This issue of Walker Talk is a celebration issue. We are celebrating people and relationships spanning the 25 years that we have published Walker Talk and the 38 years of producing the Walker Mower. You may notice the magazine layout is different with us taking a look back at some of the people that have been featured in previous issues of the magazine to see how they are doing.
Our first mower prototype was done as a design challenge and “hobby project”, because at that time we had no grand plan to get into the lawn mower manufacturing business.
With my mother’s passing in May, I have been thinking a lot about all of the upbringing that she gave me and the heritage received from her life. I write this tribute in her memory.
Sometimes things happen in patterns. This last August, within two weeks of each other, we had two 11-year-old boys and their families come to our factory for a visit and a factory tour. One was from Alabama and the other from Pennsylvania. Given a choice on other adventures they might have had, both told their parents they wanted to come to Colorado to visit the Walker factory.
Across the last 55-plus years of being in the manufacturing business, we have developed business philosophies that have helped us make progress while keeping on track. I thought it would be interesting to give our readers a distilled list of some of these philosophies. We would quickly say that our ways are not the only ways or even the best ways in all cases; we would simply suggest that our ways fit us and who we are, and they are a collection of learning from our experiences.
When business owners/leaders get into their 60s, it is normal to ask, “What is going to happen with the business”? Dean and I are at that age. We remember how, around 25 years ago, our parents gracefully handed us the business they had started from scratch. Like many family business owners, our parents dreamed that Walker Manufacturing would remain a family-owned and operated business for generations to come. The survival record of all kinds of businesses is about 30% per generation, so keeping the dream of a multigenerational family business alive is a big challenge.