Dreamchasers' Special Edition - August/September 2016

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SECOND ANNUAL dreamchasers’ program Pre-show featuring the sterling band trio Sterling allen gray, Guitarist • Corey rolfe, percussionist • Ray Murry, Bassist

awards show Welcome Spirit aerosystems’ promo Civic Leader presentations - DJUAN WASH AND LAURA BERNSTORF Mentor Presentation - DR. MARCHE’ FLEMING-RANDLE collegiate Impact Award presentationsPRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY’S OFFICE OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION JOB ARREDONDO AND RHEANNA PIERCE corporate presentation - QUIKTRIP - WICHITA DIVISION Entrepreneur Presentation - ANGELO RODRIGUEZ AND SHEONA SLEIMAN PRESTiGE PRESENTATIONS - WICHITA URBAN PROFESSIONALS’ BOARD TROY FRANKLIN, FRANKLIN’S BARBER SHOP THE HONORABLE GWYNNE BIRZER, US MAGISTRATE SHAUN ROJAS, KANSAS LEADERSHIP CENTER GARY OBORNY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP TASK FORCE featured speaker - CHRISTAL WATSON, HEARTLAND BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE sharing our gratitude Jonathan Long, president, Wichita Urban Professionals Danielle JOhnson, Vice President, Wichita Urban Professionals URBAN PROFESSIONALS’ YEAR IN REVIEW SPECIAL PRESIDENT’S PRESENTATION Urban Professional of the Year Presentation after party to follow for ages 21 and older • Club bounce, 115 n. rock island, old town



on’t mistake activity for achievement. This phrase has become a part of my foundation. It’s the one metric that I’ve found that consistently gauges how successful I am on a daily basis. It’s also the reason why I’m so proud of this organization. When Wichita Urban Professionals started, I didn’t know exactly what it would become. However, I knew what I didn’t want it to be – just another thing to do. And over the years this organization has proven to be one of the most fulfilling endeavors I’ve been a part of. Some might think I say that because of some of the notoriety that I’ve received from it. And while that has been nice – gotta keep it real – that’s not it, really. My consistent reminder of the value of this organization is in its members. When I look at the opportunities that our members have been able to create and take advantage of, I

realize that we have achieved and have not just been active. I could never take credit for all of the great work that our members have produced. But I do take pride in seeing all of the progress that members of this organization have helped lead or support. I often think about where Wichita was when I started this organization three years ago. And while it is, by no means, where it needs to be, it is most definitely on its way there and that speaks directly to the work and engagement from individuals that aren’t just members of this organization but have grown to be family. As we celebrate our second annual DREAMCHASERS event, I’d like for everyone to look around this room. While only a select few will be called to the stage to accept an award, be mindful that everyone around you has a part to play in the rewriting the narrative of Wichita. Some parts will be support roles and some will be leading ones. They are all equally important. Throughout tonight you will hear and read about individuals who have gone above and beyond to leave a legacy of achievement. It is in this truth that makes me most proud.

Jonathan Long, Founding President Wichita Urban Professionals


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ICT-UP accomplishments • 6 Member Accomplishments • 8



Civic Leadership Award Recipients Djuan Wash • 16 Laura Bernstorf • 17 Mentor Award Recipient Dr. Marche’ Fleming-Randle • 18 Collegiate Impact Award Recipients Job Arredondo • 19 Rheanna Pierce • 20 Corporate Award Recipient QuikTrip- Wichita Division • 21 Entrepreneur Award Recipients Angelo Rodriguez • 22 Sheona Sleiman • 23 Prestige Award Winners • 24 FEATURED SPEAKER • Christal Watson • 25 SPECIAL THANKS • Back Cover

URBAN MAGNATE Wichita Urban Professionals (ICT-UP) exists to develop a network of rising leaders to improve the quality of life in the urban communities of Wichita. Urban Magnate is the premier publication of Wichita Urban Professionals covering events and issues of interest to the city’s young, diverse and talented. This bi-monthly publication is available in electronic and hardcopy formats. Hardcopy editions are strategically distributed to ICT-UP members and city, civic and business organizations. Subscriptions are available for $30 annually. Checks may be made payable to the Urban League of Kansas c/o Wichita Urban Professionals’ Urban Magnate, 2418 E. Ninth Street, Wichita, KS 67214. Limited ad space is available for purchase. Contact cmlcollective@gmail.com or call 316-371-8145 for ad inquiries. On the front cover: Wichita Urban Professionals. Photo credit: David D. Wallace, Jr. On this page: ICT-UP picture courtesy of The Wichita Business Journal

Urban Magnate Contributors

Christina M. Long of CML Collective, LLC oversees the majority of reporting, writing, editing, layout and design of this publication in partnership with ICT-UP.

