Your Chamber at Work - June 6, 2022




Connecting our members is the goal of the Chamber’s popular Neighborhood Networking series. And it works.

“We want to host it again,” says Michele Orpin, Director of Development for Kansas City’s Veterans Community Project. “It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our mission to the Kansas City community. The entire Chamber staff was so gracious and supportive and made everything so seamless.”

That’s what we like to hear, especially from a member organization like the Veterans Community Project, which provides housing and walk-in support systems to a too-often forgotten segment of our community: our veterans.

Neighborhood Networking events are held at interesting locations all over town. It’s a great way to get to know other Chamber members as well as the business or organization hosting the event. If you’re interested in hosting, contact the Chamber’s Brandon Krekel.

We offer other networking opportunities as well. Our next Face2Face Speed Networking will be held this Wednesday in the Chamber’s Board Room at Union Station. At the end of the 90-minute session, you’ll come away with at least 25 new business contacts. Click here to register.

As entrepreneur Charlene Waters says, “Networking is a deposit in the bank of your future.” Join us!


There’s still time to get your ticket for the culmination of the one of the nation’s biggest small business events: the Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon, Wednesday, June 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Marriott Muehlebach Tower, 1213 Wyandotte. We’ll name the 2022 Small Business of the Year, as well as the winners of the four specialty awards: the Weida International Small Business of the Year, the Legacy of KC Award, the Emerging Business of the Year Award, and the Small Business Equity Award. You won’t want to miss this year’s keynote speaker: entrepreneur and small business owner Wesley Hamilton. Kansas City native Hamilton was shot and left paralyzed, but his incredible journey took an unexpected turn. He became a fitness enthusiast, entrepreneur, small business owner, and founder and Executive Director of Disabled But Not Really. Tickets and tables are still available to purchase here. Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2022 Small Business Celebration Awards Luncheon. 2022 Small Business Programming is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Evergy.


Nominations are now open for one of the most prestigious honors for women leaders in our community – the ATHENA Leadership Award! Submit your nominations here now through June 30. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a person who stands out in professional excellence, community service, and actively assists women in their own attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. We also recognize a woman with the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, which honors emerging female leaders. Once nominated, a candidate will then complete the application form to be considered for the award. Award recipients will be honored at the ATHENA Awards Reception October 6. Submit today! The awards are sponsored by KPMG and UMB.


Take your employee resource groups to the next level. Join author and DEI expert Farzana Nayani for The Power of Employee Resource Groups, How People Create Authentic Change, June 23, 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the KC Chamber Board Room, located on the first floor of historic Union Station. Register here for this free in person event. Hear best practices on how to operate ERGs effectively and how to best engage people in the workplace. Nayani is the author of Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Racialized World, as well as a nationally recognized DEI specialist. The 2022 Presenting Diversity Sponsors are CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Evergy and Hallmark. Our Workshop Presenting Sponsor is Commerce Bank. This event is presented in partnership with the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce.


Don’t miss the POWER of Diversity Celebration, the region’s premier celebration of KC’s culturally diverse business community. This year’s POWER of Diversity Breakfast is July 20, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The LEX, 301 W. 13th Street, on the lower level of Municipal Auditorium in Downtown Kansas City. The KC Chamber will honor our Ace Awards winners, and the Champion of Diversity and non-profit Champion of Diversity. You’ll also learn how to strengthen your workforce by broadening your talent pool to include people with disabilities, returning citizens, immigrants, refugees, and more. The Marshall Project’s Ebony Reed moderates a panel of Kansas City small business owners who have found success with their diverse workforces. Join us for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are $40 for Chamber members or $50 for non-members, with tables of 10 available. Register here. Thanks to our Presenting Diversity Sponsors: CommunityAmerica Credit UnionEvergy and Hallmark.