CORONAVIRUS: Chamber President pleased with initial results of 'Kansas Beats the Virus' effort Featured

CORONAVIRUS: Chamber President pleased with initial results of 'Kansas Beats the Virus' effort Kansas Leadership Center graphic

The Kansas Leadership Center's "Beat the Virus" campaign is coming to an end, and Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jeanine McKenna says things went well locally.


The Chamber has had a partnership with the Leadership Center for over a decade, and part of Governor Laura Kelly's unified testing strategy has involved an "influence" campaign by the Leadership Center and its 12,000 alums across the state. When the Leadership Center reached out to its partner, the Chamber was ready to jump on board by scheduling a series of meetings.

The Chamber facilitated seven meetings, with a handful of other similar meetings taking place this month as well. Among the projects are a communitywide social media challenge, #MaskOnEmporiaStrong, that came about after discussions among Chamber Ambassadors. Other ventures are smaller, including a family rock-paper-scissors challenge where the winner chose dinner from a local restaurant.

McKenna says the Chamber anticipated some negative reactions to the overall effort, but that hasn't happened. She has noted some "COVID fatigue," but she says participants were energized to continue their efforts afterward. With vaccines coming to the area the past week or so, McKenna encouraged area residents to do all they can to putting the pandemic behind us.

Statewide, the Leadership Center says close to 700 action plans have come out of meetings in 72 counties. More information about the statewide effort is online at www.kansasleadershipcenter.org

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