2016 Annual Dinner


The Kansas Chamber is pleased to announce Charles Krauthammer, American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, author, political commentator, and physician, as the 2016 Annual Dinner keynote speaker. Presented by Security Benefit, 2015 Ad Astra Award Winner, the Chamber's dinner is the largest annual statewide gathering of business and political leaders in the state. Join us on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at the Kansas Expocentre's Exhibition Hall in Topeka to hear Charles Krauthammer address the key challenges facing America in Topeka.  


"For years I have admired Charles Krauthammer's thoughtful and challenging literary contributions to American political dialogue. We are very pleased to bring such a leader to Kansas during the opening weeks of the 2016 legislative session," said Kansas Chamber President & CEO Mike O'Neal.  "Mr. Krauthammer will offer his unique perspective on the current political landscape based on his experiences, and will be a speaker whom both our business members and political leaders will appreciate." 

Charles Krauthammer, author of a syndicated column for The Washington Post, is also a FOX News commentator appearing nightly on FOX's evening news program, Special Report with Bret Baier. Winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, Krauthammer began writing a weekly column for The Washington Post in January 1985. He not only won the 1984 National Magazine Award for essays, but in 1997 the Washingtonian magazine named him among the top 50 most influential journalists in the national press corps. During the presidential campaign of 1980, he served as a speech writer to Vice President Walter Mondale and joined the New Republic as a writer and editor in 1980.  

The 2016 master of ceremonies for the Annual Dinner will be Senator Jerry Moran. Kansans elected Jerry Moran to the United States Senate in 2010. Since joining the U.S. Senate, Senator Moran has been a leading advocate for protecting and preserving the special way of life in Kansas. As a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Senator Moran advocates on behalf of Kansans regarding a number of issues vital to the state's economy ranging from communications and product safety to highways, aviation and railways. Through his work on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Moran continues his long-time commitment to strengthening the economy, opening up foreign markets to U.S. exports, and fostering the growth of small businesses. 

Presenting sponsor Security Benefit is a 123-year-old, Kansas-based insurance company with more than $30 billion in assets under management. The leading retirement savings and income solutions provider was founded in Topeka, Kansas, by 11 men with $11, and a high-minded mission of providing life insurance protection for everyday working people. Today, through a combination of innovative products, exceptional investment management and a unique distribution strategy, Security Benefit is a leader in a full range of retirement markets and wealth segments in the U.S. 

Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita, has been announced as the 2016 Ad Astra award winner. Each year during the Annual Dinner, the Kansas Chamber hands out the Ad Astra Award, an honor presented to a business that exemplifies both business and civic excellence within the state. The Ad Astra Award is designed to recognize a Kansas business for its unique contribution to the economic health and welfare of the state.  

"Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world's largest independent producers of commercial aerostructures. They continuously share their success with the community and are truly one of Kansas' homegrown companies. We are proud to give the Ad Astra award to a company of such a caliber as theirs," said Kansas Chamber President and CEO Mike O'Neal.

All events for the Annual Dinner will take place at the Kansas Expocentre's Exhibition Hall in Topeka, KS.  The VIP Reception (for VIP guests) will begin at 4:30pm, General Reception (for all attendees) at 5:30pm, dinner and program at 6:30pm.  The attire for the evening is business.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Emily Mitchell at emilym@kansaschamber.org.