Stephanie Norwood

Director of Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Meet Stephanie Norwood, a person who may or may not exist. Stephanie has done many things in her life, some of which include going to school as a kid and living life. She has experienced a wide range of emotions, from joy to sorrow, and has had numerous thoughts, some of which were deep and philosophical, while others were trivial and silly. Stephanie is a true enigma, a person with a past, present, and future that are as mysterious as they are intriguing. When she’s not busy being vague and elusive, Stephanie can be found doing something or nothing at all, depending on the day and her mood. She is a person of many talents and interests, all of which are shrouded in mystery, waiting to be discovered by those who dare to venture into the unknown.

What's your favorite local business or entrepreneur that you've worked with, and why?
Within our events, I have worked with so many local vendors that help bring my vision to life. Ariel Unselt with Chinell’s by Ariel and Rogue Events is someone who will always come through and has a passion for not only what she does, but for supporting her community.
What's one small change that an individual or family can make to contribute to the local economy's growth?
Shop Local! While it may not always be the most convenient, supporting and shopping locally will make an impact in our community.
What's your go-to recommendation for a fun, affordable activity or event in the local area that also supports the local economy?
Lake Shawnee Adventure Cove – try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding. This is run by Shawnee Parks + Rec, so it supports our parks and provides job opportunities for teens.

Stephanie's first job was as a lifeguard, and she continued to work in that role throughout her college years. Not only that, but she also became a trainer and certified over 200 people to become lifeguards themselves, mostly in the Topeka area. Talk about dedication and passion for the job!

McLennan Park Nature Trail

Stephanie is a nature enthusiast who enjoys spending time outdoors with her furry companions. When it comes to her favorite spot, she always finds herself drawn to the Warren Nature Area trails, especially during golden hour. It’s the perfect place to unwind and appreciate the beauty of nature. Her dogs are no exception – they love the tranquility of the trails just as much as she does. Another go-to spot for Stephanie and her pups is McLennan Park, which holds a special place in her heart. It’s where her husband proposed to her, making it a cherished location that combines both natural wonders and unforgettable memories. With a variety of trail options available, there’s always something new to discover and explore at McLennan Park.