TK...Topeka's Business Magazine - Winter 2011

Page 1

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


You’d hate to miss Grandpa time.

You don’t have to. Excellent specialists are right here. Amazing things happen when doctors, specialists and a hospital work together as one. Like designated specialty centers for heart, cancer, digestive health and more, right by the hospital. When you choose Stormont-Vail and Cotton-O’Neil, you’ll find top specialists and a dedicated team focused just on you. So you can get back to living. Call or visit us on the web to learn more. 785-354-5225 |


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Get back to living.

[contents] FEATURES


Business Transitions


See how three Topeka businesses transitioned for success.

An Inside Look at Contract Work

Karen Ridder discusses the pros and cons of being a contract worker versus an employee.

TK Watch List

In Every Issue


4 6 12 70 74

10 24 32 34

Greater Topeka 20 Under 40 The Jayhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts recognizes 20 young professionals under the age of 40 whose contributions help to make Topeka great.


Life of a Building

Deb Goodrich-Bisel tells the story of the Hotel Kansan.

Editor's Note/Letters to the Editor Open the door.

39 45 78

TK highlights Topeka professionals who open the door to success for the next generation.

From the Publisher Laugh Lately?

Heart of the Entrepreneur Karen Sipes takes us inside the Brickyard Barn Inn.

Help Desk You have questions, Topeka experts have the answers.

Winning Rules Kevin Doel evaluates the best apps for business.

Extra, Extra! News and updates about Topeka businesses.

Scene About Town Community Resources Council's Awards of Excellence

Youth Entrepreneurs Business for Breakfast with Frank Sabatini

Last Word: Frank Sabatini TK speaks to Frank Sabatini, Capital City Bank.


Business Toolbox: Show Your Support. Tim Kolling challenges you to support young professionals.

From the Professor's Desk Robert Boncella, Ph.D., Professor of Information Systems and MBA Director at Washburn University, discusses the ins and outs of an MBA degree.


Stepping Up To Leadership Rich Drinon shows you how to walk the fine line of leader- follower relationships.

Thank you to our advertisers for supporting TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


OOPS!! In our last issue we misspelled Daryl Craft’s name. Our apologies to Daryl.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[from the publisher]

Laugh Lately? A day without laughter is a day lost. - Anonymous


Winter 2011

The anonymous quote, “A day without laughter is a day lost,” has been a part of my life since I can remember. I like to believe that it is my way of not taking everything so seriously, but I’m pretty sure it’s my coping mechanism to get past all of the embarrassing things that I do on a daily basis. For instance: EMBARRASSING MOMENT #1 At my own wedding rehearsal, I dropped the cake. EMBARRASSING MOMENT #2 On the way to an important business meeting, I spilled a fruit smoothie on my lap. I quickly stopped at the nearest boutique and bought a dress with little inspection. I left the store wearing the dress, but then realized it was much shorter than what I normally wear, and so I felt a bit uncomfortable. I walked into the meeting late; told my story and said, “I apologize, this dress is inappropriately short.” It seemed like a harmless statement since they were all women. Then I realized that two of the women at the meeting were wearing dresses even shorter than mine.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

EMBARRASSING MOMENT #3 I once asked a woman (at a mall play area) when she was due to have her baby. She informed me she wasn’t pregnant. But did I stop there? Oh no. I asked, “So how old is your baby?” She said, “I have a 3 year old.” I never went back to that play area. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for embarrassing Tara moments. I admit it. I have insert-foot-inmouth disease. But you know what? You do too. We all have this disease. Maybe some of us are worse than others, but it is so easy to get caught up in the persona of who we are “supposed” to be or what we are “supposed” to look and act like, that we overwhelm ourselves in work, whining and gossip and we forget to laugh. I mean really laugh—so hard that your sides ache, and tears come to your eyes. That laughter is what I appreciate most about this year’s 20 Under 40 group. Their ability to be bold and to fly like Superman made me laugh— not because it was embarrassing, but because it was fun. Thank you to all the people that helped make this issue possible and for the incredible amount of laughter that you gave me.

The record books focused on the size of Justin’s tonsils. Photo by Diane Werner, 2011

Our concern was for his health.

The tonsils were huge–about two inches each in diameter. The media had a field day with the story, but Topeka Ear Nose & Throat specialist, Dr. Tyler Grindal, had more important concerns–he wanted to make sure 21-year old Justin Werner’s tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, performed at Topeka ENT’s ExcellENT Surgery Center, went perfectly. Justin not only recovered quickly, his sleep, breathing and swallowing improved dramatically–and, so did his celebrity status. Justin’s tonsils were recently recognized as “world’s largest” by Guinness Book of World Records. Congratulations, Justin!

Is your child a candidate for a tonsillectomy? Excessive strep infections, difficulty breathing or swallowing, sleep issues and other symptoms may indicate the need. If you have concerns, please consult a Topeka ENT specialist. To learn more, visit MichaelDr. Franklin, MD, FACS Franklin

DouglasDr.Barnes, BarnesMD, FACS

Dr. Dr.Glynn Glynn,MD

Dr. Hirschi Hirschi, MD Dr.

Dr. Dr.Lane, LaneMD

Dr. Dr. Grindal Grindal, MD


Dr. Dr.Paternaude, PaternaudeMD


920 SW Lane St., Ste. 200 Topeka, KS 66606 PH: 785-233-0500

2625 W. 15th Avenue Emporia, Kansas 66801 PH: 620-343-7234

Please visit our website to download new patient forms and learn more about our practice:


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011



[editor's note]

Topeka’s Business Magazine

letters to the editorWinter 2011



Editor-in-Chief LISA LOEWEN

Creative Director



Account Executives

This issue celebrates 20 of the top young professionals in Topeka. This group of 20 under 40 is comprised of entrepreneurs, artists, emerging business leaders, parents and community volunteers. As diverse as this group may be, they all have one thing in common: a business leader who opened a door to help them achieve the success that makes them stand out in the community. We highlight some of these door openers on the TK Watch List, pg. 39. A business transition often means a door closing for a business owner. But, as one door closes, it opens another door for an individual who will take over that business. On pg. 17, TK explores different types of business transitions and offers advice on how to make those transitions more successful. Sometimes, to push that door open wider, we need to increase our business knowledge. Professor Robert Boncella explains the merits of an MBA on pg. 34. And, at other times, we need to recognize when an open door needs to be closed. Karen Ridder takes us through the pros and cons of being a contract worker versus an employee, pg 26. Finally, TK profiles a man who has not only walked through countless doors, but who has also held the door open for others. Frank Sabatini has the Last Word on pg. 78.

BRADEN DIMICK - 785.806.2093 Tara Dimick - 785.217.4836

Contributing Writers Deb GOODRICH-Bisel, robert boncello, ph. d. Lisa Loewen, Karen Ridder, karen sipes

Columnists Kevin Doel, Rich Drinon, Tim Kolling



Founder KEVIN DOEL PO Box 67272 | Topeka, Kansas 66667 785-217-4836 |

Comments & Suggestions

Letter to the Editor

Publishing Company

We really enjoy your magazine. We wanted to do something fun in Topeka and have found so many suggestions in your magazine. - John and Ann Kerl

E2 Communications, Inc.

I really enjoyed your “Battle of the Brains” article. In the last paragraph you mentioned that local theater was important to the community. I wanted to let you know that there is a community theater in Auburn that provides six productions a year and will be starting their fourth season next year. - Brenda Sidebottom



Have something to say? Send your "Letter to the Editor" to

Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


2011© TK is published and copyrighted by E2 Communications, Inc. Reproduction or use of this publication in any manner without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication as of press time. The publisher assumes no responsibility of any part for the content of any advertisement in this publication, including any errors and omissions there in. E2 Communications, Inc. makes no endorsement, representation or warranty regarding any goods or services advertised or listed in this publication. Listings and advertisements are provided by the subject companies, E2 Communications, Inc. shall not be responsible or liable for any inaccuracy, omission or infringement of any third party’s right therein, or for personal injury or any other damage or injury whatsoever. By placing an order for an advertisement, the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher against any claims relating to the advertisement.

Congratulations Ben Tenpenny! Capital City Bank congratulates Ben, Vice President and Commercial Lender, for being selected as a “20 under 40” honoree and one of Topeka’s coolest young professionals!


Taking care of business. Financial solutions to grow your business. Our experienced business banking team can provide you with financial solutions to help you take care of your business. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us.

We Make It Work. MEMBER FDIC


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


Do you know what this is? photos by RACHEL LOCK

The Topeka mill owned by Horizon Milling is crashing down. The 129-year-old building closed its doors on Dec. 17, 2010, because the mill could no longer efficiently operate without extensive and costly upgrades. The demolition on the mill, which has been part of the Topeka landscape since 1882, is expected to be completed by early November. The land will be sold once the site has been cleared.


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

New Pella® 350 Series windows with triple-pane glass. Designed to keep out the cold. Because they are up to 83% more energy-efficient*, our new Pella 350 Series vinyl windows with triple-pane glass will keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Add to that the premium look of virtually invisible SmoothSeam™ welded corners and you’ll find our Pella 350 Series will not only transform the efficiency of your home, but the look of it too.

Available at your local Pella Showroom — 2940 S.W. Wanamaker. Call 440-0290 or visit

* Calculated based on average projected energy savings in computer simulation using Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Resfen 5.0 standard criteria for a 2,000-square-foot home when comparing a Pella 350 Series Advanced Low-E argon triple-pane vinyl window to a single-pane vinyl window.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[business toolbox]

show your support by TIM KOLLING

As we celebrate the young professionals who make a difference in Topeka, I wanted to examine how different businesses support them along the way. I have been fortunate to work for a company for 18 years that encouraged the youth of our company to get involved. They gently pushed us to seek out and help groups and organizations that we cared about. They offered classes and certifications within our industry to help us grow. This support was invaluable in not only advancing our careers, but also strengthening our company with better employees.

a leadership development program similar to an internship, but with more of a fast-track to management. In two years these employees will be prepared for management positions.

I asked businesses that I work with how they promote mentorship and professional development for the younger generation and I am very encouraged by what they shared:

The 20 young leaders honored on the following pages probably all have a strong support system within the business community. I challenge you to do the same for people trying to get their feet wet in business. Help them get established, be a role model, ask them questions, ask for their opinion, let them get involved and listen to their ideas. I bet that you will learn just as much or more then they will!

Encourage employees to join groups within the industry. These connections help both the employee and the company and makes the industry stronger by injecting better educated people into the business community.

Treat college students as serious contributors. Not only

photo by Rachel Lock

Tim Kolling is a Marketing Consultant for WIBW 94.5 FM and 580 AM. He has worked in the advertising industry for 17 years.


Winter 2011

did one company hire college students still in school‌they also made it a point to treat student customers like royalty. This company realized that most of these kids will graduate and return looking to start a career.

Fast track young people for success. One company hired three students directly from college for

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Become a competition.



A retired friend who I really look up to told me she loved to help other people start in the business. She admitted that at first she was concerned that they would become competition. But she found that by encouraging them, she not only earned their respect, but became a resource for them.


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[help desk]

I need to fire an employee. How do I do it? {From the Perspective of a Manager} Brett Oetting

General Manager, Ramada Inn Convention Center The most difficult part about terminating an employee is keeping the emotion out. In some cases, managers spend more time with their employees than their own families. Because of this, it is often easy to begin treating employees like family. When their job begins to compromise the success of the business, termination is sometimes the only option. In any job, proper training should be the top priority. As a manager, you owe it to your employees to give them every opportunity to understand their job duties before they complete their training program.

• Start with a thorough interview process. • Provide a detailed job description. • During the training process have frequent one-on-one coaching sessions. • At the end of training give written tests to measure ability to perform basic job duties.

