Fastsigns Receives International Award

FASTSIGNS of Topeka, a local sign and visual graphics provider, was recognized as a top performing center at the 2019 FASTSIGNS Convention held in Orlando, Florida.

Owned by Terri and Steve Gee, FASTSIGNS of Topeka received the Pinnacle Club Award, which is given to centers ranked 26 to 125 in sales volume between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018.

 “We are honored to be recognized as a top performing center from over 700 locations in nine countries worldwide in the FASTSIGNS network” said Steve Gee, franchisee of FASTSIGNS of Topeka. “This award reflects our team’s dedication to helping businesses and organizations solve their visual communications challenges in our community every day.”

 “We appreciate our customers’ support and look forward to helping companies of all sizes with the custom signs and visual graphics they need to get noticed, tell people what they do, help visitors find their way around a location and so much more,” Steve said.

FASTSIGNS of Topeka has been in operation for over 20 years and is located at 5999 SW 22nd Park Street. The business is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Buy A Beer – Save A Tiger

On February 14 this year, Blind Tiger Brewery announced that they will continue to support the Topeka Zoo’s Sumatran Tigers throughout 2019.

The sponsorship comes from a partnership developed between both parties where a portion of every pint, half pint, growler, squealer and keg of Tiger Bite IPA sold at Blind Tiger Brewery goes back to the Topeka Zoo for the support of Sumatran Tigers both here in Topeka and overseas in Sumatra.

The Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center has been, and continues to be, extremely successful with the Sumatran Tiger program. A litter of three cubs were born in 2014 and a second litter of four cubs were born last October. The Topeka Zoo has a large, beautiful habitat and a superb zoo staff that care for the tigers.

The Sumatran Tiger sub-species is critically endangered, with fewer than 500 estimated to be alive in the wild in Sumatra and just 81 (including the newest cubs) under human care in the United States. The Topeka Zoo works locally with multiple other zoos around the country through the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan to maintain and build up the gene pool of the Sumatran Tigers to preserve this very endangered species.

Some of the proceeds from the sponsorship with Blind Tiger Brewery goes overseas to Sumatra to employ a ranger who works to prevent poaching and maintain the existing natural environment for the wild tigers. One of the new cubs, Badar, was named to honor this hard-working ranger. So, without a doubt, craft beer enthusiasts in Topeka are saving tigers in Sumatra.

Jay Ives, owner of the Blind Tiger Brewery said, “We will keep coming through for the tigers with our sponsorship every month. It is one of the most satisfying community support efforts that we are involved in. The staff at the Topeka Zoo does such a great job taking care of the tigers and preserving the species.”

“Blind Tiger and its patrons help make the Sumatran Tigers one of the Topeka Zoo’s most successful and well-rounded animal programs,” said Brendan Wiley, executive director of the Topeka Zoo. “Drink a beer; save a tiger! That really happens here. It’s a great example of how our community makes a difference here and a half a world away at the same time.”

Taking the sponsorship to a second level, the spent grain used during the brewing process at Blind Tiger Brewing is provided as feed to a buffalo (bison) ranch right here in Shawnee County. As the buffalo herd increases, the excess animals are humanely harvested and processed by a local, licensed and inspected meat facility. The buffalo meat goes to the Blind Tiger Brewery and becomes the delicious, lean Kansan Burger (plus steaks on special occasions). Where this comes in to help the Topeka Zoo even further is that the remaining bones of the buffalo are provided to enrich the lives of the Sumatran Tigers. You may even see some of these bones in the Sumatran tiger enclosure.

Blind Tiger Brewery is the oldest of five local breweries in Topeka and can be found at the corner of 37th and Kansas Ave. Visit BlindTiger.com for more information on this award-winning brewpub. The Topeka Zoo & Conservation Center has become a gem of the community over time and works closely with partners throughout the community. Find out more about this centerpiece attraction by visiting TopekaZoo.org.

Updates to Envista Staff And Acknowledgments

Over the last several months, Envista has shared several announcements with the Greater Topeka Partnership and we are happy to help them celebrate.

