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The Kansas Department of Commerce names Craig VanWey Employee of the Quarter

May 08, 2019

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Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Commerce is proud to announce Craig VanWey as the Employee of the Quarter for Q1 2019.

Governor Laura Kelly honored VanWey and other Employees of the Quarter in state government during a ceremony Wednesday at the Capitol. A reception for VanWey followed at the Department of Commerce.
A state employee with over 20 years of experience, VanWey is a Regional Project Manager for the Southeast Region in Commerce’s Business and Community Development

Each year, VanWey visits his 19 counties, hundreds of communities and participates in local and state-wide economic organizations. He is responsible for over 100 annual on-site visits working with local economic development professionals, elected officials, city and county administrators and community volunteers. He serves as Commerce’s liaison to a wide variety of businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the southeast. VanWey travels more than 20,000 miles each year crisscrossing his region and the state in support of Commerce and the businesses and organizations the agency serves.

In FY18, 16 percent of all successful projects were located in the southeast region. For FY19, VanWey has facilitated 10 new projects supporting over $47 million in proposed capital investment, and the potential addition of 290 jobs.

“Craig sets the bar high for everyone at Commerce,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “He excels at keeping all parties informed through the process, whether it be businesses, local governments, or even myself. Craig is dedicated to serving Kansans and has proven to help grow the economy in the southeast portion of our state.”

“Craig is the first person to volunteer for a project, provide insightful advice and offer support to his teammates,” Amy Selm, Assistance Team Manager of Business and Community Development for the Department of Commerce, said. “He listens with an open mind and creates an environment of mutual respect. He takes the time that makes a difference in projects, in relationships and in life.”

At the reception following the governor’s ceremony, Toland cited VanWey’s extraordinary dedication and commitment, and record of success.

“It was unanimous that Craig be awarded Employee of the Quarter,” the Secretary said.

VanWey, who afterward said he was “honored and proud” to be recognized, also credited co-workers for his success, to include support in the Curtis Building in Topeka. He said the teamwork makes his job easier and more enjoyable.

“It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” he said. “It really doesn’t feel like going to work.”

He also admitted to being a bit surprised to be named Employee of the Quarter.

“There’s an agency full of people who are deserving;” he said.