The Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council have released the names of five finalists for the 2011 Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award, which is presented to a single Kanas company for outstanding international marketing achievements. The five finalists are Bio-Microbics Inc., Shawnee; Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton; ICE Corp., Manhattan; and Kasa Industrial Controls Inc. and Premier Pneumatics Inc., both of Salina.
The winners will be announced June 29 at the annual Kansas Cavalry Encampment, the state’s annual business awards ceremony, at Butler County Community College in El Dorado. The Cavalry Encampment is sponsored by Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Cavalry, a volunteer group of business leaders who promote Kansas as an attractive location for business.
This year’s finalists were chosen from a pool of 13 applicants, who were evaluated by a panel of economic development and international trade practitioners. Evaluation criteria include:
--Number and/or percentage increase in jobs due to international activities.
--Innovations in global marketing.
--Effective use of international distributors.
--Long-range international strategies and prospects for future growth.
--New product lines introduced internationally.
--Network of distributors, agent/representatives, international offices or subsidiaries developed.
--Trade shows and/or international expositions displayed at or attended.
--Joint ventures established.
--Foreign language promotional materials and general promotional activities developed.
--Number of new export markets.
For more than 20 years, the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award has been presented to a Sunflower State company for exceptional international marketing success. This award encourages the growth of the of the state’s international commerce by showcasing successful exporters as role models to the Kansas business community. The recipients are prime examples of how exporting is a significant catalyst for company growth and diversification. The first step in the process is for companies to be nominated for the award. Chambers of commerce, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to nominate companies that have excelled in the area of international trade. Companies may also nominate themselves. For details on the program, visit www.kansascommerce.com/exporteroftheyear.
Site visits to the finalists will be conducted this week, followed by presentations by the finalists on April 20 in Topeka.
Bio-Microbics produces innovative equipment to help organizations address a variety of environmental problems. Current product lines include decentralized wastewater transfer and treatment systems, storm water treatment equipment, wastewater screening devices, commercial grease interceptors and fill media for the global water, wastewater and storm water treatment industries. Bio-Microbics’ products have been used for years in municipal, industrial, marine, commercial and residential wastewater and storm water applications. From 2007-2010, Bio-Microbics’ export sales increased 51 percent, including a 15 percent increase from 2009-2010. The company’s distribution network includes more than 50 countries, seven of which were added in the past year.
Bunting Magnetics (Newton)
For more than 50 years, Bunting Magnetics has been a leader in the use of magnetic energy to solve a multitude of manufacturing problems for the food products industry, plastics housewares, printing, electronic, material handling and other industries. Bunting’s most visible product lines are its magnetic separation/detection and printing products. The magnetic/detection line plays a key role in insuring product purity by removing ferrous contaminates from dry particulates, liquids and slurries. In the past three years, Bunting has introduced 22 new product lines internationally. Bunting saw its percentage of exports grow 16 percent from 2007-2010 and added 29 new distributors in 22 countries.
Premier Pneumatics (Salina)
Premier Pneumatics designs, manufactures and tests complete pneumatic conveying systems, including vacuum conveying and pressure conveying. The company also supplies individual system components for vacuum and pressure applications and manually operated, or PLC-controlled, system controls. Three years ago, Premier’s exports were primarily limited to Canada, but today the company is exporting to more than 30 counties. From 2007-2010, export sales grew 69 percent. Last year, Premier Pneumatics became a major supplier to the largest plastics supplier in the world, and the company sold their largest project outside North America to China.
ICE Corp. (Manhattan)
In 1973, two K-State engineers founded ICE Corp. to meet the deicing needs of the general aviation industry. The company launched with its first product, a deicing timer for Cessna. Today, ICE is a world-renowned supplier of sophisticated aircraft electronics that serves several well-known companies in the aerospace industry by designing, testing and manufacturing electronic controllers. ICE’s electronic expertise has spawned product lines to meet the need of industries not normally associated with aviation, such as veterinary medicine and automotive electronics. From 2007-2010, ICE export sales grew 34 percent.
KASA Industrial Controls (Salina)
Kasa Industrial Controls was founded in 1974 and provides turnkey industrial control systems for the agricultural, automotive, conveying and food processing industries, among others. These control systems include the custom designing of electrical panels, switch gear, software programming, system integration and start up. Kasa Control’s sales and engineering teams work with end users, mechanical and electrical engineers, and others to provide custom designed systems. The company serves well-known companies such as BMW, Caterpillar, Philips, and Armor Swift Eckrich. Kasa Controls does business with a number of countries, including a recent joint venture in India. Kasa Controls has positioned itself to meet the growing needs of this rapidly growing market. The company experienced significant export sales growth from 2007-2010 of more than 1000 percent.