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Partners In Progress

The effectiveness of the Greater Wichita Partnership is in each member, each investor, each community and business leader serving this region. We invite you to connect with any of the area professionals serving on boards, committees, and within the many alliances and task forces. Our strength is in our diversity and united efforts for success.

Executive Board Of The Greater Wichita Partnership

Exists to ensure the work of the organization aligns with the mission to fast-forward economic growth in the Greater Wichita region. 

Learn more about becoming an investor of the Partnership by contacting Becca Newman at

Executive Board

Charlie Chandler, INTRUST Bank, Executive Board Co-chair
Jon Rolph, Thrive Restaurant Group, Executive Board Co-chair
Aaron Bastian, Fidelity Bank, Executive Board Vice-Chair
Matt Michaelis, Emprise Bank, Executive Board Treasurer
Derrick Nielsen, High Touch Technologies, Inc., Executive Board Secretary
Jeff Fluhr, Greater Wichita Partnership, President

Ex-Officio Members

Matt All, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
Paul Allen, Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, LC
Alan Banta, Trans Pacific Oil, Downtown Wichita Board Chair
Chuck Caisley, Evergy
Ramin Cherafat, McCownGordon
Marty Cornejo, Cornejo Holdings
Ron Draper, Textron Aviation
Tom Gentile, Spirit AeroSystems
Chris Graham, Koch Industries, Inc.
Stephanie Harder, Textron Aviation, Business & Education Alliance Co-chair
Hans Kabat, Cargill
Chairman Pete Meitzner, Sedgwick County
Dr. Richard Muma, Wichita State University
James Nastars, Meritrust Credit Union
Mark Quayle, Cargill
John Rolfe, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce
Gary Schmitt, INTRUST Bank
Dr. Sheree Utash, WSU Tech, Business & Education Alliance Co-chair
Mayor Dr. Brandon Whipple, City of Wichita
Damon Young, Kansas Leadership Center, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Board Chair

At-Large Members

Shelly Prichard, Wichita Community Foundation

Strategic Advisory Team

Comprised of private-sector leaders and public-sector officials, this team assists in guiding economic development strategies, goals, and opportunities within the Partnership’s jobs priority. In addition, the team provides critical leadership to propel the initiatives identified within the Regional Growth Plan. 

David Alfaro, Butler County
Paul Allen, Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, LC
Kevin Arnel, Foulston Siefkin
Ebony Clemons-Ajibolade, Evergy
Jeff Fluhr, Greater Wichita Partnership
Grant Glasgow, NAI Martens
Jamie Harrison, Meritrust Credit Union
Sarah Hoefgen, El Dorado, Inc.
Paul Hughes, Kansas Department of Commerce
Mike King, Hutton
Todd Knight, McCownGordon
Keith Lawing, Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas/Regional Economic Area Partnership of South Central Kansas (REAP)
Bob Layton, City of Wichita
Joel Leftwich, Kansas Farm Bureau
Colin Marsh, Murfin, Inc.
Chairman Pete Meitzner, Sedgwick County
Dan Reisig, UV&S
Scot Rigby, City of Wichita
John Rolfe, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce
Andrew Schlapp, Wichita State University
Gary Schmitt, INTRUST Bank
Beth Shelton, Harvey County Economic Development Council
Brent Shelton, Sedgwick County
Tom Stolz, Sedgwick County
Joe Surmeier, PEC
Debra Teufel, Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce
Brice Turner, Hornet Cutting Systems
Mayor Dr. Brandon Whipple, City of Wichita
Damon Young, Kansas Leadership Center/Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Chair

Accelerate Wichita

To support the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Partnership provides support to Accelerate Wichita (formerly the Entrepreneurship Task Force), a group focused on identifying, activating and mentoring an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Driven by Co-chairs Trish Brasted of Wichita Technology Corp. and Mark Torline of Wichita State University, Accelerate Wichita has a vision to build and support an inclusive, globally competitive, and impactful entrepreneurial ecosystem creating sustainable long-term growth for the Wichita region through job and wealth creation.

A key accomplishment of the Entrepreneurship Task Force (ETF) was the launch of the first entrepreneurial accelerator in Kansas – e2e, now named NXTUS. In 2015, ETF launched a planning committee that took the necessary steps to open the independent entity. NXTUS works closely with Accelerate Wichita to cultivate the entrepreneurial ecosystem by activating, accelerating, and mentoring entrepreneurs in the heartland.

Talent Advisory Committee

Comprised of Human Resource Executives and community leaders, this committee is regularly convened to provide strategic direction for current and future talent recruitment and retention efforts. In addition, this committee works to propel the initiatives identified within the Talent Marketing Blueprint.

Laura Breese, Spirit AeroSystems
Alejo Cabral, W – A Community of Young Professionals
Nici Duncan, High Touch Technologies, Inc.
Laura Fischer, Hutton
Kara Franks, Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, LC
Melissa Knoeber, Fidelity Bank
Jonathan Long, Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce
Marilou Mewborn, Ascension Via Christi
Phet Namphengsone, Textron Aviation
Whitney Proctor, McCownGordon
Rene White, INTRUST Bank

For specific questions related to the Talent Advisory Committee, or to get on the mailing list, please contact Anne-Marie Coughlin, vice president of talent at

Business & Education Alliance (BEA)

Focused on promoting a seamless partnership between private business and education leaders to inspire, develop, and produce the productive workforce needed for sustained economic growth for our region. The BEA is guided by the Student Success Task Force Plan, which identifies three priority areas based on the initiatives outlined in the Lifelong Learning Action Plan of the Project Wichita Community Report. The BEA is currently led by Co-chairs Stephanie Harder, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Textron Aviation, and Dr. Sheree Utash, President of WSU Tech.

Organizations Involved:

Business & Education Alliance (BEA)

Meetings are held 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at the Greater Wichita Partnership offices at 505 E. Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67202. For specific questions related to BEA, or to get on the mailing list, please contact Anne-Marie Coughlin at

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