The History of NASVI: Q&A with Allen Tanis, Founder

Q: Did you wake up one morning and decide to open a safety
valve business?

Al: No. I was in Chicago and had a friend who was moving.
We borrowed Allied Valve’s company truck. Joe Weis, his
brother-in- law, worked at Allied and showed me around.

Q: So, he offered you a job in the safety valve business?

Al: Yes, but because I could type, and he needed someone who
could type invoices. If I hadn’t known how, I wouldn’t have
gotten the job.

Q: Typing invoices is a far cry from owning a valve company.
How’d that come about?

Al: The boss promised us the business, but his son-in-law lost
his job. I’d been there for three years at that point, but we saw
the writing on the wall. Joe and I started NASVI in 1975. We
wanted to sell the same lines, so we decided to move. Joe had
family in Kansas City. Two guys from Allied came with us and
we rented space in North Kansas City.

Q: And, the rest is history?

Al: Not quite as easy as that. The manufacturers reneged, so we
had to start of selling a whole new line of products. Eventually,
we bought a 30,000 sq. ft. building. [The one we had before
moving five years ago into our current building.] But, it wasn’t
until the 90s when we got Kunkle that NASVI really took off.
The line sells itself. Joe passed away in the 90s, and I retired
last year.

Q: Yet, here you are at the office…

Al: Yes, my daughter, Andrea, took over. I thought I’d sell NASVI
and ride off into the sunset. My wife and I spend four months a
year in Mexico, but when we’re here, she wants her space. That
means I’m spending a little time back at NASVI. Even though
Andrea’s in charge now, the company runs the same old
fashioned way and our customers get taken care of fast.