ISCO Industries Turns 50

By Traci Read, Managing Editor | September 2012, Vol. 67 No. 9

This year, ISCO Industries celebrates 50 years of providing customers around the world with total piping solutions. The company illustrates a heritage that is unique in its history, growth and success as being one of the best in the industry for five decades.

Today, as it always has, ISCO Industries emphasizes quality in products and workmanship, and cooperative relationships among customers, business associates and employees.

Originally founded in Louisville, KY, in 1962 as the Irrigation Supply Company, a distributor of irrigation materials, ISCO Industries has expanded to serve multiple markets including water and sewer, environmental, energy, geothermal, industrial, landfill, frac sand mining, oil and gas, nuclear and power generation, golf irrigation and more.

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The company now has U.S. operations in 25 states in addition to two locations in Canada and Australia, bringing its geographical footprint to more than 30 locations. ISCO’s workforce has grown to include more than 300 employees.

How it all started
The story of this family-owned and operated company goes back to 1962 when the late Jim Kirchdorfer, Sr. began the business out of the back room of his father’s hardware store in Louisville where the company is still headquarted today. At that time, Kirchdorfer owned and operated a contracting company called Kirchdorfer Irrigation Company. Specializing in golf courses, the company installed the first automatic irrigation system in the state.

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Since underground golf course irrigation was a relatively new concept in the Midwest, there was no distributor outlet for Kirchdorfer to purchase sprinklers, valves and other necessary material. Rather than purchase from a distributor in another area, he decided to open a distributorship of his own. He named the new venture Irrigation Supply Company.

Through the 1960s, Kirchdorfer continued to operate both companies. Then, in the early 1970s, he expanded into the municipal and industrial markets and began to refer to the company as ISCO to reflect the changing nature of the business. The company was officially renamed ISCO Industries LLC in 1998.

Also in the early 90s, both of Kirchdorfer’s sons, Jimmy and Mark, joined him in the fast-growing business. In January 1995, Jimmy took over as general manager of ISCO, and is now the CEO. In 1998 Mark became the director of operations, eventually becoming president.

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