Business Grows, Goes Public and Becomes Part of Danaher
With Cliff Hach leading research and development and Kitty driving sales, marketing and operations, Hach Chemical experienced brisk growth.
In 1966, the company reached a milestone, generating $1 million in revenue. In celebration, Hach-Darrow treated the entire company to her famous pecan pie to celebrate, a tradition that continues at Hach today. Over the next three years, the company grew 30 percent per year and in 1968, Hach went public. The Hach family kept at least 51 percent of the stock to retain controlling interest.
In 1977, the passage of the Clean Water Act intensified demand for Hach’s analysis products, including portable water quality test kits. That year, the Hach Chemical Company moved its headquarters from Ames, Iowa to Loveland, Colorado, on land near the airport, and changed its name to the Hach Company.
After Clifford’s death in 1990, Hach-Darrow became the CEO, and Hach Corporation grew to become the largest woman-operated business in the state of Colorado, with annual sales in excess of $100 million.
Before retiring, Hach-Darrow guided the company to being a global water analysis leader, and in 1999 it was sold to the Danaher Corporation for $355 million.
“Kitty’s enthusiasm for the Hach business endured long after the acquisition of the business by Danaher 20 years ago,” said Danaher CEO Tom Joyce. “Our Hach and Danaher associates always drew inspiration from knowing that she followed us closely. We always worked hard to ensure that she was proud of our stewardship of the business. She will be dearly missed.”
Today, Hach employs several thousand global associates in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Hach continues to innovate, with industry-leading chemistries, water analysis products and software solutions that support industries ranging from municipal drinking water and wastewater treatment to chemical, food, power and other industries.
Kitty’s ceaseless commitment to innovation and ingenuity remain part of the Hach Company culture, and her mark is still felt in the way Hach does business on a global scale today.