Doug Kinsinger, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and GO Topeka, today announced his resignation from both organizations, effective July 1. "Submitting my resignation at this time was not an easy decision, but I felt it was an appropriate time. I feel our community has made tremendous progress during my 14 years here and I am proud of the many accomplishments we collectively as a community have made," Kinsinger said. "I have been blessed to work with some extremely talented community leaders including our board chairs, board members, chamber members and great elected officials and staff leaders at the local, state and national level. I personally benefited from a very experienced staff who were hard working and dedicated to the community. In recent years we have added some new, dynamic staff locally and from around the nation. I am very excited about the direction Topeka, the Chamber and GO Topeka are going."
Doug states that during his leadership, GO Topeka has attracted and retained over 11,000 jobs and over $1.2 billion in investment in property and equipment. This included the development of over 1,000 acres in two commerce parks, Central Crossing and Kanza Fire, and the location of new companies such as the Target Distribution Center, Home Depot Rapid Deployment Center, Bimbo Bakeries, Mars Chocolate North America, and the retention and expansions of Goodyear, BNSF, Innovia, PTMW, Southwest Publishing, Resers, US Food Services, BCBS of Kansas, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Del Monte/Big Hearts, Frito Lay, Security Benefit, Advisors Excel, and many others. On the workforce side, he is quite proud of the renaissance and redevelopment of Washburn Tech, as the Chamber and GO Topeka worked with Washburn University to encourage its transition to a technical college from its prior vocational school role. He is equally proud of the enhancements the chamber has made in our quality of life. "We worked together to advocate for and pass three ballot propositions to improve our streets and fix our bridges, sidewalks, and other infrastructure. We helped build consensus for and generated a public and private funding partnership for the downtown Topeka renovations. Through our inter-city visits, we have learned to dream bigger which has brought about efforts for the NOTO Art District, Heartland Visioning, the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan, the growth of Fast Forward, the chamber's young professional program, TEDx and most recently 712 Innovations."
Brent Boles, volunteer chamber chair, said, "Doug has cultivated strong staff members for the chamber and GO Topeka, who will work with board members to ensure a smooth transition. The board members and I appreciate Doug's contributions and wish him and his family all the best as they embark on this next phase."
Scott Griffith, volunteer GO Topeka chair, said, "GO Topeka has had considerable success the past several years and is poised to make additional strides now that the half-cent sales tax has been extended. We are grateful for Doug's leadership, his tenacity and belief in our future."
Boles and Griffith said Curtis Sneden, vice president government relations, will serve as interim chamber president and chief executive officer and Scott Smathers, vice president economic development, will serve as interim president and chief executive officer for GO Topeka to ensure a smooth transition as Kinsinger wraps up his responsibilities and recruitment for his replacement gets underway.