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Hoover Color Celebrates Its 90th Anniversary

By David Savastano

Published January 8, 2014
Hoover Color Celebrates Its 90th Anniversary
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For any family-owned company to succeed for 90 years is an impressive achievement. Considering the changes that have occurred in the pigment industry, a family-owned company that has successfully thrived for nine decades is an amazing accomplishment.

Hoover Color Corporation, an industry leader in the field of iron oxide-based pigments, just celebrated its 90th anniversary. Headquartered in Hiwassee, VA, the family-owned and operated company opened its doors on Dec. 22, 1923, and continues to operate by holding fast to its family values and strong work ethic.

“Our greatest strength has consistently been the family and people behind Hoover Color,” said Melissa Zienius, Vice President Administration and Personnel for Hoover Color. “Our creativity and ability to move forward in today’s diverse and ever-changing marketplace have propelled our company’s growth since our inception and will continue to guide us into the future.”

Founded by the Hoover family, Hoover Color’s first successful product line was its Mullers, which were developed to provide a simple way to make small pigment-resin dispersions for color evaluations. The company opened its doors in 1923 in Long Island City, NY, moving to Irvington, NJ.

The company’s big move occurred when the Hoover family acquired 3,000 acres of land in and around Hiwassee, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, which is rich with iron mines. Hoover Color maintains its mine sites, production facilities, laboratories and corporate offices; the last major renovation and expansion was completed in 2006.

The late Charles E. (Chuck) Hoover III, who was president of Hoover Color from 1960 until he passed away in January 2013, played a huge role in the company’s transformation

“From a business point of view, his biggest accomplishment was being able to transform Hoover Color as market demands changed,” Charles Hoover V, the company’s President and fourth generation of family leadership,  said. “When he joined the business in 1954, there was no colorant business. My great-grandfather had been in the paint business and had built Hoover Color as a custom pigment blender, making the exact color people needed.

“As the colorant business evolved in the 1960s and 1970s, the need for custom pigment blends shrank,” he added. “In his 1970 acquisition of the facility in Virginia, my father transformed Hoover Color from a pigment blending company to being a primary manufacturer.”

The company’s iron oxide-based pigments are ideal for the paint and coatings industry, where the highest quality control is a necessity. Hoover Color has earned a strong position in a wide range of markets, from furniture stains, building products, artists colors, plastics and coloring cement, which is now the largest market for iron oxide pigments worldwide. The company’s colors range through the spectrum, from Yellows, Reds and Greens to Browns, Blacks and Blues.

Overall, Hoover Color Corporation is positioned to continue its history of successful growth and prosperity, driven by its emphasis on high quality and excellent service.

“In this day and age, if your products are not of acceptable quality, you are not offering your products at a competitive price or if you are not providing acceptable service, your products will not even be considered,” Chuck Hoover V concluded. “So if you and your competitor are selling similar products at similar prices, who does the customer buy from? He buys from the ‘friend’ he has learned to trust.”

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