FOR WICHITA’S YOUNG, DIVERSE AND TALENTED
URBAN MAGNATE VOL. 1 ISSUE 1
“IT’S TIME TO BE PROGRESSIVE. THE IDIOSYNCRACIES OF SMALL-MINDED THINKING HAVE CAUSED OUR COMMUNITY TO LOSE TOO MUCH TALENT.” URBAN MAGNATE EXCLUSIVE WITH MAYOR CARL BREWER
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We have stories to tell. Some of them are about defying the odds and working our way from the block to the boardroom. Others are about quietly sacriﬁcing our own professional ambitions to champion the underserved with little to no recognition requested or received. Then there are others whose walks fall outside of those two scenarios but who ﬁnd themselves constantly reminding people that they, too, have faced — and cleared — hurdles along the way. Our stories are as diverse as our various skin tones. Yet, they are our stories, they deserve to be told and it’s up to us to tell them. From this very sentiment, Urban Magnate was born. For years, The Community Voice has done an excellent job of consistently chronicling our tales. But Ms. Gooch, alone, can’t be responsible for writing our narrative. So, we join her in making sure the stories of the young, diverse and talented get recorded and recognized. We join her in leading the charge to ensure a solid place in print for our stories. From accolades to addressing challenges, Urban Magnate is going to capture these stories in ways that reach beyond our own communities to the larger city of Wichita. We have to respond, for example, to Mayor Carl Brewer’s call to step outside of our comfort zones and be involved. Business leaders and decision-makers, alike, are sincerely encouraging urban professionals to be present. It’s a common theme Wichita Urban Professionals heard throughout our yearlong structuring phase. We, too, encourage people to be present in a way that is informed and engaged. That engaging presence, when combined with strategic communication and a catalytic mindset, can produce inﬂuence. Hopefully, the stories you read in Urban Magnate will galvanize you to become more inﬂuential in the future of our city.
Jonathan Long, President, Wichita Urban Professionals
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 premiere 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. CML Collective, LLC oversees the editing, layout and design of this publication in partnership with ICT-UP. Hardcopy editions are strategically distributed to ICT-UP members and city, civic and business organizations. On the front cover (from left): Stacy A. Bias, Lucero Alfaro, Eron Lira, Keshia Ezerendu and Aldo Beltran’i. Photo credit: Photography by Michael E. Woods, shot on location at The Penthouse at Mayﬂower Plaza
On the back cover: Jonathan Long being ﬁlmed in downtown Wichita. Photo credit: Christina M. Long, CML Collective, LLC.
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mag·nate [mag-neyt, -nit] A person of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise or field of business...
ON THE SCENE Sole Purpose- Scenes from The CRWN’s Sneaker Expo • Our Future - Now launch event • 8
Epic Entertainment • 10
Our Future- Now Data Stroll • 12
Mayor Carl Brewer speaks to opportunity, small-mindedness and being heard. PAGE 14
See the results, and featured commentary, from ICT-UP’s “Our Future - Now” Survey effort
URBAN MAGNATE EXCLUSIVE Featuring Mayor Carl Brewer Mayor Carl Brewer’s heartfelt message to Wichita’s young, diverse and talented • 14
ICT UPCOMING EVENT Lunch and Learn Series • 18 Sponsored by Cox Business
The Kansas Leadership Center • 21
The gentlemen of Kapstone Productions are putting their mark on advertisements, short films and photography. PAGE 23
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Kapstone Productions • 23
PHOTO SPREAD • 24-27 EVENTS CALENDAR See the listing of professional events • 28-29 CONNECT WITH US: Facebook: WichitaUrbanProfessionals Twitter: @ictup316 Website: www.ictup.org
Meet Epic Entertainment and see what’s in store as they continue bringing classy, cool events to Wichita. PAGE 10
URBAN MAGNATE • 6 URBAN MAGNATE COVER PHOTO SHOOT Stacy A. Bias
A beautiful skyline overlooking Intrust Bank Arena set the perfect backdrop for Urban Magnate’s inaugural cover.
“What makes me hopeful is that I have built a lot of relationships and connections within this city...” Cover photo shoot spread continued on page 24 Shot on location at the Penthouse at Mayﬂower Plaza Photo Credit: Photography by Michael E. Woods
URBAN MAGNATE • 7 AROUND TOWN
sole purpose: where sneakerheads unite The CRWN, a lifestyle and promotions company, gave Wichita, Kansas sneakerheads an oﬃcial venue to buy, sell, and trade some of the most in-demand shoes on the market through its first-ever Sole Purpose Sneaker Expo. The event took place in July at Abode Venue and drew a large number of sneaker collectors — some
from as far as Houston, Texas. The event also served as a benefit to the community. A raﬄe for a pair of Nike Foamposites took place with proceeds being donated to Brotherhood Preschool. Visit www.thecrwn.com for additional event photos, video recap and information about other initiatives.
