Spotlight: Maly & Associates

Determined—that’s what Marigale (“Gale”) Maly is. She is determined to be the best at what she does as CEO of Tucson’s Maly & Associates, her full-service property management, facilities maintenance, and construction company for commercial and residential properties. And she is just as determined to meet her own and her customers’ goals with ingenuity, integrity, and flair.

Gale Maly came to Tucson from Chicago in May of 1982, having fallen in love with the town and its beautiful mountains and weather while vacationing there four years earlier. With her two daughters, four and seven, in tow, she had decided she would buy a business and make a fresh start in this golden region of remarkable vistas and sunshine for days on end.

“The only business for sale was a mechanic’s shop, and that didn’t fit where I wanted to go,” she recalls.

Then, one day, inspiration struck. She and her girls were eating dinner at a shopping center when she noticed a big truck speeding across the parking lot, kicking dust into the air. When told that the driver was conducting his nightly sweeping of the lot, she was perplexed. The machine was so old, the dirt came in the bottom and blew out the top.

“When I do a job, I want it to be perfect. So I decided to go back to the shopping center and see who this guy [was].” She followed him from job to job that night, watching as he raced through each parking lot, redistributing the dirt but making no discernable improvement. 

“This is not what I have in mind,” Maly told herself then, “but I can do this and do it so much better.” So she contacted the property manager and asked him to meet her over breakfast—at the shopping center. After inviting him to step outside to examine the lot, she took advantage of his embarrassment to pitch him on a deal. She would sweep his lot for the rock-bottom price his current sweeper contractor was charging, only she would do it so well that half as often would be sufficient. He ended up giving her thirteen properties.

But there she was, signing contracts, and she had no sweeper. She contacted the only company she knew at the time who would work with her, Tymco Sweeper in Texas, and got them to drive her single Tymco to Tucson within the week. And she was in business.

Branching out
Over the past twenty-eight years, she has gradually developed the company—and herself—far beyond parking lot sweeping into a power in the commercial property management arena.

 “I believe in diversification,” Maly says. “That way, as the economy bellies in one area, it grows in another. There isn’t anything I can’t do for a commercial property.”

From parking lot sweeping, she added a full landscaping division to Maly & Associates facilities management to provide landscape design, construction, and maintenance for residential and commercial properties. The division creates often stunning hardscapes and plantings for owners in this region that is so focused on the outdoors. The facilities management company offers additional services that run the gamut from typical changing- a-light-bulb tasks to pressure washing and graffiti removal. Maly Pest Control developed from the landscaping and property management. Maly Construction is a logical expansion that handles tenant improvements as well as remodels and build-ons such as outdoor kitchens. 

“We do all of that, all coordinated, without any effort on the property manager’s part. And if they have an issue, it’s one phone number to reach us,” Gale says. With forty-two employees on staff—ballooning to seventy when a major construction project is afoot—Maly hasn’t neglected her own professional growth. She became a real estate agent in 1994, has studied design and landscaping, and is a licensed contractor.

“It sounds like I mapped this out in 1982, knew exactly what I’d do. But instead, I got up and put one foot in front of the other and when an opportunity came up, I walked through the door. It’s been very exciting.”

A sweeping philosophy
First and foremost, “I’m a businesswoman,” Maly asserts. It is that capability, which she has in abundance, to which she attributes her success in these male-dominated industries. “There are a lot of men who are capable of maintaining and running the equipment, but you need to have both sides—the maintenance and the business. You can always hire the mechanic and hire the sweeper, but by God, you have to know how to run a business.

“And that would lead me to employees. Drug testing, background checks, staying on top of them.” The days are long over when Maly would tuck her sleeping little girls into the backseat of her car while she spent the night following her sweepers on their rounds so she could be assured they were doing their jobs to her uncompromising standards. Today, it’s GPS tracking on each piece of equipment and following through each morning with the system’s reports.

“I also don’t believe in keeping equipment more than four or five years.” Rather than carrying a big maintenance budget to keep old machines running long past their prime, she prefers to add a more predictable line item for new sweepers. “I can budget more easily for payments than for maintenance, and the tax laws are more advantageous. And I always have good-looking equipment that works well.”

Maly still loves her adopted community and gives back to it through her involvement with and support of the Northwest YMCA, Arizona Theater, Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, and the Tucson Symphony, among other organizations and causes. But she also takes a great deal of satisfaction from the businesses she’s developed and her successful accomplishments. She isn’t ready to stop any time soon.

“You have to be passionate about what you’re doing. You work with your client[s]. When they know you care about them and their budget, they trust you and let you do what you do best. It’s not that sweeping is so glamorous. It keeps me out of trouble, it’s exciting, it’s diversified. I like making people happy, and I like a achieving a goal…and that makes me happy.”

 

For more information about Maly & Associates, Tucson’s only one-stop source for commercial and residential property owners, call 520.299.0856, email info@malyandassociates.com, or visit www.malyandassociates.com.

 

 

 

Story by Anne Biggs

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