Norco began in 1948 as the welding supply division of the Nordling Auto Parts Company, in Boise, Idaho. In 1968, Larry Kissler, who had served as the regional manager of 11 eastern states at Linde's New England facility in Sudbury, Massachusetts, headed west with his four children and his wife Fran to purchase Norco. When the Kissler family arrived, Norco had two locations, in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho, and 15 total employees. Dan Steele came on board as employee number 16. Together Kissler and Steele, who held positions as general manager and ultimately company president, expanded the business by acquiring other welding supply distributorships in the Intermountain West region. The duo put providing excellent customer service at the core of the business and were so committed to the principle that they symbolically placed the customer at the top of the organizational chart - a fundamental value that lead to 30 years of profitability and growth that continues today.
The medical supply business may seem like an unlikely pairing for an industrial supply powerhouse, but it was a natural evolution for the savvy Larry Kissler. The cornerstone of Norco's business is the oxygen we provide, and the move to start supplying medical oxygen in addition to the industrial grade, bridged the gap between the two divisions. Larry started with calling on every local hospital. From there it made good sense to add durable medical equipment (DME) as well, spearheaded largely by Neil Emerizy. Together the dynamic industries have flourished, often housed in the same location.
For the Kissler family, business ownership is not something that is simply inherited, it is something that is earned. After achieving the prerequisites for leading the company, Mr. Kissler's son, Jim, purchased Norco in 1985. In the time since, Jim has lead the Norco team in continued growth upholding the same doctrines his father lead with during his tenure. In 2015, Jim and the Kissler family gave their employees one of the greatest gifts any employee could ever hope to receive - a share of the company - by forming an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and Norco became the largest ESOP company of its kind. As Jim starts to prepare for retirement the third generation is preparing to take the helm.
Norco is comprised of 70 medical and industrial retail locations, and 6 auxiliary facilities including gas plants, air separation units, and our most recent addition, NorTECH, a state of the art technical and automation center. Just as when Norco was started 70 years ago, our group of proud employee owners are here to "Serve you Better."