Small Business Awards

Small business is the driving force behind new products, innovation, and job creation and continues to make a tremendous impact on the economy. To celebrate the small businesses and entrepreneurs in Topeka, the Greater Topeka Partnership hosts the Small Business Awards luncheon to honor finalists in six different categories. In the first of two blogs, we’ll highlight finalists for Capital City Business of Distinction, Minority Business of Distinction and Women Business of Distinction.


Capital City Business of Distinction

This category is for individuals who own 51% of a small business and are responsible for the principal operations of the small business.


David Porterfield standing outside of Porterfields Inc with flowersPorterfield’s Inc.
David Porterfield, 3101 SW Huntoon, 354-1707

Porterfield’s regularly participates in the CASA Holiday Home Tour.  In 2017, the Porterfield’s staff decorated over 70 homes and businesses in Topeka and surrounding areas.

David Porterfield was designated the first honorary chair of the CASA Tour this year, recognizing Porterfield’s contribution to the success of the event for every year of its existence.



Schendel Lawn and Landscape Schendel Lawn and Landscape
Brent Boles, Aaron Jones, Brandon Moore, 4707 SW 6th Ave., 286-0015

Schendel has nine company values, and the first is employee focused:  A people-centric workplace with opportunities for advancement, encouragement of personal and professional development, and a safe and fun work environment. 

Schendel is proud to partner with local community and charitable organizations, providing monetary donations, services, and volunteer hours to support their community.  Organizations they’ve partnered with include the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, the Topeka Zoo, TARC’s Winter Wonderland, the Designers’ Showhouse, Junior Achievement and Trash Mountain. 


Tarwater Farm and HomeTarwater Farm & Home
Rich Tarwater, 4107 NW Topeka Blvd., 286-2390

 Tarwater’s success has been customer driven because of excellent customer service.  Their largest growth has been in the last 10 years during a national economic crunch.  They have been fortunate to have some of the best employees over their 40 years in business with several of them  with over 30 years of service.  Their job as employers is to make “work” as enjoyable as possible.  They offer a retirement plan as well as a health care program.  

Tarwater’s enjoys giving back to the local community.  They are a big sponsor of the local FFA chapters  and 4-H chapters.  They sponsor different classes at the fairs as well as donating the prizes for different local events.  Tarwater’s also donates to the Topeka Rescue Mission, Trash Mountain, Young Lives and local schools. 


Minority Business of Distinction

This category is for businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by an individual who is Native American, Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander or Subcontinent Asian.


Bowser Johnson FuneralBowser Johnson Funeral Chapel
Dr. Harriett Johnson, 723 SW 6th Ave., 233-3039

Bowser Johnson Funeral Chapel has been in business since 1920.  They work as a team to help families take care of the life celebration of the family’s loved one with compassion, dignity and integrity.  They provide grief counseling for their families and include celebrant-led funeral services to provide a more personal experience. 

Bowser Johnson has been the site of numerous students in the mortuary business over the past 30+ years.  These students have gone on to open their own successful businesses.  

Owner and staff have served on various community boards, Midland Hospice, Community Action, East Topeka Senior Citizen, Living the Dream, along with assisting small business startups. 


Footprints Bookkeeping Services, LLC
Sylvia Hopper, 266-5574 or 249-5362

Footprints Bookkeeping Services began in 2007 as a part-time business, providing outsourced bookkeeping for non-profit organizations and retail sales stores.  Since 2010 they have hired more than 10 youths and teenagers to assist with sorting and data entry.  In 2015 they began full outsource bookkeeping and payroll services for all types of businesses.  

In the business community over the past 10 years, Sylvia has served on the Board for the Small Business Council, Students Trained to Excel with Purpose for Success, Heavenly Visions Foundation and the EMBD Council.

She has also volunteered for the annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner, photography services with Heavenly Visions Youth Photography CLICK project, sign-language interpretation of services to the hearing impaired, Get Down and Get Dirty project with Keep America Beautiful and as a court-appointed guardian for people with disabilities.


Fragrance World of Topeka
Ronald Owens, 3416 SW 6th, 221-8767

Fragrance World of Topeka has been in business over 20 years.  They sell incense, perfume oils, essential oils, aromatherapy products, skin care products, hair care products, ethnic clothing, greeting cards and jewelry.

Their product line is so unique that there is very little competition, many of their products are custom made for the customer on the spot while they wait.  Most of their products are natural and free of harmful chemical additives and preservatives.



Women Business of Distinction

This category is for businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by a female.


Century Business Technologies, Inc.
Dawna McCabe, 401 SW 30th St., 267-4555

Century Business Technologies, Inc., (CBT) began in April of 1981 as Century Office Products in a small office space on Fairlawn with less than 5 employees primarily selling and servicing black/white copiers. Since inception Century Business Technologies Inc. has acquired 14 other business equipment dealerships across Kansas and Oklahoma and expanded their business to four locations throughout Kansas with 2 additional warehouses near their corporate office.

The ability of their clients to create, manage, distribute and retain securely their mission-critical information, is the foundation of their business.  From traditional office digital technology to custom-built software platforms that meet the specific needs of their clients, they continue to enable businesses to invest in the intelligent information management resources that fit the way they do business. 


Green Point
Ashley Bahm, 1405 SE Madison, 234-6000

GreenPoint is a division of Bahm Demolition, Inc. has been in business since 2007.  They are a family-owned company with the original owners still actively involved with the day to day activities and decision making.  Greenpoint has become a broker for nationwide used material vendors (used brick, lumber, etc.). 

Greenpoint’s purpose is to reduce the amount of construction and demolition waste that is entering the local landfills.  This is accomplished by collecting, processing, reducing and recycling construction and demolition waste within the City of Topeka, Shawnee County, and other bordering counties.  Removing the recyclable and reusable materials and reducing or grinding the non-recyclable waste ensures only non-recyclable wastes enter the landfills, increasing the space for municipal solid waste. 


HR Partners, LLC
Kristina Dietrick, 1240 SW Oakley, 233-7860

HR Partners, LLC is a human resources outsourcing and consulting firm which was founded 10 years ago with 5 full-time employees. HR Partners has worked to diversify their client base across multiple industries.  Through public speaking and new marketing strategies, they were able to accomplish this within the fourth and fifth year of business. In ten years, they have expanded their client base to more than 300 clients.  The past 12 month period they have seen the greatest growth in revenue. 

HR Partners is an ongoing supporter of the following:  Easter Seals Capper Foundation, Washburn University Foundation, Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, as well as adopting families from the United Way for Christmas.       


This year’s Small Business Awards Luncheon is set for Tuesday, May 15, at noon at the Manor Conference Center, Capitol Plaza Hotel. 

Tickets are available for purchase here, but registration closes this Friday:


Thank you to our event sponsor Envista Credit Union!