Jeff Fluhr, president
Eleven years ago a group of local leaders recruited Jeff Fluhr from Baton Rouge to Wichita to serve as the president of the Downtown Wichita Development Corporation, now Downtown Wichita.
Four years ago Jeff’s role was expanded to assist in creating the Greater Wichita Partnership, an economic development organization focused on developing a unique, holistic approach to community growth from downtown to the ten county region.
The Partnership is designed to align and focus efforts to make our region more competitive through three strategic priorities – jobs, talent and quality of place. The Partnership is built upon teamwork and the idea that, when everyone is advancing in the same direction, the region can create a powerful force to effect change. Jeff credits the numerous investors and community partners with creating that change.
Jeff began in Wichita by working closely with the community and stakeholders 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. Since its adoption, total investment in Wichita’s urban core is approximately one billion dollars.
During his time as President of the Greater Wichita Partnership, Jeff has led efforts to oversee and advance the three strategic priorities of the organization, including the concurrent development of three extensive strategic plans – the Regional Growth Plan, the Talent Marketing Blueprint and Project Wichita. Additionally, under his leadership, the Partnership has cultivated company growth within the region resulting in 7,182 new jobs, $2.2 billion in total capital investment and $324.4 million in total annual payroll since 2015.
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, with an emphasis on urban planning and business.
Jeff is actively involved in the community, serving on various boards including the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, Visit Wichita, the Wichita Community Foundation and previously on the International Downtown Association. Jeff is also a member of the Rotary Club of Wichita.
Jeff is married to Melissa and they have two children, a son Matthew and a daughter Anna Joy.
Sheryl Weller, chief financial officer
As chief financial officer for both the Greater Wichita Partnership and Downtown Wichita, Sheryl provides leadership and support for accounting, budgeting, financial reporting, audits and human resources. She also serves as a liaison and advisor to the Finance Committee of each organization’s Board of Directors.
Prior to the Partnership, Sheryl served as the chief financial officer for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and the Kansas Highway Patrol, which provided her with executive leadership in public service organizations as well as experience in organizational financial management.
Sheryl received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Washburn University, graduating with honors. She is also a graduate of the 2013 Class of Leadership Greater Topeka.
As executive vice president of economic development, Andrew develops, leads and facilitates business retention and recruitment initiatives; oversees the Regional Growth Plan, an economic strategy for the greater Wichita region and markets the community to existing and prospective businesses.
Prior to joining the Partnership, Andrew served as the executive director of the Shawnee Economic Development Council where he supported companies and area entrepreneurs in the creation of jobs and capital investments. Before that, Andrew served as business recruitment and retention manager for the Overland Park Economic Development Council where he implemented a systematic business retention and expansion program for more than 350 local companies utilizing a team of volunteers.
In addition to local businesses and volunteer leadership, Andrew has worked closely with area commercial brokers, national and international site selectors, the Kansas Department of Commerce and currently serves as the President of the Kansas Economic Development Alliance.
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.
Previously, Jaimie held the position of the vice president of communications for the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) where she worked in partnership with the public and private sector to develop and implement strategies to creatively communicate the vision outlined in Project Downtown as well as progress on development initiatives through written and visual information to broaden the awareness and interest of downtown. During her WDDC tenure, campaigns, events and marketing materials received numerous local awards including Public Relations Society of America Clarus and Wichita American Marketing Association Silver and Gold MAX awards. The International Downtown Association also recognized WDDC’s team with numerous awards, including its top honor—the Pinnacle Award.
Jaimie has a bachelor's of fine arts in graphic design from Kansas State University. She is a past board of trustees member of Young Professionals of Wichita and is a current board of directors member of the Wichita Arts Council.
Evan Rosell, vice president of projects
A Wichita native with a diverse professional background, Evan Rosell recently joined the Greater Wichita Partnership as Vice President of Projects. In this role, Evan shepherds Project Wichita in collaboration with community partners and provides strategic leadership to the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth.
