Over 150 years of family painting experience

Photo by Shari Harris
Three generations of Hildreth Painting, Inc., are from left, Bill Hildreth, Pat Hildreth, Bill Peterson, Connie Peterson and Josh Peterson.

By Shari Harris

     Just north of Licking is a family dynasty of sorts, built around the commercial painting industry. Hildreth Painting was established in February of 1988 as a partnership between Bill and Pat Hildreth and their daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Bill Peterson. Both Bills painted and Pat and Connie ran the office for the business. On June 14, 1988, the business incorporated with Pat Hildreth as President, Bill Peterson as Vice-President, Connie Peterson as Secretary and Bill Hildreth as Treasurer.
     In 2003, when William Hildreth retired from painting, the Hildreths sold their shares back to the company and Connie and Bill Peterson continued to run the company. Connie Peterson completed an Associate of Applied Science degree in Entrepreneurship at MSU-WP in May of 2011. With the retirement of Bill Peterson in 2012, Connie Peterson continued to run the business and in February of 2015, she applied for Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) certification. It took more than six months, but on July 21, 2015, Hildreth Painting, Inc., earned the certification.
     At the beginning of 2018, Bill and Connie Peterson’s nephew, Josh Peterson, came on board and began learning the business. In December of 2018, he became a shareholder and intends to eventually become the third generation to acquire the business. Currently Josh is their estimator and project manager and as a journeyman carpenter and union painter, he is also capable of filling in on a job in a pinch. Connie bids on jobs and manages the business.
     “Josh and I may not always agree,” said Connie Hildreth, “But we talk it out to come to an agreement.”
     In its 32-years of operation, Hildreth Painting, Inc., has employed several painters and office workers, some of them immediate and more distant family members, to fulfill their contracts. “Over the years we have employed over twenty excellent employees,” said Connie Peterson.
     In total, family members have accumulated more than 150 years of painting experience.
     Bill Hildreth started painting in 1957 in Louisiana. He learned on the job, moving quickly from an apprenticeship to journeyman painter. He is a lifetime member in the Painters Local Union No. 1185, with more than 50-years in the union.
     The other original business partner, Bill Peterson, began painting in 1981. His first painting task was sanding sheetrock and he also completed an on-the-job apprenticeship. Bill retired in 2012 and is a lifetime member in the Painters Local Union No. 1185.
     Josh Peterson began painting in high school. Dena Peterson, Connie Peterson’s sister, painted for 10-years until her death in a car accident in 2000. Josh Peterson’s father (and Bill Peterson’s brother), Pete Peterson; Pete and Bill Peterson’s cousin, Luke Burgdorf; Bill and Pat Hildreth’s nephew, Jerry Mitchell; and Bill Peterson’s ex-son-in-law, J.D. Wetzel, also painted, as well as other members of the family.
     Some of the local jobs Hildreth Painting, Inc., has been awarded include the Justice Center and Jail in Houston, the FEMA building at Licking R-VIII Elementary School, the Army Aviation Support Center at Ft. Leonard Wood and the Fitness Center expansion for Missouri S&T.
     “We appreciate each and every customer we have had the pleasure to serve and thank you for helping us to continue in business all these years! God has blessed us abundantly!” said Connie Peterson.



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