Your Chamber at Work - November 16, 2020




My message this week is the same as it was last week: We need to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

The difference from last week, though, is our regional health condition has worsened. Cases continue to spike, and our medical community is worried.

On Friday, six area public health directors issued a warning: “Our community is at a critical point again with uncontrolled community spread….COVID-19 transmission cannot continue to rage out of control in our community given the severe strain on our health and medical systems.”

Later in the day, Chief Medical Officers from hospitals throughout the region held a news conference to support the public health directors. They said their hospitals were at a crisis point, with an exponential rise in cases and deaths. Available beds are nearing capacity and staffing is becoming a problem. As Dr. Steven Stites of KU Medical Center said, if this continues, “We won’t have the beds for people with COVID or for those people suffering heart attacks or other conditions.”

Remember New York City in the spring? Or El Paso now? We’ve got to get this under control.

Dr. Stites warned about CWS – COVID Weariness Syndrome – and it’s true. We’re all tired of the restrictions and yearning to get back to normal. The news about potential vaccines is heartening, but, as Dr. Stites said, COVID won’t wait for a vaccine.

We need to take action now. It is the best thing we can do for one another, our economy and our businesses.


Depression and anxiety rates are rising as COVID lingers on. Experts say the impact is now hitting the workforce. Join Healthy KC for the Workplace Mental Health Resource Showcase, a two-day event November 17 & 19 from 9 to 10 a.m. Dozens of KC employers will take part, showing the mental health resources they have in place. Learn how they’re helping their own employees with mental wellbeing and see what resources can help you do the same. Register here for November 17, and here for November 19. Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, and Premier Sponsors Reach Healthcare Foundation and Lockton.


Miss seeing your fellow Chamber members? Join us for the next virtual Neighborhood Networking, Friday November 20, 9 to 10 a.m. We welcome John Mikos, President of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City to share what The Y is doing to help support families while kids across the Metro take part in virtual learning. Learn how the Y is navigating health and wellness during COVID. Make sure you have plenty of coffee and bring your questions. Register here. Special thanks to the KC Chamber's 2020 networking sponsors: Delta Dental, Mazuma, SS&C and T-Mobile.


The KC Chamber’s Virtual 133rd Annual Dinner: UnstoppableKC is one week from tomorrow, Tuesday November 24, 3 to 5 p.m.! Get your tickets now. We come together to recognize the people whose acts of bravery, service, conviction, leadership, and community made us unstoppable during one of the most challenging years of our lives. See us surprise the recipient of the Kansas Citian of the Year Award! We also welcome our two featured speakers, both representing Unstoppable KC talent:

  • Heidi Gardner, actor and Saturday Night Live cast member from Kansas City, MO.
  • Aaron Thomas, producer and award-winning television and film writer for Friday Night Lights, CSI: NY, and S.W.A.T., from Kansas City, KS.

Heidi will give remarks and Aaron will take part in a fireside chat. Submit your questions for Aaron through the Annual Dinner website. You can also reach more about both featured speakers, buy your tickets, and learn about the Remo platform you’ll use to virtually network with old and new friends. Tickets are $35 and open to everyone, including non-Chamber members. Thank you to our 2020 Annual Dinner Presenting Sponsor, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.


Join the KC Chamber, Welcoming America, and about 40 additional local partnering organizations as we unveil the Greater Kansas City Welcoming Plan, Friday, December 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We’ve spent the past year and a half creating the Welcoming KC Plan with stakeholders across the Metro. This will be the framework as we work to achieve designated Welcoming City status for the region. By welcoming immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers to KC, we are helping our community grow and thrive – and strengthening our workforce. Register here for this inspiring virtual event. Thanks to our Presenting Sponsors CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Evergy, T-Mobile, and Hallmark.