TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Chamber of Commerce held their annual dinner and banquet Wednesday evening in Exhibition Hall at the Stormont Vail Events Center.

The Chamber’s Annual Dinner is one the largest gatherings of business leaders and policy makers in the state. It features the presentation of the Chamber’s annual Ad Astra Award.

The Ad Astra recipient is a Kansas business chosen for its unique contribution to the economic health and welfare of our state and its community. The Kansas Chamber will recognize INTRUST Bank as its 2023 Ad Astra award recipient.

Keynote speakers for the evening event include,

  • Alan Cobb, Kansas Chamber
  • Karma Mason, iSi Environmental
  • Ashleigh de la Torre, Amazon
  • Charlie Chandler, INTRUST Bank
  • Shan Hains, Kansas Bankers Association

The evening also featured remarks by this year’s keynote speaker, Mike Pompeo, the 70th U.S. Secretary of State.

During former President Donald Trump’s administration, Pompeo also served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. As our nation’s most senior diplomat, he helped craft U.S. foreign policy based on our nation’s founding ideals. Under Pompeo, America became a massive energy exporter and helped facilitate the Abraham Accords, a joint statement between the U.S., Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Pompeo’s roots run deep in Kansas. Previously, he represented Kansas’s 4th Congressional District. He spent a decade leading two manufacturing businesses in Wichita, co-founding Thayer Aerospace, a global supplier to the world’s leading commercial and military aircraft builders and later becoming president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment manufacturing, distribution, and service company.