Urban Magnate Vol. 1 Issue 5

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VOL. 1 ISSUE 5 | JUNE/JULY 2015 www.ictup.org



New Date, Same Purpose: To Recognize Wichita’s Young, Diverse & Talented Sponsor packages now available. Contact Jonathan Long, 316-285-0518




eaders in Wichita want to believe that the city can be a destination place for diverse talent. However, for that to be true, leaders will have to broaden the context around their favorite nine-letter word that often focuses only on compliance and checkboxes - diversity. Unfortunately, diversity has become a word that holds no real significance in conversations other than to describe differences. It has become the newer, nicer connotation of affirmative action. “Diversity is about counting people. Inclusion is about making people count.” These words from Kathleen Nalty, a diversity and inclusion consultant, slice through the smokescreen that diversity conversations have become and penetrate to the compelling conversation that must be held. Diversity dominates headlines and hashtags, but it’s inclusion that opens doors and shatters ceilings. Progress is produced by action. Many individuals and organizations have created great outcomes that have ensured people of all backgrounds are being represented throughout our community. But inclusion is an effort that

Jonathan Long, President Wichita Urban Professionals

has to be led from the top down. Inclusion is the maximization of leveraging diversity and, as I wrote in the Wichita Eagle’s Progress edition, “… by leveraging diversity, only then will Wichita reach its truest potential.” In this edition, we examine how inclusion through diversity is impacting the city - from the Intrust Bank Arena and River Festival stages, to the community giving efforts of Koch Industries, to even examining the efforts to diversify Wichita’s law firms. As the city continues to reposition and brand itself as a destination for diverse and young talent, it’s going to be imperative that Wichita recognizes that diversity, alone, is only half of the issue. To truly retain and attract quality talent, build a vibrant and robust community and improve our economic base, then strategies rooted in inclusion must accompany conversations about diversity. Only then will Wichita be true to what it says it wants to be.


P. 14

Dreamchasers • 2


22 13

13 17

Boys & Girls Club Recruiting Event • 8 Hispanic Entrepreneurs Forum • 9



Dress for Success • 10


Inclusion Package • 12 Power House Jam • 13 Wichita River Festival • 15 Koch Industries • 17 Wichita Bar Association • 19

2 26 19



Leadership & Athletic Development Foundation • 20


Diversity as Progress • 22




Kansas Leadership Center • 26 Urban League of Kansas • 28


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.

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 Shana Stephens, Contributing Reporter David D. Wallace, Jr., Contributing Photographer Keshia Ezerendu, Contributing Photographer Michael E. Woods, Contributing Photographer

On the front cover: Brandon Johnson, Lilliana Montiel, Kenton Hansen and Natalie Lewis. Photo credit: David D. Wallace, Jr. On the back cover: Jonathan Long. Photo credit: Christina M. Long




ormer Sen. Donald Betts, Jr. built in time to host a fundraiser to generate more members for the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas during his recent visit to the States. Betts, who now resides in Australia with his wife and family, said he wanted to help a deserving organization in need. Betts, who partnered with Sen. Oletha FaustGoudeau, on the fun-filled family event hopes to raise enough money to pay for 1,000 memberships to the club. The event, which was held in late May, featured storytelling, food, appearances by popular cartoon characters, the University of Kansas’ Baby J mascot, bounce houses, giveaways and more. Additionally, Betts presented Dr. Evies Cranford, past club leader and a longtime club supporter with a gift from Australia. Juston White, chief professional officer of the club, also presented Cranford with a plaque for his work and proclaimed that May 22 would be Dr. Evies Cranford day at the club. To contribute to the effort, visit begreatwichita.org.

Photos by Christina M. Long




ichita Urban Professionals partnered with Young Professionals of Wichita to present the Mid-Continent Mayoral Forum at the Hungry Heart in February preceding the Primary Election. Each candidate gave a three- to fiveminute speech followed by mingling with participants to answer questions one-on-one. Jeff Longwell, who currently serves on the Wichita City Council, and Sam Williams, a longtime business executive, advanced in the primary to compete for the Mayoral seat currently held by Carl Brewer. The general election is April 7.

