Top 3 Moments from Honors Night 2017

By Courtney Sendall
Marketing & Communications Manager

Each year when Honors Night concludes, I think, “This year was the best yet.” And while I have only attended 5 of the 54 Honors Night celebrations, this one was no exception because the Honors Night Committee once again selected highly deserving individuals and organizations to recognize in front of 665 members of the business community.

This year’s honorees included Dawson Grimsley, Chris Callen, Foley Equipment Company, Conco Construction, Howard+Helmer, and the Wichita Art Museum Art Garden. (Click the links to view the videos played at the event <<< you want to watch the videos.)

                                                                2017 Honorees

In no particular order, here are my favorite moments from Honors Night 2017, all of which left me feeling energized and excited about the future of Wichita.

  1. Howard+Helmer unveiling their new brand: Alloy Architecture
    At the conclusion of the video highlighting Over the Years award recipient Howard+Helmer, Principal Dave White announced he had some exciting news to share with the Honors Night attendees. After beginning with a restroom remodel project in 1981, their company has significantly contributed to the landscape of Wichita (think MarkArts, WSU’s Rhatigan Student Center & Shocker Hall, and Church of the Magdalen to name a few), and the Chamber was honored that they chose that moment to unveil their new brand: Alloy Architecture. We can’t wait to see what the next 36 years will bring.
  1. Chris Callen accepting the {FIRST} Exceptional Young Leader award
    In his humorous and sincere acceptance speech, Builders Plus CEO Chris Callen credited several people, ranging from his drum line instructor to his parents, for his success. In responding to people who question his motivation for launching GroundWork, a startup hub in his Builders Plus office, he says this: “I want to live in, I want to do business in, and I want to prosper in a great city. Period. That’s my dream.” Chris’ “doing something” attitude is something we should all emulate to make Wichita better than it was yesterday. Watch Chris’ Honors Night video here and view a live stream of his touching acceptance speech on the Young Professionals of Wichita Facebook page.
  1. Dawson Grimsley on giving back, texting and driving, and Fords
    I briefly introduced myself to Dawson at the Honors Night rehearsal on Monday afternoon, and when I saw him on Tuesday evening, he shook my hand and said, “Nice to see you again. It’s Courtney, right?” Working at the Chamber, I have the wonderful opportunity to meet a lot people, but it’s rare that they remember my name upon second meeting (and I’m guilty as well). So I was a Dawson fan even before seeing his Honors Night video and hearing his acceptance speech.

    In his video, he spoke about the responsibility that business owners have to support charitable organizations and pointed out that the more money you make, the more money you can give away (love that theory!). The video was also sprinkled with clips from the Davis-Moore PSAs that he became known for, and he delivered a live PSA during his acceptance speech when he urged audience members not to text and drive. From the stage, Dawson told Chris Callen that he seemed like a great guy, aside from the Ford truck he drives, but promised to make him a great deal when he visits Davis-Moore to trade it in.

Again, I encourage you to check out all of the honoree videos at the links above, and you can view photos from the event on the Chamber Facebook page.

I’d love to hear what your favorite moments from the night were, so tweet your comments to @ChamberWichita.

Local Awards to Celebrate Local Honorees

By Rachel Douglass
Manager of Membership & Engagement

The Chamber’s annual Honors Night celebrates an outstanding individual, exemplary corporate citizens, exceptional commitments to the community, and striking architectural achievements. Each honor is bestowed in recognition of a unique contribution to the enhancement of our community.

The event is a tradition started more than 50 years ago in 1963. New this year, though, will be the honorees’ awards. For the 2017 Honors Night, three local glassblowers were commissioned to create awards for our six honorees (listed below). Bob Adams, Chad Droegemeier and Robin Lies are glass blowing instructors at Chamber Member CityArts. They not only agreed to assist in the creation of the awards, but they plan to use the award proceeds to purchase new blow pipes and wooden blocks for CityArts.

Chad Droegemeier works to create one of the awards that will presented at Honors Night on April 11.

“This was a great opportunity for us to partner with the Chamber on a long-standing Wichita program, while also giving back to a studio that offers so much to Wichita’s art scene,” said Robin Lies, General Manager of Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design (also a Chamber member).

“As a Chamber that strives to celebrate Wichita pride, it felt like a natural decision to recognize our Wichita honorees with locally-made awards,” said Angie Elliott, Vice President of Membership & Engagement. Glass blown awards will also be presented to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Small Business Awards recipients this May.

Honors Night 2017 will be held Tuesday, April 11, at Textron Aviation Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling 265-7771.

