It’s a Great Day to be a Shocker!

Gary Plummer is the President and CEO of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.

I was fortunate to attend the American Athletic Conference (AAC) announcement today at Wichita State University (WSU). The University’s move from the Missouri Valley Conference to the AAC is a BIG WIN for the entire community, not just the athletic department and Shocker sports fans.

The cheerleaders, WuShock, pep band and entire crowd made the announcement a high-energy event. Speakers included WSU President John Bardo, Athletic Director Daron Boatright, Coach Gregg Marshall, Student Body President-Elect Paige Hungate, Mayor Jeff Longwell and Commissioner David Unruh.

A move to AAC means much more for Wichita than better basketball. Alignment with respected research institutions and other innovative cities enhances the perception of our entire region as well as the University’s image. The business community recognizes that WSU is an important economic engine for the region. When WSU succeeds, the entire Wichita region succeeds. We lift each other up and this is a great example of why it’s so important for us to continue to work together.

The new conference puts Wichita in the same league as some of the major cities represented by AAC schools:  Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Dallas, Tulsa, Tampa, Orlando, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and more.

I must add that one of the classiest parts of today’s announcement were the positive comments about the Missouri Valley Conference that were shared by Dr. Bardo, Boatright and Coach Marshall.

That honestly made me just as proud of our great University.

It’s a great day to be a Shocker!

Check @WichitaState on Twitter or the WSU Facebook page to see the “live” posts from today’s news conference.

GWEDC to market WSU’s Innovation Campus in Germany next month

Wichita State University (WSU) announced this week that Airbus has signed a letter of intent to locate a major engineering center on WSU’s new Innovation Campus. Around 400 Airbus employees will move from their current location in downtown Wichita to a new two-story building on the Wichita State University campus in January 2017. The development firm MWCB LLC, led by David Murfin, Nestor Weigand Jr., Ivan Crossland Jr. and Steven Barrett, will finance and manage the project, known as Partnership 1.

David Murfin of MWCB LLC and Dr. John Bardo, President of Wichita State University, both serve as Members At-Large on the Greater Wichita Economic Development (GWEDC) Steering Council. GWEDC President Tim Chase said that his team will be using the announcement to market Wichita at upcoming trade shows and other events.

Chase said, “We have an opportunity next month at the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology in Hannover, Germany, to target executives that represent robotics, energy storage devices and advanced materials. They’ll be extremely interested in the fact that WSU has aligned itself with such an influential global company. Airbus is known for its innovative culture and this news will further demonstrate to our targets that Wichita should receive full consideration for their future expansions and partnerships.”

WSU will make an announcement on Tuesday, March 31 at 10 a.m. regarding the plans for the building in downtown Wichita that Airbus will no longer occupy after January 2017.

Follow these links to learn more about the WSU Innovation Campus:

Dr. Bardo shared his appreciation for the four local developers who are helping the University align with business needs. Pictured from left to right at the WSU news conference are:  Nestor Weigand, Steve Barrett, David Murfin and Ivan Crossland, Jr.  The four investors are  developing the project as MWCB LLC.

Dr. Bardo shared his appreciation for the four local developers who are helping the University align with business needs. Pictured from left to right at the WSU news conference are: Nestor Weigand, Steve Barrett, David Murfin and Ivan Crossland, Jr. The four investors are developing the project as MWCB LLC.

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 or by calling 265-7771. Formal invitations will be sent to Chamber members, but the general public is also invited to attend.

Leadership quotes that motivate WSU Shockers

Holly Landon and Sheryl Wohlford greeted Sunrise Scrambler presenter Steve Dickie.

Holly Landon of the Chamber and Sheryl Wohlford of Automation Plus greeted Sunrise Scrambler presenter Steve Dickie before this month’s event.

The members of Wichita State University’s (WSU) men’s basketball team have gained national attention for their leadership both on and off the court during Coach Gregg Marshall’s tenure.

Yesterday’s blog recapped the five character-building pillars that Steve Dickie, Character Coach for WSU’s Shockers, shared with Chamber members during this week’s Sunrise Scrambler. Today we’ve posted more motivational thoughts from  Dickie’s presentation. We’re confident that you’ll find a few to inspire you.

  • You were born to fly. Don’t settle for less.
  • Character is what sustains us. Like an iceberg, the 10% at the top is our leadership ability. Character makes up the 90% below the water line. It’s who we are.
  • The critical area of character development is self-management. You must invest in your character so you can become a better leader among your family, friends, and colleagues.
  • “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are.” A quote from legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
  • “Fame is vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.” A quote from American newspaper editor Horace Greeley.
  • “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” A quote attributed to both James Anthony Froude and Henry D. Thoreau.

Our thanks to our November Sunrise Scrambler sponsors:
–Presenting Sponsor, Legacy Bank
–Host and Breakfast Sponsor, Petroleum Club of Wichita
–Showcase Sponsor – Davis-Moore Automotive, Inc.

See photos of the November Sunrise Scrambler on the Chamber’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Follow the conversation about Steve’s presentation at #ictchamber and @ventureboldly. Follow Steve @sdickie56.

Be sure to register for next month’s Sunrise Scrambler on Wednesday, December 17, by following this link. December’s speaker is Wichitan Jared Estes, who will share his story of triumph over tragedy and how he learned to FIRE BACK.

Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

Steve Dickie is the Character Coach for Wichita State University's Men's Basketball Team

Steve Dickie is the Character Coach for Wichita State University’s men’s basketball team.

Every Wichita State University (WSU) men’s basketball player knows how to finish the rhyme that serves as the headline for today’s blog post. It’s the Shocker mantra:

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest.
Let your good be better and your better best.”

Steve Dickie, Character Coach for WSU’s men’s basketball team, attributes the Shockers’ success to Coach Gregg Marshall’s emphasis on developing leadership and character in each of his players. Dickie shared his presentation on the value of both of these attributes with Chamber members at this morning’s Sunrise Scrambler. Here is a recap of how he motivates athletes to improve their personal and professional lives by continually improving their character.

You’re going to have to dig deep to get through life’s rough spots. Preparing in advance for these curves in the road helps you develop the stamina you’ll need to get through them.

True service to each other and to your community raises your own value and can actually be fun. Embody servant leadership and seek to serve those who aren’t typically  recognized for their efforts.

Thankfulness is contagious and shapes your perception of situations and the people around you. You’ll always find what you are looking for, so use your selective perception to find and focus on the positive.

Celebrate the gifts you see in each other and all the victories in each day. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a catchy victory tune to celebrate with…Ay-Oh here we go! (Click here for a video clip of Steve leading the Shockers’ locker-room victory chant at today’s event.)

Ask yourself these three questions:
– What do I need most?
– What is standing in my way?
– What do I eliminate to get there?
Then sum it all up in one word that you can visualize when you’re feeling extreme pressure. Sample words from some of your favorite Shocker players: Perspective (Fred Van Vleet), Benefit (Ron Baker), Humble (Tekele Cotton), and Love (Cleanthony Early).

Steve had more words of wisdom to share with the group and we’ll post some of his favorite leadership quotes tomorrow. See photos of today’s events on the Chamber’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Follow the conversation about Steve’s presentation at #ictchamber and @ventureboldly. Follow Steve @sdickie56. You can read more about Steve Dickie’s work with the Shockers in this Kansas Leadership Center profile and this Wichita Eagle story.