Prior to joining the Partnership in March 2018, Evan practiced law in Kansas City at Shaffer Lombardo Shurin, provided executive leadership to a rapidly growing church with two locations in the Kansas City metro area, and most recently served as Chief of Staff for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. The key uniting them in Evan's leadership background is his passion and capacity for leading diverse communities and organizations toward transformational change.
Evan received a bachelor of arts from Baylor University and his juris doctor with dean's honors from Washburn University School of Law. Evan is married to Jessie and most of his free time is spent wrestling his three young boys, Peter, Rhett, and Isaac.
Duane Smith, CCR, research director
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.
As vice president of business development, 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.
Adrienne Korson, director of economic development
As director of economic development, Adrienne facilitates growth throughout the ten-county greater Wichita region by directly working on business attraction projects and local business expansion projects. She also manages the quarterly meetings that bring all regional economical development professionals together to help each other grow in their profession and coordinate economic development efforts efficiently as a region, especially utilizing the strategies and initiatives recommended in the new Regional Growth Plan.
Adrienne was previously economic development specialist for the Partnership and assisted on the development of key strategic projects, such as the Regional Growth Plan and Project Wichita.
Prior to coming to Wichita, Adrienne was director of economic development and director of the Chamber of Commerce for Doniphan County, Kansas. There she was tasked with expanding the county tax base and increasing quality of life through business growth and community development initiatives. During her two years in that position she spearheaded recruitment and development of several businesses that created a new net capital investment in the county of nearly $25 million.
Adrienne also wrote a countywide strategic plan for economic development, implemented a branding and marketing strategy including a social media presence, helped to create a community foundation for Doniphan County, and planned a county festival themed around the August 2017 total solar eclipse that brought in significant revenues to the economic development foundation earmarked for encouraging development and tourism to Doniphan County.
Adrienne earned her bachelor’s degree as a dual major in business management and economics from Benedictine College. She is pursuing certification for economic development professionals (CEcD) through Oklahoma University’s Economic Development Institute (OU/EDI).
Heather Denker, vice president of investor development
Heather focuses on multiple initiatives including 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.
Andy Kim, director of multimedia
As director of multimedia, Andy works on behalf of the Greater Wichita Partnership and Downtown Wichita to produce, edit, and manage compelling digital media to further the missions and enhance the brand reputations of both organizations. A key priority of this position includes managing all phases of multimedia production, while continually developing and improving how each organization visually tells and promotes cohesive stories. Additionally, this position works to implement new editing technologies and industry best practices to maximize efficiency and keep the organization relevant in the digital world.
Andy received a bachelor of business administration in marketing from Wichita State University.
Kelsey Pracht, director of organizational communications
As director of organizational communications, Kelsey’s focus is to fulfill the mission of the Greater Wichita Partnership through communicating organizational progress and economic development strategies to investors, the public, and the ten county region.
Kelsey interned with Downtown Wichita for over a year and transitioned into a full-time role as communications specialist for both Downtown Wichita and the Greater Wichita Partnership. After working in these positions, Kelsey is excited to further expand her role into the Greater Wichita Partnership where she will use her talents to promote the Partnership and its efforts within economic development. Her primary responsibilities include writing and designing creative content for both print and web, social media management and investor relations communications.
Kelsey received a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design with a minor in Spanish from Wichita State University, after previously receiving her associate in arts from Butler Community College. Additionally, Kelsey is also a current member of the Wichita chapter of AIGA, the professional association of design.
Nick Bishop, director of industry communications
As director of communications, Nick’s top priority is promoting and marketing the greater Wichita region as the place to grow businesses, industries, and families. His main responsibility is to implement the Partnership's visual brand and voice throughout all communications materials to further enhance the organization's mission and strategic priorities. In addition, Nick assists in communicating regional economic development progress and announcements.
Before joining the Greater Wichita Partnership, Nick worked in various marketing capacities within the automotive industry and at Butler County Community College. Most recently, Nick was a graphic designer at a local marketing group where he worked closely with clients to help develop strategic campaigns and branding. Nick has contributed to multiple projects that have won local and national awards.