Timeline

  • 1954 – Edward Shorma opened his first business in Wahpeton, North Dakota.  He began as a shoe cobbler with an eighth grade education.
  • 1956 – A $3,000 bank loan allows Shorma to purchase his first sewing machine as he expands from shoe repair to tarp repair for farm trucks.
  • 1969 – Shorma wins contracts for replacement seats for tractors, canvas belting, and wooden slats and Wahpeton Canvas Company, Inc. (WCCO) is officially established.
  • 1973 – Using refurbished heat-sealing equipment from a bankrupt snowmobile manufacturer, Shorma develops a technique to rivet slats to vinyl belting in order to fulfill a contract from MacDon Industries.
  • 1974 - WCCO relocates to north Wahpeton and builds a new 25,000 square foot facility begins producing fabric, metal, wood, and rubber products.
  • 1982 – Ed Shorma is named the North Dakota and National Small Business Person of the Year.  He is given the award by President Ronald Reagan in a Rose Garden ceremony.  Shorma continues to be the only national SBA award winner from North Dakota.
  • 1992 –Shorma’s diverse business ventures between fabric, metal, wood, and rubber products, are divided into eight standalone companies.  Four companies are sold to his children (the second generation).  His children relocate WCCO’s Belting Division to an existing facility that was purchased in north Wahpeton.
  • 1995 – Ed Shorma is named the North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine and is one of the first people inducted into the new North Dakota Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
  • 1997 – WCCO becomes ISO 9001 certified to distinguish its quality processes.
  • 2001 – Ed Shorma’s third oldest son, Thomas Shorma, becomes the C.E.O./President of WCCO Belting.
  • 2002 – WCCO expands its plant to 75,000 square feet to increase production capacity.
  • 2003 – WCCO is recognized for exporting to more than 20 countries around the world and is awarded the North Dakota Exporter of the Year Award.
  • 2004 - Edward and Patricia Shorma, along with their 8 children and numerous grandchildren, celebrate 50 years in business. 
  • 2006 – The Shorma family business vertically integrates by purchasing its longtime vendor, CSI Calendering, Inc., which is located in Arlington, Texas.
  • 2008 – WCCO expands its plant to 93,000 square feet to double its production capacity and made the official announcement with North Dakota Governor John Hoeven on site.
  • 2010 – WCCO is awarded the Presidential “E” Award for its Excellence in Exporting by the United States Department of Commerce.  The award was accepted by current President Thomas Shorma in Washington, D.C.
  • 2012 – WCCO expands its plant to 115,500 square feet to gain efficiency and to improve its lean manufacturing processes.