Kathryn Hach-Darrow was president, chief operating officer, and CEO of the Hach Company and presided over its growth from a small privately held reagent supplier in 1947 to a global public firm focused on water analysis and testing. From 1947 until the firm's sale in 1999, she oversaw business operations, marketing, and other managerial aspects of the firm. She is also a legend in her industry. Hach-Darrow led the expansion of the water treatment business by flying a small, private plane to cities and towns around the country to work on site with managers of water treatment facilities.
Hach products enabled municipal water suppliers around the world to assure the quality of drinking water, monitor sewage treatment, and improve water reclamation. Their products also found extensive use in electronics, food and beverage manufacturing, and general agriculture. Tests marketed by Hach make it possible for field agents -- including people without expertise in chemistry -- to take simple, rapid, economical, and accurate measurements.
Hach-Darrow has been awarded several honors as an entrepreneur and has established a foundation to further chemical education. Some of her achievements:
- In 1957, Kathryn and Clifford Hach jointly won the American Water Works George Fuller award for distinguished service in the water supply field.
- In 1987, the Hach Company was elected the Best Company in Colorado, receiving the award for the Northeastern part of the state.
- Kathryn Hach was the first woman director of the American Water Works Association, later serving on numerous AWWA committees, including the President's Advisory Council.
- In 1992, she was honored by Northwood University (campuses in Texas, Florida, and Michigan) with an outstanding Business Leaders Award.
- In January 2000, she was voted a member of the Colorado Business Hall of Fame (sponsored by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement).
- Kathryn Hach-Darrow established the Hach Scientific Foundation to support science education by sponsoring student tuition and teacher education.
The Chemical Heritage Foundation, a private, non-profit organization, operates a historical research library and museum; creates and circulates traveling exhibits; develops and disseminates educational materials; publishes books and Chemical Heritage magazine; offers fellowships and travel grants; conducts oral histories with leading scientists and industrialists; and hosts awards, conferences, and public events.