BA 1971, History
CEO, Indiana Oxygen Company, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
Wally Brant is the CEO of Indiana Oxygen Company (IOC), a fourth-generation, family-owned Indiana company that manufactures and distributes industrial, laboratory, and medical gases as well as welding equipment and supplies. IOC has ten locations in Indiana and Ohio.
A 1971 graduate of Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts, he served seven years in the U.S. Air Force as a Navigator on a B-52 Combat Crew serving in South-East Asia during the Vietnam War. After completing his military service, and reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he had planned to attend law school. But, when he learned that the family business was going to be sold, he came back to Indiana, joined the family business and then borrowed money to purchase majority interest in the company. He became CEO in 1982.
But, owning a company doesn’t mean you can successfully RUN one. After nearly losing the company due to (as he puts it) poor leadership, Indiana Oxygen rebounded, through “corporate re-engineering” and with complete employee involvement, to its current profitability and a strong presence in Indiana and the surrounding states. This team approach is still present at Indiana Oxygen through its “Kaizen” program for continuous improvement. Today, nearly 20% of its total revenue comes from Internet sales to all 50 states and a dozen foreign countries, revenues are 20 times greater than in 1982.
IOC has been a Brant family-owned and operated business since its founding in the early 1900’s. In 2005, Wally received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in manufacturing and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University in 2010. He and his company are the recent recipients of the following awards and recognitions:
2004 Westpoint Financial Group’s Blue Chip Company Award
2005 BKD Indiana Award of Excellence
2006 American Welding Society “Image of Welding”, National Winner
2007 Indianapolis Colts Community Service Award
2009-2013 “Best of Indianapolis” Award for Medical and Industrial Gases
2015, 2016 and 2017 Indiana Chamber of Commerce "Best Places to Work in Indiana"
2017, Purdue University "Handshake Award" for supplier diversity
Wally Brant is a former President of several local and national Trade Associations, and also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Hoosier Motor Club (AAA), the International Oxygen Manufacturers’ Association, Best Buddies of Indiana, and numerous civic and non-profit associations. He is married and has two children who have joined Indiana Oxygen in 2010 to make it a Four-Generation family-owned business.
Wally resides in Indianapolis, IN.