Employees are going to make mistakes from time to time. How a manager handles these situations is critical in determining how emotional a future termination could be. When employees make mistakes, managers need to use those opportunities to further coach the employee. Ask them, “Do you understand how to perform this function

from here on out?” If a manager is consistent and checks for understanding every time an employee makes a mistake, the ownership falls on the employee. Sometimes, certain people are not fit for certain jobs. When the time comes to terminate an employee, it will be emotional, no matter how much experience you have.

You have to remember, the life of the person on the other side of the desk is about to change. By

keeping things factual and direct, you can minimize the emotion. The employee should not be hearing anything for the first time. If you have proper training and procedures in place, and have given the employee the opportunity to improve, you can at least know that that you did everything you could to prevent the situation.

{From the Perspective of a human resources consultant} Kristina Dietrick

President, Creative Business Solutions At one time or another, as a business owner, supervisor or manager, you will probably have to deal with an employee who underperforms or violates a company rule or policy. Generally, your first course of action is to talk with the individual and give the person time to improve his/her performance. If the employee fails to improve after repeated warnings, then it’s time to let the person go.

continued on pg. 18 12

Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Patti Bossert President & CEO Premier Employment Solutions 28 years experience

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[help desk] Terminating an employee is not an easy decision because it may have legal and financial implications. Consider the following suggestions before and after terminating an employee:

Have you done everything you can to communicate verbally, and in writing, that there is a problem BEFORE you terminate the employment relationship? Bottom line, an employee

needs to be warned specifically about the behavior you want to have corrected. Get to the point and be specific. The employee should not be surprised when the termination actually occurs. Only in rare circumstances should an employee be fired “on the spot”, even though Kansas is an “at will” state and an employee may be fired for any reason—or no reason—at any time.

Who should be in the room to deliver the message to the employee? Without a doubt, the

immediate supervisor should be delivering the termination message to the employee in person. If possible, have a witness in the room (never have a peer or subordinate of the employee being terminated involved in the meeting). How long should the meeting last? If you, as the owner/manager/supervisor, have been in the room with the terminated employee more than three minutes, you are taking too long and talking too much. This is a termination meeting, not a counseling session. The message should be short; it is not a debate. Be prepared with talking points such as:

• Reason for termination.

It’s OK to say “I have made a business decision and have decided to move in another direction with your position. As of today, I am ending


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

your employment with the company.” You may also give specific reasons for termination.

• Last paycheck.

Know your company policy. In Kansas, you don’t have to deliver the employee’s final check immediately; it does need to be prepared and paid within the normal payroll cycle.

• Benefits. Explain COBRA and Unemployment benefits. • Company property. Receive any and all company property from the employee immediately: keys, laptops, cell phones, credit cards, etc.

• Personal property. It is always best for the terminated employee to gather his/her own personal property, either immediately after termination or at a scheduled time after business hours.

What time and day of the week are best to deliver termination? It is best to do it when it least

disrupts the business operation. It is not the goal to embarrass the employee, but to deliver the message succinctly and to have the (former) employee immediately exit the property.

Should you have a separation agreement?

Normally, when separation agreements are presented, it usually involves executive level employees. Consult with an employment lawyer before making this decision. Terminating someone’s employment is never easy. But, after it is done, many employers say they should have done it sooner. Make certain the termination makes good business sense. Have a plan and stay consistent with the plan, with past termination practices, and with applicable company policies.


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


Congratulations, Jennifer! We are proud to have you as a leader within our organization. And, to be recognized by the community as a respected leader in Greater Topeka’s “20 under 40”, that’s awesome! Jennifer is not only dedicated and passionate about the future of Educational Credit Union, but for Topeka as well. She cares deeply about leaving a legacy for her children and their generation. Jennifer volunteers her time to multiple organizations, including Capital District Project, Boy Scouts of America, Minority & Women Business Development, and educating youth in financial literacy.

Jennifer Kirmse VP of Business Development

Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government

NCUA National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine 785.271.6900

BUSINESS {Transitions}


Business transitions are an emotional process.

If you are preparing to exit your business, you may be leaving behind your life’s work. Or, if you are the one taking over the business, you may be apprehensive about diving into uncharted waters. Understanding that emotional upheaval is inevitable, is the first step in a successful business transition. The second step is to be prepared—to surround yourself with experts who can advise you on financial, legal and operational issues. And finally, you have to be willing to make that leap of faith. TK looked at three Topeka businesses that have already undergone a business transition, or are in the process of planning one. No matter if you are selling/buying a business, or handing it down to the next generation, one thing is clear- it is not a decision to be taken lightly.

legal opinion provided by Phil Elwood {Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, L.L.P.} H. Phillip Elwood has 40 years of professional experience with a concentration in business organization and reorganization. His expertise includes corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and limited partnerships

continued on pg. 18 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011



{Dr. Julie Akers} Periodontists complete four years of college, four years of dental school and another three years specializing in periodontics. With that level of investment, of both time and money, you would expect new graduates wouldn’t have to worry about what they will do after graduation. However, it isn’t that easy. During her final year of school, Dr. Julie Akers had to decide whether to start her own dental practice or to become an associate with an existing periodontist. Starting her own practice would be both expensive and risky, not only because of the equipment cost, but also because building up a patient base takes time. However, being an associate for another doctor would mean working for someone else rather than being her own boss. Julie opted to find a position as an associate in another doctor’s office. A mutual acquaintance put her in contact with Dr. John Stone, a periodontist who had practiced in Topeka for 30 years, and they began contract negotiations. Julie knew that once she accepted the agreement, she would need to commit to staying in Topeka. “A dental practice is

not something you want to build twice,” Julie says. “You want to set up a practice and then stay there forever.”

Once Dr. Stone agreed to bring Julie into the practice, he started the transition process by hiring a dental practice consultant to determine a fair price for the business. The original plan was that Julie would work as an associate for a year with a base salary and a bonus based on production. At the end of the first year, she would begin to purchase the practice, paying for the business over a seven-year period. Legal contracts outlined the expectations and spelled out the transition process. After working together for about four months, the two doctors revisited the agreement and determined that having Dr. Stone finance Julie’s purchase of the practice over a seven-year period might not be the best approach. They agreed that Julie would obtain a loan from a financial institution and purchase the practice outright. Dr. Stone knew this would be more difficult for her, so he agreed to extend Julie’s associate agreement for an additional year to give her photo by Rachel Lock


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

time to put the financing in place. He also played a pivotal role in helping Julie get the financing she needed. In the long run, Julie says she is glad she ended up having a note with the bank instead of with Dr. Stone.

“I know it worked out better the way it happened because then I became the outright owner,” Julie says.

At the two-year mark, Julie bought the practice and the tables were turned. Now she was the boss and Dr. Stone worked for her as an associate for two more years. Julie says the best thing about having him stay on was that he taught her how to run the business side of the practice—managing staff, expenses and payroll. Looking back, Julie says it was a smooth transition because the terms of the agreement were clearly specified. Having a third-party consultant determine the value of the practice, putting proper legal documents in place and clearly defining the expectations of both parties, made this business transition successful.

{Legal Opinion}

Dr. Akers appears to have a clear and mature understanding of the nature of a professional practice. She made reasonable business choices by spending two years working as an associate of Dr. Stone. Further, it appears the transition in ownership and control of the practice was well thought out including the use of a dental practice consultant in the preparation of contracts which outline the expectations of each of the parties and spelled out the transition process. Frequently people go to the Internet and pull down legal documents which they believe to be adequate. Contract law is quite complex and it is not adequate to simply pull off some contract and believe that all of the issues of concern in your transaction have been covered. To ensure a smooth transition, each party to the transaction should: • Have separate legal counsel; • Meet separately with their legal counsel to address any concerns before the negotiations; and • Go over all legal documents with their attorney so they thoroughly understand the “deal.” The acquisition of a practice is an investment that has direct and indirect costs. Accounting support and legal advice are part of those costs. As medical and dental practitioners well understand, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

continued on pg. 20

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011



{Bob & Diana Swafford} Bob Swafford had spent his entire life working hard to make someone else money, so when the opportunity came to be in business for himself, he jumped at the chance. A successful salesman, Bob knew he could sell a product. He just needed to find a business that complemented his existing expertise—he had grown up learning about construction, building materials and painting, working with his father who built houses and owned a lumber yard in Perry.

When a job interview at Gragg’s Paint in 2007 turned into an offer to sell him the paint store, Bob knew he had found his business.

His wife, Diana, also dreamed of owning a business. She wanted a family business where she could work with her children. After a 32-year career in education, Diana liked the idea of being in control of her hours and having the flexibility that came with being your own boss; she just wasn’t sure about the paint business. “I drug her into this kicking and screaming,” Bob says. But his familiarity with the trades allowed him to do a significant portion of the due diligence required for this transition. Once Diana gave the green light, the real work of acquiring the business began. After five banks turned down their loan requests, they turned to a team of experts to help overcome the obstacles standing in the way. The Swaffords enlisted the help of a personal friend, a CPA who knew their history as well as their strengths and weaknesses. They then turned to the Washburn Small Business Development Center for help with organizing and writing their business plan. The counselors at SBDC also assisted with writing the application for a Small Business Administration loan and provided additional training on research and financial strategy. “Washburn was the anchor for most of the research we did,” Diana says. Once the business plan was written and the SBA loan approved, the Swaffords hired an attorney to help them form a corporation and to make sure all of their legal bases were covered. Finally, a year later, Bob and Diana finally owned their photo by Rachel Lock


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

own business—ColorWorks Paint & Supply. This transition taught them the importance of doing their homework, knowing exactly what they were getting into, and being prepared for things to change in midstream. Looking back at the process, they admit they should have done some things differently. Even though they had access to the previous three years’ business tax returns and the average yearly inventory levels, they wish an independent, non-biased third party had been involved to provide an itemized inventory listing before they took ownership. Knowing exactly what was included in the purchase agreement might have changed some of the negotiations.

“We came away from the negotiation table too soon,” Bob says. “We probably should have held out for a better deal, but we wanted things to move forward.”

{Legal Opinion}

It appears the Swaffords did a number of things right with respect to the purchase of the paint business. They brought in a CPA and got consulting help from the WSBDC. Early in the acquisition process, potential buyers of a business go through “due diligence” to obtain: • A complete list of all of the assets of the business; • Five years of financial records; • Copies of annual financial statements of the business, audited by a CPA; • Copies of all contracts to which the company is a party. Financial records provided should be reviewed by the buyer’s CPA, contracts and other documents with respect to the operation of the company should be reviewed by the attorney(s) retained by the buyers. In most instances, it is preferable for the buyer of the business to simply buy the assets of the business, but not the entity itself. The buyer should also review all outstanding contracts and agree to only assume those contracts which the buyer believes will be important to their continued operation of the business. Any contracts that the buyer does not want to assume will have to be terminated by the sellers. It is important to go into a transaction willing to expend the time, energy and money necessary to negotiate a transaction that is favorable and fair to all parties concerned. If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well, and if that takes a while longer, so be it.

continued on pg. 22

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


six auto sales

{Darrell & Ralph Six} Darrell Six has been in the car business for most of his life. He worked for new car dealers for 23 years, putting in long hours and sacrificing family and personal time for his career. Finally, he decided it was time to go out on his own. Darrell and a business partner opened an auto-related business in 1989. That business enjoyed enough success that four years later, Darrell was able to open the doors of Six Auto Sales. His son, Ralph, who had just graduated from high school, decided to work with his dad—so father and son became used car dealers. Owning a used car dealership wasn’t Darrell’s first choice. Having spent his career in new car sales, his dream was to be a new car dealer. “Thank God for unanswered prayers,” Darrell says with a smile. “Who would have ever guessed that General Motors would collapse and there wouldn’t be any Oldsmobiles, or Pontiacs or Saturns.” Darrell has done his research. He knows that the odds aren’t that great for independent businesses surviving beyond one generation. But Darrell is firmly convinced that Six Auto Sales will be among the survivors. The key to that success? Being willing to let go. “You have to let go of the reins,” Darrell says. “Father and son don’t always agree

and don’t always have the same vision for the business. But, just because he may want to do things differently, doesn’t mean he won’t be successful.”

