A publication of the
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce
B U S I N E S S
Vo l u m e 4 2
Renowned Kansas Entrepreneur
No. 5 To Keynote Awards Breakfast
Chuck Comeau, known nationally for his luxury
furniture designs and regionally for his renovation
Small Business Networking Breakfast
of Hays’ historic downtown, will keynote the 27th Wednesday, May 9, 2007 • 7:30 a.m.
annual Small Business Awards breakfast Ramada
Wednesday, May 23, at 7:30 a.m. in the Washburn $10.00 per person
Room of the Washburn Memorial Union. The 2007 Business After Hours
Tuesday, May 15, 2007 • 5-7 p.m.
Topeka/Shawnee County Small Businesses John Hoffer Chrysler & Jeep, 3220 S Topeka Blvd
of the Year will be announced and No cost to attend
honored during the event. Leadership Greater Topeka Graduation
Comeau, born and raised in western Wednesday, May 16, 2007 • 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Kansas, describes himself as “co-founder, Ramada
$25.00 per person
co-owner, CEO, CFO, creative and
Small Business Awards Breakfast
marketing director of Dessin Fournir Wednesday, May 23, 2007 • 7:30 a.m.
Company Holdings, a holding company Washburn Union
based in Plainville, Kansas that owns and $25.00 per person
manages six renowned home furnishing, Fast Forward Networking Social
Wednesday, May 23, 2007 • 5-7 p.m.
design, and manufacturing firms for the Senne & Company, 2001 NW Highway 24
wholesale trade market.” Indeed, the word No cost to attend
• Chuck Comeau,CEO, CFO, Fast Forward is for young professionals, 20-40 years
creative and marketing “renowned” is no exaggeration. In 2005, old, who work for Chamber member firms.
director of Dessin Fournir House and Garden magazine named
Chamber Speed Marketing
Company Holdings Comeau a “new Tastemaker,” one of 50 Thursday, May 24, 2007 • 2:30 p.m.
people to watch nationwide in the design Jul’s Cocktails and Grill
industry. Purchasers of his luxury pieces $49.00 to attend
include Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, and Bill Gates. First Step FastTrac Graduation—Class #12
Thursday, May 31, 2007 • 6:30 p.m.
Dessin Fournir Company Holdings also owns C.S. Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
RSVP to Deborah Dawkins, 266-6107.
Post & Co., a nationally recognized retail concept
store located in the historic downtown of Hays. Call the Chamber, 234-2644, or e-mail the Chamber
at firstname.lastname@example.org, to make your
With a passion for design, architecture, history, and
reservations for any of these Chamber events.
his Northwest Kansas heritage, Comeau is president
continued on page 2
Keynote Awards Breakfast continued from page 1
and founder of Liberty Group, Inc., the Comeau continues to live and build his
primary developer charged with the businesses in the small rural community of
renovation and management of over 20 Plainville, about 25 miles from Hays. Comeau
buildings in the Chestnut Street District of explains: “My family and I have enjoyed the
Hays’ historic downtown. benefits of this community our entire lives,
we were raised here and have chosen to
Comeau’s entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t stop
raise our own families here so we feel we
there. He is also one of the founders and
have an obligation to the community to help
owners of the Chestnut Street Food Group,
rebuild the economy in any way we can.”
Comeau’s “first foray into another long-time
passion for food and entertainment.” He Comeau, a graduate of Fort Hays State
describes his Gella’s Diner and Lb. Brewing University, spent the first 15 years of his
Company in the Chestnut Street District as professional life in projects ranging from oil
“nothing less than a remarkable dining and to agriculture to financial services. In 1993
entertainment experience, known for its Comeau decided it was time to do something
regionally inspired menu, its award-winning he “truly enjoyed.”
handcrafted beer, its innovative interiors and
Tickets for the Small Business Awards
its genuine, heartfelt commitment to
breakfast are $25 per person and can
be purchased by calling the Chamber
Workforce Center Supports
Ex-offenders And Their Employers
This is the third of a series of articles about resources for employers at the Topeka Workforce Center.
Story by Sharon Boranyak
One part of the workforce population faces special
challenges -- individuals who have been
incarcerated and want to reenter the workforce.
Heartland Works and the Topeka Workforce Center
have partnered with the Kansas Department of
Corrections (KDOC) to help former offenders and to
connect employers to special incentives for hiring
“Returning offenders are an untapped resource for
our business community,” says Jim Chastain,
Offender Workforce Development Coordinator for
the Kansas Department of Corrections. “We have
developed a comprehensive strategy for teaching
workforce developers how to make solid • Among the staff for the Department of Corrections involved in
connections that benefit both returning offenders and working with the Shawnee County Reentry Program are (left
the employers who hire them.” to right) Don Schwartz, Parole Supervisor; Terry Hund,
Director of Community Volunteer Resource Development; Tish
Successful Outcomes Turner, Site Coordinator for Freedom Education; and
“Offenders confront many barriers when they reenter Jonathan Ogletree, SCRP Program Director.
society,” says Jonathan Ogletree, program director,
continued on page 3
2. Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007
Workforce Center continued from page 2
Shawnee County Reentry program, “barriers in the areas of mission is to help ex-offenders find gainful employment
employment, education, finances, housing, too much once former offenders reenter society. To better serve ex-
spare time, negative thinking, friends who are not offenders and their employers, the specialists receive
interested in the ex-offender’s recovery, and family issues.” specialized training and certifications.
