International Equipment Company, Inc. was founded in 1959 by Walter Valentine and Stan Born, who, as former employees of IBM, were inspired to become entrepreneurs when IBM sold its timeclock division to Simplex. Walter and Stan incorporated IEC on April 24, 1959 and opened their first office on Frazier Avenue in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They launched their new business by selling Stromberg timeclocks, Masterclock systems, and scoreboards.
IEC grew over the next 10 years, including adding Cincinnati timeclocks to the product line, and in 1969 the offices were relocated to Cherokee Boulevard. Soon thereafter IEC expanded by adding new divisions including Fire Protection and Parking Access. As growth continued, the business offices were moved again to Dayton Boulevard in 1975. That year also marked the beginning of IEC’s long-term relationship with Siemens in its Fire Protection division.
The 80s and 90s saw continued expansion for IEC. New product lines were introduced, including Fire Suppression and Building Security, and the Timeclock division started transitioning to computers. In 1994, a Nashville office was added and the Chattanooga home office settled into its present location on Pineville Road.
When Walter died in 1991, his surviving business partner Stan assumed full executive control. Stan retired in 1994, passing control of IEC to the sons, John Stanley Born and David Valentine, who both had been intimately involved in the business since 1988. The sons took full ownership a year after Stan passed in 1997. In 2004 IEC was sold to local businessman Denny Standifer, who in turn sold it in 2007 to the Matthews Group.
IEC has flourished under the leadership of the Matthews Group. The business has grown and has upgraded to embrace the technology of the 21st Century, including the Timeclock division’s option of cloud services, Security Systems’ web-based control, and Fire Protection’s networked and addressable devices. The current owners of IEC have fully embraced the ideals and philosophies of the company’s founders. By continuing to follow their standards of putting the customer first and recognizing the dignity of every employee, IEC has earned an exceptional reputation as both a contractor and an employer.