George and Virginia's Story:
In the spring of 1954, George A. Kint was working at Pennsy Supply in Harrisburg, PA. One day he was approached by Bill Muller to purchase a very small fire extinguisher business. Bill was getting ready to retire and wanted someone with integrity to take care of his customers. After much convincing, and approval of his wife Virginia, they bought the company on March 9th, 1954. This is the same year Ray Kroc started McDonalds and Sports Illustrated released their first issue. Not bad company, huh? Soon George and Virginia would need more room for equipment. They purchased a small home with a two-car garage on North 14th Street in Harrisburg. It was in this garage where the George A. Kint Company was started.
George's first delivery vehicle was a 1952 Plymouth Coup. Every morning he took the Plymouth to pick up 300 pounds of dry ice. The dry ice fueled the converters to build enough pressure to fill the cylinders. It was Virginia who had to break up the dry ice so it would fit into the converters!
With only one contract (the PA Railroad), George had to beat the streets and drum up new business. He approached drug stores, restaurants, soda fountains and "five and dimes." He tried to convince them to use Kint cylinders. Soon he acquired enough customers to purchase a CO2 tank and Virginia didn't have to break up the dry ice anymore.
In 1959, George and Virginia needed more room for the growing business so they built a larger property on North 6th Street in Harrisburg. Soon the company would outgrow this property as well.
George retired from the company in 1976. It was time for his son Bob, who grew up working in the business, to take the reins. He bought the business from George three years later. Two years after that, Virginia who handled the office work for 27 years decided it was time for her to retire too.
George and Virginia were hard working people who valued family and taking good care of customers. These values were passed on to their children and remain part of the Kint ethos.
Bob and Debi's Story... "We grew up learning how to do things right. We learned how to work hard, how to work together and how to grow our business. We learned how to take care of customers and we learned about respect." -Bob Kint
Ever since Bob was 6 years old, he would be tinkering with cylinders in the garage where his father worked. One day at the age of 8, he and his sister Pat got into the cylinder paint and proceeded to paint everything in sight, including themselves!
When Bob was in junior high, George made him work Saturdays during the school year and full-time during the summers. Even though other kids played while Bob worked, he recalls this as the time he learned the virtue of a hard-days work.
In the mid 1960's, Bob and Debi met in high school and became sweethearts. Without knowing it, they had already met as toddlers. They found out later that their fathers were business associates who got together socially and brought them along to play. It must have been fate because they married in March of 1969.
In 1967 Bob graduated from high school and went to work full-time for his father's business. He worked at the shop on 6th Street, mostly filling CO2 tanks. He remembers learning valuable lessons from his father and the other hard-working men of the company. They would say, "This is how a man is supposed to work." Bob fondly remembers them as positive role models for a young man.
In 1968 Bob enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam era. During his service he received training in electrical engineering. This became very valuable as the fire protection industry was on the brink of a big change. Automatic fire detection and suppression systems were invented and Bob's training in the Navy helped his father's business stay on the cutting edge of the industry.
In 1969 Debi gave birth to their first son Brian. Sharrel and Michael came along soon after. As the children were growing up, Debi started working for the company too. She mostly handled the bookkeeping and administration duties, but she also had a knack for finding ways to make the business more efficient. She streamlined the accounting practices and later was instrumental in helping the business utilize computers and new technologies. Throughout her 25 years with the company, she was always valued as an advisor.
In 1976 George was ready to retire, so Bob was named president and assumed control of everyday operations. Three years later, George and Virginia sold the business to Bob and Debi. Throughout the 80's and 90's, the newly named Kint Corporation was growing rapidly, mostly by the acquisition of other fire prevention and CO2 distribution companies.
In 1992 Bob and Debi went down to Florida to convince Brian, who was working at Disney, to come back to Pennsylvania and take a management position with Kint Corporation. Brian and Carey did move back to PA and soon their experience at Disney would really pay off for the company.
With Brian in management and the onset of Bulk CO2, Kint Corporation experienced exponential growth in the 1990's.
In 2004 Debi decided it was time to retire. Two years later Bob was ready to retire as well. Then in 2007, he approached his sons Brian and Michael, who were both in management with the company, about buying it. Brian and Michael suggested that their sister Sharrel also be an owner because of her diverse, yet complimentary, experience. Bob and Debi were delighted and the business was sold in 2007.
As Bob stated and Debi agreed, "It was a great career. It was a great life." Now it was time for the next generation to take over.
