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Kansas Businesses Honored at Commerce’s ‘To The Stars’ Ceremony

Oct 12, 2023

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TOPEKA – Businesses and individuals from across the state were honored Thursday night at the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center in Wichita for their outstanding contributions to Kansas communities and the state’s economy at the Kansas Department of Commerce’s 2023 To the Stars: Kansas Business Awards ceremony. 

Governor Laura Kelly announced at the ceremony that Atwood-based SurePoint Ag Systems has won the 2023 Governor’s Award of Excellence and Tank Connection in Parsons earned the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award.

“SurePoint Ag Systems and Tank Connection are both advanced manufacturing businesses having great success on the global stage,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These companies, and all of the To the Stars nominees and award-winners, represent the best of Kansas business. Their success shows that the stars are truly the limit for businesses in our great state.” 

A record 297 businesses, organizations and individuals were nominated in nine categories for this year’s To the Stars: Kansas Business Awards. Nominees were reviewed and scored for various criteria such as business expansion, employee recruitment and retention practices, training and educational programs, capital investments, and support of local community events. A total of 245 Merit Awards and 43 Regional Awards were presented at the event. Additionally, one nominee in each category was designated a Statewide Winner, making them finalists for the Governor’s Award of Excellence. 

“The Kansas economy is booming because of these innovative entrepreneurs,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “When we talk about Kansas being the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family, we know it is possible because of great companies driving success in their communities. It is an honor to celebrate their achievements.” 

The 2023 Governor’s Award of Excellence winner, SurePoint Ag Systems, was founded in 2007 in Atwood. SurePoint specializes in providing solutions for the control and application of liquid and dry fertilizer, seed and chemicals. Their goal is to help producers apply the right product, in the right place, at the perfect rate. With more than 70 full-time employees and numerous seasonal workers, SurePoint Ag Systems ships products all across North America, as well as internationally.

In addition, the following businesses and businesspeople were 2023 Statewide Award winners: 

  • SurePoint Ag Systems, Atwood – Agribusiness Award
  • Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Scott City – Apprenticeship Champions and Partners Award
  • Phazebreak Coatings, Olathe – Business Innovation Award
  • ComfortCare Homes, Wichita – Healthcare/Nonprofit Award
  • MaiCo Industries, Ellsworth – Manufacturing/Distribution Award
  • Zephyr Products, Leavenworth – Non-Traditional Talent Pools Award
  • B’s Hometown Market, La Crosse – Retail/Service Award
  • Dr. Megan Bartley, Clothed in Compassion, Hutchinson – Under 30 Entrepreneur and Businessperson Award
  • John Boucard, Tesseract Ventures, Overland Park – Welcome Back Award

The Governor’s Exporter of the Year award has been given to a Kansas company for more than three decades. The award brings statewide recognition to companies for their exporting efforts and showcases companies as role models of exporting success in Kansas.  

The 2023 Exporter of the Year winner, Tank Connection, is the global leader in dry bulk and liquid storage systems, providing a complete performance package to suit their clients’ needs. The company encompasses multiple manufacturing facilities located in southeast Kansas and are the only storage tank manufacturer in the world that designs, fabricates and installs all four major types of steel storage tanks. The employee-owned Tank Connection has sales outlets across the globe.

Other finalists for the Exporter of the Year award include NORAG in Bucyrus and Lubrication Engineers in Wichita.

A full list of 2023 To The Stars: Kansas Business Awards winners and photographs from the event can be found here.