S2 E 20 Connecting ICT Builds an Army of Yeasayers

An Army of “Yeasayers” might be the best way to describe Connecting ICT, group of forward thinking Wichita citizens who have banned together in an informal group to help the community to connect to each other and contribute to a stronger, growing and vibrant city.

Connecting ICT has become a hub for area professionals who are committed to making a positive impact on the growth of their community. 

In our interview with Todd Lewis and Doug Ledbetter we discussed the activities for the group in 2019 and their plans for 2020.

Connecting ICT is committed to impacting the growth of the region around Wichita, KS through a combination of business, personal, civic, and community connections and to engage with every interested group. Be sure to connect on Facebook to learn more. 

Some of the significant events hosted by Connecting ICT in 2019 include doubling the size of the membership to over 800 members and connecting dozens of the members to the Wichita State University workgroups to evaluate and help implement the master plan for growth of the university.

Another event was bringing together more than 300 local people to engage with the developers of River Visa at the Last25Next25 event. It was an opportunity to talk with developers and city leaders about future development around the river front area.

Connecting ICT was engaged with Wichita Baseball to help promote the arrival of a triple A baseball team and a brand new state of the art baseball stadium.

For 2020 the group plans to continue to expand its membership, reaching out to the entrepreneurial community, non-profits and be engaged in the riverfront and downtown developments, work the Delano and Douglas Design Districts on the ongoing renaissance of these areas.

The best thing about this group is they like to describe themselves as “Switzerland”, a neutral place devoted to being available to help Wichita grow. The organization is not aligned with any political group, has no dues or required meetings, it lacks an official structure and does not seek funding from anyone.

As both Todd and Doug said: “When we meet with a group, our question is not how can you help us, but rather how can we help you.”

As they seek to grow their membership to at least 10,000 commitment local people, they want to continue to work toward making a positive impact within the city and the region is a way that builds an army of “Yaysayers”.

Todd Lewis is an Employee Benefits Account Executive for IMA. Born in Wichita, but having grown up out of state, Todd returned to the Wichita metro in 2000 on a football scholarship to Bethel College. While Todd’s professional career has been focused primarily in human resources and operations leadership, his community involvement has been wide-ranging. He has devoted time and energy to civic engagement efforts like Leadership Wichita and “City-to-City” trips, served as an advisory board member for WSU Career Services, and serving as a board member for several local non-profit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas and the Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center. He is a founding member of Connecting ICT, a movement whose purpose is to be a hub for commitment ICT professionals to connect, engage, and impact their community.

Doug Ledbetter is a Partner with EY, a public accounting firm. Doug grew up in Kansas City and went to college at Oklahoma Baptist University, majoring in Accounting and Finance. He started his career with EY in 2005 in the Oklahoma City office and transferred to the Wichita office in 2010. In Wichita, Doug has found a fantastic mix of working with large global clients while having the time to spend with his wife and two children. This experience led him to co-found ConnectingICT with others who share a passion for promoting Wichita and seeking its best.

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