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Greg Fischer And That Fancy Ice Machine

March 30th, 2010 by jake · 11 Comments

In 2008, Indiana businessman Greg Fischer famously said he was an open book. So we’re gonna hold him to that claim.

During his failed 2008 U.S. Senate bid, Fischer repeatedly referred to himself as a co-inventor of an ice dispenser. And just a few weeks ago he appeared at a downtown mayoral forum in which he declared he was the inventor of a combination ice-beverage dispensing machine:




But reality is much different. A commenter in early February summed things up nicely:

Servend, originally called Servend Distributors, began as an Indiana company and remained one, one that was founded by a Sellersburg man named Jerry Landers while Greg Fischer was still in high school.

What’s troubling isn’t the “move” but rather that the Fischers so often allow themselves credit for starting Servend when in actuality they bought it. They tacked “International” on the end after the purchase so I suppose when they refer to founding Servend International they mean the legal entity on paper and not the company on the ground, but it hardly seems accurate to base one’s early acumen on such a technicality. Servend Distributors held patents on ice machines before the Fischers were ever involved.

Since Fischer is an open book… maybe he’d care to admit he isn’t the inventor, but the guy who bought it? According to court documents, SerVend Distributors, Inc. (Jerry Landers) invented the ice machine. Then George Fischer (Greg’s dad) purchased the company. Greg’s name does appear as a co-inventor – not inventor – on U.S. Patent No. 4,641,763, a dispensing apparatus. And it appears his name was appended to the original patent. But for the 13 other patents SerVend holds for the ice dispenser? Fischer’s name doesn’t appear as an inventor. Jerry Landers’ does.

Or is that too much honesty and transparency for a mayoral candidate?

Tags: Bad Behavior · Business · Criticism · Greg Fischer · Mayor's Race 2010 · Video

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 willy // Mar 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Great research Jake.
    Sounds like you caught him in a little white lie or two.
    Maybe Fischer is getting confused like Al Gore saying he invented the internet.

  • 2 Jeff Gillenwater // Mar 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Just as an FYI since the quoted comment came from me:

    Further research has revealed that SerVend was founded by another man even prior to Landers. They mostly built steel buildings in Sellersburg and Landers worked there, helping to run the shop.

    If I understand correctly, the original owner looked at some ice machine concepts but never really strongly pursued them as a line of business. When Landers and a partner bought the business, they focused on ice machines with Landers patenting many designs as you mention. He still works for Manitowoc, the company to which the Fischers eventually sold.

    Doesn’t change the remaining facts: The Fischers did not found SerVend nor was Greg the primary technical brains behind the machines.

    I chuckled when Fischer’s first commercial changed the tune just enough to say he’s “helped grow” several businesses. I’m not sure what the rules are for factual claims in candidate ads but I’d guess that’s an attempt to avoid them.

    If he just would have said that they identified a good thing and helped grow it with their investment, he could have still made himself look good for campaign purposes. Why he has instead chosen the other route is beyond me but disturbing, especially since his claims of transparency play such a big role in his bid.

    Thanks for following up.

  • 3 CT // Mar 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Remember how Steve Henry invented those anti-biotic medical beads for use in Desert Storm

  • 4 jake // Mar 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I’d be willing to bet Greg had more involvement with that fancy ice dispenser than Steve ever had with some fancy beads.

    And Greg is light years more honest and capable of governing.

  • 5 Chip // Mar 31, 2010 at 7:50 am

    What I remember being told was that Servend, under Greg’s rules added the ice-machine to the beverage dispenser that is common in most convenient marts today. That’s what propelled the company to the position for sales for $$$ to Manitowac.
    What Greg wants is recognition to feed the ego that starves.
    Expect the same Metro gov’t with more connected people as advisors and commitee members involved.

  • 6 Bruce Maples // Mar 31, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Just FWIW — Gore never said he invented the Internet. While in office, he regularly pushed for funding for development and touted the importance of high-speed communication networks. Here’s a defense of him by Vincent Cerf (who COULD be called the “father of the internet”):

    http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/200009/msg00052.html

    FWIW, as I said.

  • 7 willy // Mar 31, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Replying to Bruce Maples;

    Bruce, thanks for the link. Did you happen to read it? Backs me 100% . Al Gore is quoted as saying in your link –

    “During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative “in creating” the internet” Say What? I guess it is all how you read it but I read it as Gores intent was to brag that he created the internet. As Jake would say – “just sayin”

    I know I am way off the Greg Fischer story but -kinda like Bill Clinton saying ” I did not have sex with that young women”. Oh really Bill? As Jerry Seinfeld told Elaine when she asked when do you consider sex has taken place? “I’d say it’s sex when the nipple makes its first appearance”.

  • 8 jake // Apr 1, 2010 at 7:29 am

    If you comprehend English (maybe you don’t, as you can’t differentiate between woman and women), you realize Gore didn’t say he invented the internet.

    And maybe you’d read the entire thing instead of randomly commenting. Here’s an excerpt:

    Last year the Vice President made a straightforward statement on his
    role. He said: “During my service in the United States Congress I took the
    initiative in creating the Internet.” We don’t think, as some people have
    argued, that Gore intended to claim he “invented” the Internet. Moreover,
    there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore’s
    initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving
    Internet. The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and
    promoting the Internet long before most people were listening. We feel it
    is timely to offer our perspective.

    Further, what’s with you folks and your obsession with Clinton’s Cock? It’s 2010. Can’t deal with the reality that most high-powered people have a flock of pussy and bags of dicks following them around? It’s true.

  • 9 Steve Magruder // Apr 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    LouHI covered this in mid-February.

    My personal conclusion was that “this is a case of something akin to resume padding, which is really unnecessary and quite a shame as I think Fischer could just tell the straight truth and have a compelling story for his campaign. “

  • 10 willy // Apr 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Jake;
    I did read the entire story.
    Not to beat a dead horse but I quoted what Gore said. Quote – ” I took the initiative in creating the internet” Spin it anyway you like. He said it and years later he still has to live with his statement. The additional section of the story was from someone elses opinion.
    Thanks for the call out/correction on the woman vs women. I sit corrected.
    Could care less about either of the Clintons or their cocks except his cock is crooked and she is just a power seeking crook. No lost love for public liars or truth fabricators.
    Kinda gets use back to the Greg Fischer story again.

  • 11 ab // Apr 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Lol lol ! Touche’ I really did mean to say co-inventor! Well I like Greg and his family, but you did try to help him and he didn’t take your advice! You can say to him what my brother says to me, ” right back in your face”!

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