Jonathan Long, Contributing Writer/Reporter Armand Fruge, Contributing Writer David D. Wallace, Jr., Contributing Photographer Michael E. Woods, Contributing Photographer Editor’s Note: All award winner photos are courtesy photos



rom meeting with the leadership of the Wichita Police Department to encourage policy adoptions for improved community-police relations, to supporting the promotion of inclusive entrepreneurship through the Create Campaign to launching a leadership development program, 2016 has been a year of great achievement for Wichita Urban Professionals. “Urban Professionals continues to grow and make an impact on the city,” said Danielle Johnson, Vice President of Wichita Urban Professionals. “The true game changers are the members of the organization. From creating new economic opportunities to social justice, there is a collective of strong, young, and talented professionals that make up Urban Professionals. The accomplishments in 2016 have been numerous. Here are a few worth noting.


WPD Policy Changes

ICT-UP met with leadership from the Wichita Police Department to discuss policy changes in efforts to improve community and police relations. The result: Wichita Police Chief, Gordon Ramsay, threw his support, publicly, behind three policy recommendations, which include working together to create a law for the inclusion of independent prosecutors on officerinvolved shootings, implementing cultural competency training, and the pursuit of establishing a citizen review advisory board. The meeting preceded later protests, and a protest-turned-cookout, which drew national media attention.

Leaders in Diversity Award


Photo credit: the Wichita Business Journal

ICT-UP earned a Leaders in Diversity Award from the Wichita Business Journal for its work to empower Wichita’s young, diverse and talented. This is the second year of the awards, which highlight the “accomplishments of Wichita area businesses, individuals and nonprofits as they strive to reflect the rich tapestry in our community,” according to the Wichita Business Journal.

Whether enjoying the Roots in high style thanks to Spirit AeroSystems or enjoying a suite at Power 93.5’s Powerhouse Jam, ICT-UP supported the more diverse entertainment options that downtown Wichita attracted this year.



ichita Urban Professionals saw an increase in collaborative relationships, particularly from entities also interested in opening access to boost diversity and inclusion. The Wichita Art Museum collaborated with ICT-UP on the Urbane Art Affair, a special mixer in conjunction with the opening of the Gordon Parks Freedom Now! Forgotten Photographs of the Civil Rights Struggle at the museum. While viewing the photographs of various depictions of struggle for equal rights, ICT-UP member, Courtney Hough, said, “It’s kind of like you’re looking at the past, but not really. It’s hard.” Similarly, recognizing an opportunity to improve diversity within its audience, Music Theatre of Wichita included ICT-UP in a special reception and distributed complimentary tickets for attendees to view, “Nice Work if You Can Get It.” The reception gave members an opportunity to interact with MTW’s leadership and cast members.




he launch of Leadership Exploration and Development of Wichita Urban Professionals (LEAD ICT-UP) engaged more than 100 in sessions examining the principles of leadership and how to lead through conflict, which made particular reference to the current civil rights struggle. The training resulted from a grant from the Kansas Leadership Center’s Building Community Leadership initiative. Presenters included Shaun Rojas, of the center, and Dr. Marche’ Fleming-Randle, Assistant to the President for Diversity at Wichita State University and Ted Ayres, Director for Community Engagement and Vice President and General Counsel Emeritus for Wichita State University.



