Government Relations Update

kristiwyatt1Representative Flook –
Job Creation and Economic Development Priorities: Painkillers or Physical Therapy?
Representative Tim Flook, (R-Liberty) Chair of the Missouri House Job Creation and Economic Development Committee met with The Chamber to discuss the outlook for economic development in Kansas City in the upcoming legislative session. 

(L-R) Nancy Giddens, Chamber Missouri Lobbyist; Greg Williams and Councilman John Sharp, City of Kansas City Missouri; and Missouri Representative Tim Flook

Flook’s comments can all be wrapped up into one question: do the citizens of Missouri want painkillers or physical therapy for dealing with economic crisis?  In other words, lawmakers need to decide weather we deal with the economic crisis by using painkillers, coming up with small piecemeal bits of legislation that will need to be paid for in the future or do we fix this problem with physical therapy, properly addressing and paying for the solution now by using innovative programs.  Flook stated that he believed that the public was ready to use the solution of physical therapy and that they want to hear about personal and financial responsibility.  

Flook specifically addressed the issue that Kansas City, Missouri (along with other parts of Western Missouri) face when competing for jobs and economic development projects with Kansas.  Councilman John Sharp noted that the City of Kansas City, Missouri was also looking at implementing an economic development plan for issues such as this.

Finally, the group discussed what is slated to be next years’ biggest legislative challenge-the unemployment compensation fund.  Flook stated that the fund will be deficient by $800 million by 2010. 


Staff News  
CMurrayChristine Murray is being honored by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) in its “40 under 40” article in the fall edition of Chamber Executive.  This group includes an outstanding collection of young chamber executives.  We are all proud of the dedication, hard work, and success which has earned Christine a place in this group.  Murray serves as the lead staff person for The Chamber’s Centurion Leadership Program as well as the Animal Health Corridor initiative. 

NSmithNora Smith tied the knot over the weekend!  Nora married Kansas City native Marshall Lockton.  Congrats to the happy couple, we wish you all the best!  Nora works on a variety of programs at The Chamber including its GenKC program and the Energy Environment Sustainability Initiative (EESI).

Energy Symposium a HUGE success!


L-R Jonathan Lash, Steve Rus, Gina Bowman, Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen, KS Governor Mark Parkinson, Bill Downey, Ray Kowalik

More than 120 members joined The Chamber on Monday to discuss global energy policy at The Chamber’s 3rd Annual Heartland Energy Symposium.  It was a stellar line-up of experts in top energy areas including: Jonathan Lash of the World Resources Institute addressing The Business Case of Climate Protection; Ray Kowalik of Burns and McDonnell discussing The Truth about Coal; and Steve Rus of Black & Veatch presenting on A Role fo Nuclear Energy.   Program highlights included: Kansas Governor Parkinson accepting The Chamber’s Energy Booster award and discussing the role Kansas plays in the green economy, electric cars, research and wind; as well as Danish Ambassador to the United States Friis Arne Petersen who addressed Denmark’s focus on wind energy, conservation, and sustainability.

The event was held in the beautiful the Regnier Center at Johnson County Community College with a delicious lunch prepared by the culinary students.  If you are looking for meeting space, check it out—superior AV, bright rooms, and attentive staff make it a great space to hold an event. 

Wasn’t able to attend?  Check out select presentations and the agenda on our website!

Also, video from the event will be posted soon!

Pete Levi presents Greater Kansas City Climate Protection Partnership in Washington D.C.
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery; if true we have been very flattered by the amount of Chambers of Commerce around the country who have contacted us about The Greater Kansas City Climate Protection Partnership.  We have received calls from Chambers in Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington and North Carolina.  Interested in getting involved in the Partnership??  Visit for more information. 

On a related note, our own Pete Levi was in Washington D.C. this week, joining seven other chamber representatives from around the nation to highlight how green initiatives can positively impact regional economies and business’ bottom lines at an event put on by Partners for Livable Communities, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit.

Chamber input sought!
The Chamber was asked by Missouri State Senator Tom Dempsey (R-District 23), chairman of the Senate Job Creation 2020 Committee to provide perspective on issues impacting small business at its September 30 meeting in Kansas City.  Karen Zecy, President of American Micro Co. and Small Business Vice Chair for The Chamber provided testimony to the committee in which she described the state of small business in Kansas City and The Chamber’s role in advocating for its members. 

And were off!  Get involved in helping craft The Chamber’s Public Policy agendas
The Chamber has begun the process of crafting its 2010 Public Policy Agendas in both Kansas and Missouri.  The agendas serve as a blueprint of issues supported by The Chamber for the upcoming legislative sessions.  For more information on the process and how to get involved, visit the following sites:



Health Care Summit
The third annual Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Health Summit met today before an overflow crowd at the Liberty Memorial.  One central point of the session was unveiling of the results of a public opinion survey that was completed in conjunction with The Chamber.  The survey provides many perspectives on the effects of health care reform on the communities and industries in the KC area.  Program summary available at

Highlights of the session were remarks by former U.S. Senator from Kansas Bob Dole who currently is a founding member of the Bipartisan Policy Center.  The Senator was typically humorous and candid and discussed his work.


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