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Area businesses recognized for milestone anniversaries

November 9, 2007

Economic Development Sedalia Pettis County recognized businesses marking manufacturing milestone anniversaries at a dinner Thursday.



FIVE YEARS:



Design Fabricate Machine, Chris Eckhoff, owner. The company opened Sept. 1, 2002, with three partners and now includes designing, fabrication, welding and industrial machining.



In 2005, the business expanded from 4,000 feet to 41,000 feet of workspace and moved to 5897 S. Limit Ave. The machine shop has one owner and eight full-time employees. Eckhoff plans to double the number of employees within the next year.



Pro Energy Services, 2031 Adams Road, Jeff Canon, founder. Jeff Canon founded ProEnergy Services in 2002 as a professional cost-effective service provider for the energy industry. The company has grown to include several hundred employees and independent contractors who work regionally, nationally and globally. The company moved its corporate headquarters to Sedalia in early 2006 and is building a complex of office, training and fabrication buildings on about 20 acres near the Sedalia Industrial Park. Pro Energy completed construction of its first building last year ó a 12,750-square-foot shop with offices. It is building a two-story, 23,000-square-foot corporate headquarters at the same site. The company is building a 25,000-square-foot facility, which is Phase I of its fabrication building with shop space, offices and storage. The Sedalia office employs 60 people with plans for local employment to top 200 by 2011.



FIFTEEN YEARS



Precision Manufacturing Inc., 424 N. Harding St., Dave Kopetzky, plant manager. Precision Manufacturing is a metal fabrication company that produces the Hy-Reach Clipper, invented in 1992. The Hy-Reach Clipper was developed to trim hard-to-reach tree branches and limbs, as well as brush. The design was made to eliminate the unsafe practice of trimming limbs with a chain saw from a loader bucket or ladder.



P & W Manufacturing was started by John Parkhurst, and the clipper was originally built in a barn in Hughesville. The company moved into a new, modern facility in Sedalia.



In January 2002, Precision Manufacturing acquired P & W Engineering. All employees were retained. Precision Manufacturing produces the majority of its components in-house.



The clipper is used by professionals and landowners to clear hundreds of acres of land for golf courses and other development. Several governmental maintenance departments own and use the Hy-Reach Clipper, which has been patented in three countries. Precision Manufacturing has five employees.



Starline Brass, 1300 W. Henry, Robert (Bob) Hayden, president; Robert E. Hayden, general manager; Barbara J. Hayden, chief financial officer; David Wolfe, plant manager.



Starline Brass was founded in 1976, in Covina, Calif., by Robert Hayden and Frank Snow, to make handgun brass. The company began with a single 38-special cartridge case. Starline manufactures handgun brass for man ammunition makers, as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.



In 1992, Starline moved to a 27,500-square-foot facility and offers products to the public.



The company has 40 employees. The company is soon to begin a three-phase building addition to its factory at 1300 West Henry to be completed by summer 2008.



TWENTY YEARS



NEAT Tool & Die, Inc., 1201 W. Henry St., Emil Chorowicz, owner. Itís a local manufacturer of tools, dies, jigs, fixtures, stampings and special machines. In February 1987, Chorowicz started the family owned corporation. The letters in NEAT stand for each member of the Chorowicz family: Nina, Emil, Aaron and Tonya. NEAT has eight employees and serves most of the local manufacturers, including Waterloo, Gardner Denver, Hayes Lemmerz International, Duke Manufacturing, Sierra Bullets, Starline and Enersys.



Show Me Fabrication, Inc., 29723 U.S. 50, John Hammons, president. The company specializes in the manufacturing of concession trailers, ticket booths, fun houses and glass houses that are used in fairs, carnivals, festivals and sporting events. They also have a line of bunk trucks, and stock trucks, toter homes, and race car trailers.



TWENTY-FIVE YEARS



Ragar Banners by Design, 2018 West Main St., Myrna Ragar, owner. In 1982, Ragar opened this banner company that produces street banners, table coverings, fabric hangings and flags by using an artistic approach. The company serves cities, colleges, universities, churches, restaurants, theme parks, zoos and mall. The banner producer has four employees.



