Hall Of Fame Inductees

 

The individuals nominated should have made a significant impact or positive influence that assures the future of our industry in the lives of generations to come.

 

Once nominated, an individual’s biography and photo are updated on the site, and he or she is placed in the polls for voting. At the end of the year the committee takes into consideration the votes and decides which candidates are inducted.

 

 

 

Nomination Qualifications

  • Person with integrity and passion
  • Minimum 20 years in industry
  • Someone who has developed  or invented  new technology
  • Has made contributions that resulted in change
  • Contributed to mankind’s needs in his field
  • Provided education and encouragement  with self-sacrifice
  • Changed the industry

Mike Schwartz

After graduating College, Mike began his career in our industry in 1963 working for Western Landscaping News as it advertising sales manager. In an effort to grow his career, Mike accepted a sales position 2 years later (1965) with Richdel Inc. a very small manufacturer of a mechanically timed valve, a 24 volt valve, and a mechanically timed controller for lawn sprinkler systems based in Glendale, Ca.

 

Mike was charged with pioneering the virgin do it yourself market with the limited product line and account base wherever and whoever would listen to the now storied history of a consumer oriented plastic valve, and a programmable controller.  While traveling all of California with over a 100 yellow page books that listed hardware stores, Mike began knocking on doors attempting to explain to store owners the virtues of a timed sprinkler system and the simplicity of the two products in hand.

 

As time and travel went on and on, working state fairs, home shows, & tent shows, sales momentum began to build.  In an entraprunerial fashion, Mike and the owner, (Del Merriner) would build the products and hand deliver the order whenever possible.

Several years down the road, several innovative products were first developed by Richdel, such as the plug in transformer concept, range of plastic valves, another controller or two, and a continuing expertise in developing the then non existent do it yourself market for sprinkler systems.

 

At that same time, Mike was bringing the trade name "Lawn Genie" to the market and for years to come, the brand and product line became an industry standard.  As growth occurred during the next 5 years, a factory relocation to Carson City, Nevada became a reality in 1970.  At that point in time, a range of new products were developed, employee growth was happening, manufacturing efficiencies resulted and the company grew in the next 10 years, 15 fold.

 

In a few years that followed the relocation, Mike was asked to move from managing all the sales and marketing responsibilities to Executive Vice President and one of the board of directors.  At this time, Mike developed a new Turf division (known as the PROFESSIONAL SERIES)  which began to take hold and became very complimentary to its retail business.

 

In 1983, the company sold to GardenAmerica Corp. and Mike was again charged with the sales and marketing responsibilities of a much larger organization.  As continued growth occurred, Mike was instrumental in the acquisition of Irritrol.  This addition to its current business provided the platform for the company to go public.

 

In 1988, GardenAmerica sold to Emhart Corp, which two years later sold to Black & Decker.  At this time, Mike decided not to join the senior management team of Black & Decker and resigned.  After an extended absence from the industry, Mike Joined Orbit Irrigation in a sales capacity, and then joined the Hydro Rain/Blu Lock group and currently is the Western Regional Sales Manager.