Four business leaders to be recognized for their contributions to industry and community in the Topeka Business Hall of Fame

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Four business leaders have been recognized for their contributions and dedication to their businesses and communities by being inducted into the 2023 Topeka Business Hall of Fame.

The four winners were announced during a brunch at Topeka Country Club, located at 2700 SW Buchanan St., on Tuesday, September 13. The four Hall of Fame winners are:

  • Dan Foltz: KBS Builders, Inc.
  • Marsha Sheahan: Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce
  • DL Smith: DL Smith Electrical Construction
  • Keith WartaBartlett & West

Dan Fotz

Dan Foltz was born and raised on a farm near Garnett, Kansas, which grew to become the CEO of KBS Constructors, Inc.

KBS is a Midwestern commercial and industrial construction company that, according to Junior Achievement of Kansas, is focused on assisting critical and environmentally sensitive projects with management and construction services.

Foltz also sits on several economic boards, such as GO Topeka’s Economic Development Board, of which he is a member and past chair, as well as serving on its Innovation Advisory Board.

He is currently a board member, trustee, and finance committee member of the Washburn University Foundation and also serves on the Washburn MBA Advisory Board for the School of Business.

Foltz also currently serves on the board of the Topeka Country Club.

One organization he served in in the past was the Midland Care Board of Directors as Chairman.

Dan Foltz, unfortunately, was unable to make it to Tuesday’s announcement brunch.

Marsha Sheahan

Junior Achievement of Kansas says Marsha Sheahan served as vice president of public relations for the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce for more than 35 years; from July 1979 to January 2015.

As Vice President, she oversaw marketing, publications, website development and special events for the Topeka Chamber, as well as multiple administrative functions.

Sheahan retired in January 2015, but returned to the organization in 2016 to again lead the Greater Topeka Leadership program which she has led since its launch in 1984. After her retirement, she has helped nonprofit organizations with networking, leadership skills, strategy planning and board.

According to Junior Achievement of Kansas, Sheahan championed the Fast Forward program (now called Forge), which is the Chamber’s professional program for young people, and worked with Heartland Visioning on its management and steering committees from 2008 to 2015.

Sheahan also collaborated with colleagues from the Junior League of Topeka to create the Topeka Community Foundation. Shae served as the first Chairman of the Board for two years.

Sheahan has been involved in several organizations, volunteering for the Junior League of Topeka, Topeka Community Foundation, Topeka High School Historical Society, United Way of Greater Topeka, Women United, Safe Streets, Topeka Public Schools, CASA of Shawnee County , Stormont Vail HealthCare Community Advisory Board, Washburn Leadership Institute Advisory Board and YWCA.

DL Smith

After DL Smith was educated at Hayden High School, Washburn University and Kansas State University, Smith went on to found DL Smith Electrical Construction Company in 1972.

Smith became an active member of the electrical industry by joining the Kansas Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association as president, governor, and member of its bargaining committee and learning committee.

As part of the national organization, Smith has served as Vice President of District V(5), Chairman of the National Governmental Affairs Committee, member of the National Joint Apprenticeship, Training Committee, as well as the NECA National Political Leadership Council.

Smith received the Comstock Associations Award in 1997 for his contributions to the field and the James A. McGraw Award for Advancement in the Electrical Industry in 2000.

Smith was a board member of the Associated Specialty Contractors of America and president from 2000-2001, was a member of the Associated General Contractors of Kansas, and was a member of the Kansas State University AGC Construction Science Advisory Board.

Smith regularly volunteers at Christ the King Catholic Church.

Keith Warta

Keith Warta has held several distinct roles for Bartlett & West for over 13 years, including the role of CEO and is currently Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors.

Bartlett & West, Inc. is an engineering, architecture, technology, and construction firm that wants to positively impact every position and organization in the community.

Warta has mainly focused on the design and management part of transport and flood control projects using his experience in hydrology and hydraulics in urban infrastructure. Warta even looked at design storm assumptions and what kind of impact they would have on flood control system costs as part of a graduate study.

Junior Achievement of Kansas says Warta normally volunteers for leadership positions in organizations that study community economic development, education and services for the elderly. He also served as co-chair of committees that created and implemented Topeka/Shawnee County’s first Holistic Community Strategic Plan and served as Chairman of the Midland Care Board of Directors during the first integration of Meals-On-Wheels for Midland Senior Services.

“It’s an honor because it comes from Junior Achievement, which is such a remarkable organization within our community,” Warta said. “It’s an honor because of the people who are in the same class.”

A dinner honoring each of the winners is scheduled for March 23, 2023 at the Topeka at City Center Hotel in the Maner Conference Center.

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