Plan of Action
2005 Annual Report
Your Chamber at Work: 2005 Highlights
86th Annual Banquet “Lunch & Learn” Workshops Annual Statistics:
Nearly 400 people attended the 86th Sponsored monthly luncheon • 34 businesses invested in the
annual banquet, which celebrated the workshops in which members share community by becoming a new
successes of 2004 and previewed 2005. industry knowledge with their member of the Chamber.
Several awards were presented: colleagues. • Welcomed 18 new businesses to the
Business of the Year: Blish-Mize Co. community in 2005.
Team of the Year: Downtown
Chamber Golf Classic
Sponsored the 7th annual Chamber • Provided thousands of phone and
merchants walk-in referrals to member
Golf Classic golf tournament, which
Quality of Life: Battery B, 2nd Battalion, businesses.
had 56 teams and raised $72,000 to
130th Field Artillery, Kansas National • Distributed 73 relocation packets,
purchase 226 “Welcome” banners that
Guard six “Starting a New Business”
were placed throughout Atchison.
Tourism Award: Bob Adrian packets, 1,137 visitor information
Ambassador of the Year: Kaylene “Town Haul” Auditions packets, 54 welcome bags for new
Rindom, Bank Midwest Assisted The Learning Channel residents, and 2,076 visitor bags for
Award of Excellence: City of Atchison producers during their consideration of attendees at conferences and
and H N T B Atchison as a location for “Town Haul.” reunions.
Great Year Awards: Lewis & Clark Antique Tractor Show • Continued to maintain the
Bicentennial Planning Committee Coordinated the 6th annual antique community website.
and Sertoma Club. tractor show. • Issued $97,575 in Chamber gift
Legislative Coffees certificates to be redeemed at local
Business Appreciation Month businesses.
Sponsored monthly legislative coffees Recognized local businesses celebrating
during the legislative session for milestone anniversaries.
residents to discuss issues with state
legislators and Congressmen. Teachers Welcome Back
Coordinated the annual Teachers Board of Directors:
Troops Welcome Home Welcome Back reception, which was
Helped organize a welcome home Todd Caudle, Caudle Financial
sponsored by Atchison Dental
reception for Battery B, 2nd Battalion, Associates, PA. Door prizes were Ryan Champion, Room to Breathe
130th Field Artillery, Kansas Army donated by 50 businesses. Kelly DeMeritt, City of Atchison
National Guard. Todd Gigstad, Exchange National Bank
“Music & Melons” & Trust Co. (’05)
Farm-City Banquet Welcomed approximately 130
Recognized the agricultural industry Leslie Gwynn, Pumpernickel Cafe
Benedictine College students to
with the annual Farm-City Banquet, Atchison at an event with watermelons Fr. Maurice Haefling, OSB, St. Benedict’s
which was attended by 350 people. donated by Atchison Country Mart and Abbey (‘06)
Mark Oppold, KAIR Radio, was master coupons donated by several businesses. Mike Hundley, Michael S. Hundley
of ceremonies and Blaine Oswald Benedictine College provided Construction (‘06)
provided musical entertainment. entertainment by musician John Rush. Charo Kelley (’05)
Business “After Hours” Kansas Legislators Tour Donna McCloskey, Doodlebugs
Hosted monthly social mixers to give Helped coordinate activities and a tour Jonathan Mize, Blish-Mize Company
members the opportunity to network for an overnight visit by 45 Kansas Russell Norris, Maur Hill-Mount
and become familiar with products and legislators. Academy (‘06)
services of fellow members. Floyd Oswald, Atchison County
New Executives Reception Steve Pickman, MGP Ingredients, Inc.