Preparing offenders for their return to the workforce is a
The Department of Corrections uses Offender Workforce
key to successful offender reentry, he adds. According to
Development Specialist (OWDS) training, says Ogletree.
the U.S. Department of Justice, employment stability is
The training, designed by the National Institute of Justice,
often the most important factor in offenders becoming
is offered to people whose jobs involve workforce
development and job preparedness. Participants are
The reentry program has gotten excellent results, Ogletree trained in 12 competencies and receive instruction to train
says. The recidivism rate is less than 20% among other employment service providers in the field.
participants in the program; otherwise, the rate is 50% or continued on page 4
higher, he says.
Ogletree relayed two success stories of
Reentry Program participants:
• A long-time drug addict is now in
recovery and has stayed the course and has
remained clean for several years. When she
was released from the correctional facility,
she got a job at a local sandwich shop. She
is still at that shop and is now the manager.
Before participating in the program, she
never held a job more than 6 months and
had no contact with her family. Now, she’s
a grandmother and has reconnected, and is
very involved with, her family.
• Another former offender had been in
prison 15 years and found employment as
a graphic artist within the first week of his
release. One year later he is still working
for the company and is doing well in his
job. He is now buying his first home.
“Our mission is to contribute to public
safety,” says Kansas Secretary of Corrections
Roger Werholtz. “The experts tell us that
when offenders have stable jobs, they are
less likely to re-offend, so we need to work
with our community and agency partners to
make that happen.”
Trained Specialists E.N.T Surgical Center and Medical Office Building
On the third floor of the Topeka Workforce Dr. Michael Franklin (pictured above) led groundbreaking ceremonies April 12 for the
Center, 1430 SW Topeka, specialists from the Excell E.N.T Surgical Center and Medical Office Building (pictured top) at the
Kansas Department of Corrections and other northeast corner of 10th and Lane. Stormont-Vail HealthCare and Topeka Ear Nose
agencies support ex-offenders and their Throat physicians have partnered to build the two-floor 24,000 square foot facility. The
employers. The specialists range from parole facility, which features two procedure rooms for outpatient ear, nose and throat
surgeries, was designed by HMN Architects of Overland Park. Ferrell Construction
officers and caseworkers, to coordinators of Topeka, Inc. is the general contractor. The facility is expected to be complete in
who arrange for online courses toward a late 2007. Topeka ENT was founded in 1997 and has grown to three physicians, two
high school diploma, to specialists whose physician assistants, two audiologists, two speech pathologists, six nurses and 20
additional staff members. A fourth physician will join the group later this year.
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007 3.
Workforce Center continued from page 3
Reentry Program for “Higher-Risk” Offenders interested in,” Ogletree says. Offenders are also beginning
Closely aligning with the OWDS training program is the to use the JobFit system, which is becoming popular
Shawnee County Reentry Program (SCRP) for the among Topeka-area employers (see the March Topeka
“higher-risk” offenders. A research-based assessment Business). Ogletree says the JobFit system will further
received by all offenders in the KDOC determines the increase the probability that ex-offenders will stick with,
level of risk. Ogletree emphasizes that “higher-risk” and succeed in, their jobs.
identifies those who, based on this assessment, have a
Tax Credits for Employers
higher probability of returning to prison either from a
Employers who hire the former offenders can earn up to
violation of their parole or committing a new crime.
$2,400 in Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTCs) for
Through the efforts of the reentry program and the KDOC,
each ex-offender they hire. To qualify for the incentive,
they are looking at those risk areas and trying to reduce
employers must hire the former offender within one year
the risk through active case management efforts.
of release from incarceration and the offender must have
How the Program Works worked at least 400 hours before the employer gets the
SCRP participants are housed at Lansing (male) or Topeka tax credit. The tax credit can be pro-rated if an ex-
Correctional Facility (female) and plan to return to offender ends up working less than 400 hours, Ogletree
Shawnee County, Ogletree says. The SCRP assists says. He added that the Kansas Department of Commerce
offenders beginning 14 months before they are to be offers assistance to employers in completing the
released and continues to assist well after offenders paperwork. Related to the WOTC is the Welfare-to-Work
reenter the community. Participants work with their Tax Credit (WtWTC) for hiring long-term family
communities, social support systems, and families to gain assistance recipients.
the necessary skills to transition into society and remain
The Federal Fidelity Bonding Program covers theft,
Staff-Volunteer Partnerships forgery, larceny, and embezzlement, and is available free
The SCRP has a paid staff of Case Manager Advocates of charge to employers who hire ex-offenders. The
(CMAs) who work with participants to determine their bonding services also are available for any at-risk job
risks and needs. SCRP also relies on volunteers to serve applicant including ex-addicts, welfare recipients and other
on an accountability panel, facilitate classes, and serve as persons having poor credit, poor youth who lack a work
mentors to program participants. Ogletree says the history, individuals dishonorably discharged from the
program is in need of more volunteers—especially military and others. “Job bonding enables employers to
mentors. obtain worker skills without taking the risk,” says
Ogletree. Under the Federal Bonding Program, persons
Benefits and Incentives for Employers Who Hire Ex-
who had not been bondable before can ultimately become
commercially bondable for life by demonstrating job
Ogletree emphasizes that Offender Workforce
honesty during the six months of bond coverage offered
Development Specialist (OWDS) training and reentry
under the program.
(SCRP) programs provide employers monitoring and
continued on page 5
assessment support from the trained specialists, as well as
financial incentives from State and Federal sources.
