Chester Inc. has been making an impact on the Northwest Indiana community since it was founded in 1947 by two historical innovators: Orville Redenbacher and Charles Bowman. The two began the company after purchasing the George F. Chester & Sons Seed Company. From there, the company grew within the community and expanded its reach to throughout the region. After almost 70 years of operations, the small seed company has matured into a multifaceted and dynamic economic driver.
"Orville and Charlie were visionaries and through their innovative and entrepreneurial prowess turned Chester Inc. into the diverse, community-oriented company." said Rich Shields, the Director of Marketing & Business Development for Chester Inc.
Today Chester Inc, through its agricultural beginning, has evolved into three primary divisions.:
- Architectural and Construction
- Information Technologies
- Agricultural Systems
Since 1947, Chester Inc. has maintained its reputation as the most sought after Architectural & Construction companies everywhere that they operate. Unlike other construction companies, Chester Inc. goes one step further with their design-build-finance model.
With a grouping of Architects, designers and construction project managers, Chester Inc. Architectural & Construction is truly unique in its offerings versus the competition.
One area of construction specialty is in designing and building veterinarian clinics. In over 65 years since the architectural division was established, well over 50 veterinarian clinics have been built.
“Again, that differentiator for us is that we know how the vets want their clinics to be specified in (as far as performing operations and proper equipment locations.). Chester Inc. is the best qualified design – build architectural and construction company to be able to do that for them.” Shields added.
Another division of Chester Inc. is its Information Technologies department. This division started in the early 1980s. Chester Inc. began the IT department by assisting farmers with their crop inventory. Chester developed tools and software to help them categorize, and systematize crop production and count.
“This division is very unique in the sense that a lot of other IT companies haven’t been around that long. We have employees that have been employed here for a very long time. I think our long standing employee retention is another differentiator for us. We attribute that to technology changing every day, so we have to adapt and train and certify to make sure all the personnel in our IT division is certified.” said Shields.
The clientele for the Information Technologies department primarily reaches small to medium businesses in the area. Types of clients include K-12 education, higher education as well as law, and finance.
“As a division of itself, Chester Inc. IT also has the capability to incorporate all that into new buildings so we have our design piece indexed. When you integrate the technology with us, I think that's a huge contrast between anyone else, locally or over the region.” said Shields.
The Agricultural Systems division is where the company’s roots were first established. Today, a large portion of Chester Inc.’s Agricultural division focuses on Irrigation Systems and Grain Handling Solutions.
“We can assist with watering the crops as well as storing them,” said Shields. “That’s what sets us apart from our competition, because we are kind of a one-stop shop. Which, I think, is pretty important. People prefer to work with one organization with expertise in both irrigation and grain handling."
Though each division is separate, every facet of Chester Inc. can connect back to itself, and can potentially incorporate every division into a single project. Each division has their own clientele, but also has the capability to meet nearly every need and request: Architectural and Construction, where they design, build, and finance all building needs; Information Technologies, where they help their clients meet their goals by knowing that IT Means Business; and Agricultural Systems; where they are always here to help their clients grow!
To find out more, go to www.chesterinc.com