Clint Seibel (far left in each photo), representing Hillsboro Development Corp., and Lyle Peterson (far right in each photo), regional project manager for the Kansas Department of Commerce, flank representatives from the three businesses that received Merit Awards during ?Business Appreciation Month?: (from left) Todd Jost and Karl Jost, from Jost Welding; Jason Hoover, Lyle Ediger and Eldon Kaiser, representing Midway Motors of Hillsboro; and Trinity Snyder, representing Sonic Drive-In of Hillsboro.
Three Hillsboro businesses were recognized locally at a luncheon June 28 for receiving a Merit Award from the Kansas Department of Commerce earlier in the month.
Jost Welding, Radiator and Machine, Midway Motors and Sonic Drive-In were nominated for the award by the Hillsboro Development Corp., which hosted the luncheon at the Scout House last week.
The KDOC program is intended to recognize the service and contributions of businesses to their respective communities during the state?s ?Business Appreciation Month.?
Of the 131 businesses that were recognized, 27 received a regional Excellence Award and 104 were Merit Award winners. Busi?nesses were nominated in one of four categories: Manufac?turing/ Distribution, Service, Retail and Hospital/Non-Profit.
Lyle Peterson, KDOC regional manager, was on hand for the Hillsboro luncheon.
Clint Seibel, HDC executive director and the city?s economic development director, profiled each of the businesses prior to the award presentation.
? Jost Welding, Radiator and Machine, represented by owner Todd Jost, is a three-generation family business that began nearly a century ago as a service to the agri-business community.
In the 1930s, the business was renamed Jost Welding and Plumbing, and later was called Jost Welding and Radiator Service.
The business performs all of the services offered through the years, having maintained the original blacksmith tools and a coal-fired forge alongside modern machine tools.
The next phase planned will include a CNC 3 axis vertical machining center purchased earlier this year. This machine will allow for precision manufacturing, opening up a new income stream.
The business has contributed to the community primarily through the owner?s strong commitment to the Boys Scouts. Having achieved the Eagle Scout rank in 1979, Jost has been scoutmaster for the past 10 years and has helped six members achieve Eagle Scout status.
For the past five years, Jost has served on the vocational education advisory committee for USD 410 school system. Com?prised of instructors and local business people, the advisory committee monitors the vocational curriculum.
Seibel said Jost Welding, Radiator and Machine plays a strategic role in supporting economic development in Hillsboro and Marion County by providing ongoing maintenance for the agricultural community as well as the manufacturing sector.
?During the crucial planting and harvest seasons, Jost?s wide inventory of steel and his skills in repair helps to keep the farmers in the field,? Seibel said. ?He is also called on by local manufacturing companies for repairs and to produce specific parts to keep their plants in operation.?
? Midway Motors of Hillsboro, represented by general manager Lyle Ediger, was recognized for the development of its new facility along U.S. Highway 56, its contributions to the local economy and its support of community causes.
A family-owned business based in McPherson with an additional dealership in Hutchinson, Midway Motors purchased Irv Schroeder County Motors in Hillsboro in 2009.
Within the first year, Midway sold its facility at Date and D streets to USD 410 to be used for administrative offices and a bus maintenance center. Midway then purchased a highway frontage lot in the newly developed Hillsboro Business Park to optimize its exposure.
Construction of the new facility?including show room, administrative offices, a seven-bay service center and lighted concrete parking lot?began in spring 2010 at cost of close to $1 million. Midway opened the doors at its new location in January.
Seibel said Midway Motors already has become ?a major player? in supporting the Hills?boro community.
?You will find Midway Motors actively supporting community activities, ranging from purchasing 4-H animals during the county fair to sponsoring basketball games and tournaments both at Hillsboro USD 410 and Tabor College.
?A significant sponsorship has been underwriting the production of The Oracle, our local high school newspaper.?
The General Motors dealership contributes significantly to the generation of the sale-tax revenue that is used for city and county improvements.
?Midway Motors also has a significant impact on our community by employing 18 people, many of whom are personally involved in community organizations and events,? Seibel said.
? Sonic Drive-In of Hills?boro, owned by Jason Sjorland and represented at the luncheon by manager Trinity Snyder, became one of the first businesses to locate in Hillsboro Heights when it was completed in 1999.
It is part of the nation?s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, which started as a hamburger and root beer stand in Shawnee, Okla., in 1953. Sonic has grown to around 3,500 drive-ins serving about 3 million customers daily coast to coast.
In 2007 Sonic Drive-In of Hillsboro invested around $150,000 in an exterior makeover, and in 2010 replaced a concrete drive.
Sonic supports many community events, Seibel said. It sponsors a popular fund-raising program for local high school activities called the Community First Card. It provides bottled water, cups and ice for local athletic events and supports high school after-prom parties at Hillsboro, Canton, Marion and Goessel.
Sonic also has supported the Boys Scouts, been a sponsor of the Memorial Day demolition derby in Hills?boro, supports the Marion County Toy Run and provides water, cups and ice for Hillsboro city recreation events and various church functions.
?The city of Hillsboro is fortunate to have a Sonic Drive-In located within its city limits,? Seibel said. ?Hillsboro?s Sonic not only serves the local public with a quality menu, they bring in highway traffic that would otherwise not stop in Hillsboro.
?Sonic plays an important role attracting people to Hills?boro, which increases the sales tax revenues for the city, which in turn strengthens our local economy.?