Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is dedicated to educating and informing the Greater Manhattan region about the economic benefits of a diverse and inclusive business ecosystem. The DEI Committee will work with business and community leaders in the region to promote business ownership and entrepreneurship throughout Manhattan’s diverse and under-represented business community while encouraging diversity within the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce.

GOALS of the DEI Committee:

  • Increase diversity among Chamber membership
  • Increase access to capital for disadvantaged/underrepresented businesses
  • Develop and promote partnerships with influential entities and organizations within the region
  • Raise awareness and understanding of DEI issues in Manhattan region
  • Partner with Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills to support their member businesses
  • Assist businesses with disadvantaged, minority, and woman-owned business state certifications 
  • Develop training and programming for both current and prospective Chamber members relating to access to capital, state certifications, suppliers, business expos, etc. 
  • Institutionalize policies and practices carried out by Chamber leadership, staff, volunteers and committees that will permanently lead to and sustain greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Members

  • Lisa Sisley - Chair, New Boston Creative Group
  • Garric Baker, Bruce McMillan Architects
  • Doug Barrett, 400 North Creative
  • Andre Bean, K-State Athletic Department
  • Summer Ott Dierks, Dierks Law Firm
  • Shawn Drew, Commerce Bank
  • Kent Glasscock, K-State Innovation Partners
  • Nija Threat, McCown Gordon Construction
  • Mary Vanier, Grand Mere Development
  • Gabriela A. Vega, Addair Law

Consultant: Dr. Jessica Elmore

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy Statement

DRAFT DEI POLICY STATEMENT, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce
Approved by DEI Committee, August 4, 2022, for consideration of the Board of Directors

The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce recruits, supports and advocates for diverse and underrepresented member businesses because a fully inclusive business community improves our regional economic ecosystem. By ensuring our chamber is focused on enhancing the success of all businesses, we increase our community’s capacity for economic growth and prosperity as a competitor in the global economy. 

The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce:

  • Advocates for fair and inclusive business practices in our member businesses.
  • Continues to support businesses of all sizes and structure.
  • Provides services tailored to the needs of underrepresented businesses.
  • Collaborates with other organizations to recruit and retain a diverse talent pool in our region.
  • Promoting diverse and underrepresented members of the business community for chamber leadership positions.

Major Employers with Employee Resource Groups/Affinity Groups

Upcoming events

  • State Certification Workshop for Disadvantaged, Minority, and Woman-Owned Businesses – September 13
  • DEI Event Series Forum

      • The first event will be a DEI Forum for the business community focused on the economic benefits of embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion in business practices – November 4 (sponsored by McCown Gordon Construction)
      • The second event will focus on access to capital for disadvantaged, minority, woman, and veteran-owned businesses) – Spring, 2023 

  • KSUnite Conference – November 14-15.  KSUnite | Diversity and Inclusion at Kansas State University (k-state.edu

Resources