Leaders in Wichita Falls meet, set culture for City’s future

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Lists upon lists of buzzwords were scattered across the Sikes Lake Center at Midwestern State University for the "Defining Our Culture" Summit.

Words like "integrity," "determination," and "excellence" were some of the principles that people like Steve Sosland, Vice Chancellor of Leader and Culture Development at Texas Tech, want to emulate in the future.

"We've got people from seven different countries, from all over Texas and from all over the country where they were born and raised. But something brought them to Wichita Falls," Sosland said. "The gathering today is to identify those shared core values that we can build a culture around for all Wichitans."

The meeting comes at a pivotal time for the city. Back in February, Ron Kitchens, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said that Wichita Falls is entering a "boom period." For Kitchens, this meeting is the beginning of the planning process that will keep the boom's momentum going.

"If we aren't prepared to take the wind that's at our back, adjust our sails and sail forward and build upon that, then it's a one-year anomaly," Kitchens said. "We're like that team maybe like the Dallas Cowboys. You win one Super Bowl every 30 years. We have to be like the Patriots and the Chiefs. We got to win year after year after year. And this is about building that playbook."

There were representatives from Midwestern State, Sheppard Air Force Base, The Chamber of Commerce and others. The point of all those backgrounds coming together is that the more points of view that are presented, the more common ground can be found to build on the Wichita Falls culture in the future.

"Here are our fundamental building blocks. We all agree on this. Now, let's build the action steps upon those fundamental blocks," Kitchens said. "Maybe in the past, we've built our house on the sand. Now we're building our house on stone."

The first steps today will lead Wichita Falls to a brighter tomorrow.

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