TOPEKA (KSNT) – Junior Achievement of Kansas annually honors businessmen and women to inspire young people to follow in the laureates’ footsteps.
KSNT was a proud sponsor of the event. David George, KSNT evening news anchor was emcee for the evening.
The 2022 laureates the 2022 are Garry Cushinberry, Marvin Spees, Matt Strathman and Vince Frye.
Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed. The inspiration piece comes from community volunteers who not only deliver our lessons, but share their experience.
Garry Cushinberry was known for his humanitarian service in the Topeka community. For nearly 30 years, he co-founded and organized the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, distributed clothing, food, furniture and appliances from God’s Little Half Acre in addition to proving hundreds of children with free tickets to the Arab Shrine Circus and Saturday morning movies. Many folks remember him as the Watermelon Man, as he would randomly choose elementary and junior high schools in the area with all you could eat watermelon feeds after school.
In 1983 Marvin Spees returned to help his father in the family business. At the beginning of 1985 he purchased Capital City Oil from his father and his partner. Capital City Oil is a full-line petroleum distribution company that caters to commercial, industrial, and agriculture customers from Kansas City to Salina.
Matt Strathman worked for his father, Art Strathman, at Strathman Sales in the summers and began his career full time immediately after graduating from college in 1983. He worked to learn all aspects of the business and became the sole owner in 2006.
In 1997, Vince Frye joined FryeAllen Advertising as a partner with founders Dana Rulon Frye and Michael Allen who started the advertising and marketing firm in 1989. The company grew significantly with the addition of FryeAllen Films, a video and film production company, and FryeAllen Digital, an animation and computer design company. The combined companies won hundreds of local awards as well as national Telly and Silver Microphone awards for their creative work.
In 2012, Vince was selected by the Board of Directors to be President and CEO of Downtown Topeka, Incorporated. The 225-member organization, established in 1964, was founded to promote, recruit and advocate for downtown. During his time as President, Frye helped in the revitalization of downtown helping to raise over $4 million for pocket parks, fountains, arches and statues. He created over 35 downtown events attracting over 100,000 people annually and was honored by the International Downtown Association, Arts Connect and Topeka Civic Theatre for his contributions to the community.