While Ralph is taking on more responsibilities, Darrell isn’t giving him a detailed road map to follow. “If I spell it out for him,” Darrell says, “he will want to do the exact opposite.” Darrell isn’t exactly sure when the transition will be complete. He knows it will be a gradual process. He has brought in legal and financial advisors to give Ralph some independent, outside views of what he should and shouldn’t do, but Darrell plans to stay involved in the business as an advisor, working one or two days a week. At the same time, Darrell is eager to see what his son can achieve. “I don’t want to go to my grave knowing he didn’t have a chance to do it on his own,” Darrell says. “I want him to have

a chance to make his own way, while I can still be there to help him if he needs it.”


Winter 2011

Ralph, Darrell and Deven Six photos by Nathan Ham Photography TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Ralph is now the sales manager. He's responsible for the sales department, training, closing deals and buying inventory. Darrell doesn’t worry that Six Auto Sales won’t survive a transition to the next generation. In fact, when Darrell looks at a photograph of himself with his son and 9-year-old grandson, he says with conviction, “That’s a third-generation used car dealer right there!”

{Legal Opinion}

The Six Auto Sales scenario is interesting as it is entirely centered on an operational transition of the business from father to son. Darrell intends to effect a transition by, in essence, “fading away” at some undetermined point in the future. The working relationship and the process described appear excellent. The transfer of ownership in a family business typically involves a transfer of stock in the corporation or of membership interest in a limited liability company. The first generation may maintain a controlling interest, but may bring the next generation in as a president or vice president of the company. Over time, that individual will grow in his or her understanding of the business without having a controlling ownership interest in the business.

Thought needs to be given to a process for transferring ownership and control of the business from the older generation to the next generation. The older generation has usually taken business risks, buying real property, building facilities, borrowing money and providing the front end capital necessary to fund operations. Then next generation will have its own objectives and may wish to change the operation of the business. To manage potential conflict: • Engage legal counsel for the company. • Develop a stockholder agreement that is signed by all stockholders in the company. • Develop a stock purchase agreement to outline pro visions for redemption of stock if an individual leaves the company of in the event of the death of a stockholder. • Have separate legal counsel for stockholders. • Develop an agreement that describes the transition of ownership over a period of time and establishes a means for determining the value to be paid for the ownership interest(s).


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


r u ene

e h ft

r ep tr

o t r a e



by Karen Sipes photos by RACHEL LOCK Running a successful bed and breakfast, along with a booming catering business takes more than hard work. It takes the heart of an entrepreneur.

How Scott and Truanna Nickel came to own the Brickyard Barn Inn 13 years ago is an improbable story.

After all, he was from California; she grew up around Dover. He had spent years in the Navy and had a job a Wolf Creek when they met. After they were married, he decided to go back to school to get his teaching degree. Then they moved from Topeka to Holton, where he had a job teaching math. Catering and inn-keeping had never entered their minds. "When I got out of the Navy I had a desire to be in the kitchen," Scott said. "But not at this level." Truanna had grown up helping her mother and grandmother with the canning and cooking, so she had a traditional, home-style cooking background. Scott liked to experiment.

"We both are untrained,” Scott said. “We learned to do it on our own." After hosting some informal parties in their home, the Nickels started getting requests to do some things for their church, including a Valentine's Day dinner. "That's the first catering thing we had done," he said. After the couple moved to Holton, the catering was forgotten for about a year and a half. "Then we got a call from a lady out of the blue," Scott recalled. "She was the new president of a women's organization in Holton and was looking for a new caterer." They took the job—lunch for about 50 women—and soon they were turning their garage into a commercial kitchen. That was in 1995. Truanna would work during the day and Scott would pitch in when he got home from school. After an article about them appeared in The Capital-Journal, they got a call from the Brickyard Barn owner. She didn't cook and wanted to know if they were interested in catering for the inn.


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

They didn't know it at the time, but they were one step closer to being the owners. In January 1998, they were doing a breakfast at the barn when they heard that the owner wanted to sell. They did some figuring and decided if they could rent their home in Holton and live in the basement of the inn— and Scott kept his teaching job—they could make it. Scott drew up a business plan and talked to his banker. The banker suggested he go to the Small Business Administration, a path Scott didn’t want to take. On his way home, however, Scott passed another bank—one that had worked with him on a car loan earlier. He decided to see what they said, and the answer was yes— to a 100 percent loan. Then came negotiations with the seller. After going back and forth, the two sides were about $20,000 apart, and the owner rejected their final offer. That was Sunday. On Wednesday, Truanna showed up at Scott's classroom with the news: The owner had accepted the deal. "We had never done anything to this level before," Scott said. "We weren't sure what we had done. We just jumped in with both feet and just did the best that we knew how." Before taking over, they decided to shadow the owner for a few days. Doing that made one thing clear—they wouldn't be able to do this if Scott kept his teaching job. So he made another trip to the bank, afraid that this new development might change their approval of the loan. The bank’s response: They didn't make the loan based on that piece of paper. They made it based on him. So the adventure began.

They would stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning doing dishes and cleaning up, and then have to get up and do it all over again a few hours later. But they kept going. Income was good, but they were doing all the labor. Five years into it, the couple was close to burnout. So they hired a chef to take some of the pressure off. Today, Truanna manages the kitchen while Scott takes care of all the other details. Another challenge came with the flood in 2005. Water got up to the third step in the bed and breakfast, and the basement, where they were living, had 7 feet of water in it. "I will never forget standing there and thinking how much time and work it's going to take getting this cleaned up," Scott said. But with help from church friends and even strangers, they were back in business before they expected to be. Catering continues to be the big part of their business, and they have leased the kitchen at Jayhawk Tower, which gives them a more central location for preparation and delivery. They also have exclusive catering rights for events at the Jayhawk. Having just completed a redecorating of the bed and breakfast rooms, they also plan more aggressive marketing of that part of their business. A recent Deal Garden offer resulted in 100 overnight reservations, Scott said.

"But the heart of the operation is the food."


"It was a struggle," Scott admits now. "We worked ourselves into oblivion." TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


contract work an inside look at

by Karen Ridder

Contract workers are a growing part of the business plan. Employers are us-

ing this option to alleviate paperwork and allow for growth while keeping overhead low. Skilled workers are drawn to the flexibility and freedom contracting offers. While Stacey Geier contract work can be a solution for many, those experienced with testing the waters see some important issues to consider before deciding if contract work is right for you or your business.

Striking out on your own

Stacey Geier started Stacey Ink Marketing when she had the opportunity to go part time after 10 years of working for the state. This part-time income offered some stability while she jump-started her business. After getting

some experience under her belt, she quit her “day job” and went full time doing contract work.


Geier found many advantages to being a contractor. Flexibility was one of the biggest. “You can choose whether you want to work a lot of hours or a few hours, and that’s nice,” Geier says. “If it’s a nice day and you want to have lunch or run errands you can and then work later. Geier also loved the networking opportunities she was able to take advantage of as a way to grow her client base. Meeting a lot of new people became a real positive in her life. Picking and choosing who you want to work with is another plus, but one that Geier warns can be a double edged sword. “You don’t want to burn bridges. So, it can be hard to figure out how to be strategic about your target audience and client base.”


Top of the list for pitfalls--not having work stability. That means a variable income which can make budgeting difficult. Geier says having money saved up to help float the budget through a lean month is crucial. Another pitfall is not having a set work schedule.

“While everyone else is working 8:00 to 5:00, you’re probably working 5:00 in the morning to 8:00 at night,” she explains. More often than not, freelancers and contract workers also end up working more hours

continued on pg. 28 26

Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


than they plan. Geier says it is important to think about the hours spent to manage the business, market it and do paperwork. Those are hours you won’t be paid for. One of the biggest problems facing people trying to make a go as a full-time contract worker is health insurance costs. Since the health care industry has been particularly rocky over the last few years, this issue became a huge problem for Geier’s bottom line.

Back into the workforce

At this point, Geier has gone back into the workforce full time. Contract work she was doing at St. Francis led to a full-time opportunity there. Going back to work full time was not something she expected, but it was the right fit at the right company, working in an industry she enjoyed. Geier still maintains a few clients for Stacey Ink Marketing, but the full-time job is her main focus. She says her experience doing full-time contract work has broadened her confidence. “Now, I know I can work for someone else, and I can work for myself. I feel like no matter what life throws at me, I can land on my feet and I have some skills to offer,” Geier says.

Changing your work status

Les Streit still has a desk at the place where he used to be an employee. Instead of being on the payroll, he is offering his services as a contractor. Streit is like a growing number of workers in local companies. Streit’s path to his work as a contractor began when he was the director of the Washburn Small Business Development Center. He was looking for a way to phase into retirement. Working part time seemed like a good option, but Streit was leery of getting too much work on his plate. He also wanted the freedom to work for various companies and organizations. His answer was to hang a shingle out as “Streitline Small Business Consulting” and go right back to work where he left off. Now, he works under contract to consult with small business owners on an as-needed basis. Streit says his main reason for choosing a contractor status over employment status was an issue of time management.


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

“The bottom line was protecting time and not let a half time position get out of control like it can on a university setting. If you bill hours, then you are compensated for that time,” says Streit. There is a trend in people like Streit – those near or at retirement - finding the sole proprietorship business model appealing. By offering professional skills on a contract basis, a business owner does not have to worry about the management, hiring, retaining and supervising of employees. “It’s a

simpler, easier lifestyle to work for yourself,” Streit says.

Things to avoid

Streit recommends taking the following steps to avoid unwanted surprises when becoming a contractor. • Understand the tax requirements of contracting. A self-employed person will have to pay extra taxes. That is something that can catch people by surprise. • Contractors should avoid becoming too dependent on key accounts. “If most of your revenue comes from a couple of companies that lose funding for your work or can’t use you anymore, then you’re out of businesses,” he says. • Investigate the health insurance Les Streit issue before jumping into a contract position. Currently Streit has an HSA, but says premiums have doubled in the five years since he became a contract worker again. That can make a huge difference in your ability to make contract work a successful option.

Making a business plan work

Martha Piland says hiring contract workers has always been a central part of her business plan and company’s “Fat Free Advertising” brand. When she started MB Piland Advertising & Marketing in 1998, the idea came from a practical need to be able to compete with agencies that had bigger budgets. Piland realized her company could offer a unique benefit to clients by using contract workers to tailor-make creative teams, instead of hiring full-time employees. The model worked. MB Piland only has three employees. However, over the course of a year, Piland says they work with “tons” of contractors.

Martha Piland

“We’re as small as we can be, but we are a large as we need to be,” she says.

For Piland, using contractors gives her a wide ability to have access to top talent in a variety of areas and more time to focus on clients. She does not have to manage all of the people she works with as if they were employees. This means, no performance reviews, no need to find desks and space for them to sit, no need to update their technology. These missing pieces save significant time and resources for her business. It also gives them the ability to react to the marketplace. “I think it’s smart business. If

the economy grows we can staff up, if the economy is thin we are not at as much risk as a company who has tons of people,” Piland says.

Business advice

Piland’s advice for business owners considering the same kind of model is to: • Understand what constitutes a contractor and what constitutes an employee from a legal and tax point of view. • Make sure you have a written contract with your contractors. Many people don’t, but this practice is good for both the employer and the contractor. “Everyone works differently so it’s good to have a shared understanding,” Piland explains. The contracts should cover things like compensation, file sharing and backups, work flow process, what deliverables are expected and ownership. Piland believes the contractor model is going to grow in the future for her industry, but she advises it is not for every business owner.

“It takes a different kind of discipline and a different kind of ability to make it work.” continued on pg. 30 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


contract work

tax issues

In recent years, the IRS has been taking a harder stance on policies concerning contract workers. “As the economy is hurt, the IRS has been pointing out areas where they could be collecting taxes,” explains Kurt Guth with American Tax Service, Inc. While the burden tends to be more on the business owner than the worker, there are issues both sides need to consider.

