Phil Whitaker, CEO of AAF Flanders, speaking at Open Investment Proclamation Event
AAF Flanders is pleased to share that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin chose the company’s global headquarters in Louisville as the site of a public announcement on Wednesday, August 15, recognizing the significance of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Kentucky’s economy. FDI is responsible for employing over 117,000 workers in the commonwealth, 60 percent of which is in manufacturing.
More than 100 AAF Flanders and Daikin team members, as well as representatives from the Governor’s cabinet and the Washington, D.C.-based Organization for International Investment (OFII), were in attendance.
Governor Matt Bevin speaking at Open Investment Proclamation Event
With the signing of an Open Investment Proclamation, Gov. Bevin formally declared Kentucky as a welcoming environment for global companies and reiterated the Commonwealth’s commitment to attracting and recruiting future foreign investment through partnerships with global employers. In the past five years, Kentucky’s FDI employment has increased by 31.5 percent.
AAF Flanders was chosen to host the Governor’s announcement thanks to the investment and continued support of its parent company, Daikin Industries Ltd., based in Osaka, Japan. Daikin leaders were so impressed by significant investments being made by Japanese companies in Kentucky, including the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Georgetown, that they were inspired to make their own investment in Kentucky’s manufacturing industry by acquiring AAF International in 2006.
Clinton Blair, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for OFFI, speaking at Open Proclamation Event
AAF and its subsidiary, Flanders Corp., now operate production, warehousing and distribution facilities in 22 countries on four continents. In North America, the company has 3,000 employees and 3.1 million square feet of manufacturing space at 12 locations across the country. In September 2016, AAF Flanders demonstrated its commitment to revolutionizing air filtration with the opening of the Clean Air Innovation & Research Center. This $5.5 million investment in R&D created more than 30 new jobs in the Kentuckiana metro area.
During his remarks, Gov. Bevin acknowledged AAF Flanders’ vital contributions to the health and economy of Kentucky and beyond. “The fact that you’re providing something extraordinary to people that’s … making their quality of life better and better. … I hope that you know that what you’re doing is changing people’s lives,” Gov. Bevin said. “I want to thank you personally for that.”
Governor Matt Bevin signing Open Investment Proclamation
“AAF Flanders was honored to be recognized by Gov. Bevin’s administration for our commitment to foreign investment in Kentucky by allowing us to host his Open Investment Policy announcement,” said Phil Whitaker, CEO of AAF Flanders. “We’ve been a pioneer in clean air innovation for nearly 100 years, and as we look to the future, we will continue to explore opportunities to expand and enhance our Kentucky operations with the support and resources of our global parent company, Daikin."
“A company like this that’s growing, you are in your infancy,” added Gov. Bevin. “You are in the second inning of what may be an extra inning game in terms of the projections for the growth of this company. It will be made possible because of the partnership with Daikin, because of Foreign Direct Investment.”