Submitted by Don Doman
One of my favorite TV shows is “Undercover Boss.” The premise is that the owner or someone in upper-management goes from a suit to wearing a fakey disguise and pretends to be checking out businesses for a reality show. The boss sees what is right and what’s wrong with his company. Improvement is the goal. What’s good about the show is that we see the boss mixing with the workers who are sometimes immigrants, and quite frequently minorities. What I like about the show is that the people we see have struggled and sometimes just having a job is a great step forward. But other times we see people who continue to make this country the land of opportunity: hard workers with goals and families. People that want to have their own businesses and be successful. Entrepreneurs.
Two of my favorite entrepreneurs in Tacoma/Pierce County are Manuel Sarabia and Niwar Nassim. They both provide lawn care: seeding, fertilizing, and cutting. Manuel speaks with a Mexican accent. Niwar has no accent.
Manuel and a friend had part-time jobs, but wanted more. They created Titan Lawn. Their hard working crew is made up of Mexican-Americans. They leave a flower bed free of blackberry vines and other weeds. Manuel has expanded his services beyond mowing, weeding, and pruning. He now does landscaping and lawn features. Currently he is not taking on any more customers. He is careful. He doesn’t want to over extend himself and his growing business. He has stayed pretty much in the Puyallup area.
Niwar is Kurdish. His father came to America from Iraq. When Mr. Nasim came to Tacoma he bought a lawnmower and cut lawns. Niwar grew up and graduated from Wilson High School and UWT. He and his brother expanded the family business: Nasim and Sons. Niwar has a mixed crew of hard workers also. When they finish they load up their equipment on to their trailer and put clippings in the yard waste bin. Niwar has expanded beyond his north end beginnings in both territory and scope.
I’ve seen crews of both Titan Lawn and Nasim and Sons at work. The arrive, they start working immediately, they get their job done, and they move on. Each person has a duty. They do their job. When the job is done they can relax, but at the job site, it’s strictly business.
With attention to detail, dreams can be achieved. I see that on Undercover Boss. Most of those business can backtrack to the original person who started the company. Desire and hard work make all things possible. American is still great. With people like Manuel and Niwar we will continue to offer opportunity.