Media Invitation - Kansas Chamber Annual Dinner February 21, 2017

February 17, 2017

For more information contact:

Emily Corby


Editor's Note to Members of the Press: You are invited to cover the Kansas Chamber of Commerce's Annual Dinner on Tuesday evening, Feb. 21, 2017 at the Kansas Expocentre's Exhibition Hall in Topeka, Kansas. If you plan to attend, please contact Emily Corby at

The keynote speaker for the evening, President of Purdue University and former Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels. Master of Ceremonies for the evening is Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and Congressman Kevin Yoder .

During the dinner, the Kansas Chamber will be announcing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as the 2017 Ad Astra Award winner. The Ad Astra Award is designed to recognize a Kansas business who has truly aimed "to the stars through difficulty" and who has given a unique contribution to the economic health and welfare of our state. It is an honor presented to one business each year during the Annual Dinner.

Interviews are not allowed unless scheduled in advance with the coordinating offices. 

There are limitations for recording Mitch Daniels remarks: only the first 3 minutes of speech and b roll with no audio is allowed. 

 The dinner and program will begin at 6:30pm and Mitch Daniels will begin his remarks at 8:15pm. The evening shall commence around 9:00pm.

Kansas Chamber Announces 2017 Annual Dinner 

Keynote Speaker and Master of Ceremonies

The Kansas Chamber is pleased to announce Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University and former Governor of Indiana, as the 2017 Annual Dinner keynote speaker. Presented by Spirit Aerosystems, 2016 Ad Astra Award Winner, the Chamber's dinner is the largest annual statewide gathering of business and political leaders in the state. Join us on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at the Kansas Expocentre's Exhibition Hall in Topeka to hear Mitch Daniels address the key challenges facing political landscape, workforce development and education. 

"President of Purdue University and former Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, has been a tremendous leader for the state of Indiana and Purdue University. We are very pleased to bring this strong leader to Kansas during the opening weeks of the 2017 Legislative session," said Kansas Chamber Interim President & CEO Kent Beisner. "Mr. Daniels will speak on several key topics that are impacting the state and business community. I'm confident that political leaders and our business partners will enjoy his perspective."

Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. became the 12th president of Purdue University in January 2013, at the conclusion of his second term as Governor of the State of Indiana. Daniels came to Purdue University at the conclusion of his term as the 49th Governor of Indiana. He was elected Governor in 2004, in his first bid for any elected office. He was re-elected in 2008, receiving more votes than any candidate for any public office in the state's history. President Daniels also comes from a successful career in business, holding numerous top management positions. From 1987-1990, Daniels served as the CEO of the Hudson Institute. In 1990, he accepted a position at Eli Lilly and Company, the largest corporation headquartered in Indiana at that time, and eventually held the role of president of the company's North American Pharmaceutical Operations.

The 2017 master of ceremonies for the Annual Dinner will be Representative Lynn Jenkins and Representative Kevin Yoder. Now serving her fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Jenkins was elected by her colleagues to serve as the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference during the 113th and 114th Congressional sessions becoming the 30th woman in history to hold a leadership position in either branch of Congress, and the 14th Republican woman to be in Leadership. Representative Yoder represents the Third Congressional District of Kansas, which includes Johnson County, Wyandotte County and the northeast corner of Miami County. On January 5, 2011, Kevin was sworn in to serve his first term as a Member of the 112th Congress, where he was selected as one of only three freshmen members to serve on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Thanks to his work on the committee, the federal government is appropriating less money today than it was when Kevin walked into Congress.

Presenting sponsor, Spirit Aerosystems, designs and builds aerostructures for both commercial and defense customers. With headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites in North America, Europe and Asia. Spirit's core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components. We focus on affordable, innovative composite and aluminum manufacturing solutions to support customers around the globe.

The Kansas Chamber, with headquarters in Topeka, is the leading statewide pro-business advocacy group moving Kansas towards becoming the best state in America to live and work. The Chamber represents small, medium and large employers all across Kansas. The mission of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce is to continually strive to improve the economic climate for the benefit of every business and citizen and to safeguard our system of free, competitive enterprise. 

 For more information on the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, visit