Meridian Health Services - CURRENT Summer 2018

corporate partner current Knapp has partnered with Rialzo, Meridian’s annual charity gala, for the past four years, providing one of the hottest ticket items in the live auction: a kitchen or bath makeover. Knapp also donated a living room makeover, and craft room/home office makeover. “It not only gives more than 1,000 attendees and guests an opportunity to learn more about what we do, but has been an chance for us to learn more about the great things Meridian is doing in our communities,” said Ryan Kesler, who leads the Kitchen and Bath Division of Knapp Supply Co. The impressive, second floor of the historic Knapp Supply Company building on Ohio Avenue is filled with room after room displays of high-end kitchens and bathrooms. As Kesler meandered through the quartz countertops and custom cabinets, he noted many people still don’t know this showroom exists. Knapp has offered complete room makeovers, definitely one of the more popular live auction items. The first two years of the collaboration with Meridian for Rialzo, Knapp offered complete kitchens, with the help of interior designer Fred Reese. Last year, it was a living room, and craft room/home office. This year, it was a complete bathroom and living room makeover. Kesler has been with Knapp for two decades. The company goes back “a few years before that,” he said with a laugh. Indeed. All the way back to 1864. That’s when Civil War Captain Alexander A. Knapp started his plumber, steam and gas fitter supply company in Union City. In 1890, it was sold to L.C. Huesmann and in 1926, the business was moved to Muncie, where it remains today. It has passed through a few other K napp Supply, one of Muncie’s oldest, locally owned companies, believes building lasting relationships — like the one with Meridian Health Services — is good for the community and for customer relations. ‘It’s about building positive relationships’ families and is now owned by James Feick, who runs the business alongside his son, Mitch. “Knapp has always been a family business and, I am sure it always will be,” Kesler said. But the company’s reach is far from small. “We cover all of Indiana and western Ohio,” Kesler noted. “We have four route trucks that pull out of here every morning at 8 a.m.” Kesler said Knapp’s willingness to diversify and take risks has kept this business at the top of its game for many years. There are currently three main areas the company focuses on—plumbing, industrial pipe valve and fitting, and kitchen and bath. It’s Kesler’s job to make sure Knapp has all the high-end products people are looking for when they are renovating or building their kitchens and bathrooms, from fixtures to finishes. In order to spotlight their kitchen and bath products, Knapp is adding eight more kitchen vignettes in the updated showroom. They recently installed a “vertical lift” (elevator) to make sure everyone can get to the second floor easily. And they are adding lighting to their list of décor options for clients. Every inch of their floor space is maximized. Even the company’s break room, with its sleek modern design, is a stylish, yet functional way to showcase a custom creation. Customers who have experienced their artistry firsthand— including the winning bidders at Rialzo “have been very pleased,” Kesler said. And hopefully they will come back when it’s time to renovate something else. “It’s about building positive relationships,” Kesler said, “Knapp and Meridian certainly have that in common.” SUPPORTING A GREAT CAUSE. Ryan Kesler pictured in Mark and Cathy Hardwick’s basement-living room makeover purchased at a past Rialzo live auction. CURRENT | Meridian Health Services | Summer 2018 39