Yakima Valley College honors Kwik Lok with Distinguished Service Award

Yakima Valley College is excited to announce the selection of Kwik Lok as the 2021 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award provides recognition to a community member or organization who provides support to the mission of Yakima Valley College and its students. The selection is made by the President’s Office.

Kwik Lok was founded by Floyd Paxton, an engineer who saw that packaging technologies were changing in the post-World War II period. At that time, his company supplied wooden, produce-box nailing and labeling machines to the Washington State apple industry. When apple distributors moved from boxes to bagging, they did not like the wire and tape closures in use at the time and asked Paxton for help. That was when he invented the Kwik Lok closure.

In 1954, he formed Kwik Lok Corporation. In that first year, its unique closure system quickly became the preferred method for keeping bags of Washington State apples safe and fresh.

Today, Kwik Lok has six factories and employs more than 330 people. Billions of people throughout the world have used their product. In 2015, a new generation of the Paxton family stepped in to manage the business: sisters Stephanie Paxton Jackson, Kimberly Paxton-Hagner and Melissa Steiner.

“As the world changes and we continue to work together, family values help guide us,” stated Chief Executive Officer Don Carrell. “This has been a year unlike any other and we are proud of how our Kwik Lok family has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic — from donating face shields to Yakima Valley College and our local hospitals and clinics, to providing thank-you lunches for mental health workers, to doing everything we can to make sure our employees and our community stay safe.”

The company is honored to receive YVC’s Distinguished Service Award.

“We are so proud of our employees and accept this award on their behalf,” said Carrell. “It’s this spirit over the last 66 years that defines what it means to be part of the Kwik Lok family, understanding the bigger picture and unselfishly pulling together to just simply make things better. We know ‘where much is given, much is expected’ and as responsible business owners, we can do no less.”

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu