Jen Sadler noticed she was only one of a few women in the mass of 400 students in the lecture halls at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. But it did not intimidate her. Because, she said, “I was there on a mission to get my business degree.”
She began college in the late 1960s, pursuing a degree in psychology, although business was what she had on her heart. “I didn’t know it was OK or acceptable at that time,” Sadler said explaining why she was taking psychology classes instead of business classes at first. She switched majors and nothing else mattered. Women were stepping into new roles and she was right there on the front lines and credentials were important.
After graduating, Sadler went to work for Mayor Richard Lugar and then went on to work at the Indiana Department of Commerce. While she was there, she met Stan Sadler, who was working in commercial real estate sales downtown. He encouraged her to take classes to become a Realtor™. Again, credentials and a deep knowledge of the field were important to her, so she took all the classes and exams necessary to not only be a licensed real estate agent, but a licensed broker as well.
It is easy to take water for granted. We turnon the tap and there it is. We drink it, cook with it, and bathe in it. We even play in it. Everyone likes water. The water in Mooresville is delivered through Indiana American Water and it is Mooresville resident, Troy Bryant, who leads the team that makes sure that not only is water there when you turn the faucet on, but that it is safe and healthy, too.
Bryant didn’t grow up in Mooresville thinking he would ever shoulder that responsibility. In fact, after graduating from Mooresville High School he enlisted in the Navy. Jamie was his high school sweetheart. She followed him, they married, and had one child, Jordan, while they were serving our country. Troy and Jamie returned to Mooresville after the Navy and had two more children, Coleman and Abigail. He needed a job and General Waterworks was hiring. It took him about a year, but he got the job and starting out reading meters.
For the next 26 years, Bryant worked his way up through the ranks being promoted to supervisor and then to Superintendent in 2005. He stayed with the local organization through a purchase by United Water in 1994 and then in 2000 the company was purchased by American Water and became a part of Indiana American Water.
You might already know that The Martinsville Candy Kitchen is celebrating 100 years in business this year. There will be a big community celebration on April 6, 2019 with kids’ activities from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and an Open House at the shop at 7 p.m. True to form being an historic tradition in Martinsville, there are plans to have former owners there and lots of surprises.
You might also already know the history of the shop. Greek immigrant, Jimmy Zapapas opened the business in April 1919. He produced candy canes and other sweet treats. His original recipes as well as his original equipment and tools have been passed down from owner to owner through the years. The store has actually moved several times along the street on the square. Hundreds of families both local and from far away have made candy from The Martinsville Candy Kitchen, especially candy canes, a tradition stretching across generations.
What you might not know is that the Candy Kitchen came perilously close to closing its doors after 85 years. It was Martinsville residents John and Pam Badger that rescued the shop fifteen years ago.
It was 20 years ago, in November 1998, that Michael Miller came to live in Mooresville. He had graduated from the Indiana University School of Optometry in 1991. After several years with the Indiana Eye Clinic in Greenwood, he had decided he wanted a private practice of his own. He began the search for an optometrist who was ready to retire or sell his practice. He learned about Dr. Bill Kirby in Mooresville. Dr. Kirby had about four decades serving the Mooresville community.
Looking at the beginning
Miller grew up in a small town in northern Indiana called Plymouth. His mother had developed early onset macular degeneration and had been legally blind since the age of 28. He understood the challenges visually impaired persons faced on a daily basis. Driving, in particular, was an issue. She needed special permits and could only drive under certain restrictions. Living out in the country made it a more of a hardship. When Miller and his sister earned their driver’s licenses, it was easier for the family.
The personal understanding of the importance of eyesight, along with his interest in science and mathematics, led him to the medical field, particularly relating to the study of sight and sight correction. He was not interested in medical school or actually performing surgery on eyes. With that in mind, and because all of his family, including himself, wore glasses or contacts, his thoughts turned to optometry. “We developed a really good relationship with the family eye doctor,” Miller said. “He was very encouraging and supportive of me going into optometry.”
Why is it that so many businesses get their start in garages? William Shields saw a need in the world of plastics. He met that need in the garage of the home he shared with Jacki Shields and their children in Martinsville. He developed a one-piece fairing for a Yamaha motorcycle in 1975, and the rest, as they say, is history. That one product catapulted a new company into eventually creating windshields and windows for heavy equipment, race cars, and even face shields for helmets.
Brad Shields says he grew up in the plastic world. By the age of nine he was working the trade show circuit with his parents. Even though Brad had a career as a teacher and football coach he continued to help his father sell products until he made the move to join the business full-time in 1999. Brad’s wife, Karen and his two children, Beau and Alyxa, moved with him back to his hometown of Martinsville.
“The transition was more in working with my father than working with the plastics,” Brad said. “My ten years as a head coach had given me invaluable leadership experience.” Although William chided Brad for running things like a football program he began to let Brad take the reins of the company. “You have to go with what you know,” Brad said, “and what works. I became a delegator and trust my people to do their jobs.”
Brad’s mother, Jacki, worked in the business as well. “She did HR, finance, payroll, accounts receivable, account payable,” Karen said, “basically anything to do with money or personnel.” Karen has since stepped into Jacki’s role for the company.
Nestled amongst the trees on top of a hill off Samuel Moore Parkway in Mooresville is a family-owned company that quietly goes about its business. Matt Litchfield is the site director overseeing the 24-hour operation manned by 375 employees that turns out more than 750 to 1,250 packs of wet wipes a minute, depending on the product. That’s more than 250 million packages of cleaning wipes coming out of the 140,000 S.F. building every year. A separate warehouse facility in the area makes certain those packages are shipped around the nation and across the globe.
The Nice-Pak building was constructed in 1974. Workers combined the cutlery and napkin in a nice, neat package for Colonel Sanders as his Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) business was blossoming. But packaging was not the business Nice-Pak was building.
Arthur Julius, who was in the cosmetics industry, came up with the idea for disposable wet napkins in New York in 1957. The product was innovative at the time, commonplace in many different forms now. His belief and purpose are espoused in the company purpose statement which still drives their work today: “Helping families stay healthy and well, one wipe at a time.” In the beginning Arthur Julius was making thirty pieces per minute with six people.
Arthur and his son, Robert, approached Colonel Sanders with an idea. They suggested the consumers of the “Finger Lickin’ Good” chicken would appreciate a pre-moistened wipe to clean up after the meal. Sanders liked the idea but said the packaging couldn’t be changed. If they could find room inside the package, he would agree to the suggestion. The Julius family went to work and found a way to make that happen. They combined the spoon and the fork into one implement, lovingly called the “spork.” That change meant there was room enough in the plastic package for the Wet-Nap®. KFC bought the idea and product, and the rest, as they say, is history.