The 2017 Honors Night recipients are as follows:

  • Uncommon Citizen: Dawson Grimsley of Davis-Moore Auto Group
  • Exceptional Young Leader: Chris Callen of Builders Plus Construction
  • Spirit of Wichita: Foley Equipment Company
  • Over the Years: Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture
  • Keeper of the Plains: Wichita Art Museum Art Garden

    Robin Lies is the general manager of Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design and a glass blowing instructor at CityArts.

Chris Callen to be honored as Chamber’s first Exceptional Young Leader

Chris Callen, CEO of Builders Plus Construction and Grit Virtual, is the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s first Exceptional Young Leader. He will be recognized at the annual Honors Night celebration on Tuesday, April 11.

In honor of the Chamber’s Centennial year, the Exceptional Young Leader award is being added to the lineup of traditional Honors Night awards. Its purpose is to provide premiere recognition of extraordinary young talent through service to community and noteworthy accomplishments. Future recipients will have a history of demonstrated leadership within their job and philanthropic involvement.

A graduate of Maize High School and the University of Kansas, Chris assumed the role of CEO at his parents’ business, Builders Plus Construction, in 2013. Since that time, the company has brought high-tech to the construction industry through the use of virtual reality, which led to the launch of a new division of Builders Plus (Grit Virtual) earlier this month. The company has seen four years of record revenue with Chris at the helm and was one of our 2016 Small Business Awards finalists.

An entrepreneur himself, Chris is passionate about supporting start-up companies in Wichita. When Builders Plus relocated to downtown Wichita, he dedicated 2,200 square feet of space to GroundWork – A Startup Hub for start-up companies to reside. Currently, five companies and three freelancers are utilizing the space.

In addition to his professional accolades, Chris serves the community through involvement on several nonprofit boards, including the Arthritis Foundation, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the Associated General Contractors of Kansas. He also acts as a mentor for the e2e Accelerator and is a member of Young Professionals of Wichita.

Formerly announced Honors Night award recipients include:

  • Uncommon Citizen: Dawson Grimsley
  • Spirit of Wichita: Foley Equipment Company
  • Over the Years: Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture.
  • Keeper of the Plains: Wichita Art Museum Art Garden.

Please join us in congratulating Chris and all the other 2017 honorees!

Reservations for Honors Night may be made online. For tickets and additional information, visit wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or call 316-268-1123.

Dawson Grimsley to be honored as 2017 Uncommon Citizen

Dawson Grimsley

Dawson Grimsley, retired President and Owner of Davis-Moore Auto Group, is the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Uncommon Citizen. He will be recognized at the annual Honors Night celebration on Tuesday, April 11.

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.

Grimsley spent his entire career with the Davis-Moore Auto Group team, purchasing the dealership in 2001, when he became president and majority owner. A well-known community philanthropist, he used his company’s advertising channels over the years to highlight the work of a number of local nonprofit organizations. The partnerships he forged with Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way of the Plains, the DUI Impact Center and the Kansas Humane Society, provided needed visibility to their important community services.

His dedication to community safety through television, radio and print advertising campaigns earned Grimsley numerous local, state and national awards during his career. His promotion of safe driving became an integral part of Davis-Moore’s messaging, branding and identity. The safety campaign he initiated continues today under new CEO Sean Tarbell.

Grimsely and his wife, Patty, have four grown children and seven grandchildren. He retired from Davis-Moore on Dec. 31, 2015.

Formerly announced Honors Night award recipients include:

  • Spirit of Wichita: Foley Equipment Company
  • Over the Years: Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture
  • Keeper of the Plains: Wichita Art Museum Art Garden

The announcement of the Exceptional Young Leader award will be forthcoming.

Reservations for Honors Night may be made online. For tickets and additional information, visit wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or call 316-268-1123.

Announcing the recipients of 54th annual Honors Night awards

The Chamber will recognize an outstanding individual, exemplary corporate citizens, exceptional commitments to the community, and a striking architectural achievement at the 2017 Honors Night event on April 11. In addition to the tradition awards of Uncommon Citizen, Spirit of Wichita, Over the Years and Keeper of the Plains, the Exceptional Young Leader award will be given for the first time in the history of the program (recipient to be announced at a later date). This will be the 54th year for the annual event.

The 2017 award recipients are as follows:

Foley EquipementThe recipient of the Spirit of Wichita award is Foley Equipment Company. Established in 2002, this award is given to an organization or not-for-profit organization that received the Over the Years award at least 20 years ago, in recognition of its continued strength of employment, leadership, innovation, and community involvement. Foley Equipment Company won the Over the Years award in 1979.

