Dr. Condoleezza Rice inspires Wichita crowd at Chamber Annual Meeting

TJ7_6940Last week’s Annual Meeting kicked off with 2014 Board Chairman Wayne Chambers passing the gavel to 2015 Chairman Jon Rosell and ended with Dr. Condoleezza Rice answering questions submitted by the public. A crowd of 3,000 people were in attendance to hear the former U.S. Secretary of State’s presentation, which was packed full of quotable insight as she addressed a wide variety of topics from 9/11 and ISIS to education and football. We have collected some of our favorite Condoleezza quotes below.

  • “If you were in as position of authority on September 11, every day after that felt like September 12. From that moment on, our perception of security would never be the same.”
  • “Before we get impatient, we should remember democracy is really hard. And it takes a really long time.”
  • “The men and women of the military who volunteer to defend us are a gift the United States enjoys.”
  • “When the U.S. steps back, those who don’t believe in free people and free markets will take power.”
  • “When the world is this chaotic, we have to hope someone will lead. I hope it is the extraordinary country of the USA.”
  • “Education is the single most important intervention we have against social inequality.”
  • “We have to make sure if people work twice as hard, they have a chance.”
  • “Your role models and mentors don’t have to look like you. My role models were white men. If I had waited for a black, female Soviet specialist, I would still be waiting.”
  • “It doesn’t matter where you are coming from but it matters where you’re going.”

A big thank you to all our event sponsors (see below) and to all who attended.  See conversation from the event on Twitter using #RiceDec4 and view photos from the events on our Facebook page.

Media Coverage
Wichita Business Journal – “Condoleezza Rice sees education as route to equal opportunity”
Wichita Eagle – “Condoleezza Rice: Education disparity biggest threat to U.S. security”
Carrie Rengers – You don’t say

Presented by Murfin, Inc.

Premier Sponsors
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Cox Business, High Touch Technologies,
INTRUST Bank, Kennedy and Coe, LLC, Lubrication Engineers, Inc.,
Meritrust Credit Union, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., Westar Energy

February 6 Chairman’s Lunch Focused on Wichita’s Economic Recovery

Chairman's Lunch

We were pleased to have a SOLD OUT crowd attend our annual Chairman’s Lunch last Thursday. The discussion-style format provided some great insight into how our local leadership views the need to strengthen our local economy. Both The Wichita Eagle and The Wichita Business Journal covered the event. Here are links to articles and photos they published:

We’ve received multiple inquiries from participants about how they can access the slides that were used to set the stage for the discussion about Wichita’s economic recovery. We’ve POSTED THEM HERE for your review.

2014 Chamber Chairman Wayne Chambers closed our discussion with an observation about the imperative components we need to bring more primary jobs to South Central Kansas.

  • A full tool box Ready sites and buildings, a trained labor force, a war chest of money or incentives that our community leaders can use when needed, and an “open for business” sign. 
  • Low and/or competitive taxes
  • A business-friendly environment  
  • A common or unified voice that “we are Wichita”
  • SpeedIt’s not the big that eat the small.  It’s the fast that eat the slow.  – Jason Jennings
    Let’s leave here today and take a page out of WSU Basketball Coach Marshall’s playbook. As a community, let’s go out and “play angry” and win the competitive game.

We’d like to recognize our presenting sponsor, Grant Thornton, LLP for making it possible to host this important discussion.  We appreciate all the sponsors who participated and supported this event as well as all of those who braved the cold temperatures to join us. Our special thanks to Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, County Commission Chairman Dave Unruh, and our 2014 Chamber Chairman Wayne Chambers for their participation. Please check the album on our Facebook page for event photos.

Gary Plummer
President & CEO

Welcome to Mr. Wayne Chambers, our 2014 Chairman

Chambers, Wayne - lobby portrait imageI am pleased to welcome Mr. Wayne Chambers as our 2014 Board Chairman. He has served on the Chamber Board since 2011 and is a previous co-chair of Visioneering. Due to his experience and a last name of “Chambers,” it seems he was destined to lead us this year.

You may also know Wayne as President and CEO of High Touch Technologies, an IT and technology services company that recently made a significant investment in downtown Wichita by purchasing the building it currently occupies.

Wayne’s recent profile in the Wichita Business Journal included his priorities for the year. We applaud his goals of increasing collaboration between the Chamber and other community organizations as well as advancing the technology alliance and Leadership Council efforts. We look forward to working with him to realize these goals in 2014.

We are delighted to have Wayne as our Chairman and are looking forward to what this year will bring for the Chamber and for the Wichita area.

Gary Plummer
President and CEO