50 Great Indiana Businesses: companies making a significant impact on their communities and state through innovation, growth and civic involvement.

Position:Hurco Companies-Zimmer Holdings - Cover story - Company overview

Hurco Companies


AS A MANUFACTURING state, it should be no surprise that Indiana is home to one of the world's top machining-tool companies. Founded in 1968, Hurco's machine tools, controls and software have redefined the industry by supplying customers with the most intelligent, efficient and user-friendly computer numerically controlled (CNC) metalworking machinery available.

Edward Humston and Gerald Roch started the company in Indianapolis with an idea that became Autobend, the first numerically controlled press brake gauging system--and an industry leader was born.

By the 1970s, Hurco was already expanding overseas with the founding of Hurco Europe Ltd. in the United Kingdom. Its advanced "conversational programming" was introduced to the shop floor in 1976 and helped the company further its worldwide leadership.

In the 1980s, Hurco continued to grow, utilizing new ideas to address a quickly changing business environment. The company embraced changes in technology, from the development of an interactive graphical computer control systems that automates shop floor processes with the interactive, twin-screen, UltiMax CNC control, to acquiring a patent for its Interactive Machining System methodology. During this period the company expanded its market presence in Europe by establishing operations in Germany and France. In 1989, Hurco successfully completed a common stock offering.

The 1990s were a challenging time for Hurco and the global industry at large. In 1995, Hurco rose to the occasion, showing the benefits of its three-year restructuring plan by lowering costs, improving efficiency and expanding its product line. Sales for 2006 increased more than 18 percent to $148.5 million. Today, with its improved financial profile, Hurco continues to invest in bringing innovative products to the marketplace that allow advanced manufacturing companies to become more efficient by reducing their setup time and allowing multi-tasking on the shop floor.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance


FARM BUREAU MUTUAL Insurance Co. was chartered in 1934 to provide Hoosier farmers with farm-tailored insurance protection at a reasonable cost. The company ended its first year with 5,500 policyholders and a surplus of $148.01. A related life insurance company was started in 1937, and, over the years, the family of companies doing business as Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance expanded its insurance services to include products for auto, life, home and business and added banking and other financial services and products.

Today Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, which moved into its current Indianapolis headquarters in 1992, is the largest writer of farm insurance and the second-largest writer of auto and homeowners' insurance in the state. The company has an extensive network of more than 450 agents located in 130 local offices in all 92 Indiana counties. More than 1,200 employees work in these local offices and in the Indianapolis home office.

"Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance is based here and our employees live here," says Don Villwock, president. "Agents and employees sit with clients at basketball and baseball games. We're more to the community than just an insurance company."

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, in conjunction with its parent company Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., is a strong corporate citizen, supporting the arts, education and various charitable events. Through its sponsorship of 4-H, FFA, IHSAA and the eXceL Awards, the company is one of the top supporters of youth activities in Indiana.

Through the years, the company retained its original values, and stewardship of member-clients still defines its culture. "I'm pleased that Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance has such a good presence in Indiana," says CEO Jerry Canada. "We're a domestic company, so our entire focus is on providing the best service we can to the people of Indiana. Insurance is a business of service; the people of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance will never let that change."

Indianapolis Motor Speedway


THIS INDIANAPOLIS institution, built in 1909, was initially planned to be a year-round testing facility for Indiana's fast-growing automobile industry. Its four local owners (Carl Fisher, James Allison, Frank Wheeler and Arthur Newby) anticipated that the races would pique the interest of the automobile-buying public and boost sales.

In 1927 World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, who had driven in several early 500s, purchased "The Brickyard," as it was nicknamed because of the 3.2 million bricks used to pave the track's surface. Anton "Tony" Hulman Jr. purchased IMS in 1945, and led the renovations that make the track the attraction it is today. IMS remains in the ownership of the Hulman-George family.

