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‘Give back something else’ — Glenda Washington puts all she has into small businesses

Helping develop small businesses has always been a passion for Glenda Washington.

The Greater Topeka Partnership’s chief equity and opportunity officer has pioneered her way through the business realm. She was honored earlier this month for her years of guiding others.

Washington was awarded the Global Life of Impact Award from iChangeNations.

Washington said receiving the award meant validation of the work she has done in the community.

“It means that your work is not in vain and that you have put forth all effort that you possibly could to help grow a community,” Washington said.

Long history of helping businesses development in communities

Whether it be a business pitch contest, small business meetings, forums and more, Washington has been the face of numerous development efforts for the betterment of businesses in Topeka and Shawnee County.

Before joining the Greater Topeka Partnership 10 years ago, Washington served as the director of Small and Minority Business Development and senior director of Economic Inclusion in Jacksonville, Florida. She then was director of multicultural accounts for Visit Jacksonville.

Washington said she was happy Topeka chose her to help at that time, but she doesn’t feel like she’s reached her goal of helping small businesses.

“You don’t ever reach your goal when you’re dealing with small businesses, because they will always need assistance in one way or the other,” Washington said. “I feel that there are still creative ways to address the needs of the businesses in the community.”

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