Winfield, Independence firms win Kansas’ top business awards

06/18/2014 5:45 PM

06/18/2014 5:46 PM

Galaxy Technologies of Winfield won the Governor’s Award of Excellence, officials announced Wednesday, and Kansas Aviation of Independence won the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award.

The winners of the annual awards were announced at a banquet Tuesday night in Wichita.

The two awards are the state’s top business honors and are the culmination of Business Appreciation Month, the state Department of Commerce’s annual statewide tribute to businesses for their contributions to Kansas.

Both winners are suppliers to the aircraft industry.

Galaxy Technologies makes molds and tools for the production of aircraft parts and assemblies and for plastics products.

The nearly 20-year-old company has seen rapid growth in recent years as it diversified beyond its heavy reliance on general aviation, particularly Cessna Aircraft, into commercial and military aircraft.

The award was a huge honor for the company, said Ed Boyington, Galaxy’s president and chief executive officer.

“Several hundred were nominated, and then it came down to four outstanding companies as finalists,” Boyington said. “We’re very honored, very pleased. It’s a reflection on Cowley County and the support we get there. “

The company has been adding new machinery to allow it to provide tooling for more segments of the market. It’s in the process of building a 35,000-square-foot building in Winfield to accommodate its latest equipment and new personnel.

Galaxy employs 210 employees and will hire another 20 to 25 people this year with the new machine.

A Federal Aviation Administration repair station, Kansas Aviation overhauls and repairs oil, air and fuel-related engine accessories and systems on aircraft engines.

“Coming from the governor, it’s considered a very high honor, so we’re thrilled to be selected,” said company president Toby Lavine.

The company is a little different from most exporters because it performs work in Independence on foreign-owned aircraft parts. In effect, it exports its service.

He said the company has seen steady growth, increasing sales nearly every year, both domestically and internationally.

The company has 83 employees and recently was certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

“We live in a global economy, and we see a lot of opportunity in international business, especially in Asia and the Chinese market,” Lavine said.

Other finalists for the Award of Excellence were Benefit Management, Great Bend; Grandstand Glassware & Apparel, Lawrence; Geary Community Hospital, Junction City; and LifeTeam, Newton.

Other finalists for the Exporter of the Year Award were Balco, Wichita; GT Manufacturing, Clay Center; Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics, Wichita; and Swift Bullet Co., Quinter.

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