Ford Media Center

State Highway Outside Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant Named in Honor of Irv Hockaday

  • The state of Missouri and Ford are celebrating the contributions of Irvine Hockaday Jr., former president and CEO of Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards and a member of Ford Motor Company’s board of directors from 1987 to 2013
  • State highway outside of Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant will bear Hockaday’s name to honor his commitment to economic development and charitable endeavors in the community
  • With more than 6,000 employees, Kansas City Assembly Plant is one of Ford’s largest and most technologically advanced manufacturing facilities

Ford Motor Company announced today the state highway in front of Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo will be named for Irvine Hockaday Jr., a distinguished member of the extended Ford family and broader Kansas City community.

From 1985 to 2001, Hockaday served as president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, which has been an integral part of the Kansas City economic landscape for more than 100 years. Based on 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.

During that time, Kansas City Assembly Plant grew into one of Ford’s largest and most technologically advanced manufacturing facilities. It currently employs more than 6,000 people and produces America’s No. 1-selling vehicle, the F-150 pickup, along with the all-new Transit van. The plant will start building the 2015 F-150 – the first mass-produced truck in its class featuring a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body and bed – in early 2015.

“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 Gov. Jay Nixon. “There are very few people who have made such extraordinary contributions to our state.”

Above and beyond his record as a job creator and business leader, Hockaday has been 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 and advisory board member of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch Endowment.

“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.”

Hockaday lives with his wife Ellen in Mission Hills, Kansas. They are the proud parents of two daughters and nine grandchildren. 

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 202,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

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