Glidepath founder Sir Ken Stevens has been named this year’s Flying Kiwi, in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in export, business and engineering.
Stevens founded Glidepath in 1972, when he was a young engineer. He is still managing director and chairman of the company, which employs 176 people and has operations in Latin America, South Africa, Australia, India and the US and sales offices in China, Canada and Chile. Its systems are used in every New Zealand airport and more than 80 percent of Australian airports. It has installations in 156 airports in the US.
Previous Flying Kiwi award recipients, including Dennis Chapman, Neville Jordan, Rod Drury, Selwyn Pellett and Paul Hargreaves and guests from the high-tech industry saw Stevens inducted into the Tait Communications Hi-Tech Hall of Fame at a lunch at Te Papa Tongarewa today.
“We're familiar with the stories of our Flying Kiwis, says NZ Hi-Tech Trust chairman, Wayne Norrie, speaking at the event. “They are people who have quietly achieved greatness, yet outside of this industry, very few people really know what they've done. They are mostly humble. They won't tell you they changed the country. But we think their stories should be told.”
Norrie said Stevens has forged a very successful business against all the odds. “Through sheer determination he has succeeded in a difficult international market and through some trying times, overcoming many challenges to build one of New Zealand’s most successful export businesses.”