Lyndon Wells hopes to use leadership experiences to improve city

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Lyndon Wells hopes to use leadership experiences to improve city

Lyndon

Lyndon "Lyndy" Wells, a WSU Tech board member, is running for mayor.

Audrey Korte

Lyndon "Lyndy" Wells, a WSU Tech board member, is running for mayor.

Audrey Korte

Audrey Korte

Lyndon "Lyndy" Wells, a WSU Tech board member, is running for mayor.

Lyndon “Lyndy” Wells is new to politics. Though he’s never held office, he said he does have experience working on legislative issues, related to his work in finance.

He was the government relations contact for INTRUST bank for six years, helping ensure that INTRUST kept up to date with banking legislation. 

“There were usually state or federal issues, for example in 2010 the Dodd-Frank financial legislation was passed by Congress in Washington and that impacted banks pretty dramatically,” Wells said. 

Beyond the experiences with financial policy and legislation, Wells doesn’t claim to have much first-hand experience with politics. What he does have, however, is over four decades of community leadership experience, such as serving on the WSU Tech Board of Directors as the chair.

Wells, 67, grew up in Newton and graduated from Newton High School in 1969. He then graduated from Hastings College in Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1973.

Wells said he worked at a bank in Nebraska after college for five years before meeting his wife Marty. 

“We fell in love and got married. She was pregnant with our first child, and my dad’s insurance agency partner in Newton passed away, and he invited me to come to Newton and join him in the agency,” he said.

Wells left the bank and returned to the greater Wichita area to do insurance for five years. Then the local bank sold. 

“They invited me to come over there and be the community bank president,” Wells said.

From 1982 to 1997, Wells was the community bank president at what became known as Bank IV. 

For the next two years, he worked for Nations Bank/Bank of America and in 1999 and later went to work for INTRUST bank in Wichita where he worked for the next 17 years. He served in many positions at the bank including as the Division Director of Public Affairs.

Family ties 

Wells father, Brad, served on the city commission in Newton, where he also served as mayor. 

Brad was also one of the founders of what is now known as the Central Kansas Community Foundation and his work for that foundation made an impact not only on the community but on Wells’ ideas about the importance of community involvement and outreach. 

After his father died Wells and his wife moved back to Wichita to be close to his mother so she wouldn’t be alone, Wells said.

“In every community I’ve been in, I’ve been active in the Economic Development and Community Development. In each of these communities, bankers need to be involved in order to be effective, to know where the opportunities are, and to lend money into market opportunities that help grow the community,” Wells said. 

Now Wells and wife Marty have three grown children and five grandchildren.

“I retired two years ago from INTRUST back and was there 17 years, and I’m not quite ready to completely retire,” Wells said. “I feel like I’ve got the energy and the interest to give back.”

Wells said he wants to use his skills and experiences to help grow the community.

“It’s natural for me to lend these leadership experiences back to the city during this period in my life.”

Wells said he thinks Wichita governance needs change. Though he credited Mayor Jeff Longwell for his hard work at making a name for Wichita and better connecting the city to the larger nation, he said he doesn’t favor many of Longwell’s methods.

When asked what he’d do differently, Wells said transparency was a critical issue. 

“I think we need to open up the public process more than it has been in the current administration,” he said. “I think there are a lot of decisions being made that are not fully disclosed or seeking input from the community, and I think transparency of those decisions when you’re spending taxpayer dollars is critical.”

Another issue for Wells is making sure that as Wichita continues to expand and improve, it doesn’t do so in an unbalanced way. He said he thinks that the city needs to expand its view to ensure that the improvement to downtown doesn’t crowd out other areas that also need to grow and change.

“Downtown can be a living room for our community, and it’s important that we continue to emphasize downtown, however, we can’t do it at the exclusion of the rest of us,” Wells said. “We need to consider the entire city when we look at strategic planning.”