The two recipients of the Over the Years award are Conco Construction and Howard + Helmer Architecture. The Over the Years award recognizes businesses and institutions with long-standing performances as good corporate citizens and major contributors to the community’s economic well-being; displaying leadership, innovation and community involvement.

Copy of Logo KC+ICTconco construction

 

 

 

 

 

The recipient of the Keeper of the Plains award is the Wichita Art Museum Art Garden. The Keeper of the Plains award recognizes an outstanding architectural achievement completed by a firm, organization or individual, which has contributed to the beauty of our community.2016-wichitaartmuseumRED

The Uncommon Citizen award and Exceptional Young Leader award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.

Honors Night 2017 is presented by Metro Courier, Inc. and will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at Textron Aviation Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are now available for $90 per person or $720 for a table of eight and can be purchased online at wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight.

Formal invitations will be sent to Chamber members, but the general public is also invited to attend.

Sponsorships are still available. Contact Rachel Douglass at 268-1127 for more information.

Marilyn Pauly: 2016 Uncommon Citizen

Pauly, Marilyn_cropMarilyn Pauly, Vice Chairman of Commerce Bank, will be recognized as our 2016 Uncommon Citizen at the annual Honors Night celebration on Thursday, April 7.

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.

Marilyn has dedicated herself to her family, job and the city of Wichita for many years. She began her banking career at the Fourth National Bank and currently fills the role of Vice Chairman at Commerce Bank. A graduate of Wichita State University, she has received numerous business and civic awards and honors.

During her career she has donated countless hours to various local organizations. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Wichita State University Foundation in addition to serving on the following boards:  YMCA of Wichita, United Way of the Plains, Heartspring Foundation and Women of Wichita, Inc.

“Marilyn Pauly’s roots as a trailblazer in business and community affairs go back 47 years, to her first part-time job in banking while she was getting her business degree at WSU,” Wichita State University President John Bardo said. “Her rise to professional prominence has run parallel to her public service contributions, and we benefit today from her leadership of the WSU Foundation Board of Directors and her unstinting support for the university.”

Her love for Wichita is evidenced by her desire to continually give back to the city. “I can’t imagine living anywhere but here,” she said. “The professional opportunities, deep-rooted friendships and philanthropic organizations I’ve been able to engage with are truly immeasurable.”

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

Welcome Rita!

Please help us welcome Rita Malinauskas to the Chamber.

Please help us welcome Rita Malinauskas to the Chamber.

Rita Malinauskas has joined the Business Services team as a Coordinator, working with Chamber Managers Angie Elliott and Holly Landon. She’s been hired to temporarily fill a vacancy left on the team with Jaime Dupy’s promotion earlier this month to Manager of Investor Relations. Angie Elliott said, “Rita joined the Chamber the day before Honors Night (April 21), which is one of our largest events. She didn’t show any hesitation about jumping in and making sure all the details were taken care of for our 710 guests.”

Rita’s first week at the Chamber was a busy one with preparations for a number of spring events underway. She said, “The work is really varied. Everyone has been so welcoming and given me the sense that what we do at the Chamber is important. It’s not just ‘talk’ around here. Everyone believes in what they are doing for our members and that’s been very apparent to me.”

Holly Landon said, “Rita is already connecting people with some of our services. She’s enthusiastic, professional and a quick learner. A great addition to our team.”

Rita earned her BS in Business Administration from the University of Missouri. She most recently worked at Butler Community College in Andover.

Steve Clark to be honored as 2015 Uncommon Citizen

Steve Clark

Steve Clark

Steve Clark of Clark Investment Group is the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Uncommon Citizen and will be recognized at the Honors Night celebration on Tuesday, April 21.

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. These uncommon citizens are honored not only for their role in business but for their participation in cultural, civic, social and philanthropic activities.

At the age of eighteen, Steve became the youngest licensed realtor in Kansas and has since been active in the industry for over forty-five years. Over the course of his career, he has owned and managed more than five million square feet of investment property in more than twenty-five states, with one of his most notable local projects being The Waterfront at 13th Street and Webb Road. Steve is a graduate of Wichita State University and has received numerous business and civic awards and honors. He has donated endless hours to local charities and municipal boards over the years, including serving the Greater Wichita YMCA for over twenty-five years.

“Steve’s long term commitment to real estate and business activities in the Wichita area and across the country made him an apparent choice for the distinguished and highest honor of the Chamber,” said Roger Lowe, member of the Chamber’s Honors Night Committee and Vice President Emeritus at Wichita State University.

Several businesses and organizations will also be recognized at the Honors Night celebration. Each honor is bestowed in recognition of a unique contribution to the enhancement of our community.

