South KC News / Member News

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  • 12 Jan 2011 11:29 AM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    Affordable Elegance Catering has been selected by KC Small Business Magazine, from over 1,000 nominations, as part of the 2011 class of 25 Under 25.  Each year the magazine honors twenty-five businesses with this award which recognizes companies with under twenty-five employees who have demonstrated a pattern of success as well as corporate, social and civic responsibility.  

    To be considered for the award companies must meet three basic requirements: 1) Have 25 or fewer full-time employees, 2) Operate a for-profit business for three or more years and 3) Be located in the Greater Kansas City area.  Companies are also judged on their financial stability, ability to overcome adversity and challenges, community involvement, distinguishing or defining characteristics and company vision. 

    This year's celebration marks the 10-year anniversary of the event and a black-tie gala celebration, "A Decade of Thinking Bigger", will be held on February 26, 2011 at the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center to honor the companies.

    Affordable Elegance is located in Raymore, Missouri and is owned by Dee-Dee and Greg Stokes.  They have been active members of the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce for over ten years and Dee-Dee currently serves on the Board of Directors and was the Chairman of the Board in 2010.

  • 03 Nov 2010 6:00 PM | Vickie Wolgast (Administrator)

    This year marks the 65th year of business for Peterson Manufacturing Company. Known locally as the "Quiet Giant" in the Kansas City suburb of Grandview, Peterson has evolved with little fanfare from a tiny, retail-oriented manufacturer to a quarter-billion-dollar, multi-faceted corporation whose safety lighting products and other services reach millions of customers worldwide. Today the family-owned company headquarters on a 44-acre corporate campus in a state-of-the-art, 670,000-square-foot facility housing all departments of Peterson's vertically integrated operations.

    Tobe Tennyson, longtime Peterson Associate and Archivist, recently compiled a timeline marking significant milestones in the history of the company. "I've been fortunate to be in the middle of so much change and growth at Peterson," he said. "And this is just the beginning -- we will continue to grow."

    Among the many milestones that mark Peterson history are the following:

    1945 - Company is founded in downtown Kansas City by Wilbur "Pete" Peterson; manufactures taillights for the automotive aftermarket.

    1956 - Kansas City businessman Don Armacost Sr. buys the company from Peterson.

    1960 - Peterson moves to a 35,000-square-foot facility in Kansas City.

    1961 - Peterson makes industry news with its innovative VIBAR® socket.

    1968 - FMVSS 108 sets new industry standards for safety lighting; Peterson commits to exceeding those standards by 25% or more. Peterson also introduces the popular 107 Mini-Lite for the trailer market.

    1970 - Rapid growth prompts relocation to Peterson's current site in Grandview, Mo.

    1974 - The legend of Grandview's "Quiet Giant" is born as Peterson embarks on the first of several facility expansions.

    Peterson launches a landmark product for trailer markets: the classic 440 S/T/T Light.

    1978 - Peterson launches the model 426 Series, its first sealed lights.

    1980 - Booming business drives another major plant expansion.

    1986 - NHTSA orders all new cars to sport a third, center-mounted brake light, driving explosive sales of Peterson's V300 Retrofit Lights.

    1991 - More plant expansion as Peterson subsidiary, Mission Plastics North, moves operations to the Grandview campus.

    1995 - Peterson leads industry in earning ISO 9001/QS-9000 registration. Company introduces Piranha® LED lights with a 36 LED S/T/T model.

    1996 - Vector Tool & Engineering joins the corporate family.

    1999 - Another industry first: the 10-diode LED S/T/T.

    2003 - More innovation: the industry's first multi-function Strobe & Turn LED.

    2005 - Custom wiring harness subsidiary, Maxi-Seal, moves to Grandview campus.

    2006 - Growing customer demand drives the latest major plant expansion.

    2010 - Grandview's "Quiet Giant" is now one of America's top three safety lighting manufacturers, offering a line of over 2,200 lighting-related products.

    "We're proud to be celebrating our 65th anniversary," said Peterson President and CEO, Don Armacost, Jr. "While much has changed here, one thing that hasn't is a tradition of square dealing that my father established in the early days. It's brought this company a long way, and will continue to guide our relations with customers, suppliers and employees as we move ahead."

    Peterson Manufacturing Company is a world-leading innovator in the production of a complete line of vehicle safety lighting, mirrors, reflectors, antennas and related products. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, Peterson Manufacturing is a key subsidiary of Peterson Corporation, 12 highly specialized companies and over 3,000 people working in global transportation-related industries.

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South KC Chamber of Commerce

406 E. Bannister Road, Suite F
Kansas City, MO 64131-3028

Phone: (816) 761-7660
Fax: (816) 761-7340





South Kansas City is one of the fastest growing areas in the KCMO metropolitan area. Millions of investment dollars are being spent in this region, which makes it a prime location for businesses to grow and prosper. 

The South KC Chamber is dedicated to working with KCMO's city leadership, our business members, and local community organizations to create a positive, growth-oriented business environment in South Kansas City. We would love to support your company's growth too! 


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