Conditioning water for 75 years
By Dirk Webb
Photo courtesy of Dale Pickett
Mike Barry, General Manager
Culligan Water Conditioning Company
PO Box 2517
Anderson, IN 46018
Most of us grew up with iconic advertisement of the desperate housewife yelling for her local Culligan Man. The Culligan Company was established in 1936 in Rosemont, Illinois and still is a business deeply committed to its roots. Culligan of Anderson opened its doors in 1940 as one of the first Culligan franchises and now, one of seven owned by the Miller family.
Located on historical Eighth Street and Madison Avenue at the site of the old Cooks Grocery store in Anderson, Culligan is led by Anderson newcomer, Mike Barry. Freshly transplanted from California by way of Michigan, Barry says, “I wanted to live in the community I work in, plus my wife is originally from here in Indiana.”
According to Merriam-Webster the word optimism is defined as a feeling or belief that good things will happen.
Would you consider Madison County to be in the midst of sunrise? What does the business sunrise across the horizon look like to you?
“I would call it early sunrise. One of the reasons I came here was the potential that I saw. I believe we’re on the upswing but for a community this size it won’t happen overnight. Everyone has their theories on how to speed the process but from where I sit home values are going up, enrollment in the schools are up so the signs are there.”
What does "A New Day" mean to you?
“A new opportunity for a new outlook. A chance for optimism, enthusiasm, excitement and potential. You wake up every day and it’s a clean slate. Yesterday may have been the most terrible day ever but today could be one of the greatest ever.”
Helen Keller said, “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” How has your optimism helped you guide your company’s vision?
“Our company has gone through some tough times. Our customer base has gotten smaller over the years and of course we face competition but I believe the values of our ownership and the resources they give us will continue to make us stronger.”
Is your optimism ever threatened?
“It’s always threatened and there are opportunities to be negative…we may experience setbacks but tomorrow is a new day with another chance to succeed.”
If Optimism leads to achievement, what is it you hope your company will achieve in 2016?
“Further stability. As our customer base grows it means more stability for everybody here and our company as a whole. All ten of our employees live in Madison County. We all shop locally and as we do our little bit means we have ten more residents telling the story, helping create more jobs. Two or three more jobs here at Culligan can have a significant impact at the local restaurant down the street, the gas station at the corner, doctor’s offices, and beyond.”
If you were to have five minutes with someone who was considering relocating to Madison County what would you tell them?
“This is a terrific place and a good time to move here. We’re only 25 miles from Indianapolis. Any place else that close is very built up and much more expensive. Being from California the cost of living here is unbelievable. We have a great University, a nice downtown, and good restaurants that would lure a young family here.”
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