The 2015 recipient of the Spirit of Wichita award is Wichita State University. Established in 2002, The Spirit of Wichita Award recognizes businesses or not-for-profit organizations that have previously been given the Over the Years award. The organization’s culture must be basically the same as when it received the Over the Years Award a minimum of 20 years ago with employment, leadership, innovation and community involvement continuing to be strong.

The three 2015 recipients of the Over the Years award are: Meritrust Credit Union; The LDF Companies; and Youth Entrepreneurs. The Over the Years Award recognizes businesses and institutions with long-standing performances as good corporate citizens and major contributors to the community’s economic well-being; displaying leadership, innovation and community involvement.

The 2015 recipient of the Keeper of the Plains award is Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception. The Keeper of the Plains Award recognizes an outstanding architectural achievement completed by a firm, organization or individual, which has contributed to the beauty of our community.

Honors Night 2015 will be held Tuesday, April 21, at Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are now available. The cost is $90 per person or $720 for a table of eight. Sponsorships are still available. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Formal invitations will be sent to Chamber members, but the general public is also invited to attend.

Reservations may be made online. For tickets and additional information, visit wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or call 316-268-1123.

2015 Honors Night recipients announced

Each year, we recognize individual, corporate, and architectural achievement at our Honors Night celebration. The 2015 event will be held on Tuesday, April 21.

“Honors Night celebrates an outstanding individual, exemplary corporate citizens, exceptional commitments to the community, and striking architectural achievements,” said Gary Plummer, President and CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber. “Each honor is bestowed in recognition of a unique contribution to the enhancement of our community.”

The 2015 recipient of the Spirit of Wichita award is Wichita State University. Established in 2002, The Spirit of Wichita Award recognizes businesses or not-for-profit organizations that have previously been given the Over the Years award. The organization’s culture must be basically the same as when it received the Over the Years Award a minimum of 20 years ago with employment, leadership, innovation and community involvement continuing to be strong.

The three 2015 recipients of the Over the Years award are: Meritrust Credit Union; The LDF Companies; and Youth Entrepreneurs. The Over the Years Award recognizes businesses and institutions with long-standing performances as good corporate citizens and major contributors to the community’s economic well-being; displaying leadership, innovation and community involvement.

The 2015 recipient of the Keeper of the Plains award is Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception. The Keeper of the Plains Award recognizes an outstanding architectural achievement completed by a firm, organization or individual, which has contributed to the beauty of our community.

The 2015 recipient of the Uncommon Citizen award will be announced later this month. 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. These uncommon citizens are honored not only for their role in business but for their participation in cultural, civic, social and philanthropic activities.

Honors Night 2015 will be held Tuesday, April 21, at Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central. Tickets are now available for purchase at wichitachamber.org/HonorsNight or by calling 265-7771. Formal invitations will be sent to Chamber members, but the general public is also invited to attend.

Honors Night 2014

Our community has many outstanding individuals and organizations, and the Chamber’s Honors Night recognizes some of the finest, following a tradition started more than 50 years ago.

The program celebrates an outstanding individual, three exemplary corporate citizens, exceptional commitment to the community, and a striking architectural achievement. All of the honors have special meaning because each contributes to the greater well-being of our community.

This year’s celebration will be from 6-9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8 at the Beech Activity Center, and the 2014 honorees are as follows:

Uncommon Citizen | Hale Ritchie, former CEO of Ritchie Corporation and current volunteer for Rainbows United (pictured)
Hale Ritchie
Established in 1974, this award recognizes individuals who have served their community year after year in an extraordinary capacity – making outstanding contributions to the civic and cultural institutions in Wichita.

The Chamber’s most prestigious award, recognizes an individual’s effort not only for their role in business, but for their participation in cultural, civic, social, and philanthropic activities.

Spirit of Wichita | Fidelity Bank
Established in 2002, this award is given to an organization that received the Over the Years award at least 20 years ago, in recognition of its continued strength of employment, leadership, innovation, and community involvement.

Over the Years | Hutton Construction; John T. Arnold Associates, Inc.; Laham Development
This award is given to businesses and organizations that have exhibited a long-standing performance as good corporate citizens and are major contributors to our area’s economic well-being.

Keeper of the Plains | Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA
Recognizes an architectural project which has contributed to the beauty of our community through aesthetic quality; improvement to the physical environment; visibility to the general public; and a well-maintained appearance.

Tickets for this special evening are $90 each or $720 for a corporate table of eight.  REGISTER HERE!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available as well – please contact Holly Landon at hlandon@wichitachamber.org for more information.

Honors Night invite_Front