Jonathan Long

• Young Professionals of Wichita Distinguished Young Professional Award Recipient • Contributor, Progress Section, the Wichita Eagle • Wichita Business Journal Leaders in Diversity Award Recipient through Urban Professionals • Award Recipient, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Image Awards • Nominee, Classic Man, Mamarazzi Entertainment Magazine

Courtney Hough • Joined the United Way of Kansas as its Strategic Engagement Specialist overseeing corporate volunteerism • Conceptualized and implemented a successful outreach program focusing on offering ice skating and hockey instruction for first through eighth grade students

Alicia Sanchez

• Appointed to the WSU’s President’s Diversity Council • Appointed to Wichita Park Foundation Board • Selected for Leadership Wichita Class of 2016 • Served on the 2016 YP Kansas Summit Planning Committee • Participant, Wichita State University Leadership Academy

• Was selected to participate in Advance Kansas, a diversity and inclusion program for business and community leaders. Portugal’s team created the Diversity Jam, a concert held in Downtown Wichita that featured a variety of musical acts. • Finalist, Wichita Young Professionals Distinguished Professional of the Year Award • Wichita Business Journal Leaders in Diversity Award Recipient through Dress for Success


• Appointed to Wichita State University’s President’s Diversity Council • 40 Under 40 Award Recipient, Wichita Business Journal

• Part of a team that launched 1 Million Cups in Wichita • Participated in the planning and development of the e2e Accelerator, which has launched its first cohort of businesses • Wichita Business Journal Innovation Award Recipient through the Entrepreneurship Task Force

Portia Portugal Deanna Carrithers Ted Kriwiel

• Joined the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce • Warrior Woman Award Recipient, Woman to Woman • Serves nearly 90 students through the Zora Neale Hurston Community Tutoring Program, which she founded

Teresa Peterson

Danielle Johnson Christina M. Long Kianga Kelley Robert Moody • Launched CO-ACCEL, an urban business development center - and division of CML Collective, LLC • Won Silver in the nonprofit marketing category from the Wichita American Marketing Association • Featured in the video presentation for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Luncheon for leading and the results of - the Create Campaign • Presenter, YP Summit • Black Women Empowered in Wichita Award Recipient • Wichita Business Journal Innovation Award Recipient through the Entrepreneurship Task Force

• Established Simply a • Lady, which features a four-week educational and interactive camp for middle and high school girls that focused on the art of being a lady as well as offers courses on etiquette, hygiene and offers vision board parties • Motivational coach and social media expert: Links’ Leadership U • Motivational keynote speaker for organizations including Dress for Success, WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, among others • Has grown programming attendance in key events and established successful new events at Botanica

Led the coordination of the successful Clean Slate Day, which offered free expungements to those who met certain qualifications. More than 150 were successfully served onsite and hundreds were placed on a waiting list for services. The day-of total equaled roughly half of the total number of expungements performed in the City or County in a given year, according to the Wichita Bar Association


• Appointed to Wichita State University’s President’s Diversity Council • Joined Wichita Parks Foundation Board • Black Women Empowered Award Recipient • Outstanding Multicultural Greek Council Advisor of the Year Award Recipient • Muslim Student Association Outstanding Faculty support and advocacy for Muslim students • Completed Young Professionals of Wichita Leadership Academy • Wichita Business Journal Leaders in Diversity Award Recipient through the WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion • Wichita Business Journal Leaders in Diversity Award Recipient through Urban Professionals • Young Professionals of Wichita Innovations in Business Award Finalist


• Certified by the Yoga Alliance as a 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher • Contributing Author, “2016 Kansas Civic Health Index,” The Kansas Health Foundation • Presenter, Council on Foundations 2016 Annual Conference • Received an Advanced Proposal Analysis Certificate from the Grantmaking School, A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Natalie Toney

Elina Alterman Mark Strohminger Jennifer McDonald


• Leaders in Diversity Award Recipient • Wichita State University Leadership Academy participant • Young Professionals of Wichita Leadership Academy Participant • Named to the WSU Presidential Diversity Council

Lanna Allen

• Applied for the Wichita Bar Association’s LSAT Prep scholarship and received a full ride scholarship to attend Washburn University this fall

• Candidate, Wichita’s Finest , an eight-week fundraising campaign with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that concludes with a wine event on September 29, 2016. Donations are welcome and can be made at: https://


Jacob Crowley Tanisha Alexander Jana E. Henderson

• Conceptualized and implemented the POWER Leadership Seminar to encourage men to help enhance the quality of family and community life

