FORTVILLE – After years of hard work and starting his own business in 2019, Grant Kissel, owner of Indiana Pump Works (IPW), was recognized and honored by the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water with the Associate Member of the Year award .

Located off South Madison Street, IPW provides water pumps and pump stations to many cities and towns across the state, Kissel said. Alongside supplying the pumps and pump stations, IPW does maintenance and repair – also offering training to customers to help ensure proactive maintenance upkeep.

Kissel’s journey started when he joined the Marine Corps after high school and followed his interest in construction work. During his service, Kissel was a combat engineer. Once he came back home, Kissel worked construction with his father-in-law at a wastewater utility company, where he discovered his interest in the industry.

“It’s a necessity. Everybody needs it. Clean water is very important,” Kissel said. “You know, you see other countries that don’t have clean water and just how much it impacts them, so just trying to ensure that at least everyone in my community had clean and safe drinking water.”

In 2012, Kissel decided to turn his focus to the sales aspect of the industry, working for a pump company selling water and wastewater pumps with a focus on municipalities across the state. In 2019, he started IPW in Fortville and has grown the company ever since.

Kissel said the building offered a great amount of space, and its location was excellent. He now has nine employees on staff and is looking to hire more as his business continues to grow.

Being an associate of the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water, Kissel holds an active role by being a member of the alliance’s advisory board, contributing time and effort to training classes that teach customers and others how to work on their own water pumps.

“So, if we have communities all across the state that we deal with and everybody’s having trouble at the same time, we want them to know how to be proactive and able to take care of and maintain their own equipment,” Kissel said.

These trainings and the willingness to provide a helping hand is what Kissel believes helped IPW earn the Associate of the Year award.

“It’s kind of humbling and makes you feel good that people notice that stuff,” Kissel said. Notice that we’re, you know, contributing to the overall scheme of things.”

 Indiana Pump Works (IPW), a distinguished veteran-owned small business based in Fortville, has been honored with the Associate Member of the Year Award for 2024. Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

According to the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water, the award is “bestowed upon an association member demonstrating exceptional commitment to the Alliance and its members, comprised of water and wastewater utilities and industry professionals statewide.”

Kissel said that while he was surprised that IPW received this year’s honor, they’ve always had a spirit to help with things like training, and that this industry isn’t just about selling the parts.

“Founded on the principles of integrity and excellence, IPW distinguishes itself as more than mere salespeople, positioning themselves as certified water and wastewater treatment professionals dedicated to serving their customers and safeguarding the environment,” the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water press release read.

Since the beginning, Kissel said he has been thankful for the support of his family as he started his own business.

“It’s definitely a tough thing to do when you go from work and a good sales job to go into a $0 paycheck,” Kissel said.

Kissel also mentioned he is grateful for the customers that they have been able to work with — from both nearby and far across the state.