Newton, Kansas, Monday, April 1, 2024…Park Aerospace Corp. (NYSE-PKE) celebrates 70 years in business.  Park was founded 70 years ago on March 31, 1954 by Jerry Shore, Brian Shore’s father, and Tony Chiesa, our very dear and special life-long friend.

Brian Shore, Park’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Jerry and Tony, our beloved founders, grew up in the depression, and that upbringing likely shaped what Park was in the early days and continues to be today.  We never asked for or were given anything I can remember.  We always made our own way.  During the pandemic, when most everybody we knew was taking millions of dollars of PPP and other government money, we took none.  We are not passing judgment on others.  We are just stating the facts.”

Brian Shore continued, “In the early 1950s, Jerry and Tony met while working for a company called Etched Products located in Queens, New York.  When Etched Products went out of business, Jerry and Tony had come to a crossroads in their lives.  They were faced with a choice between an easier path and a much more difficult path.  They both were highly credentialed and had many attractive career paths available to them as a result.  They easily could have chosen one of those career paths.  But they decided to take the much more difficult and arduous path, risk it all and start Park on March 31, 1954 with $40,000 they had saved from War Duty pay.  Jerry was 28 years old.  Tony was 33.”

          Park Founders, Jerry Shore (on left) and Tony Chiesa (on right)

Brian continued, “Our beginnings certainly were humble, but they also were auspicious and magical.  We started in 1954 with five employees in a small garage in Woodside, Queens in the shadows of the 59th Street Bridge.  Our 1954 sales were $124,206.58 and our pretax profit was $877.38 (see, we have always had a “thing” about making money).  We paid $226.21 of taxes that year.  Back in the early days, my mother, the daughter of a WWI War Hero who fought in the trenches, came in to do the bookkeeping in a closet in the back of the facility.  She handwrote Park’s first invoice.  It was to GE Schenectady in the amount of $300.”

Brian added, “Jerry’s and Tony’s objective in creating Park was to create something different and special…to achieve something great…to achieve Greatness.  That is their legacy.  Mediocrity was of no interest to them.”

Brian concluded, “Jerry and Tony sacrificed so much for us, overcame so many obstacles for us and persevered through so many dark days when things seemed hopeless for us.  We will always be so deeply grateful to Jerry and Tony for all they have done for us and for bestowing upon us the legacy of unwavering and uncompromising dedication to Greatness.  We owe everything we have and everything we are to our beloved founders, Jerry Shore and Tony Chiesa.  Thank you, Jerry and Tony.”

Park Aerospace Corp. develops and manufactures solution and hot-melt advanced composite materials used to produce composite structures for the global aerospace markets.  Park’s advanced composite materials include film adhesives (Aeroadhere®) and lightning strike protection materials (Electroglide®).  Park offers an array of composite materials specifically designed for hand lay-up or automated fiber placement (AFP) manufacturing applications.  Park’s advanced composite materials are used to produce primary and secondary structures for jet engines, large and regional transport aircraft, military aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs commonly referred to as “drones”), business jets, general aviation aircraft and rotary wing aircraft.  Park also offers specialty ablative materials for rocket motors and nozzles and specially designed materials for radome applications.  As a complement to Park’s advanced composite materials offering, Park designs and fabricates composite parts, structures and assemblies and low volume tooling for the aerospace industry.  Target markets for Park’s composite parts and structures (which include Park’s proprietary composite SigmaStrut™ and AlphaStrut™ product lines) are, among others, prototype and development aircraft, special mission aircraft, spares for legacy military and civilian aircraft and exotic spacecraft.  Park’s objective is to do what others are either unwilling or unable to do.  When nobody else wants to do it because it is too difficult, too small or too annoying, sign us up.