Applequist scheduled as keynote at Bethany business conference

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LINDSBORG – Roy Applequist is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the 20th biennial Business Conference in October.

Presented by the Bethany College Business Department, the conference is scheduled for Oct. 7 on Bethany College campus.

The conference’s primary purpose is to give Bethany students more knowledge about career opportunities by providing dialogue with successful alumni from different business fields, according to information from the college. Although focused primarily on business, the conference is open to all interested Bethany students.

Panel presentations will be given by alumni representing businesses such as accounting, banking and finance, human resources, sales, marketing and customer service, small business and entrepreneurship, insurance and investing. Since the first Business Career Conference in 1983, more than 260 alumni volunteers have readily returned to Bethany to speak about their career paths with students.

At 10 a.m. in the Burnett Center, keynote speaker Roy Applequist will share his business knowledge and experience in manufacturing businesses. The Applequist family has contributed greatly to the Smoky Hill River Valley; first as immigrant homesteaders in 1868 and machinists, toolmakers, and by 1946 manufacturers of mowers and grain handling equipment.

After graduating from North Park University in Chicago, Applequist returned to the Salina area to join the family manufacturing business, Roberts Industries, until 1976 when it was sold to Federal Mogul Corp, a Fortune 500 company. Applequist then founded Great Plains Manufacturing, headquartered in Salina, to make grain drills for area farmers. With manufacturing plants in eight other central Kansas towns, Great Plains Manufacturing grew into a multi-million dollar international, diversified business with more than 1,400 employees in two manufacturing lines, trucking, and a finance division. In 2016, Great Plains was sold to the Kubota Corporation of Japan. Ever the entrepreneur, in 2018, Applequist started Applequist Manufacturing in Smith Center.

Applequist was inducted into the Kansas Business Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Salina Business Hall of Fame in 2006 and shares his knowledge and experience in service to various boards and organizations.

A ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. celebrates the completion of Wallerstedt Social Science renovations starting last April and finishing just before classes on Aug. 24. Social Science houses the Business Department faculty and business courses.

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