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Going the Extra Mile Starts Here!™

Narrative from the CEO

“Ut Prosim”

In 1934 my great grandfather Howard Overman Sr. and his Son Howard Overman Jr. were out of work. The corn broom manufacturing plant where my great grandfather worked went out of business, a victim of the Great Depression, my grandfather was in eighth grade. There was no social security, there was no unemployment, and there were no social safety nets.  My great grandfather took what money he had saved and purchased some of the equipment from his defunct employer. Moved the equipment into a 2 car garage in east Baltimore, MD and started making brooms. My grandfather and great grandfather did the hot dirty work of cutting the broom corn, stitching brooms, and painting broom handles at night and took to the streets during the day selling the brooms that they had made door to door.

They made a quality product, they had to. They knew that if their brooms were poor and didn’t last word would spread and they would be out of business. They sought out distributors, grocery stores and the like to sell their brooms. They worked hard. My grandfather left the business to fight in WWII where he was injured and lost his vision, but he returned and worked in the broom shop. As times got better they stopped working nights, although even as a child I remember my grandfather going back to the broom shop (still in that two car garage) after hours to finish an order. I remember my grandparent’s basement that smelled of broom corn, and that everything that needed to be fixed could be fixed with a piece of broom twine.

My grandfather’s hard work gave his family the opportunity to go to college and to move out of the hot dirty broom shop but taught us through his actions rather than his words the value of hard work, the satisfaction that you get from a job well done, and the confidence that comes with persistence.

I started my first company at age 14. I didn’t know it then but most people think of mowing lawns as hard work. I saw it as an opportunity for someone too young to drive to earn a living. I went to college at Virginia Tech where the “lunch pail” work ethic was not lost on me. Although my parents helped with tuition (something for which I am eternally thankful) I worked for my spending money, at a gas station, at a bike store, mowing lawns.  Everywhere I worked I put in the extra effort, I thought of each and every customer as my customer. I cared for every lawn and bicycle as if it was my lawn or bicycle.

When I moved into professional services I did the same, I worked as long as necessary to get the job done, nights, weekends, whatever. I learned that customers appreciate the extra effort and the commitment to take ownership of the project and to make their concern my problem. I started Water Management Solutions, Inc for three reasons. First, because I believe that the products and services that we have to offer are first rate. The partnership that we have developed with MWI as a MWI Pump Partner allows us a vast inventory of temporary pumping equipment, water handling supplies and expertise but does not limit us to only those options that MWI has available. I also founded WMS because all too often I see companies trying to sell their product to the exclusion of other ideas. I myself have been a victim of the “To a hammer everything looks like a nail” thought process. I wanted to provide custom solutions that best fit the customer’s needs. Sure we carry a hammer in our tool box, heck we carry a nail gun, but to be successful you need more tools than that and I want to offer those too.

Ut Prosim, “that I may serve” is the motto of my alma mater, “Going the extra mile starts here” is the motto of Water Management Solutions Inc. Our motto is not just a gimmick to get our foot in the door it is a commitment to service and hard work that is part of who I am as an individual and who WMS is as a company. Give us chance I believe you will see the difference that a true commitment to developing solutions and to going the extra mile for our customers will make to your piece of mind, your projects’ success, and your bottom line.

Respectfully, Mark Panuska

Mark Panuska, CEO of Water Management Solutions, Inc.