Taking Pride in Wichita

In case you missed it, Dan Powers, Office Managing Partner for Grant Thornton LLP, contributed this letter to the editor that ran in the Wichita Eagle last Sunday.

There’s a great deal that makes me proud to be a Wichitan.  Nationally-recognized companies headquartered in our backyard. Being recognized as the Air Capital of the World. A thriving arts and cultural scene.

But I understand there’s room to improve in Wichita, similar to most cities.

Dan Powers, Office Managing Partner of Grant Thornton LLP, shared his thoughts about working and living in Wichita with Chairman's Lunch participants on Thursday, February 11.

Dan Powers, Office Managing Partner of Grant Thornton LLP, shared his thoughts about working and living in Wichita with Chairman’s Lunch participants on Thursday, February 11.

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s recent Chairman’s Lunch brought together city, county and chamber leadership to discuss the four challenges that most plague Wichita: business cycle, human capital, entrepreneurial and perception (Feb. 12 Eagle). While these challenges are complex, other communities have successfully tackled similar hurdles. I’m proud to report that our community’s leadership echoed that we, Wichita, will do the same.

But is it just up to our elected officials? To the businesses that promote Wichita as a place to live and work? No. It’s up to every single one of us. We’re already making great progress in each of these four areas, but are we communicating the activities already underway? Are we encouraging our peers to participate? Inspiring our neighbors to get involved?

I ask you to stand in support of Wichita – the great community we are today, and the better community we’ll be tomorrow. Acknowledge that while we have work to do, we plan to do it together. Elected officials, business leaders and citizens working side-by-side will help us regain speed on a positive, economically impactful route.

The challenges Wichita faces are significant and the consequences of failing to address them are profound. Nevertheless, events like the Chairman’s Lunch give me hope that, together, with a shared vision of the future, we’ll continue moving this great city forward.

Let’s go make and be Wichita Proud.

Follow these links for more information about the Feb. 11 Chairman’s Lunch.
Event Photos
Wichita Eagle article and video
Wichita Business Journal article and photos

Landon to join Wichita Community Foundation

Landon, Holly - webHolly Landon has announced that she will take the next step in her promising career as the Director of Philanthropic Giving for the Wichita Community Foundation. For the past seven years, Holly has managed some of our largest member events and built many valuable relationships for the Chamber in her role as Manager of Business Services.

Gary Plummer, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, described Holly as an emerging community leader. “Holly has a wide network of business connections and she’s been a strong team player in our mission to drive economic growth and community advancement in the Wichita region. We will miss her dedication to our members and her drive to continually improving their Chamber experiences. We’re very pleased that she’s joining an organization that will utilize her talents to further benefit Wichita.”

Holly’s last day at the Chamber will be July 15, and she will begin her new role at the Wichita Community Foundation on July 20. We wish her all the best in this new adventure.

Coletta Kicks Off Fuel the Fire Speaker Series this Thursday

Carol Coletta

Carol Coletta

You have heard us talking about it, and now the time has almost arrived for the The Fuel the Fire Speaker Series to begin. Carol Coletta, Vice President of Community and National Initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is an expert on the development of cities and will be in Wichita this Thursday, Aug. 28 to speak about the importance of cultivating and sustaining talent in Wichita.

The series of three speakers, which is designed to engage the community in conversations revolving around national trends, will focus on how to competitively position Wichita for the future. The Wichita Community Foundation, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, and the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce have partnered to make this series possible.

Before joining the Knight Foundation in 2013, Coletta was director of ArtPlace, a unique public-private collaboration to accelerate creative placemaking in communities across the United States. ArtPlace brings together leading private foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, other federal agencies and major banks.

Coletta is also a past president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders. She has served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and also ran a Memphis-based public affairs consulting firm, Coletta & Company, focused on civic issues.

She has written and spoken extensively on the future of cities, including how communities develop, attract and retain talent, making her the perfect person to kick off the Fuel the Fire Speaker Series.

Coletta‘s keynote, which is free and open to the public, is on Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. at The LUX (120 E. 1st St. N.). For additional details, and to RSVP, visit FueltheFireSpeakerSeries.com.

Media Links
Official News Release
Jeff Fluhr of WDDC and Shelly Prichard of WCF on 99.7 Lite FM Lite is Local 
Wichita Business Journal Article
Wichita Eagle Article


It’s Time to Fuel the Fire

PrintPositioning Wichita as the premier place to grow companies, careers and communities requires understanding changing demographics, new concepts in urban planning and other shifts in the consumer landscape. The Fuel the Fire Speaker Series provides a unique opportunity for Wichitans to listen, learn and ask questions at three upcoming presentations. The series is a collaborative effort between the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, and the Wichita Community Foundation to engage the community in discussions about changing national trends that will affect Wichita’s future.

Jeff Fluhr is the president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) and an enthusiastic supporter of moving Wichita forward. His editorial in today’s Wichita Business Journal provides more information about the speaker series and an invitation to participate.  “We need the unique perspectives and input of community volunteers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, elected officials, young professionals, social service providers, artists, business leaders, educators and workforce recruiters. Consider yourself invited if you care about Wichita and want to be involved in making sure it thrives.”

You can also learn more about the series by tuning in to the LITE IS LOCAL program on 99.7 LITE FM this Sunday (August 17) at 8 a.m.  Jeff Fluhr and Shelly Prichard, President and CEO of the Wichita Community Foundation (WCF), recorded the program earlier this week and provided more details about how they hope the series will impact Wichita’s future.

Mark the dates on your calendar (August 28, September 17 and October 29) and plan to attend. Each session will be held at 5 p.m. at The Lux (120 East First). Please RSVP soon since space is limited.

The Fuel the Fire Speaker Series is made possible through a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at WCF, as well as funds from WCF, WDDC and the Chamber’s Leadership Council.

Jeff Fluhr and Shelly Prichard at 99.7 Lite FM

                            Jeff Fluhr and Shelly Prichard at 99.7 Lite FM