In 2004, the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce realized the pressing need to proactively enter the fiercely competitive market for young professionals. This decision was fueled by a community-wide call for support and programming specific to professionals in the 21 to 40 year-old age range, as well as some alarming data that if employees do not establish relationships outside the work environment within three to six months, they are more likely to leave. Worse yet, each Wichitan exported from the community costs $300,000 in lost investment.

The Chamber’s response to this call came in June of 2005 with the launch of the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW). With a vision of making Wichita the Heartland’s destination for young intellectual capital, the organization has provided innovative ways for young professionals in the Wichita area to build their professional and personal networks, skill sets, and perhaps most importantly, their endearment to Wichita.

The Next Chapter

In 2019, the organization underwent a comprehensive rebranding and changed its name to W. This name shift signified a modernized, inclusive investment in Wichita’s pool of young professionals – an approach that encourages professionals from all industries and backgrounds to join the organization and immerse themselves in all that Wichita has to offer.

Meet W’s leadership