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Archive for "Leadership"

Leadership Wichita Holiday Get Together

Posted on December 9, 2021 by under Community, Events, Leadership.    

Our #LeadershipWichita class (class of 2014) recently had a holiday get together at Bill’s place. He has a 5,000 square-foot loft above Bite Me BBQ. It was the perfect place to gather because, being downtown, it’s centrally located for both East- and West-siders, and he had plenty of space for everyone.

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Bill and his wife Marilyn were wonderful hosts. Besides providing BBQ for everyone, they also had a nice dessert selection and made a special cake for our group. It was fabulous!

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Here are some pictures of our group. I’m glad several of my classmates made it to this event. It was great to see everyone. until next time. GNG.

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Executives of the Year Awards Lunch

Posted on November 28, 2021 by under Community, Leadership.    

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Former VP of Customer Operations at Evergy Jeff Beasley (he retired in June) was recognized by the Wichita Business Journal as one of its 2021 Executives of the Year. A bunch of us from work attended the awards lunch at the Hyatt last week. It was a wonderful celebration of several amazing leaders in our community.

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After almost two years of working remotely, it was great to see some colleagues face to face. Most of our meetings have been virtual and video cameras aren’t always on so it was refreshing to actually see everyone. We will all be returning to working from the office in January so we will be back to seeing one another in person again very soon. Hopefully, it’s a sign that things are finally returning back to normal.

There were several executives honored at the lunch. I had met a few of them through events such as these in the past, before the pandemic brought gatherings to a screeching halt, but there were a couple of honorees who I actually knew personally. Ron McMahon, CEO of the Greater Wichita YMCA, was one of the honorees. I had met him through my stint as a group fitness instructor for the YMCA. Margaret Dechant, CEO of 6 Meridian (an investment advising firm formed in 2016 by 6 former Morgan Stanley wealth advisors), was another honoree. I met Margaret through pickleball. Incidentally, Ron is also an avid pickleball player.

It’s amazing to me how impressive many of the pickleball players are in our community. So many of them are successful entrepreneurs or business people. You could be playing with the President of a billion-dollar company or a professional poker player or some other multi-millionaire. You never know. That’s one of the great things about pickleball. Players from diverse backgrounds and all ages have so much fun playing together.

That’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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Master Certificate in Project Management

Posted on September 27, 2018 by under Leadership, Things to Do.    

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Well, it took more than a year but I am finally done. I received my Master Certificate in Project Management earlier this month from Wichita State University‘s Center for Management Development.

But, as a lifelong learner, I’m never truly done. While I’m finished with this program, there is still so much more to learn.

For now, I need to decide whether to apply for a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. I suppose that would be a reasonable next step. I’m not in a hurry to do it because it’s not required for my current role but I’m thinking this might be something I want to complete in 2019 should my schedule allow it.

I’m still undecided. What do you guys think?

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Ginger’s Retirement Party

Posted on June 23, 2018 by under Events, Leadership, Life.    

The longest boss I’ve ever had retired a few weeks ago. She was my boss for thirteen years — starting on August 2004 when she hired me as a Contact Center Supervisor to June 2017 when I got transferred to Michelle’s team. But she was more than just a boss to me. She was like a second mom. For years she and Terry (another wonderful leader who I’ve had the privilege of working for; he retired a couple of years ago) looked after “the kids” — that’s what they called us. When Terry retired, I knew this day would eventually come but I had always been kinda sorta in denial.

I’m not really in our Wichita office as much because I’ve been reporting to Kansas City the last few months. Mostly I am there on Fridays (and late on Thursdays when I have to return the company car that I’ve borrowed for the week). Even so, it still feels weird to me not having Ginger around. At least before she retired I knew I could pop in once in a while and see her. Her old office is now Isaac’s and, whenever I walk by, it’s just not the same.

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Here are a few pictures that we took from her retirement party at the Pumphouse a couple of weeks ago.

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What you don’t see in these photos is that my black dress turned white from getting cocktail sauce spilled allover it and then being cleaned up. It was pretty bad. I was lucky that it was dark in the restaurant because it didn’t look as bad. However, as soon as Brian and I walked out into the daylight, you could see the entire mess all over me. The only thing worse was the smell. LOL.

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It was a great turnout.

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Carmen did a great job on Ginger’s picture board.

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For our part, Brian and I didn’t get too fancy. We just put together a “retirement care package” consisting of a “No Work All Play” pilsner and Ginger’s favorite beverages (Tito’s Vodka and Coronas).

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Here are some progress pics of putting the present together.

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Brian printed nice labels for us to spruce up the crate.

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The part that required the most effort were all the origami flowers which took me several hours to do. I tried to get Brian to help me but he has such a short attention span that he gave up after making only one. LOL.

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I had to make the rest of the origami flowers by myself. It’s totally worth it, though. I wanted to put our special touch on the present. Or, I guess, my special touch.

Anyway, I’m super sad about Ginger’s retirement but at the same time I’m really happy for her. She no longer has to be bogged down with work and finally has the time to pursue all the things that are meaningful to her.

I hope someday when it’s our turn leave the working world, we have the opportunity to retire at a reasonable age to still enjoy life (#Goals).

I guess that’s all for now. GNG.

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Kansas YP Summit

Posted on May 2, 2016 by under Events, Leadership.    

Every time I feel like I’m almost caught up with the blog, stuff happens and I’m behind again. So, we’re almost caught up but we were busy this weekend so there’s still a lot of stuff to catch you guys up on.

Here are some pictures from the Kansas YP Summit last week.

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I’m so glad work approved me to attend because they had some fantastic speakers lined up: Stephanie Sharp, Armando Minjares, Heather Morgan, my friend Aaron Wirtz, Richard Rierson, Christina Long, Ted Kriwiel, Mark McCormick, and keynote speaker Jon Acuff, author of Do Over, Start, and Quitter. Some friends of mine had breakout sessions in the afternoon as well.

I wanted to go to the pre-summit social at the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park but I didn’t end up leaving Topeka until 6 PM. The mingle was only scheduled to run until 8 PM so I was too late. At least I got to go to the actual summit.

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Retired educator, Jan Davis, did an ice breaker activity in her opening remarks.

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She asked us to form groups for three. This was my first group. That’s Kat on the left and Amy in the middle. Amy is with the Kansas Leadership Center and actually had a breakout session in the afternoon on storytelling.

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This is my second group.

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My friend Ebony did a wonderful job as the event emcee.

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I also got selfies with a couple of the speakers — Stephanie, pictured above, and Aaron, pictured below. You might recognize Aaron from his TV commercials. He’s brilliant.

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I remember meeting him when he first started working for the car dealership. Four years later, he’s an icon. I’m not surprised because he is a marketing genius. And, he’s super talented to boot.

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I also some selfies with my coworkers.

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Here’s a photo of Amy at her breakout session.

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I paired up with Chelsea from our Topeka office for the activity. This is a picture of her “leaning” into her story.

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Here’s a picture of our keynote speaker, Jon Acuff, who was both insightful and funny.

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Here’s a selfie with my friend Ryan and his daughter, who was a wonderful breakout session assistant. I walked into the session a little bit late and she walked over and gave me a handout. She was on top of it.

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Here’s a selfie of me with my activity partner.

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Christina, below, has inspired me to design my own decade.

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Ted, has inspired me to be more selfless.

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And then we had closing remarks by Mark McCormick.

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It was a truly amazing day and I feel very grateful that I had the opportunity to attend.

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