Chambers cohost Kansas Commerce Secretary

Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soavo met Wichita City Council member Lavonta Williams during the Chamber reception.

Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soavo met Wichita City Council member Lavonta Williams during the Chamber reception held yesterday.

Yesterday the Chamber cohosted an after-work reception with the Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio J. Soave. Soave was appointed to the position by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback late last year. More than one hundred business leaders and elected officials turned out to hear his remarks about the business climate in Kansas.

Soave, who earned a law degree from Michigan State and a master’s in international law from the University of San Diego, spoke eloquently and passionately about the partnerships he’s been establishing with Kansas businesses so that his department can add more value to their export plans. Addressing the group in both English and Spanish, he also talked about his efforts to aggressively recruit new companies to the state and build on current efforts to retain those businesses that are already established here.

Soave said that the Greater Wichita Partnership, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other area chambers are important partners in trade development plans and that he will continue working with them on retention and expansion efforts. He indicated that he is “doubling down” to help Kansas businesses attract new jobs to the state.

While Kansas companies are leaders in a variety of industries, Soave recognized that a competitive environment makes it important to utilize economic development tools to retain companies like Cargill. “Our companies here are resilient,” said Soave and they are known for their “integrity, drive and commitment.”

Photos from yesterday’s event are posted on Facebook. Our thanks to Pioneer Balloon for providing the reception location. Other sponsors included Greater Wichita Partnership, Kansas Global Trade Services, Molino’s Mexican Cuisine and the Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association.

The next Government Relations event is Wednesday, June 1, when U.S. Senator Jerry Moran will speak at a Federal Issue Forum luncheon. Register here.