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Burdett businesses recognized
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    By Jim Misunas   
BURDETT —Two Burdett businesses will be recognized by the Kansas Department of Commerce at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Burdett cafe.
The Pawnee County Bank, a  branch of the Nekoma State Bank, and the Raymond Bauer Insurance Agency of Burdett will receive Business Appreciation certificates of merit from Dan Steffan, KDOC business development division. The businesses were nominated by the Burdett city council.
The Pawnee County Bank was established as a branch office in 2000. Employees are Sandra Sauer, Cathy Griffie and Christina Ryan. Vice President Barry Burkhart of LaCrosse oversees the bank’s operations. 
The Nekoma State Bank was established in 1916, in Nekoma. In 1987, the bank was purchased and moved to LaCrosse. The bank’s mission statement said the bank is committed to serving our community, which includes Rush, Pawnee and surrounding counties.
The bank support local schools, county fairs, college scholarships, various charitable organizations, and the annual Angel Tree project. The employees actively volunteer in the community by being involved in United Fund, Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service, Lion’s Club, local churches and Chamber of Commerce.
John Bauer of Burdett started the Raymond Bauer Insurance Agency in 1911. In 1944, John’s son Raymond took over the agency. In 1980, the agency incorporated and Raymond Holopirek became a stock holder. Raymond Bauer retired in 1995 and Randy Holopirek was appointed president.
Other insurance employees are Deanna Korf, Sonja Foos and Mark Harris.
Kansas Business Appreciation Month serves as a statewide tribute to Kansas businesses for their contributions to the state.
“Business Appreciation Month is a one small way to say ‘thank you’ for everything that small businesses do for our Kansas communities,” Steffan said. “The businesses nominated represent the very best of their communities and the state of Kansas.  It is a well-deserved ‘thanks’ for providing jobs in our Kansas communities, but also for the on-going training provided to employee’s and other educational opportunities made available.”
The awards program takes place each June and invites individuals and organizations to nominate the proud Kansas businesses that contribute jobs and support their local communities. Regional finalists are recognized at an awards ceremony during the Kansas Cavalry Encampment, with the top nominee receiving the Governor’s Award of Excellence which is the top award given to a business by the state of Kansas.
The intent of the program is to recognize Kansas businesses for their contributions to the local and state economy. Kansas businesses continue to be the foundation of our economy, communities and overall quality of life, and Business Appreciation Month is the state’s way of recognizing Kansas businesses for all they do to keep Kansas strong.
Regional winners in the manufacturing/distribution, service, retail and hospital/non-profit categories are selected each year. In May, the overall finalists give a presentation about their company and community involvement to the panel of judges. In June, the recipient of the Governor’s Award of Excellence is announced at the Kansas Cavalry Encampment awards ceremony.
Award qualifications include: business expansion in Kansas, successful employee retention and recruitment practices, employee training/educational programs, Kansas capital investment, support of local activities including school activities, community events, economic development and leadership programs.