Leadership Wichita Graduates are Community Game Changers

Clark Bastian is the Chairman and CEO of Fidelity Bank.

Nominations for the Chamber’s 2017 Leadership Wichita program are underway. We’ve asked some area decision makers to weigh in on the benefits of the Leadership Wichita program. This blog post is by Clark Bastian, Fidelity Bank Chairman and CEO.

There are a number of ways you can increase your organization’s visibility and viability. One proven method is to provide your best and brightest employees with new learning experiences and opportunities to connect with their peers. Investing in their growth provides your organization with knowledgeable and respected ambassadors. And retaining the most engaged members of our workforce can change the course of a community.

Leadership Wichita is a highly successful Chamber program designed to inform, connect and inspire active community leaders. It’s an immersive experience that identifies 30 local achievers and then provides them with the tools they need to take increasingly significant roles in the community.

Top area leaders present and interact with the class over the course of nine intensive sessions. They willingly invest their time in the program every year because they see the results. Leadership Wichita graduates can be found leading game-changing initiatives for their companies and their communities.

The nomination process is easy.

  • Look for potential nominees in your own company, professional organizations, and places where you volunteer. Target those who want to make more meaningful contributions to the success of their employers, the business community and the region.
  • Spend two minutes on the Chamber’s website nominating them for Leadership Wichita.

We owe it to the future champions of our region, companies and organizations to equip them with the best possible understanding of the progress being made in our community as well as the challenging areas where we need their talent and energy. Mentoring the next generation of leaders is critical. It clearly demonstrates our confidence in their future contributions and our desire to make them an integral part of our community’s advancement.

Leadership Wichita is a program of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and Wichita Educational Foundation. Nominations are due Friday, June 2.

Leadership Wichita – A Powerful Community Investment

Claudio J. Ferraro is the President of Via Christi Hospital Wichita St. Teresa, Inc.

Nominations for the Chamber’s 2017 Leadership Wichita program are underway. We’ve asked some area decision makers to weigh in on the benefits of the Leadership Wichita program. This blog post is by Claudio Ferraro, President, Via Christi Hospital Wichita St. Teresa, Inc.

Every day we assess the return on investment (ROI) for many aspects of our business, from equipment purchases to employee training. Most employees already have the technical training needed to do their jobs. And many companies offer internal leadership training for those who have demonstrated an aptitude for taking on more responsibility. So why should a local company or organization nominate candidates for Leadership Wichita and invest in that program?

The true value of Leadership Wichita goes beyond refining skills. It’s an opportunity to forge relationships with people across other industries and understand their perspectives. It’s the formation of long-lasting partnerships that strengthen and advance our businesses and organizations. Ultimately, it’s laying an important foundation for the future of our business community and the economic health of our region.

I think it’s quite possible that my own career might have taken a different trajectory if I hadn’t participated in the Leadership Wichita program in 2000. So many of my classmates from that program are now playing important senior leadership roles throughout the community. Michael Grier is the President and CEO at Martin Eby Construction. Debbie Gann is the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at Spirit AeroSystems and was part of the leadership team that led them through their transition from a Boeing facility to Spirit AeroSystems. She was also the 2013 Chair of the Chamber. Richard McCafferty is an owner/officer at Key Construction. The list goes on and on. We share a common bond from our Leadership Wichita experience and I still interact with them in my role at Via Christi.

So when I nominate someone for this program, I’m looking for a candidate who is perceptive enough to understand that they will be doing much more than honing their own leadership skills. They will be learning about the dynamics of the region and building interpersonal connections with people who will eventually become key community leaders and contributors.

The nomination process is easy.

  •  Look for potential nominees in your own company, professional organizations, and places where you volunteer. Target those who want to make more meaningful contributions to the success of their employers, the business community and the region.
  • Spend two minutes on the Chamber’s website nominating them for Leadership Wichita.

The earlier we can identify our future decision makers and help them build relationships with each other, the more quickly we can achieve the maximum return on our investment with better results for our organizations, businesses and community.

Leadership Wichita is a program of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and Wichita Educational Foundation. Nominations are due Friday, June 2.

