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August 9, 2013

Young Professionals Awards Wichita with a Serious Party

Founders' Day 2013 Another Successful Celebration

Heather Bohrer

By Shea Zuckerman
Ambassadors Team Member

It was a night to remember for awards finalists and fellow YPW members alike.  As I walked into one of the hottest event venues in our City, immediately feeling the charge of excitement for what the night would hold, I couldn’t help but realize this event represents something bigger for all of us.  
Dressed to the 9’s, and having never been to Abode before, I made my usual lap to scope out the situation.  Below the elegant blend of green and white light was the silent auction table, a catered open bar, DJ booth and a swath of top-shelf-dressed tables laid out below the podium.
People began to mingle in the lobby; an exceptional turnout.  Photographers were snapping pictures for Splurge magazine as we made our way to our tables for dinner.  Many awards were given to deserving YPW members to honor the multitude of ways they contribute richness to our city:
YPW Commitment Award – Nate Hinkel, USAIG

Distinguished Young Professional – Ilex Gelpi, Koch Industries

Distinguished Young Professional – Chris Hurst, Cessna Aircraft Company

Corporate Investor of the Year – Martin Pringle l Attorneys at Law
Innovations in Business Award, Sponsored by Martin Pringle – Cassandra Bryan, cb{d} Cassandra Bryan Design
Community Service Award, Sponsored by Davis-Moore  – Sam Foreman, Klenda Austerman
Young Professionals Choice – Ernst & Young
Young Professionals Choice – Emprise Bank
Action Team Volunteers of the Year –
                Access Wichita: Amber Hendrix, Goodwill Industries
                Ambassadors: Sam Foreman, Klenda Austerman
                Community Relations: Jennifer Collins, University of Kansas Medical School
                Enhance: Ben Yokum, Learjet
                Leadership Link: Creston Crowdis
                Mosaic: Michael Turenne, Wichita State University
                Nexus: Joslyn Kusiak, Klenda Austerman
Pulse: Brant Whitelock, American Family Insurance
I have never been more proud to be a part of this movement as when Dennis Clary mentioned how we have grown from a big idea with a small following into an organization that is here to stay.  I completely agree.  While the awards were beautiful, they merely represent the desire and passion of a team to drive towards something greater.
The evening concluded on a high note with dancing (some by unexpected people who shall remain nameless…for now).  Many styles were represented, from a polished snapshot of Thriller, to the uncoordinated efforts of left foot fans like myself.  This event had something for everyone.  It was a testament to the efforts of the planning committee, our Pulse Action Team and our generous sponsors.  The hours spent represent a real and tangible improvement to the quality of life in Wichita, and that’s as good a reason to celebrate as I can think of.

Find more Founders’ Day photos on our Facebook page.

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