Like many water dealerships around the U.S., Culligan of Yuma is small, family-owned, and keeps close ties to its customers in Yuma, Ariz. But unlike most of his small business counterparts in the industry, owner Larry Yarlott works in an environment of extremes.
“Yuma has very hard water and high TDS [total dissolved solids] in both city water and well water,” Yarlott said. As if the hard water is not an issue enough for its residents, there is also the scarcity of water in general that plagues many communities in the southwestern U.S. deserts.
Yuma dealer deals with desert daily
Like many small water business owners, Montana native Archie Thomas, president of Kinetico Quality Water of Missoula and Ravalli, began his career in the family business. Surprisingly, his family business was not water.
“I originally led a plumbing/electrical business. I’m a master electrician and a master plumber licensed in the state of Montana,” Thomas said.
After working in the electrical field for more than 20 years, Thomas decided to make a career change.
“I simply looked at the water treatment business and thought it had better long term potential,” he said.
Small western Montana water treatment company proves that small businesses can still have a big impact
In the early 1980s, Bob Hoey earned his certification as both a Water Quality Assn. Certified Water Specialist and Certified Sales Representative. He said he was the only person in the Twin Cities market at the time to have both those certifications, and people started to take notice.
"People started jokingly calling me the water doctor," he said, "so I started working that angle, put up a logo and acquired a phone number with our name."
Water Doctors in Minnesota fosters community relationships for increased growth
Before Casey Taylor become president of Waterlogic West, he worked for Taylor Made Water System, a family run business in Northern California started by Taylor, his father and brother in 1998. In 2012, the Taylors sold the business to Waterlogic, a point-of-use (POU) water purification provider that designs commercial and residential water dispensers for markets around the world.
Northern California POU business has a commitment to service that extends beyond its office walls
NMP Water Systems has been around since 1985, but the company today hardly resembles that of 30 years ago. Originally, the NMP name stood for Nature’s Market Place, a whole foods market owned by Ed Van Overloop in Ridgewood, N.J. Ed soon realized pure food went hand in hand with pure water and opened the water treatment company.
Ed’s grandson Tim Van Overloop grew up around the business, working on weekends and during summers. He graduated from Fordham University and took a job in the corporate world, but after two years, he realized where he belonged.
NMP Water Systems in New Jersey finds networking key to customer growth in a large area
“The water business is in my blood,” said Jay Hellenbrand, president of Advanced Water Solutions, Ventura County, Calif., about his passion for the water industry. And indeed it is.
California water dealer builds on the legacy of his father while blazing his own path
“Be honest, be fair, and be knowledgeable.” That has been Travis Mast’s motto since he took over the day-to-day operations of Mast Water Technology in Platteville, Wis., 11 years ago. Travis, vice president and general manager, works with guidance from his father and owner Alan Mast. Both men have a long history in the industry.
“It’s always been in the family,” Alan said. “All the way since I’d been four years old, I’d been working on and off in the shop tinkering with things.”
Mast Water Technology focuses on solving water problems in areas of Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa
Although Matthew Mahany has worked in the industry for almost 15 years, the water industry was not always in his plans. His original plan was to work in the aviation industry, but when opportunities proved scarce, Mahany found himself working for a good friend at a manufacturing research and development (R&D) OEM in Utah — and liking it. “I was planning on going into the aviation industry, but as that didn't work out, I caught the water bug,” he said.
Setting the Foundation
Soft water specialist provides customers with personal service in Washington state
Blue Ribbon Pelham Waters has been a part of the Fort Dodge, Iowa, community for decades, but not as one business - as two. In May 2010, Steve Pederson, owner of Blue Ribbon Water for approximately 10 years, purchased Pelham Waters, which had been in business since 1949.
The team of Steve Pederson, primary owner; Brian Pederson, his son and logistics manager; John Miles, sales manager; and their staff of 11 created Blue Ribbon Pelham Waters — Your Total Water Store.
One Iowa dealer aims to be a one-stop shop for its nearly 4,000 customers
Tri-County Water in Jackson, Mich., has been the Watts’ family business for almost three generations. According to Daniel Watts, general manager, his grandfather led the way into the water industry and the family has followed suit ever since. “My grandfather got his start delivering exchange tanks out of a milk truck in the ‘50s. He then transitioned to selling automatic water softeners,” Watts said.
Southern Michigan water business transitions to its third generation of owners