Fuel the Fire Speaker Series

August 28th, September 17 & October 29, 5 p.m. at The LUX (120 E. 1st St. N.)

The Wichita Community Foundation (WCF), Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC), and the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Council have partnered to host the Fuel the Fire Speaker Series this fall. All three keynotes are open to the public and will be at 5 p.m. at The LUX (120 E. 1st St. N.).

August 28 – Carol Coletta (shown left), Vice President of Community and National Initiatives at the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. Igniting the conversation, Carol Coletta will speak on the future of cities, including how Wichita can provide catalytic opportunities to develop, attract, and retain young talent to further our city’s growth.

September 17 – James Chung (shown center), President of Reach Advisors. Shifts in demographics are blazing new trails across the nation. James Chung will discuss why these shifts are fueling change and why citizens and corporations in Wichita should be strategic in planning for them.

October 29 – Brad Segal (shown right), President of Progressive Urban Management Associates. Cities across the country are seeing a resurgance of urban centers. Brad Segal will speak on how national urban trends affect these city centers and why Downtown Wichita plays a key role in keeping our economic fire alive.

The purpose of the series is to engage the community in discussions about national trends on the topics of talent, opportunity and place to competitively position Wichita for the future.

WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard said her Board supports the idea of stimulating community conversation by bringing in thought leaders and subject matter experts. “We want to ensure that Wichita is retaining top talent, providing unique opportunities for our citizens, and projecting an image of a place others want to live.”

WDDC President, Jeff Fluhr, notes “National shifts in demographic trends are fueling change throughout the nation and in our community. Each of these speakers will provide valuable insight on how these demographic shifts are affecting our city and what opportunities are resulting because of them.”

“We’re not looking for these speakers to provide easy answers to our region’s challenges,” said Suzie Ahlstrand, Executive Vice President of Community Development at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. “But their ideas, experience, and the results of their research can ignite the type of discussions that we need to provoke thought and help fuel the fire. We’re confident that we’ll find better and more creative solutions as a result of
hearing their presentations.”

The sessions are free to attend, and those interested can RSVP at FueltheFireSpeakerSeries.com.

The Fuel the Fire Speaker Series is made possible through a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at WCF, as well as funds from WCF, WDDC and the Chamber’s Leadership Council.


2012 Annual Lecture - Video 1
2012 Annual Lecture Video 2
2012 Annual Lecture Video 3
2012 Annual Lecture Video 4
2012 WDDC Annual Luncheon 2
2012 WDDC Annual Luncheon 1
2012 WDDC Annual Luncheon
2012 WDDC Annual Luncheon 3
2012 WDDC Annual Luncheon 4
2012 WDDC Annual Luncheon 5
2012 WDDC Annual Luncheon 6
Peter Kageyama Workshop 1
Peter Kageyama Workshop 3

WDDC 2012 Luncheon

On November 14, 2012 Mayor Kirk Humphreys spoke at the WDDC 2012 Luncheon. The event was held at The LUX at 120 E. First Street from11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

KirkHumphreys is a native of Oklahoma City, Ok and 1972 graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration.

From 1972 until 1989, Kirk and his brothers built a distribution company which provided beauty products and other non-food merchandise to retailers nationwide. Since then, Kirk has been active in real estate development and currently serves as Chairman of the Humphreys Company, a real estate development firm with properties in seven states.

Known across Oklahoma for his public service, Kirk served on the Putnam City School Board from 1987 through 1995. He was twice elected Mayor of Oklahoma City, serving from 1998 through 2003. Under Kirk’s leadership, the city completed the historic MAPS Projects which dramatically revitalized the downtown area. In 2001, Kirk led the effort that resulted in the approval of MAPS for Kids, a sweeping $690 million revitalization of the city’s public schools. He is Chairman of the Oklahoma District Council of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the board of OGE Energy Corp.

Read an article on Mayor Humphrey's presentation from the Wichita Business Journal here.

Read an article on Mayor Humphrey from the Wichita Eagle here.

To view Mayor Humphrey's presentation click on the "Video" tab above.

To view photos from the event click on the "Photos" tab above.

Peter Kageyama "For the Love of Wichita"

On April 17th, 2012 the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation held a workshop lead by Peter Kageyama at the Wichita Boathouse. Read an article from the Wichtia Business Journal on the lecture here.

Peter is an internationally recognized expert on community development and grassroots engagement. Peter Kageyama is the author For the Love of Cities which explores in detail the value of emotional engagement with out cities, how that connection is created and nurtured, and how it can be turned into a development resource for places. More on Peter here. Attendees explored how people connect with their community, how to improve and maximize that connection, and how to be more "in love" with Wichita. They created slogans for a Wichita t-shirt, reviewed likes, dislikes, and wanted changes for different demographics in the Wichita region, and came up with new ideas that would add to the "love" of Wichita. The list of the ideas created can be seen here. Photos from the event can be seen under the "Resources" tab on the Festivals/Events page under "Have Fun" above or in our Facebook album.

2011 Annual Lecture

The Wichita Downtown Development Corporation continued the annual lecture series on Thursday, March 10, 2011, at the Orpheum Theatre featuring Ms. Carol Coletta

Carol Coletta has served as president and CEO of CEOs for Cities since 2005. Previously, she served as president of Coletta & Company in Memphis. In addition, she served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation. For ten years, she was the host and producer of the nationally syndicated public radio show Smart City.

Carol was a Knight Fellow in Community Building for 2003 at the University of Miami School of Architecture. In 2010, she was named Honorary Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. She is a highly sought after speaker on the success formula for cities and creative communities and is frequently interviewed as an expert on urban issues by national media.

In 2008 she was named one of the world’s 50 most important urban experts by a leading European think tank. Most recently, she was named the recipient of the Lambda Alpha International 2009 International Journalism Award for her work with CEOs for Cities and Smart City Radio, and as one of the top 50 urban thinkers of all time by readers of PLANetizen.com.

2010 Annual Lecture

On February 25, 2010, the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation's Annual Lecture was held at the WIchita Scottish Rite. The 2010 guest lecturer was Mr. Jim Cloar. Mr. Cloar is noted for his work in the cities of Tampa, Florida - sports arena development; Dallas, Texas - Arts District Development; and St. Louis Missouri - downtown residential and retail. The lecture focused on how to take a master plan from the vision to implementation. Mr. Cloar's presentation can be viewed in the video tab

2009 Annual Lecture

As the inaugural annual lecture, the WDDC welcomed keynote speaker Mr. Alex Garvin.  Mr. Garvin spoke on the importance of a Downtown plan. user/file/test_pdf(1).pdf

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