2012 Governor's Award of Excellence Winner and Finalist Profiles
Nex-Tech, Inc. (Winner) Lenora
Nex-Tech, Inc., a subsidiary of Rural Telephone, employs 378 and provides local and long distance telephone services, cable television and Internet service to 39 exchanges in central and western Kansas. Additional services include a wide variety of voice, wireless, video and data solutions.
The company was awarded $101 million in funding to deploy broadband throughout its territory. After the project is complete, more than 39,000 households and businesses in 60 cities located across 17 counties will have high speed broadband throughout a 9,300 square mile area.
Nex-Tech created a youth services/community development coordinator position to administer all of the company’s youth programs – including internships, educational school presentations, career days and other events – and to serve as a liaison to businesses, schools and communities.
Employees enjoy a wide variety of training opportunities. Nex-Tech Training Services is certified as a proprietary school through the Kansas Board of Regents and is registered as a Kansas Service Provider. Employees and customers can also attend Microsoft Office classes through a partnership with Fort Hays State University.
Carter Automotive Warehouse Coffeyville
Carter Automotive Warehouse was established in Coffeyville in 1921 by Orvil W. Carter. After initially servicing cars and tractors and carrying repair parts in inventory, the company expanded and started distributing its own line of parts. Eventually the company began selling to parts stores and dealers as well as warehousing parts to auto parts resellers.
Today Carter Automotive is operated by Debbie Carter, wife of the late Terry Carter, Orvil’s grandson, and sells automotive and small engine repair parts and service in southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri. Primary customers are parts stores, installers and do-it-yourself enthusiasts. The company employs 24 and has four additional locations in Fredonia, Neodesha, Oswego and Sedan.
Carter Automotive is actively involved in the communities it serves, supporting local school-related activities and youth sports teams. The company assists its employees with ASE certification and other training programs, and wellness and safety programs are a priority.
Custom Foods, Inc. DeSoto
Established in 1998, Custom Foods, Inc. manufactures frozen dough for customers throughout North America. The company’s products include breads, rolls, pizza, cookies and tortillas for restaurant chains, grocery store chains and foodservice distributors.
The DeSoto company has undergone two major expansions in recent years. Dinner roll production lines were installed in 2008, and a cookie production line was added in 2011. Today the company employs 34.
Custom Foods offers employees a tuition reimbursement program and an English as a Second Language program. The company supports several school activities including product for teacher luncheons, the school district’s PTAs and the high school’s “Senior Night In” event. In the community the company supports Wonderscope Children’s Museum, the local Rotary Club, Veteran of Foreign Wars fundraisers and the city’s annual feature concert, “Night on the Kaw.”
Gove County Medical Center Quinter
Gove County Medical Center is a regional healthcare hub that provides services to thousands of western Kansans in more than 10 surrounding counties. Established in 1926 in Quinter, a community of 866, the hospital’s diverse staff allows residents to receive quality healthcare without traveling hundreds of miles.
The medical center has undergone several changes over the years, including the addition of new kitchen dining rooms, opening a nursing station and pharmacy, gaining a long-term care facility and laboratory services, opening a physicians’ clinic and the addition of assisted living services and a therapy pool. A family-oriented employer, there are two day care facilities on site for the convenience of employees.
The medical center supports the community and school district through CNA classes for high school students and sponsorship of Quinter’s Wellness Center and Grainfield Opera House. The hospital also works with the University of Kansas Medical Center to provide a rural healthcare rotation for third- and fourth-year medical students.
Midland Marketing Hays
A farmer-owned cooperative with locations in Ellis, Ness, Osborne, Rooks and Rush counties, Midland Marketing of Hays has been serving its customers since 1915. With 62 employees, the company offers grain storage and marketing, custom fertilizer and chemical applications, as well as the sale of farm supplies, fertilizers, chemicals, seed and petroleum products. Recent expansion includes the purchase and refurbishment of a Plainville manufacturing facility which is being used to expand the co-op’s fertilizer and chemical capabilities.
Midland Marketing is heavily invested in the areas it serves, supporting local FFA chapters, school athletic programs, 4-H programs and several county fairs. The co-op has a longstanding relationship with Fort Hays State University, hiring several agriculture majors on a part-time basis and giving them the opportunity to become full-time employees upon graduation. Training is also provided to employees so they can obtain their commercial driver’s license and custom application license.
NetStandard, Inc. is a full service technology solutions company in Kansas City, Kan. The company’s flagship brand, Clarity, helps companies outsource their IT departments, while the Myappsanywhere division is a nationwide cloud computing platform providing 50 hosted applications through a national dealer network of more than 62 partners.
In 2011 NetStandard added more than 100 new clients and recorded an 18 percent growth in the number of new hires. Employees are offered career development programs and on-the-job training, reimbursed for professional certifications and encouraged to participate in mentorship through the creation of service teams.
Employees regularly donate time and resources to nonprofits. The company works with area schools to provide internships, and the executive team regularly participates in speaking engagements at local colleges and universities. CEO Jeff Melcher is the founding advisor of FiberKC, which focuses on education and technology workforce development in Kansas City.