City shines during leaders’ visit

Linda B. Weis

By A Contributor

We have yet another reason to be extremely proud of our community! The shining star of the State of Kansas shone its brightest during the recent visit of the Leadership Kansas Class of 2012 to Manhattan-Junction City. This group of 40 leaders from 23 Kansas cities represents a wide variety of occupations, from cattle ranchers to doctors and corporation presidents.  How proud we were to showcase our region!

A local Leadership Kansas alumni host committee worked tirelessly to present the best of the area during the three-day visit. The visitors were hosted by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the president of Kansas State University and Fort Riley’s commanding general with activities, dinners and receptions at a variety of sites. They included the Flint Hills Discovery Center, Beach Museum of Art, Strecker-Nelson Art Gallery, Colbert Hills Golf Course, Sunset Zoo, KSU Alumni Center, KSU Leadership Studies Center, Fort Riley Headquar-ters, Combat Aviation Brigade, Warrior Training Campus, Junction City schools and a special evening at Bill Snyder Family Stadium-East Club.

A common theme heard throughout the visit was,  “How does Manhattan do it? How in the world can a city this size accomplish so much? We could never get our community to work together like this!” Chamber President Lyle Butler and City Manager Ron Fehr were received with thundering applause as they shared how our community and region have worked together toward a common purpose. In response to admiring comments from representatives of other cities, I assured those near me that while our community has had its differences, we all have faith in the common goal of community betterment.

We are proud to live in a community where citizens with differing opinions have mutual respect and friendship. Civility is a beautiful thing!

Our dynamic community has much for which to be grateful, especially its positive leadership and excellent working relationships. Our strong town-gown relationship is something of which we can be especially proud; our regional relationships are strong and growing stronger; our city and county officials are committed to the best interests of the group they represent; and our Chamber of Commerce leadership is the model for Kansas leadership statewide

We are a growing region where everyone can succeed together. That is something of which we can be both proud and appreciative during these challenging economic times. As a small business owner and member of the Leadership Kansas host committee, I could not have been more proud of our community during these sessions with discerning leaders from across our state.

Visitors sometimes refer to our city as “Magic Man-hattan,” and we often hear the fond term “Manhappi-ness.” It is true; Manhattan is a happy, magic place to call home, especially because of the people who have given so much of themselves to make this a better place to live. Thanks to our community leaders for your many sacrifices; you have made a difference.  We love Manhappiness; we love the Flint Hills, and we want to keep both of them strong. Let’s keep up the great work so our star can shine even brighter in providing a positive quality of life for future generations.

Linda B. Weis, 215 Pine Drive, is a local businesswoman who’s long been active in civic affairs.

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