Photo credit: Photography by Michael E. Woods on location at Abode Venue
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wichita urban professionals' Our Future — Now Launch Event
he city’s go-to-network for young, diverse professionals launched in high style at the Kansas Leadership Center in September.
The Our Future — Now campaign kick-oﬀ drew more than 60 diverse professionals from across the city. Mayor Carl Brewer, Shaun Rojas from the Kansas Leadership Center and ICT-UP President, Jonathan Long, gave context to the work ahead of the organization. Participants interacted with survey data about the perceived attraction, retention and professional development opportunities Wichita oﬀers minorities in the workforce. “I thought the launch was truly a success,” said Misty Bias, ICT-UP Vice President. “The turn-out and support that we received was great! There was an excitement in the air and to see everyone learn about the Urban Professionals and mingle with other professionals was my favorite part.” Photos by PictureMan
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EPIC ENTERTAINMENT PREPARING TO WOW WICHITA AGAIN WITH SUIT AND TIE ii Words by Christina M. Long Photo by PictureMan
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Classy. It’s the one word that describes the type of events Kevin Harrison, Riccardo Harris, Sam Hines and Robert Love are bringing to the Wichita area as Epic Entertainment or, more casually, Kevin Harrison and Friends. Their Suit and Tie Party: A Black Tie Affair last Thanksgiving holiday weekend gave people a reason to take notice: red carpets, fancy photo backdrops, lavish decorations and extraordinary live musical performances. This year, group members say they’re preparing to outdo themselves with their upcoming Suit and Tie II, which is scheduled for Friday, November 28 from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. at Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas. Tickets cost $30, and tables are available for $300. Other than adding a dinner to the schedule, the group is tight-lipped on other details. But each member guarantees that it’s an experience people won’t want to miss because, as Harris says, “the bar has been raised.” “I think Wichita has been ready for this type of entertainment for a very long time, and there has been nothing to fill that void,” he said. “We’re offering a platform where people can dress up, get out of the house and enjoy one another. “This is not a club. This whole idea is a different vibe.” The vibe starts with the group members, themselves. Each member credits the other for the talent and the role they all bring to the effort. Love, Harrison said, “brings credibility to the group.” Love cultivated a strong knowledge — and fan — base as a member of his family’s famed musical group, Rudy Love and the Love Family Band. Harris, Love said, handles the creative marketing. Besides coordinating all things musical, Harris credits Hines with being a supreme negotiator. All of the members credit Harrison with being innovative. “His mind never stops,” Harris said of Harrison. “He is a creator.” Harrison, on the other hand, jokes, “Hey, I just try to stay out of the way.” The combination of talent, knowledge and innovation have worked together to fill an entertainment void that, they say, Wichita is missing. “Wichita is a working-class town or city, and when [people] come out, and we’re able to get them out, they want to have a good time and feel like somebody treated them well,” said Love. In addition to being treated well, Harris said the group is offering grown people a reason to get dressed up and have a good time. Walking into the first Suit and Tie was something special for Harris who said the thing that really did it for him was “seeing all of these beautiful, black people dressed up and looking good.” It’s the type of entertainment that Harrison said Wichita needs as the city talks about trying to retain young people. “People need careers,” Harrison said. “But after people fulfill their careers, they need opportunities to be able to enjoy themselves. As the city develops in that direction, looking for opportunities for people to be entertained, hopefully, we can at least be part of the conversation.”
