President’s Message – December 2023

President’s Message – December 2023

Greetings to all,

I hope you are enjoying a festive holiday season. Our first SME monthly dinner meeting after the new year is Tuesday, January 16th – same time and place, 5:30 pm at Topeka Country Club. This meeting is a tad later in the month, not on the first Tuesday as is our normal practice. In February, we return to our normal schedule.

A delightful January program is planned with 3 local entrepreneurs engaged in a panel discussion moderated by Rick LeJuerrne. Come hear their ideas about sales and marketing from a small business perspective. Serving on the panel is Jessica Horton, Clinical Services & Designer of Heart & Home Design Services, Michael Odupitan CEO of Omni Circle Group and Jeremy Poling Owner and Digital Strategist of Top Fuel Digital. Click here to RSVP now.

Mr. Jon Haas, named as the 2023 SME Executive of the Year will receive his award at our annual Executive of the Year Banquet, at the February 6th dinner meeting. Mr. Haas, owner and CEO of HME has enjoyed amazing success in sales growth and increased market share in the steel and metal engineering and fabrication industry. Started out of Jon’s garage, today HME consists of several affiliated companies to include Haas Metal Engineering, Peak to Peak Engineered Railings, Topeka Foundry, Cycle Zone and Haas Crane and Equipment Rentals. SME-Topeka is proud to recognize the significant sales and marketing success of Mr. Jon Haas. From beginning in a garage to now, where recent investments created a multi-million-dollar economic impact to our local community, it will be fascinating to hear Mr. Haas share his business journey.

It is my pleasure to share that Irene Haws was named the December Executive of the Month. See the full article on the web site for additional details. Speaking of Irene Haws our Membership Committee Chair, she is hosting a new member orientation session just before the January meeting. All new SME members are encouraged to attend at least one new member orientation session to learn about all things SME and let us know what you hope to get out of your SME membership. This orientation session begins at 4:30 pm at TCC January 16th – just one hour before the dinner meeting.

Another High Performance Seminar is planned for Tuesday, February 27th with Steve Shehi, Director of Player Development at Prairie Band Casino & Resort, speaking on customer service and leadership in a customer focused organization. Click here to register. High Performance Seminars are free to SME members and their guests. Scott Van Genderen is treating those who attend to a free lunch catered by MongoQ and Chris St. John has offered to host us at Lawyer’s Title’s facility. Thanks to Steve, Scott and Chris for putting this together.

Please save the date reserving the morning on your calendar for SME Live. SME-Topeka will host this morning community seminar and breakfast on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at Topeka Civic Theatre. The keynote speaker is Kolbe Corp’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Eric Herrera. Kolbe is the world leader in identifying and applying conative strengths in human behavior. Come learn and gain key insights into how unlocking the mysteries of the 3-dimensional mind and your personal conative strengths can help build or strengthen key relationships. Herrera will share information about the Kolbe index and its meaning and application. Understanding your instinctive strengths can help to boost success in sales and marketing for you and your team. Opening the seminar for SME is a local talent, Dan Linquist. He will share his marketing genius over breakfast. Dan is a local Jingle and Voice Over talent and President of Twilight Productions.

As an SME member you receive one free ticket to attend the SME Live seminar, a $100 value. SME Live typically has a full capacity audience. We anticipate no vacant seats will be left again this year. To get your free ticket, you must claim it by March 8 by submitting your RSVP to let SME Executive Director, Beth Mathews know you plan to attend. After that date tickets not claimed are released for sale to the public. In addition to the free ticket, you will have access to obtain your own personalized Kolbe index at a well-discounted price of $44.00. This is not only an offer for you personally, but also the offer extends to your company team or organization at the same discounted price. Many companies use the Kolbe Index throughout their organization to build strong teams. Isn’t it great to have these SME membership perks just keep coming?

May you enjoy a prosperous month as you wrap up this calendar year’s business.

My best wishes to all,


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