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2020 Topeka Business Hall of Fame Laureates Announced

2020 Topeka Business Hall of Fame Laureates Announced

Topeka, KS – The 2020 Topeka Business Hall of Fame laureates were announced at a brunch event on Tuesday, October 8, at the Topeka Country Club. Three business leaders will join the Topeka Business Hall of Fame in March. 

The 2020 laureates are Dr. Shekhar Challa, Kansas Medical Clinic; Ken Daniel, Midway Wholesale; and David Porterfield, Porterfield’s Flowers and Gifts. 

The 2020 Topeka Business Hall of Fame dinner honoring these individuals will be Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the Downtown Topeka Ramada. 

Dr. Shekhar Challa Dr. Shekhar Challa is the President and CEO of Kansas Medical Clinic (KMC). He is board-certified in Gastroenterology and is a practicing Gastroenterologist at Kansas Medical Clinic. KMC is a multi- specialty group practice with 150 employees, 28 providers, and is spread across 10 locations throughout Kansas and Missouri. 

He is the founder of Osteoporosis Services, Inc., which, at its peak, was the largest mobile bone density service company in the United States; spanning 6 states and 150 rural hospitals. 

He also had the opportunity to co-found Probulin, a nutraceutical probiotic company, with his daughter Akhila. Probulin is currently available in over 4000 stores in the USA, including Whole Foods and Sprouts. 

In addition to his several companies, Dr. Challa is an award-winning author. His books include "Winning the Hepatitis C Battle," for which he received the Readers Preference Award and was a Benjamin Franklin award finalist, "Spurn the Burn: Treat the Heat-Everything you need to know about Acid Reflux Disease," and “Probiotics for Dummies.” He donated the Spanish rights of his Hepatitis C book to the publishing company Panorama in Venezuela.

His work has led to features in well-known publications such as: Time Magazine, Huffington Post, Men's Fitness, San Francisco Chronicle, Fitness Magazine, Real Simple, and even Seventeen magazine. He has been interviewed for his expertise by dozens of radio programs throughout the country. 

Dr. Challa believes in care first, and as a practicing Gastroenterologist, has been the first in the state to bring many procedures to St. Francis Hospital (now the University of Kansas Health System – St Francis Campus), and the Endoscopy Center. The Endoscopy Center of Topeka was opened by Dr. Challa and his partners Dr. Sufi and Dr. Feagan in 1988, which was the first outpatient surgery center in the Midwest. 

Dr. Challa has been the PI (Principal Investigator) in 25 research clinical trials for some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. 

His success as an entrepreneur and a caregiver has led to several board seats for global companies such as Amsurg and the Osteoporosis Division of Proctor and Gamble.. Dr. Challa is currently on the advisory board for Rom-3 and Bioscience America, the parent company of BioXcellerator Stem Cell Hospitals. Locally, he has had the honor to serve on the board of the Topeka Performing Arts Center and he is currently on the Greater Topeka Partnership Board.

Ken Daniel Kenneth L. Daniel, Jr., was born in Roosevelt, Utah. Over the next nine years he lived in Roosevelt and six other states until moving to Oklahoma City when he was nine. Ken is a 1963 graduate of Putnam City High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1970. Immediately upon graduation, he moved to Topeka, Kansas, where he founded Midway Wholesale of Topeka. In its 49-year history, Midway Wholesale has grown from the Topeka location to now operating in nine cities in three states: Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. Ken retired from Midway Wholesale on January 1, 2019. In addition, Ken is the managing partner of Wohlgemuth and Daniel Investments, LLP. 

Ken has been deeply involved in civic organizations and volunteer activities throughout the duration of his career. Within months of moving to Topeka, he joined the Topeka Jaycees, serving as a state Jaycee officer for four years. In 1981, Ken was awarded the Outstanding Young Kansan Award by Kansas Jaycees. 

In three consecutive years, from 2004 – 2006, Ken was named the Small Business Champion of Kansas by the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization which he also served as state chair.

In 2006, he was named one of five Small Business Champions at the National Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. 

Ken has served as an appointee of three Kansas state boards: the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship, the Kansas Health Policy Authority and KansasWorks. 

Ken was elected the charter chairman of the Topeka Independent Business Association, also known as TIBA, in 2006. Ken has served as chairman of the YMCA and YMCA Foundation boards, President of the Flint Hills Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, President of the Topeka Active 20/30 Club, was selected as chair of Mayor Bill Bunton’s business-friendly committee and served on the board of Fidelity State Bank for many years. 

Ken married Barbara in 1968 and they have two children: their son Larry and their daughter Robin, who, with son Tony, have Ken and Barbara’s two grandchildren: Kennedy and Abby. Ken is a dedicated member of Countryside Methodist Church. His hobbies include lobbying for small businesses, swimming, forestry, bicycling, singing, playing the clarinet, genealogy and fishing.

David Porterfield David has spent his entire professional life doing what he loves at Porterfield’s. A Topekan by birth and choice, he attended Topeka Public Schools and graduated from Washburn with a BA in English. 

Porterfield’s was founded in 1965 by Brooke and Virginia Porterfield along with son David, who was 16 at the time and just old enough to drive the delivery truck! The original store was at 2607 SW 21st where it remained until the early 1980’s when David purchased the store from his parents and moved it to its current location at Huntoon and Oakley in the Westboro Mart. Since its inception, Porterfield’s has been a bellwether of classic floral design with an original flair. 

Professionally, he has served as president of the Kansas State Florists Association and has twice been on the national Board of Directors of the American Institute of Floral Designers. He was a selected designer for President Reagan’s second inaugural, the bicentennial celebration for the Statue of Liberty and the dedication of the horticulture wing of the Smithsonian Institution. He has been invited to lecture at the New York Botanical Gardens, the San Francisco Garden Club, the American Institute of Floral Designers National Symposium and many other venues. 

David has been an active citizen, including stints as president of the Mulvane Art Museum and the historic Jayhawk Theatre and served on the boards for the Mt. Hope Cemetery and the Topeka Friends of the Zoo, among his many civic activities. He is also a long-time member of Grace Episcopal Cathedral.

4008 SW Huntoon | Topeka, KS 66604 | 785.235.3700 | www.kansasja.org

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Danny Pacheco joins Allen Press as Vice President, Print Sales