Jeri Greeve has joined Envista as the Branch Manager of the 37th and Wanamaker location in Topeka. “We are excited to have Jeri as part of the Envista team. She brings tremendous experience to us and our members,” said Ron Smeltzer, President and CEO of Envista. “She truly shares our vision and passion to find a way to help.”

Prior to working for Envista, Greeve worked for CoreFirst Bank and Trust from 1994 to 2013. She has a strong banking background serving as a teller and working her way up through management, where she became the Vice President/Retail Market Manager over several locations. She was then recruited to Kaw Valley Bank as a Marketing Officer until October 2018. She currently serves as the Membership Chair on the Board of Directors for the Topeka Lions Club. “I am so excited to be a part of Team Envista. It is so refreshing to work for an organization that truly puts the needs of their members first,” said Jeri. “The ‘find-a-way’ service mentality at Envista is more than different, it’s empowering.”

Secily Rees, Member Service Specialist for Envista Credit Union, has received the Ken Norton Community Involvement Award for her outstanding dedication and commitment to community involvement and volunteerism. In 2018, she volunteered 389 hours to the Lawrence and Topeka communities.

Rees is a longtime volunteer for the Topeka Civic Theatre and the Lawrence Theatre. Rees’ passion for theater began at the age of six when she auditioned for her first community theater production at the Topeka Civic Theatre. Since then she has been involved with countless productions, helping in multiple aspects from being on stage, to designing wigs, costumes, painting sets, helping with fundraiser initiatives and children’s arts programs.

“I hope to inspire future generations. I believe that we can connect our community through art and laughter,” said Rees. In addition to her work in the theatre, Rees was selected to Leadership of Lawrence Class of 2018 where they adopted 70 low-income families providing them with a nice holiday dinner for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“Secily is a great example of being actively involved in the community to represent Envista and to help others,” said Ron Smeltzer, President and CEO of Envista Credit Union. “She demonstrates a strong commitment to making new connections and improving the lives of those around her through service in the community and financial assistance to members at the credit union.”

Envista has a long and proud tradition of volunteer service and encourages staff to be actively involved with charitable organizations. Envista believes in providing an uplifting culture and building strong values to inspire employees to excel. Each year, Envista holds an Awards Banquet to recognize employee achievements in multiple areas including community involvement, political advocacy, loan growth, referrals, mortgage and insurance production, member service and the top assistant manager, branch manager and branch.

Amanda Danielson, Branch Manager at Envista Credit Union, has received the President’s Award for Excellence. The award recognizes the Envista employee that embodies the character, spirit and values of Envista. Amanda’s leadership, professionalism, commitment and drive to exceed goals were instrumental for achieving this award.

Amanda led her team at the Envista branch on Highway 24 and Rochester Road in Topeka to be the most productive Envista branch in 2018. She also earned the Sales Excellence Silver Award and Insurance Sales Excellence Award.

“Amanda makes each person’s financial wellbeing her priority and continually demonstrates a strong desire to exceed expectations,” said Ron Smeltzer, President and CEO of Envista. “She leads by example and instills the same high standards that she holds for herself in her team. She provides excellent service and consistently looks for ways to help our members achieve financial success.”

Envista Credit Union is a full service financial institution established in 1957 to provide members quality products and services to achieve their financial goals. Envista currently has more than $364 million in assets and serves more than 42,000 Kansans with offices in Topeka, Lawrence and Hutchinson. For more information, call 785.228.0149 or visit EnvistaCU.com.

Stormont Vail Health Announces New Chief Medical Officer

Stormont Vail Health announced on January 4 that Kevin Dishman, M.D., has accepted the position of senior vice president and chief medical officer for Stormont Vail Health. In addition, the CMO serves as the president of the medical services division medical staff.

“Dr. Dishman exemplifies a servant leader through collaboration, transparency, and accountability,” Robert Kenagy, M.D., current chief medical officer and future chief executive officer, said. “An important ingredient of our success as an organization is physician leadership, and Dr. Dishman has been at the front with both excellence and compassion in clinical care and his passionate spirit for all things Stormont.”

Dr. Dishman joined Stormont Vail in 2000 as a hospitalist, serving in many leadership roles, including as current vice president of acute care services. Dr. Dishman received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri, in 1993. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, in 1996. He is currently working on his Master of Health Administration from Baker University.

