Honors go to Patty Koehler and Envision, and JR Custom Metal Products
Butler Community College honored Envision and Patty Koehler, president and CEO, JR Custom Metal Products, at the college’s Excellence in Diversity Awards breakfast on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Abode Venue.
Envision, which was honored with the Community Diversity Award, gives individuals who are blind or visually impaired, the resources, services and support they need to be independent and self-sufficient in a sighted world. Envision is committed to addressing the lack of accommodation in job settings for people with vision loss. By taking the lead to prepare people with vision loss to perform in high-tech professional jobs, Envision is working to create a pipeline of available professionals who are equipped with the resources and tools to join the workforce while also working with employers to create inclusive workplaces.
Koehler, who received the Diversity Leadership Award, was chosen for her extensive community involvement along with her work at JR Custom Metal Products, a family-owned business started by her father. Koehler credits the success of the company to the diverse talents of its dedicated employees. Her service to the business and manufacturing profession includes the Wichita Independent Business Association, Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and MAMTC. Koehler’s charitable service in the community includes two stints on the boards of Newman University and Catholic Charities.
The event also celebrated 10 years of Advance Kansas. Brian Black, of Spirit AeroSystems, and Juan Johnson, president of Diversity Leadership in Action, both spoke at the event. Spirit AeroSystems was also recognized for supporting Advance Kansas for 10 years.
Now in its seventh year, Butler Community College’s Excellence in Diversity Awards Breakfast is held annually to recognize excellence in diversity and inclusion; increase awareness of the value of supporting efforts to address diversity challenges and opportunities in workplaces and in the community; and to raise awareness of Advance Kansas.
“Divisiveness is costly to our futures and to our kids,” Johnson said, “What makes us better is that which we do not have. It’s our differences that make us better, and we need to learn to organize around our common values.”
“Advance Kansas taught me I did not know everything about diversity and inclusion. It taught me stronger leadership management principals and to understand the gifts, talents and creativity each person brings to the table,” said Koehler.
The event was sponsored by long-time supporter Spirit AeroSystems as the presenting sponsor and Hutton as the gold sponsor.