With the changing of the calendar year comes a change in leadership for the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. While the main areas of focus for the Chamber remain Advocacy for Business, Marketing & Promotion, Investment in the Future, and Member Services, new initiatives or goals tend to emerge based on the leadership of the executive committee to tackle issues or enhance the Chamber’s role in the community.
The Chamber embarks on each new year with optimism and excitement for what new programs or services might emerge for their members and 2021 is no different, said Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Megan Barfield.
“Coming on the heels of 2020 and all that it was, I am humbled by the support the board and executive committee has provided me,” Barfield said. “We truly came together to support one another and our membership.
As we enter our 100th year as an organization, I am so optimistic for the future. We have great leadership with a love for their community and an interest in seeing everyone succeed.”
The 2021 Executive Committee is represented by: Pete Wesner (CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions) as Chairperson, Jerry Renk (American State Bank) as 1st Vice Chair, Shelly Peacock (TCI Answering Service) as 2nd Vice Chair, AJ Chrest (Aflac) as Immediate Past Chairperson, and Austin Coyan (Adams Brown) as Treasurer.
In addition, the Chamber welcomes five new members to its diverse board, representing a wide range of industries and backgrounds. Beginning three-year terms are Sue Cooper (Barton County/Central Kansas Partnership), Randy Goering (Eagle Radio), Ana Hayson (Rana Luna Boutique), Leslie Mingenback (Miss Pretty Pickles/Heart of Kansas) and Regan Reif (Wheatland Electric). Other new faces include Rich Baskerville (First Kansas Bank), representing the Chamber Ambassadors, and Jay Luerman (First Kansas Bank), representing Barton County Young Professionals.
Continuing their service on the board are Glenna Achatz (Coldwell Banker Sell Real Estate), Rob Bauer (Bauer, Pike, Bauer, Wary & Carroll LLC), Scott Dewerff (KanEquip), Logan Garrett (G-B Tire Inc.), Jesse Mock (The University of Kansas Health Systems), Teresa Powelson (Golden Belt Community Foundation) Douglas Reiser (Central Kansas Surveying & Mapping Inc.) and Todd VanSkike (Golden Belt Bicycle Company).
Ex-Officio board members are Tory Arnberger (Kansas Legislature), Sara Hayden (Great Bend Economic Development), Christina Hayes (Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau), Dr. Carl Heilman (Barton Community College), Lindsey Krom-Craven (Great Bend City Council), Jennifer Schartz (Barton County Commission), and Khris Thexton (Great Bend Public Schools).
Volunteers finishing their terms on the board of directors in 2021 are Todd Armatys (Edward Jones), Nick Klug (BCYP & Corrosion DC Inc), Julie Kramp (The Center for Counseling), Jon Prescott (Sunflower Diversified Services), Sonya Rein (Ambassadors and Edward Jones), Lacey Schofield (Best Western Angus Inn), Julie Spray (The Fieldhouse) and Rick Taylor (Nex-Tech).
The Chamber will recognize the service and dedication of retiring board members at the upcoming virtual, live-streamed event, “Awards Night with the Chamber,” scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20. A complete listing of the Chamber Board can be found online at www.greatbend.org.