From Engine Builder
Bowling Green’s Holley Performance Products was named Manufacturer of the Year by the Kentucky Association for Manufacturers (KAM) at the 2015 KAM Manufacturer and Employee of the Year Awards ceremony.
This award is presented annually to a manufacturer in the state that showcases exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, community leadership and policy contributions to enhance the overall prosperity of the Commonwealth.
Tom Flynn, general manager of Holley’s Bowling Green Operations, accepted the award at a banquet luncheon at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We’re extremely excited and humbled to be recognized as a Kentucky Manufacturer of the Year. There are a lot of great manufacturers in Kentucky and to be recognized out of all of them is a great achievement for our team. Thanks to the Kentucky Association for Manufacturers for this great award and thanks to our team in Bowling Green for making I happen,” said Flynn.
“The field of nominees for Manufacturer of the Year Award in the mid-sized category was large and excellent, making our selection committee’s job more difficult than usual. We are so pleased to congratulate Holley Performance Products as this year’s mid-sized winner,” said KAM President and CEO Greg Higdon. “They personify the best of the best in manufacturing in Kentucky, and we congratulate them on a well-deserved award!”
In 2014, Holley announced the creation of a new research and development (R&D) facility at its Bowling Green headquarters. The new facility is a R&D work cell for designing exhaust systems that incorporates assets and employees needed to develop and prove new designs, as well as processes and manufacturing techniques.
The new R&D facility brought an investment of $1.325 million to South Central Kentucky and created 20 new jobs. Holley has launched more than 600 new products in the last year, which has led to increased staff hires in engineering, R&D, sales, tech and operational support.
“Holley has redefined the business climate of South Central Kentucky and their continued confidence and investment in the region has served as a foundation for a thriving automotive industry,” said Chamber CEO Ron Bunch. “In addition to a strong business model, Holley also has their eyes firmly on the future, and I look forward to continuing our relationship with Holley for many years to come.”
Holley is deeply involved in the South Central Kentucky community. In the summer of 2014, the Bowling Green Area Chamber took a group of local businesses and education officials to Virginia to learn more about how they have capitalized on the motorsports assets in their area. When they returned, a Motorsports Steering Committee was formed to look strategically at our own motorsports assets. Bill Tichenor, director of marketing at Holley, and Jason Bruce, vice president of business development, both serve on that committee and are active in helping to develop a strategic plan to grow our economy through our rich motorsports heritage.
This past year, Holley announced a partnership with the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, South Central Kentucky Community and Technical College and Warren County Area Technical Center in a Motorsports Education initiative called On Track. The commitment of On Track is the development of talent for the future workforce of South Central Kentucky. On Track introduces critical STEM concepts in a practical setting that will help develop a highly skilled talent pipeline to continue to fuel the already strong South Central Kentucky economy. Holley’s partnership in this initiative further reinforces their commitment to the education of the workforce in South Central Kentucky.
Holley annually brings the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion to Beech Bend Raceway. The three-day event brings in about 20,000 visitors and pumps an estimated $4 million into the Bowling Green economy. The Holley National Hot Rod Reunion features a wide variety of activities, including quarter-mile nostalgia drag racing with some of the sport’s most famous, historic cars and drivers racing in such classes at Nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Car.
In addition, Holley also holds its Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green, which brings thousands of competitors, spectators and media from around the country to Bowling Green each year. The recent 2015 LS Fest was by far the largest incarnation of the event yet with more than 12,000 in attendance and nearly 700 participating cars from all over the country powered by GM’s incredible LS engine.
“Holley Performance Products continues to make significant contributions to our community; both to our economy and to improve the quality of life here in Bowling Green,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “We are grateful to have companies like Holley that care about their community and help make Bowling Green, Kentucky a great place to be. I congratulate them on this great achievement.”
On Sept. 27, Holley announced the acquisition of more top companies in the automotive performance aftermarket including MSD Group. That acquisition also included several other top brands/companies including Mr. Gasket, Accel, Superchips, Edge, Racepack, Mallory, Hays, QuickTime and Lakewood, securing Holley’s position as the world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance automotive products.