This originally appeared in December WQP 2020 issue as "Top Dealers 2020"
Editor's Note: Do you know a water treatment dealer who deserves recognition for leadership in the industry, innovative ideas or successful business practices? Nominate them to be featured as a WQP Dealer of the Month here. Self-nominations are accepted.
Year-round, WQP profiles a Dealer of the Month, highlighting noteworthy water treatment dealerships both large and small. To read full features about each of the dealers listed here, visit wqpmag.com/top-dealers. In the following pages, WQP celebrates not only the businesses recognized this year but also the people behind them.
The dealerships profiled this year have ranged from fledgling businesses to multi-generational dealerships. Many are incorporating innovative business practices and all are deeply passionate about improving their communities. While they may be different, they all deserve recognition for their notable drive and passion for their work.
Do you know a water treatment dealer who deserves recognition for leadership in the industry, innovative ideas or successful business practices? Nominate them to be featured as a WQP Dealer of the Month. Self-nominations are accepted. Additionally, WQP is currently accepting nominations for our Industry Icon and Young Professionals programs. Learn more and nominate at wqpmag.com/nominations.
Murphy Kormos founded ScaleX Pro in Gilbert, Arizona, in May 2018. After more than 15 years in the C-Store business and spending the past four years running a coffee service distribution company in Phoenix, Arizona, Kormos had a wide range of experience in water filtration systems. When he was approached about a filter from Germany’s Watch Water water treatment company, he decided to open ScaleX Pro.
The business’s staff of six collectively has more than 100 years of water treatment experience in the commercial water industry.
“Since our team has walked many a times in the shoes of the field techs, we welcome and listen to the expertise and recommendations to effectively provide solutions to our customers,” Kormos said of the team.
The business uses a filter that uses nucleation assisted crystallization (NAC) technology, which Kormos describes as the “ultimate green technology” to remove contaminants from water without reverse osmosis. So far, the team has worked to solve a variety of water issues in food service and other commercial businesses, including: craft coffee, medical facilities, car wash businesses and plumbing.
While ScaleX Pro is still in its first few years of business, Kormos and his team are optimistic that they can be on the forefront of a sustainable technology wave in the water industry.
NH WaterCare Corp. / Milford, New Hampshire
NH WaterCare Corp. began as a small supply shop for portable exchange tanks and supplies in 1980 before the company was purchased by Matthew Griffin in 2001. Prior to the purchase, Griffin worked on the commercial side of a national company for 10 years before looking for a new opportunity and moving into water.
Based in Milford, New Hampshire, Griffin ran the business with part-time help for 10 years before buying a new location, opening a retail store and hiring more full-time employees. Now, approximately 75% of the business’s efforts are focused on well water applications, while approximately 25% are focused on municipal applications.
“I think people are more interested in their water quality now than they were 20 years ago,” said Griffin.
That customer education element is a key part of NH WaterCare’s mission. The business hosts monthly educational classes for the community bringing together homeowners, plumbers, real estate agents and more. The classes seek to provide education to consumers on well water care and other helpful water management tips. Additionally, the business keeps its website up-to-date with blog posts and educational how-to videos to guide industry professionals and customers alike.
Griffin’s daughter, Lauren, has since joined the business, as well, in business development, sales and marketing. She has witnessed the business evolve over time to adapt to new technological needs. While Lauren may be slated to take over the family business someday, for now, the team is focused on goal-setting and curating a positive work environment.
“Our success comes from honesty and integrity in our work,” Griffin said. “We try to educate the customer a lot about what they’re purchasing. Plus, the education of other businesses also drives a lot of business.”
Hausers Water Systems / Manchester, Iowa
Founded in 1949 by Milt Hauser, Hausers Water Systems began as a Culligan franchise and remained so until Charlie Hauser, Milt’s son, took over the business in 1972. Hausers Water Systems now has three locations in Iowa in Manchester, Dyersville and North Liberty and is a WaterCare dealer.
Sean Hauser is the business’s current president and owner, after taking over the family business from his father Charlie in the late ‘90s. Sean’s brother, Chad Hauser, also works in the family business serving as the vice president of Hausers Water Systems. Additionally, Sean’s son, Ryan Hauser, leads the residential side of the business, while Sean and Chad focus on commercial, municipal and industrial projects.
“I enjoy being a multi-generational business a lot, but there are some struggles. It’s hard to find a balance between family and work,” said Sean. “It takes a lot of work and patience, and we work through it. We talk about things, go on, and fortunately, we’ve been very successful.”
When the business was launched in 1949, it began as an exchange tank only water softening company. Since then, Hausers Water Systems has expanded to provide a wealth of residential water treatment services across eastern and southern Iowa, as well as larger projects across the U.S.
“We have excellent, long-term employees,” Sean said. “I could not imagine going to work every day without the employees that we have; they are phenomenal. I give all of our success to our employees. They’re top shelf.”
2019 marked the business’s 70th year of operation, and Sean, along with his team, anticipates that Hausers Water Systems will only continue to run smoothly for years to come.