IMS is home to the Hall of Fame Museum, Brickyard Crossing Golf Course and the Brickyard Crossing Golf Resort and Inn. Four holes of the golf course are located inside the infield of the historic IMS oval track, and the course has been listed in Golf Digest's "America's 100 Greatest Public Courses." Other properties owned by IMS include IMS Productions, the video production arm of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League; IMS Radio Network (1952), which broadcasts the Indianapolis 500 and other major races to stations around the world; and Brickyard Authentics, which operates the official IMS retail store.

Since 2000 the IMS has enjoyed the prestige of being the only racing facility in the world to host the three major auto racing series--the IndyCar Series (Indianapolis 500), Formula One (United States Grand Prix) and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (Allstate 400 at the Brickyard). The Indianapolis 500 is the world's largest single-day spectator sporting event and IMS is the world's largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats.

"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a place where great events happen, creating legends that live forever," says Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO. "Our company is dedicated to the spirit of sport and competition, and will continue to reflect the greatness of those who compete here."

The Hulman-George family have long been supporters of charitable arts and research efforts in Indiana, including the Indiana Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Zoo, spinal cord research chairs at Purdue University and Indiana University and the Humane Society.

Industrial Contractors


IN 1964, WITH JUST A handful of employees, Charles Braun founded Industrial Contractors Inc. (ICI), a general and mechanical contracting company headquartered in Evansville. Since then the company has opened an eastern office in West Virginia, and has three affiliated Evansville-based companies: Professional Consultants Inc., TriState Refractories Corp. and Industrial Equipment Inc.

Today, Industrial Contractors, which is still family-owned, employs more than 2,000 skilled and dedicated workers during peak construction periods. The core of the company's work is in the power sector (58 percent), followed by the industrial sector (24 percent) and the commercial sector (18 percent). ICI's revenue increased from $70.8 million in 1991 to $350 million in 2006. From 2002 to 2006, company man-hours nearly doubled. Recently ICI was ranked 141st (by revenue) in Engineering News-Record's annual top 400 general contractors survey. As of May 2007, ICI has worked nearly 12 million man-hours without a lost-time accident.

"When my father, Charles Braun, started Industrial Contractors in 1964, he set out to build a construction company committed to the highest levels of quality, integrity, safety and customer value," says CEO and owner Alan W Braun. "He understood that the key to building this sort of company was attracting the best people in all crafts and at all levels of the organization. Today, all of us at Industrial Contractors are committed to continuing that tradition of excellence. We are a company of construction professionals who are proud of the work we do."

The high-profile projects Industrial Contractors has been involved with--The Centre, Deaconess Women's Hospital, Evansville Regional Airport, Casino Aztar, Toyota, AK Steel's Rockport facility and the Vectren and Old National Bancorp buildings on Evansville's riverfront--have helped to define the character and landscape of the region.

The company believes in building strong communities and contributes time and financial resources to a variety of charities and non-profit organizations, including Boy Scouts, Deaconess Foundation, Evansville Public Library, Habitat for Humanity, Ivy Tech Foundation and United Way.

Interactive Intelligence


INTERACTIVE INTELLIGENCE, an Indianapolis-based developer of business communications software, was founded in 1994 by Dr. Donald E. Brown. A visionary, Brown wanted to be at the forefront of what he felt was a "revolution" in business communications. This revolution called for no less than the replacement of standard legacy communication systems with software solutions.

Despite the advantages of the new technology--lower cost, superior customization and simplified administration--the early years were tough, but the fledgling Indianapolis-based company held its own. "Since our founding in 1994 we've not only survived but thrived, against even the largest global telecom vendors, by delivering the most innovative solutions in the market," says Brown, the company's president and CEO.

The company is taking advantage of its "first-to-market" accomplishments in unified communications software for voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). "This is a direct result of an incredibly skilled and dedicated workforce, which is fostered by a corporate culture based on independence, creativity and passion," says Brown. "This culture is the cornerstone of our success, and I'm confident that it will continue to propel us toward our goal of securing the remaining Fortune 500 companies as customers, and establishing...

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