Gov. Sam Brownback recognized Galaxy Technologies of Winfield with the Governor’s Award of Excellence and Kansas Aviation of Independence with the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award at the annual Team Kansas Awards Banquet in Wichita on Tuesday.
The two awards are the state’s top business honors and are the culmination of Business Appreciation Month, the Department’s annual statewide tribute to Kansas businesses for their contributions to the state. The event is sponsored the Kansas Department of Commerce and Team Kansas, a group of business leaders who promote the state as a desirable business location.
“Congratulations to Galaxy Technologies and Kansas Aviation of Independence,” Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George said. “We received many great nominations this year for the Governor’s Award of Excellence and the Governor’s Exporter of the Year award. After a competitive nomination and selection process, these two companies have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to our economy and their communities.”
Finalists for the Governor’s Award of Excellence were Benefit Management Inc. (Great Bend); Grandstand Glassware & Apparel (Lawrence); Geary Community Hospital (Junction City); and LifeTeam (Newton).
Finalists for the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award were Balco Inc. (Wichita); GT Manufacturing Inc. (Clay Center); Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics (Wichita); and Swift Bullet Company (Quinter). The Exporter of the Year Award is sponsored by the Department and the Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council.
Several individuals were also recognized for their accomplishments in support of growing businesses and the Kansas economy. Individual winners included Don Landoll, founder of Landoll Corporation and president of Team Kansas, who was presented with an award to commemorate his company’s 50 years in business and to thank him for his leadership of Team Kansas. Dr. Edward Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University and vice president of Team Kansas, was presented with the Silver Stirrup award. This is a meritorious service award given in the spirit of leadership and dedication.
Profiles of the award winners follow:
Galaxy Technologies (Winfield)Galaxy Technologies is one of the largest and most specialized blow molding manufacturing companies in the United States. Galaxy is an integrated services company, whose offerings include design engineering, manufacturing, sub-assembly, assembly and installation. The company provides turnkey solutions for clients in the aerospace, defense and plastic markets.
Galaxy Technologies was founded in 1985 as Galaxy Tool in a small shop with four employees. In the next 20 years the company expanded the building four times to a total of 50,000 square feet to accommodate the addition of equipment and a growing workforce. In 2011, the company was renamed Galaxy Technologies to better reflect the direction that Galaxy had grown strategically in the aviation and engineering sector. Galaxy currently employs 210 workers.
Galaxy encourages promotion by clearly defining what is expected of employees to advance into new opportunities within the company. The company also works with Cowley College to hire graduating students from its machining, welding, automotive and manufacturing programs. Galaxy offers employees tuition reimbursement and provides college scholarships to employees’ children that are graduating from high school.
Galaxy and its employees are active members of the Winfield community and have supported local high schools. The company helped organize high school industry tours that promote careers in manufacturing and technology. In addition, Galaxy members support post-secondary education by serving on the Cowley College Advisory Committee, and have played an instrumental role in the development of the manufacturing technology curriculum offered at the college
Kansas Aviation of Independence (Independence)Since opening its doors in 1992, Kansas Aviation of Independence has serviced clients around the world. A Federal Aviation Administration repair station, the company specializes in repair and overhaul of engine accessories on business fixed wing and rotor aircraft, installing parts on more than 12,000 flying aircraft engines per year. With clients in dozens of countries, Kansas Aviation has captured a broad international market that enabled it to attain record breaking sales in six of the past seven years. To continue to better serve these clients, the company has recently added major product lines to its capabilities, including over speed governors, prop governors, ignition exciter boxes and fuel controls. Kansas Aviation employs 81 workers in the state.