Photos Credit: Christina M. Long


he Kansas Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission held a daylong educational forum on May 5 at the National Center for Aviation Training to celebrate Hispanic Entrepreneur’s Day. The event, coordinated by the Commission and the Kansas Department of Commerce, featured presentations on business financing, best family business entrepreneurial practices, effective social media strategies, perfecting elevator pitches and learning the latest from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. The event also featured a special recognition by the Wichita District Office of the United States Small Business Administration of Curtis Whitten, president and CEO of VendTech Enterprise. Adrienne Foster, executive director for the commission, said the workshops were built based upon feedback the commission gathered from Hispanic entrepreneurs across the state.


DRESS FOR SUCCESS: FASHIONED WITH PURPOSE By Shana Stephens, Urban Magnate Contributing Reporter

Courtesy Photo


f you are ever in need of a self-confessed shopa-holic with a heart for empowering women, infusing diversity and helping bring a 15-year-old organization into the 21st Century, look no further than Portia Portugal, executive director of Dress for Success. “I enjoy shopping,” Portugal said. “I started with Dress for Success as a volunteer personal shopper and, from there, I always wanted to work with a nonprofit organization.” When Portugal took over as executive director last August, the organization was going through a lot of changes internally. There was much to accomplish. “Coming on board in the midst of so much was not always easy,” she said. “There was a lot going on and it could be daunting at times, but I was not going to give up.” Her passion and the hard work of her team through the last year did not go unnoticed. In April, the Wichita Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity Awards program recognized Dress for Success for demonstrating inclusive treatment, advocacy for unrepresented groups and commitment to the advancement of cultural diversity in the area. “This award is a testament to what we do here and the diverse population we serve,” Portugal said.

“You cannot generalize the backgrounds of our clients. There are ladies that have been laid off after 20 years. There are older widows that have never worked. They come from everywhere and, even though some of these ladies are in a tough place, they are our equals and we still love their successes and celebrate them.” Portugal, who was born into a military family, grew up an “Air Force brat.” She frequently moved around, which allowed her to experience many different cultures including her own Mexican roots. Her bachelor’s degree in Global Studies from Arizona State University also helps to sharpen her perspective. “My diverse background plays a large role in what I brought to the table at Dress for Success,” Portugal said. “Being able to accept diverse opinions and getting the voices that are not always heard is an important part of what we do.” The award recognition comes as Portugal is working to improve the service Dress for Success provides to its clients. A generous grant from NetAbility, a Wichita-based IT company, is helping the organization automate its referral process. Portugal has also assessed the need for a larger space to serve more women. She’s working to attract more volunteers and to grow the organization’s leadership so it can continue to be as diverse as the clients it serves. She’s also positioning the organization to host bigger events that generate even greater community awareness. This month, for example, Dress for Success will hold its 11th Annual Sisterhood of the Divine Makeover. Fashion shows, brunch and other programs will highlight clients as they receive makeovers and show just how important the organization is to women in the community. “Dress for Success is not just about clothes,” Portugal said. “We provide skills as well as suits. “Anytime I hear about a client getting a job, promotion or getting off public assistance, it is exciting - regardless of how big or small our role was - and that makes it worth it.”


For more information, visit wichita.dressforsuccess.org



@ Intrust Bank Arena... pg. 13 @ The Wichita River Festival... pg. 15 @ Koch Industries... pg. 17 @ The Wichita Bar Association... pg. 19



