Seattle Business magazine recently named Kent’s Torklift Central a Family Business of the Year for midsize companies with 50 to 200 employees.
Torklift started in Kent in 1976 and has a shop at 315 Central Ave. N. The magazine named its 2018 award winners in its December issue. Torklift took the silver award.
“Torklift makes camping trips secure by manufacturing tie downs, turnbuckles and precision-crafted trailer hitches all to connect vehicles to that all important camper,” said John Levesque, managing editor of Seattle Business magazine, in a press release. “In 1976, Jon Kay founded a one-bay service center called Torklift Central in Kent for custom fabricating trailer hitches and repairing trailers. Expansion brought a multi-bay service center along with the engineering and development of new retail products.”
Judges selected honorees in eight categories that had to display not only growth, innovation and acting on new opportunities, but also embracing the challenge of growing a business while perpetuating strong family values.
“This award is the physical demonstration of all the hard work that our team strives for day in and day out,” Torklift President Jack Kay said. “Torklift is honored by this acknowledgement and looks forward to future innovations and achievements.”
The expansion of the company includes the creation of Torklift International in Sumner, where aftermarket RV and automotive products are manufactured and distributed worldwide.
Torklift has 150 employees, 100 in Sumner and 50 in Kent, which includes its retail product and development center.
“Family businesses are a crucial part of the economy, comprising up to 90 percent of all companies in the U.S. while spurring innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Rob Smith, editor in chief of Seattle Business magazine.