Glenda Washington, vice president of GO Topeka’s Entrepreneurial & Minority Business Development, has been appointed to a three-year term on the National Small Business Development Center Advisory Board. The board advises, counsels and confers with the associate administrator of the Office of Small Business Development Centers in evaluating the aims, objectives and goals of the SBDC program. “This national recognition for Glenda’s exemplary work in equipping entrepreneurs with the resources they need to be successful is well deserved and underscores the caliber of talent we have not only in our community but within our own organization," said Matt Pivarnik, president and chief executive officer of GO Topeka and the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce. "It’s gratifying to see Glenda’s expertise and experience sought out for this prestigious opportunity, and I am confident her contributions will have a positive impact on small businesses across the country.”
In her role with GO Topeka, Washington manages the Topeka/Shawnee County First Opportunity Fund and cultivates community partnerships to provide resources and workshops so established and emerging entrepreneurs can succeed. Since joining GO Topeka in 2014, Washington has coordinated the 712 Innovations cowork/makerspace initiative for entrepreneurs and inventors and introduced the Women’s Initiative, a program that prepares women for leadership positions, facilitates networking and recognizes outstanding women in Shawnee County at a community reception.
Washington has received numerous awards throughout her career including the SBA Regional Small and Minority Business Advocate of the Year Award, Jacksonville, Florida, and the YWCA Woman of Influence Award, both in Jacksonville, Florida, and in Topeka. She is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute Program; Leadership Jacksonville; and the Chamber Leadership Institute, among others. Washington serves on the boards of the YWCA, 712 Innovations and Brown v. Board of Education, Sumner Legacy Trust. She and her husband, Leonard, have five children and 14 children.