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.

2015 Annual Meeting Speaker Announced

by Jon Rosell, 2015 Chamber Chairman

Every year the Chamber strives to make the Annual Meeting a memorable and informative occasion. I’m very pleased that our 2015 Annual Meeting promises to be one of the most unique events we’ve presented in quite some time.

Jon Rosell

Jon Rosell is the 2015 Chairman of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

On Monday, November 2, we’ll have an opportunity to hear from a global business leader who is also a Wichita native. The evening will include a discussion between our speaker and a nationally-known moderator, who will be announced at a later date.

We hope that you and your colleagues will join us.

Find out who our speaker is here:
Link to video
Link to news release
Link to program information and tickets

Bossing, Managing and Leading: is there a difference?

Wichita-native Aaron Bushell dropped some leadership insight at this morning’s Sunrise Scrambler when he presented “Are You a Boss, a Manager, or a Leader?” While many may quickly think, “Is there really a difference in those titles?”, the 150 Scrambler attendees learned there is a difference and were asked to assess where they fall on the spectrum. Here is a quick recap of some of Aaron’s main points.

Bushell presented to a sold-out Sunrise Scrambler crowd at Wesley Medical Center.

Bushell presented to a sold-out Sunrise Scrambler crowd at Wesley Medical Center.


  • This title typically has a negative connotation. Hollywood is filled with depictions of bad bosses.
  • They tend to lead with force.
  • They inspire fear.
  • They take credit for team success.



  • This title has a more positive connotation.
  • These are the people who get things done and make things happen.
  • They lead with authority.
  • They inspire goodwill.
  • They are included in the credit for team success.



  • These are the people who drive and create the vision for an organization.
  • They lead through engagement.
  • They inspire passionate followers.
  • They communicate a vision.
  • They defer credit for success to their team.


In other words? Don’t be a boss. Be a manager or a leader. Leaders set the vision and managers make it happen, and it takes both kinds of people to have a successful organization. As Emily Millspaugh of Susan G. Komen tweeted, “No leader is an island. Find your perfect partner, the yin to your yang. If you’re a doer, find a dreamer, & vice versa.”

See all of the conversation from the event on Twitter using #ChamberICT, and find photos from the event on our Facebook page. Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, Emprise Bank and Wesley Medical Center.

Join us for the next Sunrise Scrambler on Sept. 24, then head down to the 2015 Exposure show floor! This Scrambler sells out every year, so be sure to register in advance because we will not be taking walk ups. Register here!

GWEDC Staff Changes

Debra Teufel

Debra Teufel

Teufel Departs Wichita
Debra Teufel has promoted Wichita’s workforce and positive business environment across the continent and around the globe since joining the organization more than seven years ago. She’s represented the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) in her travels to Norway, Spain, Germany, France, England, the Netherlands and Canada. Hosting international representatives who wanted a closer look at Wichita’s capabilities has also been part of her duties. Officials from Japan, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Belgium, Brazil and Denmark have benefitted from her extensive knowledge about the local economy and the large network she’s developed in her role as GWEDC’s Vice President of Business Development.

Debra has recently accepted a position as Director of Public/Private Partnerships for Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. We’ll miss her passionate advocacy for our community, region and state when she departs Wichita later this month. Please join us in wishing her all the best as she begins her new role on September 1.

Craig Bay

Craig Bay

Bay Joins GWEDC
Wichitan Craig Bay joined GWEDC last week as the Director of Special Projects. He brings 18 years of project and process management, customer relationship management, and leadership team experience from NetApp Corporation to his new role. Bay joins GWEDC’s Nick Campbell in supporting the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG). Follow this link to learn more about the eight regional BREG cluster teams and how they are defining specific actions to increase their economic strength in south central Kansas.

Bossemeyer earns certification

David Bossemeyer

David Bossemeyer

David Bossemeyer, VP-Business Development for the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC), has earned his Professional Certification from Business Retention & Expansion International (BREI). The advanced level certificate requires the completion of a rigorous set of education requirements and demonstrated dedication to the profession. Bossemeyer has been with GWEDC since 2007.

BREI is the leading professional association for business retention and expansion. The organization is dedicated to promoting existing business retention and expansion programs in communities, regions, states or provinces.

