Todd Jost felt a little out of place at the front of the room, receiving a nomination for The Govenor’s Excellence Award from the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.
His company — Jost Welding, Radiator, and Machine — was bookended in nomination by a large corporate restaurant chain, Sonic Drive-In, and one of Hillsboro’s largest businesses, Midway Motors.
Hillsboro Economic Development Director Clint Seibel praised Sonic for its ability to bring people to town who would have never visited Hillsboro before 1999.
When describing Midway Motors, Seibel said that the business brought economic stability to Hillsboro at a time when many small towns are losing dealerships and grocery stores.
“A lot of times small service businesses feel isolated and unrecognized,” Jost said.
That feeling, which crept into Jost’s head at the lunch ceremony Tuesday, was the biggest reason Jost was happy to see his business gain some recognition. Jost Welding, Radiator, and Machine has been a business in Hillsboro since 1919, although it has gone by different names. Seibel said the former blacksmith shop is an example of determination.
“They’ve continued to reinvent themselves,” Seibel said.
The business has been owned by the Jost family for three generations and has largely served the needs of local farmers for nearly 100 years.
Their most recent reinvention has been to focus more on manufacturing. They are acquiring a new piece of precision manufacturing equipment next year. Jost thought the choice of the three businesses for nomination exemplified the versatility of Hillsboro’s business community.
“I think Hillsboro is thriving more than other communities of comparable size because of the business community,” Jost said.