Introducing our 2016 Leadership Wichita class

Thirty-one Wichita-area citizens have been selected to participate in the 2016 Leadership Wichita class, a leadership training program presented by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. Leadership Wichita participants are identified through a nomination process, followed by submission of a formal application to the program’s Board of Trustees for selection.

“Leadership Wichita provides professionals the training to use their talents and skills to tackle local needs, such as education and economic development,” said Tyler Heffron, Chair of Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees. “Past participants of Leadership Wichita have made significant changes in our community, and this year’s class will graduate equipped with the insight to build upon their professional successes to make Wichita an even better place to work, live and play.”

The 2016 class will participate in eight sessions that cover issues such as economic development and the future vision for Wichita, workforce development and the impact of ensuring a highly educated workforce in our community, the importance of consensus within government, along with building leadership skills through real-life examples, group discussions and collaboration.

The 2016 Leadership Wichita class will begin Thursday, Sept. 8 and will conclude Thursday, Nov. 17.

2016 Leadership Wichita Class

  • Aaron Bastian, Fidelity Bank
  • Shannon Benoit, Wichita Public Schools
  • Laura Bernstorf, Airbus Americas Engineering
  • Vicki Bond, Medical Provider Resources
  • Ann Buckendahl, Via Christi Health
  • Stacey Burke, Sedgwick County Sherriff’s Office
  • Scott Crawford, Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference
  • Heather Denker, Greater Wichita Partnership
  • Katy Dorrah, Mark Arts (formerly Wichita Center for the Arts)
  • Ben Drouhard, Citizens Bank of Kansas
  • Holly Dyer, Foulston Siefkin
  • Ryan Entz, Sasnak Management Corporation
  • James Finkeldei, Catholic Diocese of Wichita
  • Mandy Fleming, Youth Entrepreneurs
  • Clark Goetzinger, Westar Energy
  • Josh Herrman, Hutton Construction
  • Troy Houtman, City of Wichita
  • Kevin Hunt, Spirit AeroSystems
  • Diane Iseman, INTRUST Bank
  • Tracy Lucas, High Touch Technologies
  • Lindsay Poe Rousseau, Sedgwick County
  • Alicia Sanchez, Wichita State University
  • Nicole Schaar, Bank SNB
  • Mallory Schwan, House of Schwan
  • Carmen Simon-Phillips, SJCF Architecture
  • Kent Simpson, KCoe Isom
  • Greg Unruh, Wichita Area Technical College
  • Bradley Warzeka, Cargill Meat Solutions
  • Leslie Wessel, J.P. Weigand & Sons Wessel Team Home Sales
  • Ken White, Howerton + White
  • Col. Vonda Wigal, Kansas Air National Guard

Please join us in congratulating this year’s class!

The 2015 Leadership Wichita class heard from Wichita entrepreneur & Freddy's Frozen Custard co-founder Scott Redler.

The 2015 Leadership Wichita class heard from Wichita entrepreneur & Freddy’s Frozen Custard co-founder Scott Redler.

Tyler Heffron covers the Leadership Wichita selection process

Nominations for the Chamber’s 2016 Leadership Wichita class are underway. This is the third post in a three-part series with answers to questions about the program. See Monday’s blog post for answers to questions 1-3 by 1999 Leadership Wichita graduate Tammy Allen. Questions 4-6 were answered in yesterday’s post by 2003 Leadership Wichita graduate Denise Sherman. Leadership Wichita graduate Tyler Heffron answers questions 7-10 below.

Tyler E. Heffron, an  Attorney with  Triplett, Woolf & Garretson, LLC is a 2008  Leadership Wichita graduate and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Tyler E. Heffron is an
Attorney with
Triplett, Woolf & Garretson, LLC. He is a 2008
Leadership Wichita graduate and the 2016 Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

