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State leaders recognize Kansas businesses at “To The Stars” banquet

"To The Stars: Celebrating Kansas Businesses" award banquet at the Topeka Country Club
"To The Stars: Celebrating Kansas Businesses" award banquet at the Topeka Country Club(WIBW/Joseph Hennessy)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The governor and lieutenant governor helped honor the state’s best small businesses Wednesday night.

More than 140 people, including Governor Laura Kelly and Lt. Governor David Toland, gathered for the “To The Stars: Celebrating Kansas Businesses awards banquet at the Topeka Country Club.

The Kansas Department of Commerce hosted seven regional awards banquets leading to the event Wednesday.

Family-owned Wenger Manufacturing and Joseph J. Bisogno, the founder of Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs, both are now in the Kansas Business Hall of Fame.

The Under 30 Entrepreneur/Businessperson is Waylon Sheets from Sheets and Suds, a laundromat that opened in late 2020 in Belleville.

Landoll Corporation from Marysville won the Innovation Award.

Paul Porter from Big Square Media in Iola is the Welcome Back Award winner.

William White Walker from Emporia High School is a Hall of Fame Essay winner as well. Winners include Sriram Srinivasa (Blue Valley North High School), Caroline Place (Blue Valley North), and Baylee Richard (Olpe High School).

The Governor’s Award of Excellence finalists is Dodge City Brewing, NIC, Inc., Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, and KanPak.

Lt. Governor and Commerce Secretary Toland said it’s important to recognize those working for the state.

“We think it’s so important to recognize businesses that are doing great things and hold them up as models that others can emulate and so we think making examples in a positive way of these businesses is good for business in Kansas.”

The Wednesday ceremony was the first in two years because of the pandemic.

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