“I’m honored and proud to have been selected as the future chief medical officer of Stormont Vail,” Dr. Dishman said. “Our physician group has grown to more than 250 physicians, many that I’ve worked with over my time here at Stormont Vail. I look forward to working with them to further improve the health of our community.”

Sunflower Bank Brings Specialized Business Banking to Topeka

Sunflower Bank announced earlier this month that Kellye Burkholder is now providing specialized banking services for small and medium-sized businesses. As assistant vice-president of Business Banking, Burkholder is Sunflower Bank’s lead business relationship manager for Topeka and its surrounding communities. She is based at 2641 SW Wanamaker Road.

“We are very pleased that Kellye Burkholder is now focused on providing business banking services and expertise to our community in Topeka,” said Glynn Sheridan, Market President and Regional Director for Sunflower Bank in Topeka. “Kellye has deep financial services and industry knowledge that she uses to strengthen Sunflower Bank’s ability to help grow businesses including healthcare and professional practices.” Through Business Banking, qualified clients benefit from a specifically-created credit structure and streamlined approval process. Business Bankers also deliver customized support to the healthcare and professional services industries. Sunflower Bank’s all-encompassing healthcare program covers a broad range of specialties across the industry. Its benefits include lower-than-traditional financing rates, strategies for practice acquisition, growth, and succession, and a partnership with the bank’s Treasury Management team to provide cash management services that create revenue cycle and back office efficiencies.

Burkholder joined Sunflower Bank in 2007 and has 27 years of financial services experience including commercial and personal relationship management and branch management. She also has expertise in budget development for health care practices that she uses to assist clients in all industries with creating a plan to meet their financial objectives. Burkholder is active in the Topeka community and is on the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Kansas. “I am thrilled to be in this new role of business banker, working with businesses to find the right solutions to achieve their financial ambitions,” stated Burkholder.

Sunflower Bank, N.A. provides financial solutions to the individual communities it serves. With approximately $4 billion in assets as of December 31, 2018, bank locations in six states and mortgage capabilities in more than 35 states, Sunflower Bank, N.A. provides a full range of relationship-focused services to meet personal, business and wealth management financial objectives.

To learn more visit SunflowerBank.com, FirstNational1870.com, or GuardianMortgageOnline.com.

Boy Scouts Announce Distinguished Citizen & Distinguished Corporate Citizen Honorees

The Jayhawk Area Council, Boy Scouts of America has announced they will honor Dr. Stan and Jody Teeter as 2019 Distinguished Citizens and Westar Energy as the 2019 Distinguished Corporate Citizen.

The Distinguished Citizen Award honors individuals, families and companies for their efforts in making a distinct difference in the fabric of our community. The honoree’s community involvement touches lives and improves the quality of life for all.

“This year’s honorees epitomize the attributes of Distinguished Citizens and Corporations in our community. Dr. Stan and Jody Teeter display all the individual qualities that make our community great, while Westar Energy serves as a model for how a company can truly benefit their community. We are fortunate to have benefited from both sets of honorees.” said Phil Elwood, president of the Jayhawk Area Council Board. “It is a privilege to honor them with this distinction.” The honorees will be recognized at an evening banquet on Thursday, June 27, at the Ramada Downtown.

About the Teeters

Dr. Stan and Jody Teeter first arrived in Topeka in 1957 to serve at Forbes Air Force Base as the base veterinarian. Dr. Teeter had recently graduated from Colorado A&M with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. During his time as Base Veterinarian he developed a relationship with Dr. Mark Morris Sr. as he was creating foods that would increase the overall health of the sentry dogs. Once his assignment was over, the Teeters returned to their native Arizona where Dr. Teeter built a veterinary practice and hospital for large and small animals. He expanded that practice, was a charter member of the Maryvale Rotary club, became an active member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and was named Arizona Veterinarian of the year in 1964.

In 1965, Stan and Jody picked up their growing family and moved back to Topeka, where Dr. Stan joined Mark Morris Associates, which was later bought by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and later by Colgate. He stayed with the company through his retirement in 1995, retiring as the Vice President of New Product Development. Together they served as conference organizer for the American Association of Equine Practitioners for many years.