  1. How much time does the program require and what topics will be covered? The class meets nine times and the program runs between September 8 and November 17. Eight of those sessions are day-long events. The program is so engaging and fun that it’s over before you know it, and you’ll leave invigorated about the Wichita area. There are three additional outside class activities related to media, government, and caring community. The program topics include:
  • The Strategic Wichita Vision
  • Working Partnerships with Media
  • An Education Responsibility
  • The Business of Government
  • Making Development Happen
  • Simulated Society
  • Shaping a Caring Community
  1. Who selects the Leadership Wichita class and when will the 2016 class be announced? Members of the 2016 Board of Trustees are responsible for the class selection process, and they each dedicate a significant amount of time to ensure the class of participants is diverse and balanced. Applicants who aren’t accepted the first time they apply are encouraged to apply again the following year. The 2016 Leadership Wichita class will be announced August 5.
  1. Who oversees the program? Suzy Finn, Director of Community Advancement for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, works with the Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees to organize the program and to select timely and topical speakers and session materials.
  1. Who makes up the Board of Trustees? Every Leadership Wichita class selects one representative on the Board of Trustees. Other members of the Board are selected by the Chamber and Board Chair from the list of distinguished program alumni. The 13-member Board has a number of responsibilities, including assisting with the logistics of the program, identifying trending topics and issues for inclusion in the sessions, and securing speakers. Board members typically serve a three-year term. Our 2016 Board is listed below:

Tyler Heffron – 2016 Chair
Attorney – Partner
Triplett, Woolf & Garreston, LLC

Ryan Bond
Director, Brand and People Experience
Sasnak Management Corporation

Dennis Clary
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
Cox Communications

John DeCesaro
Vice President and Marketing Manager
Fidelity Bank

Claudio Ferraro
Sr. Administrator and Chief of Staff
Via Christi Health

Bobby Gandu
Director of Admissions
Wichita State University

Katie Grover
Senior Vice President and Marketing Director
Fidelity Bank

Christina House
Project Operations Lead & Risk Officer
Airbus Americas Engineering

Chris Howell
President, Western Kansas Region
UMB Bank, N.A.

Wendy Johnson
Division Director, Marketing and Communications
Wichita Public Schools

Mark Manning
Budget and Research Director
City of Wichita

Gabe Schlickau
Owner
State Farm Agency – Schlickau

Don Sherman
VP, Community Relations & Strategic Partnerships
Westar Energy

Leadership Wichita nominations are due June 10, and should be submitted electronically at wichitachamber.org/leadershipwichita. Nominees will then be forwarded an application to complete and submit by June 22.

Denise Sherman on the value of investing and participating in Leadership Wichita

Denise Sherman- MSOD, PHR is the  Director of Organizational Partnerships with  Southwestern College and a 2003 Leadership Wichita graduate

Denise Sherman- MSOD, PHR is the
Director of Organizational Partnerships with
Southwestern College and a 2003 Leadership Wichita graduate

Nominations for the Chamber’s 2016 Leadership Wichita class are underway. This is the second post in a three-part series about the program. See yesterday’s blog for answers to questions 1-3 by 1999 Leadership Wichita graduate Tammy Allen. Questions 4-6 below are answered by 2003 Leadership Wichita graduate Denise Sherman.

  1. How can I make the Leadership Wichita experience happen for someone I know? Consider nominating someone from your business circle who has the potential for expanding current leadership roles. Or consider a leader within your area of influence who has demonstrated their commitment to our community through their awareness about issues facing Wichita and the surrounding area. What makes the Leadership Wichita program most impactful is the different perspectives represented by a diverse class of participants. Nominations are due June 10, and should be submitted electronically at wichitachamber.org/leadershipwichita. Nominees will then be forwarded an application to complete and submit by June 22.
  1. How many are accepted into each class and what’s the cost to participate? Placement in this leadership program is highly coveted and I’m sure many past participants will agree that the experience exceeded their expectations! We receive 50 to 80 applications every year, with a maximum of 30 achievers selected for the class. I didn’t make the class with my first application, but was selected my second time around. It was well worth the effort of reapplying, as my experience provided many opportunities to connect and serve in leadership capacities. In my opinion, the $750 tuition is a small investment in your leadership development. Don’t let the fee hold you back. Limited financial assistance is available!
  1. Are there age or regional limitations for applicants? In order to engage in a meaningful experience and ensure a diverse class, there aren’t any age limits. In addition, Leadership Wichita is inclusive of our surrounding area, so applications outside of the immediate metro area are also welcomed. One must be a Kansas resident, but consideration is given to eliminate duplication of industries and/or companies within the each selected class.

Watch for the final blog post in our three-part series that publishes tomorrow.
May 18Tyler Heffron, a 2008 Leadership Wichita graduate, covers session topics and the selection process for the 2016 Leadership Wichita class.