The Arena & Hip-Hop



rom chart-topping newcomers to lyrical legends, Wichita has seen its share of rap concerts. In 2015, alone, artists E-40 and Rae Sremmurd have rapped their way into the Dub-K. But Power 93.5’s Power House Jam featuring Lil Wayne and Trey Songz isn’t just another rap concert or Hip-Hop event. It’s about validation. “What Wichita says it wants is not what Wichita always does,” said Greg “The Hitman” Williams, Program Director for Power 93.5. “There’s been a lot of talk about when will a Black artist play the arena. We’ve been trying for years but hadn’t had the right situation. We believe this is it. “This concert is going to make a statement one way or another.” Williams and other members of the Hip-Hop community hope that the statement made is one that mainstream Hip-Hop and R&B artists can come to Wichita and be successful. For years, many of these artists have bypassed Wichita to appear, instead, at other arenas in area cities including Kansas City, Omaha and Oklahoma City. And while many in the community feel the arena and its management are to blame, there’s something to say about perception often being reality. “Wichita hasn’t accepted the fact that it’s a big city,” Williams said. “This show is being watched across the nation by promoters. This will open the door for acts that haven’t even considered Wichita, Kansas. We aren’t just talking about Hip-Hop acts, but black artists, in general.” The Power House Jam is the first Hip-Hop or R&B show to take place at Intrust Bank Arena since it opened its doors in January 2010. Because of the lack of diversity in the


arena’s portfolio, the arena and its management bear the brunt of many complaints about the lack of inclusivity of diverse entertainment acts in Wichita. Intrust Bank’s General Manager, A.J. Boleski, insists that, rather than being exclusive, the situation is a numbers game and the numbers make it hard to lure a major noncountry genre act into Wichita. “We want diverse acts, but we’re not the ones writing the checks,” Boleski said of the Arena’s booking practices. “We’ve A.J. Boleski, Courtesy Photo been working on this for about four years. We’d looked at the numbers of other acts over the years and it’s been hard to get a promoter to take the risk. “We knew that the first act would have to be big—someone with notoriety. And we feel like we found the right act at the right time.” Ticket sales for the Power House Jam sold quickly for the first two weeks, organizers said,

before stalling. Only recently have ticket sales started to pick back up for the concert, which is scheduled for June 11. The arena can hold approximately 10,500 for a show of such magnitude. By contrast, the Cotillion and clubs like Pandora have had a lot of success with rap artists this year. In March, for example, Platinum recording artist J. Cole performed at the Cotillion. The show served as a warm-up for Cole’s larger tour, which features Big Sean and YG. Cole mentioned, in interviews, that his first run of shows were planned for cities that don’t get a lot of “love.” Boleski, with the Arena, said he hopes that the Power House Jam can open the door for other artists to believe they can get love and money in Wichita. “If the artist has a great experience in the right size market, they’ll typically come back,” Boleski said. “We’ve had artists play in smaller venues two or three years before and come back and play here.” Greg “The Hitman” Williams, Courtesy Photo




Kaye Monk-Morgan, Courtesy Photo


mong the reasons more diverse, nationallyrecognized acts such as DJ Jazzy Jeff, Nappy Roots and Grammy-award winning artist, Erica Campbell, performed at the Wichita River Festival this year is in large part because Kaye Monk-Morgan’s strategy worked last year. Monk-Morgan, the director of Upward Bound Math/Science at Wichita State University, was elected, last year, to serve as the board chair of Wichita Festivals, Inc., which oversees a number of local activities including the River Festival. She credits the birth of her strategy from a pointed question her 99-year-old grandfather asked upon learning of her appointment: “You are the first African-American person to serve as the president of this board so what is going to be different in your leadership than anyone else? “How will anyone know you were there?” Monk-Morgan said she became reflective of the type of leader she naturally is; one who opens doors of access for others. With this in mind, her goal became to make the festival more accessible and reflective of all people. She’d start with revamping GospelFest. “It was an opportunity where WFI, in my opinion, had continued to offer a GospelFest but was not

heavily engaged in the planning or funding of the event. “What was happening was done because of a valiant group of community members. I felt like Wichita Festivals had the cultural capital to make it a bigger and better event.” Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., agreed. “It has always been a wonderful event, and it’s received a tremendous amount of focus from that community,” Jarvis said. “A core group planned a great and inspiring evening of wonderful local talent, without a ton of focus from festivals’ staff.” To kick-start the effort, Monk-Morgan said she immediately enlisted the help of those who had been working the GospelFest for years: Keith Norris, Rachel Norwood, Prisca Barnes and Dwight and Natalie Rolfe, among others. They developed a shared vision, identified an artist – Tamela Mann, who is well known for her roles on the big screen in Tyler Perry films, the small screen and in pop culture – and then secured corporate sponsorships to cover a significant portion of the funding to make the event happen. Monk-Morgan said, once those pieces were in place, she tapped the city’s African-American community, which had been longtime supporters of the GospelFest. She presented the opportunity