Veronica Kelly Brandon Johnson • Begins a new career as a PreKindergarten Categorical Educator for Wichita Public Schools

• Contributed to the research, writing and publication of, “Images of America: African Americans in Wichita” • Graduated with a Master’s Degree in History from Wichita State University • Supervisor at UPS • Volunteer, the Kansas African American Museum • Board member, CORE (Community Operations Recovery Empowerment)

• Announced his candidacy for the District I City Council seat

• Joined the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce • Opened the Hair Fairy Studios

Cedric Toney

• Selected for the Wichita Business Journal’s Emerging Leaders Program

• Elected to the Wichita State University Unclassified Professional Senate representing the Research and Technology Transfer Division • Phenomenal Woman Award Finalist, WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Thomas Stanley • Selected to serve on the board of Young Professionals of Wichita • Helped coordinate the 2016 KS YP Summit

Wichita State University President’s Office of Diversity Council

The President’s Diversity Council (PDC) is an advisory and leadership team. The council develops, oversees and monitors university-wide efforts to achieve Wichita State University’s commitment to diversity as a core institutional and educational value. We Are Wichita State University Diversity!

Wichita State University President’s Diversity Council Congratulations Dr. Marche Fleming-Randle

Wichita State University Dream Team


Our Featured Honorees Civic Leadership Award Recipients Djuan Wash • 16 Laura Bernstorf • 17 Mentor Award Recipient Dr. Marche’ F leming-Randle • 18 Collegiate Impact Award Recipients Job Arredondo • 19 Rheanna Pierce • 20 Corporate Award Recipient QuikTrip - Wichita Division • 21 Entrepreneur Award Recipients Angelo Rodriguez • 22 Sheona Sleiman • 23 PrestIge Honorees

Troy Franklin • Shaun Rojas • The Honorable Gwynne Birzer • Gary Oborny • 24

Featured Speaker Christal Watson • 25



iving and working all over the country, Djuan recently returned from Los Angeles to take care of his niece and dove right into activism in the Wichita community. Djuan was an integral part of bringing the Trayvon Martin tragedy to the eyes of the world working with a group of people to establish the largest Trayvon Martin Facebook page and Change.org petition that received 2.3 million signatures. As a community organizer in Wichita, Djuan has been able to help lead winning campaigns around state/police violence, gaining changes stemming from the deaths of Icarus Randolph and John Paul Quintero. Djuan has also helped to gain suspended driver’s license relief and other policy shifts around “banning the box” on county and city job applications. Djuan has an unwavering passion to focus on and design campaigns to address economic and racial injustices affecting Black, Latino and lowincome White Wichitans today. Djuan enjoys spending time with his family, playing with his dogs, discussing current events and cooking



aura Bernstorf is a third generation Wichitan. She started out her aviation career in engineering and program management at Beechcraft supporting various production and new aircraft development programs and she is currently a Senior Project Management Specialist at Airbus Americas Engineering. In 2016, she co-founded Angels of the Plains to create connections and deal flow between entrepreneurs and unaccredited investors and angel investors within Wichita. Laura currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Arc of Sedgwick County, WSU Alumni Association and Young Professionals of Wichita, as Past Chair. She is also serving with the Greater Wichita Partnership as a co-chair of the Perception Task Force. Laura is a member of United Way Young Leaders, WAM Contemporaries, Wichita Urban Professionals, and the WSU Industrial Advisory Council Board. Additionally, she was a participant in the 2014 YPW Leadership Academy and the 2016 Advance Kansas Diversity Leadership Program. Laura enjoys traveling to see friends and taking pictures all over the US and Europe when she gets the chance, but is always happy to return home to her yellow lab, Kady. Laura enjoys baking and reading in the cold months and during the warm ones she’ll be gardening and lounging in the pool. She graduated from Wichita State University with a BS in Industrial Engineering and is a PMI certified Project Management Professional. Laura’s most recently been recognized as a part of the 2015 Class of 40 Under 40 and as the recipient of the 2014 WSU Young Alumni Award.



