Kansas businesses and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the Sunflower State, said David Toland, announcing the return of Kansas’ annual awards program aimed at recognizing businesses across the state for the contributions they make to the state economy and to the well-being of their communities.
“They are what make our state strong, prosperous and successful — and such a great place to live and work,” said Toland, who serves as Kansas lieutenant governor and commerce secretary. “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.”
The department of commerce is accepting nominations for the 2022 To The Stars: Celebrating Kansas Businesses Awards — including four new categories — through Aug. 5.
Click here to nominate a business or entrepreneur, learn more about the program, or view past winners.
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 plans to 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 for the department of commerce. “These awards allow us to shine a light on the terrific success stories taking place in all parts of the state.”
Watch a profile video below from one of the most recent To The Stars winners, Dodge City Brewing.