to the local National Pan-Hellenic Council, which represents nine historically AfricanAmerican, Greek-lettered fraternities and sororities, the Wichita Ministerial League and other civic groups. The league, in addition to two of the larger predominately African-American congregations, donated money, helped to sell buttons and encouraged people to volunteer. The impact was evident. According to Wichita Festivals: • Mann, who was the first national headliner for GospelFest in seven years, drew a crowd of 12,000 • Overall festival attendance rose by 20,000—from 360,000 in 2013 to 380,000 – which is credited to the appearance of headliners, including Grandmaster Flash. • And button sales were up from 104,000 in 2013 to 111,000 in 2014. Beyond the figures, Monk-Morgan says the efforts have built a solid infrastructure for diversity to continue helping to shape the festival for years to come from the volunteer pool, to the funders to those who serve on the board. “We worked very hard, asked the right people; they had faith in our vision and they showed up,” Monk-Morgan said. “It was really rewarding to feel like we had helped build something in our community that could be sustained.” Jarvis said River Festival is a fundamentally unifying festival that now has a stronger emphasis on being inclusive. “Throughout the festival, our focus is on taking the artistic credibility up a notch and representing a diversity of backgrounds, which may have been a little outside the comfort zone for the festival in the past. “There were great moments,” Jarvis added of previous celebrations, “but we’re being a little more modern, a little more diverse and a little cooler.”




och Industries’ community investment efforts center on one major concept: creating opportunities. “It’s genuine, it’s sincere and it’s what we do,” says Meredith Olson, Vice President of Public Affairs at Koch. Koch is creating new relationships through its funding arm with a focus on disadvantaged and urban communities. In the past two years, for example, Koch has: contributed $25,000 to Rise Up for Youth, Inc., founded by David and Lynn Gilkey; $10,000 to the Wichita Griots: Keepers of the Stories to benefit its annual Griots Cultural Arts Enrichment Camp; $75,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Kansas, under the leadership of Juston White, to support the Education and Career Development Program at the Club; $25 million to the United Negro College Fund; a total of $2.1 million paid or committed to Kansas State University’s Office of Diversity from Koch and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation to benefit Project IMPACT and even helped to sponsor a business luncheon for Black Enterprise’ Entrepreneurship Summit in Atlanta, which featured rapper, producer, songwriter, author and CEO of So So Def Recordings, Jermaine Dupri. These efforts are in addition to the numerous other contributions to public and private organizations working in the areas of advancing youth, enriching communities, supporting emergency responders and relief agencies and protecting, conserving and enhancing nature areas. “We want to remove barriers to help people succeed,” Olson said.

Harnessing Human Potential Staying in touch with the community and investing in organizations that their employees are also active within has helped the company rekindle and also pursue new partner relationships, said Laura Hands, Community Affairs Director at Koch. “It has all been unique and organic how these opportunities come about,” she said. Jean Pouncil-Burton, with the Wichita Griots, said Koch has contributed to their efforts in the past. “It had been awhile and they felt it was time they came back again, and we’re appreciative of that,” she said. Koch is also taking a chance on new efforts. Rise Up for Youth and the soon-to-be constructed Maker Space at Wichita State University’s campus are two examples. Koch employees credit the 100 percent graduation rate of students participating in the Gilkeys’ programming as a reason for helping to support Rise Up for Youth’s efforts. Likewise, in the case of WSU’s Maker Space, Koch was eager to offer scholarships to eligible community members and stipends for mentors to share their expertise, which prompted a significant donation.