r. MarchĂŠ Fleming-Randle is a senior assistant dean for the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and assistant to the president for diversity. She is the college liaison for student services planning and implementation, encompassing undergraduate recruitment activity, the enrollment process, and matriculation to degree completion. She consults with faculty and students on academic issues, including administrative withdrawal, coordinating the representation of the college at admissions programs, representing the college with Kansas community colleges, and analyzing student data. She is also an Ethnic Studies lecturer. Her research and academic interests include mental health, substance abuse, child and youth programs, educational leadership, and diversity. She is an author, motivational speaker and public intellectual.



ob Arredondo is a senior student working on his Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degree at Wichita State University. Throughout his time at Wichita State University, Job has strived to promote higher level education to underrepresented students. Job is not new to taking leadership roles in the organizations he is involved in. As a member of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Incorporated, Job held the vice president position during the Fall 2014 and the Treasurer position in the spring of 2015. During this time, Job helped the chapter grow in both membership and funds. During the 2015 – 2016 school year he served as president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, or SHPE. Focusing mainly in promoting the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields, or STEM fields, Job has been able to successfully lead SHPE through many different events and workshops during his tenure as president. One of the main programmed events is the Noche de Ciencias, or Science Night, event hosted every year at Wichita North High school. With the help of his exec board, Job was able to successfully network with community leaders to promote the event in a grand scale throughout the Wichita community. Other events included professional workshops for SHPE members and Wichita State students, social events involving the community and STEM awareness through AVID nights at Wichita North and workshops with underrepresented students at Wichita State University. Outside of his main organizational roles, Job impacts his community by volunteering for events with Sigma Lambda Beta and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He also served as a mentor for the Multicultural Student Mentorship Program, where he helped incoming students acclimate to the atmosphere of the new university. Job hopes to continue working with his community after graduating to become a role model for future underrepresented students.



heanna Pierce is a passionate advocate for equal rights at Wichita State University and the greater Wichita community. Rheanna holds several leadership positions and supports diverse student groups while being a full-time student and working two jobs. She understands her privilege and the importance of leveraging that privilege to create change. Currently, Rheanna serves as the Vice President and Parliamentarian of the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Recruitment Coordinator of the Ambassadors of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and is the Greek and Public Relations Chair of the Multicultural Greek Council. Not only was she active in these organizations, she also helped create a new student organization called Mind Matters. This organization educates and destigmatizes mental health and emphasizes the importance of seeking treatment. Mental health awareness is something Rheanna is deeply passionate about. Rheanna has also worked on many different committees that represent diverse populations to help mobilize awareness and highlight the voices of the marginalized. She has served on the Laverne Cox and Drag Show committee for the LGBTQ community, volunteers with Special Olympics and is currently on the committee to bring to Wichita speaker Bree Newsome, whose keynote address is titled, “Tearing Hate from the Sky.” Rheanna looks for opportunities to grow and learn about other communities through experiences. She participated in the Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Mu Chapter 2015 Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant and was named MIss Congeniality. This award was chosen by her fellow pageant contestants. Rheanna lives by Bible Verse 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”



uikTrip Corporation is a privately held company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1958, QuikTrip has grown to a more than $11 billion company with 700+ stores in 11 states. With over 20,000 employees, QuikTrip has made Fortune magazine’s list of Best Companies to Work For every year for the last fourteen years and is also consistently ranked as one of the top convenience store marketers in product quality and friendly service. QuikTrip also gives back to the communities it serves, donating 5 percent of net profits to charitable organizations. To find out more about QuikTrip, visitwww.quiktrip.com.



ngelo Rodriguez is the owner/operator of R. Coffee House, which offers an electic combination of exquisite coffee, art, music and food. Rodriguez, as much a family man as businessman, is also known for his musical artistry as an emcee and producer. He’s also performed in numerous locations including at the North End Urban Arts Festival as well as the Wichita River Festival. With a sizable following, and willingness to promote others’ skills as well as his own, Rodriguez is credited with helping to start the revival of, what he now calls the “Million Dollar Corner” at 11th and Bitting.



