My name is Tom Marcum, president of Rainbow Lawns Irrigation Systems, Inc. In 1993 my brother-in-law started Rainbow Lawns from scratch. His business grew, and in 1995 Larry Oaks hired me. I was 14 years old at the time and eager to show Larry that I was the person for the job. I worked as hard as I could to impress Larry with my digging and backfilling skills. By 1999 I was proficient enough to function in almost all aspects of landscape irrigation. I continued to work for Larry through my college years as I studied for a business degree. During our off-season, I tutored accounting and microeconomics at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN. Fall semester of my senior year of college, Larry told me he was ready to get out of the sprinkler business and pursue his other company, Acorn Home Builders. In March of 2005, Lakes State Bank and Larry loaned me the money I needed to purchase Rainbow Lawns. When the sprinkler season started, I was living four hours away in Marshall, MN. For about a month I juggled a college workload and the demands of running my new business. I was stressed!! That spring I graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management.
Because I looked so young, I was concerned that people would be reluctant to hire me. I was completely wrong. That summer I hoped to sell fifteen new sprinkler systems, instead I sold twenty-nine. I was happier than you could imagine. In 2007, we did what I thought would be nearly impossible two years previous, we installed seventy five new landscape sprinkler systems. In 2008 through 2011 we were able to match that number of installations. Most of the jobs we got were referrals from our existing customers and repeat business from landscapers and general contractors. I sincerely thank our many customers and contractors for their help in making Rainbow Lawns a success. Since 2005 Rainbow Lawns has more than quadrupled in size in terms of revenue, service accounts, equipment, and employees. I hope to grow this business much more. Growth will give us the resources we need to better serve our customers and help us to retain our employees while giving them the opportunity to grow their careers with us.