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2022 was a dry year

It was also a year I had to make some choices about whether I was going to stay in the water game, or move on. In order to keep up with needs in Northern Arizona, we delivered close to 400,000 gallons in 2022. In other areas of the state, that would be an unbelievable volume, but compared to some other years it felt like light duty except….

In 2022 I had to make a choice. I chose to remain in the water game, and we formed Wildlife Waterworks. For those first few months, we labored entirely at personal expense. But when James Murphy heard of our struggle to keep wildlife hydrated, he stepped up immediately with a very large donation, covering our expenses through the months when elk are calving and keeping everything full to the brim in the driest, hottest time of year is most critical. There can be no doubt James’ tremendous generosity has been a huge benefit to the wildlife population of Northern Arizona.

Since that time, Patrick Gleason, a very talented and enthusiastic young man who works for James company, Willmeng Construction,  noticed we spoke quite often of the generosity of his employer, messaged me that he wanted to participate as well and what could he do. I asked if he would organize a work party and did he Ever! This was a work party unlike any other I had ever seen, as it was composed entirely of people that work in the construction industry! It was a Raging Storming, Smashing success! Completely restoring function in a single weekend to an old USFS installation that had been in ruins for years.

I feel that as the population of our beautiful state rises, and precipitation becomes more unpredictable, water available to deliver to wildlife might become more difficult to obtain. Looking to the future We at Waterworks are hoping to do exactly that, work with all our wonderful partners including James Murphy, Willmeng Construction  Patrick Gleason and all our other wonderful friends  to build, repair and refill as many water catches as possible. Join us won’t you?

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    Willmeng employees, subcontractors, and wildlife supporters collaborated with Wildlife Water Works, led by Dan Bradford, to construct a new water catchment system near the Grand Canyon. This project involved building a 36’x50′ steel frame with sheet metal, installing plumbing, a float, and valve, and creating a sloped gutter and collection tub to supply water to local wildlife. They also replaced an old barbed wire fence with approximately 600 feet of new fencing. This initiative demonstrates their commitment to supporting and conserving the region’s wildlife.


    James Murphy was hired as a project manager by founder Jack Willmeng in 1999 and has led the company for more than 15 years as CEO. He earned his B.S. degree in Construction Management from the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University, as well as his master’s degree from the ASU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His path at Willmeng includes time spent in multiple positions at the firm, from project manager, estimator and vice president, up to his current role.

    Away from the industry, James is at home in the outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing, or spending time with his family.

    In the fall of 2015, James Murphy triumphantly brought down the notoriously elusive Dozer (aka “The Legend”), a colossal 409-inch bull. This hunting expedition was the culmination of a shared dream between James and his father. Together, they turned this dream into a reality during their two-week hunt, skillfully guided by John McClendon of McClendon Guide Service.

    James has been named Most Admired Leader by the Phoenix Business Journal, honored by ASU’s Alumni Group as a five-time inductee into the Sun Devil 100, and also named to the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. He has served on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, and is committed to training the next generation of leaders through NAIOP Arizona’s Mentorship program and through teaching programs at the Arizona Builders Alliance and the Del E. Webb School of Construction at ASU.