heona Sleiman is the Founder & Owner of Backstage Makeup Studio, Academy, and Beauty Marketplace. She is a Business Owner, an Artist, an ICT Lover, a Dreamer, and most importantly a Doer. Sheona has eleven years of makeup artistry experience and has held several different roles in leadership positions. She opened Backstage Makeup Studio in December of 2014 and the Academy a year later in January of 2016; which now has 14 alumni from the program. Several of these alumni have started their own entrepreneurial journeys using BMS to serve as a hub for makeup enthusiasts to learn, collaborate, and empower each other. The Beauty Marketplace is Sheona’s newest venture, and was started in June of ‘16. It comprises of space within BMS and features products from local artists as well as handmade beauty creations – also from local vendors. The Beauty Marketplace is currently home of a variety of brands and is aspiring to launch more like brands with partners in the near future. One of Sheona’s biggest belief, is collaboration is the foundation to success – and that by helping others achieve and fulfill their visions, you not only provide them with the means to succeed, you help to validate and confirm your own potential. Her public spirit has driven her to participate with some of the following organizations: Wichitalks, Dress for Success, ICT Common Humanity and Prairie Fire Run. Sheona is grateful to have been a part of these organizations.


Troy Franklin, Owner, Franklin’s Barber & Beauty Salon; Firefighter, City of Wichita Selected by: jonathan Long, ict-up president

“I selected you because of your continued community support and for being an individual who has groomed men — young and old — both physically and mentally. The barbershop holds a special significance in the lives of many black men. The longevity of your business speaks to the value that it has in the community and its importance. Many barbers began their careers at Franklin’s and even more Wichitan’s have benefited from the atmosphere that he has provided.”

Shaun rojas, Director of Community Initiatives, Kansas Leadership Center

Selected by: danielle johnson, ict-up vice president

“I choose Shaun Rojas and the Kansas Leadership Center. Shaun Rojas exemplifies the mission of the KLC. He has certainly diversified the organization and has made the principles and teachings available to several different populations. Shaun is someone that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion can call on to help teach our students leadership. He has given so much guidance to students, faculty and staff of WSU as well as the greater Wichita community. He has built very important bonds with our students and we are a better organization because of his work and willingness to support and collaborate.”

The honorable gwynne birzer, Sixth United States Magistrate Judge, Wichita, KS

Selected by: robert moody, ict-up treasurer

“Judge Birzer is a personal mentor to me and she has provided a shining example for individuals with diverse backgrounds to excel in the legal profession through hard work and professionalism. Judge Birzer is constantly giving exposure to individuals with diverse backgrounds to the legal profession. Judge Birzer looks to empower those with aspirations to enter the legal field and provides no nonsense advice – Judge Birzer keeps it 100. “I feel like she deserves to be honored for all of her accomplishments and her commitment to help diversify Wichita’s legal community.”

gary oborny, Co-Chair, Entrepreneurship Task Force (ETF) Selected by: christina m. long, ict-up secretary

“Gary is blazing new paths when it comes to rallying people and leveraging resources to make great progress on, in this case, economic development through entrepreneurship in Wichita. He has been a very vocal proponent for the inclusion of diversity in the ETF, has championed the Create Campaign, has opened doors for the Urban League of Kansas’ Camp Destination Innovation, is supporting the Socialpreneur curriculum that first debuted at Ubuntu Village and continues to open doors of opportunity to people and initiatives that may not otherwise have such access. Not only does he stand at the forefront of a new economic development push in Wichita, he’s looking back and bringing others alongside him to perform this dynamic work that can, ultimately, have significant and systemic impact particularly within communities of color that have, historically, been underrepresented and marginalized in economic development pushes.


