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Conserva Continues to Help the Environment, One Sprinkler at a Time

June 12, 2018
Conserva Continues to Help the Environment, One Sprinkler at a Time

Water waste comes in many different forms. We’re sure you’ve seen broken or poorly timed irrigation sprinklers shooting off during a storm or spraying water all over the asphalt instead of the lawn. Or maybe you’ve seen a corporate groundskeepers or homeowner who continues to waste large quantities of water in an attempt to make their lawn look immaculate.

With mega-droughts and major wildfires appearing in the news more frequently, Conserva Irrigation hopes that consumers will start turning toward smarter watering options. Based in Minnesota, Conserva Irrigation is the industry’s first franchised irrigation company. Founder Russ Jundt is passionate about preserving the planet’s water resources, and since starting Conserv, he has learned that saving money is more important to Americans than anything related to environmental conservation.

To respond to this issue, Jundt partnered with Outdoor Living Brands and Toro’s irrigation team to pivot the brand’s marketing message. This has led to a substantial increase of franchise sales in both water-starved and lakeland territories.

Helping People Conserve Water

Most people are unaware that a malfunctioning sprinkler can waste 20 or more gallons of water in just one minute, or that the average homeowner wastes more than 33,000 gallons of water every month. As a social franchise, Conserva Irrigation uses its profit-motivated business to help solve global issues that activists and regional businesses could never do on their own.

According to Jundt, “I guess I could march on the capitol steps and become an activist and I could say, say no to irrigation—I would never see any effects of change in my lifetime. I can affect greater change by building a very large, profitable company that helps others have the same message and we could save billions upon billions upon billions of gallons of water.”

Russ Jundt acquired his franchising insight from Outdoor Living Brands as the first franchisee of its Mosquito Squad brand. To this day, he runs that franchise from the same office in the Twin Cities. Some Conserva franchises have generated a half-million dollars of revenue during their first year in operation. Investing in a franchise requires a comparatively small amount of money, between $40,000 to $80,000.

Conserva offers customers complete irrigation system checks with each service call, as well as historic weather data and some systems that can give a live read of soil moisture levels to help make sure that irrigation is effective during both dry and wet spells. Customers can save around $170 on their monthly water bills with Conserva.

Residential clients make up about 70% of Conserva’s client base. The other 30% is composed of commercial customers. Conserva estimates that it has helped customers conserve more than 100 million gallons of water.

Outdoor Living Brands bought a 60% stake in Conserva in 2017. The brand has more than 15 franchisees covering 32 territories throughout the country. Jundt claims that water conservation is in the early days of a “perfect storm” which will benefit water tables and his company’s franchisees alike. He says, “The green initiative has never been stronger and water, we’re understanding now, is a very precious resource—we’re finally as a nation embracing that concept. It’s also the first time we’re seeing technology enter the irrigation space from outside the industry…and this convergence of trends has brought together this special opportunity.”

Become Your Local Landscape Irrigation Expert

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The typical investment to open a franchise ranges from $100,000 - $150,000.

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The typical investment to open a franchise ranges from $100,000 - $150,000.

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This website and the franchise sales information on this site do not represent an offer to sell a franchise. The offer of a franchise can only be made through the delivery of a franchise disclosure document. Certain states require that Empower Brands affiliates who are offering franchises register their franchise disclosure documents in those states. Empower Brands and its affiliates who are offering franchises are not directing the communications on this website to the residents of any of those states. Moreover, Empower Brands affiliates will not offer or sell franchises in those states until they have registered the franchise (or obtained an applicable exemption from registration). In addition, Empower Brands affiliates will not sell franchises in any states or provinces until they have delivered a franchise disclosure document to the prospective franchisee in accordance with applicable law.
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Holden Andrews

Marketing Specialist

Started working at Empower Brands in July 2022, and core priorities include:

  • Provide franchisees with day-to-day support in both the online and offline space.
  • Facilitate creative team tasks for custom design work.
  • Assist franchisees in setting up social media and pay-per-lead platforms.
  • Manage national social media platforms, as well as schedule regular local social media postings.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

I really enjoy the people I work with and the opportunity to help franchisees succeed.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is…

I enjoy taking my dog on walks and pick-up soccer.

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Steve Nguyen

Creative Director

Started working at Empower Brands in February 2009. Core priorities:

  • Oversee the creative development to ensure that the conceptual and visual work is of the highest possible quality.
  • Build, lead, and produce innovative concepts that transform into compelling print and digital visuals while maintaining brand standard and vision
  • Brainstorm with the creative team, maintaining strategic and creative thinking to develop new and creative initiatives.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

I love being able to work with a great team over multiple brands to brainstorm and identify new projects and opportunities.

When I’m not working…

I have a multitude of hobbies that keep me outside. I’m a huge car enthusiast, an avid triathlete, and I love learning new things to keep my mind and body active.