Leadership Wichita nominations are due June 10, and should be submitted electronically. Nominees will then be forwarded an application to complete and submit by June 22.

Tammy Allen on what differentiates Leadership Wichita from other programs

Nominations for the Chamber’s 2016 Leadership Wichita class opened today. Three Leadership Wichita graduates are answering questions about the program this week on the Chamber’s blog. Tammy Allen, a 1999 Leadership Wichita graduate, is our first guest blogger.

  1. Tammy Allen V.P. of Marketing & Communications Allen, Gibbs & Houlik 1999 Leadership Wichita graduate

    Tammy Allen is the 
    V.P. of Marketing & Communications for 
    Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, LC
    and a 1999 Leadership Wichita graduate.

    Who is the ideal nominee for Leadership Wichita? Anyone who wants a broader AND deeper view of and role in our community would be a great fit for Leadership Wichita. It’s like getting the inside view of what makes our region work. Think about people you know who have a true passion for Wichita and who want to learn and get insight directly from business and government leaders about the community’s success. Think about people who have already stepped into community volunteer or leadership roles. Are they willing to focus their energy and talents to help push our community to grow and improve? If so, we need them in the next Leadership Wichita class. Nominate them by June 10 and urge them to complete the application form by June 22.

  1. Why should I nominate someone for the 2016 Leadership Wichita class? Two reasons: The community wins and the Leadership Wichita class members win. Leadership Wichita is one of the ways we grow future community leaders and help ensure our community’s success. Connecting energetic and committed leaders to others who share their passion and to more experienced regional leaders paves the way to helping people understand how economic growth and community advancement happens. We need to constantly grow the network of experienced leaders who understand how to collaborate to resolve issues and make change and growth possible. In return for their role in Leadership Wichita, class members grow their network, learn new skills, and deepen their understanding of Wichita’s challenges as well as the initiatives to solve them. They’ll graduate with a clearer focus on how and where their volunteer efforts can contribute to Wichita’s success.
  1. How does Leadership Wichita differ from other leadership programs?Interactivity – In Leadership Wichita, it’s not just a classroom lecture. Great speakers and interactive and engaging role-playing help class members learn skills ranging from how to handle a media interview to how to help resolve conflict. For me and for many graduates, the highlight and most eye-opening experience is riding an evening shift with a police officer, sheriff’s officer or firefighter to learn what it’s really like to be the first person on the scene in an urgent situation — both the rewards and the challenges of leading during an emergency.
    Involvement – Class members get an up close and personal perspective from leaders in enforcement agencies, government, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions and businesses who are committed to exchanging ideas and information with our classes. These leaders are personally involved and dedicate time to this program because they enjoy the idea and information exchange.
    Network – More than 750 business, community, government, education and military leaders have graduated from the program. Leadership Wichita alumni form a large network of area leaders who are committed to improving their region and being a resource for each other. Many of them are now leading Wichita organizations and initiatives.
    Experience – Leadership Wichita was founded more than 30 years ago; the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce has been training key community and business leaders since 1983.

Watch for more Q&A with Leadership Wichita grads in two more blog posts this week.
May 17Denise Sherman, a 2003 Leadership Wichita graduate, provides information about the cost and value of the program.
May 18Tyler Heffron, a graduate of the 2008 Leadership Wichita class, covers session topics and the  selection process for the 2016 class.

Leadership Wichita nominations are due June 10, and should be submitted electronically. Nominees will then be forwarded an application to complete and submit by June 22.

Congratulations to the 2015 Leadership Wichita class

LW-Logo-06-no textThirty-one Wichita-area citizens have been selected to participate in our 2015 Leadership Wichita class. The leadership training program features eight sessions that cover issues such as economic development and the future vision for Wichita, workforce development and the impact of ensuring a highly educated workforce in our community, the importance of consensus within government, along with building leadership skills through real-life examples, group discussions and collaboration.

Leadership Wichita Chair Darcee Datteri said, “Past participants of Leadership Wichita have made significant changes in our community, and this year’s class will graduate equipped with the insight to build upon their professional successes to make Wichita an even better place to work, live and play.”

Please join us in congratulating this year’s class!

