This March marked Irrigation by Design’s 30th year in business. A special milestone that has lead us all to reflect on how we accomplished it. It started with a need for change. Tim Malooly, president and owner of Irrigation by design and current president of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, was working in Chicago in the late 1980’s, unhappy and looking to escape the confines of the corporate world. Because of his own experience in irrigation, he decided to move back home to Minneapolis and start his own company along with his brother, Chris, and their friend, Todd. From the meager beginnings of working out of Tim’s father’s house with one truck to owning a successful irrigation company that’s proud of always trying to do right by our clients and the environment with just under 50 employees and 2 sister companies. Irrigation by Design has grown to be an innovative leader in the Green Industry over the last 30 years. Getting here wasn’t easy.
The early days were filled with 3 young men finding any amount of work they could and making a name for themselves in what at the time was considered a luxury service with customers that were loyal to companies with a longer history. They needed a way to establish themselves besides word of mouth. They took a proactive approach in reaching out, buying one of the first versions of the cellphone, a large bulky object that came in a briefcase, and started calling. They sent out letters, printed brochures, and did any amount of work they could find. This included not just installing sprinklers but moving people out of their houses and offices and digging ponds. They worked all day and sometimes through the night, installing sprinklers using only the lights of their trucks when the sun went down. They wanted to be known for their focus on honesty and integrity, always wanting to do what’s right by their clients. This ideal is what has attracted clients and employees to choose Irrigation by Design and remain with us for decades and it’s what has led us to a greener approach to help protect the Minnesota landscape.
Through this method of hard, honest work, Irrigation by Design has become a leader in our local industry. We have stayed a leader through instilling the value of constant innovation and continued learning among our staff. Our winter “off season” is spent with company-wide classes so that everyone has the opportunity to learn new and old procedures and use new technology. With the clients’ renewed focus on the environment, water usage, and protecting our native landscape, our decades of training and preparing for what we knew would eventually come to the public forefront is paying off. We are helping construct rain gardens, harvesting stormwater runoff for irrigation, and using smart controllers to limit water usage and to control our environmental impact. Irrigation by Design is determined to be a leading example in the changing responsibilities of the green industry.
It has grown from a company with 3 employees and 1 truck to a company with just under 50 employees and many more loyal clients. In a way, it is still a family run business with the same relationships that we have had for decades. When asking anyone within the company what they are most proud of Irrigation by Design accomplishing, from the technicians you see working hard out in the field to the administrative section and all the way up to the top, they talk about working for a company that always strives to do what’s right. A 30-year legacy that anyone would be proud of.