Finn adds Community Advancement to her Chamber work

Suzy Finn is the Executive Director of the Young Professionals of Wichita.

Suzy Finn is expanding her Chamber work to include Community Advancement.

Suzy Finn thrives on connecting people, ideas, and resources. She’s been focusing that passion on the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) since she returned to Wichita to earn her MBA in 2010. As a YPW member and volunteer, and then later as the organization’s Executive Director, she’s been fully engaged in YPW’s mission to attract, engage and retain the diverse young talent mix that Wichita needs to drive economic growth and community advancement.

Finn understands the allure of leaving Wichita to establish a career in a larger metropolitan area. She’s been there and done that. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Studio Art at Marquette, she worked in the Washington, DC area for several years.

She also understands the many benefits of returning to your hometown to advance your career and how critical it is to widen and deepen Wichita’s talent pool. Her experience makes her a great choice to add Community Advancement to her Chamber resume.

Effective September 1, Finn will begin splitting her time between her current YPW work and her new endeavors in the Chamber’s Community Advancement area. A Program Coordinator will be hired to assist her in both areas. A news release was issued earlier today detailing her new Chamber responsibilities.

We’re confident that the Chamber programs in these two areas will be strengthened as a result of Finn’s commitment to the Chamber and we invite you to congratulate and support her in her newest endeavor.

Chamber benefits from Kara’s classroom break

Kara Belew shared her considerable talents with the Chamber this summer and returns to USD#259 classrooms this month.

Kara Belew shared her considerable talents with the Chamber this summer and returns to USD#259 classrooms this month.

Some people fill every molecule in the air with electric energy as soon as they breeze through the door. Kara Belew is one of those unique dynamos.

Kara has been temporarily working at the Chamber this summer to help fill in the administrative gaps left from recent staff retirements. She accepted the position as a way to flex some of those business muscles and professional skills she doesn’t use on a daily basis when she’s teaching in USD #259 classrooms at John Marshall Middle School.

No task has been too complex or too large for her to tackle and she’s spent the summer sharing her organizational talents with us while brightening our days with her 700-watt smile. She’s increased her Wichita fan base by adding 24 Chamber employees to her roster of admirers. We’ve all benefited from the questions she’s asked staff about current procedures, the way she’s reorganized our resources and the new ideas she’s contributed.

We’ll miss Kara’s energy and enthusiasm as she winds down her duties this week to begin preparing her classrooms for a fresh group of new scholars. But we’re pleased that Wichita students will continue to benefit from her knowledge, expertise and positive disposition.

Our thanks to Kara and all of the other teachers and instructors who immerse themselves in the business world during their summer break from teaching. We know our future workforce will be better prepared when these teachers take their summer job experiences back to the classroom to share with their students. It’s a business and education alliance that pays dividends for all.

Flushed with Flag Fever

Angie Elliott, Manager of Business Services for the Chamber, is quoted in the magazine article.

Angie Elliott, Manager of Business Services for the Chamber, is quoted in the magazine article. (Photo credit – Tyler Cooper with Wichita Magazine.)

Wichita Magazine’s August issue arrived this week and the cover story is titled, Flag Fever. The six-page article about Wichita’s official city flag includes interviews with several Chamber employees. Chamber Manager of Business Services, Angie Elliott, is even described by writer and photographer Tyler Cooper as “something of a flag activist” for her recent blog and editorial about rediscovering the flag and its significance.

Angie and other Chamber staff and members have been urging fans of Wichita to use social media to share why they love the city and the values represented by Wichita’s own flag. Wichita City Councilman Bryan Frye is among those who proudly wear a flag pin on a daily basis. He states in the article, “Wichita has always struggled with promoting itself. Too often, we’re shy and worried about being seen as boastful or arrogant. Absent of mountains or oceans, we can point to our city flag and what it represents–freedom, happiness and home–as representation of the people and places that make Wichita special.”

Read more about the flag’s history and how the flag ranks among other city flags when you pick up your copy of the magazine at Watermark Books, Dillons, or Whole Foods. Watermark Books also carries flag t-shirts, mugs and buttons.

You can follow @WichitaFlag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see posts about why people love Wichita and the exotic places the flag has been spotted outside of the city limits. Be part of spreading flag fever and share your own pictures and the reasons you love our city by using #WichitaFlag.