Kansas Department of Commerce Announces Plans for Minority and Women Business Awards

For Immediate Release Contact: Inayat Noormohmad 855-997-2746

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Minority and Women Business Development announces plans for its 33rd Annual Minority and Women Business Awards Luncheon. The luncheon will take place during Kansas Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, the Department’s annual celebration of minority and women entrepreneurs in Kansas.

The luncheon will be held at noon on Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 SW Topeka Boulevard, Topeka. The event will recognize 16 companies and four individuals for their support of Kansas minority and women-owned businesses and their efforts to create opportunities.

“Minority and women-owned businesses make a significant contribution to the Kansas economy,” said Nick Jordan, Interim Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce. “Seven percent of women and five percent of minorities in Kansas describe themselves as self-employed which, when taken together, equals a substantial portion of our local-owned businesses and employers. We greatly value their entrepreneurship and role in driving our state’s economy.”

The emcee of the event will be Regan Porter, an on-air reporter with WIBW-TV in Topeka. Dr. Jeff Colyer, Kansas Lieutenant Governor will be providing remarks. The event will also feature live music by the Washburn Rural High School Jazz Band. Sponsors of the luncheon include Dillons, GO Topeka Entrepreneurial & Minority Business Development, KCP&L, Network Kansas, PTMW, Inc. and Textron Aviation.

The registration fee for the luncheon is $40 per person or $320 for a table of eight. Registration is required and the deadline to register is September 22. Please visit KansasCommerce.gov/MEDWeek to register or contact Rhonda Harris, Director of the Office of Minority and Women Business Development, at (785) 296-3425 or rhonda.harris@ks.gov.

Companies being recognized at the luncheon will include:

Minority-Owned Businesses

Women-Owned Businesses


Recyclable Materials Relocating, LLC Kansas City, KS

MySmartPlans Kansas City, KS


Quik Tek Machining, LLC Wichita, KS

Advanced Welding Technologies, LLC
Wichita, KS

Professional Service

LaborMax Staffing KC Metro Kansas City, KS

FSC, Inc. Overland Park, KS


Paleterias Tropicanas Kansas City, KS

Toronto Lumber Company Toronto, KS

Service Industry

Project Fitness CrossFit Garden City, KS

Sage Restoration LLC Overland Park, KS


SARIN Energy Solutions Overland Park, KS

International Express Trucking, Inc. Kansas City, KS

Two individuals will also be recognized for their contribution in supporting the growth of minority- and women-owned businesses. Sandra Olivas with the Bank of Labor in Kansas City, Kansas will be recognized as the Minority Business Advocate of the Year while Debra Kunz with the Center for Deliberate Growth in Mission, Kansas will be recognized as the Women Business Advocate of the Year.

The luncheon also annually recognizes both a rising star entrepreneur and an established corporation that has demonstrated efforts to assist in the growth of women and minority businesses. This year, Paul Kaster with Crooked Branch Studio in Leawood will be recognized as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, while Textron Aviation in Wichita will be honored as the Corporation of the Year.

About The Office of Minority and Women Business Development

The Office of Minority and Women Business Development provides assistance in business development, identifying resources for financing and establishing contacts in the public and private sectors. The office is responsible for certifying minority and women-owned businesses as small disadvantaged businesses for procurement and subcontracting opportunities.

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