Glenda Washington, previous senior vice president of GO Topeka’s Women & Minority Business Development program, takes on a new role within economic development agency the Greater Topeka Partnership.

GO Topeka and the Greater Topeka Partnership announced today that staff member Glenda Washington has been named to the position of Chief Equity & Opportunity Officer. Washington previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Women & Minority Business Development, a program of GO Topeka. Washington has been a member of GO Topeka’s executive leadership team for over six years.

“I am honored to be able to serve the community under this position,” Washington said. “Now more than ever, we need to reexamine the societal barriers that have caused some people and businesses to receive every opportunity to succeed while others have few to none. Through this new role I hope to explore what new opportunities there are to ensure that equity, equality and equal opportunity is established, maintained and fostered throughout.”

Drawing from her past efforts which center on small business advocacy and support, with an emphasis on women and minority business development, Washington’s new position will also focus on ensuring equity for marginalized business owners.

“This position is vital to the integrity of our organization moving forward,” Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka, said. "Right now, we must accelerate the role of diversity, equity and inclusion within our society. GO Topeka is committed to be an ally and proponent of this movement. Glenda will do an excellent job leading this effort and pushing us forward.”

Washington began work at GO Topeka in October 2013. She possesses over 25 years of small business and procurement experience.

"Glenda’s career in community and economic development continues to pay dividends to Topeka & Shawnee County,” Matt Pivarnik, CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership, said. “This role is an acknowledgement of her leadership through the years, and the importance that equity and opportunity for all is to our organization while complimenting her continued work for small business and the mission of GO Topeka."

Prior to joining GO Topeka, Washington worked with the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce (Jacksonville, Florida) as the director of small and minority business development. Following six years in the banking industry, she returned to the Chamber as the senior director of economic inclusion in 2003. In addition to this role, she also served as the Procurement and Technical Assistance Center specialist. Prior to leaving Jacksonville, Glenda was the Multicultural Accounts Director for Visit Jacksonville.

Washington received a Bachelor of Science in Workforce, Education, and Development from Southern Illinois University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. For Washington’s complete bio, visit