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OUR FUTURE — Now survey
early 120 Wichita Urban Professionals responded to the “Our Future — Now” Survey administered earlier this year by ICT-UP. The survey was designed to capture minority professionals’ perceptions of local attraction, retention and professional development practices. The results indicate opportunities for improvement in all areas. Data featured does not include “Neutral” responses. Here are highlights. Wichita offers minority professionals... Opportunities for career advancement...13% agree/ 49% disagree Competitive earnings potential.............. 14% agree/ 36% disagree Quality of life that offers suitable work-life balance .................................. 19% agree/ 43% disagree Employers who actively recruit minority candidates ............................... 8% agree/ 62% disagree (Those who are new to the area) Opportunities to connect with their peers............................................... 9% agree/ 66% disagree Quality entertainment and diverse networking opportunities ..................... 3% agree/ 82% disagree
“I’ve been able to gain pay increases through performance, just not the title recognition that goes along with it,” Our Future- Now Survey respondent
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minority students... Are oﬀered quality internships and co-ops by Wichita employers ................ 7% agree/ 67% disagree Are introduced by educators and employers to careers supported in the Wichita job market ......................... 9% agree/ 53% disagree Receive career-speciﬁc mentoring oﬀered through existing youth development programs ....................... 16% agree/ 47% disagree
opportunities exist for young minority professionals to... Receive career coaching from established minority professionals at work ................................................. 9% agree/ 59% disagree Receive career mentoring from established minority professionals in the community .................................11% agree/ 59% disagree
participating in area leadership development programs impact opportunities for career advancement... 64% agree/ 14% disagree
“In my experience, opportunity for advancement has not been hindered based on race/ethnicity. I believe the opportunity for career advancement is equally available for all who wish to pursue it,” Our FutureNow Survey respondent
“In terms of work/life balance, if you look in the right places you can ﬁnd it, and if you don’t ﬁnd it, create it,” Our Future- Now Survey respondent
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Major changes are coming to City Hall. As Wichita prepares for its next-generation greatness, Mayor Carl Brewer wants to know...
By Mayor Carl Brewer (As told to Christina M. Long) Photo by Christina M. Long
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Photo by Christina M. Long
When you look at the diversity of City Hall today, understand what youâ€™re looking at is a moment in time. Itâ€™s a moment that took many years to build and a moment that, in three years, will be gone. In fact, the change has already started.
orman Williams: retired. There will be no more Lavonta Williams, no Mayor Brewer. The Director of Housing: retiring. The Fire Chief: retiring. Who will be the next Director of Parks and Recreation? The list goes on and on and on. Though some of these positions are behind the scenes, they all hold influence. These people call shots. So, who’s next in line? I remember back when I first expressed interest in the city council seat held then by George Rogers. People told me, “You wait your turn.” I thought, “Well, I can run against him now” and they’d say, “No, you wait your turn.” I understand now why I had to wait: I needed mentoring and grooming. I needed time to prepare, and, when his term ended, I was next and I was ready. I wonder who is following me? We certainly have some good, qualified people who would make great replacements, but we’re not seeing those people expressing interest in these positions. There are lots of coffee-shop complainers, but few who are doing the homework, laying out plans and coming to the table to help us usher in changes. The times when we have identified people to groom, they end up moving away. There are a few currently on our radar now, but I’d like more. The door is open, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Don’t believe me? Look at what happened when young voices sounded off about what they wanted to see in downtown Wichita: green space, contemporary condos and apartments, First Fridays, Final Fridays, Second Saturdays, art crawls and the like. We can build all we want, but if people don’t come, then it’s just a ghost town that you’ve built and people aren’t going to invest in it. Now, downtown is thriving. There are more people in venues, spending their time and enjoying our city’s inner core. The people who chimed in got heard.
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When is the last time you’ve seen someone smoking in a public facility? That was a policy that got pushed by high school students through the Mayor’s Youth Council. That’s what it takes: people who invest in things they’re interested in. That’s the opportunity Wichita offers to any and everyone —including young, urban professionals. Find something that you’re interested in. If it’s an environmental issue, there’s a place for you. If it’s a zoning issue, there’s a place for you. If it’s the arts, there’s a place for you. There is a place for every single person who wants to get involved. Getting involved may take people getting outside of their four walls or their comfort zone. To really be effective, it may mean interacting with people of other cultures and communities to really understand issues to make the difference and the changes needed to catapult Wichita to the next level. It’s time to be progressive. The idiosyncrasies of small-minded thinking have caused our community to lose too much talent. We’ve driven too many young people away who think they can’t have the quality of lifestyle in Wichita that other larger communities offer. So, at this critical juncture in our city’s history, as we’re trying to figure out what is our identity, the question becomes: Are we a town of small-mindedness or are we a diverse, broader-thinking and progressive city? Are we a city where our decision making tables represent the racial, ethnic and socio-economic diversity of our people? Wichita, what is our story? And, Urban Professionals, how will you help write our next chapters? My friends, it’s time to get in line.
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“Hallmarks of a Good Leader” ICT-UP’s Inaugural Lunch and Learn Presented by Cox Business Wichita Urban Professionals is kicking off its quarterly Lunch and Learn series with a special presentation by Assistant County Manager, Ron Holt. The event, sponsored by Cox Business, is being held Thursday, October 30 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Cox Lounge at Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman. Admission is free for ICT-UP members and $5 for Non-Members who register before October 24, 2014.
