Greater Topeka graduates new class of community leaders

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- The best leaders are the best learners - that was one of the messages at the 2019 Leadership Greater Topeka class graduation luncheon at the Cyrus Hotel on Wednesday.

"This is the culmination of five months of leadership development, going out into the community and finding out all about Topeka,” said Executive Director of Leadership Greater Topeka Michelle Cuevas-Stubblefield.

Business and organizations nominated leaders to take part in the class to learn more about Topeka on topics like community services, economic development, crime and quality of life.

Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Herman Jones was the main speaker at the event and encouraged class members to stay involved. Class members also highlighted what they learned in a parody newscast produced by 13's Shawn Wheat who was among the graduates.

Local attorney and class member John "Bo" Turney, says he’s noticed Topeka struggles with a discontinuity of effort throughout the community.

“There's a lot of people with great ideas and nobody really knows where and so I think this pulls that all together into one effort and feeds a movement going forward," Turney explained.

And Turney says the diversity among those getting their certificate was a good indicator of the impact the class will make moving forward.

"I think that some folks coming from the business world they can talk about what they see…and that’s definitely one end of the community, and there's folk who work in the underserved community and you get to see what their efforts are and the challenges they face,” Turney said. “What was fascinating to me was watching the conversation between the two."

A conversation that moves Topeka from a place to pass through -- to a spot to stay a while.

"It’s just really important that we all get the opportunity to lead and that we all get involved," Cuevas-Stubblefield said.

If you would like to nominate someone for next year’s Leadership of Greater Topeka class -- go to