By Barry Schwan
2016 Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors
Owner, House of Schwan, Inc.
Accelerating entrepreneurship and economic opportunities across our region is imperative to accomplishing the Chamber’s mission and vision. If you’ve followed the work of Wichita native and economic analyst James Chung (thechungreport.com), you’ve heard him outline the four challenges facing Wichita. As part of the Entrepreneurship Challenge, Chung has challenged Wichita to “move the needle” and grow entrepreneurship in our region.
The Chamber has always played a key role in driving innovation and improving our entrepreneurial ecosystem. And our 2016 Annual Meeting speaker will undoubtedly energize and inspire those developing new opportunities for our region. I’m pleased to announce that Daymond John, one of the most sought after entrepreneurial experts in the country, is speaking at our December 1 Annual Meeting. He will also be interacting on stage with local entrepreneurs.
As one of the stars of ABC’s Emmy-winning Shark Tank series, Daymond John has invested more than $8 million to date with 61 entrepreneurs across the country. And while he certainly understands the importance of venture capital investments, his most recent book also champions the “power of broke” and the necessity of creativity, authenticity, substance and passion in successful entrepreneurial ventures.
Known as “the people’s Shark” on the Shark Tank series, he’s developed a reputation for championing the underdogs on the show and helping them move their business models to the next level. An innovator, angel investor, television personality, author and motivational speaker, Daymond John is also a U.S. Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship.
Please plan to join me on December 1. And more importantly, please extend an invitation to the entrepreneurs, the innovators and the dreamers in your organization or company to join you. We must all be relentlessly fostering and encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation so that Wichita becomes synonymous with economic opportunity.