Welcome Toni Porter!

Toni Porter is already well-known to many of our Chamber members who will be pleased to learn that she has joined our organization as a part-time Project Manager on the Government Relations staff. Toni recently left her full-time position as District Director for

Toni Porter brings a wealth of experience to her Government Relations position with the Chamber.

Toni Porter brings a wealth of experience to her Government Relations position with the Chamber.

Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo’s organization to explore new career opportunities. She is temporarily filling a Chamber vacancy left on the team with Jaime Dupy’s promotion earlier this month to Manager of Investor Relations.

Toni has enjoyed the smooth transition to her new position. She said, “I couldn’t have felt more welcomed on my first day at the Chamber. Since the Chamber works so closely with elected officials, I was already familiar with many of the staff and had visited the offices on many occasions. It’s a great opportunity to utilize my business background and my government experience.” Earlier in her career Toni worked in corporate communications and in the real estate market.

Barby Jobe, Vice President of Government Relations for the Chamber, is pleased to be working with someone who has so much expertise to share with Chamber members and staff.  “Because of her extensive network, Toni was able to begin contributing to our advocacy work on her first day at the Chamber. I’ve always been impressed with her professionalism and we are thrilled to have an opportunity to work with her.”

Up Periscope: We’re LIVE from Wichita


The Chamber has been utilizing a new Twitter tool at several ribbon cutting events this month.

Celebrating the accomplishments of the business community is at the core of what we do at the Chamber. We’re always seeking new ways to include more people in these noteworthy occasions when members open new businesses, provide tours of their new locations or expansions, and unveil their re-branded products and services. These events keep our membership informed about the latest local developments and help our members forge deeper connections with each other.

Several new Twitter apps are now available that turn your iPhone into a tool for live streaming. Last Friday the Chamber tested Periscope at a re-branding ribbon-cutting/open house held by Chamber member Crave Beauty Academy. We used it again this week for the HopeNet groundbreaking.

While Periscope is currently limited to iPhone users, we think it offers some interesting opportunities to expand the audience for member announcements and make our events more inclusive. We’re considering some ways to use this unique tool and would love your input about how we can utilize it to maximize your membership experience.

Take a look at the list of future opportunities we’ve created below and send us your thoughts and tips to communications@wichitachamber.org.


    That dramatic moment when two 2015 award winners are named from our pool of nine finalists.
    Special events throughout the day.
  • EXPOSURE (business-to-business trade show)
    New product demonstrations and explanations about new services.

Periscope eliminates all videos after 24 hours.  However, we’ve uploaded both of our Periscope videos to our YouTube channel. You can see the Crave event by following this link and the HopeNet event here. Periscope only utilizes a portrait function at this time, so both videos are shot and viewed in a vertical format. We’ll be sure to tweet prior to any other events we live stream.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @VentureBoldly for updates and let us know how you’re utilizing this new social media tool. Here are links to several articles that we’ve found helpful about the two new live streaming apps.


YPs “Bring it Home”

YPs win summit

The Kansas YP Summit will be held in Wichita in 2016 and 2017 thanks to a successful bid by the Young Professionals of Wichita to host the event.

Congratulations to the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) for winning the bid to host the Kansas YP Summit in Wichita for the next two years. The 2015 Kansas YP Summit was held last week in Salina, where approximately 275 Young Professionals from around the state gathered for leadership and professional development sessions.

YPW was represented at the 2015 Kansas YP Summit by Executive Director Suzy Finn and Program & Marketing Manager Meg Foreman. About twenty other YPs from the Wichita area attended. Some Wichita participants also made presentations or moderated sessions.

Finn said this is the first time Wichita has won the bid for the Summit. She said the volunteers’ goal is to have at least 300 people attend next year. The Summit typically lasts one day with an optional social the evening before the Summit. Finn said, “We’re really looking forward to hosting YPs from around the state to provide them an energizing and inspirational way to retain young talent while also helping them learn about new ways to improve and enrich their own communities. Of course, we’re also excited about showing them all the new things there are to do and see in Wichita!”

This year’s Summit featured Jason Roberts as the keynote speaker. Roberts is the force behind The Better Block program, an interactive way for communities to provide real-time feedback and solutions for areas that need to be revitalized. The idea is to tackle these challenges one block at a time.

Wichita is the fourth city in Kansas to host the YP Summit.  Finn said that YP volunteers will be working with corporate investors and Chamber members to secure sponsorships that will keep the Summit affordable for those who participate. Contact Finn or Foreman at 316-268-1170 for more information.

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.

Introducing our newest members from the Membership Event

We recently completed a successful Membership Event, during which 200 volunteers invited their contacts to become members of the Chamber. In less than 72 hours, 226 new members were added to the Chamber! You can now see a list of those new members here on our website*.

Thank you again to all those who gave of their time to help build a stronger Chamber. Please keep these new members, and all Chamber members, in mind next time you are ready to do business. You can always find a complete listing of members via our Membership Directory.

*The list will remain on the website for 30 days.

The Wednesday morning group of callers

The Wednesday morning group of callers

A new course for economic growth

A new partnership is being formed to align, focus and fast forward our economy. The Greater Wichita Partnership is based on a “best practice” model that has been successful in other communities. The Partnership consolidates the efforts and initiatives of related nonprofits focused on economic development growth (Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, and the Leadership Council).

