2014 Winner and Finalist Profiles
Galaxy Technologies (Winner)
Galaxy Technologies is one of the largest and most specialized companies for the blow molding industry 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, 5,000 square foot shop with four employees. During the
ensuing 28 years, the company has undergone eight expansions and currently is in the midst of its ninth expansion which will
provide 120,000 square feet of operational space for its 210 employees.
Additionally, during several economic downturns, the company has looked for and found opportunities to expand its business. The most recent event was the economic downturn of 2009 in which the leadership team took the initiative to cut its pay by 25 percent in order to keep the company’s employment level stable, in addition to expanding into new markets. In 2011, the company was renamed Galaxy Technology to better reflect the direction that Galaxy had grown strategically in the aviation and engineering sector.
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 in particular have supported local high schools.
The company helped organize high school industry tours that promote careers in manufacturing and technology. It also supports numerous other high school events and fundraisers. In addition to this strong support of high schools, 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.
This year, Boeing awarded Galaxy its Performance Excellence Award. In 2013, Galaxy won the Winfield Chamber Champion
award from the Winfield Chamber of Commerce.
Benefit Management Inc.
Founded in 1995 with two employees, Benefit Management Inc. (BMI) has become one of the Midwest’s leading third party
administrators, with a reputation for flexibility, innovative services and outstanding customer service. BMI provides customized, high quality health benefits administration programs to self-insured companies, association plans, fully insured carriers and to state and federal high risk pools nationwide.
The company has grown to 90 full-time employees and currently administers benefits for 75,000 customers across the country. The company’s self-insured clients range from small employers with a single location to national employers with multiple work sites across the country. The company recently expanded, and now has offices in Wichita, in addition to its headquarters in Great Bend.
BMI provides a comprehensive training program for new employees, and strives to retain and promote its associates, filling nearly all advancement opportunities with internal candidates. The company also belongs to many professional organizations in its industry, allowing employees to stay current on best practices and cutting edge technology.
BMI supports local schools by funding and sponsoring various events and projects each year. The company is also a proud supporter of various club sports programs to encourage physical fitness. BMI founded a philanthropy committee in 2008 to identify and serve the needs of the local community. This committee researches imminent needs and engages the entire company in projects and fundraising.
In 2013, BMI was named to Inc. magazine’s “Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies” list. In 2009 it won the Business of the Year Award from the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce.
Geary Community Hospital
Geary Community Hospital (GCH) has been providing healthcare to families of Geary County and the surrounding communities since 1913. It offers a broad spectrum of healthcare including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, orthopedic surgery and OB/GYN services, as well as several specialties on an outreach basis. GCH sees more than 15,000 patients annually in its emergency room and typically delivers more than 325 babies per year. In addition, it offers many other programs and services that are vital to the community such as hospice, home health care, radiological services, laboratory services, a senior health center and AlphaCare, an extended hours clinic.
GCH has a history of regular expansion of the hospital campus and facilities. In 2009, a 110,000 square foot expansion and remodeling project was completed. The $34 million capital investment in this project more than doubled the size of the hospital.
With 413 employees, GCH has several layers of recruitment and retention practices. All employees participate in extensive orientation and training, and many of the professional employees are required to continue their education to maintain their licenses. Each of these employees is given an education allowance for this purpose. In addition, an in-house education department provides additional training opportunities. All employees are encouraged to advance their development by joining professional organizations or by acquiring advanced degrees.
In addition to the advanced medical services it provides to the area, GCH and its employees support numerous local activities. Hospital physicians serve as team doctors for local high school teams. The hospital awards scholarships to local students pursing degrees in nursing. GCH also supports community health through partnerships with several organizations.
The hospital’s work has been recognized through numerous awards.
Grandstand Glassware & Apparel
Grandstand Glassware & Apparel specializes in decorated glassware and apparel for industries including craft brewing, restaurants and hospitality businesses. From pint glasses to growlers, sweatshirts and promotional items, Grandstand provides numerous products to customers that support their branding initiatives.
Founded in 1988, Grandstand currently employs 133. It has seen rapid growth in recent years, and hired 66 employees in 2013
alone. The company utilizes an environmental program to reduce, reuse and recycle as much waste as possible. Its new policies have reduced its scrap output by approximately 115,000 pounds each year. Grandstand is also committed to supporting local economic development by purchasing many supplies and services from local vendors.
Grandstand considers employee retention a high priority, and in 2011 instituted a “Best Places to Work Committee” to help employees provide input on the work environment and to help them improve work performance. The company conducts safety training for all workers and offers resources to participate in additional training opportunities. Currently, a number of employees are taking advantage of continuing education options in their respective fields.
Grandstand supports local schools by providing apparel for a number of sporting teams and after school programs. The company and its associates also sponsor and work with many organizations that provide service to the local community.
In 2012, Grandstand won the Small Business of the Year Award from the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.
LifeTeam is a pre-hospital, critical care air and ground ambulance service. The company, which is headquartered in Newton, is
engaged in the transportation and care of critically ill or injured patients to tertiary care. LifeTeam was founded by two Kansas physicians in 2001. Both doctors were also pilots who saw a need for high-quality medical transport service in rural communities in Kansas. During the past decade, the company has strategically expanded throughout the Midwest and the nation. LifeTeam now operates fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft at bases in Liberal, Hutchinson, Emporia, Newton and Dodge City, as well as in Colorado, Hawaii and Nebraska. In the past year alone, the company added five new fixed wing bases through a partnership with American Medical Response.
The company, which has grown from eight to 183 employees in 10 years, has made significant investments in training programs. All medical employees are provided the opportunity to maintain all certifications through LifeTeam sponsored educational courses. Pilots receive extensive recurrent training, and leadership programs are available to all employees to encourage advancement within the company.
LifeTeam and its employees are active participants in the community, leveraging their resources and expertise to provide
courses at local high schools. The company has participated in demonstrations and events to teach students about the dangers of drunk and impaired driving and texting while driving. LifeTeam and its associates are also active in community health fairs, job fairs and numerous events.