Edward S. Marco
Lisa Marco Kouba
Marco Supply's History is the American Dream
When George Marco stepped off the ship in Baltimore, Maryland at the age of nine, he was eager to see the country whose “streets were paved with gold.” He and his six siblings sold sewing accessories door-to-door, pooling their earnings, to help support their struggling family. He thrived in sales and developed wonderful relationships with his customers. Since he needed to work full-time, George’s formal education ceased in the sixth grade -- his entrepreneurial training, however, was just beginning.
As he grew, so did his business. George often bought large lots of imports and opened storefronts to sell the goods. He became immensely successful; started a family and soon had a wife and three sons to support. Then, the Great Depression hit; banks failed, and businesses were destroyed. George, however, knew that he was the “asset;” and if he had succeeded before, he could do it again. He soon noticed that despite the Depression, the steel industry was thriving. George seized the opportunity and opened a metal reclamation business, servicing the glowing steel mills of Northwest Indiana. His timing was perfect, the business flourished, and his two oldest sons, Sidney and Jerry, joined the Company after proudly serving in the United States Army.
Edward, his youngest son, enlisted in the Navy. When his tour of duty ended, he enrolled in Northwestern University and graduated with a degree in business. After graduation, Edward joined his father and brothers in the family business. Together, the business thrived.
Like his father, Edward was an entrepreneur at heart who wanted a business of his own. In 1970, he branched off and opened Marco Supply Company, Inc., a wholesale distributor of Pipe, Valves, Fittings, Plumbing Fixtures & Supplies. Originally located at 1015 East 146th Street in East Chicago, Indiana, Edward’s business prospered and soon outgrew his location. He loved to tell the story that when he drove by the Indianapolis Boulevard location, he never saw the existing empty field; but rather, immediately envisioned the spacious office and warehouse that he could build as his Company’s new home. On March 24, 1980, Edward’s vision became a reality when the doors to 5224 Indianapolis Boulevard opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony that ushered in a new era for Marco Supply Company.
Just nine years later, Edward introduced his own son into the business. When Lance completed his business degree from the University of Illinois, he joined the Company full time, thereby securing the Company for a third generation. In 2007, Edward’s daughter, Lisa Marco Kouba, joined the business after retiring from her career as a partner in a Chicago law firm, and served as Administrative Vice President through 2020.
The family business continues to expand on many levels. In 1990, Marco Supply acquired the Chicago entity Johnson Pipe & Supply Corp. to better serve the Chicago metropolitan area. In 1999, the iconic Stockyards Industrial Supply was added to Marco Supply's roster, along with its status as an INCOM distributor; vastly expanding the breadth of product offerings for its industrial and commercial customers.
Marco Supply is perfectly positioned as a one-stop shop supplier for the infrastructure of a building's pipe, valves, and fittings -- And has everything needed
to maintain the building after it is built.