Herschel Seder, one of the true innovators and leaders of the commercial and marine valve industry, died March 1, 2014, at age 95. 

Herschel Seder died March 1, 2014, at age 95.

Herschel Seder died March 1, 2014.

In 1959, Seder purchased Milwaukee Valve, then a plumbing valve manufacturer, with his friend Max Koenigsberg. Often the first to arrive and last to leave, Seder walked the factory floor wearing a hard hat, instilling his work ethic by example. And as a result, the business is more than 100 times larger than when it was purchased.

The company quickly expanded into naval shipbuilding and government contract work. Milwaukee Valve later diversified into industrial and commercial markets, which are now the company’s core markets. In 1991, Milwaukee Valve acquired Hammond Valve Co., which produces valves for residential and commercial applications. Today, the company manufactures more than 4,000 products.

Diane Seder, Milwaukee Valve’s chairman of the board and daughter of Seder, credits her father with developing a global vision before others in the valve industry. “We are a global company today with the consistent quality wherever a valve is made,” she said. “Regardless of each plant, we control every step of manufacturing, from engineering to production.”

Seder was very active with industry organizations, including the American Supply Association, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers.

When Seder was inducted into PHCP Hall of Fame in 1992, he attributed his success to “just hard work, perspiration, integrity, learning and doing.” He added, “Anybody can do it if they follow these precepts: Spend all the money possible on equipment and training; take the long-term approach; and treat your customers right.”

Milwaukee Valve President and CEORick Giannini said, “Herschel was quite a man. He ran this business from the ground up and dedicated his life to growing and improving every aspect of it. He invested and reinvested in his facilities and his employees. He loved the valve business, which was apparent anytime you spoke with him. I am proud to be a part of his legacy; and his work ethic, dedication, and perseverance, will live on.”