February 21, 2024 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Statehouse Convention Center Little Rock
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Galley Support Innovations

Galley Support Innovations
Category I (1-25 Employees)

Gina and Wade Radke wanted to own their own business but had no experience and no idea what kind they wanted to run.

In 2005, after considering a number of options, the couple purchased the product line of a struggling interior hardware business started by Wade’s grandfather years earlier in California.

“Our first year we made probably $10,000 and paid probably $7,000 to customers that were owed money,” said Gina Radke, CEO of Galley Support Innovations in Sherwood. “We knew nothing about aerospace, nothing about business,” she said, adding they spent six weeks in California learning the ins and outs of the business before moving its product line and machinery to Sherwood.

“We moved it here out of sheer stupidity and determination,” said Gina, who has a degree in social psychology. Wade is an industrial engineer.

Originally, she was the marketing and sales person and Wade was running the company, but by 2007, as the nation’s economy began to tumble, he took a job as a contractor at Hawker Beechcraft. Gina took over running Galley Support Innovations, which produces latches, door-bolting systems, hinges and other items for planes, trains and yachts.

She also began attending every course and class offered on how to run a small business. “I was learning as much as I could, so that I would know what to do to keep us afloat.”

Eventually, GSI landed a contract with Gulfstream for all the interior hardware for the Gulfstream 650.

Wade soon returned to GSI as lead designer and engineer, and the company has grown steadily. It now has 21 employees, and sales in 2014 exceeded $2.5 million.

Previous Arkansas Business of the Year Honorees