Longstanding companies honored


Twenty-five Pettis County businesses were recognized for their commitment to the community during Thursday night’s Manufacturer’s Milestone Anniversary Banquet.

Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County hosts the annual event at the Sedalia Country Club to honor longstanding businesses in industries that create new economic prosperity within a community, EDSPC President Rusty Kahrs said.

According to Kahrs, manufacturers encompass nearly 40 percent of the employment base in Pettis County at an average wage of $45,000. He thanked those present for their commitment to the community, noting that when they had the opportunity to locate anywhere nationwide, they chose Pettis County.“These companies and the longevity they represent are not something we take lightly,” he said. “They employ many individuals, who have families and children in our schools, shop in our businesses, pay taxes, and contribute to the success of our local economy.

“Our economy directly ties to these companies and our manufacturing family as a whole,” he added. “Thank you to all of our manufacturing community for all you have done to have your company here in Pettis County.”

Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co., which employs more than 1,400 people nationwide, was recognized for 85 years in Pettis County. In 1933, Guy Snyder traveled to small, one-room schoolhouses in southern Missouri to photograph the children. He went on to found Inter-State, which is now North America’s largest family-owned school photography, planner and yearbook publishing company. It is still owned by the Snyder family, with Aric Snyder Jr. serving as CEO.

The studio offers a wide variety of products including color packages, sports photography, yearbooks and many other items for students such as ID cards and educational support materials.

It also produces photo books, personal calendars and four-color commercial printing.“On behalf of the Snyder family and our third generation of leadership, like many of the companies recognized here tonight we’ve had generations of family members work at Inter-State Studio since 1933, maybe even some of your family members,” Vice President Rick Pettit said after receiving the plaque from Kahrs. “We appreciate the opportunity to be an ongoing entity here in Sedalia, and also for Economic Development’s contribution to what we as a company and industry do here in Sedalia.”

The Democrat, owned by Phillips Media Group, was honored for celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018. The Democrat is Pettis County’s only daily newspaper and publishes more than 15,000 papers every Tuesday through Saturday. It also serves 64,000 unique online readers with its website each month.

In addition to the daily newspaper, the Sedalia Democrat prints two weekly products, The Plainsman and the Whiteman Warrior. The Democrat also has a large commercial printing operation that prints nearly 60 publications for schools and companies in Missouri and Kansas.

The Sedalia Democrat has 40 employees, which includes a newsroom of six.

“The Democrat staff is proud to have served Sedalia and Pettis County for 150 years,” Editor Nicole Cooke said. “We feel it’s an honor and a privilege to share your stories with the community. The stories we write about are for our readers, but we also care about them because our 40 employees also live in Pettis County. Every time you buy an ad or a subscription, you’re helping support local journalism and the 40 people who work at the Democrat.”

Numerous companies were recognized for reaching 55 years.

W&M Welding Inc. was founded by Wayne McMullin and is now owned by Gary McMullin. It offers many services including welding, crane and cartage, industrial plant maintenance, construction, steel fabrication and erection, agri-services, a complete machine shop, and service distribution of material needs.

Viebrock Sales & Service LLC is also owned by Gary McMullin. It specializes in providing metal pipe, sheeting, aluminum box culverts and other products it produces along with new and used structural steel, fabricated steel bridge kits, rebar, grader blades and other construction supplies to counties, local contractors and the public.

DeLong’s employs 30 people. It began as a manufacturer of steel joists and joist girders, and now it produces more than 3,700 tons of structural steel annually for the highway industry including bridge beams and miscellaneous parts. The company specializes in bridges, producing more than 60 per year in a market area of 25 states.

CED/Philips & Co. Inc. began operations in Sedalia in 1963 as American Electric, later known as Philips & Co. In 1994 it became part of Consolidated Electrical Distributors. CED/Philips has eight employees and represents nationally-known companies such as Square D, 3M, Cooper Industries, Crouse Hinds, Bussman, GE lamps and lighting, and General Cable.

“I look out and I see a lot of folks who support us day in and day out and we provide a lot of products to you,” said Manager Ethan Henson. “I can’t tell you what a great job (EDSPC Executive Director Jessica Craig) is doing in bringing in industry to help us all grow and get better. It’s a very exciting time. It’s exciting, we’re expanding, we’re hiring people. It’s a great time to be a part of Sedalia.”