Your Chamber at Work - October 29, 2018


Two important items I’d like to share with you today.

First, congratulations to Carolyn Watley who was elected the new Chair of the KC Chamber at last week’s Chamber Board meeting. Carolyn is Vice President of Community Engagement for CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services Inc., and has been active in the Chamber for a long time. She’s been a driving force behind our Women’s Executive Leadership Council as well as our Healthy KC initiative. Her term as Chair begins November 1.

Carolyn succeeds Gordon Lansford of JE Dunn Construction. Gordon’s had a busy and productive year as Chamber Chair, a year that saw a truce in the economic border war (finally!) And Gordon has worked diligently on enhancing the Chamber’s strategic plan. He’s been terrific to work with, and his commitment to bettering our regional community has been well in evidence.

Here’s a link to the news release announcing the election of Carolyn, our officers for next year, and new Board members.

Secondly, I’m proud to announce The Greater KC Report, the Chamber’s new online economic dashboard that showcases the data behind many of the issues facing our region. Crime and violence, economic growth, workforce development, health outcomes – these are just a few of the issues we explore in our new dashboard.

This is just the first iteration of the Report – updates and expansion of the information will continue regularly. The Report is also a community collaboration. We’ve already been contacted by several organizations asking that data they’ve collected be included in our dashboard. Which it will.

Our thanks to MySidewalk, our partner in this important effort. Check it out!


Heading into Veterans Day weekend, you’re invited to a special morning of Neighborhood Networking at the WWI Museum, Friday, November 8 from 8:30-10 a.m. Learn how the museum continues to serve as a beacon of freedom, educating visitors and scholars while preserving historical materials with the highest professional standards. Registration is free for Chamber members and just $15 for non-members. Register here. Our Neighborhood Networking events are designed to be smaller and more intimate, and hopefully personal and impactful for all attendees. Special thanks to our Neighborhood Networking sponsors Andrews McMeel Universal and Spectrum Reach. The KC Chamber's 2019 networking sponsors are Mazuma, SS&C, and Sprint.


A healthy workforce is key to a vibrant regional economy. That’s why the KC Chamber supports Medicaid expansion in Kansas. We’re pleased to partner with the Overland Park and Kansas City, Kansas Chambers of Commerce to host a special briefing for business leaders on how Medicaid expansion impacts the bottom line. Join us Wednesday, November 13 at the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, 9001 W. 110th Street, Suite 150 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Learn the business case for health reform with Rosemarie Day, founder and CEO of Day Health Strategies and the founding Deputy Director & Chief Operating Office of the Health Connector in Massachusetts, the nation’s first state-run health insurance exchange. The topic is timely given active policy discussions in the Kansas executive and legislative branches regarding expansion. Please RSVP to Shelby Ostrom at no later than Friday, November 1.


The KC Chamber is proud to partner with KC SourceLink for a Global Entrepreneurship Week kickoff breakfast: What Do Opportunity Zones Mean for Small Businesses and Investors? This free event is Monday, November 18, from 7:30-9 a.m. at the American Jazz Museum, 1616 E 18th Street in Kansas City. Register here to reserve your spot. Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. They’re designed to promote economic development and job creation in under-served neighborhoods while offering tax benefits to investors. Hear from Emily Lecuyer, Managing Director of AltCap, Samuel Hasty, Managing Partner with Opportunity Hub, and Luke Einsel, CEO of Thirsty Coconut in a panel moderated by Tammy Buckner from WeGrowKC. Click here for a look at all GEW events.


Is there a small business that you love? Nominate them here for the 2020 Small Business of the Year. This award recognizes a Greater KC-based for-profit business with fewer than 250 employees, that has shown growth or sustainability of their business with strong employee relations and a record of giving back to the community. Nominations close Monday, November 18. Click here for more information on the Small Business Celebration and a look at last year’s winner, TREKK Design, as well as our 2019 Top 10 Small Businesses. The number one question we get asked about the nominations is if you can nominate your own company, so let us make it clear: yes, yes you can nominate your own company.


How does your business handle employee mental health? Whether you’ve had practices in place for years or are just putting together your resources, this event is for you. Join us for Start the Chat, Tuesday, November 19 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. in the KC Chamber Board Room, located in the southeast corner of historic Union Station, 30 W Pershing Road. Healthy KC’s Behavioral Health action team, now known as the Workplace Mental Health Collaborative, will launch a robust new survey focusing on employee mental health, personalized for KC employers but developed by the American Psychiatric Association Foundation's Center for Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health America, and One Mind at Work. Start the Chat is designed for employees who work in health and wellness, HR/Benefits, EAP, training and leadership development, diversity and inclusion, occupational medicine, disability, and legal affairs. Register now for this free event. Thanks to our Overall Presenting Sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, our Foundation Supporter REACH Healthcare Foundation, Corporate Champion Sponsor AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, and our Advocate Sponsors CommunityAmerica Credit Union, HCA Midwest Health, Saint Luke’s Health System, The University of Kansas, and The University of Kansas Health System.