40th Annual Small Business Awards Winners and finalists

The Greater Topeka Partnership is happy to announce the winners of the 2021 Small Business Awards! This year we recognized local small businesses, a nonprofit agency and an entrepreneur for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the Topeka & Shawnee County community.

These award recipients include:

Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction Award

Dialogue CoffeeCaitlyn Halsey, Owner

Dialogue Coffee House has been in business for two years and operates with a staff of intellectually and developmentally disabled adults.


Non-Profit Award of Distinction

Capper FoundationJim Leiker, CEO

Capper Foundation serves individuals of all ages living with disabilities-intellectual, physical, developmental, and behavioral - with medically based pediatric therapies for the infants through young adults and day/residential services for adults.


Minority Business of Distinction Award

Dare to Dream Event ManagementCheryl Clark, CEO

Dare to Dream Event Management is a full service professional event management and event design company.


Women Business of Distinction Award

TLJ Consulting – Tracy Jepson, CEO

TLJ Consulting is an accounting and strategic planning business.


Innovation Award

Evergy Plaza – Pat Michaelis, Chairman of Downtown Topeka Foundation

Located in the heart of Downtown Topeka, Evergy Plaza is a public gathering place and event venue. The Plaza features a performance stage, fountains, fire pit and a 30-foot digital screen.


Capital City Business of Distinction Award

Dobski & Associates, Inc.Tom & Marilyn Dobski, Owners

Tom and Marilyn Dobski purchased their first McDonald’s franchise in November of 1981. They now own and operate a total of 19 McDonald’s restaurants throughout Northeast Kansas. McDonald’s Corporation allows them the opportunity to offer many compelling benefits including tuition assistance, employee discounts to national retailers, and English as a second language classes.