Carrie Rengers

John Rolfe is back in Wichita, and Jon Rolph couldn’t be happier

2017: Sasnak Management’s HomeGrown concept debuts

FILE VIDEO -- Sasnak Management president Jon Rolph shows off the company's new breakfast concept, HomeGrown, at NewMarket North. (Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle/May 23, 2017)
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FILE VIDEO -- Sasnak Management president Jon Rolph shows off the company's new breakfast concept, HomeGrown, at NewMarket North. (Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle/May 23, 2017)

When Jon Rolph heard John Rolfe was leaving Wichita for Houston six years ago, he told his friend he didn’t have to go.

“John, the town’s big enough for both of us.”

That’s a good thing, because Rolfe is back.

“There was an opportunity to come here and join the Kansas Leadership Center,” Rolfe says.

He left his job as chief administrative officer for Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau to become KLC’s chief development officer.

When Rolfe left Wichita in 2012, he was president of what was then called Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I was looking at the opportunity to return to Wichita,” Rolfe says of his hometown.

Part of it was to be closer to family, he says. Rolfe says he also likes the opportunity at KLC.

“I’ve seen what KLC has done,” he says of promoting leadership in the state.

His role will be “primarily continuing to build our partners across the state in what we do in terms of our leadership training and civic engagement.”

Rolfe says his wife, Felicia, also will be looking to re-enter the Wichita workforce eventually. He says they’re still transitioning from Houston.

When the Rolfes moved from Wichita, they happened to sell their home to the Rolph family.

Rolph, who is president of Thrive Restaurant Group, says he’s added three children since then for a total of five so he’d rather not give up the house.

Rolfe suggests perhaps both families could live there “to really confuse people.”

The confusion is likely to pick back up regardless of where the Rolfes move.

Rolfe and Rolph have shared each other’s mail through the years, and their assistants came to know each other because people would call to make or cancel plans with one of them when really they wanted the other.

Rolph apparently doesn’t mind a little confusion.

He says he’s happy for the return of his brother from another mother — a phrase the two use for each other.

“Wichita is better with two John Rolfes.”

Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for almost three decades, including 16 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.
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