Brian and Carey's Story:
When Brian was little, he would come into the office and kick Ken (a 40 year employee of the company) in the shin for apparently no reason. A much different management style than he currently uses. But seriously, Brian's official start was in high school when he worked full time during summers. He was tasked with painting thousands of CO2 cylinders the company acquired when buying out a competitor. After high school, Brian went to HACC and still worked part time with the company doing accounting and receivables.
In the summer of 1989, he decided to go down to Florida and work at Disney. He learned valuable lessons about management, training and the importance of a company's image. This is also where he met Carey. After a few years together, they decided to get married and Brian knew it was time to start a real career. Fortunately, Kint had just won a contract at the Letterkenny Army Base. Brian was hired to run the contract and moved back to PA. Brian and Carey married in 1992.
Brian quickly moved up the corporate ladder. After working in the Fire Group, he moved to the Beverage Group as a Beverage Service Technician. He went on to run the Coca-Cola dispatch and then into sales. Soon Brian moved into management as the Vice President. After 5 more years, he was promoted to President of the whole company when Bob was transitioning out of everyday operations. In 2008, Michael moved into management as the Director of the Fire Group and allowed Brian to focus on growing the Beverage Group. He expanded the Beverage Group's services into back bar equipment, bar die and nitrogen generators. Recently, the company has expanded into syrups and exclusive beverages after acquiring three more companies.
Carey has been crucial to the Beverage Group's success. She started selling a unique, 100% fruit juice slushy to local day-cares. The health conscious product became very popular and sales dramatically increased when she pitched the product to local high schools and colleges. She did this all while taking care of their three children, Matthew, Colby and Connor.
Ever since Michael was in preschool, you could find him running around the office "helping" employees. And at the age of 3 or 4 his mother would bring him into the office for a nap so she could work. He had a cot to sleep in, but he preferred to sleep in a filing cabinet drawer!
Michael got his real start at the age of 12 painting CO2 cylinders as well. When Mike was in High School he started going out on the road helping technicians and learning about good customer service.
In 1994 he attended Clean Agent Engineering School and started designing systems. He went on to Mansfield University where he earned his business degree. After school he came back to Kint to run the showroom. Soon, he took over more responsibilities including technology and accounting. It wasn't long before he moved into management as CFO and Director of the Fire Protection Group. Mike also manages the technology infrastructure for the whole company which has helped the business be more efficient.
Mike enjoys traveling and has learned valuable knowledge about the fire protection and other industries in other parts of the world. He has used this knowledge to improve the Kint business, such as the new Mobile Recharge Van he adapted from the European fire industry. He has also designed and outfitted the company trucks with new equipment to help technicians be more efficient on the road.
In recent years, Mike has started developing a Security Systems side of the Fire Protection Group. It's a natural extension of the group's services because they too protect people and buildings. The company now offers Security Systems, Alarms and Access Control systems.
Finally, Mike's best friend Guinness is also part of the Kint family. You'll find Guinness in the office relaxing under a desk, or greeting visitors. Mike rescued Guinness, a husky-lab mix, from the Dauphin County Humane Society in 2004.
Sharrel and Todd's Story:
When Sharrel was a child, she remembers going into the office and running straight to the reception desk where there was always a jar of Dum Dum lollipops. After eating hundreds of lollipops over the years, it was time for Sharrel to earn her keep. In junior high she started cleaning the office, filing and answering phones. After high school, Sharrel went to Drexel University and earned her degree as an Interior Designer. She went on to work at various design firms for the next few years.
In 1997 the company purchased land on Crooked Hill Road and Sharrel was tasked with designing the inside of a new building. She planned the layout, lighting and all of the finishes. She kept Bob from making everything mauve and teal. In 1998, she started working full time in accounts payable and payroll. After about two years, she resigned from Kint to go back to her passion of interior design.
In 2002 she decided to stay home and focus on raising her four children, Chloe, Emeilia, Seth and Luke. Then in 2007 when Bob and Deb decided to hand down the reins, she was brought back to Kint as an owner and board member. She also acts as a property manager for some of the family's real estate holdings.
Todd started with Kint in 1995 as a CO2 driver. He then moved on to work at the sister company in Carlisle, Fire Protection and Safety Equipment. Soon, he worked his way up to become Vice President of this company. He held this position until this company formally became part of the Kint business holdings. In 2008 Todd started working as a sales rep for the Fire Group where he still works today.
As the new generation of Kint children grow up, they too will learn about respect, a hard days work and family values. They too will learn about the importance of customer service. They too will run around the office bugging employees and eating lollipops. And someday, they too will have a chance to be part of the Kint legacy.
Family is what makes George A. Kint, Inc. a great company to work for... and a great company to work with.