President/Owner, Torres Water Co. / Jefferson, Louisiana / Age: 69
When Julio Torres installed a water filtration/softening/purification system for his home in 1982, he quickly realized the vitality of the water quality improvement industry. Excited with the prospect of being a part of this industry, he soon ventured out on his own in 1984 in order to fully realize his dreams. With an initial background as a pharmacist, he has brought his business, Torres Water Co., a long way over the years.
Education: Bachelors of Arts in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of New Orleans. Bachelors of Science in Pharmacology from Xavier University, College of Pharmacy.
Professional certification: CWS 1
Past life: Pharmacist
Notable project: Torres cites the businesses work at the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in New Orleans as his most notable project. “It was a challenge to size without a history of water usage,” Torres said about the project.
Favorite thing about the water industry: His favorite thing about the water industry is “helping people solve their water problems,” Torres said.
Greatest influence: Torres’ greatest professional influence was his father who taught him an incredible work ethic and the value of integrity.
Hobbies: When he is not working in water, his hobbies include music and tennis.
Hidden talent: Torres’ hidden talents are logistics and problem solving.
Giving back: In his free time, he volunteers with Kiwanis International and A’s and Aces.
In five years: In five years, Torres hopes to be working part-time while managing and training sales representatives.
Words of wisdom: His advice to someone just entering the water industry is that “it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.”
Water Works Pump & Well Inc. / Covington, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana, is home to Water Works Pump & Well Inc. 2020 marks the water dealership’s 39th year in business. Heath Metevier, current manager of the business, started working there about 27 years ago. Metevier’s grandfather owned a hardware store in Covington that sold water pumps, which Metevier’s father eventually took over. After becoming more interested in water pumps, Metevier’s father began drilling wells and realized that his interest in water pumps could become the foundation for a successful business, creating Water Works Pump & Well Inc.
Now, the business serves approximately 30,000 people and the dealership’s team consists of 16 employees. In the north side of the service territory, the business faces low pH issues. In the south side of the service territory, high iron and manganese are regular concerts. To the east side, an excess of tannins is one of the most common issues.
Recently, Metevier and his team responded to COVID-19 pandemic social distancing restrictions while still working to complete service jobs. The turbulent time has led some Water Works Pump & Well Inc. employees to retire early, while others have stepped up to the plate.
“We had a big shift in personnel inside of our office, and we had to manage a lot of those changes fairly quickly,” Metevier said. “I’m proud we held all of that together and continue to meet the needs of our customers, not leaving them in a bind or anything.”
Overall, the key factors that continue to drive the business, just as they did 39 years ago, are honesty and integrity. According to Metevier, the best solution is not always the most expensive one; the best solution is the one that works. These core business values have served the business well and continue to amid 2020’s unique business climate.
“We are a moral company,” Metevier said. “You don’t have to worry about us not doing the right thing. If we make a mistake, we own up to it.”
Ethical H2O / San Diego, California / Age: 44
When Ariane Paris entered the water industry 20 years ago, she did not initially know she had stumbled upon a career she would quickly learn to love and grow with. Based in San Diego, California, Ethical H20 has seen significant growth in the past few years. Paris founded the business on the principles of health, sustainability and customer safety, and still lives and operates by those standards today.
Education: College graduate english
Professional certification: Currently working on WQA certification
Past life: Prior to entering the water industry, Paris in college and working in sales.
Greatest accomplishment: Paris is proud of starting her own business.
Favorite thing about the water industry: According to Paris, what she loves about the water industry is “the amazing people within the industry and helping people live healthier lives.”
Industry gripe: “I would like to see some regulations or minimum standards throughout the industry of what companies/salespeople could claim their products can do,” Paris said. “There is a lot of misleading information out there which everyday I experience the negative effects of as I interact with consumers through their buying process. I feel when you make a commitment to sell a product, especially one that affects the health of families and homes there should be a standard in place and one that is regulated.”
Greatest influence: “Personally, it’s been my mother because she has taught me strength, determination and resilience and has always supported and encouraged me to do and be anything I wanted,” Paris said. “Professionally (within the industry) it is Mike Mecca. As I started my business, he has been my unofficial mentor and has helped me so much as I navigate building a business and connecting myself deeper into the water quality industry.”
Hobbies: Paris’ top hobby is traveling, as well as reading, spending time in nature and with her family.
Hidden talent: “I can sing and pretty well but I never do for anyone but myself and my little one,” Paris said.
Suprising fact: “I traveled around the world for a year by myself when I was 29,” Paris said. “It was amazing!”
Giving back: “I’ve worked with the youth programs for the YMCA and more recently as a coach for the nonprofit Girls on the Run,” Paris said. “As a company, we have recently aligned with local nonprofits to help with beach cleanups and address environmental issues in the area.”
In five years: “In five years I want to be traveling with my family and having an amazing team running my successful water filtration business,” Paris said of the future.
Words of wisdom: Paris’ advice to someone just entering the industry is simple: get involved. “Get involved and to continue to educate yourself outside of the business you work for,” Paris said. “This will give you a much more well-rounded view and information beyond just what your company does.”