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2018 Topeka Business Hall of Fame Laureates Announced

L to R: Kim Morse (representing Phil Morse); Brent Boles; Susan Garlinghouse; Debra Clayton and Randy Clayton.

Five business and community leaders were named the 2018 Business Hall of Fame Laureates at a brunch held today by Junior Achievement (JA) of Kansas at the Topeka Country Club.

The 2018 laureates are: Brent Boles; Debra and Randy Clayton; Susan Garlinghouse and Phillip Charles Morse.

These five individuals are honored not only for their success in business, but for their dedication and commitment to the local community and the state of Kansas. Junior Achievement of Kansas annually honors businessmen and women to inspire young people to follow in the laureates’ footsteps. A committee selected this year’s laureates based on criteria including their business excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, community impact, leadership style, local influence and enduring legacy.

The laureate announcement followed a brunch during which past Business Hall of Fame laureates and Junior Achievement board members gathered to welcome and honor the new class of honorees.

The Topeka Business Hall of Fame Tribute Dinner honoring the laureates will be held Thursday, March 1, 2018, at the Ramada Topeka Downtown. Contact Junior Achievement of Kansas for more information at amy@kansasja.org or 785.235.3700.

 

Brent Boles
Brent Boles is a managing partner of Schendel Lawn and Landscape and Top Spin, LLC, and is also involved in many other business ventures in and around Topeka as well corporate training. He is the former owner of Schendel Pest Services, where his career spanned 20 years. Schendel operated 10 offices in five states and was the 42nd largest pest control company in the country at the time of its sale. Brent also spent 18 months with ServiceMaster, working in mergers and acquisitions and serving as senior vice president of their Canadian operations.

Brent currently serves on the board of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, where he was chairman for two years and on the boards of CrimeStoppers of Topeka, Vision Bank and the Board of Regents for Washburn University. Brent studied communications at Washburn from 1984 to 1988.

Brent is married to Angie and has two daughters: Cassidy and Madeline.
 

Debra and Randy Clayton
Debra and Randy Clayton are the cofounders of Clayton Financial Services, the largest and oldest independent fiduciary financial firm in northeast Kansas, helping more than 500 clients and managing nearly $500 million in assets.

Debra Clayton is president and co-owner of Clayton Financial Services, Inc. She chairs the firm’s investment committee, which develops model portfolios, selects approved investments and manages the portfolios of the firm’s clients. Randy leads the financial planning team, which provides individualized financial advice for the firm’s clients.

Debra is a graduate of Pittsburg State University and earned her CFP designation in 1995 and is a member of the Financial Planning Association. Randy is a graduate of Washburn University and earned his CFP designation in 1981.

Debra is a board member of Downtown Topeka Inc. and she and her husband have renovated or built three buildings in the Downtown Historic District. She is a member of United Way of Greater Topeka’s Board of Directors and the Community Impact Committee. She chaired the Early Education Impact Council since its inception until 2016.

Although Clayton Financial manages numerous not-for-profit and foundation funds, Randy also serves as director, trustee and member of the investment committee for Washburn University Foundation, and finance committee of the Pension Fund, a nationwide $3.2 billion pension plan serving ministers across the United States. He a member of the Topeka Symphony League and he serves on the Topeka Symphony Endowment Board of Trustees. In addition, Randy also serves as secretary of the Topeka Building Commission, which assisted with the financing and construction of the Curtis Office Building, the KBI Building on Washburn University’s campus, and the Myriad Office Building that the Kansas Department on Children and Families occupies on Van Buren Avenue.

Debra is a member of the Topeka Chamber and the Jayhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts Executive Committee, and the Topeka Symphony League Board of Directors. She has been co-chair of the Symphony League Gala and has provided apartments for use as the Frugal House fundraiser for the symphony. She is a member of the board of directors for the Christian Church Foundation and serves on the Endowment Committees of First Christian Church and the Christian Church of Kansas.

Randy is the past board chairperson of his church, has served as a house captain for the last decade for Christmas in Action, a volunteer group that repairs homes for low income, elderly citizens, and is a pilot for Angel Flight, a nationwide organization of pilots that volunteer to fly low-income patients to various hospitals across the country for treatment.

 

Susan Garlinghouse
Through the years, community leader Susan Garlinghouse has left her imprint on many Topeka projects and institutions.

