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Posted on: June 6, 2012

Commerce now accepting nominations for outstanding minority and women owned businesses

The Kansas Department of Commerce Office of Minority and Women Business Development is accepting nominations for Kansas minority and/or women owned businesses, advocates and young entrepreneurs. These nominations celebrate Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, and nominees will be recognized at the annual Kansas Minority and Women Business Awards Luncheon to be held on Oct. 9 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka.

A new award will be established this year: Corporation of the Year. The major corporation must demonstrate leadership and commitment in advancing Kansas minority and/or women business enterprises through its supplier/diversity program or a similar program. This recognition will be given to a major corporation, without regard to minority or woman-owned status.

“MED Week celebrates successful minority owned businesses, as well as individuals who have exhibited outstanding achievements in their respective industries or fields,” said Commerce Secretary Pat George. “We need to promote such businesses and entrepreneurs, as they are critical to expanding the Kansas economy and creating jobs.”

The deadline to nominate a business or individual is Friday, July 6. Online nomination forms can be accessed at To request a hard copy of the form, please contact Rhonda Harris, or (785) 296-3425. All forms submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 6. Forms can be mailed to Rhonda Harris, Office of Minority and Women Business Development, Kansas Department of Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, Kan., 66612; faxed to (785) 296-3490; or e-mailed to

The Office of Minority and Women Business Development provides assistance in business management, identifying resources for financing and establishing contacts in the public and private sectors. The office is responsible for certifying minority- and women-owned businesses as small disadvantaged businesses for procurement and subcontracting opportunities.

(List of 2011 winners follows on next page.)

2011 Women-Owned Businesses of the Year

• WEB Contracting Inc., Paola (Construction Firm)
• Oz Winery, Wamego (Manufacturing Firm)
• Palmer Physical Therapy for Women, Wichita (Professional Service Firm)
• makun Inc., Marysville (Retail Firm)
• Beto Junction Travel Plaza, Lebo (Service Industry Firm)
• White x White, Topeka (Supplier/Distributor Firm)

2011 Minority-Owned Businesses of the Year

• Skyline Construction Co. Inc., Overland Park (Construction Firm)
• JR Custom Metal Products Inc., Wichita (Manufacturing Firm)
• Vista Connections Inc., Leawood (Professional Service Firm)
• Neives' Mexican Restaurant, Winfield (Retail Firm)
• Patterson Family Child Care, Topeka (Service Industry Firm)
• Sun Marble LLC, Lenexa (Supplier/Distributor Firm)

2011 Women Business Advocate

• Donna Craig, Leadership Resources, Overland Park

2011 Minority Business Advocate

• Bonnie Fullinwider, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, Wichita

2011 Young Entrepreneur

• Jackie Kopaska, Jackie K Bags, Olathe

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Kansas Department of Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66612-1354
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