Business Owners

Most business owners like the idea of hiring contract employees because it cuts out a lot of administrative work. The need to do w-2s, withholdings and quarterly reports is eliminated—an employer just has to file a 1099 form for payments to contractors. Employers using contractors

also don’t have to pay Unemployment Insurance or Workman’s Comp. However, the IRS has guidelines

on what distinguishes a contractor from an employee. The three big areas to consider are: 1. Behavioral – Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job? 2. Financial – Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the business? 3. Type of relationship – Are there written contracts or employee type benefits like pension plans, insurance or vacation pay? If a worker who should have been treated as an employee has been a contractor, the IRS can hold the employer responsible for any extra payments that should have been filed. Companies hiring seasonal workers are not exempt. It does not matter how short a period of time a person works for a company, they may still deserve employment status.


From the employee perspective, there are some IRS benefits to contract work, but many more drawbacks. Contractors get the benefit of deducting business expenses on their taxes, which can be important for some industries that require a lot of tools or equipment. However, they must pay their own social security taxes. People not familiar

with the rules can find self-employment taxes a big—unpleasant—surprise at tax time. This is

why it is important to think hard if your employer offers to hire you back as a contractor after a lay off—you will incur significant extra tax costs. “Generally it’s not a good deal for the employee to be laid off and hired back as a contractor because often they don’t’ fully understand the tax bill,” Guth says. If you get contract work through a temp agency, it is usually not actually contract work from an IRS perspective. The temporary worker is actually working as an employee for the temp agency. The work may be short term, but the temp agency files all of the appropriate taxes and paperwork. A worker in this position will actually get a w-2 at the end of the year, because they were an employee, not a contractor.

tax information provided by KURT GUTH, EA {AMERICAN TAX SERVICE, INC} Kurt Guth is the vice president of American Tax Service. He has over 7 years tax experience and over 13 years of accounting experience.


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[winning rules]

best BIZ apps by KEVIN DOEL


ith the recent passing of Apple’s founder and genius-in-chief, Steve Jobs, it causes me to stop and think about how his ideas impact the life of my family. Both my kids have iPods, my daughter’s first computer is a MacBook, and I absolutely love my iPad. As a Sprint customer, I haven’t yet become an iPhone user, but the iPhone 4s is coming to Sprint and may find its way to my pocket too. Did I mention I love my iPad? And not just because it offers the best way to play Angry Birds, it is also a great tool for my business. I can keep track of my customers, finances and billable time while staying connected to the office no matter where I am. I can also jot notes and brainstorm anytime, anywhere. The benefits of an iPad and the right apps may include: reduction in paper and printing costs, greater efficiency, and improved team communication and collaboration. Here are some apps to get you started.

Document Reader

GoodReader transforms your iPad into the best reader, file manager and annotator money can buy. With a host of options for file synchronization (including with cloud servers) and document annotation (jotting notes in the margins of whatever you’re reading), GoodReader is a great buy for anyone in business. ( $4.99


photo by Rachel Lock

Kevin Doel is president of Talon Communications Group, a Topekabased company specializing in public relations, social media and marketing communications.


Winter 2011

PhatPad is a note-taking and collaboration app featuring handwriting recognition technology. More than just a notetaking app, PhatPad turns your iPad into an advanced brainstorming tool by enabling you to draw, write, and type on the iPad, then instantly share ideas via email, Wi-Fi sync, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, or in PhatPad's presentation mode. ( $7.99

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Office-to-Go The Quickoffice suite lets you create, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on your iPad. Through integration with cloud storage, Quickoffice provides anytime, anywhere access to your files. ( $19.99

Cloud Storage

To get the most out of many of the above apps, Dropbox for iPad is a useful synchronization app that allows you to store documents in a central location, which can be shared and viewed across your various devices or with others. ( Free


Organizing information is crucial–and being able to access it when you need it is imperative. HanDBase is a relational database app intuitively organized like a desktop to make accessing your files simple and logical. You can use HanDBase to create your own dream iPad app for managing any kind of information. If you don’t know where to start, it gives you access to more than 2,000 templates of databases created by users. ( $9.99

Time /Expense Tracking

OfficeTime is a time and expense tracking app which has built an enthusiastic following among business professionals that bill by the hour (freelancers, attorneys, accountants, CPAs, graphic designers, etc.). OfficeTime minimizes how many finger taps it takes to do something. ( $7.99 Using productivity apps on your iPad may help your business become more efficient and let you focus on more important things—like beating the next level of Angry Birds.


NOW. nd catering.

banquets a s, ie rt a p y a id ol h r ou y Book

BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! Call our event catering coordinator at 785.273.7300 , ext. 27.

2833 S.W. 29th, Next to Dillon’s | 29th & Oakley

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[from the professor] The Ins and Outs of an



OVERVIEW An MBA program provides an indepth education in the foundations of business in the areas of Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Production Operations, and Strategic Management. The MBA Degree is a highly regarded credential by businesses because it provides more than knowledge of these areas. The graduate of an MBA program learns how to use this knowledge to create a competitive advantage for the firm for which the graduate works.

The History of the MBA

Robert Boncella, Ph.D.

Professor of Information Systems and MBA Director Washburn University School of Business


Winter 2011

The origin of MBA can be traced back to the late 19th century. MBA programs in the United States arose as a result of the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800's, the U.S. workforce consisted primarily of manual labor that was required for the production of hand-made materials. As machines and factories replaced the production of hand-made materials, the need for employees who were skilled in the management of the machines and labor was created. Employees needed to organize the factories and their associated labor. As the country

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

became more industrialized businesses sought scientific approaches to management. The Unites States’ first business school, in fact, the first business school in the world, was The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Wharton Business School designed the first MBA program in 1881. Furthering academic innovation, the Tuck School of Business developed the first Management School. It was founded in 1900 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Extending this academic innovation, the Executive MBA was founded in 1940 at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business

Why Study For An MBA? Many reasons may compel a person to pursue an MBA degree. Those most frequently cited are: • To advance a current career. • To earn a higher salary. • To increase job security. Because MBA degrees have become recognized as applicable and useful among a wide variety of industries and non-business related professions, they are viewed as a

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


desirable and valuable degree. Some of professions in which an MBA degree has become an asset are: Health Care Administration, Non-profit Organizations, the practice of Law. In fact, some Law schools have a joint JD/MBA degree as an option for study.

Types of MBA Programs The way MBAs are taught has evolved to meet the needs of students. The four main types of MBA programs are: • The Traditional MBA- originally a two year, full time degree. • The Accelerated MBA -these programs have a higher course load per academic semester in order to complete the program in less than two years. • The Part-Time MBA -is designed around the hours of a student working full time. • The Executive MBA – This is a variation of the PartTime MBA, offering classes on the weekend to enable a student working full time to complete the degree within a two year time frame. • Dual MBA these programs combine MBA degree with other graduate degree programs. Such as an MS, MA, MSW, MSN or J.D. This is done to let students cut costs. Dual programs usually cost less than pursuing two degrees separately.

All Majors Welcomed MBA programs require a foundation of business knowledge in order to study business administration at the graduate level. Clearly, this is an advantage for BBA graduates. However, Master of Business Administration programs encourage graduates from all majors to apply and study for an MBA degree. MBA programs will provide a means to acquire or verify this foundational business knowledge to the student with a non-business undergraduate degree. Some programs offer formal business foundation courses for non-BBA majors. Other MBA programs will recognize work experience as satisfying the required foundation of business knowledge requirement.

How to choose an MBA Program A student’s requirements for an MBA program will vary depending on the student’s current employment status, career goals, and availability of the student. Of the four program types listed above, the one that matches the requirement of most students is the part-time MBA program. However, if the student’s employment status is flexible it is not uncommon for a student to engage in a parttime program as a full-time student.


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

MBA Programs - Accreditation Accreditation is an important characteristic of an MBA program. An accredited MBA program informs a potential employer of the quality of the MBA program. A well-known and well-respected MBA program accreditation is granted by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB International.) AACSB International is a global, nonprofit membership organization of educational institutions, businesses, and other entities devoted to the advancement of management education. Established in 1916, AACSB International provides its members with a variety of products and services to assist them with the continuous improvement of their business programs and schools. AACSB International accreditation gives a general specification of knowledge and skills to be learned. This presupposes the base of general knowledge and skills appropriate to an undergraduate degree business degree. Based on this foundation, the graduate of an AACSB accredited can expect that the learning at the master’s level will be integrative and interdisciplinary across business areas. In addition, the graduate can expect to develop specific capacities in business. In particular, the capacities developed through the knowledge and skills of an AACSB accredited MBA program are: • Capacity to lead in organizational situations; • Capacity to apply knowledge in new and unfamiliar circumstances through a conceptual understanding of relevant disciplines; • Capacity to adapt and innovate to solve problems, to cope with unforeseen events, and to manage in unpredictable environments; • Capacity to understand management issues from a global perspective.

Conclusion Everyone benefits from students studying for an MBA. Students will be able to advance in their professions as well as increasing their income. It is estimated that, depending on the employee’s location and specialty, an MBA degree may increase an employee’s salary by 25 percent to 90 percent above those without an MBA degree. Further, the MBA degree will act as a differentiator among job applicants. Firms will also benefit from the enhanced expertise of their employees and the competitive advantage offered by that expertise.


brie engelken

account manager

Congratulations, Partner! We’re delighted that one of jhP’s youngest partners is recognized for her leadership as a Greater Topeka “20 Under 40” honoree. We see this leadership in Brie every day. She not only helps top companies be successful, she’s a tireless volunteer for many community organizations, including Junior League of Topeka and the Race Against Breast Cancer.

Congratulations to the Community Resources Council 2011 Awards of Excellence Honorees 2011 Government Agency of Excellence USD 501 Topeka Public Schools 2011 Business of Excellence Performance Tire and Wheel 2011 Nonprofit Organization of Excellence Marian Clinic 2011 Individual of Excellence Councilman Bob Archer & Commissioner Shelly Buhler

Over the years Brie has proven to be forwardthinking and determined – with the kind of energy that benefits our clients, our company and our community. Community Resources Council 501 SE Jefferson St., Suite 30 Topeka, KS 66607 (785) 233-1365

the power of partnershipTM

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011



Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

[tk watch list]



The success of young professionals is often due to experienced leaders who are willing to open the door and welcome the ideas and enthusiasm of a younger generation. They serve as role models, mentors and visionaries. These are just a few of those individuals who open the door for others in our community.