The Kansas Department of Corrections conducts routine
urinalysis and drug screening for ex-offenders who reenter
the workforce. The KDOC also tracks program
participants’ progress and informs employers about issues
should they arise, such as parole violations or drug use,
The Kansas Department of Corrections uses several
assessment tools to match offenders with employment
opportunities. Interest assessments are given to offenders
prior to their release from prison to determine job
interests. “They will be more stable in a job they are
4. Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007
Workforce Center continued from page 4
“The bonding program is employer-friendly,” says Ogletree. ex-offenders. Tish Turner, Site Coordinator for Freedom
“There is virtually no paperwork or other administrative Education, and other trained specialists, assist participants
burden, it’s free of charge, and there is no deductible in who take the courses on computers on the third floor of
bond insurance amount if employee dishonesty occurs.” the Workforce Center.
High School Diploma Completion For more information about benefits to businesses that hire
Finally, employers benefit from the educational support former offenders, or to volunteer for the Shawnee County
provided ex-offenders receive at the Topeka Reentry Program (SCRP), please contact Jonathan
Workforce Center. The Freedom Education program Ogletree at 291-3203.
is a high school diploma completion program for
Washburn SBDC Hosts
International Business Fellow
Claudia Pompa Schaerer, a business professional from Paraguay has 80,000 student participants and 2,000
Paraguay, has joined the Washburn University Small volunteers, Pompa points out. The widely recognized Junior
Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Achievement logo is prominently displayed on Pompa’s
Chamber/GO Topeka staff for a six-week fellowship with business card.
the Business Fellows Program. Pompa, who helped to
establish the first business incubator in Paraguay, is The incubator Pompa manages has 30 clients, including
working with “Small Biz One-Stop” clients, staff, and “physical and non-physical,” the physical businesses
volunteers to gain new ideas being housed at the incubator, and the non-physical
for Paraguay’s small business clients receiving services for business at other locations.
development programs, as Both types of clients pay a monthly fee that covers all
well as share her expertise services such as accounting, attorney’s fees, training
with Washburn and the seminars, and so on. Most of the incubator clients are
Chamber/GO Topeka. between the ages of 20 and 30, she adds.
The Business Fellows Pompa says she is impressed with how the Washburn
Program was initiated by SBDC, the Topeka Chamber, and SCORE volunteers at the
Partners of the Americas One-Stop work together to provide business education,
with funds from the State consulting, and access to funding, and how those services
Department. The program are tailored to each individual or business. “You would
promotes greater have to pay consultants high fees” for the services offered
understanding of issues free of charge at the One-Stop, she says. “Most impressive
• Claudia Pompa Schaerer, are how community-focused the programs are and how
Paraguay, Washburn University related to international well the services are tailored to the clients’ needs.”
Small Business Development business and economic
Center growth and to forge and
strengthen long-term institutional linkages between the
private sectors of the U.S. and Latin America through the
exchange of technical resources and expertise.
Pompa is business incubator coordinator for Fundacion
Paraguaya, which runs three interconnected programs—a
micro-credit program that provides small-scale loans, typically
less than $1000, to 20,000 low-income entrepreneurs; a
self-sufficient organic farm school, the only self-sufficient
agricultural school known in the world; and Junior
Achievement, the international program that prepares
students from elementary school through high school and
beyond for the world of business. Junior Achievement in
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007 5.
Copies-On-Time: The “Timely” Printing Experts
Whether you need business forms, business
cards, letterhead, brochures, newsletters,
folding, binding, or mailing, “The ‘Timely’
Printing Experts” is a tagline that Jeff Taylor
takes very seriously for his business, Copies-
on-Time, 2855 S Kansas Ave. “Timely” not
only means getting copies to the customer on
time, but keeping up with the fast-moving
Streamlining and Simplifying with
“We’re literally changing how Topeka gets
printing done,” says Taylor. “With the
advancements in technology and the
effectiveness of computers, successful print
shops have evolved into print-on-demand
centers and people are increasingly using the
Internet to submit their printing projects. Our
goal is to enable customers to do business • Jeff Taylor (center), founder/president of Copies-On-Time, takes
with us without ever leaving their desks.” a moment to review the day's schedule with staff members Michael
Rush (left), sales/delivery, and Matt Grove, graphics/production.
Not pictured are Lois Taylor and Travis Linder.
To help achieve this goal, Jeff and his wife Lois
Taylor, have recently increased their staff and updated Accommodating Each Customer
their printing and computer equipment. “Because we Businesses and individuals, who aren’t quite ready for
are in a high-tech industry, equipment and computer the cutting-edge way of submitting a print project via
upgrades have almost become routine for us,” says the World Wide Web, can always bring their jobs
Taylor. They have a full-time Production Manager/ through the more common and traditional media.
Graphic Designer on staff, and are in the process of “We’ve even had customers bring in hand-written text
hiring a Sales/Delivery person as well as a full-time that we’ll key in for them,” says Taylor. “The needs of
General Manager. Recent purchases of Konica Minolta each business and individual are unique,” he added,
high-speed and high-resolution color and black-and- “and each project receives our commitment to
white printers have propelled Copies-On-Time to new individualized quality service.”
levels of production capabilities. “These printers will
revolutionize printing for businesses of all sizes in Recognizing the unique needs of each customer,
Topeka,” says Taylor. Copies-On-Time offers graphic design services onsite.
Travis Linder, who learned and tutored graphic design
“We are within weeks of implementing a process that at Washburn and Kansas State University, provides as
will allow customers the convenience of clicking the much professional design service as the customer
Copies-on-Time “Power Button” on their computer and needs. Many of the national chains have “exported”
printing directly to our print center—no matter what graphic design services outside of the United States,
quantity. Our equipment will create a portable digital Linder points out. This trend has “decreased
file (.pdf) of the print job for the customers to quickly personalization” for the customer. Linder says a
preview before printing the job. Customers will not need customer recently came into the store wanting business
to purchase additional software to make all this happen. cards made and asked for his “book” of business card
In just a few hours, in many instances, the project can designs. “She was pleasantly surprised she could get a
be delivered right to your business or home.” continued on page 7
6. Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007
member Profile continued from page 6
logo custom-designed for her business as well as received a degree in Business/Marketing from Emporia
receive professional consultation on corporate image State University, has 20 years of experience in the
from a visual marketing standpoint.” printing industry. He says he started his own business
because of his passion for customer service and
Widening the Customer Base consistent quality. “I had a vision for a better, faster
Taylor started the business “on a shoestring” seven years print option for the Topeka area,” says Taylor. “That
ago as a commercial print shop at Southgate Industrial vision is now coming true.”