Upon arriving back in Topeka, the Teeters created deep ties in the North Topeka Community and with First United Methodist Church. They served in numerous roles with their children’s activities. Both Jody and Stan served as leaders and volunteers with their children’s Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops. Stan took the lead role in serving on the Seaman School District Board and in Rotary. They supported several other causes that support children and youth such as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, Kansas Children Service League, Topeka Symphony, Topeka Zoo, Topeka North Outreach, and Camp Jayhawk. Among numerous other volunteer positions, Stan is a trustee of the Morris Animal Foundation and Jody has served as president of the Ronald McDonald House and on the Library Board. When asked how she felt about her mother not having a “career” outside the home, her daughter commented in her interview for medical school “Mom was in charge of everything I ever did.”

More recently the selfless work of the Teeters can be seen in the North Topeka Community. Throughout the years their passion for children and creating a better community for all can be woven into the fabric of the Topeka Area. From major involvement in the NOTO Arts District and delivering lunches to State Street School for the North Topeka Outreach program, these Paul Harris Fellows truly embody the Scout Oath and Law in all they do.

“We are so blessed to be a part of the Topeka Community. We never dreamed that a two-year deployment to Forbes Air Force Base would eventually become a lifetime of impact in this community that we call home. It’s an honor to be a part of this group of awardees and know first-hand the impact that scouting makes on an individual and their families. We discovered long ago that we are happiest when we are helping others.” – Dr. Stan and Jody Teeter

The Teeters have two sons and two daughters, all were in scouting programs. They are proud to have an Eagle Scout among their 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

About Westar Energy

“Westar Energy and KCP&L, Evergy companies, are committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable sources of energy today and well into the future. So, they are embracing alternative energy sources to generate more power with less impact to the environment and adopting new technologies that let their customers manage the energy they use in ways that work for them. Whether it’s new ways to connect with them, electric vehicle charging stations or the next innovation around the corner, Westar is dedicated to empowering a better future.

Westar Energy and KCP&L also provide more than the energy that powers their communities; they empower their employees to make a difference. Employees share their time and talents with a variety of important causes, like the Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Meals on Wheels. Collectively, employees spend nearly 30,000 hours each year volunteering in local communities — from providing strategic input as board members to cleaning up playgrounds and working with students. During 2018, Westar Energy and KCP&L contributed more than $4M to nonprofit organizations throughout their service territory. Through annual employee giving campaigns, employees contributed more than $1M to their communities. In addition, the company committed $2.5M to the new Evergy Plaza to be the focal point of downtown Topeka.

For more information on the event, visit JayhawkCouncil.org/DCD.

The Teeters and Westar Energy join a distinguished group of honorees from Northeast Kansas to receive this award. Past recipients include Anderson Chandler, Louis B. Falley, John Hambleton Abrahams, Georgia Neese Gray, Joseph A. Thompson, Dean Hodges, Marjorie C. Schnacke, James W. Porter, Howard T. Paul, Frank C. Sabatini, John E. Hayes, Jr., Howard R. Fricke, Robert C. Wheeler, Steven J. Douglass, Governor Bill Graves, John C. Dicus, John B. Dicus, Dean Ferrell, Duane Fager, Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Maynard Oliverius, Nancy Perry, Dr. Jerry Farley, Dale Cushinberry, Jim Parrish, Dr. Walt Menninger, William B. Moore, John Stauffer, Dr. Kent Palmberg, Ed Hughes, Governor Sam Brownback, The Founders of Advisors Excel Cody Foster, David Callanan and Derek Thompson, Butch Eaton and Jim Klausman. In 2018, Larry and Anita Wolgast joined this prestigious group.

Proceeds benefit the Jayhawk Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and the 5,500 plus youth they serve annually.

Headquartered in Topeka, the Jayhawk Area Council, Boy Scouts of America is celebrating 100 years of First-Class Scouting. Scouting aims to provide unique personal growth opportunities to an ever-increasing number of youth, helping them mature into adults whose values are embodied in the Scout Oath and Law. The core of this singular movement is focused on fostering development of values-centered lives through character development, personal fitness, citizenship, employability and service to others.