KCK Chamber Mission and Vision
Currently the Chamber works in four basic areas – Legislative, Information, Networking, and Community Development.
The KCK Chamber is committed to their members and the organization’s mission, which is:
“As a member of the business community in the metropolitan area, the mission of the Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce is to enhance and create opportunities in Wyandotte County which build a quality community to live, work and conduct business.”
Early History of the KCK Chamber
In 1898, a group of businessmen started the Mercantile Club of Kansas City, Kansas. This was a membership based group which set about growing the community. The group functioned as a Chamber of Commerce until they officially changed their name in 1918 to the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce. The name changed slightly one more time in the 1950s to what is now known as the Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce.
In 1918, the Chamber purchased the former Elks Lodge at 727 Minnesota which had suffered heavy damage from a fire. The Chamber re-built the building and has been there ever since with the exception of the 1950’s after the opening of the Town House Hotel. The hotel was the first full service hotel built in downtown Kansas City, Kansas and part of its development agreement included the Chamber taking up residence as a tenant.
The Chamber building has also been used as the home of the Community Chest, the forerunner of today’s United Way of Wyandotte County, the Kansas City Kansas Women’s Chamber of Commerce and its former annual Museum project to tell the history of Native Americans in Wyandotte County, the KCK Jaycees, Kaw Valley Arts & Humanities, Wyandotte Economic Development Council, and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.
From its earliest inception the KCK Chamber as it is also known was involved in different business and community projects such as road projects like the Lewis & Clark viaduct, the former private Victory Hills Golf Course now known as Painted Hills, and even agreeing to help sell the needed subscriptions to start the Kansas City Kansas Kansan in the 1920s. It also oversaw a downtown retail merchants association for many years.
The KCK Chamber was substantially involved in the war effort in both World War I and World War II.
More Recent Times
The KCK Chamber has been heavily involved in the changes of local government. This started in the early 1980’s with the change in city government from a three person commission to a Mayor/City Council form of government. Another change was completed in 1997 with the consolidation of the City/County government. The Chamber partnered with others to hold forums on unification, researched and published a study that among other recommendations discussed consolidation. When a grassroots effort moved forward to work on the vote, the KCK Chamber assisted in fundraising for the effort.
In 2007, a Kansas City Kansas Chamber Foundation was established to assist in funding community and economic development activities in Wyandotte County.