March 3, 2016

Entrepreneurs Unite With Equity Bank and the Wichita Business Journal

Equity Bank was excited to join the mass of local professionals gathered last week for a panel discussion about entrepreneurialism.

Leading the discussion were panelists:

  • Kylie Stupka, President or Youth Entrepreneurs
  • Bruce Rowley, CEO of RSA Marketing
  • Brad Elliott, CEO of Equity Bank
  • Gary Oborny, CEO of Occidental Management

According to a recent Wichita Business Journal (WBJ) article, the panel (assembled by the WBJ) was offered up to the “inaugural class of Emerging Leaders,” as each drew from their own personal journeys — sharing what they’ve learned along the way.

One example was the story Brad Elliott shared about his time at Koch Industries Inc. He explained how in the late 1990’s, Charles Koch was being pushed to emulate Enron. At the time, Enron was “riding high,” but Koch refused saying he didn’t understand how they were doing it.

“He didn’t know why they were going to fail, he just knew he didn’t understand it,” Elliott said. Then, a few years later, the accounting fraud Enron was committing unraveled and the corporation declared bankruptcy. 

This story shed light on very one important trait found in many successful entrepreneurs — their ability to recognize and avoid sometimes not so obvious failures.

Here are a few other key takeaways from the event:

“It’s solving problems for profit. That’s what an entrepreneur does.”

– Kylie Stupka, Youth Entrepreneurs

“You learn more from the failures than you do your successes.”

– Brad Elliott, Equity Bank

“Successful entrepreneurs also think outside the box. We have to create an environment (in Wichita) where being an entrepreneur is acceptable. Sometimes you have to color outside of the lines.”

– Gary Oborny, Occidental Management

For more about the WBJ event, visit

Photo by Kellen Jenkins of the Wichita Business Journal

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