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Posted on: June 28, 2022

Podcast Offers Closer Look at Regional Economic Topics


Amid unprecedented economic growth in the Greater Manhattan region, curiosity and questions abound. The Think MHK podcast created by the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce offers listeners an in-depth look at topics surrounding past, present and future developments in the region.

Now in its second season, Think MHK is hosted by Jason Smith, president and CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, along with co-hosts Karen Hibbard, director of the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau; Sharla Meisenheimer, the Chamber’s director of membership; and Daryn Soldan, the Chamber’s director of economic development. The team chats weekly with guests about community and job growth, small business, leadership, public policy, military issues, entrepreneurship, tourism, economic development and general chamber business and programming.  

“The Think MHK Podcast was born during a conversation about how best to share the many recent success stories coming out of this area and provide residents with a greater understanding of the work taking place behind the scenes,” Meisenheimer said. “Many of us enjoy the brief, bite-size story aspect of the podcast format, and it seemed like an ideal medium for that effort.”

What’s in store for Aggieville in its redevelopment plan? Exactly what is the Hype organization and what sort of career development opportunities does it offer to young professionals? The podcast keeps listeners up to date on developments like these, but it also provides a closer look at business and community leaders.

“I love sharing exciting news of our latest projects and celebrating a job well done, but what I enjoy most about the podcast is interviewing local business owners and influential leaders,” Smith said. “From the small business entrepreneurs to the CEOs of multinational corporations, each story is inspiring and makes me proud to be part of this community.”  

In a region referred to as the Silicon Valley of Biodefense thanks to the presence of the USDA National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Biosecurity Research Institute — not to mention the world-class research activities at Kansas State University — the Manhattan area has reason to expect the big news to keep coming. Think MHK is an excellent way to keep a finger on the region’s economic pulse and listen for opportunities to get involved. It’s available wherever podcasts are found, including YouTube and Spotify. 

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