Business Seminars Recognized 38 professionals who were
Helped educate members and their new to Atchison or recently-promoted. Noel Rueb, Atchison USD #409
employees with two business seminars The event was co-sponsored by Reece Mike Stec, Rox’s Images
focusing on: & Nichols Premier Realty and Colonial Bernadette Urban, Maur Hill-Mount
• Business etiquette to gain a Realty. Academy (’05)
competitive edge in the workplace, Mark Wilson, Unit Rail Anchor
presented by nationally-recognized “Congress of Cities”
speaker and author Ann Marie Represented Atchison at the National
Sabath; League of Cities conference in
• “Competing with the Big Box Charlotte, N.C., with a booth Glenda Purkis, President / CEO
Retailers” presented by Dr. Kenneth showcasing Atchison’s riverfront Sandy Hamilton, Business Manager
Stone, an academic researcher development project. Jill Handke, Office Manager
formerly teaching at Iowa State Stan Lawson, Marketing Director
University. Grace Mulcahy, Projects Coordinator
Angie Nguyen, Trolley Manager
Highlights: Members of the Ambassadors:
• Hosted 31 ribbon cuttings for Mark Begley, AXA Advisors Mike Surritt, Surritt Service
new or expanded businesses Don Besette, J.F. Denney Sheryl Swendson, Atchison Housing
• Helped coordinate and host many Tim Brungardt, Atchison Workforce Ctr. Phyllis Walton, First Christian Church
Chamber functions including Colleen Cavanaugh, Massasoit Apts. Chris Wildy, Tuck U Inn at Glick
Business “After Hours,” Farm-City Gloria Davis, Atchison Art Assn. Mansion Bed & Breakfast
Banquet, the Teacher Welcome Cindy Drimmel, Wal-Mart Kay Willis, Sonic Drive-in
Back reception, and the annual Anne Eggers, Atchison Public Library
Holiday Festival downtown. Gail Fox, T he Dream Team
• Presented the “Ambassador of the Rita Hartman, Atchison Steel Casting
Year” award to Kaylene Rindom, Ginger Hunninghake, Exchange Bank
Bank Midwest. Pauline Lee, Atchison County
• Presented “Ambassador of the Ellen Reno, Bank of Atchison
Quarter” awards to Ginger Kaylene Rindom, Bank Midwest
Hunninghake, Exchange National Roxann Scheid, Medicalodge
Bank, and Beckie Seager, U M B Jeff Schmucker, Atchison Daily Globe
Bank. JoAnn Shell, Bank of Atchison
Beckie Seager, UMB Bank
Economic Development Council
Highlights: • Worked with potential new
• Successfully connected high businesses.
speed Internet at Shannon • Assisted existing businesses to
Industrial Park. meet their needs.
• Worked to prepare the tax rebate
program for renewal by local
• Provided assistance for two major Council Members:
industry expansions: a $4.2 Don Ball, Bank of Atchison
million project to build a Jeff Caudle, City Commission
corporate headquarters and Kelly DeMeritt, City of Atchison
technology center for MGP Derek Franklin, T he Hardware Store
Ingredients, Inc.; and a $4.5 Don Hoy, Benedictine College
million project that will add Jim Lampe, Atchison County
10,000 square feet of space and Larry Mears, Larry Mears, Chtrd.
15-20 new jobs at Northwest Dr. Allen Reavis, Atchison Dental
Pipe Co. Associates
• Continued to work with Atchison
Kaylene Rindom, Bank Midwest
Casting on plans to expand.
Mark Wilson, Unit Rail Anchor
• Formed a committee, chaired by
Don Ball and Derek Franklin, to Mark Windsor, Exchange National Bank
develop a plan for building a Kent Wohlgemuth, UMB Bank
Leadership Development Council
Highlights: Council Members:
• Staff attended facilitation training John Bunch, Benedictine College
on new leadership skills. Shannon Hutchins, Becker Dyer-Stanton
• Received a $200,000 endowment Steve Johnson, Benedictine College
grant from the Kansas Health Michael Kelley, Juvenile Corr. Facility
Foundation for the development Steve Luster, Bunge Milling
of youth leadership programs. Janet Smith, Atchison USD #409
• A new class with seven members Mike Stec, Rox’s Images
began classes in September 2005 Anne Werring, Guidance Center
and will graduate in March 2006. Derek Wohlgemuth, Exchange Bank
Workforce Development Council
Highlights: Council Members:
• Presented quarterly Employers’ Tom Bartlett, MGP Ingredients, Inc.
Roundtables that provided Jennifer Brockoff, Atchison Hospital
information workplace issues Amy Buckingham, Blish-Mize Company
such as drug testing and OSHA Linda Henry, Benedictine College (‘05)
requirements. Kathy King, Highland Comm. College
• Organized and hosted a career Rod Meyer, Atchison Workforce Center
fair, which also featured Mike Rogg, NE Kansas Tech. College
presentations by motivational Roxann Scheid, Medicalodge
speaker Jeff Yalden. Marc Schmucker, Atchison Steel Casting
• Worked on developing an
updated wage and benefit survey
for local employers.
• Held focus group meetings to
gather input from employers.
