One.7 Builds Their Business One Truck at a Time

Tina and Cory McDonough have come a long way. From high school sweethearts to operating a successful business that they love, they’ve followed a road that hasn’t always taken them where they expected to go. Nonetheless, it has been a journey that has allowed them to have rich experiences and touch a surprising number of lives, so you won’t find the McDonoughs complaining, either.

Based in Washington State, One.7, Inc. (pronounced “one point seven”) has its roots in the family business, McDonough & Sons, Inc., a parking lot and street sweeping company established in 1982 by Cory’s parents, Patrick and Linda McDonough. Cory worked for his father from the time he was eight years old, and Tina started her career at McDonough & Sons as office manager.

In 2005, Tina and Cory decided to go in a new and separate direction, matching up used sweeper and Vactor trucks to street sweeping companies—large and small, as well as contractors and municipalities who needed both the quality of the equipment the McDonoughs could deliver, but also the hands-on training and expertise they could provide from their years in the operations end of the business.

Tina says, though, One.7’s customers are mostly contractors. “We sell to some municipalities, although, generally, they buy brand-new equipment, and we sell to smaller municipalities and contractors all over the world.” Most of the McDonoughs’ overseas sales, which ship from Tacoma and Seattle ports, are for U.S. companies who want the trucks to be delivered elsewhere.

What’s In A Name
One.7, Inc.—that’s a story that reflects on the nature of the company’s origins and evolution, which takes on a “road less traveled” mentality. On a ski vacation now a long time passed, 1.7 miles were the directions given to the McDonoughs. They were to travel 1.7 miles from an intersection in the mountains to the hidden driveway of their friend’s cabin. But Tina and Cory got lost, and it took them hours of wrong turns and repeatedly retracing their route before they finally located the turn they’d missed over and over again.

“One point seven” became the phrase of the vacation, as well as became lodged in Tina and Cory’s minds as a great name for a company. One.7 Inc. was waiting for them when they started their business.
Tina admits that the easy way would have been to name the company McDonough Sales and build off of the family business. “But this way, it was different and unique and our own,” she says, “It was scary. We just took a leap of faith and here we are. We built it one truck at a time.”

Today, One.7 operates a 20-bay shop in a section of a 40-acre yard about 30 minutes from Seattle, but things didn’t start out that way. “It was really unplanned,” Tina explains, “and it happened really quickly. We took all we had out of our savings and bought our first truck. Running the business from our home, we’d sell a truck and build our capital that way.”

A New Family Business
Tina, who is president and treasurer of the majority woman-owned business, oversees the financials, as well as works sales and assists with training. Cory, who serves as vice president and secretary, is invaluable for his knowledge about the equipment. Brenda Pitzen handles sales and general office duties, Jeremy Gibson is the company’s mechanic, and Glenda Weiler is Tina’s mother and assistant.

“When a contractor calls, Brenda and I can tell them what they need,” Tina says, pointing out that her own industry experience is one of her strengths, allowing her to help customers determine what is the best type of equipment for their business or project. She says there’s a bit of shock on the other end of the telephone because people expect to reach a man to speak to about sales, and are surprised to speak to women who know their stuff.

“Cory has run those trucks for 29 years,” Tina says, “Three years from now, if you have a buzzer going off and don’t know what it’s for, you can call Cory and he can walk you through any issue you’re having.” It’s constantly being around the trucks and knowing them inside and out that gives One.7 its edge, and
they are one of the larger, if not the largest, used sweeper and Vactor dealers in the world, and they are the only one to offer free on-site training for all their equipment.

Tina explains, “We deal with every company on a personal level. When someone calls, they get me, Cory or Brenda. We’re very transparent: what you see is what you get.” And as a dealer of used equipment, the McDonoughs get up close and personal with all makes and manufacturers, unlike sales reps for one brand, whose experience is limited. “We get to see every flavor, and we’re able to sell all the flavors. That’s really nice,” she says.

A Corporate Mission Becomes Personal
In 2007, Tina walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event in honor of her friend Michelle, who was in the battle for her life against breast cancer. “It was the hardest thing I’d ever done,” Tina recalls, “And then Michelle passed away. I just decided, ‘enough is enough,’ and I formed a team.”

Her 152 member team, Valley Girls & Guys, has not only become the top team in the state of Washington, but in the nation, as well. “Collectively over the last five years we’ve raised over $700,000,” she says. So far this year, the team has already raised $223,000 in preparation for the event, a 60-mile walk over three days in September to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer.

Besides sponsoring a team, this is the third year the McDonoughs have put a breast cancer awareness truck on the road, one each in Hawaii, Texas and Arizona, with the company donating 30 to 50 percent of the sale of the year’s truck to the SGK fund. They take a sweeper out of their fleet, customize it with donated paint, tires and pink breast cancer decals and put it on the road as an ambassador. “We aim to have an awareness truck in every state,” Tina says, “Cancer’s not going to go away overnight, but hopefully someday soon we’ll have a cure.”

Loving What They Do
Job satisfaction is high at One.7. As far as her favorite aspect of her job goes, Tina says, “I get to work with my husband every day and build this company.” The couple also has three children ranging in age from eight to fourteen—Cody, Taya and Trista. She says, “Second would be the diversity of the contractors we meet all over the world. We get to travel, and we both like the travel and meeting really good people. We truly love what we do and the people we get to work with every day.”

For more information on One.7, Inc. call 425.413.1211,
email sales@1point7.com or visit www.1point7.com.

To learn more about Valley Girls & Guys and their Seattle
3-Day for the Cure efforts visit http://valleygirlsnguys.com/.

Story by Anne Biggs

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