We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Lipscomb and John Lipscomb and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda Lipscomb and John Lipscomb, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
Our business is rather unique because it started in 1969. It was started by our grandfather but completely transformed to meet modern standards and expansion in 2015 by us, a sister and brother duo. We revamped every single aspect of the business from accounting processes to branding to operations. We knew we wanted to continue to honor our grandfather’s legacy while bringing the business into the future. We want our legacy to continue to represent high quality products, a family culture in our plant, and friendly faces to our sales representatives and customers around the world. Our goal is to expand as much as possible while never losing sight of our high standards. All parts meet the Buy American Act standards and are made by hand with a 12-point inspection process here in the Energy Corridor in Houston. We use the same techniques that our grandfather used plus utilize his business acumen he passed down to us. Our innovations have brought things to a more modern process for revitalization, education and awareness of the product use and benefits, corporate communications, and most importantly streamlining our assembly and operations processes. All decisions we make together as sister and brother to benefit our team and family. We want to be remembered in our legacy as the company that works hard, puts quality first, is consistently reliable, and takes care of their people.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In 1965, Charles “Pete” D. Peterson, Jr. invented a device to help utility professionals quickly take pressure readings. With the support of his wife, Bonnie, and children, he decided to become an entrepreneur to fulfill a need in the natural gas and HVAC industry. Pete started designing and manufacturing the plugs in his garage and ran the business from a small table in his master bedroom. The business quickly grew and in 1969 Pete formed his own company, Peterson Equipment Co., Inc. to design, develop, and produce pressure and temperature test plugs. He also wanted the freedom to never wear a suit and tie to work, take off from work when he wants, never face the doom of being fired, take care of people, and set up his future to leave a strong legacy. We are honored to continue his legacy through these same practices today.
Our grandfather’s inventions are the original and most popular pressure and temperature reading plugs and gauge adapters used today around the world. The Pete’s Plug® allows for the use of a pressure needle to be used without becoming bent or clogged like other standard needles. Most importantly, the Pete’s Plug® also has two self-closing valves for rapid sealing upon removal of the needle or temperature probe to prevent leaking and ensure safety in the field. Pete strengthened his original design with a simple but important feature of a rubber strap to keep the plug cap attached to the plug body for easier and longer use out in the field. The Pete’s Plug® is offered in American made brass and food grade safe 316 grade stainless steel with nordel and neoprene cores. Our products are on the White House, in space and on rocket ships, they help to bring clean drinking water to people, they are in hospital clean rooms, on natural gas meters, on hydro-powered trains, they regulate beer and wine vats, maintain food processes, and are in many more uses and industries around the globe.
Thanks in part to our wonderful sales representatives around the world, the sales of the Pete’s Plug® are over 38 million units in the last 53+ years and remains the standard pressure or temperature test plug used by many companies and industries throughout the world. Today, the Pete’s Plug® and all Peterson Equipment Co., Inc.’s products are still manufactured by hand. That sets us apart because we prefer to give people jobs over total automation. Our grandfather taught us to take care of people first.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We love spending the day in Galveston as a family. It’s a significant place for us because it is where John and his wife Becky got married. The ocean is where we go to clear our minds and be revitalized. We love the beach community and friendly people as you walk down the beach, pier, or downtown streets. We also love going to eat at the Boardwalk at Towne Lake and exploring Katy’s parks. Our grandfather took off every Friday to go fishing and we follow in his footsteps and take days off to be by the water, too.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We are very thankful for our grandfather and the legacy we are excited to continue in his name. We also wouldn’t be anywhere without our team and the hard work that they have done. Our manager, Jonathan Froberg, has been an extraordinary asset that we can count on for everything and a huge positive force in the company. We are grateful for our grandmother, Bonnie Peterson, who has always supported us and focused on our education and building up our confidence. Our mom, Deba Peterson, for constant reassurance and providing us with the ability to be independent and grow. Becky Lipscomb, John’s wife, for her incredible support and endless hard work. Kelly Caldwell, John Forslund, Andrea Abney, Austin Abney, and Tony Guajardo for their ability to listen, advise, and help develop an elite entrepreneur network. Uncle Sandy McLean for his backbone of strength and support. Dianne McLean for her savvy and wisdom. David Morris for his craftmanship and exceptional woodworking for product assembly device development. Nick Kohart with IMAC Systems, Inc. for his partnership and working together to build strong mutual legacies for our families. And most importantly, we wouldn’t be anywhere without our outstanding sales reps that work tirelessly to advance their companies’ and our’s for many decades to come.