As the founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics, Hartley Peavey has achieved more success in his musical career than he ever dreamed. With more than 180 patents to his company's credit, a solid track record for innovations in music and audio, and a legacy of building quality, reliable gear for musicians and professionals, Hartley's legacy as a transformative figure in the music industry is guaranteed.
Today, Peavey Electronics is one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment, reaching millions of people in more than 130 countries. But Hartley and the company he founded in 1965 have also figured heavily in the success of their mutual hometown of Meridian, Mississippi — so much that The Meridian Star has recognized Hartley's ongoing commitment to his hometown by naming him Citizen of the Year.
"It's a testament to Peavey's commitment to his hometown that he's not only continued to keep his business here, but that his business is continuing to grow and innovate," said Meridian Star publisher Crystal Dupré. "Meridian is lucky to have a man who has provided the type of consistency he has for this community."
Peavey attributes the continuing success of Peavey Electronics to the hard work, determination and enthusiasm of its employees.
"Peavey is a place where people can grow," said Peavey. "When I was younger, there was no place for me to grow - that's why I started Peavey Electronics. We're fortunate to have been able to give that same opportunity to more than 14,000 employees in Meridian through the years, and that means a lot to me. I want our young folks to realize that they can make it if they try."
Peavey has shown its ongoing commitment to American manufacturing by moving production of three brands to its Meridian headquarters in recent years: Trace Elliot high-end bass and acoustic guitar amps, Budda handmade, boutique guitar amps, and Composite Acoustics carbon-fiber acoustic guitars. Peavey also has satellite facilities in Fairfield, NJ; Boulder, Co.; Ancona, Italy; Shenzhen, China; and Oxford and Corby, United Kingdom; as well as artist relations offices in Nashville, Austin and Los Angeles.
"Peavey Electronics will continue to evolve and come up with new ideas to advance the state of the art," Peavey said. "That's what I love to do, and it's what we do best-creating new technologies and discovering new ways to improve music and audio through our products. After 47 years, it's still fun."