From 1993 to 1996, Tony Sposato taught health and physical education at a junior high school where he also coached three sports. In the summer of ’96, he traded in his whistle and blackboard for a full-time ride on his Walker Mower. Eleven years later, he finds himself running a multimillion dollar company that employs more than 150 people during the busy season.
When we entered the lawn mower business 28 years ago, it was not our strategy or grand plan to create a Walker Mower family. And yet with our approach to business (family style) and with the drive to be most interested in people and relationships, a family has been formed.
Mel Taylor, owner of Mel’s Lawn Maintenance in Las Cruces, New Mexico, started mowing lawns part-time in 1984. At the time, he committed to this work until he found a better job. Twenty-three years later, he hasn’t found that elusive something that will give him as much pleasure and freedom as running his own business.
After being a Wal-Mart Supercenter co-manager for 10 years, Roger Krans wanted a change. “I wanted to do something different, but I just didn’t have the guts to leave the corporate life,” he recalls. “I had good benefits and was making a good wage, and starting your own business can be risky when you have a family.”