Golden Star has been a member of ISSA for over 50 years, and this year will celebrate their centennial year at the ISSA convention in Las Vegas. Golden Star’s strong values and beliefs in business have given them the tools to survive a 100 years in the industry. Hopefully those same guiding principles will propel them through the next 100 years.

Golden Star’s first key to success was innovation; the company’s birth was based on ingenuity and innovation. Their story begins in Pittsburg, Kansas in 1908. Henry Ford’s model T was making its way into the public mainstream. The bodies of those first vehicles were constructed of unfinished steel and were vulnerable to the elements and corrosion. Two business men, Emil Gradinger and R.W. Morris, saw opportunity before them. They gave the people a solution to the problem in the form of Golden Star’s “protection polish”. The company’s product line soon expanded to cleaners and polishes for a variety of hard surfaces. In 1960 the textile portion of the company was expanded and the first cotton “dust control” mats were introduced. Followed by the more durable, efficient and attractive synthetic yarn mats in the 1970’s. Golden Star now focuses their energy on mop and accessory production.

Another one of Golden Star’s guiding principles is always striving to better serve their customers. One way that Golden Star feels they achieve this is through their vertically integrated manufacturing. Every aspect of the mop production is monitored and maintained in 450,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities in the United States, China and Taiwan. This ensures that each step, from the spinning of the yarn to mop inspection, is done with the highest integrity.

Golden Star also strives to better serve their customers through their loyalty and ethics. They understand that a company is nothing without their customers. Success comes from caring about the industry and helping your customers achieve their goals. Golden Star’s loyalty also extends over to their employees at well. As a family business it is important foster a family relationship with their employees. Their turnover rate is extremely low, this can be attributed to the fact Gary Gradinger treats each of his employees with fairness and sensitivity. “Trying to be respectful of the talent, dignity, integrity and willingness each employee brings to work every day has had an impact." A handful of Golden Star’s employees have joined the 50+ club. “We hope our founders would be please with what they see today” says Gradinger, CEO and Grandson of Emil.  

All of the loyalty that has been shown by Golden Star and their employees has brought them through good times and bad, to the successful place they are today. They have survived through one great depression, two world wars, several police actions, innumerable recessions, and an occasional bump in the road. They are thankful for every opportunity that has presented itself and know that it is truly a group effort. Without the customers and employees Golden Star wouldn’t be where it is today. Longevity is a privilege that is achieved through embracing and creating change. Golden Star looks forward to the next hundred years with an open mind.