrilled to join the YPW team and begin working with volunteers, as I share YPW’s passion for Wichita and all this city has to offer.” Dara officially joined YPW on January 30.

Emma Meyer, a senior at Valley Center High School, is contributing to the Chamber’s marketing and communications department. At school, Emma is involved in many different activities including softball, Letter Women’s Club, National Honors Society, Women’s Choir, and many more. Emma is also a part of Valley Center High School’s Internship Program, which brings her to the Chamber. When asked about her internship, Emma replied, “I am excited about my internship at the Wichita Chamber so I can learn more about business and marketing, which will help me decide what I would like to pursue as a career.” Emma joined the Chamber on January 16 and will be here through May. Next year she plans to attend Kansas State University.

Both Dara and Emma are receiving school credit for their time at the Chamber. In Dara’s case, this internship will earn the final credits for her degree. Please join us in welcoming them both to the Chamber!

Recipients of Uncommon Citizen and Exceptional Young Leader Awards Announced

Clay Bastian (left) and Clark Bastian (right) have been named the Chamber’s 2018 Uncommon Citizens.

Clark Bastian, chairman and chief executive officer of Fidelity Bank, and his brother Clay Bastian, chairman of Fidelity Financial Corporation, are the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Uncommon Citizens. The native Wichitans and third-generation bankers will be recognized at the 55th annual Honors Night celebration on Thursday, April 26.

Established in 1974, the Uncommon Citizen is the Chamber’s most prestigious individual award. It recognizes those who, by their individual efforts year after year, have made uncommon contributions to the people and institutions of Wichita and the surrounding area. Recipients are honored not only for their role in business but for their participation in cultural, civic, social and philanthropic activities.

Since joining his family’s business in 1980, Clay has been a catalyst of the Bank’s success, providing key oversight in everything from product development to investment portfolio management. As chairman of Fidelity Financial Corporation, the holding company of Fidelity Bank and its subsidiaries, Clay manages Fidelity’s real estate entities, debt securities and other investments. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he is actively involved in several community organizations, including Salvation Army of Wichita, St. James Episcopal Church, Downtown Wichita and Wichita Festivals, Inc.

Under Clark’s leadership as chairman and chief executive officer, Fidelity Bank has surpassed $2 billion in assets and employs more than 450 people in Kansas and Oklahoma. A graduate of Wichita State University, Clark has contributed his time and talents to a variety of civic and charitable organizations. Currently, Clark serves on the boards of the Wichita Community Foundation (chairman) and the Wichita State University Foundation. He recently completed two terms of service on the Ulrich Advisory Board for Wichita State University.

The Chamber has been the beneficiary of the Bastian family’s leadership dating back to Clark and Clay’s father, Marvin, who served as the Chamber Chairman in 1976 and was honored as the 1995 Uncommon Citizen. Clark has served two terms on the Chamber board (2000-2002 and 2007-2009).

Christina Long has been selected as the Chamber’s 2018 Exceptional Young Leader.

Christina Long, owner and principal consultant of CML Collective, is the Chamber’s 2018 Exceptional Young Leader. Established just last year, the award provides premiere recognition of extraordinary young talent who have a history of demonstrated leadership within their job and philanthropic involvement.

A graduate of Wichita State University, Christina has more than 15 years of experience in the field of communication and design. Dedicated to the Wichita community, she serves as the historian for Wichita Urban Professionals; as President/Chief Executive of the Create Campaign, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to helping urban entrepreneurs to launch, innovate and excel; as a leader of NetWork Kansas’ Wichita Urban E-Community; and a board member of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement of the remaining Honors Night recipients are forthcoming. Reservations for Honors Night may be made online. For tickets and additional information, visit wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or call 316-268-1123.

Member Minute with Profile by Sanford Health

Member Minute profiles are meant to highlight Chamber member businesses in a format that can be read in a few minutes.
You may have heard about weight management program Profile by Sanford from their advertisements in local media. But did you know that all of the people in their advertisements feature real people who have found success with their program, not paid actors? We sat down with Certified Profile Coach Sam Schaefer (pictured) to learn more about the business and how they can help Wichita businesses.

Please tell us a little bit about your company.
Profile is a weight management program using coaching, technology and meal replacements to help our members lose weight and keep it off. Profile was developed in 2012 by physicians at Sanford Health; one of the country’s largest healthcare not-for-profit healthcare systems. Profile Wichita has 7 Profile Coaches who support over 500 members as they push toward their nutrition, activity and lifestyle goals. Our mission is to change lives one relationship at a time.

Why did you join the Chamber?
Joining the Chamber was a “no-brainer” and is the perfect way to add value to the Wichita business community. The most valuable part is having instant access to people and businesses in Wichita who need our services and we need theirs.

What is the best thing about doing business in the Wichita area?
I think the best thing about doing business here in Wichita is the ease of networking and abundant business growth opportunities. News travels fast in Wichita and we’re looking to deepen our roots in this city.

Describe your business’ most recent success.
Here in Wichita, our coaches and customized coaching experiences have helped our members lose over 9,000lb. Profile was recently named #60 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top New 500 Franchises for 2017 and we’ve helped over 100,000 people lose a collective 1 million pounds.

To what do you attribute your success?
Profile’s success can be traced back to our physician advisory board, education and leadership team, but most importantly our coaches. Profile coaches are the heartbeat of our company. They build relationships with our members and are invested in their success.

What is your favorite Chamber event, program, or service?
Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) is one of my favorite Chamber programs. I look back to when I first joined YPW and the connections I made five years ago – fast forward to now, and I’m still in contact with them and our companies do business together.

What is something people may not know about you or your business?
Profile by Sanford is a not-for-profit and our revenue goes back to Sanford Health to support the research and development of cures for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other life-threatening health conditions.

What has Chamber membership brought to you and your business?
Chamber membership has opened a lot of doors for Profile. The networking, business development, volunteering and community engagement opportunities are endless.

Where do you see your organization in five years?
Profile will grow from the current 30 locations to over 60 in the next 3 years, some of which will expand into Canada. Here in Wichita, I see ourselves opening a 2nd location to provide more value to our current and future east-side members.

What about your business/organization are you most passionate?
My aim is to coach our members to their weight loss goal, but through education and lifestyle modification they’ll be able to maintain their weight loss for a lifetime.

Favorite business book?
The MomShift by Reva Seth. Women share their stories of career success after having children.

Complete this sentence: “When a customer walks into my business, they can expect…”
…an extremely high level of customer service. Don’t be surprised if your coach greets with you a smile and a handshake, asks about your kids’ last basketball tournament, and helps you carry your food to your car. It’s just part of our culture.

Is your company involved in any community/civic activities?
We have partnered with area school districts, small businesses and large corporations to provide a free comprehensive wellness program. We have also joined the Greater Wichita YMCA in raising funds to support their Strong Communities Campaign.

Is there anything else you would like to include?
Coaches can work with individuals with various health considerations and children as young as 8 years old (with a physician referral). Profile has also expanded to include a performance line of products and the knowledge to build meal plans to support athletes and active adults.

You can find Profile by Sanford Health in Wichita at 2616 N. Maize Rd., or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Would your company or organization like to be featured in a Member Minute profile? Just send your request or nomination to Courtney Sendall

Do nonprofits benefit from Chamber membership?

The answer is a resounding yes. And the business community definitely benefits from interacting with and supporting nonprofits who are providing needed services for the region. Your Chamber currently consists of 179 nonprofit members and seven of our board members represent nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits use Chamber membership to increase community awareness, develop professional staff and improve operations.

One of our new nonprofit members recently asked for some tips for maximizing her organization’s Chamber membership so that she could connect with other Chamber members who “are looking to do some community givebacks through sponsorships or donate their time.” Here are the tips we shared with her:

  • List your upcoming events on our Community Calendar. Do you have an upcoming fundraiser or community event? Log in to the Members Only page of the website to list your upcoming events on the Chamber’s Community Calendar, and receive FREE promotion in our weekly digital newsletter. You’ll find the Community Calendar on our website. For instructions on how to post events, and your login credentials, contact nrobinson@wichitachamber.org.

    Envision participated in the Social Services Nonprofit Showcase at the December Sunrise Scrambler in 2016.

