Why Boise is the “IT” Place to Be: A Recap of the 2018 City-to-City Visit

By Jonathan Long
Director of Community Advancement

Earlier this month, 59 Wichita leaders and influencers ventured to Boise, Idaho to find out what has made the City of the Trees the country’s new “IT” place to live, work and play. In the last two years, Boise has appeared in articles from Thrillist to Forbes, highlighting its dynamic community. And from what we learned during the trip, all the praise is well-deserved.

Firstly, let’s get this out of the way: Yes, Boise has mountains – foothills, actually – and Wichita will never have those. However, while that landmark provides a wonderfully aesthetic background to the city, the mountains are not the leading cause of Boise’s growth and excitement. That credit goes to the leaders and influencers in the area.

The citizens of Boise, in partnership with those who hold positions of authority, really seem to consider the perspective that they deserve greatness, which is defined differently by the various people who spoke to our group. However, that greatness was summed up with a common vision that their mayor, Dave Bieter, spelled out for us on our first day – the vision of making Boise the most livable city in America.

In presentations, whether the topic ranged from how the Boise State Computer Science Department has moved downtown to create partnerships with businesses, how the expansion of the city’s convention center led to increased tourism revenues and the construction of multiple hotels downtown, to descriptions of how the police and arts departments worked together, everyone felt Boise’s unified call to bring them closer to the city’s vision of livability.

As Project Wichita enters its final stages, I hope that we as citizens, influencers, and those in positions of authority rally together behind a shared vision and create progress to advance our community in order for Wichita to become a place where everyone lives their best life.

View the daily, one-minute video recaps here: Day 1, Day 2, & Day 3.

The City-to-City delegation toured the Boise State campus, including “The Blue” football field.

From Airplanes to Zumba, Exposure 2018 Had it All!

More than 220 businesses and organizations shared their products and services with 1,759 attendees at the Chamber’s annual trade show, Exposure, that was held on Sept. 27 at Century II. The numbers were up for both attendees (1,759) and exhibitors (220), and the event included booths with information about Wichita’s favorite aircraft programs and even a Zumba demonstration at the end of the day led by Genesis Health Clubs.

One of the highlights at the Chamber exhibit was a visit from Connie Palacioz who stopped by to sign the U.S.S. Wichita banner. Palacioz riveted the original nose section of Wichita’s restored B-29 Superfortress, Doc, when she worked at Boeing from 1942-45. Her brother, Jay Cuellar, was a crew member of the U.S.S. Wichita (1939-47).

Organizers Rachel Douglass (Membership and Engagement Director) and Alison Percy (Member Engagement Coordinator) reported that booth traffic was steady and that many exhibitors engaged attendees with interactive activities at their booths. The Chamber’s exhibit was centered on the red carpet and drew traffic all day as attendees signed two different Wichita flag-themed banners. The first banner will be used to welcome the KC-46 crews to McConnell Air Force Base this fall and the second one will be sent to the crew of the U.S.S. Wichita when it’s commissioned in early 2019.

Some exhibitors, like Tim Fruits of Malibu Creative, posted a wrap-up of their experience on social media. Fruits shared a two-minute video about how the event reinforced his enthusiasm for building a business in Wichita. Like other exhibitors, Fruits made some valuable connections during Exposure with potential new clients and other business owners who are passionate about their industries and services.

Tim Fruits with Malibu Creative posted a short video about his team’s experience at 2018 Exposure.

Check out more photos from Exposure on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Our thanks to the Exposure Committee for volunteering their time and expertise as well as our sponsors who made the event possible:

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 19, when next year’s Exposure event will take place.