2016 Innovations in Business Award Finalists

Jul 05, 2016 · Meg Foreman - YPW Program & Marketing Manager

Congratulations to our Innovations in Business Award, sponsored by Martin Pringle, finalists! They include: Chris Clark, Clarkitecture; Danielle Johnson, Wichita State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Jacob Wayman, e2e Accelerator. The Innovations in Business award is presented to a YPW Member who has demonstrated innovation in their industry, company or organization by: making a unique or especially noteworthy contribution to their business or profession; reinvigorating or modernizing a business; or successfully starting their own business. Special consideration will be given to those nominated for contributions that are designed to attract and retain young talent to Wichita in some way or provide a service uniquely designed to appeal to YPs. Learn a little more about our finalists below.

Chris Clark, Principal at Clarkitecture

Follow: @clarkitects

Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
My wife, Bailey, and I are big mountain people. We love the epic scenery, hiking, fresh air, and even better when we can take our dog. We’re debating where next to check off our bucket list: Montana/Glacier or the Swiss Alps… I don’t think there’s a bad answer!

What is your number one restaurant recommendation in Wichita?
I have a lot of favorites in Wichita… so many that I keep a list on my phone to remind myself or I would forget about some of them. It’s impossible to pick just one so here are my recommendations depending on what vibe you’re looking for:
Good food, anytime: Wine Dive
Super-casual/good patio: Ziggy’s Pizza
Weekday lunch: Old Mill Tasty Shop
Sit-down dinner: Sabor
New favorite: George’s

What is the most recent book you’ve read? What did you like/learn from it?
I just finished reading the Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). It’s a good crime novel with likeable characters, but it’s hard to believe it’s written by the author of Harry Potter… it’s so different and realistic. I’m on book #2 now.

What is the best event/show you’ve seen in Wichita? 
I’ve been to a lot of fun concerts and Shocker basketball games, but the most underrated/unexpectedly good show I saw in Wichita had to be Alan Jackson at Hartman Arena. He’s one of those performers who makes it look so effortless… he doesn’t even have to try hard. Every single song sounds just like you’d heard it on the radio.

What is your favorite college memory?
I have so many great memories from my fraternity and architecture studio, but it’s hard to top watching the Jayhawks beat North Carolina in the 2008 Final Four and then rushing Mass Street along with half of Lawrence. What a way to end a freshman year… I can’t believe I got to relive it again in 2012, my last year at KU.


Danielle Johnson, Program Coordinator at Wichita State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Follow: @DjohnsonICT@wsudiversity@wsudiversity

What has been your favorite YPW experience?
One of my favorite YPW experiences has been participating in the Enhance community project. I’ve volunteered twice and each time I’ve met new, talented, and passionate people. Being able to interface with the volunteers as well as the people that we are serving has been very rewarding. The second time I volunteered with this project was with the non profit organization I helped start with my spouse, Community Operations Recovery Empowerment (CORE). Our board signed up as a team and I brought my son who was nine at the time. It is so important for my spouse and I to introduce our children to the importance of investing in the Wichita community. The same community that invested in us.

Who is the person you would most like to go to lunch with and why?
The person I would most like to go to lunch with is Ella Josephine Baker. Ella Baker had the audacity to dream big. She was a big proponent of the civil right movement working alongside the greats such as Dr. Martin Luther King, W.E.B Dubois and many others. She mentored fellow civil right activist such as Rosa Parks. She believed in human rights for all and helped to start several influential organizations. Ella’s nickname was Fundi, which is a Swahili word for a person who teaches a craft to the next generation. What stands out to me was her ability to be a power house, a catalyst for change, but still humble and in the background. I would love to learn so much from her. One of the quotes she had that resonates with me the most is, “You didn’t see me on television; you didn’t see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don’t need strong leaders.”

What was your first job?
My first paying job was working at Erby’s Pizza on 47th and south Broadway. I started there at fifteen. I was a proud employee. From making pizzas to cleaning tables, and serving customers. I thought I was the coolest person because I could hook my friends up with all the pizza and bread sticks they could eat. Erby’s was my sanctuary. I actually had a great time. Unfortunately is closed down, but if it ever came back I would go back part time.

What is your favorite college memory?
I have many great memories in college. One of my favorite memories is being a part of a small team of three to bring the Step Show back to Wichita State in 2010 and branding it Shock the Yard. The step show was something that was missing in fraternity and sorority life at WSU. Being able to resurrect this tradition and bringing teams from colleges acrossed the midwest to Wichita was innovative at the time. I am most proud of this memory because the step show still goes on today and has sold out each year since then. This memory has came full circle for me as this last year the step show was moved from the Orpheum to Koch Arena. The show continues to grow, diversify, and is something that many on the WSU campus and in the Wichita community look forward to attending every year.

If someone were to ride in your car, what would they hear?
This depends on two variables. Those variables are my mood and destination. I can go from Drake, 2 Chainz, to The Fray, Prince or Adele. I promise it is never a dull moment musically in my vehicle. I also like to serve as the car dj whether I am driving or not.



Jacob Wayman, Director at e2e Accelerator

Follow:  @jpwayman@e2eFund | jwayman26

What was your first job as a kid?
My grandfather always had a unique saying… “There are no child labor laws in family businesses.” And I’m proud of that. It is because of my family that I am where I am today. He taught me the meaning of hard work and to always finish what you start. As such, jobs included mowing, rental property maintenance, roofing, flipping rental homes and cleaning the mud pits of carwash bays (probably would make it on the Dirty Jobs shows).

What is the most recent book you’ve read? What did you like/learn from it?
I’m an avid reader, but the book that sticks out in my mind is ‘The Alchemist.’ It is a non-fiction short story about a man seeking a treasure. The search took him clear across the world and through several ups and numerous downs, but yet did not find his treasure where he thought it to be. His treasure in fact, was right where he started. Needless to say, I grew up in Wichita and decided to move away in order to fulfill my career aspirations only to find out that my true treasure was right where I started, in Wichita.

What advice do you wish you would have known in college?
Don’t be afraid to do the uncommon. Don’t be afraid to be the outsider. The one who challenges the status quo. The one who is willing to risk it all to gain everything. In short, be unique and don’t be afraid to ask for a conversation.

Who is the person you would most like to go to lunch with and why?
Locally, I would like to treat Charles Koch to lunch because he is an authentic leader who strives to bring out the best in each of his employees. He isn’t afraid to speak his mind and is always willing to challenge the status quo. Gaining just an ounce of knowledge from him over lunch would be worth it’s weight in gold.

Nationally, I would like to treat Darren Hardy to lunch. Darren is the Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine and author to several NY Times Best-Sellers. The man is a productivity genius and the coach to several Fortune 500 Executives. The knowledge he carries and the network he communicates with is priceless. Sharing a meal with him would be a dream come true.

What is your number one restaurant recommendation in Wichita?
The Anchor, hands down. While I do have personal ties to the building The Anchor calls home, their food, their beer selection, their atmosphere are one of a kind!

Find out what YPW member will win the Innovations in Business Award at Founders’ Day on July 29 at Mid-America All-Indian Center.

Thank you to Martin Pringle for sponsoring the Innovations in Business Award.


Founders' Day Members