ThinkMHK Podcast

FINAL Podcast artwork

Think MHK Podcast is provided by the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce and serves to keep the community informed on issues that impact business and quality of life in Manhattan. On each episode hear from members of the community about a timely issue as well as hear insightful interviews with Manhattan business leaders. Topics covered include community and job growth, small business, leadership, public policy, military issues, entrepreneurship, tourism, economic development and general chamber business and programing. New episodes weekly. Hosted by Jason Smith, President/CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, with co-hosts Karen Hibbard, Director of Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sharla Meisenheimer, Director of Membership and Daryn Soldan, Director of Economic Development. Learn more about the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce at

Listen and subscribe wherever you find your podcasts.

Episode 0: (10/5/21) Guests: Jason Smith, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce; Karen Hibbard, Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau; Sharla Meisenheimer and Daryn Soldan, both with the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.

Episode 1: (10/12/21)  Board of Directors Chair, Mark Bachamp discusses his goals and accomplishments with the Chamber and shares why he thinks the Chamber is important. Plus hear from Small Business of the Year award winner, Alan Parker with Borck Brothers Clothing.

Episode 2: (10/19/21) Board of Directors Chair-Elect, Summer Ott Dierks, shares her story and how she became involved with the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. Dan Springer and Amber Petty with Wildwood Adventure Park, the 2021 Tourism Development Award winner, join this episode sharing the immense adventure that is waiting for you at this local attraction! Plus hear what they love most about the Manhattan community.

Episode 3: (10/26/21) In this week's episode, we are joined by Mike Matson and Chris Gergeni. Mike Matson shares what the Chamber's Business Advocacy Committee does and his role as Chair. Chris Gergeni, Director of the Midwest Dream Car Collection, describes the ins and outs of the Midwest Dream Car Collection and what makes it a great attraction in Manhattan.

Episode 4: (11/2/21) Economic Development Committee Chair, Matt Crocker, joins this week's episode to share some of the Chamber's economic development priorities and their latest efforts. We are also joined by Aly Swanson with Bockers II, a recent inductee to the Chamber's Legacy Circle. Listen as she shares her favorite stories from growing up working for her father to now owning their family business.

Episode 5: (11/9/21) Hype, Helping Young Professionals Emerge, is the Chamber's young professional program. Tara Grubb, Chair of the Hype Steering Committee, joins this week's episode to share what all Hype does and how you or your employees can get involved. Entrepreneurship award nominee and owner of Therapie, Tiffany Oppelt, is with us this week to share her journey of starting a new business in Manhattan. From how to all started, why she loves pie, to her take on entrepreneurship in Manhattan, don't miss this episode.  

Episode 6: (11/16/21) Attracting visitors and fueling growth in Manhattan are just two things the Convention and Visitors Bureau does. This week learn more about what the Convention and Visitors Bureau does and the impact it has on our community from CVB Steering Committee Chair, Bernie Haney. Whoville, Inc is all about togetherness and celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with community members and visitors alike. Joey Athon and Belinda Snyder also join this week's episode to share what Whoville and the Festival of Lights are.

Episode 7: (11/23/21) Leadership Manhattan serves to be a continuous source of motivated leaders who are educated about the community, its challenges and opportunities. Kiley Moody, Leadership Manhattan Board Chair, shares the value the Leadership Manhattan course has to all who participate. Bobbi French, Owner of G. Thomas Jewelers, joins this episode 7 to share her journey as a female business owner in Manhattan including how she started, what motivates her, and why she enjoys being a business owner. 

Episode 8: (11/30/21) In 2020, following a competitive RFP process, the Chamber approved and entered into an agreement with The Spark, Inc., a local not-for-profit corporation, to provide entrepreneurial ecosystem development services and implementation of the Manhattan entrepreneurship strategy. With the Chamber’s support, Spark-led initiatives deliver value directly to entrepreneurs and continue to grow the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Sarah Siders, Executive Director of Spark, joins episode 8 of the ThinkMHK podcast. We are also joined by Adam Krebsbach, Garrett Paulman, and Jake Voegeli, owners of Manhattan Brewing Company. Manhattan Brewing Company was a finalist for the 2021 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. Having recently opened their doors in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic these three guys share their experiences as small business owners in Manhattan.

Episode 9: (12/8/21) The Greater Manhattan Economic Partnership is a division of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation. Nancy Burton, GMEP Advisory Board Chair, joins episode 9 to share why this partnership was created and the successes they have created. During this year's annual meeting Jeff Sackrider was recognized as the Young Professional of the Year. Also in this episode, Jeff shares his gratitude for receiving this award and more about his roles with WTC and Incite MHK. 

Episode 10: (12/15/21) Jarrod Willich, Membership Committee Chair, joins episode 10 of the ThinkMHK Podcast speaking about his role with the Membership Committee and the Chamber's recent Membership Drive. Manko Windows received The Cornerstone Award during the 2021 Business Awards. This award honors a business that exemplifies what being a "solid pillar of the community" is about. Brett Jones joins this episode to share more about Manko Windows

Episode 11: (12/22/21) Lucy Willams, C. Clyde Jones Volunteer of the Year recipient, joins this episode of the ThinkMHK podcast. Lucy shares her experiences being engaged with the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. Sink, Gordon, and Associates recently celebrated 75 years in business. Jim Gordon, co-principal of the firm, joins this episode sharing the keys to their success as a local firm in Manhattan.

Episode 12: (12/28/21) The Chamber's Military Community Liaison Janet Nichols and past Military Relations committee Chair Rich Jankovich join this episode of the ThinkMHK Podcast. Covering topics like the Military Relations Committee, Little Apple Brigade, monthly events, Fort Riley's economic impact, and much more. Andy Ellis, Partner at Arthur-Green, LLP joins episode 12 of the ThinkMHK podcast. Arthur-Green was a finalist for the small business of the year award during the 2021 Business Awards. On top of sharing what Arthur-Green does during this episode, Andy discusses what makes Manhattan a great place for business and a great place to live. 

Episode 13: (1/4/22) Dick Carter, Lobbyist for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce joins episode 13 for both segments of the ThinkMHK Podcast. During this episode, Dick Carter and Jason Smith cover what a lobbyist does and how they engage with legislators and other elected officials. In the second segment, they share the key issues they expect the legislature to take up this year including redistricting, tax cuts, dark store theory and much more. They also dive into what METL is and the Chamber's 2022 legislative agenda.

Episode 14: (1/11/22) Tom Phillips, 2021 recipient of the Lyle Butler Distinguished Leadership Award, joins episode 14. Tom shares his career experiences while being on both the Manhattan City Commission and a member of the Kansas House of Representatives. Tom also dives into his current role within the Chamber's Business Advocacy Committee and the chair as the Growth Task Force.  At the young age of 14 years old, Allyn Weddle founded Weddle and Sons, Inc. with his 2 brothers. Weddle and Sons, Inc. was the 2021 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winner. During this episode, Allyn shares his experiences as an entrepreneur and what makes Manhattan a great place to start a business. 

Episode 15: (1/18/22) Jake Wassenberg with Pepsi-Cola of Manhattan joins this week's episode. Jake joined the Chamber's Executive Committee in 2021 and shares his experiences while being involved with the Chamber and his career with Pepsi-Cola of Manhattan. We also feature Neil Horton on this episode, winner of the 2021 Lud Fiser Citizen of the Year Award. Neil is the Vice President/CEO of Bayer Construction Co and has served the Chamber in many different roles over the years, including being a past Chamber Board Chair and serving on the Business Advocacy and Economic Development Committees. Listen to hear why he has invested his time into this organization.