TO REGISTER, VISIT WWW.ICTUP.ORG
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INCREASE YOUR CAPACITY TO EXERCISE LEADERSHIP.
f or t he
NOVEMBER 5-7, 2014 KANSAS LEADERSHIP CENTER 325 E DOUGLAS AVE WICHITA, KS 67202
ADERSHIP CE ER
Join those who share your goals and aspirations at the Kansas Community Leadership Initiative Summit
KANSAS LEADERSHIP CENTER
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER CONTACT:
Shaun Rojas 316.712.4956, firstname.lastname@example.org The Kansas Leadership Center equips people to make lasting change for the common good. KLC focuses on leadership as an activity, not a role or position. Open to anyone seeking to move the needle on tough challenges in the civic arena, KLC envisions more people sharing responsibility for acting together in pursuit of the common good. or position. Open
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FORUM DISCUSSES HOW TO GROW MINORITY BUSINESS OWNERSHIP By Chris Green, Senior Communications Associate, Kansas Leadership Center Photos by Jeff Tuttle Photography
Three economists joined a group of 35 stakeholders, including members of Wichita Urban Professionals, to discuss ideas for bridging that gap and what closing it would mean for economic conditions in Kansas.
ould increasing the number of minority-owned businesses in Kansas improve the state’s economy? That was the question at hand during a round table discussion in August at the Kansas Leadership Center & Kansas Health Foundation Conference Center. People of color make up about 20 percent of the state’s population but only account for 7 percent of all business owners.
KLC President and CEO Ed O’Malley moderated the forum, which featured comments from Donna Ginther of the University of Kansas, Jeremy Hill of Wichita State University and Rob Catlett of Emporia State University. Wayne Bell, district director for the Wichita oﬃce of the U.S. Small Business Administration, also spoke. The group examined the general characteristics of a strong economy and what states are doing to fuel growth. It also delved into the potential strengths and weaknesses of a focused effort to increase minority business ownership in Kansas.
Mentorship programs, identifying structural barriers to business formation, incubators and aligning growth with the state’s economic development priorities emerged as ideas for fostering growth during the discussion. Some participants expressed hope that creating more opportunities for prosperity could make it easier for Kansas, including cities such as Wichita, to grow and retain its pool of talented minority professionals. The discussion took place as part of Growing Kansas, in which KLC is partnering with stakeholders interested in increasing minority business ownership. The initiative’s goal is to position Kansas to thrive in a 21st Century economy.
For more information or to add your voice to the discussion, please contact Keshia Ezerendu at
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KAPSTONE PRODUCTIONS: FOCUSING ON BEING PICTURE PERFECT By Jonathan Long
olondo Lindsey always thought that he and his friends could have a bright future in front of the camera. However, it’s behind the camera where they’ve shined. After completing several class projects, including music video spoofs, Lindsey and Eston Dilworth, both Wichita State graduates, started the digital media company, Kapstone Productions in 2012. The evolution of the company still amazes Lindsey even though Kapstone has gained and lost some key pieces. “I thought we lived just as interesting of a life as the people on these reality shows, so I used my little flip cam and recorded everything we would do,” Lindsey said. “I never thought about it leading to this. When we first started doing stuff for other people, I think they saw a little more in us than we did at the time.” Aaron Johnson joined the duo in 2013 and helped boost the company’s business development and graphic design capabilities. Johnson, a 2014 graduate of WSU, watched his partners from afar early on and that allowed
him to find his niche in the organization. “I’m like the hustler of the group,” Johnson said. “I wanted to help put our name out there more.” Earlier this year, Johnson and Lindsey had to make serious adjustments when Dilworth left Wichita after enlisting in the military. Losing Dilworth, the people-person and creative guru of the group, was tough. However, the remaining members of Kapstone are committed to keeping their core focus of providing customers what they want. “It was tough because he wasn’t just a coworker,” Lindsey said. “We are all really close friends, but we had to keep things going. “People have grown to trust us and our ideas. The quality of our work and our customer service are what we take pride in and we never forget that.”
URBAN MAGNATE • 24 URBAN MAGNATE COVER PHOTO SHOOT Cont. from page 6
Keshia Ezerendu, Leadership Development Program Manager at the Kansas Leadership Center is hopeful about her place in Wichita because: “The growth of the city will create new opportunities for minority young professionals.”
Photo credit: Photography by Michael E. Woods
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Aldo Beltran’i, Stylist/Owner, Aldo Beltran’i “The Studio”
“I believe my place in Wichita as a young minority professional is to set an example for future generations. I believe in chasing my dreams and to motivate others to chase after theirs!” Photo credit: Photography by Michael E. Woods
URBAN MAGNATE • 26 Eron Lira Field Organizer, Kansas Democratic Party
Photo Credit: Photography by Michael E. Woods
“I am hopeful about my place in Wichita, as a young minority professional, because I sincerely believe in the power of a single dedicated and motivated individual to enact change. There isn’t anything in the world as powerful as that. That is why I do what I do.”