Park, handling a few large commercial accounts. After a
couple years at that location, Taylor decided Topeka And how did Jeff Taylor come up with the name for
was ready for Copies-on-Time to take a more “retail- his business? “It has always been my opinion that if the
type” direction, opening up to businesses of all sizes as computer tools and resources available in today’s print
well as the entire community. He chose the current environment were merged with the talents and skills
location near 29th and Kansas (next to Radio Shack) of people with a passion for excellence, then
because of its easy access “from almost any direction.” individuals and businesses alike would demand their
Taylor, who grew up in the Shawnee Heights area and ‘Copies-On-Time!’”
During 2007, a Chamber member firm will be featured in Topeka Business each month. Company names
will be drawn quarterly by the membership department from Chamber membership labels.
Communications specialist Sharon Boranyak will write the company profiles.
Networking Breakfast Planned
Jolene Savage, owner of Social Graces, will give the keynote address for the
May 9 Small Business Networking Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Ramada. Social
Graces provides developmental skills that enhance an individual’s personal
civility to achieve his or her personal and professional goals. Tickets are
$10.00; reservations and payment must be received by November 7. This
event is sponsored by the Chamber/GO Topeka and the Topeka/Shawnee
County Purchasing Roundtable.
• Jolene Savage, Social Graces
HAWKINS LEGACY JAZZ FESTIVAL
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO
June 1, 2 and 3rd, at Topeka Harley Davidson, music lovers from all around
the region will visit the capital city of Kansas to enjoy “FREE”, live entertainment
all weekend long at the 12th Annual Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival.
Latin and classic jazz, as well as blues performers will take the stage
beginning Friday night then culminating on Sunday evening.
Headliners include Poncho Sanchez, Marcia Ball and Javon Jackson.
For more information on vendor booths and the weekend’s lineup
please visit www.hawkinsjazzfest.com.
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007 7.
Remember to call the Chamber ... and let us know the date of your firm’s or organization’s next big event. The
Chamber’s Community Calendar is a SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY, keeping track of major community events to
avoid “double” scheduling. Call 234-2644 or visit the calendar at www.topekachamber.org and send your
event information by email.
DeFries Elected Chair-Elect
Lucky DeFries, attorney with Coffman DeFries Nothern PA, has been elected
chairman-elect of the GO Topeka Board of Directors. DeFries has served as
chairman and vice chair of government affairs for the Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors.
Small Business Resource Directory Available • Lucky DeFries,
The Chamber, in cooperation with the Washburn Small Business Development Center, offers a Small Northern PA
Business Resource Directory that is available free of charge to individuals interested in starting a new
business in our community. If you or someone you know is considering starting a small business, stop
by the Chamber office and pick up a directory. The directory is sponsored by PTMW, Inc. during 2007.
Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel
The Penwell-Gabel Southwest Chapel officially opened April 13 at 37th and SW Wanamaker. The Newcomer family owns the Chapel
which is designed to assist families in Topeka and offers state-of-the-art audio-visual systems and Internet technology. The 9,800 square
foot facility cost about $1.4 million.
8. Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007
Monthly Economic Indicators For The Topeka Area Economy
Topeka MSA (five counties)
Civilian Labor Force February January
Total 123,101 123,627
Employed 116,298 117,214
Unemployed 6,805 6,413
Unemployment Rate 5.5% 5.2%
Employment (In Thousands) February January
Non Farm Wage and Salary 2007 2007
Natural Resources/Construction 5.3 5.8
Manufacturing 7.9 7.8
Trade, Transportation, Warehouse, Utilities 20.3 20.3
Information 2.5 2.5
Finance Activities 7.6 7.5
Professional & Business Services 8.4 8.5
Education & Health Services 17.4 17.0
Leisure & Hospitality 7.5 7.5
Other Services 5.2 5.2 SendOutCards
Government 28.1 28.1 Jeff Lees, an independent distributor for SendOutCards, worked
with his wife Tara to demonstrate how cards can easily be sent to
Total 110.2 110.2 clients and prospects. Ribbon cutting ceremonies were March 30
at 2930 SW Wanamaker Dr., Suite 6. SendOutCards is a way to
Footnote: These numbers reflect the five-county MSA. Comparing these use personalized, hand-written cards as part of your marketing
and sales efforts. Contact Jeff at 845-5416.
figures with 2004 and prior years is not advisable.
Construction Permit Information February January YTD February YTD Thinking Of Adding
City of Topeka 2007 2007 2007 2006 2006 Employees Or
New Residential Permits 13 na 31 28 59 Expanding Your
New Multi-Family Residential Permits 0 na 2 1 2 Facility?
Value, New Residential Units $2,315,000 na $8,744,560 $5,301,500 $11,075,500
There may be $$$ available to
New Commercial Units 1 na 4 4 13 you in the form of tax incentives,
Value, New Commercial Units 500,000 na $5,180,000 $3,928,000 $14,733,100 small business microloans, or
New, Commercial Alterations 20 na 59 39 68 employee on-the-job training
Value, Commercial Alterations $2,748,740 na $10,535,148 $4,130,093 $6,157,669
Call GO Topeka at YOUR Greater
Construction Permit Information February January YTD February YTD Topeka Chamber of Commerce for
Unincorporated Shawnee County 2007 2007 2007 2006 2006 more details — 234-2644.
