Sullivan business builds 2 lecterns for upcoming season of ‘Yellowstone’

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The work of a Sullivan wood manufacturing business will be featured in the upcoming season of ‘Yellowstone’ on Paramount.

The hit series starring Kevin Costner will follow his character’s bid for governor in the upcoming season five. The storyline prompted show producers to contact Paul Alexander, owner of Executive Wood Products in Sullivan.

“We’ve been in Madame Secretary, Iron Man 3, we’re in video games, we’re in a dozen TV shows,” he said. “They reached out to us wanting two different styles of lecterns and we were thrilled to make them.”

Earlier this year, before mailing the lecterns to set, the 18 employees of Executive Wood Products signed the bottom, excited to see its debut when the series returns in November.

“We do a lot of business with the federal government, but by far our biggest business goes to the entertainment industry,” Alexander said.

He added anytime a politician in Washington D.C. is seen speaking behind a lectern, it most likely originated at his shop.

“We engineer these to be far more than just a standard model,” he said. “Some have audio systems built in, some pivot 45 degrees, some even have a cupholder for the speaker.”

Despite traveling around the globe selling his products, Alexander said he’s never considered moving his home, or business away from Sullivan.

“I feel like I’ve seen such a broad array of what’s out there and there is absolutely no other place in the entire world I’d rather live than here.”

In 2016, he began manufacturing the “Tactical Scholar,” a 400-pound steel plate, designed to hold a whiteboard. It doubles as an anti-ballistic shield and is sold to school districts as a defense tactic in the case of an active shooter.

“We tested pretty much any gun you can think of and none of the rounds penetrated through to the other side,” he said. “If you step behind it, the active shooter sees it as a soft target and attempts to shoot through it, but once he does that he empties his magazine and now he’s not an active shooter anymore he’s a guy with an empty gun.”

When the pandemic hit, Alexander began producing consumer products, like picture frames that double as a phone charging station, along with spice racks, cutting boards and other products designed using solid wood.

“I can take the properties of wood and create almost anything,” he said. “Wood doesn’t just have to be a square box.”

Gov. Mike Parson visited Executive Wood Products on Thursday as he pushes for more business investment and manufacturing in Missouri.