Jim Ogle

General Manager WIBW-TV

"Jim Ogle is always eager to hear new ideas from young people in our community, and looks for ways to take immediate action to help move them forward. He's one of the first people I call when I'm part of a group with a big idea that needs momentum behind it. He is a doer and inspires young people to be doers as well." - Andrea Engstrom {Breakthrough Revenue} 2010 20 Under 40 Honoree

“Jim Ogle has been a huge help to me as a mentor, friend and trusted adviser. I don't know of any individual who does more for Topeka's civic organizations and non-profits.” - John Ary {Robot Monster Creative} 2011 20 Under 40 Honoree

“Jim Ogle has been a bright example to me that the most respected and successful business leaders in the world find most of their joy in seeing how their work makes life better for all those around them. He is dedicated to our community and has proven that Topeka will love you and support you if you love and support it. I am proud to think of him as a role model and to know him as a friend.” - Chris Schultz {Schultz Management / Field of Greens / The Break Room} 2011 20 Under 40 Honoree

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


Jake Huyett

Executive Vice President, jones huyett Partners “He makes it a point to share his experiences with me so I don't make the same mistakes others have. He's taught me and others on our team to step back and look at the big picture, and to always ask questions. He constantly provides constructive criticism to help enhance my skills and gives compliments and praise when it's due - which helps keep me motivated. But most importantly, Jake makes it a priority to always ask for input in a way that allows me to think for myself, and he always makes time to answer any questions I have. More people need a Jake Huyett in their lives.” - Brie Engelken {jones huyett Partners} 2011 20 Under 40 Honoree

Marsha Sheahan

Vice President Public Relations Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce

Adrianne Evans

Vice President Membership Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce This was an easy one for me as I sat in my Chamber Board Meeting this morning and saw two INCREDIBLE women sitting next to one another—Marsha Sheahan & Adrianne Evans of the Topeka Chamber of Commerce. I could write a novel on the work the two together have done for me over the course of the last six years since I moved into the Topeka community. From introductions, to business networking, to improving my leadership skills, to brainstorming sessions, to just being there at the end of a hectic day for therapy session. They are more than just a mentor or a door opener to me, they are my friends and confidants whom I have grown to trust and rely upon for so many things. These gals have been one in a million – and I owe them a whole lotta’ thank you’s!” - Amber Gentry-Bullock {Networks Plus} 2010 20 Under 40 Honoree


Nancy Johnson

Executive Director Community Resources Council

“Nancy Johnson is an amazing woman who holds true to her beliefs even when they might not be popular. She treats people with respect and integrity, and values input from everyone no matter what their status. I wish to emulate many of her traits!” - Corrie Wright {Housing and Neighborhood Development/Shelter + Care} 2010 20 Under 40 Honoree

From left to right: Marsha Sheahan, Adrianne Evans, Nancy Johnson, and Jake Huyett

Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Congratulations Kathleen Williams! 2 011 G r e at e r t o p e k a “ 2 0 u n d e r 4 0 � H o n o r e e

Kathleen, Your enthusiastic spirit and positive energy shine through in all you do. You are a true asset to Clayton Financial Services and the entire Topeka communit y!

CLAYTON FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. A fee-only advisory firm

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


a high style home furnishings store with an eclectic mix of new designs, antiques and vintage pieces...

with a new online storefront 414 south east second street | 785.232.8008 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 11a - 5:30 p By chance or appointment


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Glea Ashley

Anne Trebino

Chief Executive Officer Valeo Behavioral Health Care

Senior V.P of Human Resources Security Benefit

“Glea recognizes leadership attributes in individuals and then helps to develop these areas by empowering them with challenges, while encouraging and supporting them along the way. Her open communication style helps to initiate new ideas from individuals at all levels of the organization, which helps contribute to both employee and organizational success. Her management style promotes confidence building to staff under her.” - Angie Haggard {Valeo Behavioral Health Care} 2010 20 Under 40 Honoree

“Anne is one of those great leaders who leads by example. She inspires everyone in our department to be the best professional we can be, and to keep both the company and the associates’ needs in mind when making any decision. Since I'm not from the area it was hard for me to adjust to being away from family, Anne was very understanding and would always make sure I had plans to go home to spend time with my family around the holidays. That meant a lot to me especially with everything she always had on her plate. Anne also got me volunteering on behalf of the company to help out with the community both internally and externally. These are just a few of the reasons why I will always be thankful for her leadership and impact in my life.” - Maribel Florez {Security Benefit} 2011 20 Under 40 Honoree

Patti Bossert

Vince Frye

Owner & President Premier Employment Solutions / Key Staffing

Principal/Co-owner FryeAllen, Inc.

“Patti Bossert is a very positive influence to the young professionals movement in Topeka. Personally speaking, she has invested in my development as a professional with hundreds of hours of continuing education and by being very supportive and encouraging of my community interests. I am incredibly thankful for her support as a coach and proud to be part of her winning team!” - Dan Schultz {Premier Employment Solutions} 2011 20 Under 40 Honoree

“Vince leads by example. He is involved in the community and supports projects in every way that he can, while always representing FryeAllen and working to grow the company. He has been an incredible resource of knowledge and experience, and someone who I trust to give constructive feedback on projects that I am working on. - Tara Dimick {E2 Communications, Inc.} Still Under 40

From left to right: Vince Frye, Glea Ashley, Patti Bossert and Anne Trebino TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


Most people prefer to be on top. Is your computer network helping your business to stay competitive in your industry? If you’re not sure – you need the experts at Networks Plus. Our experienced engineers will study your system and let you know if it’s up-to-speed for your current needs and expandable enough to meet your future business goals. When your network is well integrated it optimizes technology – affecting performance, speed, security, operating expenses and access to information. Partner with our experts. It’s a sweet feeling to know you have what it takes to stay on top!

Call us today for your


value – on us.*

785-267-6800 3003 SW Van Buren | Topeka, KS 66611 |

2010 Topeka Chamber of Commerce Member Firm of the Year 2009 Kansas Department of Commerce Business of Excellence Award * Must be a new Networks Plus customer. Good until 9/01/2011.

900 SW Tyler Street | Topeka, Kansas 66612

Flexible Food & Beverage Rules. Newly Remodeled Sleeping Rooms. Special Group Rates. Now taking reservations for 2011 holiday parties 1-800-488-3188 | 785-233-5050 |


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

by Blake Bryant, Bobby Chipman, Grace Hildenbrand and Aaron Moses photos by nathan ham photography Greater Topeka’s 20 Under 40 recognizes 20 Topeka pro-

Boy Scouts are dedicated to training leaders and promot-

fessionals under the age of 40 for excellence in their profes-

ing community service,” Garrard says. “Greater Topeka’s 20

sions and service to the Topeka community. The purpose

Under 40 gives the Jayhawk Area Council the opportunity

of this award is to connect older and younger professionals,

to recognize the leaders around us and show the younger

and to encourage younger generations to be involved in the

generations what qualities great leaders possess…all while


raising funds to support the Scouting program.”

The Jayhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America established the Greater Topeka’s 20 Under 40 to acknowl-

The selection process includes a nomination, application, and selection committee review score based on:

edge young professionals whose contributions help to make

• personal and professional goals

Topeka great. Development Director Jill Garrard says she

• professional experience

• leadership

• community involvement

dreamed of establishing an award that recognizes young

Continue reading to discover the hopes, fears, dreams and

professionals long before it became a reality in Topeka. “The

experiences of these 20 talented individuals.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


38 3 3 Amy Martens

Manager, Continuous Quality and Engineering Services Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Age: 38

Support Network: “I have been blessed to have had excellent role models and mentors throughout my professional career to keep me motivated and on track.” Biggest Fear: “My fear is that as I take on more duties, I may not be giving the proper time and energy to all aspects of my life.”

Childhood Dream Job: “I always thought I would end up being a scientist who would find the cure for cancer, since my grandmother passed away from colon cancer during my youth.” Spouse Jeff Martens

Greg Gathers President, Custom Tree Care, Inc Age: 33

Get Down to Business “My business, Custom Tree Care, impacts the community by adding value to property by beautifying its trees and landscapes, and by employing 15 people full time. Making the Inc. 500 list of the fast growing privately held companies brings awareness to Topeka nationally. I strive to be an example of what hard work and big thinking can get you.” Biggest Fear “Failure.”

Student of Success “I have always been a student of those successful individuals who have done it before me. I have tried to learn from what they have done that worked and use it in my business.” Children Hayley (4), Audrey (3) & Alex (1)


Winter 2011

Topeka Since 1984

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Children Brett (5) & Jenna (3)

Topeka Since Native

33 John Ary

Head Honcho, Robot Monster Creative Age: 33

Just Show Up “I challenge more young professionals in Topeka to simply show up to a volunteer or community event. We have a lot of great things happening in Topeka, but we could always use more help.” Professional Dreams “I wanted to make movies. In a way, I'm still doing that.”

Topeka Favorite “Downtown is a gem in the rough. I can't wait to see it in 10 years. That area will play a vital role in revitalizing the city and retaining its young professionals.”

Spouse Stacey Ary

Dogs Whiskey & Alfie

Topeka Since Native

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


29 Dan Schultz

Executive Recruiter, Premier Employment Solutions Age: 29

Why Topeka? “A month before I moved back to Topeka, I experienced a flat tire while driving home from work. Not one person pulled over to help. Last winter, I had car trouble on I-70 in the middle of a heavy snowstorm. While I was waiting on AAA, three Topekans pulled over to make sure that help was on the way. This difference is what makes Topeka so special!” Rewarding Job “It’s a lot of fun to introduce Topeka to candidates nationwide and tell them stories about Topeka’s high quality population.” Professional Goals As a kid - “to be Governor of Kansas” Now – “to develop a $1M revenue stream for Premier Employment Solutions. Parents Tom & Vicki Anderson

Topeka Since Left Topeka for school, but heartstrings brought him back.

Sarah Carkhuff Fizell Owner, Post Rock Public Relations Age: 33

Sixth Generation Kansan “My favorite part of the greater Topeka area is the Capitol Building. When the cage elevator door opens on the 2nd floor, you are standing in front of the John Steuart Curry mural of John Brown. The painting symbolizes Kansas’ struggle to remain a free state. As a 6th generation Kansan, it holds much symbolism since my ancestors helped to keep Kansas a free state.” Childhood Dreams “I wanted to go to Princeton and become an entomologist. Entemology is the study of insects. Princeton has never offered this major, but I didn’t know that when I was 5. My dad bought me an orange Princeton sweat suit in hopes that I would keep the dream alive.” Lessons From a Toll Collector “Throughout college, I worked as a toll collector. It was my favorite job because it gave me experience in dealing with people from all walks of life. I learned that being a truck driver can be a very lonely profession, that a smile goes a long way, and how to put out an engine fire.” Spouse Jason Fizell


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Children Astra Grace (9 mos)

Topeka Since Native

Contact: Will Nicklin 785.272.9495 Main Office: Toll-free: 888.364.4611 Marketing Concepts Direct Mailing Printing and Signage Promotional Products Screen Printing and Embroidery Laser Engraving 3100 SW Huntoon, Suite 103 Topeka, Kansas 66604

Julie C. Akers, DDS, MS


Your one stop shop for all your marketing needs TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


27 1 3 3 Drew Switzer Meteorologist, WIBW - TV Age: 27

Success from Support Network “My mentor, Bryan Busby, helped me a lot at the beginning of my career and continues to give me advice today. The great people at WIBW have really given me the support and encouragement to be myself and advance professionally and personally. My family is a huge support system for me. The wonderful friends I have made in Topeka have made it easy to call Topeka home.” Dream Job “Pro Football player…and it still is.”

Outdoorsman “I really enjoy the zoo; so much so, I’m there every Friday for ‘Drew at the Zoo’ on WIBW’s Mid-day Newscast. I also love the fact that I don’t have to go too far from my home to find some outstanding hunting/ fishing spots.” Spouse Leslie Switzer

Rebecca Hummer Principal, Shawnee Heights Elementary School Age: 31

Following Her Dreams “As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher. I loved sharing knowledge, helping others learn, and the idea of a summer off sounded awesome! Little did I know then that I would use my summer breaks to prepare for the upcoming school year!” The “Aha” Moment “It is heartwarming to witness the ‘light bulb’ moments when students who struggle with learning a concept persevere and master their learning. In my classroom and school, it has been an honor to see my students transform into empowered, independent and successful thinkers.” Personal Growth “In10 years, I see myself professionally coaching other educators to help them reach their full potential. Learning is my passion, so I see myself continuing my personal educational journey completing another graduate degree or doctorate program.” Spouse Michael Hummer


Winter 2011

Children Brooklyn (3)

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Topeka Since Native

Dog Black lab-Nado “Short for Tornado”

Topeka Since 2006

32 Miranda Carmona Partner, Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer Age: 32

More work than people?

Leadership Qualities “I look for leaders who are able to make everyone in the group feel appreciated and valuable, and that they have important qualities to enhance the group’s success. I look for leaders that are able to engage everyone and create excitement about working towards and attaining the group’s goals.”

Your day is already full. When it’s time to hire more employees, Express is your number one resource. We provide dependable employees from a variety of industries, ready to get to work.

