Jeff Fluhr, president
Jeff serves the community in several roles with one mission: to grow the regional economy. As president of the Greater Wichita Partnership, Jeff is responsible for carrying out an aggressive approach to regional economic growth through newly aligned organizations and initiatives. This includes continuing to serve as president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) and working concurrently on local and regional economic development initiatives.
At WDDC, Jeff is responsible for carrying out the mission of the WDDC to strengthen Downtown Wichita as a strong economic center of a strong economic region. In this capacity, he works closely with the WDDC Board of Directors, private sector partners and local government to stimulate new investment and interest in downtown Wichita. He has been in this position since 2008.
In economic development, Jeff is responsible for providing leadership with efforts to grow existing Wichita companies as well as pursuing new companies that may continue to advance the community’s development. The Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG) is the strategic document guiding the development of the 10 county region.
Jeff’s experience in Wichita encompasses downtown master planning, city planning, urban revitalization, funding strategies, project management, community coalition building, market economics, marketing and working with private-sector investors.
Jeff worked closely with the community and partners to develop and implement Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita, which was adopted in 2010, and has served as an economic driver for development. In the last 10 years, the public- and private-sectors have invested more than a billion dollars in downtown Wichita.
In early 2015, the Greater Wichita Partnership evolved out of the community’s Leadership Council, a group of more than 100 area business, non-profit, education, union, public-sector and association leaders. The Partnership now provides close alignment of both the WDDC and local/regional economic development activities. Also under the Partnership’s umbrella is the Business and Education Alliance (BEA) and Entrepreneurship Task Force initiatives (ETF).
Prior to coming to Wichita, Jeff served as the assistant executive director of the City of Baton Rouge Downtown Development District. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Louisiana State University, which focused on urban planning and business.
Jeff is actively involved in the community and serves on various boards including the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, Visit Wichita and the Wichita Community Foundation. He also is a board member for the International Downtown Association. Early in his career he was awarded a Rotary Club International fellowship for a business exchange in Australia to study city planning and economic development.
Jeff is married to Melissa and they have two children, a son Matthew and a daughter Anna Joy.
Marlo Dolezal is the chief financial officer for the Greater Wichita Partnership and the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. In this role Marlo is responsible for the organizations' accounting and finance, human resources and IT. Marlo earned her accounting degree from Kansas State University and holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Her resume includes seven years in key leadership roles at the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland and seven additional years of financial management in the private sector. She is a Rotarian, a graduate of the Chamber's 2016 Leadership Wichita class, 2011 Wichita Business Journal "40 under 40" honoree and treasurer of the newly formed Goddard Education Foundation.
As executive vice president of economic development, Andrew develops, leads and facilitates business retention and recruitment initiatives; oversees the Blueprint for Regional economic growth (BREG) initiative and markets the community to existing and prospective businesses.
In addition to local businesses and volunteer leadership, Andrew has worked closely with area commercial brokers, national and international site selectors and the Kansas Department of Commerce.
As the executive vice president of strategic communications for the Greater Wichita Partnership, Jaimie develops and oversees the execution of strategic communications, targeted messaging, integrated marketing, brand management and creative content of the Greater Wichita Partnership and its entities to drive economic development in the region.
David leads business expansion and business recruitment activities for the Partnership. He has over 25 years of economic development experience throughout Kansas. David has a bachelor's of science degree in accounting as well as a master's degree in administration, both from Fort Hays State University. David is also certified as an economic development and finance professional and a business retention and expansion project coordinator.
Craig Bay leads the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG) initiative. Utilizing his 20 years of private sector experience defining business strategies and building customer relationships, Craig facilitates this collaborative 10-county initiative to grow the region’s economy. He also has staff oversight of the Entrepreneurship Task Force—a group that identifies, engages and advocates for entrepreneurial organizations, businesses and individuals. He is a graduate of Friend’s University with a master's in quality management.
Duane leads the research department and performs research and analysis in support of economic development and community marketing programs. Duane graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor's in business administration—majoring in aviation management and minoring in economics.
Tammy Nolan, marketing director
Tammy leads the outreach marketing events for the Partnership. With more than 20 years of advertising and marketing experience working with local agencies and corporate headquarters, she is poised to introduce businesses, both domestic and abroad, to all that our region has to offer. Tammy graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in journalism with an emphasis in marketing and minor in psychology. She is a 2004 Wichita Business Journal “40 Under 40” honoree.
Heather Denker, manager of special projects
Heather focuses on multiple initiatives including the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG), investor relations and the Business and Education Alliance (BEA) which works to align the education and business communities to produce a globally competitive workforce. Formally the director of the Young Professionals of Wichita and communications director for Congressman Mike Pompeo, Heather is a strong advocate for workforce development and economic strength in south central Kansas. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in business administration.
Léah Sakr Lavender, talent specialist
As talent specialist, a position created in conjunction with area employers, the City of Wichita and other local partners, Léah develops global strategies to retain and recruit talent to the region while accelerating efforts to retrain local workers to reflect industry advancements.
Raised in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Léah has lived and worked around the globe, including: Sydney, Australia; Saragossa, Spain and San Francisco, Calif. Her personal background, combined with a resume that includes experience as a human resource manager, media analyst and educator, provides Léah with a unique skillset while bringing a global perspective to the Partnership. She earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and a master’s in teaching from the University of Sydney—graduating with honors from both programs—and is fluent in English, French, Arabic and Spanish.