Photo Credit: Koch Industries

“We have a very positive view of harnessing human potential to drive our community forward,” Olson said.

Giving with a Sustained Focus “We don’t just write a check and walk away,” Olson said. It took a year’s worth of work, for example, putting together the partnership program with the United Negro College Fund before the contribution was even announced, Olson said. The initiative features seven different program areas where “every single one of these program elements worked together as a team to design and develop the materials and to determine the selection criteria of the participants. “A lot of time and effort went into it.” Project IMPACT, administered through K-State’s Office of Diversity, offers another example. Koch was a founding corporate partner when the program was initiated in the late 2000s and the company’s contributions continue today. “Project IMPACT is a suite of programs that we use to recruit, retain, develop and then place multicultural students in very premier jobs with highlevel companies,” says K-State’s Associate Provost for Diversity, Dr. Myra Gordon, who researched best practices and, where there were gaps, created original strategies to build the Project IMPACT pipeline. That pipeline, which draws diverse students from Wichita and other cities across Kansas, has engaged more than 280 students since the program’s inception. Gordon says when she initially pitched the program to Koch, she did so with the understanding that it could be several years before the program would fully realize its objectives as it was moving students through its offerings. Now, Gordon said, the pipeline is full. “We have so many really outstanding young people,” Gordon said, “Our success has attracted other

corporate investors in the program and, at any given time, we have about 120 to 140 young people in play, somewhere along the pipeline, who are being prepared for these jobs.” Edgar Bustillos, a Credit Analyst at Koch Ag & Energy Solutions, is among Project IMPACT’s success stories. Bustillos, a Sublette, Kansas native, graduated from K-State in December 2010 with a finance and accounting degree. He started at Koch in January 2011. “The program does a good job because, not only do students get scholarships to help ease the burden of increasing tuition and books, but it really is a good opportunity for students to collaborate and get mentors from it.” Deborah Gladney, who will help oversee Project IMPACT in Wichita as a Communications Specialist with Koch, says she’s fortunate to be able to build upon the strong foundation that already exists for the program. “For a lot of these students, it’s just about helping them realize their potential,” she said. “In reality, the entire community benefits when students are successful.” Gordon, of K-State, says she has fallen in love with Koch for taking a chance on the program. “To Koch’s credit, they were willing to be the first investor,” Gordon said. “When you’re a donor, you’re giving something and you don’t expect to get something in return. That’s not Koch. “Koch is not a donor, they’re an investor and they expect a return on their investment.” That return on investment, Koch says, is for students to go on to lead successful lives and become contributors to society.


LAW & OPPORTUNITY: Boosting diversity in Wichita's legal community BY CHRISTINA M. LONG


lack of diverse representation in courtrooms and in the legal profession is what the Wichita Bar Association’s Professional Diversity Committee is working to remedy. The committee just finished accepting applications for four scholarships it is offering to cover the costs of the prep course for the Law School Admission Test. Each scholarship is valued at nearly $1,200. In addition to the scholarship, the committee also oversees programming, which includes an award-winning Grow Your Own Lawyer Program in existence since 1996, a summer intern program, diversity workshops and an annual recognition event for diverse attorney standouts and those helping to advance the cause. Yet, the numbers of minority attorneys, in particular, remain low. Gloria Farha Flentje, who began practicing when there weren’t many female attorneys in Wichita, cites several reasons for the lack of representation. Farha Flentje, who serves as chair for the Wichita Bar Association’s Professional Diversity Committee and is recently retired, says attorney hiring, in general, isn’t happening at rates like it used to due to economic factors and that people looking to experience big-city law firms that employ 200, 300 and even 500 attorneys will not find that type of experience in Wichita. What they will find in Wichita, Flentje said, is “a great deal of camaraderie and support from people in the bar. You know the people you’re practicing against. Here, you fight your fights against issues in lawsuits; not against people. “It’s just a healthy place to live.”

