The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development provides its members with a diverse list of ways to get involved, both personally and professionally. Depending on your interests and talents, we have a program just for you!
This banquet celebration is held annually each winter, allowing business and community leaders an opportunity to gather, socialize and celebrate positive community efforts that have taken place throughout the previous year. More than 500 people typically attend the Banquet and Annual Meeting where they enjoy dinner, dancing and the celebration of community friends and cohorts who receive awards.
The Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo, held annually during the second week of April, is one of the largest and most well-organized expositions of its kind in the Midwest. Hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of spectators flock to Great Bend each year for the three-day show. For show dates or more information about how you can get involved as an exhibitor or volunteer, visit
Held annually each summer, this networking opportunity is a fun way to link business with pleasure. Members are encouraged to sponsor and participate in a growing and fun-filled event that typically draws more than 100 entries each year representing a wide-range of businesses. The tournament memorializes former Chamber President and CEO Gary Gore. Contact us if you are interested in playing in the tournament or becoming an event sponsor.
The Chamber’s Agri-Business committee works diligently to provide educational opportunities to all fourth grade students in Barton County through an annual event known as Kids Ag Day, held each September. The Agri-Business committee also serves as a resource to research and promote new markets for agricultural products. To get involved with the growing Kids Ag Day by serving on the Agri-Business committee, contact the committee chair David LeRoy at
The planning committee for the Big Bend Bike Rally is responsible for putting on the annual motorcycle event each September. The growing event was founded in 2008 and has grown substantially each year, drawing thousands of motorcyclists and spectators to the Great Bend Expo Complex. For details on the event, visit
www.bigbendbikerally.com. To get involved with the planning committee, contact a member of the
Chamber staff here on our website.
Four times each year, Human Resources professionals representing a wide range of industries in the Great Bend area gather to hear from a speaker on topics related to workforce issues and opportunities. The quarterly luncheon format gives business representatives the flexibility to come and go as they please with no additional membership dues to be involved. To participate, email your contact information to a member of the
This quarterly forum is centered around the benefits and challenges businesses face as a result of changes in technology. The open discussions are held over a casual luncheon four times each year, and are open to anyone interested in keeping up with trends and developments in the technology field. To participate, email your contact information to a member of the
All manufacturing companies are encouraged to participate in this roundtable discussion that addresses specific needs related to manufacturing. This roundtable meets on an as-needed basis whenever a hot topic or new opportunity becomes available to the businesses in our area. To participate, email your contact information to a member of the
Annually, the Chamber recognizes outstanding service by an individual who contributes to the quality of life in Great Bend. The award winner is also someone who gives of his or her time, talent and energy to help the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce excel. Additionally, the award recognizes people who provide outstanding service to the community, or it recognizes people who have excelled in their chosen professions and serve as role models in the community.
Business of the Year is an annual award presented by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce to showcase companies that demonstrate excellence in customer service, growth, and response in positive ways to adversity. Businesses must also show community involvement and demonstrate innovative business practices by improving products, services and programs.
The NextGen Leader of the Year award is presented annually to an individual creating a meaningful impact as a rising leader. Nominees are leaders in their work environment, as well as in the community. Nominations are accepted from the general public through December 1st. To nominate someone you know, download a
The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development makes every effort to ensure that families who have recently moved to the Great Bend area feel welcome and included in community happenings. In addition to sending their weekly email newsletter with upcoming events to new families, the Chamber also organizes a few events each year targeted for these newcomers. This program is designed to help network newcomers with long-time community residents, possible employers, and people with similar business interests.
Click here to learn more about the New 2 Great Bend group.
The Barton County Young Professionals Group is targeted for individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 who live and/or work in the Barton County Area. The program has three main goals: 1) fostering business and social networking, 2) providing opportunities to give back to the community, and 3) developing young leaders in today’s workforce. Members enjoy a variety of monthly events, which rotate between sponsored mixers, leadership development luncheons, and social events. In addition to numerous networking opportunities, members also enjoy exclusive perks, including half-price rental of Chamber meeting rooms, professional leadership training, discounts and freebies from local businesses, and more!
Click here for more information.
Our staff maintains a free website called Central Kansas Jobs, designed to connect employers with open positions to the qualified workforce in the Great Bend area. The web site allows businesses to post available jobs at no charge, which are then emailed automatically to the pool of jobseekers interested in receiving those updates. Potential employees can then email their resume directly to the employer through the web site. To post an available job or see what positions are currently posted, visit
Great Bend never looked so good. Utilizing private donations, the Beautification committee coordinates projects that improve the look and feel of our community. Planting flowers in public spaces, weeding gardens, organizing the grooming of Great Bend’s distinctive Broadway islands, and more. Projects vary from year to year. The committee also gives out the Beautification Award to businesses and organizations who make significant strides to improve the look of their storefront location. To get involved with this committee, contact a member of the
An outstanding leadership development program created in 1985 in Great Bend for the purpose of seeking out, motivating and preparing business men and women to accept future leadership roles in the community. The program now branches out to Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford Counties under the auspices of the Golden Belt Community Foundation, which supports non-profit organizations in central Kansas. Leadership Golden Belt follows guidelines from Kansas Health Foundation, an organization that promotes leadership in communities around the state. Visit
www.goldenbeltcf.org for more information.
As a recruitment tool, the Chamber partners with Great Bend High School to encourage former students to "come home" to raise their families and make a difference in our business community with their professional expertise and skill-sets. For more information about how to get involved with this committee, contact Dan Brungardt at