With more than 40 years in the landscaping industry, Bruce Moore Sr. has had many opportunities to get involved. He’s sat on boards, helped community members and guided countless employees through the ups and downs of his business, Eastern Land Management.
He’s primed his employees to take command of their jobs, most notably his son, Bruce Moore Jr., who has transitioned into Moore Sr’s., role as president, and has kept his focus on acts of charity and volunteerism through his recent retirement.
Moore wasn’t necessarily brought up in the industry. He didn’t start with formal horticulture training, but he did graduate with a business degree, which is something that he credits a lot of his success to.
“I think a some of us old timers, we got into (this industry) because we were very passionate about the business and landscaping and horticulture,” he says.
Moore Sr. says he’s learned a lot of his lessons through trial and error. Through his own experience, he’s learned to lead his staff in a way that allows them to make mistakes sometimes, too.
“I respect him for the trust in people,” Moore Jr. says. “He really puts a great deal of trust in people and lets them figure things out and help give them the support that they need. It allows them to grow and be comfortable with themselves and then hopefully grow them as a person.” In fact, the road at ELM wasn’t always easy for Bruce Jr., either. Moore watched him move up in the ranks, allowing him to make decisions on his own.
The Stamford, Connecticut, community that ELM services has been a large part of Moore Sr.’s life. He’s been in Stamford since 1976, and although he wasn’t born there, his sense of pride for his community has been reflected through his work.
“We live, work and play in Stamford,” Moore Sr. says. It makes sense for him to give back personally and through his company.
In 1995, Marion Glowka worked as a streetscape coordinator for the city of Stamford. She was tasked with maintaining a greenscape area around town hall as part of the Downtown Special Services program.
The program continued for 22 years, and Glowka says Eastern Land Management was a major partner.
“(Moore Sr.) was such a supportive citizen,” Glowka says. “He’s always giving back to the community.” Moore Sr’s. efforts didn’t end on the lawn at Town Hall, either.
When the Stamford Garden Club developed the idea of having a lettuce-growing challenge for local students, Eastern Land Management stepped in to sponsor it.
“It just was kind of a natural thing (for him),” Glowka says. “It's been a beautiful relationship really for 22 years. You can feel that Stamford is an important city that they like to contribute to it.”
One project close to Moore Sr’s. heart involves a new concept in hospice care. In the Stamford community, a hospice and palliative care center was built and modeled after a home for families who have a loved one transitioning into that type of care.
ELM provided all the landscaping for the home and continues to maintain the area as well. The project took two years, and all the work was done completely pro bono.
He’s also served as president the Umbrella Club. The nonprofit is made up of local businessmen, and together they raise money for families with children that have severe medical conditions. The money helps offset the costs that may not be covered by insurance.
“There was always giving back,” Glowka says. “I think that was always a concern of giving back with the Moore family.”
As Moore Jr. steps into his role, he says observing his father’s involvement in the community has left a lasting impression on him.
“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from him is to stay on course,” Moore Jr. says. “Keep being involved with community, continue networking, be involved in BOMA chapters and make sure your name is out there and stay involved.”
“He really puts great deal of trust in people and lets them figure things out and help give them the support that they need.” Bruce Moore Jr., president, Eastern Land Management
This may be the year of awards for Moore. Along with Lawn & Landscape’s Leadership Award, Moore Sr. was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with the Boys &Girls Club in March.
Moore Sr. has been active with the Boys & Girls Club for four decades and has inspired his son to get involved as well.
“(I guess) this is the big year, it’s what happens when you get older” he jokes. “I really appreciate it.”
On to the next.
Moore Sr. says he puts a lot of faith into the next generation of workers. “They’re really smart,” he says. “They are going into this more business-minded.” He says they have different priorities, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Watching his son grow through company has always been very rewarding. He’s never really had a business partner before, so it’s been nice to bounce ideas off of someone.
“It’s given me an opportunity to stand back and observe, which I never had the opportunity to really do before,” Moore Sr. says. “It was like you couldn't see the forest through the trees.”
While he may be taking a backseat at ELM, Moore Sr. plans to keep himself rooted in the community. He says he will hopefully play a little more golf and spend more time with his five grandchildren. He’s also looking forward to watching his son take the reins of the business.
Moore Sr. says, “Hopefully I’ll try to be kind of a visionary and help steer the ship, but from a different vantage point.”