YPW Recognizes YPs and Companies at Awards Gala
Friday night, July 29th the Young Professionals of Wichita celebrated our 11th Founders’ Day and presented the 6th annual YPW Awards. YPW celebrates our Founders’ Day every year to recognize not only past accomplishments, but also Wichita’s bright future by honoring the exceptional individuals and companies who go above and beyond to improve Wichita and to make it the heartland’s premiere destination to live, work and play.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Sponsored by Davis-Moore Auto Group
Winner: Jade Martin, Klenda Austerman LLC
This award is presented to a YPW member who is distinguished by their record of service to their community. They have engaged in continuing efforts to preserve and promote Wichita through their time, service, and talents. Jade has been an active volunteer in the Wichita community for several years. Organizations that have benefited from her service include YPW, the Junior League of Wichita, Botanica, the Wichita Bar Association and the Kansas Aviation Museum, where she served as Vice President of the Board of Trustees. “Wichita suffers from a poor reputation, but is actually a really vibrant and dynamic city for young professionals. By volunteering my time with a wide variety of organizations committed to serving other and creating more beautiful spaces I truly feel that I am increasing the quality of life for not just YPs, but for the entire Wichita community as well,” said Jade Martin.
DISTINGUISHED YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD
Sponsored by Wesley Medical Center
Winners: Jonathan Long, T-Mobile and Josef Hamilton, High Touch Technologies
This award is presented to two YPW members who have reached personal and professional achievements in their career, who have positively impacted our community, and who show promise for continued success. Jonathan is the founding president of Wichita Urban Professionals, volunteers with 10 other organizations in the community, with a focus on mentoring youth and advancing inclusivity efforts in the community, and regularly represents YPs in the community on panel discussions and in conversations with community leaders. “Wichita as a city isn’t much different than many of us. At some point, we all need someone who believes that we have what it takes to be successful. And often it’s when we take the time to build someone else up we see our own true potential,” said Jonathan Long. Jonathan hopes you’ll see him leading HR efforts to attract and develop diverse and talented individuals.
Josef Hamilton’s community involvement is extensive, using his professional skills to contribute to the long-term success of organizations including Special Olympics and Dress for Success-Wichita. In his professional world, his process improvement acumen led to the company creating a new position so that he could implement his process improvement methods across the entire company. “I feel the most meaningful way I have impacted our community is by having and projecting a positive image of Wichita to all that I meet. Our citizens have been our city’s biggest critics in the past, and I want to do all I can to help people see the positive so that perception is changed. Wichita is an amazing community, and I strive for my words and actions to portray that in every interaction that I am able to have,” said Josef Hamilton. Josef hopes you’ll see him in the role of Chief Operations Officer in the future.
INNOVATIONS IN BUSINESS AWARD
Sponsored by Martin Pringle Attorneys at Law
Winner: Chris Clark, Clarkitecture
This 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 was 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. Chris is passionate about working in the fast-paced world of commercial, mixed-use development and corporate design, and this year started his own architecture firm. He embraces technology to better serve his clients, and understands that bringing high-quality, mixed-use developments to our community can only help to continue attracting young professionals. “Professional innovation is most generally found in those who do not accept traditional restraints, but who seek ways of adding value for clients through mold-breaking insight into solving challenging problems. This is what Chris has done, is doing and will continue to do for many years to come in our community, adding to our national recognition as an innovative locale, as well as enhancing our lives and life style,” said Al Higdon, retired founder of Sullivan Higdon & Sink.
YPW COMMITMENT AWARD
Winner: Tracy Anderson, Adams Brown Beran and Ball
This award is presented to the YPW Member who attended the most YPW events for the past year. Tracy has been a member of YPW since 2014, and she immediately started the process of becoming a volunteer. In a little over two years, she has not only attended more than 50 events, she has helped plan many of those as a member of and now chair of the Pulse Action Team.
ACTION TEAM MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Winners: Access: Jennifer Jones (Emprise Bank); Community Relations: Sean Babjak (INTRUST Bank), College Connection: Ashley Bandasack (Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C.), Ambassadors: Alyssa Peppiatt (BKD, LLC), Leadership Link: Daniel White (Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C.) and Pulse: Jessica Kelley (Wescon Plastics).
This award is presented to YPW members who have shown an exemplary record of service to YPW and a significant contribution toward the mission of YPW and their specific team. They have demonstrated active involvement within their Action Team and have made significant contributions of volunteer time, talents, and service. These awards are voted on by the members of each specific Action Team.
CORPORATE INVESTOR OF THE YEAR
Winner: Textron Aviation, Inc.
This award is presented to a YPW corporate investor that has shown continued support for YPW, its programs and the Wichita community. This award recipient is selected by the YPW Board of Trustees. Textron Aviation, Inc. has supported YPW since its inception as a founding investor. Textron Aviation brings hundreds of interns to Wichita each summer and hires numerous new college graduates each year. YPW appreciate this commitment to attracting young talent to Wichita. In addition, the company supports their employees’ participation in YPW, helping to retain that talent in Wichita once they have started their careers here. More than 100 of their employees, not including interns, have attended YPW events in the past year alone.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS CHOICE AWARD
Small Company Winner: Wichita Art Museum
Large Company Winner: Legacy Bank
Voted on by YPW membership, these organizations excel in their efforts to attract, retain and develop young professionals in the Wichita community. Each of the companies have internal programs that help attract, retain, and develop young professionals within their organization.