Highlights: Council Members:
• Organized city-wide cleanup days Kristen Billings, Custom Craftmasters
in the spring and fall involving Rita Hartman, Atchison Steel Casting
hundreds of volunteers who Michele Malone, Atchison Hospital
removed over 30 tons of trash Paul Ogle, USD #409 (‘05)
from streets and helped Noel Rueb, Atchison USD #409
homeowners dispose of bulky Jamie Servaes, Servaes Dirt Constr.
items. John Shaver, City of Atchison
• Solicited 13 businesses to adopt Vicki Tate, Tate Plumbing
one of the downtown planters to Cathy Thompson, T he RiverHouse
maintain throughout the summer. Restaurant
• Developed a program for local Bernadette Urban, Maur Hill-Mount
businesses and individuals to Academy
pledge their commitment toward Corbin Witt, Atchison USD #409
making beautification an every
day act in their lives.
Highlights: Active Members:
• Continued “Destination Atchison,” Mary Ball, Ball Brothers Drugs
a quarterly newsletter to market Ryan Champion & Erin Riley,
Atchison’s destination retail Room to Breathe
businesses. Derek Franklin, T he Hardware Store
• Sponsored the annual Trick-or- Leslie Gwynn, Pumpernickel Cafe
Treat Down the Street with Brett Huskamp, WillowBrook
pumpkins donated by AXA Donna McCloskey, Doodlebugs
Advisors, and a bicycle donated Rick Teaford, Atchison Radio Shack
by Wal-Mart. Albert Valdez, SnowBall
• Helped present the 2nd annual Andrew Wheeler, T he RiverHouse
Holiday Festival to entice Restaurant
shoppers downtown during the Susan Wilburn, Marigold Bakery
holiday season, which included
special hours for Santa Claus “on
Highlights: • Successfully applied for
• 27 volunteers assisted staff in marketing grants to produce a
servicing nearly 23,000 walk-in “girlfriends’ getaway” brochure
visitors, answering questions and and a direct mail flyer promoting
handing out information about the Amelia Earhart Festival to
Atchison, its businesses, tour groups.
attractions and events. • Expanded the “Haunted Atchison”
• Prepared approximately 2,076 season by developing and
visitor bags for conferences, offering new activities that
reunions and meetings. included private home visits,
• Responded to approximately tombstone rubbings at Mount
1,137 requests for visitor Vernon Cemetery and a “History
information and distributed & Mystery” walking tour.
18,855 Atchison brochures to • Successfully applied for a Kansas
visitor information centers. Humanities Council grant to
• 7,261 passengers rode the trolley conduct research and oral history
in 2005, compared to 6,667 in interviews to develop an African-
2004. The trolley was used by 44 American history trolley tour.
private charters, compared to 36 • Hosted Wolfgang & Hella Ehle,
charters in 2004. managers of Kansas Travel &
• 3,961 tickets were sold for the Tourism’s European fulfillment
“Haunted Atchison” tours in operations in Germany.
September and October • Organized the 4th annual “Homes
(compared to 3,503 in 2004). for the Holidays” homes tour,
• Assisted 88 motorcoach tour which had tickets sales of 1,185
groups (compared to 61 in 2004) and attracted many visitors to
bringing approximately 2,193 Atchison to shop, dine and spend
visitors to Atchison. Worked with the night, and attracted five
downtown businesses to provide motorcoach tour groups.
discounts for shoppers.
• Assisted over a dozen travel
writers, resulting in numerous Council Members:
feature articles about Atchison. Jeff Caudle, City Commission
• Hosted over a dozen travel Vern Dahlman, Cedar Ridge Catering
writers, including the editors of Travis Grossman, T heatre Atchison
AAA Kansas Journeys and AAA Ginger Hunninghake, Exchange
Home & Away magazines. N ational Bank (‘05)
• Created a 30-second television Diane Kerekanich
commercial to air on Kansas City Donna McCloskey, Doodlebugs
television stations in the spring. Carolyn Mohler, Amelia Earhart
• Assisted with numerous major Birthplace Museum
events including the Amelia Steve Pickman, MGP Ingredients, Inc.
Earhart Festival. Jacque Pregont, Amelia Earhart Festival
• Promoted Atchison at trade Karen Seaberg, Travel Center
shows including the annual PAIR Janet Settich, St. Martin’s B&B
Day at Fort Leavenworth, the Beatrice Shisler, St. Benedict’s Abbey
Kansas Sampler Festival in Chris Taylor, Atchison County Historical
McPherson and the Kansas State Society
Fair. Mary VanHorn, T he Works
Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 126 / 200 S. 10th
Atchison KS 66002
(913) 367-2427 / 1-800-234-1854
2006 Plan of Action
Your Chamber of Commerce at Work
Mission: To focus on the quality of life, attraction, growth, and retention of jobs and businesses in Atchison
• Legislative advocacy on behalf of the community. • Welcome new and expanded businesses with ribbon-cutting or
• Sponsor frequent “Lunch & Learn” workshops to educate groundbreaking ceremonies.
businesses and their employees. • Assist with the recruitment of new chamber members.
