As the decade of the ‘70s began, discussion increased about the environment and clean water. Founder John Ben attended McMaster University in Canada and then launched his career to focus on these important issues. He worked for several chemical companies selling polyacrylamide chemistries used to remove suspended solids from water. His employer Allied Colloids, recruited him to be their first employee to come to the United States as their representative.
In 1976 he decided to launch out on his own and started Aqua Ben Corporation with one product, Hydrofloc 1124. After several years John met and developed a relationship with one of the co-owners of SNF, a French Company that would become the largest manufacture of polyacrylamide chemistries in the world. Since that time Aqua Ben has grown into the largest West Coast distributor for SNF with over 1000 products at their disposal. From these products they have also found new industries to market our products.
In 1999, we created a separate division, Hydrosorb, Inc., to address issues such as erosion, water infiltration, and water conservation in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, and construction industries.
2019 brought another change, as they split off all agricultural-related products in a newly formed entity called CalPAM AG Products, LLC, which focuses solely on agriculture.
Aqua Ben continues to grow and is selling nationwide, with their focus being wastewater treatment in a variety of trades including mining, food processing, plating, construction, and municipal wastewater, and water treatment.
Family members who work in the business include John’s wife Carolyn Ben, who handles government affairs, step son Jeff Wallace, who is the general manager, Jeff’s son Benjamin Wallace, who is warehouse manager, and Jeff’s sister-in-law Kris Hendley, who works in the office. Also part of the team are Danyelle Westerfield, who works in the office, and outside saleswomen Sandra Miller and Carolyn Pecht. The majority of the team has been together for many years.
An associate of John’s recommended HMWC, and a long-term relationship was launched. Services provided to Aqua Ben include accounting services for all three of their business entities, as well as tax compliance and tax planning.
Over the years there have been various business issues and unique situations that the HMWC team has helped with, but the most prominent were tax planning and the suggestion of beginning a captive insurance plan, two strategic moves that made the biggest impact for Aqua Ben. HMWC also assisted Aqua Ben with an IRS audit, which is not uncommon for an organization that starts a Captive Insurance Plan. The result was the best outcome one could expect – it came through with no change.