Glidepath founder named 'flying Kiwi'

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 15:30 13/11/2012
Ken Stevens
Supplied
FLYING KIWI: Sir Ken Stevens, founder of baggage handling technology firm Glidepath.

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Sir Ken Stevens, founder of baggage handling technology firm Glidepath, was named the 15th "flying Kiwi" at the HiTech Awards in Wellington today.

Sir Ken, 68, joins luminaries such as Sir Angus Tait, Sir William Gallagher and Fisher & Paykel founders Sir Woolf Fisher and Maurice Paykel in the HiTech hall of fame.

Auckland-based Glidepath employs 176 staff and exports 95 per cent of its production to 64 countries.

Glidepath evolved from five-person mechanical engineering firm Thompson Engineering which Sir Ken bought in 1972.

Trevor Laughton, chief technology officer at award sponsor Tait Communications, said Sir Ken was a rugby and yachting enthusiast and "all round good guy" with no ego who had shared his wisdom and knowledge with other exporters and devoted himself to education, working with schoolchildren and teachers to find career paths into business.

The market for baggage handling systems went dead in the United States last year, Sir Ken said, but business had now picked up.

Glidepath has offices in Dallas and Sir Ken hoped the company would benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement now being negotiated between New Zealand, the US and several other countries.

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