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Topeka’s Top “20 Under 40” Celebrates 5th Year!

TOPEKA, KS— August 13th, 2014—The Jayhawk Area Council today announced the 2014 Honorees for Topeka’s Top “20 Under 40” award.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, Topeka’s Top “20 Under 40” award honors members of the Topeka/Shawnee County Community for their commitment and contributions both professionally and personally.  Each spring, members of the greater Topeka community are invited to submit nominations for the “20 Under 40” award and then nominees are sent an invitation to formally apply for the honor.  After the application deadline close, a selection committee of more than 20 Topeka community leaders spend countless hours reviewing every submission. This year, the program received more than 200 nominations and over 100 applications, including two letters of recommendation per submission - a new requirement for applicants in 2014.  The decision to select only 20 honorees out of such a large pool of worthy candidates each year continues to become an increasingly difficult task. 

It is our pleasure to announce the following community members as this year’s honorees:

Vince Avila, Westar Energy, Inc.

John Bell, Shawnee County Parks and Recreation

David Callanan, Advisors Excel

Chris Fisher, WIBW-TV

Aarion Gray, USD 345 Seaman - Logan Elementary

Adrian Guerrero, State of Kansas - State Board of Nursing

Brian Haug, WIBW-TV

Gena Hendrickson, Hamilton and Wilson Orthodontics

Amanda Kiefer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka

Michelle McCormick, Office of the Kansas Attorney General

Candis Meerpohl, Kansas State Research and Extension-Shawnee County

Hattie Mitchell, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

Nathan Morris, Meridian Roofing Solutions, LLC.

Allison Nichols, Kansas Special Olympics

Jenalea Randall, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS)

Buck Reuter, Westar Energy and the Topeka Police Reserves

Shanna Russell, Pine Ridge Prep- Topeka Public Schools

Nathan Schmidt, City of Topeka/KDOR

Christina Turner, Manchester School for Young Children

Andrew Wiechen, Architect One P.A.


“On behalf of the ‘20 Under 40’ Selection and Steering Committees and Jayhawk Area Council, thank you for the incredible response to the call for nominations for this year’s award.  We are in awe of the talent and accomplishments of our young leaders in the Topeka community,” stated Nick Xidis, Vice President of Finance for the Jayhawk Area Council Board of Directors. “We are excited to recognize our Honorees through an event that provides financial support for the more than 6,000 youth involved in Scouting in the Jayhawk Area Council.  This includes critical funds that help the Scouts of the Highland District participate in year-round programing and summer camp experiences. The Highland District serves Scouts who are the most at risk to not succeed due to economic and family situations. Through their scouting experience we aim instill the values of good conduct, respect for others, and honesty that are the foundation of tomorrow's leaders.”

The 2014 Honorees will be recognized at a banquet on Thursday, November 13th, at the Ramada Downtown Convention Center.  

2014 Sponsorship Opportunities.pdf

Current 2014 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors:



Gold Sponsors:


Silver Sponsors:


Speaker's Sponsor:

State Farm

Table Sponsors:

Architect One, PA; Bartlett & West Inc.; Meridian Roofing Solutions; Pediatric Associates of Topeka (2); Topeka Housing Authority; Topeka Periodontics (2); Topeka Public Schools; Westar Energy; Family & Friends of Jenalea Randall; 

Want to sponsor or be involved? 

E-mail Erin Aldridge, Development Director, at for more information.

2014 Sponsorship Opportunities.pdf

2013 Honorees

Christie Appelhanz, Kansas Action for Children           Cherie McGinnis, Stormont-Vail HealthCare
Stacie Borjon, Shawnee Heights High School          Cory Powell, Boys and Girls Club of Topeka 
Laura Burton, Midland Care Connection, Inc.          John Ratzenberger, LUNGevity
Brandon Evans, Williams Elm. USD 501           David Richard,  Eisenhower Middle, USD 501
Jayme Green, Topeka Police Department.          Dr. Michelle Schierling, Stormont-Vail Healthcare
Carrie Greenwood, Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy          Jennifer Sourk, Midwest Health, Inc.
Zach Haney, Carnival Guy Party Rentals/Teens Taking Action          Neal Spencer, The Ernest-Spencer Companies
Melissa Jarboe, Military Veteran Project (Jamie Jarboe Fnd.)          Travis Stryker, CAS Constructors, LLC
Marjorie Lathrop-Allen, Hill's Pet Nutrition          Karily Taylor, Marian Clinic
Chris McGee, Krumins McGee Financial Group of
                             Wells Fargo Advisors
         Jenny Torrence, Serendipity

2012 Honorees

Brian Austin Bartlett & West, Inc.           Emily McGee, Community Coordinator 
Matthew Bergmann, Frieden, Unrein & Forbes, LLP          Brett Oetting, Parrish Hotels
Michael Browning, DDS, Sunflower Smiles Pediatric Dentistry           Amy Pinger, YWCA Topeka
Brittany Crabtree, LeadingAge Kansas           Sarah Sachs-Jepson,
         Pediatric Associates Topeka, P.A.
Sheyvette Dinkens, Women Empowerment, Inc.          Allyson Shove, TARC, Inc.
Jeremy Goodwin, WIBW Channels          Zach Snethen, HTK Architects
Stephanie Hall, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library          Cassandra Taylor, Architect One, P.A.
Lena Hayden, Nos Vemos Greetings/Payless ShoeSource          Chad Taylor,
          Shawnee County District Attorney Office
Amanda Hughes, Washburn University          Amanda Walter, Porterfield’s Flower and Gifts
Nicole MacMillan, YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment          Ryan Wenrich, GB Management, LLP


2011 Honorees

John Ary, Robot Monster Creative    Nathan McAlister, Royal Valley Middle School
Sarah Carkhuff-Fizell, Post Rock PR    Katie McCollom
Miranda Carmona,
Goodell Stratton Edmonds & Palmer, LLP 
   Pilar Mejia, Topeka Public Schools
Brie Engelken-Parks, Advisors Excel    Jesyca Rodenberg,
   Kansas Association of Community Action Programs (KaCAP)
Maribel Florez, Security Benefit    Angel Romero, Kansas Board of Regents
Greg Gathers, Custom Tree Care, Inc.    Chris Schultz, Schultz Management, LLC
Rebecca Hummer,
Shawnee Heights Elementary School
   Dan Schultz, CivicPlus
Jennifer Kirmse, Educational Credit Union    Drew Switzer, WIBW Channels
Justin Marable, Artist    Ben Tenpenny, Capital City Bank
Amy Martens
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas  
   Kathleen Williams-Heit, Clayton Financial Services

2010 Honorees

Paul Bossert, Premier Executive Recruting          Cyndi Hermicillo-Legg, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce
Melissa Brunner, WIBW-TV          Jared Holroyd, Atria
Michelle De La Isla, Habitat for Humanity           Kerrice Mapes, ActionCOACH Team Empowerment
John F. Fager, CoreFirst Bank & Trust          Fred Patton, Patton Law Office
Karl Fundenberger, FWD          Kim Ribelin, Kansas Secretary of State
Amber Gentry - Bullock, ISG Tech          Alissa Sheley - Menke, jones huyett Partners
Justin Glasgow, Performance Tire & Wheel          Dr. Julie Swift, Topeka Periodontics
Matthew Goodwin,
Oakland Church of the Nazarene
         Richard Wells, Security Benefit 
Angie Haggard, Valeo Behavioral Health Care          Corrie Wright, City of Topeka
Desmond Henry, US Bank Investments, Inc.          Andrea Engstrom, Breakthrough Revenue
           Patrick Woods, University of Kansas
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