08 June 2000

State To Observe Business Appreaciation Month

Kansas Governor Bill Graves and Lieutenant Governor Gary Sherrer will join with business leaders and economic
development representatives across the state to observe June as Kansas Business Appreciation Month.

"The theme ‘Kansas Business, Built on Character’ is an apt description of the integrity and leadership exhibited by Kansas
companies," said Graves. "As Kansans, we need to show our support and appreciation for the positive impact they have on
our lives and the health of our economy."

Governor Graves is urging all Kansans to join in this important observance and salute local businesses in our state. The
Governor also urges all community leaders to participate in events and activities honoring area businesses for their
contributions to the communities in which their employees work and live.

Kansas businesses generate an estimated $58.1 billion in annual earnings through both private and public industry - employing
more than 1.4 million Kansas residents. Industries such as telecommunications, aircraft, and manufacturing make major
contributions to our state’s economy and the individual communities in which their employees live and work.

"Businesses in this community are vital contributors to the quality of life we enjoy," said Ann Harts, vice president economic
development, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. "Our local businesses employ our families, support our schools, and
contribute to our causes. They deserve our support and recognition."

The winners of the 2000 Kansas Business Appreciation Award competition will be announced during June at special regional
ceremonies. This year marks the sixth annual presentation of the Governor’s Award of Excellence, which is awarded to an
outstanding business in Kansas. The Governor’s Award of Excellence is the highest honor awarded to businesses by the
state. Previous recipients are: Calibrated Forms, Inc., Columbus - 1995; Koch Industries, Wichita - 1996; and Gates
Rubber Company, Iola - 1997; Taylor Forge Engineered Systems, Inc., Paola - 1998; and Midwest Energy, Inc., Hays -

In appreciation for all that Manhattan Area Businesses contribute to the community and quality of life, the Manhattan Area
Chamber of Commerce is celebrating during the month of June with a "Thank You! Manhattan Area Business" campaign.

The campaign kicked off June 2nd with numerous open houses at local businesses such as Farrar Corporation, Manko
Windows, Transportation Design & Manufacturing Co., Light Solutions and Western Wireless.

Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing will be hosting a business appreciation awards luncheon on June 15th for the
North Central Regional honoring local businesses nominated by regional entities for their impact on regional communities.
Manhattan will be represented by 11 companies this year in four categories: Manufacturing, Distribution, Service and Retail.
Throughout the month the Chamber Staff and Ambassadors will be delivering "Thank You" gifts to randomly selected
companies in appreciation for contributions to the Manhattan Area. The Manhattan Area is home to thousands of businesses,
employing over 21,500 people each year.

Join the Chamber in saying "Thank You" to local businesses during the month of June.