Home - All Articles - Close-Up Profiles
June 15 2010
Is this Wayne Rhatigan?” the voice said. “Please hold for President Obama.” Irrigation contractor Wayne Rhatigan, 46, was tracing the lines on a newly installed system when his cell phone ...
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May 19 2010
PRIMED AND READY TO ONE DAY assume her father’s business, Meredith DeWitt faces not only the pressures of maintaining a $30-million a year corporation, but the pitfalls of being a young woman in ...
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April 19 2010
Some people are so anxious to get their career started, they feel that until they do, time’s a-wasting. However, sooner or later you begin to realize that there are no shortcuts. Learning a business ...
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March 16 2010
How does a young man go from being a potato farmer on a kibbutz in Israel to the head of one of the largest water filtration companies in the world? ...
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Feb. 18 2010
From the time he entered the business in 1963, Strauss learned and developed some expertise as he went through the learning curve. With each step he grew and learned more. Eventually, he developed the ...
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Jan. 18 2010
It was quite a journey, and James Cornelius never imagined that one day he would be the proud owner of a company. The 46-year-old Illinois native is the president and owner of U.S. Praxis, but after graduating ...
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Dec. 23 2009
There are some people who do excellent work but really don’t want to be leaders; they would rather follow. That’s not Valerie Steele ...
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Nov. 16 2009
Even from the other side of the world, I knew that America was the land of opportunity for everyone. This was what Carlos Chavarria said to me when I asked him what made him come to the United States ...
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Oct. 20 2009
At the tender age of 14, Gary Morgan entered the business world when he started a lawn mowing service. Ironically, today he is back in the “mowing” business as president of Dixie Chopper. Along ...
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Sept. 15 2009
From a job with the FBI to a career in the landscape industry seems like an unlikely leap, but that is exactly what Charles (Bud) Knowles decided to do when he learned that the FBI was going to transfer ...
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Aug. 14 2009
Some people are born into the irrigation industry. For others, the industry finds them. In the case of Travis and Shelly Komara, it all started - strangely enough—with a ’50s themed Internet ...
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July 18 2009
Brothers Don and Dave Hendrickson were exposed to the irrigation business at a very early age. Growing up in Corona, California, their means to extra income was tending to the orange groves owned by their ...
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June 15 2009
A couple of months ago I lost a soul brother, and the landscape industry lost a dedicated friend and fellow contractor. He passed away quietly. I wanted to say something at the time, but I was at a loss ...
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May 15 2009
IT ISN’T TOO OFTEN THAT WE COME across an individual like Ken Hutcheson. On the outside he is warm, engaging and charming. However, under his skin lies a savvy, dedicated businessperson ...
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April 16 2009
The irrigation industry was completely different than what it is now when David D. Pagano designed his first system in 1957. Smart controllers were years away from being invented, as were sensing devices. ...
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March 17 2009
WHEN JOHN MILLER WAS STILL A teenager he was managing his own lawn care company. Called Superior Lawns, Miller’s company handled everything from mowing lawns to working with tractors. It was a pretty ...
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Feb. 23 2009
Ken and Harold Fay’s parents started a lumber yard back in 1947 in Ojai, California. When their father passed away, the sons—Ken and Harold— helped their mother run the lumber yard. In ...
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Jan. 13 2009
As Stephen Smith assumes the presidency of the Irrigation Association, he realizes the challenges the irrigation industry currently faces. Pressure to reduce water consumption is building and landscape ...
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Dec. 16 2008
“My father emigrated from Mexico seven years before I was born,” he said. Gamez was one of five children in a struggling working-class family, growing up “on what you could say was in ...
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Nov. 17 2008
Tim Malooly was 12 years old when he started his first job. It was a part-time gig, selling greeting cards door-to-door. Not the most glamorous job in the world, but it offered Malooly his first taste ...
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