Friendly Atmosphere “I enjoy the collegial atmosphere of the professional community in Topeka. Because it is a smaller population than Kansas City or Wichita, I believe you really get to know the other business owners and professionals. That helps to develop a stronger sense of community.” Community Service “I help the community by providing quality legal advice to families and business owners, and by volunteering my time and resources to local charities to help those less fortunate than me.” Spouse Thomas D. Carmona

Topeka Since 2004

Call us first.

We also provide top notch quarterly training to our customers. With services like Direct Hire and Flexible Staffing, we would love to solve your productivity challenges. Call or visit us online today.

• Administrative • Accounting and Finance • Information Technology

• Light Industrial • Customer Service • Engineering

Diana Ramirez

Franchise Owner Topeka, KS

(785) 267-2773

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


We Employ CErtifiEd Arborists by isA & KAA

Serving Topeka

Since 1999

Commercial & Residential

Pruning | Removal | Stump Grinding Emergency Service | Lot Clearing

Call for a Free Estimate

(785) 478-9805 Cell: (785) 221-7550 Licensed & Insured


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

9 3 29 Nathan McAlister

History Teacher and Coach, Royal Valley Middle School Age: 39

Love of History “History is the most important subject for our students today and in years to come."

Looking Ahead “My biggest fear is losing my drive as a teacher and my love of History. If that happens, my career as a teacher will need to be reexamined. In 10 years, I will probably be older, grayer, and hopefully wiser, but still a teacher of history. I cannot think of anywhere else that I would rather be, than in a classroom teaching history.” Presidential Dreams “My dream job as a child was being president of the United States. I know this sounds cliché, but I have always found the office of president fascinating. This will sound awfully nerdy, but when I was a kid, I would watch presidential addresses and news conferences.” Spouse Kimberly McAlister

Children Noah (12) & Christian (10)

Topeka Since 1986

Justin Marable Artist Age: 29

Love for Topeka “I feel that Topeka allows me the freedom to create and explore my own ideas without feeling the pressure of catering to a certain ‘scene’. I have met and continue to meet genuine people, who are ready to take action and make this city a place to be proud of.” Promoting Pride “In my artwork, I focus on content that speaks about regaining pride in place and community. I have hope that my artwork will continue to provide a reason for those in and outside of the community to explore the rich history and relevant reality of living in Topeka.”

Role Model “Anyone who can have the courage to believe the way they want to believe and remain true to themselves and others. My wife provides me with incredible support. She’s an amazing mother, teacher, activist and artist, who genuinely cares about her community, family and friends. She’s my biggest supporter, honest and loyal, and my best/worst critic.”

Spouse Bailey Marable

Children Kassy (9), Willow (3) & Olive (9 mo)

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Topeka Since 2004

Winter 2011


35 5 2 Ben Tenpenny

Vice President/Commercial Lender, Capital City Bank Age: 35

Growth “Having the support of a great family and also having the opportunity to work with several more seasoned veterans in the workplace has allowed me to grow and succeed in both my personal and professional life.”

Looking for Leaders “The number one leadership skill that I seek is for people to have confidence in themselves. Asserting yourself in a way that makes people notice you and the positive attributes you will add to their organization has proven to be invaluable.” Making the Call “One of my “spare time” pursuits is that of college football officiating and I am currently officiating in the MIAA conference. In five years, I would like to be a Division I football official.” Spouse Erica

Brie Engelken Account Manager, jones huyett Partners Age: 25

In Love With Topeka “There is so much about Topeka to love! Our arts community is truly fantastic. Whether it’s dinner and a show at Topeka Civic Theatre, a concert at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, a First Friday Art Walk in the new NOTO district, or a trip to one of our many wonderful museums, there’s never a lack of something to do.” Family Guidance “My parents taught me many skills – determination, passion, high expectations, kindness, compassion, loyalty and so much more. I strive everyday to make them proud of the person they raised.”

Putting Down Roots “When I chose to move to Topeka I chose to make this my home. In the next 10 years, my goal is to become more rooted and involved in our community.” Parents David & Barbara Engelken


Winter 2011

Topeka Since 2007

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Children Taylor (7) & Morgan (5)

Topeka Since Native

Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy presents:

November 25 - December 23, 2011

January 13 - February 4, 2012

March 2 - March 31, 2012

For tickets and information call 785-357-5211 or visit our NEW WEBSITE at Group rates available

Please note: Avenue Q contains strong language & adult themes

Don’t wonder about which vision plan is right for your company...

Ask your eye doctor!

Eye doctors created Vision Care Direct. We are private practice optometrists who formed a statewide association to deliver affordable, high-quality eye care directly to our community. When your company offers a plan from us, you can be sure that their doctor will give them more than just a simple refractive exam and bare bones materials. Our plans give patients access to high quality eye-health care and allow us to do what we’ve been trained to for our patients. We offer the most flexible vision plans on the market, including: Comprehensive exams Large network of highly trained eye doctors and labs Multiple plan options Voluntary plans with group rates Pre-tax contributions To learn more, contact:

Michael G. Eichten, CLU, ChFC

Peoples Benefit Group

The vision plan your eye doctor recommends


Phone - 785-271-8097

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


36 32 Kathleen Williams

Assistant Financial Planner, Clayton Financial Services, Inc. Age: 36

Following Dad’s Footsteps “My father has helped me be successful. He provides just the right amount of support and encouragement with a hearty dose of laughter and orneriness. He has taught me how to handle tough situations with a level head and pleasantness, to forgive myself for mistakes, and to learn from those mistakes and to challenge myself to find what it is I truly enjoy and do my best at it.” Listening to Mom “My mother greatly influenced my volunteerism and has always encouraged me to be involved in the community. It is incredibly rewarding and you also open the doors to learn more about yourself and others you may have never known.”

Looking Ahead “In 10 years, I see myself still involved in community organizations, loving my occupation of being a financial planner and scuba diving more. I also hope to start teaching scuba diving again.” Parents Al & Martha Williams

Cat Maile

Topeka Since Native

Jesyca Rodenberg Communications & Outreach Director Kansas Association of Community Action Programs Age: 32

Common Ground “There are ties between all the fields I have been involved in. I have found that no matter what job title I held, I was involved in public service, in volunteer outreach and/or in event planning.” Arts Advocate “Our arts community is, beyond question, the most talented, resilient, creative, hardworking, innovative and diverse community I’ve ever encountered. I’m going to put that up against any metro on either coast.”

Life View “My favorite quote, and my words to live by, is from St. Augustine: Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are Anger and Courage; Anger at the way things are, Courage to see that they do not stay that way” Spouse Howard Rodenberg


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Mom Trishmarie Woods

Topeka Since 2005

2 3 Jennifer Kirmse

V.P of Business Development, Educational Credit Union Age: 32

Why Topeka? “It’s a great place to raise a family with great schools that are preparing my kids for their future. There are also lots of activities and sports to get my kids involved with.”

Giving Back “Whether it is helping a small business reach its potential or giving high school students the resources they need to be financially literate, I believe that through my involvement I can make a difference.”

“Me” Time “I enjoy running. Running is my quiet time to enjoy the beautiful country roads. Whether it’s by myself, or pushing my daughter in her stroller. I treasure the times when she wants to go with me. She is my biggest source of encouragement. She is always encouraging me to run faster.” Spouse Chris Kirmse

Children CJ (7) & Aubrey (4)

Topeka Since Native

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


28 3 2 Katie McCollum

Development Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters Age: 28

Little by little “My favorite French proverb is: petit à petit l'oiseau fait son nid. Literally, little by little the bird makes his nest. That is how I feel about how I impact my community. It is a tall order to impact a community. I hope that my actions encourage others to get involved and do their part.” Farm and Art “Hands down the farmer’s market is my favorite part of greater Topeka. At the farmer’s market there is energy brought by the entrepreneurial spirit of the sellers and the excitement that comes from community members coming together with one item on their agenda: buy food. I like that I can leave with a sack full of foods that will nourish and challenge me—what can I make with rhubarb?”

Do Good “In whatever capacity I work, I want my work to be contributing to the greater good. Today, I see that helping Big Brothers Big Sisters create a diversified revenue portfolio allows the organization to thrive during tumultuous economic times.” Topeka Since 2009

Angel Romero Student, Washburn Law School Age: 23

Looking Up “I consider myself an optimist, almost to a fault. I believe that our community is only as good as we make it, and that if we come together we can make our community truly exceptional.” Working Together “Washburn Students are a huge economic drive for the Topeka community. The 7,000 students who attend Washburn University represent a HUGE pool of both revenue and potential employment. I have sought ways to help bridge the gap between students and the community so that these economic gains can be realized.” Words of Wisdom “I challenge community members to find just one young person in the community to believe in, support, and encourage. Remember- it only takes one person to make a big difference in someone’s life!” Parents Angel & Linda Romero


Winter 2011

Fish Chipotle

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Topeka Since 2005


per month

(single, couple or family)

•Unlimited Golf & Fitness with Membership • 24/7 Fitness access at Berkshire and Western Hills •15 Reciprocal Premier Locations and Growing! •No Green Fees for Members •Free Exercise Classes for Members •$25 Initiation Fee with this ad. Save $75 Offer expires November 30, 2012

GreatLife golf // fitness

Make it a Great day, Make it GreatLife


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


32 23 Maribel Florez

Human Resources Analyst, Security Benefit Age: 32

Motivator “I think the people are Topeka’s greatest asset. I have been very lucky to meet a lot of very motivated individuals who really see what Topeka has to offer, and only want to make it a better place to live, work and play than what it is today.”

Topeka’s Future “…[to] fulfill its potential of being one of the greatest cities in Kansas and an attractive city that everyone will put on their list of places to see and of places they will want to move to work in regardless of where in the US they currently live.” Caring for All “I wanted to be a veterinarian nun. Not even sure that it even exists but it sounded good to me at the time. I wanted to help people and I liked animals so it seemed like a good combination.” Parents Gustavo & Maria Florez

Chris Schultz

President & CEO, Schultz Management LLC Age: 32

Mission of Happiness “My main goal in life is to wake up happy and to go to sleep a little bit happier each and every day… I love the feeling of being a valuable asset to my community.”

Driven Dedication “I hope to continue growing my business while encouraging other creative minds to take pride and ownership in their community. I would love to see that I have somehow turned my business experiences into something that is used to entertain and motivate others, not only in Topeka, but around the world.” Creativity “A creative business mind will always conquer a competitive business mind. To my peers in business, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and don’t just find inspiration within the boundaries of our city and the businesses you compete with. See the world and find inspiration from many different experiences.” Children Field of Greens & The Break Room


Winter 2011

Topeka Since Native

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Topeka Since 2006

39 Pilar Mejía ELL Representative Age: 39

Zumba and Culture “I am a certified Zumba instructor and like to use my Zumba classes to share my Latin culture with Topekans through exercise. I also enjoy the country atmosphere of Topeka. I frequently take bike rides to experience the culture that Kansas has to share with me.”

Defining a Leader “People I consider as leaders are giving, compassionate, open-minded, driven, gentle yet assertive, honest, dedicated and good communicators. Leaders must be willing and able to help others find/use their voice to gain empowerment in their personal/professional lives and in their communities. “

Teaching Passion “I am a proud member of the Topeka Public Schools, one of the largest employers in Topeka. Through my former teaching and current instructional coaching, I have contributed to students reaching a level of education that allows them to be productive members of society.” History Pilar was born and raised in Cali, Colombia

Topeka Since 2001

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


Working with future Leaders photos by RACHEL LOCK

The Washburn University Leadership Institute partners with organizations and projects throughout the community to create opportunities for students to affect change. A leadership project requires a sponsor who is supportive of the unique learning process the project requires. This involves allowing the team to develop their leadership structure and process as a team, while working through project definition in the early phases. It also requires trust and patience. TK was a good fit for this project because you encouraged and empowered them to produce new and unique solutions to the issues that presented themselves.


