Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce vice president Suzie Ahlstrand, who has headed the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition for the past two years, will move over to staff the chamber’s newly formed Leadership Council.
She takes on the title of executive vice president of community development.
Ahlstrand will help the Leadership Council, which consists of more than 100 local corporate and public sector chief executives, carry out its mission of identifying and overcoming critical barriers to the city’s economic development.
“They are trying to break down the barriers to economic development, to create not just more jobs but more economic diversification and work on ancillary issues like education,” said chamber president Gary Plummer.
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“By having Suzie come back to the chamber, she will be able to focus on the Leadership Council and Visioneering. I’m really excited to have her back on a full-time basis.”
The job Ahlstrand vacates is already being advertised by Jorgenson Consulting. The chamber expects to name that person after the new year.
The chamber has just launched a new five-year goal of creating 10,000 more jobs and becoming one of the country’s 25 metro areas in economic performance.
The chamber has also gotten commitments for more than $8 million toward its $9 million private fundraising campaign, Plummer said. The money is to be spent over five years.
Together with government contributions, the private fundraising would provide the coalition $1.5 million per year to operate, $300,000 more per year than it now has, while the Leadership Council would get $300,000 per year.