In 1983, at the age of 17, Gary Walker enlisted into the United States Air Force (USAF). During his time in the Air Force he held a number of duty positions in the areas of security and law enforcement to include work on a multi-national drug taskforce. He was a superior Airman, earning distinction and recognition with such awards as “Security Police NCO of the Quarter,” “Wing NCO of the Quarter,” 17th Air Force Leadership School Distinguished Honor Graduate,” and “Security Policeman of the Year.” His service commendations include the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, along with numerous training ribbons and Letters of Appreciation and Commendation. He was well on his way to being a “King of Blue” in the Air Force. Unfortunately he was injured in the line of duty and was medically retired from the Air Force in 1990.
In 1992 Gary and his wife Trish opened their business and named it Magic Touch Cleaning. He was a hands-on owner and soon he began to feel the negative effects of some of the harsh cleaning chemicals they were using in their business. This caused him to think about the need for using safer products for people and the environment.
“I started looking at the business and started thinking about what are we doing for people, how are we taking care of them,” said Mr. Walker.
He then decided to “go green” and set about using products that were both people and environmentally friendly. He began to build his reputation as the “King of Green.”
After enjoying success and steady growth from their hard work, Mr. Walker decided to take advantage of one of the benefits he earned through his service to our Nation and was the recipient of a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Patriot Express Loan. Patriot Express Loans are designed for veteran-owned businesses just like Magic Touch Cleaning. He used the loan proceeds to consolidate his debt, improve his cash flow, and purchase equipment that enabled him to successfully take on several large projects. His resulting success yielded the creation of more than 100 jobs in the Kansas City area.
“The Patriot Express Loan Program made a world of difference in moving on several large contracts,” said Mr. Walker.
The success of Magic Touch Cleaning enabled Mr. Walker to expand and broaden his “green impact.” He founded Bullseye International, Inc., a facilities supply company that is “on target with all your facility and janitorial supply needs.” Bullseye International, Inc. is an industry leader when it comes to process innovation and quality assurance; and, they offer a full line of 100% green certified recycled paper towels, toilet paper, hand soaps and bio-renewable cleaning products, as well as biodegradable plate ware, table ware and drinking cups. In total, Bullseye International, Inc. carries over 60,000 items, everything needed for offices from toilet paper to toner. The list of accounts truly is international as they have over 350 customers worldwide. And because of their “green” efforts, in 2010, Bullseye International Inc. was one of only 46 small businesses in the United States to be selected by the General Services Administration (GSA) to participate in the Federal Supplier Greenhouse Gases Emissions Inventory Pilot Program. Because of his companies’ success and his “green efforts,” Mr. Walker was selected as the 2011 SBA State of Missouri Small Business Person of the Year.
The Walkers are not content just to lead in business; they are dedicated to leading in the community as well. They have received numerous accolades and awards for bettering our community. For the last seven years, Magic Touch Cleaning has sponsored two great humanitarian community events – the Hope House Thanksgiving Food Drive and the Hope House Toy Drive. In addition to providing much needed financial support for the residents and staff of the Hope House, Gary, Trish, and the rest of the Magic Touch Cleaning team are also committed to cleaning and greening the Hope House itself, ensuring that the residents and staff can live and work in a healthy, “green” environment.
Through hard work and excellence, which he demonstrated while serving our Nation in the USAF, and with a little help from the Small Business Administration, this patriotic veteran has realized great success and has truly earned the title “The King of Green.”