Senior; Corporate Communications Age: 22

“The 20 Under 40 group is so diverse. There are artists and educators, entrepreneurs and business professionals. It’s not the group that everyone sees as the “typical young professionals.” It’s nice that people behind the scenes are getting the recognition they deserve.”

GRACE HILDENBRAND Senior; Corporate Communications Age: 20

“This process showed me that change can be good. Even when we changed direction in midstream as we were putting this project together, it seemed to get better. I was incredibly impressed with the networking system this group of individuals has in place, and by how close knit the Topeka community really is. These individuals all seem to know each other and they help each other. ”

AARON MOSES Junior; Criminal Justice Age: 20

“The Leadership Institute at Washburn has taught me to look critically at my own leadership ability and has improved my decision making skills. This project not only taught me how to produce a piece for a magazine, but it also showed me how important it is to work with people in the community you call home.”

Bobby Chipman

Junior; Accounting/Management Age: 20

“Working on this 20 Under 40 project taught me that communication skills and time management play a huge role in making any endeavor a success. I was surprised at how many great people are in this group of young professionals. They were all so encouraging and helpful. ”


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[stepping up to leadership]

walking the fine line of

Leader-Follower Relationships Achieving a balance between one’s need to be liked and the desire to be respected by followers is a challenge for many leaders. This is especially true for those who have “stepped up” to a leadership role from among their peers, those managing Generation Y and those needing to spark greater involvement from disengaged workers.

Stepping Up to Leadership

Rich Drinon, M.A. Drinon & Associates, President He has 25 years experience as an executive communication speaker, trainer, coach and facilitator. For more information


Winter 2011

Those who have stepped up to a position of leadership from among their peers must find ways to manage positive, respectful ties with those “new” followers. Often others will challenge their authority in a variety of ways including power plays, testing the friendship or insubordination. Nick Neukirch, vice president and equipment division director at BRB Contractors, found himself facings some of these trials. “The biggest

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

challenge I faced when stepping up to the leadership role was inspiring the “whole” team to see the company vision and how everyone benefits for doing their part,” Neukirch said. He suggests that a number of things can prevent followers from embracing a “new” leader’s vision, including doubts about ability, grudges over past experiences, disagreement over direction or an unwillingness to communicate and discuss ideas. Leaders in this position must recognize they are now accountable for results through others rather than just responsible for their own job. In order to get results, they must have cooperation from employees. This can be earned by asserting one’s authority at the right time and place, clarifying roles and being willing to back up directives with consequences for insubordination when necessary.

[stepping up to leadership]

Managing Gen Y Workers

Creating Worker Engagement

Studies by Bruce Tulgan, an author of several books on generations in the workplace, show that younger workers want to have a positive relationship with their boss that offers opportunities for coaching, mentorship and learning. They want their boss to take a personal interest in them. Tulgan has referred to this generation as “the most high maintenance workforce in the history of the world.” He also says this generation will be the most highperforming workforce in history—for those who know how to manage them. “Communication is huge in this area,” said Shirley Haas, deputy director of contact management at the Veteran Administration’s HRC in Topeka. “These employees need to feel they are being heard. Our supervisors meet with employees individually as much as possible. If the employee understands the ‘whys’ of decisions, we have a better chance of them buying into the processes.” Jayhawk File Express in Topeka uses monthly staff meetings as a way of recognizing employees, keeping them updated and creating an open forum in which to ask questions. “Workers want to know that what they do matters, makes a difference and that they are appreciated,” said Cheryl Creviston, president and CEO.. “They want to know what is going on in the company.”

A healthy leader-follower relationship enhances worker well-being and job satisfaction and positively impacts employee engagement and productivity. A leader must invest time and effort in getting to know his or her followers including their values, motives, working style and personal interests. And, at the risk of feeling exposed, the leader must share these same things with trusted followers. A 2011 Gallup study, entitled Feeling Good Matters in the Workplace, reports that "Happy employees are better equipped to handle workplace relationships, stress, and change. Companies that understand this, and help employees improve their wellbeing, can boost their productivity." A healthy leader-follower relationship is central to that well-being and productivity This study identified three types of employees: • Engaged—doing things to move the organization forward • Not-Engaged—basically “checkedout” and disinterested in the organization • Actively Disengaged—busy acting out their unhappiness and undermining what is accomplished by their engaged co-workers Leaders must keep engaged workers enthused while motivat-

ing less invested employees toward more productive involvement in the organization. “We recently participated in the Gallup study,” Hass said, “and found that we had more disengagement than we thought. We’re working with the teams to come up with ideas on how to improve.” One needn’t fear walking the fine line of leader-follower relationships. Others have walked the same path. Those who are successful have found that appropriately asserting one’s authority with former peers, mentoring Gen Y workers and gaining influence with disengaged workers can help develop a winning team that achieves its objectives.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine


Winter 2011


Life of a

building The Hotel Kansan

by Deb Goodrich-bisel photos by RACHEL LOCK and provided by kansas historical society

If walls could talk, as the old-saying goes, the walls at the CoreFirst building at 9th and Kansas would be chattering like magpies. Nowadays it's banking and business, and some folks are lucky enough to call this building home. It is an attractive anchor among the business blocks downtown, in many ways, quite ordinary. But there was a day not so long ago, that news cameras would have flashed and reporters would have pushed and shoved one another to get at the incredible stories unfolding in, and sometimes on, this downtown landmark.


During the 1920s, acrobat George Polley traveled the country entertaining crowds with his daredevil performances which included climbing the sides of tall buildings. He was dubbed, “The Human Fly.� He arrived in Topeka in June, 1925, and first scaled the Mulvane Building


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

(since demolished) at 6th and Kansas. The next day, thousands gathered to watch him climb the Hotel Kansan, the million-dollar hotel completed just months before. From 8th to 10th streets, people pressed to get a view. The neighboring rooftops provided a great vantage point for those lucky enough to have access. Known for his showmanship in addition to his athletic prowess, Polley stopped between the third and fourth floors to read the Topeka State Journal. According to the newspaper: Squatting on the window ledge of the seventh floor, Mr. Polley threw his feet back and downward. He was falling and the crowd gasped. But one arm was securely locked on the ledge, the crowd saw that they had been fooled, and they laughed, relieved that it was all in fun.

Tragedy A decade later, the headlines from the Hotel Kansan weren't nearly as entertaining. They were horrifying. It was November, 1939, and the paper's lead story was “TRAPPED IN HOTEL, GUNMAN KILLS SELF.”

A gruesome picture of the dead man was printed along with a detailed description of the gunfight and resulting mortal wounds. It reads like a script for an old gangster movie. Floyd Wadden sold Oldsmobiles in Davenport, Iowa. He delivered one to Alten Lee Morford in that same city and Morford, an ex-con, took the car salesman hostage. Thus began a chain of crimes that would end violently inside the Hotel Kansan. Wadden told police that Morford robbed filling stations and had taken at least one other hostage during their trek. It is unclear where the kidnapper was ultimately headed, but once he had checked in at the Hotel Kansan, his victim escaped and ran to the Senate Cafeteria next door and called police. Topeka detectives went to

Morford's sixth-floor room, where the criminal shielded himself with an unnamed woman and pointed a gun toward police. He allowed her to leave, but told the officers he would not be taken alive. Shots were exchanged, and then a hotel porter, who had been behind a door, fell to his hands and knees and gratefully crawled out. Detectives called for backup. Wanting to prevent further gunfire, authorities filled the room with tear gas. In the fog, Morford went into the bathroom and committed suicide. Guests in that area of the building were taken to other rooms because of the gas, and it took hours and several big fans to clear the hallways. Not even Elvis' visit years later could rival the excitement of that day.


In 1948, the riveting headlines came from an accident instead of criminal activity. Seven fireman and city employee, Raymond Thompson, were injured in a fire that threatened to destroy the building and left thousands of dollars in damage. A gas explosion in the hotel’s heating plant rocked the building. The Topeka Daily Capital quoted Thompson's coworker.

“I'd just climbed up thru the manhole . . . to make a check on the truck,” he said. “There was a big explosion and I turned around to see flames shooting up thru the manhole.”

He tried to reach Thompson, but the fire was too intense. He moved the company truck so it wouldn't explode. When he returned, Thompson, who was severely burned, was climbing by holding onto a fire hose. Bits of flesh were falling from his body when rescuers reached him. Guests clambered out of their rooms and onto the hotel fire escapes, some tossing their luggage to the ground ahead of them. The Topeka Fire Department's brand new aerial ladder, 100-feet long, was put into duty for the first time. When the fire had been extinguished, 12 feet of water stood in the basement. The 200 guests escaped without injury, but with plenty of stories.

Kansan Towers Revived Emery Fager did not want Commerce Bank (now CoreFirst) to be “just another bank.” When he was hired in 1959 to organize and open a new bank, he had a clear vision of

continued on pg. 68 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


what he wanted – a good image, character and purpose. He opened the first bank at the Holliday Square Shopping Center at 29th and Topeka Boulevard. By the 1980s, Fager’s vision moved downtown with the purchase of the First State Bank at 824 Kansas Avenue. It was operated under the name of Commerce Towne Bank until laws concerning branch offices changed. The 10-story Kansan Towers and half of the 800 block between Kansas and Quincy were purchased on the heels of the First State acquisition. Plans were to expand the bank into the Kansan Towers a few months later, in November, 1987. Duane Fager, bank president, told the Topeka Capital Journal that “in renovating the Topeka landmark, we are trying to save the old two-story lobby area and keep the old ornamentation of the columns of the Great Hall area.” Bank officials tried as much as possible to bring back the glory of the building’s 1920's appearance while making necessary updates. Hotel rooms that had become apartments in the 1960s became condos. The penthouse area that once hosted the King of Rock'n Roll is home to Elliot and Trevor Potter who enjoy a spectacular view of the capital city. CoreFirst Bank continues to occupy the ground floor and the second floor is


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

devoted to professional offices. Though its purpose and identity has changed over the years, the Kansan Towers survived changes in business and society, as well as downtown development plans that might have razed the structure. Many Topekans still have fond memories of the Sunflower Dining Room, one of the first to feature air conditioning, and the Purple Cow Coffee Shop that remained open 24 hours a day. If walls could talk, they would tell of the grand pianos that graced the elegant dining room and the roof garden. They would recall a cigar stand, a flower shop, Western Union, a barber shop, a tailor shop, a shoe shop, and a haberdashery – everything that would attract to the capital city business, travel and “men of affairs.” Perhaps it's best that walls don't talk.


Deb Goodrich-Bisel

Author and Historian,

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[extra, extra!] Newcomer Funeral Service Group purchases Mount Hope Cemetery

Ren and Theresa Newcomer, owners of Penwell-Gabel Funeral Homes, Crematory and Cemetery have purchased Mount Hope Cemetery. As part of the purchase agreement, the deal provides a share of the proceeds to go to three local charities: Washburn University, YWCA and YMCA, and also replenishes the cemetery trust funds responsible for the long-term care of the grounds and facility.

NOTO Receives $100,000 Gift

Kaw Valley Bank and President Gerald Lauber, and the Dr. Glenn Swogger family's Redbud Foundation presented a combined $100,000 donation to NOTO. “This financial gift is so important to the sustainability of the NOTO project and is incredibly significant that it is coming from a leading institution in North Topeka. The NOTO Project Management Board is thrilled with this partnership” said John Hunter and Anita Wolgast, co-chairs of the project.

MARS Breaks GrounD

MARS Chocolate North America has launched the first phase of the project that will create approximately 200 fulltime jobs in Topeka. Mars expects to invest more than $250 million in this new facility—the first new chocolate site built in the U.S. in 35 years.

