Team Kansas, the Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council and the Kansas Department of Commerce have announced the winners of Kansas’ top awards for business and exporting. ITC Great Plains won the 2015 Governor’s Award of Excellence, while Vektek Inc. was named the 2015 Governor’s Exporter of the Year.
The Governor’s Award of Excellence is the highest award given to a business by the state. The Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award is presented to a single Kansas business each year for excellence in international trade and marketing. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer recognized the winners and finalists for both awards at the annual Team Kansas Awards Banquet in Overland Park on Thursday.
The two awards are the culmination of Business Appreciation Month, the Department’s annual statewide tribute to Kansas businesses for their contributions to the state. The annual banquet 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 ITC and Vektek,” said Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George. “The nomination and selection process for both awards was highly competitive, and these two businesses stood out for achieving tremendous success in our state. They have contributed to our economic growth and are active supporters of their communities.”
Finalists for the 2015 Governor’s Award of Excellence were Community National Bank & Trust (Chanute), Creekstone Farms Premium Beef (Arkansas City), ITC Great Plains (Dodge City), LifeTeam (Newton) and The Victory Electric Cooperative Association (Dodge City). The Award of Excellence is sponsored by Team Kansas and the Department.
Finalists for the 2015 Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award were Balco Inc. (Wichita), Ceva Biomune (Lenexa), GT Mfg. Inc. (Clay Center), SPX Cooling Technologies Inc. (Overland Park). and Vektek Inc. (Emporia). 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 efforts to grow their businesses and the Kansas economy.
Profiles of the award winners follow:
ITC Great PlainsITC Great Plains LLC is a transmission-only utility operating in the Southwest Power Pool region. The company currently operates 436 circuit miles of transmission lines in Kansas and Oklahoma. ITC has focused on transmission and grid development to achieve operational excellence and deliver value for customers, communities and stakeholders.
Since opening its Topeka office in 2006, ITC has invested nearly $550 million in Kansas. Notable projects in which the company is involved include a 60-mile transmission line in the central part of the state, a 200 mile line linking Spearville to Wichita and a 225 miles line from Spearville to Nebraska. The company has expanded from its Topeka office and now has locations in Dodge City and Wichita.
ITC offers its 16 employees training and educational opportunities through its Organizational Learning team, which is dedicated to creating and delivering corporate and job specific employee training. It also provides employees with external development opportunities through professional development conferences and programs.
ITC is actively engaged in supporting Kansas communities. The company has funded scholarships at Dodge City Community College and Pratt Community College, and donated to Cloud County Community College’s Wind Energy Technology program. It has supported elementary school events and has sponsored Scripps National Spelling Bee events in Kansas. ITC has also helped construct parks in Concordia and Dodge City and sponsored community events.
Vektek Inc.During the past 38 years, Vektek, Inc. has grown from a small job shop to a market leading manufacturer of power clamping cylinders for the world’s manufacturing industry. Vektek cylinders are the “helping hands” in the manufacturing process of industries such as automotive, heavy equipment, motorcycles, heavy truck, aerospace and defense, energy, medical and agriculture. The company began exporting in 1990 and significantly increased its international presence in 2014 by selling to markets in Asia and opening a new product line in 2014.
Vektek’s newest product line gained global presence and significantly increased sales in China, India, Japan, Mexico and Brazil. Overall the company exports products to 25 different countries worldwide. Vektek has 103 employees who call Kansas home.