• Provide thousands of business referrals annually. • Serve as a welcoming committee for special events as needed.
• Issue approximately $100,000 annually in gift certificates to be • Host the annual teacher and administrator welcome reception.
redeemed at over 60 member businesses. • Promote the Chamber and provide assistance with its activities.
• Assist with delivering membership plaques and directories.
• Sponsor the annual Farm-City Banquet to recognize the
importance of agriculture to our community.
• Sponsor the annual Antique Tractor Show.
• Host the annual Chamber Golf Classic to raise funding that
supports Chamber programs.
Economic Development Council
Mission: To strengthen the economic base of Atchison County by assisting existing business to expand,
attracting new business and residents, and working to improve the infrastructure system of Atchison County.
Business Retention and Expansion Resident Retention and Attraction
Goal: Create a development strategy to assist Goal: Increase the number of new residents to
existing business and attract new business. Atchison.
• Implement a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program. • Sponsor annual New Professionals Reception to introduce new
• Sponsor annual business appreciation event to recognize long- management personnel to the community.
time Atchison County businesses. • Work with the City of Atchison in implementing housing
• Make personal visits to each local industry headquarters within strategies that will attract and retain residents.
the next three years. • Develop a “greeting” committee in promoting Atchison as a great
• Participate in the Enterprise Facilitation program. place to live.
• Partner with the Northeast Kansas Coalition for Regional
Economic Development (NEKCRED); Kansas City Area Transportation
Development Council (KCADC) and other state and national
organizations. Goal: Work to improve the transportation system in
• Develop a business recruitment plan. Atchison County.
• Create a work plan to develop shovel-ready lots in the industrial Strategies:
• Continue to monitor the progress of the Amelia Earhart Bridge
• Arrange financing for an additional 76 acres currently under replacement plan and maintain contact with those entities
option. involved (HNTB advisory committee, KDOT, MoDOT).
• Continue with plans to construct a speculative building. • Continue support of the Airport Layout Plan and potential grant
• Research an alternative access route to Highway 59 from funding.
Shannon Industrial Park.
Goal: Build a multi-faceted sports complex in
• Create a task force to plan and build the facility.
Workforce Development Council
Mission: To grow and create a workforce responsive to the demands of Atchison County employers.
Goal: Enhance employer management’s knowledge Goal: Assist local employers by recognizing, then
and performance by identifying, then connecting to, addressing, their workforce needs.
existing resources. Strategies:
Strategies: • Organize and sponsor annual career fair to introduce area high
• Sponsor quarterly employers’ roundtables on current topics that school students to the career opportunities available in the
address employer needs. Atchison County workforce.
• Respond to the Caplan & Associates workforce development • Facilitate employability life skills training through a Power Point
study by addressing Council appropriate recommendations. presentation, encouraging participant interaction, to junior and
senior classes at all area high schools.
• Employ motivational presenter to enlighten student career vision.
• Maintain focus group discussions in the areas of health care,
retail, hospitality, manufacturing and other areas if identified, to
gather data relevant to local employment trends; identify
resources to meet those needs.
• Initiate activities to establish a job fair to introduce the general
populace to employment opportunities in the Atchison area.
Leadership Development Council
Mission: To foster quality leadership in business, government, education and service organizations in and
around Atchison County.
Goal: Facilitate the Leadership Atchison County electoral process and responsibilities of elected
(LAC) program. officials.
• Present an annual six-week session on skills-based training and • Host an annual community leadership workshop to provide
community awareness to develop new community leaders. information to those who may be interested in running for an
elected office, those helping with a campaign, and those
Goal: Provide area youth with leadership interested in the political process.
opportunities in Atchison County. • Encourage a local group to host an official candidate forum
Strategy: during election years.
• Work with local businesses and schools to develop a city youth
council and serve as a liaison between the city commission and
Goal: Incorporate alumni into LAC.
area youth. Strategies:
• Hold at least one alumni event per year.
Goal: Facilitate the development of an Atchison • Engage alumni in further developing facilitation skills through
Community Foundation. having alumni facilitate LAC each year.
Strategy: • Construct a master facilitator certificate to award alumni once
• Research information on community foundation development. they have facilitated.
