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Partnership Receives 2023 Chairman’s Award

By Emily Younger Barnwell

The Partnership is honored to have received the 2023 Chairman’s Award presented by Sedgwick County Chairman Pete Meitzner on Jan. 10, 2024.

“The Greater Wichita Partnership, their mission is in the name of their group. From 2015 to the end of 2023, they have directly supported and have helped land over 13,000 new jobs, captured a capital investment of $3.4 billion and added $650 million in annual payroll to the community,” emphasized Chairman Meitzner. “It is a true partnership and I think it is well worth the investment.”

In 2023 alone, the Partnership’s initiatives in regional investment, strategic workforce planning, and collaborative efforts led to the creation of hundreds of new jobs. This resulted in more than $418 million in capital investment and another $5.3 billion in the prospect pipeline.

During the award ceremony, Partnership President Jeff Fluhr expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of the organization’s investors and the exemplary working relationship with the public and private sectors. He explained the unique collaboration is a catalyst for economic growth – greatly aiding in the Partnership’s mission to fast-forward the regional economy.

Fluhr attributed the success and impressive return on investment to the essential partnership with various entities including Sedgwick County, the City of Wichita, state and federal officials, and the business community.

“These relationships are critical. While the private sector can move initiatives forward, having the political will, in collaboration with the business community, is unique and sets our global city apart from the competition,” emphasized Fluhr. “The Partnership is grateful to the commission’s continued investment and leadership.”

Commissioner Ryan Baty, who was named chairman at the Jan. 10 meeting, noted there is currently an additional $760 million in downtown project investment in the pipeline.

“We deserve growth in this community as a global city, a global region, and the Partnership, in many ways, is the driving force behind a lot of that,” Baty said. “We have a lot of prospects on the table. We have a lot of opportunities. I am excited about the next few years, and we appreciate everything the Partnership is doing.”

Commissioners Jim Howell, David Dennis and Sarah Lopez echoed their appreciation for the Partnership’s dedicated work in the organization’s three strategic priority areas: Jobs, Talent and Quality of Life.

“When people learn what goes on in Wichita, it’s a magnet. It attracts them. Your team does a fantastic job of telling our story,” Howell explained.

“It’s amazing to me how you can connect the people who want to come to Wichita and want to form their businesses here and they are proud to be members of this region. That’s a testament to what you all do,” emphasized Dennis.

Lopez noted the transformational momentum within the region, “It’s a very exciting time to live in this area. I feel very comfortable because I trust the Partnership.”

As we move into 2024, the Partnership remains committed to strategically leveraging the region’s critical assets to support the dynamic and prosperous community that many proudly call home.

Together, we ALL build Wichita. 

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