Daymond John, one of the stars of ABC’s Emmy-winning Shark Tank series, will speaker at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting/Gala and Program on Thur., Dec. 1 at Century II. 

John, who rose from poverty to riches after he founded and grew the Urban-styled clothing line FUBU into a multi-million dollar brand, has continued to grow his own brand as a motivation speaker, author, innovator, angel investor and television personality. 

John is huge departure from previous annual meeting speakers. The speaker is typically a big name, but very mainstream.  For example, last year’s presenter was businessman Charles Koch.  Several presenters had political roots, including recent speakers former President George H.W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice. 

This year, Barry Schwan, chairman of the Chamber board of directors, says the organization wants to place the focus on growing entrepreneurship in the region.   

“We must all be relentlessly fostering and encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation so that Wichita becomes synonymous with economic opportunity,” wrote Schwan in a statement announcing John as the speaker. 

John is one of the most sought after entrepreneurial experts in the country, and while he certainly understands the importance of venture capital, his new book — released earlier this year – focuses on, “The Power of Broke.”  Yes, that’s broke, like poor and without any money. 

John says, “You may think it (being broke) is your biggest weakness, but if you wield it properly, it will definitely be the key to your success.”  In the book, he champions the necessity of creativity, authenticity, substance and passion in successful entrepreneurial ventures.

Schwan encourages entrepreneurs, innovators and dreamers to attend the meeting/gala and/or the program that will follow. 

The gala, which includes dinner, will be held in Century II Exhibition Hall from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., with the doors opening at 5:45 p.m.  The program will take place in Convention Hall immediately following the dinner, with the doors opening at 7 p.m. 

Individual ticket for Gala, which includes dinner and the program are $115.  Tickets to the program only are $55 for general loge seats and $35 for balcony seats. 

Tickets can be purchased online at wichitachamber.org.

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