URBAN MAGNATE • 27 Lucero Alfaro Property Management Manager, Weigand-Omega and part-time cosmetologist
Photo Credit: Photography by Michael E. Woods
“I am hopeful to come across new business opportunities for growth and advancement as well as provide them to other minority business professionals. I’d like to see positive growth within our community. To be a part of this is important. I love to see people doing good!”
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6 - Meeting the 3 M’s: Learning the Basics of Marketing, Management and Money, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at the WSU Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th St. N. Free. For more information or to register, contact the Kansas Small Business Development Center, 316-978-3193. 9 - 35th Annual Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference 7:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Century II Conference Hall, 225 W. Douglas. Tickets: $115 (with a $10 service fee for each ticket invoiced). For more information, visit: www.cedbr.org 16 - Meeting the 3 M’s: Learning the Basics of Marketing,
Management and Money, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the WSU Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th St. N. Free. For more information or to register, contact the Kansas Small Business Development Center, 316-978-3193. Quick Start Business Planning Workshop, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at the WSU Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th St. N. Free. Registration required. For more information or to register, contact the Kansas Small Business Development Center, 316-978-3193.
17 - “From Mind to Market: Turning Ideas into Marketable
Products and Services” (Business Booster Series), 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. in Devlin Hall, Room 010 at WSU, 1845 Fairmount. This program will help entrepreneurs, innovators, and small business owners bridge the gap between research and development and commercial deployment. Cost: $50 ($5 for WSU students). Registration required. Call, 316-978-3000.
27 - Meeting the 3 M’s: Learning the Basics of Marketing,
Management and Money, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at the WSU Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th St. N. Free. For more information or to register, contact the Kansas Small Business Development Center, 316-978-3193.
29 - Fuel the Fire Speaker Series featuring Brad Segal, President of Progressive Urban Management Associates, 5 p.m.-6 p.m. at the Lux, 120 E. 1st St. N., Free. For more information, visit: www.fueltheﬁrespeakerseries.com.
Oct. 30 ICT-UP Lunch and Learn Series Kick-off at the Cox Lounge at Intrust Bank Arena featuring Assistant County Manager, Ron Holt. See the full story on page 18.
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4 - General Election. Polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Advance
ballots must be in the election ofﬁce by 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.sedgwickcounty.org/elections.
5-7- Kansas Community Leadership Initiative Summit at the
Kansas Leadership Center, 325 E. Douglas. For more information, including summit times and registration fees, contact Shaun Rojas, 316-712-4956 or visit www.kansasleadershipcenter.org.
7 - Social Media: Have People Like Your Company - Not Just
Click “Like” (Business Booster Series), 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Devlin Hall, Room 010, WSU, 1845 Fairmount. Hear practical advice and real-world examples of how to honestly and positively represent your brand with new media. Cost: $50 ($5 for WSU students). Registration required. For more information call, 316-978-3000.
- “Small Business Funding Opportunities SBIR/STTR” (Business Booster Series), 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Devlin Hall, Room 010, WSU, 1845 Fairmount. Be a technology problem-solver and innovator, not just a manufacturer. Search technology areas and identify opportunities where your ﬁrm is a good ﬁt. Cost: $50 ($5 for WSU students). Registration required. For more information call, 316-978-3000.
11 - Wichita Urban Professionals meeting, 7 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Urban League of Kansas, 2418 E. Ninth St. Open to members and prospective members. For more information, call 316-285-0518.
28 - Suit and Tie II, presented by Epic Entertainment, 8 p.m.-1 a.m., Abode Venue, 1330 E. Douglas. Tickets cost $30 for individuals; $300 for tables. For more information, please call, 316-200-5325.
GET LISTED - The Urban Magnate Upcoming Events Page is devoted to listing
professional, economic, small business and other development opportunities and select area events from ICT-UP collaborators and partners. Listings are free. Urban Magnate publishes bi-monthly. Staff members reserve the right to select calendar content and to format information according to layout. To submit a listing for consideration, please e-mail email@example.com.
WE ARE HERE, NOW IT’'S TIME TO BE PRESENT www.ictup.org
This issue features an exclusive with Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and much more! Urban Magnate is the premiere publication of Wichita Urban Pr...
Published on Oct 3, 2014
This issue features an exclusive with Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and much more! Urban Magnate is the premiere publication of Wichita Urban Pr...