Program helps young professionals ‘fast forward’ in careers


On Thursday, Jan. 26, the Fast Forward organization hosted a networking event at Senate Suites, owned by Parish Hotel Property, located at 900 SW Tyler St. This event is one of many to come in the near future.

Fast Forward is a program from the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, which gives like-minded young professionals, between the ages of 20 and 40, opportunities to network, learn from each other, grow and have fun.

“Once a month, they have a social, and the point of the social is pure networking,” said Kate White, general manager of the Senate Suites. “They have other programs that are more educational, and this is just a pure fun networking opportunity.”

White asked to host this social because Senate Suites has recently renovated their hotel rooms and their banquet hall in which the event was held. The young professionals from businesses all over town met in Senate Suites’ banquet hall to meet and greet and enjoy the food and beverages provided by the suites.

White gave a short speech about the history of Senate Suites Hotel once the social was underway. The suites were designed by Nell Peters, an architect from Kansas City, in the 1920s. The hotel, now owned by Judy Row, was then made to be a luxury apartment complex, before being refurbished in the early ‘90s and turned into “Topeka’s Best Kept Secret” hotel that it is known as today. The hotel has 51 rooms available and is the only hotel in Topeka to have Tempur-Pedic mattresses.

Social networking events like this happen once a month, along with other miscellaneous events and are free to all Washburn students. Fast Forward will continue their “Insider Series” event on Feb. 2, at Bimbo Bakeries, and they will resume their “Ignite Series” on Feb. 8, at Bartlett & West.

“We want WU students to come to our events and be a part of what is going on,” said Angel Romero, a Washburn graduate currently attending the Washburn School of Law.

Romero is a current member of Fast Forward and an active member of the Topeka community.

Romero is also part of Top City Live, a group of Washburn students, who, as stated by Romero, “have come together to get students better connected to the Topeka community.”

The group uses social networking media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to inform Topeka citizens about the happenings of the city.

“Topeka is an active community with a place for everyone, and we’re working to help students discover the positive and great things Topeka has to offer,” said Romero.