News Releases

GUEST COLUMN: Entrepreneurs Thriving in East Central Indiana

By State Senator Doug Eckerty (R-Yorktown)

Recently, I had the chance to attend the fifth annual “Indiana Companies to Watch” dinner in Indianapolis. Sponsored by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Edward Lowe Foundation, this event recognizes high-performing, emerging companies in Indiana for their performance in the marketplace, innovative products, unique business models and philanthropic actions.

This year, East Central Indiana was especially well-represented by three young, vibrant and exciting companies that are truly making their mark on Indiana and beyond.

Indiana Reline, Inc. was founded by Chris Wisehart in 2000 and is located in Sulphur Springs.  This company specializes in “slip-lining” – a process for relining broken underground piping without the need for expensive digging or road closures. Mr. Wisehart also holds a patent for the “Innerflow System,” a machine that cuts a profile into the ends of high-density polyethylene pipe to create a permanent coupling system for joining pipes. This extends the life of existing underground pipes by up to 100 years and, in turn, saves taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.

Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems (XADS) was founded in 2002 by Pete Bitar and is located in Anderson. XADS develops and produces non-lethal systems and anti-material directed energy weapons for the military and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Currently, XADS has nearly $10 million in annual sales and employs 23 people. With the recent addition of a 60,000-square-foot production facility, XADS expects to ramp up output, increase employment and reach $20 million to $40 million in sales very shortly.

Wolfe Diversified Industries CEO Chad Wolfe focuses his company on creating high-impact products that meet the needs of under-developed markets. One of the company’s innovative products, TickeTracker, provides full-service gate management solutions for school athletics and performing arts venues, allowing them to improve efficiency and revenue. Through ESC Promotions and Corporate Apparel Unlimited, the company also offers an array of fundraising products and custom branded apparel to schools, businesses and teams of all types. With revenues increasing 28 percent in 2011 and an expected growth of 38 percent for 2012, Wolfe Diversified is quickly becoming a market leader.

Congratulations to each of these businesses, founders and employees for their outstanding results and for being recognized as “Indiana Companies to Watch.” We are grateful for their contributions to the East Central Indiana community and the state as a whole. I look forward to seeing these businesses’ progress in the years to come.