Courtesy Photo

Robert Moody, who is an associate attorney at Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P., commonly referred to as Martin Pringle, credits the Wichita Bar Association and members of the diversity committee for taking an interest in helping him achieve his goal of being a lawyer. Moody recalls, while in college, having one semester remaining to earn an Associate of Arts degree. He was looking to fill one credit-hour slot. The only one-credit course offered at the time was Intro to Paralegalism. “I didn’t know what it was, but I needed that class,” Moody said, adding that a bonus, for him, was that he could find a job more quickly as a paralegal. While taking the course, a classmate let him know of an opening in a one-man law office. In 1998, when Moody graduated with his associate’s degree, he went to work for the firm and was able to experience many different facets of legal work simply due to the firm’s small size. The position allowed Moody to become a familiar face in Wichita’s legal community. “After awhile, it dawned on me – from getting exposed to all of these other attorneys and judges— that maybe this was something I have the ability to do, as well,” Moody said, reflecting back to that time. He went back to Wichita State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2004 – 10 years after graduating high school - and landed a job in the United States District Court for the District of SEE LEGAL, CONT. ON PAGE 29





avid Moore has given purpose to his perils through his new nonprofit company, Leadership & Athletic Development Foundation (LAD). The 38-year-old Saint Louis, MO-native, who now resides in Wichita, admits feeling a lack of acceptance as a teenager led him to engage in criminal activity which, ultimately, landed him in jail. With time to mature and to grow, Moore said, he is now compelled to help students forge a better path. “I just believe I have a purpose behind helping at-risk youth, and I just can’t sit on it,” said Moore, who has been volunteering with various gang-prevention and other youth-related initiatives. “At first, I was ashamed of where I was in life but, now, I believe that my testimony today is so rich, empowering and authentic. “That authenticity is what helps me to connect with these kids.” Through LAD, Moore will offer youth athletes strength, conditioning and sportspecific training and also provide services including college preparation courses, tutoring, and application assistance for college admission and scholarships. The services are organized under the categories

of engagement, rearrangement and attainment. LAD’s programming will also incorporate notable athletes, Moore said. “What we’re trying to do is bring young athletes back to Wichita who the youngsters can identify with,” Moore said. Additionally, LAD is aggressively working to secure partnerships to bolster its service offerings. The company works in tangent with Oskie Consulting, Inc., which offers business planning, economic development, management training, marketing and nonprofit development, among other services. LAD has also partnered with EDU, Inc., which allows students to complete the Common Black College Application which gets sent to 36 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). EDU, Inc. holds a 97 percent acceptance rate to at least one of the participating universities for students who have used its services, the company reports. “Whatever it is we have to do to keep [students] involved and working with universities and junior colleges and make sure they have, at least, a better shot of attaining a four-year degree,” Moore said, “we’re going to do it.”


DIVERSITY & PROGRESS: David D. Wallace, Jr. Photography

“Diversity is at the heart of progress. ‘Progress’ without diversity is hollow and only a false sense of the real thing.” - Kenton Hansen, 33 Software and startups

David D. Wallace, Jr. Photography


“With an ever-changing populace, diversity amongst business leaders and decision makers is key to ensuring all voices are heard and considered as Wichita continues to grow. Too often in Wichita, the tables of decision makers, business leaders, and/or elected officials do not reflect the greater community. When this occurs, as it has been for decades, various subgroups are left behind as the city advances forward. “We have to engage the unusual voices and implement what they say if we truly want to see stronger growth.” - Brandon Johnson, 29 Workforce Development, Nonprofit community engagement and leadership development

David D. Wallace, Jr. Photography

“Diversity is, very much, a driving force behind progression— not only in seeking professional advancement, but personal development, as well. The ability to see the world through different lenses creates an atmosphere of limitless possibilities and allows individuals to share ideas and learn from each other,� - Lilliana Montiel, 22 Recent graduate

