The year was 1987, and Fred Kremer, then CEO of Hancor, Inc., a high-density polyethylene drainage pipe manufacturer located in Findlay, Ohio, had a vision. Fred saw a growing need for extruded sheet materials in the signage and engraving markets. On the strength of the knowledge of his employees and a newly-formed partnership with Rowland, Inc. in New Berlin, Connecticut, Fred acquired a plastic sheet extrusion line and created the Hancor Engraving Sheet Division. In 1993, the Hancor Engraving Sheet Division grew into its own company, and Rowmark was born. In a display of unwavering belief in the employees of Rowmark and its growth potential, Fred resigned his position as CEO of Hancor and purchased Rowmark outright in 1997.
Fred understood that Rowmark had the opportunity to become a preeminent supplier of engraving materials for the signage, engraving and award markets. He began construction on a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with enough space for the company to grow to its full potential. Tragically, just months before Fred could see his vision come to life, he and two pilots were killed in a private plane crash in Findlay. Despite the difficult loss, the employees of Rowmark rallied around Fred’s vision for the company and pressed on with the intended move. The Kremer family, who to this point had not been active with the business, picked up where Fred left off, fully supporting Rowmark and its employees. On September 2, 1998, Rowmark’s new facility in Findlay, Ohio was officially declared open.
Today, Rowmark has grown into the leading international manufacturer of engraving material, with an Authorized Distribution network spanning more than 80 countries.
In 2007, another opportunity for growth was presented when Clearview Capital, along with management, purchased Rowmark from the Kremer family. While many in the sign industry were familiar with Rowmark materials, the company saw the potential to offer additional, high quality signage products to professional sign makers. That led to the creation of ClearPath Signage Systems. The vision for ClearPath was simple…give professional sign makers a single source for a wide range of sign products, including in-stock frames, stand-offs, mounting hardware and suspension systems.
Today, ClearPath offers more than 6,000 different signage products to customers all over the world. ClearPath’s global headquarters are located in Findlay, Ohio, with a European operation in Beveren, Belgium. While ClearPath has been built on the solid foundation of Rowmark’s decades of sign industry experience, it has also carved out its own identity through outstanding customer service and uncommonly fast delivery times.