The Chamber’s last economic development campaign set the stage for this effort with the creation of the Leadership Council and the formation of the Leadership Council’s three priority initiatives:  growing primary jobs, diversification through entrepreneurship, and enhancing educational attainment/workforce development. The Chamber Board, GWEDC and the Leadership Council agree that this new alignment is an important step towards a more regional effort that provides our area with a more focused and competitive advantage.

As the newly formed Greater Wichita Partnership assumes the responsibility for  job growth activities, the Chamber will work to align our programs with the Partnership and evaluate new ways to strengthen Wichita’s business community.

More information is available in these two news releases that can also be found on the Chamber’s website :
Greater Wichita Partnership formed
Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) leadership change 

Chamber welcomes 226 new members during three-day membership event

We welcomed 226 new members during our membership event last week on April 7-9, during which 200 community volunteers gathered to support the Chamber’s membership campaign.

A celebration was held for volunteers at the conclusion of the membership event, where several awards were presented to the top performers. An award for recruiting at least six new memberships was presented to Michael Frimel, Consolidated Holdings, Inc.; Chad Glenn, 3ten Studio; and Kirk Howie, Cornejo & Sons Inc.

An award for displaying outstanding dedication during the event was presented to Wayne Chambers, High Touch Technologies; Brandon Converse, Keating & Associates; Marty Cornejo, Cornejo & Sons Inc.; Tom Dondlinger, Dondlinger & Sons Construction Company Inc.; Moji Fanimokun, Kansas Secured Title; Jeff Fluhr, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation; Don Harris, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.; Michael Monteferrante, Envision, Inc.; and Sean Weaver, Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C.

IMG_2259The two top awards for exceptional efforts during the membership event were presented to Greg Klenda, Klenda Austerman LLC, and Martha Linsner, The Trust Company of Kansas (pictured at right).

These 226 new members raises our membership to more than 1,900, further solidifying our role as the voice of the business community and the distinction of being the largest Chamber in Kansas.

A list of the new members will be available in the coming week. See photos from the event on our Facebook page, and read conversation surrounding the event on Twitter using #ChamberICT.

The Wednesday afternoon group of callers

                                     The Wednesday afternoon group of callers

GWEDC on 99.7 LITE FM this Sunday morning

From partnering on the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG) and the Wichita-South Central Kansas Export Plan, to helping secure Figeac-Aero North America’s expansion in Wichita, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) has been hard at work promoting Wichita and our region.

Debra Teufel, Tim Chase & host Gayla Crouse

Debra Teufel, Tim Chase & host Gayla Crouse

For more information about these and other GWEDC initiatives, tune to 99.7 LITE FM this Sunday morning at 8. GWEDC President Tim Chase and Vice President Debra Tuefel will be guests on the Lite Is Local program, during which they will answer questions like these:

  • How does GWEDC work in with the city, county and state departments to retain and attract primary jobs?
  • What are some recent “wins” that are putting Wichitans back to work?
  • What is Wichita’s secret weapon for keeping and attracting great jobs?
  • How long does it typically take to close a deal?

Be sure to tune in Sunday morning! If you miss the original airing, you can catch a podcast of the interview on the station’s website.

Tracy Iles departs Chamber & Jaime Dupy promoted

Tracy Iles has made the decision to resign from her position as the Director of Investor Relations at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. Her last day is Friday, April 10.

Jaime and Tracy

Jaime and Tracy

Jaime Dupy has been promoted internally to the position of Manager of Investor Relations, effective April 1. Jaime played a key role in the successful Business At Full Throttle fundraising campaign that was completed several years. She has also worked in a managerial role for Young Professionals of Wichita and most recently as a Project Manager for Business Services and Government Relations. She has a comprehensive background in all the programming requiring sponsorships and other fundraising expertise that she brings to her new position.

“We expect a very smooth transition since Jaime and Tracy have had the opportunity to work closely together during the last few weeks,” said Chamber President Gary Plummer. “We’re also thankful for the many contributions Tracy has made during her tenure in this key position and wish her all the best.”

Record-Breaking Membership Event Underway

IMG_4490with info removed

Volunteers David King and Laura King celebrate bringing in a new Chamber member during the first day of the 2015 Membership Event. More than 100 new members joined the Chamber on the first day of the event.

They did it! Our Chamber volunteers had a record-breaking first day during our 2015 Membership Event. On Tuesday the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce became the first Chamber in the state of Kansas to bring in 101 new members on the first day of a scheduled event. And our enthusiastic volunteers did it in just six hours!

More than 250 Chamber members are devoting time this week to growing our membership and including more area businesses in the important effort to grow Wichita. A larger membership base strengthens the Chamber advocacy efforts for pro-business legislation, infrastructure improvements, and education/workforce development. Scoring a home-run in all three of these three areas makes it easier to retain our established companies and grow new businesses.

This week’s work helps ensure the Chamber’s Vision to make Wichita the premier place to grow companies, careers and communities. Thanks to our members and staff for their dedication to this important effort.

The Event concludes on Thursday, April 9. If you know of a company that wants to be part of advancing Wichita, please ask them to call Kresta Dundas at 268-1115 for membership information.