  • Plan a table display for our December 6 Sunrise Scrambler—Social Services Nonprofit Showcase.
    The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to devote to elevating the visibility of our social service nonprofit members and the way they improve our community. Follow this link for more information about how to get your organization’s mission in front of 160 breakfast attendees. There’s no charge for your organization’s table display and it comes with one complimentary attendee registration. The deadline for Social Services Scrambler participants is Wednesday, Nov. 22.
  • Offer a discount. Are you selling tickets to an event or fundraiser? Chamber members can offer a discount and publicize products and services to other Chamber members on the Chamber website. Your online coupon includes a link to your website. For instructions on how to utilize this benefit, and your Members Only page login credentials, contact nrobinson@wichitachamber.org.
  • Attend and participate in Chamber events. It’s all about relationships, so it’s definitely worth the time and effort you put into participating in events and committees. This is a great way to seek out new members for your Board, promote your events, find volunteers and sponsorships. Two of our nonprofit members received funding last month from one of our members as a direct result of discussions and business card exchanges at Chamber events. Our for-profit members often base their community givebacks on the relationships they’ve established. Some Chamber events do have an admission charge, but there are also free events like the Business Exchange, Small Business Owner Roundtable for your CEO or Board President to attend. You can also attend our B2B trade show called Exposure on September 28th for Free. Better yet, purchase a low-cost tabletop to display at Exposure, and give out materials about your organization’s mission. Visit our website to subscribe to our newsletter to see all of our upcoming events.

    Chamber President and CEO Gary Plummer attended a Milestone event for Wichita’s Littlest Heroes in July.

  • Request assistance with a Milestone Event. If you have started a new non-profit, if you are moving to a new location, celebrating an expansion or re-brand, our staff will assist you with planning a promotion of a Member Milestone event such as a Ribbon Cutting or Open House.
  • Connect with our Young Professionals group.  Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) can be a resource for your organization in three major ways: 1) providing connection to ambitious young leaders through our Board Placement Program; 2) providing leadership and professional development opportunities for your young employees through membership at a discounted rate; and 3) promoting your events and volunteer needs through the community calendar. For more information, contact YPW Program Coordinator Alejo Cabral at 316-268-1171 or via email.
  • Submit a Member Minute profile. Help our members to get to know you and understand your mission and services. There’s no cost to participate and your profile will be published on our Chamber blog. A link to that blog post will be published in our weekly digital newsletter which has 4,500 subscribers. Contact Courtney Sendall at the Chamber for the questionnaire you’ll need to complete so that we can feature your organization.
  • Connect with us on Social Media. We utilize Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  We utilize all three channels to keep you updated on relevant issues and events.

    Jennifer Keller of KPTS recently added the #ILoveWichita decal to the station’s front door.

  • Add the #ILOVEWICHITA decal to your organization’s front door. This is an easy way to familiarize the Chamber’s social media followers with where you’re located and how the community benefits from your services. Just let us know the date/time that works for you and we’ll bring out a decal and take a quick video of you applying it and giving us a sentence or two about why you love being part of the Wichita community. We’ll post it on our social media accounts. Some of our nonprofit members who have participated include KPTS, Alzheimer’s Association and ICTSOS. Contact Courtney Sendall at the Chamber to schedule a decal application.

We look forward to working with you!

 

 

 

Chamber’s Inclusion Strategy Featured in Wichita Eagle Insert

2017 Chamber Chairman Scott Schwindaman provides an update on this year’s strategic priorities in our six-page quarterly insert that published today in The Wichita Eagle.

Our six-page newsletter is published quarterly in The Wichita Eagle to update the entire community about how we are fulfilling our mission and vision. The two front-page stories in today’s edition of the newspaper insert share information about our Diversity and Inclusion priority and how the Chamber is leveraging our regional strength to advocate for business in Topeka.

Be sure to pick up a copy of today’s insert so you’ll know–

  • Which 15 Chamber members to congratulate on their important milestones
  • Who will begin leading our Government Relations team on May 1
  • Which 31 new organizations we’ve welcomed to the Chamber since December
  • How your generous Centennial Campaign contributions are being used
  • Which Chamber Board members are leading each of our four strategic priorities
  • Who to congratulate on graduating from this year’s YPW Leadership Academy
  • How to register for April and May networking events

You may also read and share the insert by following this link to our website.

Contact us if you need additional printed copies of the insert for you team or for your recruitment materials. Our next insert publishes on Thursday, June 29.

Eight-time World Cup Medalist Will Inspire YPs

Eight-time World Cup Medalist and Paralympic Snowboarder Nicole Roundy is the keynote speaker for the Kansas YP Summit.

The inspirational theme of the 2017 Kansas Young Professionals (YP) Summit is Ad Astra – a Latin phrase meaning “to the stars.” And keynote speaker Nicole Roundy will provide attendees with plenty of motivation to reach upward as she shares her personal story of overcoming adversity to achieve her goals.

