PITTSBURG — Phil O’Malley is well known in Pittsburg for many reasons, usually for his success in business.
However, the retirement party for O’Malley this Friday at O’Malley Implement brought to the surface his real legacy.
“I’ve been here for 25 years,” employee Don Workman said. “He would do anything for anyone.”
Employee after employee echoed Workman’s words. Ryan Koenig stressed that O’Malley is much more than the average boss.
“Phil is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met,” Koenig said. “He thinks with his heart, and always considers his employees.”
Cleo Jones, who has worked for O’Malley for 44 years echoed the other employees.
“He would do anything for you. He has been a great asset for the agricultural community,” Jones said. “There is going to be an empty spot here.”
For O’Malley, who was surprised by the party and attention, treating his employees well has always been important to him.
“I’ve had good people,” O’Malley said, “I enjoyed every bit of my time in this business.”
O’Malley is finalizing a deal to sell O’Malley Implement to Heritage Tractor, a move which will change the name of the business, but not its dedication to its employees. The good treatment of his staff was a requirement O’Malley made for the sale, and why he choose Heritage Tractor.
“The company buying it says they don’t want to change any employees. They see no reason to fix something that is working well,” he said.
O’Malley credits his success to always keeping his word. He explained when he first opened his business an old farmer from Weir entered the store and said “I’m not pretty smart O’Malley, but let me give you some advice. Always tell the truth, then you’ll never have to remember what you said.”
He took that heart, and has continued those teachings when he mentors young people.
“I always tell them if you want to succeed in business the two most important things are your word and your credit.”
O’Malley says he has provided part time jobs to many young college students who have moved on and been successful. He said he reminded them often “if they want to climb the ladder of success they need to not congregate near the crowds at the bottom”.
“Do more than what's asked of you. Act like it’s your business, not just some place you work,” O’Malley said was his constant advice to young people.
One of his personal secrets of success?
“I always hire people smarter than me,” O’Malley said with a chuckle. “But, they don’t necessarily need to know they are.”
His most important advice he has for people though has nothing to do with money or business success.
“I lost my sister to breast cancer. She survived a lot longer than doctors expected, and she lived every day like it was her last,” he said. “I hope people do that. Live every day like it’s your last, enjoy it all.”
O’Malley may be retiring from the farm implement business, but he still has plenty to keep him busy. As the owner of Pittsburg Ford, among other business interests and hobbies, he says he should keep plenty busy.
“My hobby is woodworking. I have the best wood shop in town, and I will be spending more time doing that,” O’Malley said.