New Residential Permits 17 10 27 20 41 • Kathy Moellenberndt -
Value, New Residential Units $4,220,400 $1,824,000 $6,044,400 $4,465,950 $8,451,549 Vice President/Director
New Commercial Buildings 0 0 0 0 0 Economic Development
Value, New Commercial Buildings $0 $0 $0 0 $0 • Jo Beilman - Manager,
New, Commercial Alterations 1 1 2 1 1 Business Development
Value, Commercial Alterations $11,090,000 $150,000 $11,240,000 $50,000 $50,000 • Thomas Officer - Loan Manager
• Dan Schemm - Manager,
Estimated Taxable Sales - Topeka/Shawnee County Business Retention & Expansion
November YTD November YTD
2006 2006 2005 2005
$196,290,514 $2,189,748,858 $187,192,807 $2,111,039,989
Source: Kansas Department of Revenue
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007 9.
The Big Read Gets Topeka/Shawnee
County “Fired Up” About Reading
The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library invites To Become a Partner
you to “set fire to your passion for reading” with more than a Book discussion kits are available. The ready-to-use kits
dozen community events in May and June built around include 10 copies of the book, reading guides, and taped
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s classic novel that explores interviews with Bradbury biographer, Sam Weller. Also
issues of censorship, independent available are opportunities for
thought, and free speech. These businesses and organizations to
events are part of The Big Read, become community partners in
an initiative in partnership with The Big Read.
the National Endowment for the
Arts that encourages literary “Any business and organization is
reading by asking communities welcome to become a partner,”
to come together to read and says Marie Pyko, public services
discuss one book. manager, adult and youth services
at TSCPL. “We are open to getting
The Topeka and Shawnee as many community partners as
County Public Library (TSCPL) possible. Last year’s Big Read was
was one of only 10 communities a phenomenal success with over
chosen last year to spearhead 90 community partners. We’re
The Big Read as a pilot program. building on that success this year.”
This year, Topeka is one of 100 communities chosen
nationwide to receive grants to promote and implement four- Among the partners in this year’s Big Read are the Topeka
to-six-week community-based programs to encourage reading Chamber, WIBW Channel 13, Topeka Capital-Journal, State
by youth and adults. Library of Kansas, and the communities of Syracuse, Junction
City/Fort Riley, Wichita, and Hiawatha.
Community events include librarian-led book discussions and
multimedia presentations for youth and adults. The events For more information about getting involved in The Big
culminate in a live interview with Ray Bradbury, author of Read, contact Marie Pyko at 785-580-4560 or at
Fahrenheit 451, on Sunday, June 17, 3:00 p.m. at Marvin email@example.com.
Auditorium at the library. (For a complete schedule of Big
Read events, please go to www.tscpl.org/thebigread/451 or
About the Book
Written in 1953, Fahrenheit 451’s central character Guy
Montag, a fireman whose job is to burn books to keep the
written word and critical thinking from intruding on people’s
daily lives. Montag discovers that society places no value on
the life of the individual, the intellectual, or the inquisitive.
When his family, his job, and ultimately his life are
endangered, he finds he must choose a new path.
Lyn Weichert and Jennifer Lutz-Michael, co-owners of Creative Art
Photography & Gallery, 307 S. Kansas, assisted by Topeka Mayor
Bill Bunten, cut the ribbon for their new gallery April 6. Creative
Art Photography & Gallery is a photo studio that covers the changes
in an individual’s or families’ life. Lyn and Julie specialize in
photography of children, families, mothers-to-be, and
graduations. Creative Art Photography & Gallery
10. Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007
Congresswoman Nancy Boyda
Chamber/GO Topeka President & CEO Doug Kinsinger presented Congresswoman Nancy Boyda a photograph by Dave Mathias of the
Topeka skyline at a Chamber Federal Forum April 12. FHLBank Topeka sponsored the forum.
The Jewelry Box & Gifts
Cheri Rowe, owner of The Jewelry Box & Gifts, 2900 SW Oakley, Suite N,
gave tours of her shop following ribbon cutting ceremonies April 10. The shop
has beads and jewelry items and offers workshops for those that enjoy beading.
Local artists sell their products, the owners will make special orders, or help
customers with special “wants” for jewelry items. The shop also carries a wide
variety of homemade fudge.
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007 11.
Thanks to those Chamber member firms and organizations that have renewed their commitment to the growth and development of the Greater
Topeka community through Chamber membership.
Advantage Print Source Gizmo Pictures National Bank of Kansas City Studio Furniture
American Heart Association/ Goering Family Optometry Nationwide Learning Inc TBS Electronics, Inc.
Heartland Affiliate Brian Green Agency Inc OFG Financial Teamsters Local Union #696
American Pre-Sort, Inc. Hall Publications, Inc. Paper Stock Dealers Topeka Blueprint & Supply Co.
AmeriSuites Drs. Hamilton & Wilson, D.D.S. Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home The Topeka Capital-Journal
Arab Shriners Hanover Pancake House Perkins Restaurant & Bakery Topeka Collegiate School
Asay’s Sportsman's Store HDB Construction, Inc. Pinegar, Smith & Associates Inc. Topeka Country Club
Associated General Contractors Heart of America Food A Place in Time Topeka Imaging,LLC Open MRI
of Kansas Service L.L.C. Porterfield’s Flowers & Gifts Topeka Spine & Rehab Center,
Bank Barber Shop Hesse Financial Services Positive Steps, Inc. LLC
Chuck Banks Highland Homes Of Topeka, Inc. Prairie Trading Company Topeka Transfer & Storage, Inc.