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Annena Ellis

Digital Marketing Manager

Started working at Empower Brands in April 2018, and core priorities include:

  • Provide franchisees with day-to-day proactive guidance and support in the digital space.
  • Manage consumer corporate social media efforts.
  • Assist franchisees in setting up and developing a well-rounded and active online presence.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

The digital space is constantly growing and evolving, so I love being able to help our franchisees understand the digital landscape and evolve their businesses’ along with it.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is…

go stand-up paddleboarding at the Chesapeake Bay with my dog, Umphrey.

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Jane Campbell

Director of Marketing

Started working at Empower Brands in January 2009, and core priorities include:

  • Spearheads and implements the company’s overall marketing strategies.
  • Analyzes and assesses new online marketing opportunities and partners.
  • Drives new website builds and initiatives for all brands, franchise development, and Empower Brands.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

I love evaluating opportunities and making recommendations that can positively impact our franchisees’ local businesses.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is

to go for long walks and/or hikes with my husband, sons, and dog.

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Austin Auandee

Art Director

Started working at Empower Brands September 2019, and core priorities include:

  • Working creatively across multiple brands to concept, develop and produce strategic, innovative and compelling on-brand print and digital assets.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

I enjoy the company culture and love working with everyone here. The core values and practices facilitate an environment that encourages and supports creative solutions, growth and development from the ground up. The opportunity to explore and contribute my creative experience and skills over multiple brands is a challenge that I cherish.

When I’m not working my favorite thing to do outdoors is...

to go biking, camping and hiking.

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Lara Omick

Brand Marketing Manager

Started working at Empower Brands in 2018, and core priorities include:

  • Creates local marketing plans and advises franchisees on how to execute their plan.
  • Manages system-wide brand initiatives related to the National Ad Fund.
  • Collaborates with the in-house creative team to drive brand development and tactics.
  • Analyzes local marketing metrics and refines budgets, channels, and messaging.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

I love the people that I work with and get to interact with every day.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is

take my chocolate lab for a swim in the river.

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Daniel Cockerill

Technology Training and Support Consultant

Started working at Empower Brands in May 2021, and core priorities include:

  • Bringing my knowledge of our CRM to all locations
  • Using my experience as an office manager to train new locations
  • Making everyone’s life easier by getting their systems set up and optimized

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

Working with a great group of people who all have the same goals in mind

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is…

Play golf

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Erich Johnston

Franchise Technology Solutions Manager

Started working at Empower Brands in July of 2018, and core priorities include:

  • Leads and manages all technology-related functions and projects for the organization.
  • Maintains and enhances the technology platforms utilized by all four brands.
  • Manages the IT Helpdesk and new and ongoing training initiatives.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

I love working with franchisees and brand support teams to develop and implement new programs and functionality that increase efficiency and productivity.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is

take the kayaks somewhere peaceful and catch some fish.

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Micki Nguyen

IT Support Analyst , National Accounts Administrator

Started working at Empower Brands in March 2018, and core priorities include:

  • Help desk support for Empower Brands employees as well as local franchisees.

  • Onboard and train new franchisees on technology platforms

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

  • Helping the franchisees work though issues they may have. Being able to see their successes big or small.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is

  • Taking photographs of landscapes and families.

  • Going to the beach or the mountains to get away from the city.

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Cristin Smith

Division Controller

Started working at Empower Brands in June 2011, and core priorities include:

  • Lead the accounting support team.
  • Manage the corporate accounting functions and operations.
  • Produce and analyze the corporate financial statements and budget presentations.
  • Develop strategic plans along with the franchise support teams.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

My favorite part of my job at Empower Brands is being able to help small business owners understand the financial status of their business by supporting their accounting processes and financial statement analysis.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is…

go canoeing and smallmouth bass fishing on the river with my husband and children.

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Sarah Jaramillo

Accounting Associate

Started working at Empower Brands in August 2022, and core priorities include:

  • Support franchisees on accounting matters.
  • Record and track monthly sales for the franchise brands.
  • Process daily transactions and complete account reconciliations for Empower Brands.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

I love the connectivity – being able to establish relationships with both the people I’m working with and the people I’m working to support!

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is…

walking my dog, Bella, through our neighborhood trails.

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Clair Baker

Financial Analyst , Accounting Associate

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Matt Jones

Franchise Support & Systems Analyst

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Craig Undeck

Franchise Support Consultant

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Erich Kolb

Franchise Support Consultant

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Jay Gray

Franchise Support Consultant

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Jake Mathre

Director of Franchise Operations

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Russ Jundt

Vice President, Conserva Irrigation

Russ is the founder and Vice President of Conserva Irrigation, the only irrigation company founded on the principles of water conservation.

As brand leader, Russ drives the overall priorities and focus of the company including the service offerings, sales processes, strategic partnerships, and more.

Russ graduated with B.A. in Business Management from Saint John’s University.

What do you like most about working at Empower Brands?

  • I am grateful to work with like-minded, enthusiastic leaders who are inspired to be the absolute best they can be in their role at Empower Brands. This infectious attitude is prevalent across our network of successful franchise owners, which spills over to our hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers.

When I’m not working, my favorite thing to do outdoors is…

  • anything to do with water: Boating, rowing, water sports, time at the beach with friends and family, vacationing to beach destinations, and more.