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Posted on: March 19, 2012

Governor’s Exporter of the Year finalists announced

The Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council have released the names of five finalists for the 2012 Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award, which is presented to a single Kanas company for outstanding international marketing achievements. The five finalists are Berkamp Inc. (Salina); Bunting Magnetics Co. (Newton); Global Parts Inc. (Augusta); Pitsco Inc. (Pittsburg); and Tank Connections LLC (Parsons).

The winners will be announced June 12 at the annual Kansas Cavalry Encampment, the state’s annual business awards ceremony, at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan. 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 15 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 24 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 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 KansasCommerce.com/ExporteroftheYear.

Finalist Profiles
Bergkamp Inc. (Salina)
Bergkamp Inc. is an international leader in the design and manufacturing of asphalt pavement preservation equipment for contractors and government agencies. For more than 25 years, the company’s equipment has provided road maintenance solutions proven to help extend the life of highways, roads and parking lots. Bergkamp’s first export was in 1983. Since then, the company’s exports have continued to grow, and it now accounts for more than 39 percent of sales. In 2011, Bergkamp produced products shipped to 17 countries.

Bunting Magnetics Co. (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. Export sales now account for 25 percent of Bunting’s total sales. In the last three year, the company has introduced 22 new product lines found in more than 25 countries.

Global Parts Inc. (Augusta)
Global Parts is a leading distributor of aviation spares offering a wide variety of all the parts needed to keep general, corporate and regional aircraft operational. Global Parts is an approved vendor for Hawker Beechcraft Corp. that uses only FAA-certified repair stations that meet high standards and are ISO/ASA certified. Soon after its inception in 2003, Global Parts became a supplier to the worldwide aviation market, which now accounts for more than 18 percent of company sales. To keep pace with the global demand for products and to meet on-time delivery, the company recently opened a stocking warehouse in South Africa to serve more than 60 countries.

Pitsco Inc. (Pittsburg)
For more than 40 years, Pitsco has provided innovative hands-on curriculum to enhance the learning experience in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). From its beginning in 1971, the company’s commitment to educating the next generation is based on four pillars of student success: teacher enablement, industry-leading customer service, quality/cutting edge curriculum, and products. The company has a partnership with LEGO to develop LEGO Education curriculum. Pitsco products are exported to more than 35 countries and accounts for more than seven percent of the company’s sales. Over the last three years, Pitsco’s commitment to innovation has led it to introduce more than 20 new products to meet the needs of international customers.

Tank Connections, LLC (Parsons)
The Tank Connection (TC) Affiliate Group is an integrated family of companies that specialize in liquid and dry bulk storage applications worldwide. Unlike tank suppliers that offer a single choice in tank construction, the company is the only global tank manufacturer that designs, fabricates and installs all four types of steel storage tanks, including bolted rolled tapered panel (RTP), field-weld, shop-weld and hybrid tank construction. TC products are highly rated in the industry. The TC Affiliate Group is a collection of the recognized experts in RTP, API 12B (flanged panel), flat panel, field-weld, shop-weld and hybrid tank fabrication. As of January 2012, TC’s distributor network was marketing the company’s tanks in 50-plus countries that contributed 20 percent to total sales figures for 2011.

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