BCS Consulting Hilco Mortgage Corp. Professional Records Topeka Youth for Christ
The Boat House & RV Center Hillmer’s Luggage, Management Victory Sand Mining &
Budget Blinds of Topeka Leather & Gifts Pulmonary & Sleep Associates Dredging LLC
Busy Bee Cleaning & Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Restoration & Waterproofing Walmart Supercenter
Janitorial Service Subsidiary Colgate-Palmolive Contractors, Inc. Walt’s Auto Body Carstar, Inc.
Camp Dresser & McKee, Inc. INTRUST Bank The Robb Company Western Associates, Inc.
Capital City Bank Iron Workers Local Union No. 10 Schwerdt Contract Interiors, Inc. Wheatland Property Management
Capital City Oil, Inc. Glenn Jagodzinske - NY Life Scotch Fabric Care Services Whelan’s, Inc.
Capital City RV Park Jayhawk File Express, LLC Sertoma Great Topeka Duck Race YWCA
Cardinal, a division of Jersey Mike’s Subs - Downtown Shawnee County Medical Yingling Auto Electric
BG Service Solutions Johnson Controls, Inc. Society, Inc.
Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe Jeanette Johnson-Prudential First, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office
Carpet One REALTORS Real Estate SOS Staffing Services
The Center for Manual Medicine KTMJ-TV/FOX 43 Television Spirit/Spark of the Game
Christian Book & Gift Co. Kansas Electric Supply Co., Inc. Spirit Lake, LLC
City of Character Council Kansas Public Radio Stacey Ink - Writing &
Columbian Bank Kaw Valley Bank Marketing Consultation
Community Action, Inc. Kenny’s Painting
Credit Union 1 of Kansas Kensinger & Associates
Credit Unions United Key Staffing
Curves Southeast F.R.O.G., Inc. KTPK FM Radio - Country reinstatements
Denison State Bank Legends 106.9 Aviva
Topeka Branch La Casa Grande Apts. Chic a Dee Café
Designed Business Interiors, Inc. Lee’s Truck Inc. ILC of Topeka & Lawrence, LLC
Jefferson County Farms, LLC
Discover! Strategies Linweld, Inc. Topeka Metropolitan Transit
Doorstep Inc. Lowe’s Authority
J.E. Dunn Construction Co. March of Dimes
E C Enterprises Marketing Support Group,
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Inc., dba Stephen welcome
EPIC Supply - Environmental Smith Images
Products & Industrial Chemical Midas Auto Service Experts Trent Brown
Farview Farms Meat Company Midland Care Connection, Collection Bureau of Kansas, Inc.
Florence Crittenton Services Inc.
Friends Of The Topeka Zoo,Inc. MRI Center of Kansas Christian Morgan
Gilmore Crane Corp. R.J. “Chip” Munk Insurance Kansas Republican Party
Girl Scouts of Kaw Valley State Farm Agent
Council, Inc. Museum of the Kansas
St. Francis Health Center
12. Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007
Please join the Chamber staff in welcoming these firms and organizations to Chamber membership and support them by buying from your
Chamber colleagues! The following members joined in March 2007 and were approved for membership at the April 2007 Board
of Directors meeting.
Creative Art Photography & Sherwood Animal Clinic
Gallery Veterinary Medicine & Surgery
Photography Studio/Gallery Matt Zupka, DVM Ph.D., President
Lyn Weichert, Co-owner 2025 SW Urish Road
307 S Kansas Ave Topeka, KS 66614
Topeka, KS 66603 785-273-4700
785-354-8780 • Fax: 785-354-8780 Sold by: Risa Flanders,
Sold by: Risa Flanders, Chamber staff
Envy Salon Information Technology Staffing &
Taylor Kern, Owner Darrick Reed, Account Manager
2601 SW 17th St. 7285 W 132nd St., ste 140
Topeka, KS 66604 Overland Park, KS 66213
785-233-5577 913-664-0100 • Fax: 913-338-2435
Sold by: Risa Flanders, Sold by: Sue Buckley, Dynamic
Chamber staff Computer Solutions; Risa Flanders,
5th Street Pub
Lounge/Pub Waddell & Reed
Patrick Armour, Owner Financial Services
435 S Kansas Ave Garrett Keen, Financial Advisor
Topeka, KS 66603 534 S Kansas Ave, Ste 1300 Cabinetry & Millwork Concepts
785-232-5100 Topeka, KS 66603 Ribbon cutting ceremonies for Cabinetry & Millwork Concepts,
Sold by: Risa Flanders, 785-233-6400 3433 NW 18th St., celebrated the completion of a new addition to the
Chamber staff Fax: 785-233-8711 business. Ralph Gutierrez, Jr. is the co-owner and Chamber member.
Sold by: Risa Flanders & Adrianne
Evans, Chamber staff
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007 13.
What qualifies for Business Notations? Tell your Chamber colleagues
about your expansions, new locations, awards and honors, or new
products and services. Sorry, personnel changes or announcements are
not included. Notation information should be e-mailed to Marsha
Sheahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See what Topeka has to offer! The Jayhawk File Express is
Topeka Tourism Alliance has scheduled pleased to announce that
their annual Topeka Tourism Expo May they now offer O’Neil
15, 2007 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Software’s RSWeb®.NET.
