At a gala event held at the Covington, Kentucky-based Metropolitan Club in late April, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and NKY Magazine inducted Mazak Chairman Brian Papke into the Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame. The award honors men and women who have made a lasting contribution to the community in economic, cultural and civic endeavors.
Papke took the opportunity to thank all those who supported him and Mazak in heartfelt remarks that emphasized the company’s customers and employees’ roles in its success across North America. “Our customers are not just customers, they are friends, and the majority of our employees are homegrown,” he said. “We have all worked together over the years to create wonderful opportunities for families, the local community and all of the areas our customers call home.”
Under Papke’s direction, Mazak has strived to give back to its customers and the manufacturing industry through its contributions to the state’s economic growth and its establishment of a successful model for manufacturing excellence. He also oversaw the Kentucky plant as it became an 800,000-square-foot campus and significant regional employer. Today, the Kentucky facility serves as a proof of concept for the Mazak iSMART Factory™ model in addition to acting as the staging ground for some of the industry’s most advanced manufacturing systems, including innovative full 5-axis, Multi-Tasking and HYBRID Multi-Tasking machines.
Of course, Papke has also served the state and the manufacturing industry by working to meet the needs of his company’s customers since he joined the company in 1987. “One of Brian’s greatest traits is that he listens,” said Paul Hemmer, president of Paul Hemmer Company, a local leading construction company that often works with Mazak. “He listens to his staff and he listens to his customers.” And armed with that information, Papke and the team at Mazak have developed revolutionary ideas that have helped propel U.S. manufacturing into the 21st century.