IR-G’s adaptability and its belief that trust is the most valuable thing one can earn has served the company well over the past 28 years. The company has become a well-respected distributor in the industrial hoses and gaskets industry by staying true to its word and its dedication to solving customers’ problems.
“It was instilled in us as children and certainly instilled in all our employees that we do what we say we are going to do,” President Mark Fournier says. “Companies say that, but we do it. If we can’t do it, we get out ahead of it and explain why this happened.
“We take responsibility if something goes wrong, which generally goes a long way with people.” Fournier’s parents, George and Joyce Fournier, purchased Industrial Rubber & Gasket – now known as IR-G – out of bankruptcy court in 1989.
“My father had worked for a lot of large companies and was at a point in his life where he wasn’t interested in doing that any longer,” Fournier explains. “He was looking for a business – it could have been any business.”
In 1993, Fournier came to work at the family business after graduating college. At that time, IR-G was a 2,500-squarefoot single-location company in Nashville. Two years later, the company moved to a larger space in the city that provided more visibility. From 1997 through 2014, IR-G opened four more locations to serve its customers’ needs. IR-G’s headquarters remains in Nashville and its branch locations are in Cookeville and Clarksville, Tenn., Blytheville, Ark., and Decatur, Ala.
Fournier’s sister Donna Nock joined their parents’ company in 2007 and is the vice president of the company today. “We are incredibly responsive to our customers and go above and beyond to get the customer taken care of,” she says. “We have that personal touch and no e-commerce still. It’s against current trends, but we continue to have those important human interactions with our customers.”