Roundy rocketed to fame as a World Cup Medalist and member of the U.S. Paralympic Snowboard Team after losing her right leg to cancer. She’ll share her thoughts on how to set and attain personal and professional goals at the day-long event that is scheduled for Friday, May 5 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Chamber’s affiliate, the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW), is hosting the event at the Hyatt Regency Wichita. This is the eighth statewide Summit and the second time it has been held in Wichita.

The event is aimed at young professionals who want to develop their professional skills, connect with others and learn new ways to channel their passion for revitalizing their communities.

Look for images from last year’s event and registration information in the Thursday, March 16, edition of The Wichita Eagle. Or follow this link and register before April 16 to receive discounted pricing.

Follow the 2017 Kansas YP Summit on Twitter – @ypkansas or Facebook – @KSYPSummit.
Follow Nicole Roundry on Twitter – @NicoleRoundy, Instagram – @nroundy and Facebook – Nicole Roundy.

YPW announces 2017 Leadership Academy class

YPW_leadership_finalPlease join us in congratulating the 25 area young professionals who have been selected to participate in the 2017 Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) Leadership Academy, a leadership development program for young professionals who are interested in growing their leadership capabilities. Leadership Academy participants were nominated for the class by members of the community and then completed an application, which was reviewed by a selection committee.

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

Suzy Finn is the Executive Director of the Young Professionals of Wichita.

Suzy Finn is the Executive Director of the Young Professionals of Wichita.

“YPW’s unique leadership program is designed by YPs for YPs,” said YPW Executive Director Suzy Finn. “Our hope is that this class will learn as much from each other as they will from the experts they’ll hear from. We believe the broad range of industries, sectors, years of experience, roles, and backgrounds represented will be key to making that possible. Wichita’s future is bright with individuals like these excited to learn more about their role in leadership.”

2017 Leadership Academy Participants:

  • Alyssa Peppiatt, BKD, LLP
  • Ann Marie Siegwarth, Envision, Inc.
  • Ashley Lunkenheimer, Wesley Medical Center
  • Branden McLaughlin, CrossFirst Bank
  • Chloe Stevenson, Apples & Arrows
  • Cyle Barnwell, BELT Leasing
  • Destiny Pello, Emprise Bank
  • James Holland, Westar Energy
  • James Nixon, Airbus Americas Engineering, Inc.
  • Jenna Reid (Kramer), Sullivan Higdon & Sink
  • Jennifer McDonald, CCH, A Wolters Kluwer Business
  • Jessica Long, Delta Dental of Kansas, Inc.
  • Jessie Rainey, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Kristen Zemanick, Koch Industries, Inc.
  • Kyle Womacks, Emprise Bank
  • Lauren Clary, Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A.
  • Mary Hetherington, Wichita Community Foundation
  • Matt Spahn, Martin Pringle Oliver Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P.
  • Megan Lovely, City of Wichita
  • Mike Heldstab, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran
  • Rachel Sweet, Via Christi Health
  • Ravon Kirkendoll, BG Products, Inc.
  • Shannon Vande Brake, Textron Aviation Inc.
  • Steven Suellentrop, Legacy Bank
  • Teddy Farias, Wichita Area Technical College

Entrepreneurship changes lives

"Team Wichita" prepares to hit the stage for the evenings event.

“Team Wichita” prepares to take to the stage for the evening’s event. From left to right: Scott Schwindaman, Christina Long, Barry Schwan, Gary Plummer, Angie Elliott, Rachel Douglass, Trevor Crotts and Miguel Johns.

Enthusiastic entrepreneurs from as far away as Joplin, MO, attended the Chamber’s  Annual Meeting last night to hear our keynote speaker and entrepreneurial expert, Daymond John. We’ve heard many favorable comments about his inspirational message, the inclusiveness of the event, and the showcasing of so many talented young entrepreneurs during the networking portion of the evening and on stage.

Our thanks to our dedicated sponsors who recognize the value of expanding and promoting Wichita’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. And our special thanks to all who attended and demonstrated to local entrepreneurs that Wichita wants to provide more opportunities for local innovators.

Some of our favorite tweets from the event are shared below and you’ll also find links to the videos that were shown last night, the Wichita Eagle’s coverage by Dan Voorhis and images from the evening.

VideosSponsors, Wichita Chamber:  Activation, Incubation & Acceleration,
Wichita Eagle storyWichitans have no problem swimming in the ‘Shark Tank’
Facebook Album2016 Annual Meeting with Daymond John

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