1928 - Irving S. Kemp opened an office on Jefferson Street in Chicago, Illinois.
Kemp employed three salesmen to sell hardware products purchased from manufacturing plants in New York and Pennsylvania that he warehoused in Chicago. Kemp's sales force traveled mostly by train and sold product to distribution in rural areas of Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. In 1945, Kemp's Son, Bob Kemp, returned from World War II as one of the first POW's. Bob dabbled in his father's business however was never fully vested and left shortly thereafter.
1942 - Kemp took on The Stanley Works Company as his first line as a Manufacturer's Representative.
Kemp had great success selling Stanley to an upcoming distributor, Montgomery Ward Company (MWC). Kemp developed a close personal relationship with the tool buyer at MWC, Joe Cashmore. Cashmore and Kemp fast became close business associates and close personal friends. Soon thereafter Kemp hired Cashmores' Son, Dick to work as warehouse help after graduating from University of Illinois. Quickly, Dick proved himself and was promoted to sales. Dick excelled in sales and was soon the number one revenue producer for Kemp. As payment, Kemp offered Dick a portion of the company's stock. In 1958, Irving S. Kemp died. Dick purchased the remaining stock and named the company I.S.K. Industries in memory of his mentor Irving S. Kemp.
1960 - Dick Cashmore took the reins at I.S.K. Industries as owner/CEO.
1969 - Cashmore expanded the business and employed his son Richard "Jim" Cashmore - recent graduate of Southern Illinois University.
1974 - Don Cashmore was hired.
2012 - On April 1, 2012 I.S.K. announces the acquisition of Fleming Safety Group (FSG).
Left: Don Cashmore, Right: Jim Cashmore
The FSG principals Mike Steller & Jim Tumpane bring 15 years of experience and their teams expertise in Safety, Fire, & EMS to ISK. "The combination of FSG's deep knowledge and penetration of the safety and fire channel with ISK's resources and experience will provide first class service to distribution . FSG and ISK have serviced the Midwest for over 100 years and this new team is now stronger to provide unparallel service for distributors and end users." States Jim Cashmore. Steller adds, "The collaboration of both companies will provide proven sales skills, outstanding customer support and cutting edge technology that will benefit customers, distributors and manufacturing principals alike."
Today, I.S.K. Industries Inc. remains a family owned business that prides itself in treating their employees and manufacturing partners with the upmost integrity and ethical standards. Jim Cashmore is President and Don Cashmore Vice President.