Our Chapter

Who we are & what we do

Who we are

It was 1966, a different time for women in the work place, and certainly for women in the construction industry.  But nonetheless, Dorothy Eshom and Ann Fleischmann of Wichita, KS shared a goal of forming an organization for the mutual interest of women in the architectural field.  However, they weren’t sure how to take their next steps.  But after browsing through the pages of Midwest Contractors Magazine, the women learned of the organization known as Women in Construction.  After reading about the organization and learning it had been in existence for 10 years they decided this is what Women in Wichita needed.  Dorothy Eshom proceeded to learn more and submitted bidder’s qualifications to the organization.  From there the ground work was laid.

After a meeting in February, 1966, The Gr. Wichita Chapter #120 was born with a chartering banquet on March 26, 1966, in the Allis Hotel.  77 women signed the original charter.

Our Events

NAWIC Wichita hosts a variety of events to serve the construction industry serving both members and non-members.

Education

We provide monthly, educational events on personal and professional development to help elevate our attendee's careers.

Networking

We provide monthly, networking events to help one another increase business and foster new and existing relationships.

MAGIC Camp

Mentoring a Girl in Construction - A free, one-week day camp, typically held in the summer, designed to introduce high school girls to exciting careers in construction.

Golf Tournament

We host an annual golf tournament, held in August, to raise money for construction, architectural, and engineering scholarships.

Block Kids

Block Kids is a National building competition to introduce children to the construction industry to create awareness and promote careers in the industry. Block Kids is held in January or February each year.

WIC Week

Women in Construction (WIC) Week, held in March, highlights women as a viable component of the construction industry.

Women Build

Habitat for Humanity Women Build gathers volunteers during the summer from all walks of life to build stronger, safer communities.

Our impact

Supporting our industry and our community is an important initiative to our chapter. We raise valuable dollars for scholarship funds for students and promote our industry every chance we get. 

# NAWIC Wichita Members
42
# NAWIC Midwest Region Members
731
# National NAWIC Members
5,112
Dollars Awarded for Scholarships
$275,575
# of Kids Participated at Block Kids Since 2014
477

Members Love NAWIC!

I learned about NAWIC through my employer. I wanted to meet people in the construction industry and have a group that supported the industry and women were involved. I enjoy working in the industry because the various and extremely varied aspects of the construction industry are challenging and interesting to me.
Jana Forrest
IMA Corp
Construction chose me! My Dad has been in the construction world my entire life. I've always enjoyed the hard work and dedication construction workers employ. I wanted to be more involved in getting other women to enjoy the construction industry, too. I have enjoyed the networking and getting to know others in the industry.
Desarae' Waggoner
Griffith Steel Erection, Inc.
NAWIC has given me the opportunity to network with others in the industry. I learned about NAWIC through a co-worker and so glad I have gotten involved. We have so many different types of events to engage with one another: professional development, job site tours, and community service activities.
CeCe Chanthabouly-Lo
Conco Construction
NAWIC Greater Wichita Chapter Formed in 1966
In 1966, it was a different time for women in the workplace, and certainly for women in the construction industry. Nonetheless, Dorothy Eshom and Ann Fleischmann of Wichita, KS shared a goal of forming an organization for the mutual interest of women in the architectural field. After browsing through pages of Midwest Contractors Magazine, the women learned of the organization known as Women in Construction. After reading about the organization and learning it had been in existence for 10 years, they decided this is what Women in Wichita needed.
The Gr. Wichita Chapter #120 was born with a chartering banquet on March 26, 1966, in the Allis Hotel.
77 women signed the original charter. Notables attending the Chartering were President Bonnie Granger, sponsoring Chapter Gr. Kansas City #100 and 16 members from Kansas City; Florence Creighton, Past National President of St. Louis, Missouri; Margaret Boldt, Director of Region 4 from Chicago; Ida May Bagby, National Extension Chairman, Fort Worth; Margaret Cleveland, Nati0nal Historian, Fort Worth; Elizabeth Chambers, President of Nebraska Chapter, Omaha, NE; June Fisk, Extension Chairman, St Louis; Elaine Forrest, President Chicago Chapter and Jen Edwards of Oklahoma City, Mr. & Mrs. Wesley Bastedo of the Associated General Contractors, from Topeka, were also present.
Sponsoring Companies of the Chartering members included:
Thomas Harris Ash & Mason Architect firm that designed the Kansas Coliseum, that evolved thru the years and is now GLMV Architecture; Coonrod, Walz & Vollmer Construction Co Inc., now Coonrod & Associates and Harman Huffman; Schaefer, Schirmer & Eflin Architects now SJCF Architects; Law-Pollit Company split into two companies with The Law Company still operating; Central Air Conditioning now Central Consolidated. Lancelot Tile Company; Colonial Floors, and JH Bowman. Many Companies that have not changed: Martin K. Eby Construction Co.; Hahner Foreman & Harness; Claco Supply, Prestressed Concrete; Utility Contractors; Star Lumber & Supply; Simpson Construction Services; and White Star & Machinery.
Scholarship Fund Started in 1966
It was then a committee appointed by the president. The duties of the committee were to raise funds. The original fundraiser for the chapter and scholarships was a Las Vegas night which was extremely successful until Vern Miller declared war on illegal gambling in state. Fundraising after that consisted of events such as selling vinyl table cloths, waiting tables at G&G catering, registration for CSI annual meeting, bingo, barmaids for AGC meeting. It was really anything that earned a buck for the scholarship fund.
The Scholarship Foundation was incorporated in 1985.
The Scholarship Foundation became a separate entity from Chapter #120 with 3 trustees. The first annual golf tournament to fund scholarships was held in 1987. The golf tournament has been very successful in funding annual scholarships and this can be directly attributed to the generosity and support of the construction industry in the Wichita area. The Wichita Chapter gave the first scholarship to one student in 1966 (the year the chapter chartered) and has subsequently awarded over $217,000 to 184 students pursuing a career in the construction field.
Boss's Night Established in 1967
The Chapter held Bosses nights annually crowning a King for many years. This evolved to Executive Night. Some notable tours were: Fourth National Bank Building in 1972 and the Tour of Wichita Northwest High School by The Law Co. in 1977.
Sponsored the SE Kansas #382 Chapter in 2013
Gr. Wichita NAWIC Chapter was the sponsoring Chapter of NAWIC’s SE Kansas #382 in Pittsburg, Kansas. Their Charter banquet was held October of 2013.
Established an Association Partnership Agreement with AGC of Kansas in 2006.
Gr. Wichita Chapter also works closely with several industry associations such as the AGC, AIA, CSI, SMPS, CFMA, WICRE and several others to jointly plan industry mixers. This is all in an attempt to continue getting the NAWIC name out there. As it seems we still are one of the “best kept secrets” in the industry.
Celebrated 50 Years as a Chapter
In 2016, the chapter held a 50th Chapter celebration with 3 founding members in attendance. Jo Ann Beason, in her NAWIC years she was with White Star Machinery & Supply; Frankie Shelton, with Coonrod, Walz & Vollmer Construction at the Chartering; and Nancy Bertrand Ford, she worked for McBride Electric.
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