Community liaison, Wichita Independent Business Association
Ray Frederick, community liaison, Wichita Independent Business Association
As Frederick headed out the door Tuesday, he told his wife: “It turns out I need to be three places at 1:30 p.m.”
Her response: “Well, good luck.”
Frederick, 66, is busy these days, but then he’s been busy most days. After earning degrees in religion and philosophy from Friends University, he spent time as an administrator at a private college in the Chicago area.
He returned home to work for Frederick Plumbing and Heating, started by his grandfather in 1918. He became its president in 1990.
He helps his wife, Diane, run another business, Keystone Support Services, which manages geriatric care for clients.
And on Feb. 22, he started a part-time job as community liaison with WIBA’s new economic development program, funded with a grant from the city. In that job, his role is to help smaller businesses grow by assisting them in finding qualified workers, navigating government regulations and other means.
“Our primary focus is to dig into what is keeping a business from growing – and jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said.
Businesses do not have to be WIBA members to be involved, he said. As part of the grant agreement with the city, WIBA will host two job fairs and also work with the Workforce Alliance, the Greater Wichita Partnership and other organizations.
Frederick previously served as interim president of WIBA and Wichita Area Technical College. He is a member of the state’s Postsecondary Technical Education Authority and a former board member of the Kansas Cooling Contractors Association.
Frederick enjoys reading about American history and “mindfulness” and quick getaways with his wife to Kansas City.