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GoTopeka » Training & Events

Training & Events

GO Topeka hosts many classes, training seminars and events throughout the year. Many classes are put on by GO Topeka’s Entrepreneurial & Minority Business Development that include FastTrac New Venture and FastTrac Growth Venture programs. In the Fall we have the annual Small Business Conference as well as the Women’s Initiative Reception and in the Spring we have the Small Business Awards events.

If you have any questions about any events and training seminars, contact Matt Lara.

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State of Education

The State of Education provides the opportunity to communicate with the community on education. This year, the Greater Topeka Partnership will focus on the efforts in the cradle through career initiative, TogetherTopeka. The State of Education is the perfect time to introduce the broader community to TogetherTopeka, a collective impact for talent, as well as explain the initiatives coming out of it and what collective impact and community-wide partnerships can look like for all of us. A broad cross-sector representation panel will discuss the collective impact, partnerships and what that looks like from cradle through career for the community. Attendees should leave with a good sense of hope and understanding of education initiatives across districts and the community and from cradle through career in Topeka and Shawnee County.

Register here!

Sponsorship Opportunities

Presenting Sponsor

  • Receives top billing in pre and post-event publicity, on event visuals and collateral
  • One seat at head table for CEO or ranking representative
  • One reserved table for 10 in prime location

Host Sponsor

  • Recognition in pre and post-event publicity, on event visuals and collateral
  • One reserved table for 10 in prime location

Gold Table Sponsor

  • Recognized on invitation
  • Recognized on sign at table
  • One reserved table for 10

Silver Table Sponsor

  • Recognized on invitation
  • Recognized on sign at table
  • Five tickets

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Kansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center


Kansas PTAC is ready to help your business secure government contracts. We provide individualized counseling and informative training seminars about timely contracting issues and the latest guidelines to help you learn how the procurement system can work for you. We assist in developing a government marketing strategy and identifying agencies that purchase your product/service.

We can help find government advertised bidding opportunities using our web-based bid-matching service that searches more than 2,000 federal, state and local sites each day. Our counselors provide expertise in reading and understanding government solicitations, completing government registrations and bid preparation by explaining forms, regulations and clauses.

To apply to be a Kansas PTAC client, read the guidelines below then apply here.


Kansas Procurement Technical Assistance Center’s (PTAC) mission is to assist viable businesses located in the State of Kansas with potential market expansion through procurement opportunities with the government which enhances local economies.

Kansas PTAC Services

  • Marketing products/services to the government
  • Training seminars
  • Identify product/service codes
  • Understand laws and regulations
  • Government registration and certifications
  • Notices of contracting information/changes
  • Socioeconomic programs
  • Bid/quote/proposal preparation
  • Understand specifications, standards, and procurement histories/National Stock Numbers (NSNs)
  • One-on-one counseling
  • Bid notification services

Guidelines for Becoming a Kansas PTAC Client

  • Meet Federal responsible contractor standards
    • Adequate financial resources*
    • Comply with delivery/performance schedule
    • Satisfactory performance record
    • Satisfactory record of integrity/ethics
    • Organization, experience, accounting and operational controls, technical skills*
    • Production, construction and technical equipment and facilities*
  • Sell products/services purchased by the government
  • Not on Excluded (Debarred) list
  • In business for at least one year
  • Person available to devote time to government contracting
  • Know your pricing
  • Computer with connectivity to the internet
  • Email
  • Business plan
  • Marketing plan
  • 5 or more employees

*or ability to obtain

Disclaimer: Provided in part by a sub-award through Wichita State University (funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency).

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GO Topeka hosts training events and seminars throughout the year. Look at the calendar to find a class that fits your needs.

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If you have any questions or would like more information on small business and entrepreneurial courses, please contact GO Topeka Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development at 785.231.6000 or send an email to

Download the 2016 Directory of EMBD Graduates and Certified MBE/DBE/WBE Businesses here.

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Fifth Annual Women of Influence Awards

The Women’s Initiative Committee will be hosting the Fifth Annual Women of Influence Awards on Thursday, August 23rd, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nominations for the Women of Influence awards is now closed. Click here to register.

Woman of Influence – A woman who is influential within her company or industry. She displays strong leadership experience and inspires other women. A visionary with a track record of accomplishments.

Outstanding Entrepreneur – A female entrepreneur who contributes to the success of other women and entrepreneurs. She has experienced business growth and promotes sound business practices, a commitment to excellence and is a contributor to her community.

Distinguished Mentor – A woman who advises other women in order to help them advance and develop their own path to academic and
professional success. She generously shares her time to be accessible to the mentees. Imparts guidance and expertise in
encouraging and critiquing the mentee’s leadership, training and other scholarly works. Encourages mentees in networking
activities with other professionals. Promotes and makes others aware of the contributions and value of their mentees.

Community Service – A woman who has been involved in community service, such as boards, commissions or community groups. She has strong leadership skills and serves as a role model for inspiring others to change their community. She has influenced decision-making on issues and enhanced the quality of life in her community.

Rising Star – An up and coming female executive or business owner with less than five years at a company or in business. She has strong leadership skills and her actions have and continue to make an impact on the community. She is an innovator and inspires others.

Education – A woman whose creativity and innovation has impacted education. She has made an impact in training and education for the Shawnee County Community. She has strong leadership skills, serves as a role model and inspires others.

