Kansas City, Missouri locals are likely familiar with Irvine Hockaday Jr., who served as president and CEO of Hallmark Cards — an integral part of the Kansas City economic landscape for over 100 years — from 1985 to 2001. Thanks to his expertise as a business leader, understanding of effective marketing strategies, and success as a manager, Hockaday was elected to Ford’s board of directors, where he served from 1987 to 2013.
Today, Ford Motor Company announced that the state highway in front of its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri will be named for Irvine Hockaday Jr.
Hockaday went above and beyond his immediate duties of a job creator and business leader, becoming deeply involved in charitable activities in the community. He has served as:
- A trustee of Hall Family Foundation
- Board member of Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute
- Advisory trustee of Kansas City Repertory Theatre
- Life trustee of Midwest Research Institute
- Aadvisory board member of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch Endowment
“As a business leader and philanthropist, Irv Hockaday has invested decades of his time and effort in improving the quality of life in the Kansas City community,” said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. “There are very few people who have made such extraordinary contributions to our state.”
During Hockaday’s time on the board of directors, Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant grew into one of the automaker’s largest and most technologically-advanced manufacturing facilities. It currently employs more than 6,000 people and produces America’s best-selling vehicle, the F-150 pickup, along with the all-new Transit van. In early 2015, the facility will begin manufacturing the 2015 F-150.
“Irv Hockaday has made such incredible contributions to Kansas City, the state of Missouri and the country as a whole,” said Dick Gephardt, a current member of the Ford board of directors. “Moreover, his contributions to Ford for the past 30 years have helped the company set a strong foundation and make profitable growth for all a reality. Today’s recognition is well deserved.”
Today, Hockaday lives with his wife Ellen in Mission Hills, Kansas. They are the proud parents of two daughters and nine grandchildren.