Your Chamber at Work - September 13, 2021




Congratulations to Sherry Turner, Executive Director of the Kansas City Women’s Business Center and Michele L. Watley, Founder and Owner of The Griot Group LLC.

Both will be honored at the KC Chamber’s annual ATHENA Awards Celebration on Thursday, October 7. Sherry will receive the Chamber’s 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award and Michele the ATHENA Young Professional Award. Both are being honored for their professional excellence, community service, and for actively helping women progress. The Young Professional Award focuses on emerging women leaders across the region.

Sherry is the Founder of OneKC for Women Alliance, a collaboration that brings together the Women’s Employment Network, Women’s Business Center, Women’s Capital Connection, and Women Lead Initiative. Long before I came to the Chamber, Sherry was our Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She is an amazing woman.

So is Michele. The company she founded, The Griot Group, is a public affairs and strategic communications firm. She also founded Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet, a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to amplifying the voices and power of Black women across the nation through education and advocacy.

The reception honoring the two is a private event due to COVID restrictions. But you can register here to watch the ceremony, which will be held Thursday, October 7, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Congratulations to both and thank you for your leadership!


Immigrants have a major impact on Greater KC: bringing rich cultural traditions, opening small businesses, and spending $3.5 billion per year in our local economy. Celebrate and support these contributions during Welcoming Week 2021, now through September 19. The members of Welcoming KC have put together a full week of events, including a Welcoming Week cash mob, a garden party, an art walk, and the ribbon cutting for Kansas City Public Schools’ brand-new Welcoming Center. You can see all the events here and read about the Welcoming Plan and why it’s vital for a growing KC in this recent GROW KC Business Magazine article.


Reserve your spot now for our upcoming Neighborhood Networking, this Friday, September 17, 8:30 to 10 a.m., at Menlo’s Crossroads location at 1901 McGee. Learn more about their growth trajectory from their 2016 Mr. K Award win to their vital role in providing technology solutions for schools and civic organizations. It’s free for KC Chamber members, and $15 for non-members. Register here. Menlo and Unbound are Neighborhood Networking event sponsors for 2021. The KC Chamber’s overall networking sponsors for the year are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Delta Dental, and Mazuma.


KC Chamber staff will begin collecting recommendations from our members for the Chamber’s 2022 Kansas and Missouri Policy Agendas. Chamber members can submit requested policy positions for both Kansas and Missouri by Wednesday, September 22 at 5 p.m. Email John Jenks at to receive a submission form, then fill out the form and submit it by the September 22 deadline. Staff will work with Public Policy Council advisors, lobbyists, and Chamber leaders to consider all submissions to draft the 2022 state policy agendas. Both agendas will be sent to the Chamber Board for approval and adaptation at the November or December Board meeting.


Every week we’re coming across new shortages: automobile parts, technology components, certain foods, and even toys for the holidays. Register now for Go Global KC, Go Global KC, September 23, 7 to 9 a.m. at Summit Tech Academy, 110 NW Technology Parkway in Lee’s Summit, to hear from global trade experts on what we can expect moving forward, and which products could bounce back sooner. Tickets are $50 per person. WTCKC will also name the 2021 Economic Development Agency of the Year and the 2021 Service Provider of the Year, plus you can take part in breakout sessions with World Trade Centers from Canada, Gibraltar, Philippines, Mexico, and more. Thanks to our Presenting Sponsors Global Prep Squad and University of Central Missouri and our Keynote Presenting Sponsor Black & Veatch Corporation.