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To The Stars: Celebrating Kansas Businesses 2022 Nominations Open  

Jul 20, 2022

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TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Commerce is accepting nominations for the 2022 To The Stars: Celebrating Kansas Businesses Awards. The annual awards program recognizes businesses across the state for the valuable contributions they make to the Kansas economy and to the well-being of their communities. 

“Kansas businesses and businesspeople are the lifeblood of our state. They are what make our state strong, prosperous and successful – and such a great place to live and work,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “The successes of the Kansas business community need to be shared, so I encourage everyone to nominate a company or individual for this important recognition.”

Companies, organizations and individuals can be nominated in the following categories:

  • AgriBusiness (New award for 2022!) – companies that stand out in the agribusiness industry – including agricultural production, products and services and agri-tourism.
  • Apprenticeship Champions and Partners (New award for 2022!) – companies that excel in providing registered apprenticeship programs in Kansas.
  • Business Innovation – companies from any sector incorporating innovative technologies in their business.
  • Cool Things Made in Kansas (New award for 2022!) – companies that make, produce or sell uniquely Kansas items.
  • Healthcare/Nonprofit – noteworthy services provided by either healthcare facilities or nonprofit organizations.
  • Manufacturing/Distribution – outstanding achievement for companies large and small involved in manufacturing and distribution.
  • Non-Traditional Talent Pools (New award for 2022!) – companies that have gone above and beyond to hire veterans, those with prior involvement in the justice system, youth, seniors or individuals with disabilities.
  • Retail/Service – outstanding achievement by businesses selling goods, products and/or services.
  • Under 30 Entrepreneurs – young entrepreneurs achieving business success under the age of 30. 
  • Welcome Back – entrepreneurs and businesspeople who once left Kansas but have returned to make their mark in the Sunflower State.

The Department of Commerce will host regional luncheons to honor the 2022 Merit and Regional Award winners in September. Regional Award winners will be eligible to receive the statewide award in their respective category and will be invited to attend the Statewide Awards Banquet in October. During the statewide banquet, the Department of Commerce will announce the prestigious Governor’s Award of Excellence winner, along with honoring the 2022 Exporter of the Year.

“We want to recognize the many businesses and businesspeople throughout our state that are working hard to build their companies and at the same time contributing to their community as valuable resources,” said Craig VanWey, In-State Business Development Manager. “These awards allow us to shine a light on the terrific success stories taking place in all parts of the state.”

To learn more about To The Stars: Celebrating Kansas Businesses award categories, view past winners and to nominate a business or businessperson, including your own, click here. The nominations portal will accept nominations through August 5.

About the Kansas Department of Commerce

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award in 2021 and 2022, and was awarded the 2021 Governor’s Cup by Site Selection Magazine.