Brian Papke, the chairman of manufacturing technology leader Mazak Corporation (Florence, KY), has been inducted into the Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame. He accepted the award at the Metropolitan Club in Covington, KY, where he delivered heartfelt remarks that credited their customers and employees for the company’s decades of success across North America. “Our customers are not just customers, they are friends, and the majority of our employees are homegrown,” said Papke. “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 his direction, Mazak has strived to give back to their 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 sq ft campus and significant regional employer. Today that facility serves as a proof of concept for the 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. He 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.
North American manufacturers in all types of industries use the iSMART Factory model, which the company established to better serve their customers and help deliver the advanced technology for which the company has become known. It is this technology that has helped their customers maintain their competitiveness and success to keep work and jobs from going offshore, one of Papke’s personal goals for the industry he has helped to lead for decades.
“One of Brian’s greatest traits is that he listens,” noted Paul Hemmer, the president of Paul Hemmer Company (Fort Mitchell, KY), a local leading construction company that often works with Mazak. “He listens to his staff and he listens to his customers.” Armed with that information, he and the company’s team have developed revolutionary ideas that have helped propel U.S. manufacturing into the 21st century.
Commissioned by NKY Magazine in partnership with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Kentucky Business Hall of Fame celebrates Northern Kentucky’s heritage of business accomplishments. This award honors men and women who have made a lasting contribution to the community in economic, cultural and civic endeavors.
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