  • Jeff Barley, UCI
  • AJ Boleski, SMG / INTRUST Bank Arena
  • Frank Carson IV, Carson Bank
  • Marlo Dolezal, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland
  • David Duncan, Sasnak Management Corp.
  • Jaime Dupy, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Moji Fanimokun, Realtors of South Central Kansas
  • Laura Fischer, Murfin, Inc.
  • Robert Garner, USD #259 Wichita Public Schools
  • Sherry Gegen, Wichita State University
  • Taylor Gill, Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc.
  • Katie Grover, Fidelity Bank
  • Matt Hamm, Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture
  • Eric Hein, Spirit AeroSystems
  • Jenifer Hitschmann, BKD, LLP
  • Crystal Hough, Airbus Americas Engineering
  • Troy Livingston, Wichita Police Department
  • Tracy Lucas, High Touch Technologies
  • Marc Mason, iSi Environmental
  • Bill Matthews, Foulston Siefkin LLP
  • Sarah Patterson, Delta Dental of Kansas
  • Tammy Penland, City of Wichita/Wichita Public Library
  • Greg Pollock, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office
  • Krista Rapp, Bombardier Learjet
  • Joel Rodell, Hutton Construction
  • Sally Rose, Westar Energy
  • Jason Scheck, COMCARE of Sedgwick County
  • Maggie Topping, Textron Aviation
  • Becky Tuttle, Medical Society of Sedgwick County
  • Sheree Utash, Wichita Area Technical College
  • Lt. Col. Mike Venerdi, Kansas Air National Guard

The 2015 class will begin Thursday, September 3 and will conclude Thursday, November 19.

2014 Leadership Wichita class begins

Thirty Wichita-area citizens are participating in the Chamber’s 2014 Leadership Wichita class, which began this week and runs through November 20. Participants in the leadership training program are identified through a nomination process, followed by submission of a formal application to the program’s Board of Trustees for selection.

“Leadership Wichita provides professionals the training to use their talents and skills to tackle local needs, such as education and economic development,” said Darcee Datteri, PhD, Chair of Leadership Wichita Board of Trustees. “Past participants of Leadership Wichita have made historic changes in our community, and this year’s class will graduate equipped with the insight to build upon their professional successes to make Wichita an even better place to work, live and play.”

The 2014 class will participate in eight sessions that cover issues such as economic development and the future vision for Wichita, workforce development and the impact of ensuring a highly educated workforce in our community, the importance of consensus within government, along with building leadership skills through real-life examples, group discussions and collaboration.

Congratulations to each of the selected participants!

Todd Anciaux, Commerce Bank

Ryan Bond, Sasnak Management Corp./Carlos O’Kelly’s

Cherrie Brubaker, Westar Energy

Jennifer Caughron, KeyCentrix, LLC

Jeffrey Deitchler, PrairieFire Coffee Roasters

Jessica Dunbar, Laham Development – Bradley Fair

Amie Emerson, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

Jeffery Freund, Wichita Public Schools, USD 259

Stacy Gear, Citizens Bank of Kansas

Justin Graham, Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey Architecture

Dorothy Harpool, Wichita State University, W. Frank Barton School of Business

Justin Henry, Goddard Public Schools, USD 265

Troy Jordan, INTRUST Bank, N.A.

Paula Langworthy, Triplett, Woolf, and Garretson, LLC

Daniel Lawrence, Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson, and Kitch LLC

David Miller, Sedgwick County

Marc Milleson, AGH Wealth Management

Jason Mock, High Touch Technologies

Ryan Murphy, Fidelity Bank

Landon Plumer, IMA Inc.

Bill Ramsey, Cybertron International

Gavin Seiler, Wichita Police Department

Michelle Stroot, City of Wichita

Ryan Tacke, Delta Dental of Kansas, Surency Life & Health

Robert Taylor, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office

Teresa Veazey, Wichita Art Museum

David Weishaar, Kansas Air National Guard

Cynthia Wentworth, Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau

Jennifer Wold, Grant Thornton LLP

Jaimie Zellner, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation

Learn more about the Chamber’s leadership development programs here.

Participants work to complete a puzzle during the first session of 2014.

Participants work to complete a puzzle during the first session of 2014.