Hello, and welcome to 2021…the year AFTER the year that none of us will soon forget! It is my privilege and honor to Chair the WIBA Board of Directors in 2021, our 90th year serving the Wichita business community.
First off, a heartfelt ‘THANK YOU’ and Happy Retirement to our amazing out-going President, Alicia Holloway. Starting as a WIBA member, then a Board Member (which included Chairing the Board), and finally leading the organization and staff as WIBA’s President, Alicia’s service and dedication to WIBA are unmatched, and she will truly be missed. While she won’t be serving the organization as she has in the past, Alicia will always be a member of the WIBA Family, and we look forward to continuing to see her at our future events.
I’d also like to welcome our new President, Wendell Funk, to the WIBA Family. We are so excited to have Wendell leading the organization. In the short time that I’ve gotten to know Wendell, I can already see his passion and dedication to WIBA. He is poised and ready to pick up where Alicia left off in carrying out the organization’s mission to connect people, provide expertise, opportunities, and an influential voice to help businesses thrive in Wichita. Wendell truly embodies what WIBA is all about, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the staff in 2021.
There’s much change going on at WIBA…and not just with our leadership. We recently announced an office move to the lower level of the Ruffin building on Douglas Avenue. As of the release of this newsletter, we are ‘officially’ moved in, and we are extremely excited to have the opportunity to office in the Ruffin building. The new space is perfectly suited for WIBA, and we can’t wait to have our first round of luncheons (both regular monthly and WWLA) in the Petroleum Club on the top floor of the building. I hope you’ll come to join us and drop by to see our new digs.
It goes without saying that 2020 was an unforgettable year…for all the wrong reasons. As we get set to plow into a new year, I can’t help but be excited for 2021 and recover from this terrible Pandemic. With vaccines rolling out, we are finally on the offensive in combating COVID.
There’s a light at the end of this COVID tunnel we’re in…, and this time, it’s not a train! I feel for all the businesses and non-profit organizations that suffered and, in some cases, closed in 2020. But I am excited for the opportunities that await businesses to recover and thrive in the coming year, and WIBA is poised to help drive that recovery.
Rest assured that we are keeping a close eye on local guidelines for gatherings. We will continue to adjust schedules and be creative with our events to ensure safety and opportunity for all our members and attendees as we work through the year. I hope you’ll join us and attend our events in the coming year.
We welcome and appreciate your input and feedback. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to reach out to me, our board members, Ambassadors, or staff members. Your participation in WIBA is key to the organization’s success, and we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our events. Please visit wiba.org for more information.