Great Overland Station, 701 N Kansas Customizable data entry
Avenue. The Expo, designed to promote screens, instant reporting
tourism in Topeka, will showcase over 40 and even more powerful
area attractions, arts, retail merchandisers, queries are at customer’s
and restaurants. "Enjoy delicious food fingertips. Customers can
from Topeka restaurants, become aware of quickly and easily query
the well known and not so well known the Jayhawk File database;
Topeka historical and fun attractions, order services and supplies;
delight in some of the most unique and schedule pickups and
exceptional art in the Midwest, and deliveries; add new or edit Fast Forward
discover one-of-a-kind merchandisers. existing inventory Suki Willison (left), manager of Uncle Bo’s at the
Ramada, assisted Fast Forward chairman Kim Hinkly
Come and see what Topeka has to offer," information; generate
(right), Merry Maids, with door prizes during the April
says Bette Allen, Alliance Co-chair. The reports; even monitor the Networking Social for young professionals employed by
event is free and open to the public. status of orders. And Chamber member firms.
specializes in the publishing of niche-
because of the flexible Microsoft.NET
Gina Millsap, executive director of market and association magazines, travel-
architecture, Jayhawk File
the Topeka and Shawnee related guides, and other organizational
Express can customize
County Public Library, directories and programs.
language, access queries,
was quoted and featured in
and add/edit dialogues and
the online Library Journal Nos Vemos™ Greetings (“See you later”
reports that meet each customers specific
in March (see www.libraryjournal.com). She is Greetings) was featured in the April 6
needs. For information call 785-232-9443.
quoted “I was looking for a library issue of Gift Shop—Fresh Ideas for
organization that wanted to wow its Peterson Publications, Inc. of Topeka Retailing Success online newsletter.
customers and make them proud.” The has recently begun publication of a new Nos Vemos, owned by Lena Hayden,
article cites her involvement in the magazine, titled Plastics Business, for the has introduced a new generation of all
community, adding more technology, and Mid-America Plastics Partners (MAPP), an occasion greeting cards that combines
allowing her staff to show customers what association located in Indianapolis, Hispanic values with American aspirations.
the library can mean to a community. Indiana. The new publication covers the Fresh and innovative, these greetings
business issues that affect small to provide images that speak to the heart
The Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy
medium-sized plastics processors located with charm and simplicity. For more
held ribbon cutting ceremonies April 14 to
throughout the United States and has a information check out
celebrate the completion of $2.78 million
nationwide circulation of over 10,000. www.nosvemosgreetings.com
of renovations made to the Gage School
Plastics Business is the second national
portion of the complex at 3028 SW 8th. St. Francis Health Center was presented
publication for a business association that
The ceremonies involved donors, theatre the Kansas State Safety Award by
Peterson Publications has launched in the
staff and board members, and Chamber Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary
last 18 months. Peterson Publications
Ambassadors. of Labor Jim Garner April 6. The award
continued on page 15
14. Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007
continued from page 14
recognizes workplace safety and those This year marks Kelly Services’ 30th see how it can help your business. Jeff is
organizations that have achieved 100,000, anniversary serving the Greater Topeka always available to meet with you one
500,000 or 1,000,000 productive hours community. Chamber Diplomat and Kelly on one. Call Jeff Lees at 845-5416.
without a lost-time accident. St. Francis District Manager, Christie Brewster, and Say it better in a Card! Hurry! Offer
surpassed these goals with 3,000,000 her staff partner with customers to fulfill is only good through May 31, 2007.
hours. their staffing needs and help area residents
find employment opportunities. Kelly first Buy a Kansas City Royals 20-Game
Philicia McKee, Keep America Beautiful,
opened its doors to the Greater Topeka Voucher Package and save $140 off
was named a finalist in the Community
community in 1977, and since then has regular game prices! The vouchers can
Enrichment category for the 2007 Northeast
placed thousands of skilled candidates be redeemed for any game this season
Kansas Jefferson Awards. The awards are
with local businesses. The Kelly (excluding the Cardinals series).
sponsored by The Topeka Capital-Journal
office located at 400 Kansas Ave., Packages are just $300 and are
and its Sixty Miles of Adventure partners;
Suite 215, offers temporary, perfect for entertaining clients,
the Chamber/GO Topeka is a 60-mile
temporary to hire, and employee outings or simply
sponsor. McKee is a
direct hire positions spending time with friends and
that range from family. Because of its popularity,
Stormont-Vail HealthCare receptionist and administrative the offer has been extended...but only for
has been named in an assistant to marketing and a limited time! For more information
independent national research study as a light industrial for a wide range of please call Topeka's Royal Lancer Bill John
recipient of the 2007 Distinguished industries. The branch also staffs call at 785-633-6161.
