My last day at the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce will be Nov. 30. I am very grateful for the 20-plus years I have been a part of the KCK Chamber. I have been privileged to work with so many talented, smart, dedicated people from all walks of life in our community and the region.
When Murrel and Carol Bland owned Wyandotte West, the forerunner to the Wyandotte Daily News, they did something I thought was amazing in one of their issues around the holidays. The editorial for that issue was a listing of everyone who had helped them in some way to “put out the paper” in the past year as a way of thanking all of those people. I wish I could do something similar to acknowledge, recognize and thank everyone who has helped me and the KCK Chamber over the past 20 years. I can’t afford the price of that much space and sure thing, I’d leave someone off the list. So I tried to thank people by category but it was still too long and I realized I had still left people and entities off.
So, let me just talk about two important things I’ve learned in Wyandotte County that really make me grateful for being part of the community and the Chamber. These are also at least two of the things I share when I’ve been asked to speak to groups about Wyandotte County.
The first is every change in our community has started with a “grassroots” effort from people in the community who have banded together to make something happen. An example of this is Kevin Kelley and Mike Jacobi who ran into each other after talking about consolidation separately with different groups. They banded together and started convincing other citizens and then elected officials that consolidation was something our county needed to do. Another example is the midtown neighborhoods who wanted more police presence in the neighborhoods. They worked together to convince elected officials, police and U.G. staff to create a mid-town patrol. That mid-town patrol is an anchor at the new Transit Center at 47th and State. In-fill housing has been created in downtown, Rosedale, Argentine, the Northeast and other areas because citizens got together, made a plan and made it happen. And just one more of so many examples, is the Downtown Shareholders and downtown improvement district that started with a group of people meeting to create a new plan for downtown. Grassroots is everything in our Wyandotte County.
The other concept I’ve tried to share about Wyandotte County is Partnering for Success. Yes, it is the KCK Chamber’s tagline but again, it has worked in our community. I’ve shared some of that in the examples above. I saw it happen when many groups, public and private, came together to work to bring Kansas Speedway to Wyandotte County. I saw it happen when Wyandotte County decided it wanted casino gaming. I’ve witnessed it as NBRs, Chambers and other business organizations have banded together to work on projects.
When people partner and bring their individual talents to the table incredible things happen. It has happened here over the last 20 or so years and I’ve been honored to play my own small part in partnering for the success that has come our way in Wyandotte County. Thank you all for the opportunity and your help.
Cindy Cash is the president and CEO of the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce.