Small Business of the Year Award
Galley Support Innovations (GSI) of Sherwood is one of the most successful manufacturers of latches, locks and other specialized interior hardware for the aviation industry. Gina and Wade Radke have worked hard together to grow GSI after purchasing the product line in 2005 from a company in California.
They moved the company from Southern California to Arkansas and were determined to build their business by learning the ins and outs of manufacturing and business finance.
The Radkes got to work, focusing on making connections and having an impact on their community.
“We have never been about how much money we make; we have always measured our success or how much impact we have made,” Gina Radke said. “Our community impact is our first measure of success and economic success seems to always follow that.”
Among the many ways GSI gives back is by assuring that a portion of its workforce is staffed with people who need a second chance in life.
“Our people are much more than someone who punches the clock and performs a service,” Radke said. More than 30 percent of GSI’s workforce — 45 employees — is made up of people who have been incarcerated or in rehabilitation.
The company provides a three-to-one mentor growth program to those employees from incarceration or rehabilitation with employees who have the skills and experience in a career. Assistance to find affordable housing is also available. Radke believes employees need both healthy home and work environments in which they can thrive.
“We have found that when we help to eliminate their external issues, work is no problem,” she said. “Our focus as a company is to make money, not at the cost of our people, but as a byproduct of our people’s growth and success.”
GSI has grown from $10,000 in sales its first year to a multimillion-dollar company and works with clients such as Dassault Falcon Jet, Gulfstrea, Boeing and Lockheed Martin.