President & CEO
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce
Overall, I have to focus on the quality of life. That includes a low cost of living, outstanding educational opportunities, safe neighborhoods and a multitude of options for recreation, cultural attractions, entertainment and dining. My family has been thoroughly impressed with all the choices we have when we’re dining out or spending some time together. Wichita has a “small town feel” even though it’s a big metropolitan area. It’s a great place to call home.
Jobs. I’m optimistic that Wichita and the region is serious about economic diversification with the resources being dedicated to the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG). I think jobs is definitely an issue that doesn’t recognize jurisdictional boundaries and requires a truly regional approach to development. The Chamber is committed to supporting BREG, the Greater Wichita Partnership and other key partners in keeping the focus on economic diversification.
Together Wichita is a natural opportunity for an organization like the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. One of the Chamber’s four focus areas also happens to be “promoting the community,” which fits into Together Wichita’s mission as well. The Chamber is excited to work together with other community leaders to make the Wichita region a better place to live and work. Community promotion is extremely important to our 1,800 members and our Board of Directors.
I believe two areas that have changed dramatically are Wichita State University and Eisenhower National Airport. Dr. John Bardo’s vision to make the WSU campus a center for innovation is reinventing economic development in our region and putting Wichita on the map. The new airport terminal makes such a positive first impression on our community! I remember being in awe the first time I flew out of the new terminal. It gave me such a sense of pride about Wichita due to its design and its focus on our Air Capital of the World heritage.
I have had the opportunity to work with many outstanding leaders in my four years with the Wichita Metro Chamber. Just reviewing a list of Chamber Chairmen during my short tenure is a “who’s who” of local leaders: Lynn Nichols (Yingling Aviation), Walter Berry (Berry Companies), Debbie Gann (Spirit Aerosystems), Wayne Chambers (High Touch), Jon Rosell (Medical Society) and Barry Schwan (House of Schwan). I have been fortunate to work closely with each of them and learn from them in the process.
Keeper of the Plains