Travel to Phoenix, Arizona with Topeka’s delegation to the National CEOs for Cities annual meeting. You’ll network with delegations from 75 cities, many of them our peers. You’ll learn what Phoenix and others are doing in crucial areas such as sustainability, place making and more. Spaces are limited, register online here.

Your fee includes:

  • Conference Registration
  • Hotel accommodations with the Topeka delegation
  • Evening dinners with peer cities, arranged by the Topeka Chamber

The cost of attending is $900. Each delegate is responsible for their airfare to Phoenix. Plan to arrive on Monday, October 30 between noon and 4 p.m. and depart on Wednesday, November 1 after 2:30 p.m.

Tentative Schedule

Monday, October, 30

12 – 7 p.m. – Registration

6 p.m. – Welcome Reception
Location: Adams Street Celebration (outside the Renaissance Hotel)
Lee Fisher,
senior advisor, CEOs for Cities
Duke Reiter, executive director, University City Exchange, ASU
Devney Preuss, executive director, Phoenix Community Alliance

Tuesday, October 31
Location: Beus Center for Law & Society

8 a.m. – Welcome Remarks
Lee Fisher, senior advisor, CEOs for Cities
Bob Milbourne, chair, CEOs for Cities Board
Duke Reiter, executive director, University City Exchange, ASU

8:15 a.m. – The ASU/Phoenix Model, an Unprecedented Partnership

9:15 a.m. – Pittsburgh & Paris, Why Cities Matter More Than Ever

10:15 a.m. – Break

10:30 a.m. – Is the Southern Tier of the U.S. the Most Compelling Window on the Future?

11:30 a.m. – Phoenix, ASU and Related Partnerships

12:30 p.m. – Lunch

1 p.m. – Keynote

2:30 p.m. – Field Trips

6 p.m. – Evening Reception // Heard Museum

7 p.m. – The future of the Suburban City

8 p.m. – Dinner in Phoenix

Wednesday, November 1
Renaissance Hotel North Ballroom

8 a.m. – Welcome Remarks
Lee Fisher, CEOs for Cities
Brian Payne, vice chair, CEOs for Cities Board
Duke Reiter, executive director, University City Exchange, ASU

8:30 a.m. – Who are We? What is a Community? How Will We Live and Thrive?

9:45 a.m. – Break

10 a.m. – The City as Subject: Arts, Culture, Inclusion & Sustainability

11 a.m. – Lightning Round: Centers of Innovation for Prosperity

12 p.m. – Lunch

12:30 p.m. – Closing Lunch & Keynote

2 p.m. – Closing Remarks
Lee Fisher, CEOs for Cities

To learn more about each session click here.


Prior Inter-City Visit Locations: 

Each year the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce takes a delegation to a peer community to learn more about what they are doing in crucial areas that are similar to what Topeka & Shawnee County have. Below are the findings of those trips.

2016 Des Moines, Iowa
2013  Fargo/West Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN

2012  Fort Collins, CO

2011  Greenville, SC

2010 Oklahoma City, OK
2009 The Quad Cities, IA & IL
2008 Des Moines, Iowa
2007 Sioux City, IA & Sioux Falls, SD
2006 Little Rock, Arkansas
2005 Columbus, Ohio and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
2004 Lincoln and Omaha, NE
2003 Oklahoma City, OK
2002 Springfield, MO

Click link for final report from each city.


Notable outcomes from prior visits:  

  • Renewed efforts to revitalize downtown Topeka and importance of amenities to attract private investment, housing and people
  • Move forward to create NOTO Arts District
  • Importance of “quality of life” in economic development recruiting of businesses and workers
  • Regional marketing for economic development – Topeka Chamber working with chambers from Manhattan and Lawrence on regional initiative
  • Develop a master-plan for Kansas Riverfront development
  • Include advocacy for highway re-development bordering downtown and the riverfront as part of downtown and riverfront development
  • Creating community Visioning to develop a shared vision and plan for the community
  • Support Complete Streets program
  • Importance of strong young professional program to impact community growth and business development
  • Involving young professionals in community boards and decision-making
  • City’s development review committee
  • Erecting signs indicating street improvements are a result of voters sales tax initiatives
  • Creation of highway gateway beautification program and wayfinding program
  • Utilizing scientific polling to gage interest in ballot issues
  • Created the Topeka Social Ambassador program to promote positive news on social media