Hospital Award for Patient Safety™, center employees through KellyConnect,
according to Health Grades, the national’s one of the company’s specialized business The YMCA of Topeka is offering Chamber
leading health care ratings company. This services. For more information, please call members a special YMCA/Chamber Rate
distinction reflects Stormont-Vail’s 785-233-0644 or visit from now through September 1, 2007. You
performance among the top five percent www.kellyservices.com. can save $195.00 on the Single Rate
nationally for patient safety outcomes. ($38.00 per month) and you can save $267
Stormont-Vail is one of only 242 hospitals special Member Benefits on the Family Rate ($53.00 per month)
out of nearly 5,000 to receive this with no joining fee. Benefits of
recognition. They are one of only four The Reachtoday.com Team is offering membership include: three convenient
hospitals in Kansas and the only hospital in Chamber members $50.00 in postage full-service locations and Camp Hammond,
Topeka to achieve this distinction this year. and gift cards when you sign up to be a three indoor swimming pools, three
sender of cards. Contact Jeff Lees today complete wellness centers with Cardio
Stacey Herman, Stacey Ink, recently for the specific details! Never forget a Theater and FitLinxx, nine racquetball/
edited Retail Image Workbook: creating a birthday again! Keep yourself directly in handball courts, six gymnasiums, indoor
polished and professional look in your front of your clients and customers. Use running tracks, weights, and more.....PLUS
small retail shop. Authored by Miki Hicks, the automated reminder system. Choose the A.W.A.Y. Program--use of YMCA
previous owner of Freda and Maude’s Gifts the send out date! That’s right; create a facilities in other cities. Call one of the
and Gatherings in the Westboro Mart, the card today to go out when you choose! YMCA branches and indicate you are a
workbook is a how-to guide for This is NOT an e-card. This is mailed Chamber member interested in the
developing a professional store image, through the USPS. You type it; we print it, Special Chamber Rate. Downtown Branch,
creating customer loyalty, marketing, stuff it, seal it, stamp it and send it! Use 354-8591; Kuehne Branch, 233-9815; or
organizing, planning, and more. “This very your own handwriting and signatures. Southwest Branch, 271-7979. (This offer
cool workbook takes the guess work out Great for small businesses, entrepreneurs expires September 1, 2007.)
of how to set up a retail storefront,” says and network marketers. Visit
Herman. To purchase an “eBook” or a www.sendoutcards.com/reachtoday: type
printed binder version of the workbook, reachjeff in the username and
visit www.imageworkbook.com. password for your FREE demonstration to
get in front of this service and product and
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, May 2007 15.
Randy Goldsmith, Membership
Gina Millsap, Marketing
Martha Bartlett-Piland, Leadership
Andy Jetter, Development/GO Topeka
James Davis, Government Relations
Council Vice Chairman
Douglas S. Kinsinger, President & CEO
David Kerr, Immediate Past Chairman
Rick Wienckowski, Treasurer
Carl Koupal, Chairman-Elect
James W. Parrish, Chairman of the Board
May 2007 June 2007
1.....First Step FastTrac Orientation, 1.....GO Topeka Board, 7:30 a.m., CBR
6-7:30 p.m., Topeka and Shawnee 1.....Ambassadors, 12 noon, CBR
County Public Library 7.....Fast Forward Committee, 12 noon, CBR
3.....Fast Forward Committee, 12 noon, CBR 11...Diplomats, 12 noon, CBR
4.....GO Topeka Board, 7:30 a.m., CBR 12...DBE Advisory Council, 5:30 p.m., ECR
4.....Ambassadors, 12 noon, CBR 12...First Step FastTrac Orientation, 6-7:30 p.m.,
8.....DBE Advisory Council, 5:30 p.m., ECR Hillcrest Community Center
9.....Small Business Networking Breakfast, 13...Chamber Power Breakfast, 7:30-8:30 a.m.,
7:30 a.m., Ramada sponsored by Select Specialty Hospital of
Topeka, Kansas 66603-3515
120 SE 6th, Suite 110
GREATER TOPEKA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
11...Leadership Greater Topeka Session #7 Topeka at St. Francis Health Center 2nd
14...Diplomats, 12 noon, CBR Floor Auditorium
15...Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., 14...Fast Forward Casual Social, 5-7 p.m.,
at John Hoffer Chrysler & Jeep El Mezcal, 5th and Topeka.
15...First Step FastTrac Orientation, 6-7:30 p.m., 15...Chamber Board, 7:30 a.m., CBR
Silver Lake Senior Citizen Center 19...Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., at
16...GO Topeka Executive Committee, ClubHouse Inn
7:30 a.m., ECR 20...GO Topeka Executive Committee,
16...Power Breakfast Committee, 7:30 a.m., CBR 7:30 a.m., ECR
16...Leadership Greater Topeka Graduation 25...Diplomats, 12 noon, CBR
Celebration, 11:45 a.m., Ramada 26...First Step FastTrac Orientation, 6-7:30 p.m.,
18...Chamber Board, 7:30 a.m., CBR Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
23...Small Business Awards Breakfast, 7:30 a.m.,
23...Fast Forward Networking Social, 5-7 p.m., CBR: Chamber Board Room
Senne & Company, Inc. ECR: Executive Conference Room
24...Chamber Speed Marketing, 2:30 p.m.,
Jul’s Cocktails and Grill
28...Chamber Office Closed, Memorial Day
29...First Step FastTrac Orientation, 6-7:30 p.m.,
Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
29...Diplomats, 12 noon, CBR
Promote your organization’s products and services in the upcoming
Chamber Connection Topeka Business
A quarterly mailing available to all Chamber Members (USPS 576520) is published
Third Quarter 2007 monthly for $10.00 per year for
Deadline for pieces and $250 fee: Friday, July 20, 2007 members of the Greater Topeka
Mailing Date: Friday, July 27, 2007
Chamber of Commerce, 120 SE
Community Happenings 6th Avenue, Suite 110, Topeka,
A quarterly mailing available to all non-profit Chamber members.
The organization benefiting from the information on the piece
must be a Chamber member. 785-234-2644. Periodical postage
is paid at Topeka, Kansas.
Periodical postage paid at Topeka, Kansas
Second Quarter 2007
Deadline for pieces and $55 fee: May 18, 2007 POSTMASTER: Send
Mailing Date: May 25, 2007 address changes to Topeka
Third Quarter 2007 Business, 120 SE 6th Avenue,
Deadline for pieces and $55 fee: August 17, 2007 Suite 110, Topeka, Kansas
Mailing Date: August 24, 2007
Call Sherry at the Chamber office to reserve your place
in the mailing of your choice. Mailings are limited to the
first 12 organizations that reserve a place (234-2644). Editor: Marsha Sheahan