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Photos by Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Kurt Henry is owner and CEO of Hoosier Metal Recycling on Coliseum Boulevard. The company, founded in 2000, has partnered with MetalX in Waterloo.
Business Spotlight

Changing scrap to raw material

A crane outfitted with a massive hydraulic scoop is operated by employee Chris Neuenschwander.

Hoosier Metal Recycling

Address: 2222 Coliseum Blvd. W.

At a glance: Recycling business that sells metals to industrial markets.

Employees: 15

Annual revenue: $15 million

When was the company founded: 2000

Biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months: Partnering with MetalX, a larger metal company in Waterloo. The union will allow Hoosier Metal to be more competitive and aggressive with pricing. “Really, that’s what it’s all about,” said Kurt Henry, CEO of Hoosier Metal. “We want to be able to not get beat on price.” MetalX deals in ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal. It transforms scrap into a form that is suitable for re-melting and then becomes raw material for metal products. The Rifkin family, founders of MetalX, has a long history in the business, dating back to 1943.

What was your biggest mistake in operating this business: Not diversifying the business by getting into other forms of recycling, such as paper, plastics, glass and computer scrap. The company’s current business model doesn’t really allow for that now.

What are the key challenges facing your business or industry: Competition and managing facility growth. The business is outgrowing its current location. Henry said he plans to open other sites in Waterloo and Fort Wayne.

What is your strategy for staying ahead of your competition: Being alert to growth opportunities; this in turn will result in better service for customers and competitive pricing.

What resources have you found most helpful in running a business: Marketing is important. “My family is a big influence on me,” Henry said. “My brother is the mayor, but I’m not saying that is an (advantage).” Instead, he says he draws on his family’s experience in Fort Wayne, where the Henrys’ roots run deep.

What are your growth projections for the next five years: Hope to grow 10 percent a year.

What is one thing about your business that people might not be aware of: The company offers a free pickup service as long as scrap is five tons or more.

Source: CEO/Owner Kurt Henry Compiled by Paul Wyche of The Journal Gazette Business Spotlight profiles small businesses that are at least three years old and have 100 or fewer employees. To recommend a business, email the name of the company and the name and phone number of a contact person to lisagreen@ g.net or fax to 461-8893.

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