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Small Businesses Honored with Annual Awards

Three local businesses and one nonprofit organization were recognized as winners in their respective categories at the 2016 Small Business Awards luncheon held today at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Maner Conference Center. The Small Business Awards event is presented annually by GO Topeka’s Entrepreneurial and Minority Business Development and by the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce. image

The 2016 winners are:

Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction: MotoVike Films

Nonprofit Award of Distinction: CASA of Shawnee County

Minority and Women Business of Distinction: Reliant Apparel, LLC

Capital City Business of Distinction: Clayton Financial Services, Inc.

Sponsors for the Small Business Awards luncheon include: Gold Sponsors – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and Envista Credit Union; Media Sponsors- WIBW-TV and KTWU; Silver Sponsor: Washburn Tech; and Bronze Sponsors: Capitol Federal, Dynamic Computer Solutions, INTRUST Bank, Parrish Hotel Corporation, PTMW, Inc., and Stormont Vail Health.

Brent Boles, Chamber chair, said, “We are proud of all of the small business nominees and appreciate the strong contributions they have made to enhance our community’s quality of life through the products and services they provide. We hope their ingenuity, perseverance and success will inspire others to follow suit.”

Scott Griffith, GO Topeka chair, said, “GO Topeka offers numerous programs and services to help new and established small businesses realize their potential. We are pleased to celebrate these Topeka companies today as their efforts reflect the strong work ethic and resourcefulness for which our part of the Midwest is known for.”

About the Award Winners

Emerging Entrepreneur of Distinction: MotoVike Films

MotoVike Films was founded out of demand for Josiah Engstrom’s cinematography work. The firm has four employees and specializes in creating an emotional appeal that drives action. The creative business has discovered ways to deliver service to more budget-conscious clients by introducing MotoTrike Films, a streamlined operation that allows businesses access to high-quality cinematography at a lesser cost.

The company recently completed innovative films for the State Library of Kansas, which focused on the impact libraries have on their communities through the story of a student, and for the 190th Air Refueling Wing, which used visuals created with today’s tools and audio from the past.

Nonprofit Award of Distinction: CASA of Shawnee County

CASA of Shawnee County, Inc., was incorporated in November 1986. It employs nine paid staff, 80 certified volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children and 20 volunteers who serve on multiple committees for fundraising events. Since its inception, CASA volunteers have advocated for more than 3,300 abused and neglected children in Shawnee County.

The agency is the only one in the community that provides volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the court system. By participating in multidisciplinary team meetings with partner agencies involving local court, school and social service professionals, the organization complements other community efforts by eliminating duplication of existing services.

Minority and Women Business of Distinction: Reliant Apparel, LLC

Reliant Apparel, LLC, is a custom apparel, screen-printing and embroidery business located in downtown Topeka. The business began as a home-based business with the primary focus to print items for touring musicians. After 18 months, the business had grown enough to move to 728 S Kansas Ave. in 2011. The business employs 10 people.

Reliant prides itself on its creativity, providing timely support for the Mars pop-up shop and supplying its clients with high-quality but lower-cost products made with an innovative process called index separation print.

Capital City Business of Distinction: Clayton Financial Services, Inc.

Clayton Financial Services, Inc., has been in business and under the same management for more than 30 years. CFSI is the oldest and largest independent investment management and financial advisory firm in northeast Kansas. It attributes its growth to being responsive to clients’ needs.

CFSI is compensated by fees paid by clients and doesn’t receive commissions based upon its advice or recommended investments. The firm has a robust financial planning division with analysis provided by certified financial planners. In 1984, when the firm was incorporated, there were two full-time employees in addition to the owners, Debra and Randy Clayton. Today there are 12 full-time employees in addition to the owners and $400 million in assets under management.

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