Margaret Combs and Gary Ragner, of MH Operations LLC, may hire the most people in 2011 in Flagler County: 83. They’re planning on 143 jobs in three years to build their manufacturing company.
Of all the businesses in Palm Coast, MH Operations LLC may have the biggest impact in 2011 for one reason: jobs.
CEO Margaret Combs said the garden-hose-manufacturing company, located at the Flagler County Airport, will employ 83 people during the first year of manufacturing, which is set to begin in late winter or early spring.
Combs added that the company will employ at least 143 persons over a three-year span in Flagler County.
“We have been impressed with the quality of applicants that we have had,” Combs said, stating that there have been at least a 100 applications submitted. “Frankly, we could fill every one of the jobs right now with a highly qualified person that we have an application from.”
The path to Palm Coast began about five years ago, when Gary Ragner and his partner, Robert deRochemont, were working on creating a vacuum hose that would automatically extend out and then be sucked back in by the pressure. But Ragner realized that if he reversed it all, he’d have a garden hose.
The hose is unique because of how it expands and contracts. The 10-foot-long MicroHose will be able to expand up to 50 feet long, which the company believes makes it more efficient.
Ragner obtained patents for the hose.Meanwhile, deRochemont, on recommendations from a loan officer at a bank, got in touch with Combs, who was consulting with SCORE, a small business mentoring and training program.
“I’ve managed startup companies before,” said Combs, “but this was the first one that I had seen where I’m saying, ‘There’s something really good here.’ Most of them are impossible, but this was clearly remarkable.”
Combs said MicroHose is much different from any of the other five companies she’s started.
“They are all totally different except for one thing: You have to be prepared for a surprise every day,” Combs said. “Just about the time you have your hands totally on everything and nothing else needs to be done, something else will pop up and go, ‘What about me?’”
Combs likened starting a business to cooking.
“It’s like a giant recipe, and if you leave out one ingredient, it doesn’t work,” Combs said. She added, “I feel like the cook in the apron, covered in flour, and I’m stirring and stirring.”
She’s hopeful that the company will not only add jobs in Flagler County, but make an impact beyond.
“The traditional garden hose is something people have to have, but nobody likes them,” she said. “We’re going to change all of that.”
Title: CEO of MH Operations LLC
Number: 83 — jobs to be created this year in Flagler County
Number: 20 — patents secured in his career
Currently 1 Response
- I am curious where these two are now. Has anyone asked?
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9:00 am - 11:00 am
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