William Baratka, co-founder of PhillipsPlating Corp. in Phillips, will be honored May 29 by the Price County Economic Development Association (PCEDA) with its Annual Lifetime Achievement Award.
Baratka, with his two brothers, Robert Sr. and David, started with a handful of employees in the late 1960s when the entire industry of electroplating on plastic was still in its infancy.
In 1970, Phillips Plating was incorporated and Baratka became president of the company.
During the next 44 years, he led the growth of the organization from a manual dipping operation into a fully- automated factory serving as an important supplier to the automotive- and consumer-products industries with more than 125 employees.
In January of 2014, the business was sold to his four children keeping the business in the community and in the family. The business continues to grow and successfully operate in Phillips today.
Baratka served on the Phillips Industrial Development Corporation Board (IDC) for 24 years. During this time, he served two terms as president. For decades, he represented Phillips Plating as a member of the Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce including four years serving on the chamber Board. He also is owner of North Park Place in Park Falls, a commercial retail and service facility that is home to three local businesses, NAPA Auto Parts, Severson Power Equipment and Hammerstrom Auto Body.
Baratka has been actively involved in the community as a long-standing member of the Phillips American Legion Post, Moose Lodge Club, Knights of Columbus, Phillips Booster Club and contributor to the Phillips Czechoslovakian Festival.
The award program will be held in Phillips at the Northcentral Technical College campus, 1408 Pine Ridge Road, beginning at 6:30 PM. The public is welcome to attend.
For more information, call Shannon Greenwood, administrative assistant with the Park Falls Area Community Development
Corp. at (715) 744-4700.