The Congressional Forum is a 52 year institution, and the Chamber's public policy series, which features local, state, and federal representatives to speak about issues relevant to the area's business community.
Representative Sharice Davids speaks to the group as often as she can, but other guest speakers are often featured at the monthly forums.
This month's featured speaker is Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary, David Toland.
Since being appointed by Governor Laura Kelly in January, Secretary Toland has overseen sweeping changes within the state’s leading economic development agency. Under his leadership, the Department is conducting a new economic development strategic planning process for the state that will replace the 1986 Redwood-Krider report. Toland has also aggressively worked to rebuild the Business and Community Development division of the Department of Commerce, filling positions that have remained vacant for several years and re-establishing the state’s presence in key domestic and international markets. He also led negotiations on behalf of Governor Kelly that resulted in the end of the so-called “Border War” that has gone on between Kansas and Missouri for nearly a decade.
Prior to joining the team at Commerce, Secretary Toland was the first CEO of Thrive Allen County, a nonprofit coalition that works to improve quality of life and economic conditions in Allen County, Kansas. A seventh-generation Allen Countian, Toland oversaw the organization in its efforts toward improving healthcare access, healthy lifestyles and economic development in the small, rural Kansas county.
Prior to his return to his hometown, Toland worked as an appointee of Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, holding key leadership positions in the D.C. economic development and planning offices.