Susan grew up in St Louis. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. She continued her postgraduate education at the University of Kansas concentrating in women’s studies and environmental studies. Susan also studied at Washburn University focusing on English, philosophy and education.

Susan, her husband, Kent, and their three preschool children, Kim, Meg, and Mark, moved from Columbus, Ind. to Topeka in late 1970.  Brad and Matt joined the family in 1971 and 1975, respectively.

Together with Ruth and Bernerd Fink and Marjorie and Mark Garlinghouse, they founded Topeka Collegiate School. Topeka Collegiate is a preschool through eighth grade school, an inclusive community rich with diversity. Susan remains actively involved in the school, serving on committees and the board of directors. “The opportunity for an education that enlightens, encourages and keeps the bright star of learning and critical thinking alive and well is the most important gift a child can ever receive. My wish is for quality education to be a universal birthright,” she said.

For more than 25 years Susan volunteered at Topeka High School leading many initiatives. Together, with others, she helped start the annual Earth Day celebration there. She organized the ecology club aptly named Sojourners.  She co-authored the syllabus for and co-taught the only high school Women’s Studies program in our state. In addition, she helped start and facilitate the Heritage Panel whose goal is to reduce prejudice and develop ambassadors for individual equality and respect. Susan co founded and facilitated “Fearless,” a women’s self-esteem program that received recognition from other states with requests to help establish similar programs. Susan received the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service in 2002.

In 2004, Susan and Kent and the families of their five children were instrumental in founding the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center with their financial support and continued active board membership. Susan envisioned this center as an environment for creativity and learning and as a place for parents to further bond with their children and together engage in lifelong learning.

Named the Woman of Distinction by the Career Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association in 2007, she said, “Giving is more rewarding than receiving. Service truly brings meaning to our lives.”

Susan has served as president of Kansas Action for Children Board, a public policy organization advocating for children. She is a charter member of the Women’s Fund of the Topeka Community Foundation and has served as a volunteer for CASA, specifically the Citizen’s Review Board since its inception. She served on the John Austin Cheley Foundation Board as well as being the only non-alum camper chosen to chair the board.

Topeka has become Susan’s home; her roots here are deep. She cares immensely about the quality of life here and wants every endeavor to serve children and their families. Susan encourages others to understand the values of Topeka, and share the wonderful community in which her five children grew and thrived.

 

Philip Charles Morse
Philip Charles Morse was born on June 7, 1941, son of Melvern Charles Morse and Marjorie Jane Stark Morse. Phil graduated from Seaman High School in 1959. He later graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor’s degree in history and Denver University with a master’s degree international relations.

On Aug. 6, 1961, Phil married Lona Jane Shreffler. After two years in the Peace Corps in Chile they returned to Topeka in 1969. Phil began a long and productive professional life in variety of occupations associated with residential and commercial real estate. His company, Phil Morse Homes, was responsible for the construction of dozens of homes on Topeka’s west side in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1996, with Mike Morse, Ken Schmanke, Ed Eller, and Mark Rezac, he established KS Commercial Real Estate, from which he retired in 2005.

Phil’s commitment to community service was as important to him as his professional integrity. He was an early president of the Sheltered Living Board of Directors. He served on the Topeka’s planning commission in the 1990s and early 2000s. He was an early and avid booster of downtown redevelopment. He was instrumental in the establishment of Go Topeka and Heartland Visioning. Phil’s passion for history and his devotion to community furthered his commitment to do what he could to make the world better, Topeka first. In his later years this was made manifest in his commitment to environmental causes and sustainability. He established the Phil Morse Scholarship at Washburn University to support the History Day program.

Phil and Lona are the parents of Kim Morse, professor of history at Washburn University, and Mike Morse (Kathleen Brandstoettner Morse), partner, KS Commercial, and grandparents to Ben and John Cordova and Joe and Maggie Morse.

Phil Morse died of cortical basal degeneration on Dec. 19, 2016. He donated his brain to the Mayo Clinic so that others could learn from his experiences with the disease.



Help Kansas Children Succeed!

Junior Achievement (JA) of Kansas is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.

JA of Kansas trains and places volunteers from local businesses in the classroom, providing relevant, hands-on experiences that give students knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.

JA of Kansas serves more than 28,000 young people annually, inspiring kids to dream big and reach their full potential. Explore our website for more information about the Junior Achievement program and how you can help us help Kansas youth succeed.