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Heartland Visioning Announces Co-Chairs

Heartland Visioning is pleased to announce Harry Craig and Gina Millsap as the new Co-Chairs. Craig and Millsap replace Dr. Jerry Farley, president of Washburn University and Bill Moore, former
chairman, president and CEO of Westar Energy.
Craig was active in the inception of the community-wide vision project and recently rejoined it this year by accepting the co-chair role. Craig is currently chairman and CEO of The Craig Group, Inc. Prior to establishing the group Craig served as chairman and CEO of Martin Tractor Company, Inc. a Caterpillar Dealership of Topeka.
Millsap steps up to the position of co-chair after years of     dedication to Heartland Visioning. She too worked  during the early stages and served on the task force, steering committee  and two foundation teams. Millsap serves as CEO of Topeka & Shawnee County Library and is nationally recognized for her cutting edge work. 
Heartland Visioning looks forward to building on the communities successes and refocusing and re-energizing our collective efforts under the new leadership. 
Kansas Avenue Upgrade
TCapital District Projecthe City of Topeka announced RDG Planning and Design will lead on the design and planning phase to improve S. Kansas Avenue in Topeka's Core. RDG will work with CFS Engineers, Latimer Sommers & Associates and HTK Architects, all of Topeka, for the project.

The project is much more than a streetscape change, but upgrading Kansas Avenue is a step towards the final goal of Downtown Revitalization. The Capital District Project's goal is to reestablish Downtown Topeka as a family-oriented, economically sound, culturally vital and visually attractive regional destination and the center and symbol of Topeka and Shawnee County.

 2012 Leadership Topeka Class Announced
Leadership Greater Topeka
Thirty-eight individuals from the Topeka and Shawnee County  were selected to participate in the 2012 Leadership Greater Topeka program. 

In January the class will attend a two day retreat to kick off the program and continue to attend seven day-long sessions through May. The classes will consist of a variety of activities and discussions for this diverse group.

Sessions will teach class members about the challenges Topeka and Shawnee County face. Through the course, participants will learn how they, as individuals, can work to influence the community and move the needle to improve pressing issues in Topeka and Shawnee County.

Members of the 2012 class were selected from 250 applicants representing a diverse background and cross section of the community, including four high school students.

For a complete list of 2012 Leadership Greater Topeka Class click here.

The Great Mural Wall of Topeka Grows

The seventh installment of the Great Mural Wall was dedicated November 22.
"Contagious Beauty and Local Flav
or" serves as a source of inspiration for Topekans to create their own art.

The Great Mural Wall of Topeka project began in 2006. It is an effort of the Chesney Park Neighborhood Association to rid the area of graffiti and to beautify our community. Upon completion the mural will be one of the longest in the US and the longest in Kansas, spanning the 900 feet of the old water reservoir wall.

Click here for more information about the Great Mural Wall 
Jayhawk Theatre Receives Valuable Grant

The Historic Jayhawk Theatre is one step closer to it's goal of revitalization. On November 15, the state theater was awarded the Historic Sites for Heritage and Tourism grant.

Jayhawk Theatre
The $42,400 grant was approved by the Transient Guest Committee of the Topeka City Council.

The theater will use the money to evaluate and repair electrical service and for HVAC work to ensure a stable temperature in the space and stave off further deterioration of the infrastructure and ornate plaster.

The Jayhawk State Threatre was built in 1926, but has sat vacant since May of 1976. The theater was placed on the national register for historic places in 1974. Nearly 20 years later, it was designated by the Kansas Legislature the official state theater of Kansas.

New Addition to Heartland Visioning
Briana Holmes joins Heartland Visioning as its new communications  

Prior to joining Heartland Visioning, she worked as a 
communications specialist for United Way of Greater Topeka.

Holmes recently earned her BA in mass media with a public relations emphasis from Washburn University.


A native Topekan, Holmes looks forward to staying in the community and playing a major part in a project that will change the way Topeka looks, feels and is perceived.

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Upcoming Events

Now till Dec. 20 Songs of the Season at Topeka & Shawnee Public Library (times vary)

Now till Dec. 20 "Heart of the Prairie" Robert Sudlow Exhibit 

Now till Dec. 31 TARC's Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Display 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Now till Jan. 28, 2012 "The People's Kind of Railroad" Exhibit at Great Overland Station

For more information on these events and to find other events in Topeka

Young Professionals Summit coming to Topeka

Fast Forward, a program of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, will host the 2012 Young Professional (YP) Kansas Summit in April. 

YP Summits bring individuals from across the state together to network and discover ways to become involved in their communities. Past summits have brought together more than 250 attendees with 2012 numbers expected to be higher. Currently, Fast Forward Topeka is
seeking sponsorhips for the 2012 conference. There are varying levels of sponsorships and exhibitor booths are also available.

To learn more on how to become a sponsor click here.

The third annual summit will take place April 5 at the Ramada Convention Center, 420 SE Sixth Avenue. The 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. event will feature innovative breakout sessions and a dynamic keynote luncheon featuring Eric Alexander.

Alexander, an adventurer, helped guide a blind friend on the first ever blind accent of Mt. Everest. He has also skillfully negotiated other ski descents from two of the seven highest points in the world. Alexander speaks of his challenges and inspires young professionals to overcome their own "Everest's."

Register right away to get the early bird discount.


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