Three reasons to #ShopSmall on Small Business Saturday

sbs-logoWith the holidays being only a month away, the shopping season will kick into full gear this coming weekend. We encourage you to keep the small, local retailers in mind as you make your shopping lists this year, but we also know the request is more meaningful coming directly from those small business owners.

Click the links below to see short video profiles with three of our small business members as they share why it is important to shop small every day of the year, including Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28.

To see a full list of our retail members, please visit our online Membership Directory.

‘Tis the Season for Managing Stress Levels

Year-end budget deadlines are looming, your company’s 2016 goals still need to be finalized, and the holiday frenzy is on the horizon. It’s that time of the year when everyone can benefit from reminders about how to manage stress levels at home and in the workplace.

Amy Gross with Dale Carnegie Training provided pointers for identifying and managing stress during the Sunrise Scrambler.

Amy Gross with Dale Carnegie Training provided pointers for identifying and managing stress during the Sunrise Scrambler.

Gordon Hibbard and Amy Gross from Dale Carnegie Training provided an interactive presentation during this week’s Sunrise Scrambler that included a 15-question stress management assessment for attendees. Several group exercises provided coping suggestions to help gain perspective on the temporary and even positive aspects of stressful situations.

One of the ten top stress principles recommends asking yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” in this situation and refusing to assign the source of your anxiety more value than it’s worth. Resiliency is also a powerful tool for addressing stress and a Mayo Clinic study found that resilient people rely on humor to deal with stressful situations. They also maintain an optimistic outlook and accept change.

As we begin the countdown to what can be the most stressful time of the year, be sure to take time to breathe deeply and focus on the fact that many of your daily stress points are only temporary. Don’t let anxiety consume your day and deplete the supply of humor and goodwill you’ll need to enjoy your holiday gatherings and greet the new year. Above all, remember this Dale Carnegie quote, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”

Check our Facebook album for photos from this week’s event. Our thanks to our sponsors for this month’s event:  Legacy Bank, Holiday Inn, and Davis-Moore.

Be sure to register to attend the December 9 Sunrise Scrambler. Damon Young from Mahaney Roofing Company will present his thoughts on “The Joy of Giving Back” through corporate citizenship.

Dolezal named CFO for Chamber, Greater Wichita Partnership

Marlo Dolezal web

Marlo Dolezal has accepted the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Chamber and the Greater Wichita Partnership. She begins her duties on December 14.

Marlo earned her Accounting degree from Kansas State University and holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Her resume includes seven years in key leadership roles at the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland and seven additional years of financial management in the private sector. She is a Rotarian and a current member of the Chamber’s Leadership Wichita class.

Gary Plummer, President and CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, said the new position will provide financial expertise for both the Chamber and the Partnership. Chamber Senior Vice President of Operations, Gerald Holman, currently manages the Chamber’s finances and will be transferring his duties to Marlo in anticipation of his retirement early next year.

Jeff Fluhr, President of the Greater Wichita Partnership, said filling the CFO position is another important step in the implementation of the Partnership. He added, “Marlo was selected after an extensive search for this important role. I was very impressed with the strategic skills she demonstrated during the interview process. She’ll be a great addition to our team.”

Stefanie Flores: Community Advancement & YPW Program Coordinator

Stefanie FloresStefanie Flores has joined our staff as the Community Advancement & Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW ) Program Coordinator, working with Director of Community Advancement Suzy Finn. Stefanie moved to Wichita earlier this year from Denver after previously living in Santa Barbara and Chicago.

“Stefanie wasted no time in diving into the Wichita community,” said Finn. “One of the first things she did upon arriving in Wichita was join YPW, and she has been actively involved during her six months here. We believe her variety of experiences have more than prepared her for working with our teams of volunteers and coordinating the many programs involved with YPW and Community Advancement.”

Stefanie has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in French from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a Master’s in Education from University of California-Santa Barbara. This is a new position at the Chamber, created to support the Chamber’s mission to drive community advancement in the Wichita region.

CEO Roundtable presentation focused on 5 Marketing Truths

Mike Snyder, from RSA Marketing Services, shared his five marketing truths for connecting marketing to sales during the Chamber’s Small Business CEO Roundtable at Wichita Country Club, yesterday. Snyder illustrated his marketing truths with examples of local and national companies that have successfully generated new sales by overcoming their marketing challenges.

Mike Snyder with RSA Marketing outlines his five best marketing tips.

Mike Snyder with RSA Marketing outlined his five best marketing tips.

Attendee evaluations of Snyder’s presentation were complimentary, calling it “dynamic, energizing, entertaining and persuasive.” Chris Callen, CEO at Builders Plus Construction, found several valuable takeaways, including one he shared via Twitter, “Any great strategy must contain sacrifices.”

Links to two of the must-see videos that Snyder referenced during his presentation are shown below:
Competition is for Losers – A Peter Thiel lecture at Stanford University
How Great Leaders Inspire Action – A 2009 TED talk by Simon Sinek

CEO Roundtables are member-only events that are designed for your organization’s owner, CEO or top decision maker. Forward ideas for relevant topics that should be covered during our 2016 series to Rachel Groene, Manager of Business Services for the Chamber. Our thanks to our presenting sponsor for the November luncheon, VR Business Brokers, and our host and luncheon sponsor, Wichita Country Club.