TeleHealth Services and Stormont-Vail HealthCare Offer Interactive Patient Education

TeleHealth Services will partner with Stormont-Vail HealthCare to provide patients with interactive patient education. Ondemand patient education sessions will feature video-on-demand access to Stormont-Vail’s library of educational videos, available directly at the patient’s bedside. “The patient experience has been the No. 1 initiative of our hospital for many years,” said Michelle Niedens, director of Education Programs at Stormont-Vail HealthCare. “We strongly believe that providing on-demand education sessions will result in safer and more efficient care by increasing the number of teachable moments.”


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[extra, extra!] Sunflower Prompt Care has a new location

New Restaurant opens in SW Topeka

Blue Moose Bar & Grill is now open at 3030 SW Wanamaker, offering an upscale, casual restaurant with made-from-scratch food. Blue Moose offers a variety of menu options from pizza and pasta to sandwiches and seafood, all at a moderate price.

Sunflower Prompt Care has moved to a new location at 3405 NW Hunters Ridge Terrace, Suite 100.

Going Bonkers Opens in Topeka

Joe Tongish cut the ribbon to open Going Bonkers at 5515 SW 21st Street, a kid’s huge, climate-controlled, indoor playground full of climbing structures, slides and more.

Local Author Releases Book

Matthew Porubsky released Fire Mobile (the pregnancy sonnets), a poetic that speaks from the voice of a man observing the progression of his beloved’s pregnancy. Porubsky’s first book of poetry, “voyeur poems,” was awarded the Kansas Authors Club Nelson Poetry Book Award in 2006. For more information, visit

Topeka’s First Electric Vehicle Charging Station Opens

The Westar Energy electric vehicle charging station at the corner of 8th Street and Kansas Avenue is now open. The charging station will allow electric vehicle drivers to top off their charge while downtown. Westar’s charging station will provide 240volt charging, offered as a courtesy to electric vehicle drivers.

Blind Tiger receives national award

John Dean, brew master at the Blind Tiger Brewery, was awarded the Bronze Medal for the Capital City Kölsch beer at the Great American Beer Festival 2011, the National Championships for all breweries. This is the 14th national or international award received by John and the Blind Tiger in 11 years.

Express Employment Professionals Moves to New Location

Express Employment Professionals will open the doors of its new location at 2300 SW 29th Street, Suite 100 on Nov. 21. On Nov. 17, Express Employment Professionals will be host a training session “The 6 Most Dangerous Retention Mistakes Most Companies Are Making” at the Capital Plaza Hotel from 8:3011:30. For more information call Diana Ramirez at 267.2773. Phyllis Hoyt receives award


Winter 2011

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Juli's is a new coffee shop and bistro located in Gage Village at Huntoon & Gage in Topeka, KS. Juli's lunch menu features sandwiches with a twist. One browse through the menu and you will see this is not your typical Panini sandwich shop! With unique spreads, sauces, and salad dressings everyone is sure to find something to treat their taste buds. Hours Mon - Fri: 7:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat - Sun: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Let Juli’s Cater your next event or business meeting.

December 31, 2011


hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s! 605 SW Fairlawn Road Topeka, Kansas

Packages Include

Sleeping Room, Dinner, One Drink Ticket, Champagne Toast, Party Favors, Breakfast Buffet and Entertainment by Charlie and the Stingrays

Call 785-272-8040 for pricing and information

4010 SW Huntoon 785-228-2001

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


[scene about town] Community Resources Council's Awards of Excellence Ramada Inn & Convention Center October 17, 2011 [Garry Cushinberry: CoreFirst Bank & Trust, Lynette Hunter: Kirk & Cobb and Marsha Anderson: Presbyterian Manor]

[Kristina Dietrick: Creative Buisness Solutions, Commissioner Mary Thomas, HR Cook: Kansas Expocentre and Connie Cook: Marion Lane Candles]

[Bob Young, Abby Lear, Marlou Wegener, Vanessa Frazier and Kathy Fair: Blue Cross Blue Shield]

[Susan Cain, Sandy Ortiz, Jana Selley, Carey Likens: Security Benefit and Shari Gentry: se2] 74 Winter 2011 TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

[Jeff Carson, Gizmo Pictures, Tara Dimick: E2 Communications and William Beteta: Heartland Visioning]

[Commissioner: Shelly Buhler and Nancy Johnson: Community Resources Council]

[Mike Faler, Joan Sutton, Qiana Anthony and Gary Gifford: CoreFirst Bank & Trust]

C AIR P ARAVEL L ATIN S CHOOL 635 SW Clay St. • Topeka, KS 66606

Now enrolling!

Grades Kindergarten through 12th • • • •

Non-denominational Christian School Devoted Christian Teachers College Preparatory Classical Curriculum Sports and Fine Arts Programs

30 years of Classical Christian Education






TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


A Gift of Wine & Cheese

Three Easy Steps to the Perfect Holiday Business Gift 1. Pick up a great bottle of wine @ Lakeside Wine & Spirits and walk it next door to Ice & Olives 2. Choose your favorite cheeses, treats and goodies from Ice & Olives’ shelves 3. Let Ice & Olives pack, wrap and deliver the perfect gift basket

Home of Topeka’s Best Deli Sandwiches Box Lunches Delivered for Business Meetings or Special Events Meat & Cheese Trays • Office Parties • Client Gifts Wine & Cheese Tasting Parties • Private parties at your location or ours for details visit


Winter 2011

In Topeka this is as close as you can get to 1-stop shopping when you would like to give a gift of wine & cheese to your favorite client or business associate. We’ll pick it, pack it and even deliver it if that will help make your gift-giving easier during the hectic holiday season. Visit for more details.

• Imported Cheeses • Coffees • Teas • Sauces • Culinary Specialties •


Next door to Lakeside Wine & Spirits

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

SE 29th & Croco Road Topeka, Kansas 785.215.8460

[scene about town] Youth Entrepreneurs Business for Breakfast with Frank Sabatinni Ramada Inn & Convention Center September 29, 2011 [Elizabeth Koch: YEK Chairwoman, Bill Hanna: retired Koch Industries and Kylie Stupka: Young Entrepreneurs of Kansas]

[Neeli Bendapudi, Kyle Turbitt, Wally Meyer: The University of Kansas]

[Adam Kinsinger: student Topeka West High School, Doug Kinsinger: Great Topeka Chamber of Commerce, and =Dalton Lierz: student Topeka West High School]

[Rosalind Jennings: Kansas Gas Services and Olivia Simmons: Visit Topeka]

[Kevin Watt and Jim Janousek: Security Benefit]

[Roger Viola: Topeka Community Foundation, Karen Viola: Kelly Express, Larry Krische: Hayden High School, Marsha Oliver: Mize Houser & Co. and Kaitlyn Truesdell: student Topeka High]

[Kent Eckles and Jeff Glendening:Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Derrick Sontag: Americans for Prosperity] TK...Topeka's TK...Topeka's Business Business Magazine Magazine

Summer2011 2011 Winter


[the last word]


SABATINI Business Ventures

Frank Sabatini, a serial entrepreneur, has overseen a variety of investments, served on multiple boards, owned more than 100 Pizza Hut franchises and pursued commercial real estate. In 1957, Frank earned his law degree from the University of Kansas after completing a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from KU. During his undergraduate studies, he also competed as a member of the KU varsity football team. In 1979, Frank purchased Capital City Bank of Topeka and currently serves as the bank’s chairman emeritus after turning over chairmanship to his son, Matt. In addition to a successful attorney, banker and businessman, Frank has been a state representative and is a well-known philanthropist. For the last 30 years, Frank has resided on a small ranch outside of Topeka, with his wife, Judith, where he farms, once raised cattle and now raises brome hay.


Winter 2011

Independent Law Practice Tastee Freeze Sonic EZ Shops Pizza Hut White Lakes Shopping Center Real Estate (especially corners) Cattle Rancher Commercial Real Estate Developer Capital City Bank

Favorite Venture Banking and practicing law. In both areas, your customer becomes your friend and you know that they are depending solely on you for advice. You want them to succeed. You want your customer to get the best service.

Transformation of Business Environment There is a lot more competition so you have to develop sound business practices that make you the best in all areas—including the more recent practices that involve the Internet and social media. You must be willing to adapt to change.

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Little Known Facts

I grew up in Chicago. As a kid I sold newspapers and was a Cub Scout. I worked in several factories, was a freshman football coach at KU and sold life insurance. I also raced cars at Heartland Park.

Advice to New Venture Seekers Develop a thorough business plan that includes your analysis of similar businesses and the type of people needed. You need outgoing, well-presented people with a good education. Hire someone smarter than you are. Seek advice from your family, your friends and your banker, as they will present ideas that you have not thought to consider. Pick good partners.


TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

Winter 2011


The health care you choose for life. St. Francis Services Breast Center Comprehensive Cancer Center Cardiac Services Diabetes Center Diagnostic Services Emergency Services Gastrointestinal Services Home Care

Joint Replacement Center Lactation Services Level II NICU Low Vision Clinic NewLife Center (labor and delivery) Occupational Health Pain Management Center Pediatrics

Pulmonology Rehabilitation Services Spine Center Sports Medicine Sports Rehabilitation Surgical Services Turning Point Surgical Weight Loss Solutions Vein Clinic

St. Francis Gynecology Clinic 6730 S.W. Mission View Drive Suite 100 Topeka, KS 66614 785-228-2218

St. Francis Podiatry 634 S.W. Mulvane St., Suite 402 Topeka, KS 66606 785-357-0352

St. Francis Physician Clinics St. Francis Health Center 1700 S.W. 7th St. Topeka, KS 66606 785-295-8000 St. Francis Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery 600 S.W. College Ave., Suite 202 Topeka, KS 66606 785-270-5115 St. Francis Diabetes Center 6730 S.W. 29th St., Suite B Topeka, KS 66614 785-272-2240 St. Francis Family Medicine at Hunter’s Ridge 4646 N.W. Fielding Road Topeka, KS 66618 785-286-4475 St. Francis Family Medicine at Jewell 600 S.W. Jewell Ave. Topeka, KS 66606 785-295-5310 St. Francis Family Medicine at Mission Woods 2835 S.W. Mission Woods Drive Topeka, KS 66614 785-271-1818

St. Francis Heart and Vascular Center 600 S.W. College Ave. Topeka, KS 66606 785-233-9643 St. Francis Imaging Center and Medical Clinic 601 S.W. Corporate View Road Topeka, KS 66615 785-270-7MRI St. Francis Internal Medicine 631 S.W. Horne St., Suite 420 Topeka, KS 66606 785-270-5110 St. Francis Medical Clinic at River Hill 6001 S.W. 6th Ave., Suite 320 Topeka, KS 66615 785-232-4248


Winter 2011

Topeka OB/GYN Associates at St. Francis 634 S.W. Mulvane St., Suite 209 Topeka, KS 66606 785-295-5330 Topeka Urology at St. Francis 1516 S.W. 6th Ave. Topeka, KS 66606 785-232-1005

Valley Falls Medical Clinic 403 Sycamore Valley Falls, KS 66088 785-945-3263

TK...Topeka's Business Magazine

• St. Francis Health Center was recently named a top performer based on key quality measures according to The Joint Commission.

Topeka Neurosurgery at St. Francis 634 S.W. Mulvance St., Suite 202 Topeka, KS 66606 785-232-3555

St. Francis Pediatric Clinic 634 S.W. Mulvane St., Suite 100 Topeka, KS 66606 785-295-5498

Oskaloosa Medical Clinic 100 E. Washington, Suite B Oskaloosa, KS 66066 785-863-4125

• St. Francis Health Center is the only CARF-accredited facility in the region.

Topeka Neurology at St. Francis 631 S.W. Horne St., Suite 200 Topeka, KS 66606 785-234-6300

1700 S.W. 7th Street | Topeka, KS 785-295-8000 |

Clinics Outside Topeka Nortonville Medical Clinic 306 Lafayette Nortonville, KS 66060 913-886-2110

• St. Francis Comprehensive Cancer Center was the first in the area to be accredited by the Commission on Cancer.

Winchester Medical Clinic 306 Winchester Winchester, KS 66097 913-774-2150

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.