Goal: Create community awareness of the local
Mission: To assist and encourage the citizens of Atchison County to work to improve the appearance of the
Goal: Organize two major clean-up projects during Goal: Educate residents in keeping the community
the year. clean and involve citizens in taking pride in their
• Organize two annual city-wide clean-up days and set permanent Strategies:
annual dates.The first will be near Earth Day in April, and the • Organize an anti-littering campaign in local schools.
second will be the weekend after Labor Day in September. • Construct a beautification pledge and develop a local media
campaign to encourage businesses and individuals to take the
Goal: Work with community groups and
organizations to enhance or replace Atchison’s
• Replace at least one entrance sign per year with assistance from
the masonry class at Northeast Kansas Technical College.
Tourism Development Council
Mission: To develop and promote tourism in Atchison County by attracting out-of-town visitors and creating
maximum economic impact.
Primary Goal: To increase visitor traffic to Atchison and bolster sales and bed tax revenues for the benefit
of the city’s and county’s economic base and the quality of life for our citizens.
Product Development tour, which generate income.
• Initiate cooperative marketing opportunities with local
Strategic Goal 1: Develop new tourism products and businesses and attractions.
enhance existing ones, including special events that
focus on Atchison’s authentic heritage and afford Marketing
the opportunity to experience hometown America at
its best and most gratifying. Target Market: Day visitors (current); overnight
Tactics: visitors (long-range)
• Identify and help implement cooperative initiatives with
attractions and businesses for theme or seasonal packages, such Strategic Goal 1: Implement cost-effective marketing
as a “girlfriends' getaway” package. to promote the whole of Atchison as a desirable
• Expand related activities offered during the “Haunted Atchison” tourist destination with a unique and authentic
season in cooperation with other organizations, local museums, cultural heritage.
homeowners and retail businesses. Apply this same tactic to the
annual holiday homes tour to strengthen tour offerings and value
to patrons. • Increase targeted visitor awareness and build daytrip traffic and
• Support and/ or assist local and outside groups sponsoring overnight stays through development and strategic dissemination
activities that attract out-of-town visitors, including the Amelia of marketing materials, i.e., promotional literature, advertising
Earhart Festival and Oktoberfest planning committees. and broadcast media.
• Partner with Benedictine College to develop programs that foster • Maintain and enhance tourism information on the website.
community-wide immersion by students, family members, alumni • Develop an annual calendar that identifies cooperative marketing
and business associates. opportunities for Chamber members.
• Identify and cultivate entrepreneurial opportunities for tourism • Develop and maintain databases of previous and potential
development and expansion by businesses, attractions and other visitors for use in direct mail and e-mail marketing.
non-profit entities. • Staff a tourism display at select annual travel shows.
• Develop packages that require overnight stays and maximum • Assist with presentations at local, state and national conferences.
Strategic Goal 2: Increase awareness of Atchison
Strategic Goal 2: Provide hospitality services that through positive and cost-effective publicity.
maximize the success of tourism activities to Tactics:
increase the potential for repeat visitors. • Provide assistance to print, broadcast and electronic media.
Strategies: • Develop and disseminate materials to encourage positive media
• Provide information at the visitors center to maximize local coverage about events, attractions and tourism-related
expenditures. developments in Atchison.
• Assist senior groups and other organized group tours. • Host travel writers and assist with their development of story
• Recruit and train volunteers to assist with visitor services. content.
• Enhance visitors’ positive impression of Atchison by developing a • Continue to enhance image resources.
formalized guest hospitality training program for hospitality • Represent Atchison in regional and statewide cooperative
industry employees and others who have frequent contact with marketing opportunities.
Strategic Goal 3: Improve communications with city
• Strengthen relationship/cooperative ventures with Benedictine
College and the Atchison Heritage Conference Center to foster and county governments and the public.
and promote a mutually beneficial environment of attractions, Tactics:
support, hospitality and service to guests and residents alike. • Make quarterly presentations to city commissioners regarding
economic impact of tourism.
Strategic Goal 3: Increase awareness of Atchison’s • Implement a tourism awareness campaign within the community.
unique heritage through trolley tours.
Strategies: Strategic Goal 4: Continue to gather data that
• Continue history tour from April through October substantiates economic impact of tourism and helps
• Continue to enhance existing theme tours including the Irish, fall in strategic marketing decision-making.
foliage, and Christmas lights programs. Tactics:
• Develop new heritage tours, which might focus on areas of • Gather visitor information during phone requests and with guest
African-American history, Germany history, religious structures books at visitors center and museums.
and women’s history. • Track number and origin of group tours.
Strategic Goal 4: Supplement tourism budget through • Track types of conferences that meet and how many overnight in
• Track media coverage about Atchison.
• Seek program funding through grants and foundations.
• Sponsor events or activities, such as the annual holiday homes