Check out photos from the event on the Chamber’s Facebook album page.

Nominate Your Favorite Biz for Our Small Business of the Year Awards

2016_SBA_awards_4cWe are currently accepting nominations for our 2016 Small Business Awards through Friday, Dec. 4. The program, now in its 12th year, is presented by Cornerstone Design and Development. Inc. and Zernco, Inc. It offers well-deserved recognition to small businesses for their achievements and contributions to our community and provides owners and employees the opportunity to showcase their company, share their story and be rewarded for their efforts.

Business Criteria for Participation

  • Headquartered in Wichita Metro area
  • Employ between 1-25 FTE for Tier One, or 26-100 FTE for Tier Two
  • Have been in business for at least three years
  • Demonstrate a commitment to good business practices
  • Maintain good employee relations
  • Contribute to the community
  • Have primary source of revenues from business operations, rather than grants, donors, or governmental funding (not-for-profits may be eligible to apply if they meet this criteria)
  • Be a member in good standing of the Wichita Metro Chamber at the time of application

Nominations take less than a minute and can be made online at

One business from each tier will be selected as the 2016 Small Business of the Year, and an awards luncheon will be held in the spring to announce the recipients.

Joy Eakins and the team at Cornerstone Design & Development were our 2015 Tier One Small Business of the Year.

Joy Eakins and the team at Cornerstone Design & Development were our 2015 Tier One Small Business of the Year.

Ashley Thill and the team at Zernco were our 2015 Tier Two Small Business of the Year.

Ashley Thill and the team at Zernco were our 2015 Tier Two Small Business of the Year.

2015 NBAA business delegation includes 19 organizations

The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) is promoting Wichita’s exceptional workforce and world-class aviation supply chain November 17-19 during the 2015 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Convention in Las Vegas. Eighteen area companies and organizations are partnering with GWEDC to promote Wichita’s aviation-related products and services.

Nineteen local organizations and companies will participate in the GWEDC exhibit at NBAA.

Nineteen local organizations and companies will participate in the GWEDC exhibit at NBAA.

GWEDC Chairman Gary Schmitt said, “We’re really pleased to have a 60% increase in the number of participants in our booth this year. Our delegation will be much more representative of the breadth and depth of our aviation capabilities and expertise in this region.”

A 30’x30’ booth, #C6633, has been secured by GWEDC. Representatives from the 19 organizations and companies listed below will participate and promote their products and services:

Associated Industries Impresa Aerospace
Butler County Kansas Dept. of Commerce
Capps Manufacturing National Center for Aviation Training
CE Machine National Institute for Aviation Research
City of Wichita Omni Aerospace
Crate Tech Southwind Global Aviation
Fiber Dynamics Visit Wichita
GWEDC Wichita Aero Club
IMA Aviation Insurance Wichita Airport Authority
Image Resources

Jeff Fluhr of the Greater Wichita Partnership said the GWEDC team will be promoting more than 300 aviation suppliers in the south central Kansas region as well as the Air Capital’s largest aviation companies: Airbus, Bombardier Learjet, Spirit AeroSystems, and Textron Aviation – Cessna & Beechcraft.

A Business at Full Throttle Celebration will be held for trade show participants on Tuesday, November 17, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wichita City Council Representatives Pete Meitzner and Jeff Blubaugh will attend and promote the pro-business climate in the Air Capital. Assistant City Manager Scot Rigby is also scheduled to participate.

Wichita Hispanic Chamber now housed in Chamber building

Chamber staff had a welcome reception for the Wichita Hispanic Chamber last week. Chairwoman Adrienne Foster is pictured on the right.

Chamber staff held a welcome reception for the Wichita Hispanic Chamber last week. Chairwoman Adrienne Foster is pictured on the right.

The Wichita Hispanic Chamber has relocated from 1010 N. Main St. to the first floor of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce building at 350 West Douglas. An open house will be held on Monday, November 9 from 4-6 p.m. to celebrate the organization’s new location. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony begins at 4:45 p.m. and we hope you can join us.

Formed in 2002, by local Hispanic business leaders, the Wichita Hispanic Chamber was formally established as Wichita’s first minority Chamber of Commerce. Adrienne Foster is the current chairwoman of the organization. She also serves as the executive director for Governor Sam Brownback’s Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission as well as the director of minority and women workforce development services at the Kansas Department of Commerce.

WHCClogoThe move to a new location is part of Foster’s plans to increase the visibility of her organization. “We’ve doubled our membership since May and we plan to continue growing our membership size and our influence in the business community. Being more closely located to the state’s largest Chamber is beneficial to both of our organizations.”

“Hispanics are a critical component of the U.S. economy due to their greater propensity for starting and growing businesses,” according to Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Wichita is no different. This city has the largest number of Hispanic-owned businesses within the state of Kansas.”

Gary Plummer, President & CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, agreed with Foster. “We’re looking forward to developing new ways our organizations can work together. We ultimately have the same goal and that is to help build a better business environment where our members can thrive. Adrienne has been involved in the Entrepreneurship Task Force (ETF) and this seemed like a natural extension of the relationship we’ve been building.”