CENTRAL MN MADE: Locally Run DeZurik World Leader in Valve Design [AUDIO, GALLERY]
SARTELL - On today's version of "Made in Central Minnesota," we're profiling DeZurik, a longtime, flagship central Minnesota company that's quietly impacting major industrial activities the world over.
DeZurik was founded in 1928, the brainchild of Sartell Paper Mill employee Matt DeZurik. The mill needed a strategy for dealing with pine sap build-up clogging their equipment.
The answer was DeZurik's invention of the Eccentric Valve, a design that resisted the impact of build-up and spawned numerous variations in years to come.
Now, over 80 years and many patents later, the company has remained headquartered in Sartell as the leader in designing, manufacturing and shipping valves for everything from water and sewage pipelines to mining, petrochemicals, and other growing industries on every continent.
While DeZurik has 10-15 core valve designs, the final product is customized based on the needs of the customer. Duane Gasser is the Executive Vice President of DeZurik's Sales and Marketing. He says DeZurik valves are at work inside of nearly every water and sewage system in the U.S.
DeZurik has a workforce of around 500 people, 340 of whom work in the Sartell headquarters. Human Resources Director Cary Simon says the company experiences little turnover, and even has a handful of employees with 50 or more years of service.
Simon attributes the company's success to a longstanding pride in remaining committed to keeping their headquarters, and two-thirds of their employees, working here in Central Minnesota.
Gasser says the company is focused on staying local and hiring central Minnesota talent - a commitment that recently extended across the river when DeZurik picked up a few recently laid-off Verso Paper Mill employees.
As DeZurik has made a name for itself, their valves have found applications in ways beyond industry. In 2005, Gasser says they were tapped to quickly design and ship four 12-foot butterfly valves for use in the levees during Hurricane Katrina.
Simon says this says a lot about their central Minnesota workforce. "We're known nationally and internationally by our customers for quality - and in an industry where quality is the most important thing."