The 2022 laureates are Grant Cushinberry, posthumous; Vince Frye; Marvin Spees, Capitol City Oil; and Matt Strathman, Strathman Sales.
—Mr. 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 providing 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.
—Vince Frye was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School where he lettered in football, basketball and track. Graduating from the University of Kansas in 1971 with a BS in Journalism. Upon graduation, Vince was recruited to work for KTSB-TV (now KSNT) as an advertising account executive. In 1973, he moved to WIBW-TV where he worked as General Sales Manager until 1997. In 1997, Vince joined FryeAllen Advertising as a partner with founders Dana Rulon Frye and Michael Allen who started the advertising and marketing firm in 1989. In 2012, Vince was selected by the Board of Directors to be President and CEO of Downtown Topeka, Incorporated. In 2018, he successfully led Downtown Topeka, Incorporated into a merger with GO Topeka, Visit Topeka and the Chamber of Commerce to form the Greater Topeka Partnership. He continued to serve as President of DTI and Senior Vice President of the GTP until his retirement in December of 2020.
—Marvin Spees was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1974. In 1983 Marvin joined with 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 is a lifelong Topekan. He graduated from Hayden High School in 1979 and achieved a business degree from Emporia State. He 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.
The 2022 Topeka Business Hall of Fame dinner honoring these individuals will be Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Hotel Topeka @ City Center (formerly Capitol Plaza Hotel), Maner Conference Center.