Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates 2022 accomplishments and new Chair
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Lawmakers and members from both the private and public sectors came together to celebrate a successful past year for the Manhattan area Chamber of Commerce, Friday night, at the Hilton Garden Inn and Manhattan Conference Center.
“I think highlighting our year we had a great year for income development. We had about 10 project announcements, and close to a thousand jobs announced in 2022, so that’s a big deal but we also achieved our record of members in 2022. So organizationally that allows us to do more and we put an additional focus on policy and some of our advocacy efforts for our growth mission,” recalls President and CEO, of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Jason Smith.
Representatives from both Senator Jerry Moran and congressman Tracy Mann’s offices attended, as well as newly elected Manhattan State Senator, Usha Reddi and former Manhattan Senator, Tom Hawk.
The chamber says 2022 saw many successes.
“We made the biggest stride in diversity equity and inclusion. I think because we have rewritten our chamber by-laws to be more inclusive for chamber board members and members at large and we have appointed a black entrepreneur of the Flint Hills members to our board. We’ve also created a standing DEI committee that will work on issues, implement some programming we’ve already started, so we’ve made some big steps in DEI,” says Summer Dierks, Immediate Past Chair of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.
The night also celebrated the passing of the gavel from Dierks, to the new chair Mark Knackendoffel.
“There’s a lot of work that goes in, lots of planning for carrying out our mission of economic development in the Manhattan area and the region and so we’re celebrating what she’s accomplished in tandem with lots of other members but then also I get an opportunity to share my vision for what’s going to happen in the future,” says new Cahir of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Mark Knackendoffel.
The Lud Fiser Citizen of the Year award was given out to Mary Vanier. Stephanie Pierce was recognized for the Young Profession of the Year Award and Matt Crocker received the C. Clyde Jones Volunteer of the Year Award.
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