The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce honored 15 businesses with awards Tuesday night at the annual Business and Industry Banquet held at the Knicely Center. ShopHQ received the top award of the evening, the John B. Holland Business of the Year Award.
The banquet is held each year in conjunction with Business and Industry Week in an effort to recognize and salute targeted businesses and industries throughout South Central Kentucky for their accomplishments. 2014 has been a banner year for South Central Kentucky, with announcements totaling $202.6 million in investments and the creation of 413 new jobs.
“Each year, the Business and Industry banquet is our opportunity to recognize the impact that targeted businesses in our region have on our community,” stated Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors John Mark Fones. “We were pleased to have great attendance to pay tribute to the award winners, as well as take advantage of the opportunity to hear from Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson. We appreciate his insight on the importance of talent, and we extend our sincere thanks to the Lt. Governor for joining us tonight.”
“Kentucky has now recovered and exceeded the state’s economic losses suffered during the Great Recession. In fact, in August, jobless rates were down in all 120 counties across the Commonwealth,” Abramson said. “The Governor and I want to thank the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, the Warren County Economic Development Authority and all of the local business and industry owners for their partnership in strengthening Kentucky’s economy. Bowling Green is a community that has seen tremendous growth over the last several years. We look forward to the community’s continued economic growth in the future.”
The John B. Holland Business of the Year, renamed in 2011 to honor Mr. Holland and his dedication to business success in the community, was awarded to ShopHQ for their recent plans for expansion.
In attendance to accept the award from ShopHQ was Mr. David Foster, Vice President of Fulfillment.
“I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of ShopHQ,” said David Foster, ShopHQ Vice President of Fulfillment. “The decision for us to expand and keep our distribution operations and call center in Bowling Green shows the commitment we have to the community and our employees. We are happy to call south central Kentucky home and look forward to continuing to grow here.”
ShopHQ is a digital commerce company providing a 24 x 7 interactive digital shopping and entertainment experience. ShopHQ is available in 87 million television homes, online at shophq.com and via mobile apps and focuses on proprietary products and brands in Beauty, Fashion & Accessories, Home, Jewelry, Health & Fitness and Consumer Electronics.
ShopHQ’s distribution and call center has been located in Bowling Green, Warren County for more than a decade and has provided positions to over 350 South Central Kentucky residents.
In May, ShopHQ, announced their intention to expand their distribution and call center currently located in Bowling Green, Ky. Over the next three years, the project will bring a total capital investment of $25 million to the region, as well as create up to 150 new, full-time positions and up to 100+ new part-time positions.
The expansion project is currently underway and will include the addition of more than 300,000 square feet and the installation of a new warehouse management system that will improve the ordering and shipping process, slated for completion in 2015.
President’s Club Bronze Star Partner Scott, Murphy & Daniel, LLC sponsored this year’s Business of the Year Award.
The Chamber also presented awards in four other categories at the banquet:
- Business Expansion – Sponsored by President’s Club Bronze Star Partner Tennessee Valley Authority
- Newcomer – Sponsored by Quality Personnel
- Business Innovation – Sponsored by WKU Research and Development
- Export Excellence -- Sponsored by President’s Club Bronze Star Partner Denham-Blythe Company, Inc.
- Green to Gold – Sponsored by EnSafe
Business Expansion Awards – Sponsored by President’s Club Bronze Star Partner Tennessee Valley Authority
For South Central Kentucky companies that expanded operations in 2014, investing capital and creating jobs for local residents.
Holley Performance Products
Holley performance is a leading manufacturer of aftermarket performance automotive parts and accessories. Founded in 1903, Holley and their core of performance brands (Weiand, Hooker, Flowtech, Demon, Earl’s and NOS) have been building horsepower for over 111 years. Over the past year, Holley has been focused heavily on innovation in R&D and manufacturing processes. Since August of 2013, Holley Performance has invested heavily in innovative research and development by expanding our engineering and design capabilities by adding new technology and fixture/tooling design improvements as well as expanding the department with skilled positions here in Bowling Green. Holley has increased support of the local region by sponsoring the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park and the Hot Rod Reunion held at Beech Bend. Holley also puts on the LS-Fest event annually at Beech Bend which brings more than 4,000 cars to Bowling Green each year.
Stoody Company, a recent acquisition of Colfax Corporation, a global leader of gas and fluid-handling and fabrication technology products, announced their plans to expand that will increase their international market presence by adding additional production equipment and personnel. The expansion will bring a total investment of $2,000,000 and the creation of 10 new full-time positions to the region over a three-year time frame. Stoody is a manufacturer of hardfacing and high-alloy welding consumables, as well as a leading, global innovator and producer of welding wires and welding electrodes used to combat various types of wear and corrosion. Their products serve a wide variety of industries including power generation, steel, oil and gas and mining. The Bowling Green location currently exports product to North Asian countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and South Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand. This expansion will aid their intentions to further expand their international reach into Europe and Latin America.
Sun Products Corporation
The Sun Products Corporation, headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut, is a leading North American provider of laundry detergent, fabric softeners and other household products. With annual net sales of approximately $2 billion, the Company’s portfolio of products are sold under well-known brands that include all®, Snuggle®, Wisk®, Sun®, Surf®, and Sunlight®. In addition, Sun Products is the manufacturing partner for many retailer brand laundry and dish products in North America. Recently, Sun Products invested over $15 million in new production lines and hired an additional 70 associates in Bowling Green, as well as opening the Sunshine Health Center, an on-site health center for Sun associates.
Logan Aluminum, Inc. is a joint venture with Novelis Corporation and Tri-Arrows Aluminum Corporation. Physically located near Russellville, Ky., Logan Aluminum is one of the world's leading suppliers of aluminum sheet for the beverage can industry supplying 45% of America's requirements. Investments in the past 12 months have been made to lay the groundwork for new product capability and markets in the coming years, as well as support production in current markets.
Aleris Recycling in Morgantown is currently owned by Aleris, a privately held, global leader in aluminum rolled products and extrusions, aluminum recycling and specification alloy production. The company serves a number of diverse industries including aerospace, automotive, defense, building & construction, industrial, and commercial transportation. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Aleris operates more than 40 production facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.
Bluegrass Supply Chain Services
Bluegrass Supply Chain Services provides Supply Chain Solutions to manufacturers, retailers, and distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Bluegrass has been recognized by INC Magazine as the 9th ranked fastest-growing company in Kentucky and the 1839th ranked fastest-growing company in the United States. In the last three years Bluegrass has grown from 225 to 625 team members with revenue growth of more than 223% percent.
Newcomer Awards – Sponsored by Quality Personnel
For companies that are new to South Central Kentucky and have announced a location here within the past 12 months.
McDonald & Owen Lumber
In April of this year, MacDonald & Owen Lumber Co., based in Sparta, WI, added a third facility to their ranks with an acquisition in Bowling Green, KY. MacDonald & Owen’s initial investment included 3.5 million dollars and the creation of 14 new jobs. MacDonald & Owen Lumber, established in 1968, has locations in Sparta, WI, Bowling Green, KY and Brookville, PA. The company supplies domestic and exotic hardwood lumber to customers throughout the U.S. and overseas.
Constellium-UACJ Body In White Plant
Constellium N.V. and UACJ Corporation announced in May 2014 their plan to build a factory in Bowling Green. The $150-million project is one of the largest in south central Kentucky in the past decade and is expected to create 80 new jobs. The joint venture, which broke ground in July is going to produce aluminum body sheets for cars and trucks starting from 2016. The company will supply these parts to the country’s major automotive manufacturers.
Red Rock Business Advisors
Red Rock Business Advisors is a full-service business advisory firm providing strategic IT, financial, and operational consulting service to government, small business and individual clients. They have been recognized by a host of national publications for their success and continued growth. The company has been featured on Washington Technology Fast 50 for two years running, moving from the 35th spot in 2013 to the 24th spot in 2014. They were also named as one of the Top 5 Emerging Small Businesses on the SmartCEO Future 50 and were featured on the Inc. 500 national list. Located in Leesburg, Virginia, the company has experienced explosive growth, nearly 10-fold from 2011 to 2013. With strong ties to the Bowling Green community and Western Kentucky University (WKU), Red Rock Business Advisors invested up to $100,000 and created ten new jobs in 2014 by locating another office at the WKU Center for Research and Development in Bowling Green.
Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel, LP
Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel, LP is the exclusive sales and technical arm of BILSTEIN GROUP and produces cold-rolled strip steel products. They offer steels in various types and grades for a multitude of processing methods to various industries, predominately the automotive industry. In October 2013, the German-based BILSTEIN GROUP announced plans to establish a production plant in South Central Kentucky. Their addition to the Kentucky Transpark will create 90 new full-time jobs and a capital investment of $120 million in the Commonwealth.
Innovation Awards – Sponsored by WKU Research and Development
For South Central Kentucky companies that—through product or process—best exemplify innovative leadership.
EWA Government Systems, Inc.
EWA Government Systems, Inc. (EWA GSI) opened their Bowling Green office in January 2005. With a goal to work closely with a major university, EWA GSI has established a successful relationship with Western Kentucky University on a number of important projects and has been able to offer employment opportunities to a number of WKU graduates, as well as internships to students of Gatton Academy. In a collaborative project with WKU, EWA GSI developed HAZWatch TM, which is a system for the identification and tracking of hazardous materials being transported by road through the Commonwealth. EWA GSI is also engaged in the fight against cyber-criminals and cyber-terrorists with their work to protect government and commercial networks, including power stations. In addition, EWA GSI has developed a facial recognition system that is capable of matching faces with a very high confidence level in under 2 seconds.
Pan-Oston, a division of Houchens Industries, Inc. is one of the largest employee owned (ESOP) companies in the United States. They have been a leader in fixtures, displays and front-end solutions for a large range of retail clients for more than forty years. Pan-Oston recently partnered with Datalogic and SpanTech to develop the “patent pending” Utopia FastLane X3. This revolutionary lane is the first and only checkout that incorporates PortalScanning, a record-breaking combination of high-speed portal scanning with contactless sorting. The FastLane X3 does the work of up to six lanes, increasing front-end capacity and generating higher sales per square foot.
Holley Performance Products
Holley Performance is a leading manufacturer of aftermarket performance automotive parts and accessories. Founded in 1903, Holley and their core of performance brands (Weiand, Hooker, Flowtech, Demon, Earl’s and NOS) have been building horsepower for over 111 years. Over the past year, Holley has been focused heavily on innovation in R&D and manufacturing processes. Since August of 2013, Holley Performance has invested heavily in innovative research and development by expanding our engineering and design capabilities by adding new technology and fixture/tooling design improvements as well as expanding the department with skilled positions here in Bowling Green. Holley has increased support of the local region by sponsoring the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park and the Hot Rod Reunion held at Beech Bend. Holley also puts on the LS-Fest event annually at Beech Bend which brings more than 4,000 cars to Bowling Green each year.
Export Excellence Award – Sponsored by Denham-Blythe Company, Inc.
For a South Central Kentucky company with new or significant increase in documented export sales in 2013.
HyGreen, Inc. is the leading supplier of Hand Hygiene compliance monitoring solutions to the hospital market. In 2014, HyGreen expanded its sales to overseas markets by winning a contract with the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Export sales for HyGeen exceeded 2.2 million dollars this year.
Green to Gold Award – Sponsored by EnSafe, Inc.
The Green to Gold Award recognizes companies that – through product or process – best exemplify “green” leadership as it pertains to the region’s goals to become a leader in this emerging field.
LORD Corporation is a diversified technology and manufacturing company developing highly reliable adhesives, coatings, motion management devices, and sensing technologies that significantly reduce risk and improve product performance. In 2014 LORD installed innovative energy-efficient equipment, including a sustainable management control system, at its facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that reduced 1,433 metric tons of carbon dioxide output. This facility uses its own product in the manufacturing process, a high-performance, aqueous-based adhesive that significantly reduces the carbon footprint associated with its processing. LORD continues to innovate and implement more sustainable manufacturing processes and develop “green” products for its customers that allow the company to create lasting value for its shareholders, employees, and society at large.
The Chamber would like to extend a special thank you to each of our sponsors for making the 2013 Business and Industry Banquet a success. In addition to the award sponsors listed above, the following Chamber partners sponsored a portion of the banquet:
- Robinson Construction Company
- CGS Machine & Tool, Inc
- US Bank
- WKU Gordon Ford College of Business
- Gerald Printing