2016 Regional Leaders’ Retreat Summary:
In mid-January, over 270 business leaders from Junction City, Manhattan, Wamego, Geary, Pottawatomie, and Riley County came together for the annual 2016 Regional Leaders’ Retreat. The main purpose of the Regional Leaders’ Retreat is to strategize and conceptualize, as a region, how we can come together to improve the overall quality of place and life.
The Chamber would like to thank our Platinum sponsor, Sink, Gordon & Associates.
Presentations included such relevant topics as Workforce Needs: Employability through Targeted Skills, Resources, and Recruitment; a Manhattan Regional Airport Air Service Report; Fort Riley: Today and in the Future, and the Region’s Response; Review of the 2015 Inter-City Visit to Columbia, MO; Workforce Solutions: Ability to Adapt to a Younger Workforce, Diversity, and Accentuating Life/Soft Skills; and a Briefing of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) and Economic Opportunities for the Region. Presenters included: John Armbrust, Executive Director of the Governor’s Military Council; Tim Barr, Project Manager for the NBAF Project at the Department of Homeland Security; Jo Brunner, Workforce Services Supervisor at the Department of Commerce; Clark Coco, Dena of Washburn Institute of Technology; COL Andrew Cole Jr, Garrison Commander of Fort Riley; Jan Cooper, Human Resources Manager at Florence Manufacturing; Tracey Faulkner, Director of Human Resources at R-TECH Tool and Machine; Jeff Fleming, Corporate Recruiter at CivicPlus; Jim Genandt, President of Manhattan Area Technical College; MG Wayne W. Grigsby Jr, Commanding General of 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley; Diane Hinrichs, Director of Highland Community College – Wamego; Jasen Jones, Executive Director of Southwest Missouri Workforce Investment Board (WIB); Jenny Locanthi, Assistant Vice President and Human Resources Director of Community First National Bank; Jesse Romo, Director of Manhattan Regional Airport; Dr. Ron Trewyn, National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Liaison and Assistant to the President of Kansas State University; and Dr. Marty Vanier, Director of Strategic Partnership Development in the NBAF Program Executive Office.
Additional speakers included James Gordon, Manhattan Chamber Board Chair-Elect and CPA from Sink, Gordon & Associates, who spoke on behalf of our Platinum Sponsor and welcomed the participants to the beginning of the Regional Leaders’ Retreat; Lucy Williams, Manhattan Chamber Board Past-Chair and Vice President/Trust Officer from The Trust Company, who reviewed the highlights from the 2015 Regional Leaders’ Retreat; and Kristin Brighton, Manhattan Chamber Board Chair and Principal of New Boston Creative Group, who reviewed highlights from the Chamber’s first ever Inter-City Visit to Columbia, MO and encouraged participants to attend the upcoming Inter-City Visit to Fayetteville, AR in September 2016.
Spread throughout the two days of sessions was the opportunity for all retreat attendees to once again participate in a text message-based polling system. Each participant was asked several questions at the end of the Fort Riley presentation and results were shown immediately, giving a real time representation of the opinions of the regional leaders in the session. At the end of many of the sessions each table had a chance to select a report-out leader who shared the results of a round-table discussion with the larger group. These discussions will be deliberated in more detail by the participating Chambers of Commerce Board of Directors.
Manhattan sponsors for the event include: Sink, Gordon & Associates, INTRUST Bank, Hawley Printing, Hi-Tech Interiors, Bruce McMillan Architects, Bayer Construction, and Flint Hills aTa Bus. Thank you for your sponsorship!