Guest Commentary

Why Young Professionals of Wichita changed its name to W

Kianga Crowley won the Innovations in Business award last month from Young Professionals of Wichita. YPW board members say she reflects how the definition of “professional” continues to evolve — and they need to respond to that. YPW recently changed its name to W.
Kianga Crowley won the Innovations in Business award last month from Young Professionals of Wichita. YPW board members say she reflects how the definition of “professional” continues to evolve — and they need to respond to that. YPW recently changed its name to W. Keshia Ezerendu Photography

Since 2005, Young Professionals of Wichita has been the go-to organization of young professionals that are ready to lead change for the greater good of our community.

Through my involvement as a leader in this great organization, I’ve had the opportunity to be in the presence of young professionals (YPs) who have embodied the saying, “be bold.” I have witnessed YPs become entrepreneurs, plan and execute citywide events, demand that their voices be heard at City Council meetings and ensure that their presence is felt in city decision-making board rooms. Wichita YPs understand that the future of their city requires their talents, contributions and fearless spirit right now.

In 2018 our organization decided that it was our time to be bold. We developed a robust strategic plan that centered on connecting YPs to Wichita, developing YPs leadership skills and impacting civic change within our city. During this time, we also restructured our volunteer teams and welcomed new team chairs. These changes inspired our most audacious move: a comprehensive organization rebranding.

Which leads me to our new name, W — A Community of Young Professionals. The meaning of W signifies a modern and inclusive community of YPs. As an organization, it encapsulates who we are as the leading young professional authority on issues pertaining to Wichita.

Why W? W is the beginning of Wichita, much as the organization is the beginning point for YPs to launch their involvement with the community. Uniquely, W is the longest of the letters in our alphabet phonetically. It is spelled ‘double you.’ It is the YOU before joining the organization and the transformative YOU that occurs after taking part in our many opportunities.

Our rebranding signals our commitment to delve deeper into our founding principles and carry out the mission of the organization. I urge you to visit our website, see our new brand and learn more about our organization.

We are steadfast in ensuring that Wichita becomes the heartlands destination for young intellectual capital. We are not cowering to change, but in the spirit of our friends at Fidelity Bank, we are choosing to go bravely onward!

Lai-L Daugherty is the chair of W
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