David D. Wallace, Jr. Photography

“Wichita is the embodiment of a broad composition of race, cultures and ethnicities. With the ever-expanding influx of immigrants from foreign countries as a result of Wichita State University and the aeronautical industry, the concept of diversity can be expanded through programs that increase cultural awareness. Cultural awareness increases community tolerance and promotes inclusion as a group. Growing as a cohesive community in Wichita leads to stronger businesses, thus promoting a stronger job economy and overall health of Wichita. Working as a collective and diverse group in Wichita sets the foundation for our children’s future. “ - Natalie Lewis, 36 Certified Holistic Health Coach Health Activist Yoga Instructor Actress Owner of Rx3 Wellness

David D. Wallace, Jr. Photography


Courtesy Illustration


By Sarah Caldwell Hancock, Contributing Editor, the Kansas Leadership Center Journal Popular culture is awash these days in references to the act of bringing fresh ideas to life. For instance, one issue of The Atlantic magazine I encountered last summer contained numerous articles on the subject. And it’s not just magazines. The new-releases section in bookstores are filled with titles concerned with innovations and creativity. “Creativity Inc.” “The Innovators.” “Agile Innovation.” “How We Got to Now.” There are more than a dozen TED Talks alone about creativity, not to mention classes, seminars and online tutorials. Everyone, it seems, wants to think more deeply about how to better engage our creative impulses and infuse creativity into our organizational and civic cultures. But how much do we really know about creativity? Is it a skill that can be taught? An innate competency that can be cultivated? A bit of both? The search for bolstering creativity isn’t limited to art classes or writing workshops. It’s also permeating teaching at business schools, where it’s found a home among finance, spreadsheets

Pictured: Safiya Woodward, a student in a creativity class at Kansas State University. Courtesy photo.

and management. Business schools are betting that creativity can be taught and be the engine that drives innovation, a crucial ingredient in U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. Learn how anyone can fuel their own creativity at work, at home and in the civic realm in the “arts and leadership” issue of The Journal. Read the digital version of the issue here: http://klcjr.nl/fuelcreativity


f or t he

















common good

Join those who share your goals and aspirations at the Kansas Community Leadership Initiative Summit Kansas Leadership Center



Upcoming Session: Lead. KS Now. 325 E DOUGLAS AVEYou. WICHITA, 67202 July 13-15 Register byINFORMATION June 22, 2015 FOR MORE Call, 316-712-4950 AND TO REGISTER CONTACT: Shaun Rojas 316.712.4956, srojas@kansasleadershipcenter.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



All photos courtesy of MyPicturemanLLC. (L-R: Tracy Cassidy of Q92; Keshia Ezerendu, Emerging Leader award recipient; Donna Wright receives the Whitney M. Young Award presented by Teketa Harding, Urban League of Kansas Board Member; Melody McCray-Miller, Urban League of Kansas Board Chair and Desmond Blake, Urban League of Kansas interim CEO/President; Ann Fox, Community Advocate Award recipient; Dr. Mildred Edwards, keynote speaker; Roseline Onijala, Small Business of Kansas Award recipient and Westar Energy leadership and staff, Corporate Diversity Award recipient)



Kansas. Three years later, Moody accepted a position as the courtroom deputy for the Honorable Monti Belot, United States District Court Judge. That hiring, Moody said, “further added credibility to my skill sets.” The experience with Judge Belot prompted Moody to pursue law school. He earned a full tuition scholarship to Washburn University and balanced attending school with traveling back and forth between Topeka and Wichita, where his wife and children remained. While it was difficult, Moody said, his family was “all in” and that they took it semester by semester. It helped that, during winter and summer breaks, Moody was able to work at Martin Pringle as a law clerk. In May 2014 – 20 years after graduating high

school – he received his Juris Doctor degree and joined Martin Pringle full-time in September 2014. Moody said it’s critically important that the committee – and the profession – continues to work to improve diversity. Beyond objectives, Moody said, diversity offers an opportunity to “bring different ideas, perspectives, values and thoughts on ways to handle situations.” “I know there are opportunities out there for other people; not just me,” Moody said. “I’m not that special.” But opportunities – and blessings – are bestowed upon those who are interested and who happen to position themselves in a place to receive such, Moody says. “I’ve seen it. I’m living it,” he says of his story. “It’s amazing, and I still can’t believe it.”