FORTY YEARS



Patís Cabinets, 718 W. 16th St., Bart Moriarty, owner and Jeff Ransdell, shop foreman; Patís Cabinets was opened in 1967 by Pat Moriarty. His son, Bart, joined the business in 1979 and today is the owner of the business. Patís Cabinets sells custom-made, all wood, and also factory-made cabinetry for homes and offices.



Patís Cabinets also offers countertops in laminate, quartz and granite, cultured marble and solid surface materials. They sell bookcase units, bars, hutches and vanities. Bathroom medicine cabinets and mirrors, decorative hardware and accessories for kitchens and baths are also offered.



Patís has seven employees.



Smithton Industries, of Smithton, Dennis and Janice Klenke, owners. The company, established in 1967, makes pet bedding and sells direct to customers. Smithton Industries sells natural aromatic red cedar shavings in compressed packages. These shavings repel insects such as fleas and ticks while serving as an air freshener and pet-area deodorizer. Red cedar is used for rabbits, gerbils and mice, as well as dogs, cats, hogs and horses. The company also offers softwood bedding made from virgin timber. The wood is recommended for animals with respiratory problems. This low-resin, white softwood mixture offers excellent absorbency. The company has 10 employees.



FIFTY YEARS



County Distributing Co. Inc., 1800 Eagleview Drive, Paul Beykirch and Joe Beykirch, owners. In the early 1900s, the first Anheuser-Busch wholesale operation opened as a grocery distributor in Sedalia. The wholesale company changed ownership several times as it endured prohibition, the Great Depression and three wars.



Robert C. ďBobĒ Beykirch established County Distributing in 1957, buying the rights from Charles Stevens to distribute Anheuser-Busch products. County Distributing serves five counties and 425 accounts during peak season. The Eagleview Drive warehouse is 48,500 square foot and has a cooled 20,000-square-foot area designed to keep beer brewery fresh.



Sedaliaís office is also the administrative hub for the other operations and employs 45 people.



Lafarge, Junior Warren, territory manager. Lafarge A C & A, Central Missouri Operation has been supplying concrete, aggregate and asphalt to the Sedalia-Pettis County area since 1957. The Central Missouri operation has aggregate and asphalt at the Sedalia locations and aggregate at the Marshall Junction location.



Lafarge will also play a key role in recycling asphalt in 2008. The company has about 40 employees.



SIXTY YEARS



Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 2700 W. 16th St., Al Close, plant manager. The company has been operating since 1947 and produces Foamglas Cellular Glass Insulation. It employs 175 people.



SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS



Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co., 3500 Snyder Ave., Aric Snyder, CEO; Cindy Snyder, executive administrator. Ed Sanders, president, Rick Pettit, vice president. This is the second-largest school portrait producer in the nation. The product line of Inter-State Studio has expanded from the original one strip of black and white pictures to a wide selection of color packages, sports photography, yearbooks and many other items for students. Among them are record pictures, student identification cards and educational support materials.



Inter-State offers a professional portrait line to undergraduates, seniors, families, sports and organizations. They also produce church directories, memory books, and four-color commercial printing from an in-house lithography facility. Another Inter-State Co., Convertible Solutions LLC markets a pre-converted paper line for digital printing. The studio employs 900 people.



EIGHTY YEARS



Zephyr Manufacturing Co. Inc., 200 Mitchell Road, John A. Lindstrom, president, and Doug Leerssen, vice president. Zephyr was founded in 1927 as a manufacturer of broomcorn brooms. Since then, this closely held family corporation has expanded into all types of institutional cleaning tools. Zephyr produces 35 primary product groups totaling over 2,000 individual items that are distributed throughout the United States and for export. Zephyr products are only sold to wholesalers. Key markets include: janitorial suppliers, paper suppliers, institutional grocers, fast food chains, hardware wholesalers and convenience stores. The company employs 50 people.