YPs Mentorship Desire Met By New Young Professionals of Wichita Program

Jul 20, 2016 · Daniel White - YPW Volunteer

The future growth of Wichita depends on developing and retaining the next generation of Wichitans. As James Chung commented in the recent “Focus Forward” meetings, Wichita needs a “young, educated workforce” in order to succeed. Our community has done a great job educating the next generation, but we have often failed to retain young skilled leaders, who have instead sought opportunities in other cities.

In order to “attract, engage and retain diverse young talent” and address this need for a young and educated workforce, Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) is launching a Group Mentoring Program in fall 2016 modeled after successful programs from similar cities.

Young professionals nationwide desire mentorship[1] as a way to grow professionally, so mentorship programs are becoming more commonplace in companies across the country[2]. Locally, YPW has found that the opportunity for career advancement is the most important factor young professionals consider in choosing a place to move to and stay [link], so this is a key area that we must continue addressing as a community.

The YPW Group Mentoring Program will give young professionals the opportunity to learn from well-respected, experienced community leaders, and gain valuable insight into their own professional development. The program will also give young professionals face-time with key Wichita leaders, helping them develop relationships within the community that strengthen their bond to Wichita.

Mentors see the program as an opportunity to “pay it forward” to the next generation, just as many of them received mentorship throughout their own careers, as well as an opportunity to connect with young professionals and learn from them. Mentors also see the program as a critical component in moving Wichita forward, by helping to develop the talent pipeline for future growth in the community.

The YPW Group Mentoring Program is designed to be a setting for purposeful, meaningful conversations to take place, while still requiring a minimal time commitment for participants. Each group will have two co-mentors and six young professionals – a small enough group for meaningful interaction, but large enough to encourage diverse perspectives. These groups will meet for six sessions throughout the year, guided by a structured process focused around intentional career, personal, and professional development.

The following mentors have agreed to participate in the 2016/17 program:

Sheree Utash – President – WATC
Wink Hartman – Founder – Hartman Oil
Lyndy Wells – Public Affairs Director – INTRUST Bank
Jerry Jones – VP of Commercial Development – Slawson Companies
Gloria Farha Flentje – Senior VP & General Counsel – Spirit AeroSystems (retired)
Jeff Longwell – Mayor – City of Wichita
AJ Boleski – General Manager – INTRUST Bank Arena
Chris Kibler – CFO – INTRUST Bank Arena
Ben Hutton – President – Hutton Construction
Tammy Allen – VP of Marketing – AGH

Applications for young professionals are available now and will close August 10. You can find out more information about the program at http://bit.ly/YPWgroupmentor.


[1] https://www.roberthalf.com/creativegroup/blog/what-gen-z-wants-from-employers-in-their-own-words

[2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242699

Thank you to the Wichita Eagle for publishing this post in Business Today

Career Leadership Development Mentorship Teams