Past Women of Influence Recipients 2014-2017

Cindy Barry
Glenda DuBoise
Sarah Fizell
Amanda Kiefer
Joanna Lassley
Diana Ramirez

Martha Bartlett-Piland
Dr. Brenda Dietrich
Stephanie Heston
Justice Marla Luckert
Dr. Beryl New
Anita Wolgast

Christie Appelhanz
Carol Bradbury
Barbara Ebert
Pam McComas
Joanna Wagnon
Angel Zimmerman

Shelly Buhler
Cheryl Creviston
Cathy Harris
Pamela Johnson-Betts
Linda Kehres
Dr. Sharon Sullivan

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Small Business Awards

Each year the Greater Topeka Partnership recognizes four local businesses and one small business advocate. This year’s Small Business Awards will take place on May 15, 2018. Click here to purchase tickets or to sponsor the event.

The finalists for the 2018 Small Business Awards have been named and are as follows:

Capital City Business of Distinction

Porterfield’s Inc., David Porterfield, 3101 SW Huntoon, 354-1707

Schendel Lawn and Landscape, Brent Boles, Aaron Jones, Brandon Moore, 4707 SW 6th Ave., 286-0015

Tarwater Farm & Home, Rich Tarwater, 4107 NW Topeka Blvd., 286-2390

Minority Business of Distinction

Bowser Johnson Funeral Chapel, Dr. Harriett Johnson, 723 SW 6th Ave., 233-3039

Footprints Bookkeeping Services, LLC, Sylvia Hopper, 266-5574 or 249-5362

Fragrance World of Topeka, Ronald Owens, 3416 SW 6th, 221-8767

Women Business of Distinction

Century Business Technologies, Inc., Dawna McCabe, 401 SW 30th St., 267-4555

Green Point, Ashley Bahm, 1405 SE Madison, 234-6000

HR Partners, LLC, Kristina Dietrick, 1240 SW Oakley, 233-7860

Nonprofit of Distinction

Harvesters, Valerie Nicholson-Watson, 215 SE Quincy, 861-7719

Let’s Help Inc., Linda Kehres, 200 S. Kansas Ave., 270-5238

Valeo Behavioral Health Care, Inc., Bill Persinger, Jr., 330 SW Oakley Ave., 228-3071

Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction

Ethan & Anna Children’s Boutique, Kim Adair, Aimee Rosenow, 2829 SW 29th St., 845-3019

Happy Bassett Brewing Company, Eric Craver, 6044 SW 29th St., 640-3151

Red Door Home Store, LLC, Jesse Borjon, 2131 SW Fairlawn Plaza Dr., 249-9438

Small Business Advocate

Azura Credit Union, Jennifer Kirmse, 610 SW 10th Ave., 228-5370

TK Business Magazine, Tara & Braden Dimick, 7512 SW Falcon St., 438-7773

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor:

EnvistaLogo 2018 png



Silver Sponsor:





Media Sponsor:



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Washburn Center for Organizational Excellence

CFOE Logo 2015_003The Washburn University Center for Organizational Excellence offers quality education and consultation services responsive to organizations of sizes and all types: service, manufacturing, government, education, non-profit, and others. The Center serves as a resource to the community, the region and beyond by providing professional development and consultation to enhance professional competence and organizational capacity.

Facilitating the University’s goal of “learning for a lifetime”, the Center provides opportunities for enhanced understanding, skill development, and applications that can effect change and support continuous improvement at both the individual and organizational levels.

Formed in partnership between the Washburn University School of Business, Office of Graduate Programs and Academic Outreach, GOTopeka, and Crimson Corporation, the Center offers quality education and consultation services responsive to organizations of all sizes and types: service, manufacturing, government, education, non-profit, and others.

For more information click here.

Non-Profit and Small business scholarship pROGRAM

Recognizing that there are many small organizations that can benefit from the portfolio of the programs offered by the Center, but that may not have sufficient financial resources, Washburn and GO Topeka have partnered to offer financial assistance to non-profits (501c3 or 501c6) and small businesses who have participated in the Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development (EMBD) program.  For more information click here.

To register for a class or workshop with the Entrepreneurial, Minority & Small Business Development (EMBD) Program, please check the calendar of events for upcoming trainings.

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Washburn Tech Programs

Washburn TechGO Topeka recognizes community members may want to start a new career, change careers or update their current skills.  We offer support  through a variety of initiatives and programs partnered with Washburn Tech to serve the Topeka and Shawnee County community.

The Joint Economic Development Organization/GO Topeka Scholarship provides eligible Washburn Tech students enrolled in high demand career programs with scholarships ranging from $250-$500 per semester.  More information about the scholarship opportunity may be found here.

GO Topeka is also pleased to provide marketing and recruitment support to the partnership between Washburn Tech and BNSF to offer NARS-certified curriculum (National Academy of Railroad Sciences) in their Locomotive Diesel Technician program.

In addition, Washburn Tech, in partnership with GO Topeka and in cooperation with area food manufacturers, offers the pilot Manufacturing Technology or M-Tech training initiative.  The program provides intensive technology training to workers and links them to good jobs in the food manufacturing field.  Graduates are prepared for entry-level production positions and are prepared to earn the Certified Production Technician national industry credential.

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