Christal E. Watson is President and CEO of the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as the Kansas Black Chamber). For the past eight years she has actively engaged members, stakeholders and community leaders to help develop and grow black business to scale. Under her leadership, Heartland is becoming the fastest-growing minority chamber in the Midwest region. Christal has provided leadership in management roles with companies such as Sprint, United Way, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, and Truman Medical Centers; contributing skills to business process improvement, community relations, resource development and human resource management. The highly prestigious Ingrams Magazine selected Christal as one of “50 Kansans You Should Know” in the region, recognizing her professional achievements, the American Business Women’s Association – Golden Royalties Chapter named her “Business Associate of the Year,” she is listed among the prominent Who’s Who in Black Kansas City, Recipient of the Time Well Spent Award from the United Minority Media Association (UMMA) for diligent community effort, recognized with the Professional Racial Image Demonstrating Equality Award from the Kansas City, Kansas Chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters, and recipient of the Nefertiti Award by the Kansas City Chapter of Societas Docta for epitomizing the very essence of the strong attributes and characteristics in leadership. Most recently, she was named to the esteemed Power 100 from KC Business Journal. On a national level, Christal has the distinct honor of serving on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), in Washington, DC. In addition, she was appointed by the Executive Board to serve as Chairman of the President’s Council; the nation’s leading Black Chamber Executives who tailor programs to be implemented nationwide. Christal holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University and a graduate certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. A native of Kansas City, Kansas and actively involved in the community, she is a former elected official, having served for the Board of Education - Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, USD 500 and proudly serves on a host of other boards centered around youth and healthcare. Christal considers her life to be blessed and values the time she shares with family and friends. Happily married to Bryan H. Watson for 27 years, together they have four sons.


Christina M. Long presents CML Collective, LLC’s new urban business development center

Legal. Financial. Graphic Design. Strategic Planning. And more. Schedule your FREE consultation • cmlcollective@gmail.com

Redefine Leadership

Congratulations to our


2016 Young Men of Excellence

YOUNG, GIFTED & MAKING THINGS HAPPEN Learn more about these two dynamic young men in their online videos @

Kerry Gooch

Joseph Shepard

CommunityVOICEKs.com Click on “Faces of Kansas”

“A trusted voice from the community’s perspective.”

For those who have an appetite for change The owners and staff at T.O.P.S. congratulate all of the 2016 Dreamchasers Award winners.

2251 E. 21st Street, Wichita, KS 67214 316-239-6403 Advocating, lobbying and advancing minority and underrepresented businesses


LET’S ALL AGREE ON THIS. As individuals and businesses, when one of us takes the opportunity to do something in the name of progress, we’re doing something for the good of us all. Something that’s meaningful to who you are and what you do, but makes a difference in ways you may never see. Maybe it’s small and anonymous. Maybe it’s high-risk, audacious and uncomfortable. Maybe it’s taking what you love to a higher level. Or lifting someone up to their highest level. Whether it’s starting a business, expanding an existing business, mentoring an intern, creating a foundation, seeing possibility in a vacant lot, funding a scholarship or volunteering. This is our time. We either have what it takes or we take what we have. All it takes is the willingness to ask: what can I do? Because when each of us asks that question of ourselves, we realize the power of unity. We realize that, together, there’s nothing we can’t do.

What will you do for Wichita?


Helping you discover, reconnect and share your work + life+ story to encourage radical inclusion. info@lg2j.com // @lg2jconsulting Christopher Jones, President and CEO website launching soon

Special Thanks

The leadership and members of Wichita Urban Professionals wish to thank each supporter, sponsor, guest speaker or contributor who has helped our organization mature in our mission. While there are many to thank, we want to take a moment to particularly recognize the following for their contributions to our organization and this culminating celebration of the city’s young, diverse and talented: The Urban League of Kansas Members of ICT-UP CML Collective, LLC Spirit AeroSystems Westar Energy Wichita State University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (WSU) Wichita State University’s Assistant to the President for Diversity’s Office Kansas Leadership Center Abode Venue Samuel “Big Sam” Thompson & Kyle “Kyle Aaron” Ellison, special Dreamchasers’ performers The Sterling Gray Trio Jodee B’s Catering Fidelity Bank Heartland Wichita Black Chamber of Commerce The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce The Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce LG2J and Christopher Jones, President and CEO Midwest Single Source City Blue Print The Community Voice The Wichita Business Journal The Wichita Eagle Martin Pringle Attorneys at Law The Greater Wichita Partnership Brian Black Don and Denise Sherman Ron Holt Intrust Bank Arena Power 93.5 Defining Sports Photography by Michael E. Woods, LLC Keshia Ezerendu Photography PictureMan David D. Wallace, Jr. NetWork Kansas Miller’s Incorporated T.O.P.S. Steaks and Hoagies AM Law, LLC Hite Fanning & Honeyman, LLP Glam 1, LLC Steve Pavey Wichita State University Student Activities Council Each venue and coordinator of ICT-UP’s All The Way Up Activities

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